The Thirteen Goals of a Witch
are intended to be an outline, akin to the Ten Commandments
, of goals to work toward in one's life as one journeys along the path of the Craft
of the Wise. I list them here and expound a bit below.
- Know yourself.
- Know your Craft.
- Apply knowledge with wisdom.
- Achieve balance.
- Keep your words in good order.
- Keep your thoughts in good order.
- Celebrate life.
- Attune with the cycles of the Earth.
- Breathe and eat correctly.
- Exercise the body.
- Honor the Goddess and God.
A bit of explanation for each:
- "Know yourself" means to really understand who you are and what you believe. It means to refrain from lying to yourself or deluding yourself or making excuses. It means to thoroughly examine and understand yourself.
- "Know your Craft" refers, of course, to THE Craft, although it could definitely apply to any other craft at which you normally work and in which you take pride. This simply means to understand the forces with which you work and all materials and energies used therein.
- "Learn" is a simple command to keep an open mind and never cease feeding that fertile soil in your head. When one refuses to keep learning, one's life becomes stagnant.
- "Apply knowledge with wisdom" can mean to think before you act, and to fully examine any repercussions or results from the knowledge you plan to put to use. People who have knowledge are not necessarily wise; it is using the knowledge appropriately that makes all the difference.
- "Achieve balance" means to reach a point where nothing is in turmoil in your life, where everything is under control and you don't have too much or too little of any one thing. It means for everyone to recognize the female and male, negative and positive, black and white aspects of themselves and integrate them.
- "Keep your words in good order" is another way of saying "speak purely or hold your tongue." This goal urges you to keep in check what you say, and to learn to master your speech also so that you are easily understood and respected for your words, which should always nurture and never harm.
- "Keep your thoughts in good order" goes a step further: Monitor your own thoughts and be wary of snap judgments. When you think about someone or something, reflect through your thoughts and examine them for damaging bits; thoughts do have power, both over you and others.
- "Celebrate life" sounds simple, but many have trouble doing so. But every day of life is amazing and is a miracle, another day we get to be part of this amazing circle, so it should be celebrated. This goal also hints that special celebrations should be created to honor turning points of life.
- "Attune with the cycles of Earth" begins with taking notice of patterns: The moon's phases, the sunrises and sunsets, the tides, the wheel of the year. And little by little, one attempts to become part of these cycles by symbolically and literally going through the phases that are observed.
- "Breathe and eat correctly" simply means to take care of the body; do not breathe shallowly because of restrictive clothing, do not gorge on unhealthy food just because it's yummy. Some say the body is a temple, and it certain is our only instrument to hold our lives together as such, so it is best to take care of it.
- "Exercise the body" goes hand in hand with the above, but takes it a step further as well--the body should be kept fit with activity. This is a reminder that though we must continue to learn (another goal), we must also keep in touch with the physical shell that binds us to the physical realm.
- "Meditate" is a goal that many ignore, but it is a necessary one. A few minutes of quiet reflection is a meditation, as is an all-out hours-long production of meditative trance for a purpose. The point is that some time should be spent--every day if possible--alone with one's thoughts, to digest them.
- "Honor the Goddess and the God" is a very important goal, but the ways in which it is acceptable to fulfill this goal are almost infinite. There is no "right" way to honor the Goddess and the God, or even to believe in Them--this is entirely up to you, as long as your appreciation for everything you have is shown in some way or another.
Notice these are goals
; nowhere do you see "Thou shalt not
," or even "thou shalt." They are suggestions and guidelines, for witches
This is more public domain now than anything, but some sources say the first version of it was published in Scott Cunningham's book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. This refers only to the goals themselves, not the explanations; those are mine.