traditional Welsh Wicca of Wales

Traditional Wiccae Resources

traditional Welsh Wicca of Wales

 

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Witchcraft and Wicca and Doreen Valiente Click on one of the above titles to go directly to another resource or the Home Page.

Gathering of the TribesWitchcraft and Wicca

Witchcraft and Wicca and Doreen Valiente

Witchcraft and Wicca

Witchcraft and Wicca and Doreen Valiente

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INTRODUCTION
: Wiccan practice is a nature-oriented religion whose primary belief system revolves around a relationship between the individual and Deity. Sometimes the Deity is identified with "The Land", sometimes as "The Great Spirit", but usually as a polarized Male and Female deity know simply as the God and Goddess. Wicca differs from mainstream religions in its relationship with nature, a worship of both a male and female deity, and sometimes, the practice of magick. Although Wicca is a new religion, its traditions are drawn several ancient sources: pre-Christian pagan beliefs, Eastern philosophy and ceremonial magick.

Wicca tends to be misunderstood because of its ancient association with Paganism and Witchcraft. For this reason, Celtic Paganism in Medieval times, was treated as an enemy of the Catholic church which demonized everything which was not the Catholic version of Christianity. Witchcraft or Folk Magick was therefore associated with evil when the Catholic Church began to Christianize Europe. It was firmly believed after the 1400s, by those who were not Pagan, that in order to become a witch, one must make a formal pact with the devil. Modern scholars, however, have shown that the Inquisitors fabricated the pact with the devil and other anti-witch propaganda to further their own social and/or political agendas.


BIRTH OF WICCA: Numerous people have contributed to the neo-Pagan/Wiccan movement in numerous ways. The most important individual was the founder of Wicca, Gerald B. Gardner (1884-1964). After retiring from civil service as a British customs officer, Gardner joined a secret society known as the Fellowship of Crotona (he was also a member of several other secret societies, including Crowley's OTO, for which he was granted a charter to open up a new branch). It was while a member of this group that he claimed he first came into contact with a woman called "Old Dorothy." Gardner alleged that in 1939 "Old Dorothy" initiated him into one of the few surviving witches’ covens. He said that the rituals that the coven possessed were not complete, and he had to use his own knowledge and studies, which were extensive, to make them whole again. The already existing pieces, if there were any, were in the care of the coven’s living members who were all elderly women. In order to generate the publicity that he felt the Craft needed to survive, he began publishing books on the subject of witchcraft after the repeal of Britain’s Witchcraft Acts in 1951.

Many Wiccan and non-Wiccan scholars criticize Gardner’s story of initiation. "Old Dorothy" was not believed to be a real person until Doreen Valiente, a student of Gardner’s, produced the birth and death certificates of Dorothy Clutterbuck (Adler, 60-61).

Even though the existence of "Old Dorothy" was eventually proven, many still disbelieve Gardner’s allegations and assert that he created Wicca in its entirety with the help of the popular occultist, Aleister Crowley, in an attempt to create a magickal system that would gain wide popularity. Considering that the number one wish of teenage girls in America is to become a Wiccan or a witch, it seems as though they have succeeded. Still, the true origins of Wicca and its relationship to Witchcraft is one of the most heated debates within the neo-Pagan community.


LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL EXISTENCE: In the past two decades, Witchcraft and Wicca have gained ground toward becoming more accepted by society at large. In the 1985 case of Dettmer vs. Landon, it was decided that Wicca is a legitimate religion and is therefore entitled to protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In Condon vs Church of Y Dynion Mwyn (1987) an Administrative Court of the US Post Office found that Welsh Witchcraft is a religion.

The I.R.S. has recognized various pagan organizations as religious non-profits under 501 c 3 rules.

The Department of Army Pamphlet No. 165-13, titled "Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups-A Handbook for Chaplains," also recognizes Wicca as an official religion, and has since about 1980. Wicca is a recognized and sanctioned faith in the military today, in spite of recent efforts by Bob Barr (R-GA) and Senator Strom Thurmond to outlaw its practice on military bases.

In early 1999, a 17-year-old Wiccan took her school to court to win back the right to wear her religious symbol, the pentacle, on school grounds and won. Despite these victories, and the fact that many Wiccans have "come out of the broom closet" about their beliefs and attempt to educate others, persecution still takes place. Fortunately, there are many groups in existence that fight discrimination, such as The Witches Voice, the Universal Federation of Pagans (UFP), Southeastern Pagan Alliance (SEPA), the Earth Religion Acceptance League (ERAL), the Witches' League for Public Awareness (WPLA) and the Witches' Anti-Discrimination League (WADL).


GENERAL BELIEFS: Generally speaking, Wiccans view divinity as the balance of masculine and feminine powers and personify these powers as a Goddess and a God. Forming a personal relationship with these deities is central to the practice of Wicca. Wiccans often worship the Goddess in a three-fold form: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The Maiden is the Goddess in her virgin aspect; she represents youth and purity. The Mother aspect represents nurturing, fertility, and the giving of life. The Crone represents age, death, and the wisdom that comes from experience. Healing, love, and the bearing of children are all believed to be sacred to the Goddess, though there are many death and war goddesses, such as the Morrigan, Hecate, and Andraste. The Goddess is both the giver and the taker of life. The God, often referred to as "the Horned One," is associated with the Sun, the wildwood, and horned animals. Most Wiccans believe that the Goddess and God are equals, though the God is most often represented as the consort of the Goddess. They personify the feminine and masculine sides of "the All" or the "Great Spirit" - the one power that Wiccans believe makes up the universe and all creation. Therefore, in Wiccan theology, the Goddess and God are simply two halves of this single power, and different names for them represent different aspects of the same universal power. Explanations of Wiccan deity concepts can take up whole books, so I will not go into further detail in order to be brief.

The elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are revered in Wicca but not worshipped. They are believed to be very powerful energies that may be called upon to aid in ritual observance. Each of the four elements is believed to exist in a state of balance with the others, and all are needed to sustain life in our universe. The idea of four elements as the "creative energies" of the universe is believed to have originated in Greece during the Classical period. The element of Earth represents fertility and stability; Air, motion and intelligence; Fire, purification and energy; Water, healing and love.

The elements also contain dark aspects which go unacknowledged much of the time in the modern forms of Wicca and Wiccan writings. For instance, earthquakes and degenerative diseases of the body may be attributed to Earth, tornadoes and mental instability to Air, volcanoes and destructive passions to Fire, and floods and emotional pain to Water. The four elements are often personified as the Elementals, or beings of Earth (knomes), Air (zephyrs), Fire (salamanders or firedrakes), and Water (undines or mermaids). The idea of four Elementals or Guardians stems from ceremonial magick. Some sources say that the ancient Celts believed in only three elements (the number three being sacred to their people), Land, Sea, and Sky, with Fire representing the element of Spirit (which is the fifth element, or Akasha, to Wiccans). Wiccans correspond the elements to certain directions that the particular element is believed to rule in. The element of Earth is placed in the North, Air in the East, Fire in the South, and Water in the West. Traditional witchcraft circles, however, usually have different directional and color correspondences from those taught in Wicca.

Wicca is a religion with few written laws, which attracts many new followers to the Wiccan path. The only major Wiccan code of ethics is stated in the Wiccan Rede, "An ye harm none, do what ye will." (Note the similarity to the traditional OTO teaching of Crowley, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law; Love is the Law, Love under Will.") This expresses the belief that Wiccans are free to spend their lives however they want as long as by doing so they "harm none," usually meaning by magick. This law can be made to be restrictive depending upon the interpretation, which for many modern Wiccans can be quite literal. Hence, many of them are vegetarian or vegan. Wiccans generally believe in karma in some form or another and accept the existence Threefold Law, also known as the Law of Return, as a literal, universal fact. According to this Wiccan belief, whatever energy is sent out when a spell is cast returns to the sender magnified three times, whether the energy is positive or negative. Wiccans also have certain unwritten laws or codes of ethics. Wiccans are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions without blaming their misfortunes on others or on "blind fate." Ecological issues are of some importance to many Wiccans, though this is a relatively recent addition to the Craft.

The majority of Wiccans believe in reincarnation or some form of afterlife. (Some non-Wiccan witches don't believe in any afterlife at all and are completely atheistic, but from what I've seen this is a very small minority belief in Wicca.) It is believed that through the process of reincarnating in many different lifetimes the soul eventually reaches a state of perfection, at which time it can again merge with the Goddess and God, or "Great Spirit." This belief allows Wiccans to view life as an opportunity to learn from new experiences. According to their belief about the afterlife, the soul does not immediately "jump" into the next incarnation but spends a time of rest in the Summerland, as this stage of the afterlife is often called, before rebirth. There is no Hell or place of eternal punishment in Wiccan belief, but most do believe that those guilty of serious offenses pay for their crimes in proportion to its seriousness, possibly in their next incarnation.

Prayer is a very essential and personal part of Wicca. It is often used in combination with ritual to help Wiccans contact the divine and manifest their needs. Wiccan prayer is not only directed outside the self for an answer, but is also directed inside because of the belief that the divine dwells within as well as without the physical self. Wiccan beliefs teach that in order to be effective prayer must be charged with the right amount of emotional energy, and they consider it to be a form of religious magick.


ORGANIZATION: Each Wiccan coven is led by its own priest or priestess and except for a few cases, there is little hierarchy, the exception being the Gardnerian tradition with it's emphasis on linage.

The Wiccan community is amazingly diverse. Wiccans may practice as members of covens or alone as solitaires, and may be either secretive or open about their beliefs. Traditionally, oaths of secrecy were taken upon initiation, but many Wiccans no longer believe that initiation is even necessary. This is another hot (and sometimes emotional) topic in the neo-Pagan community. There is no set number dictating how many Wiccans may belong to the same coven. Twelve and thirteen are traditional numbers, but memberships can range from as little as two or three to as many as fifty or more. When a coven has reached fifty members it is referred to as a "grove" or "college." The total number of Wiccans in the United States is impossible to guess. In 1977, estimates ranged from a few hundred up to thirty thousand, and a recent estimate put the number at over three million. Some sources claim that Wicca is one of the fastest growing religions in the world.


MEMBERSHIP: In the spirit of the secret societies in which many of its beliefs originate, Wicca is traditionally an initiatory religion. Traditional Wiccan initiations usually include a challenge, an ordeal, symbolic death and rebirth, and dedication to the Goddess and God. Another part of most Wiccan initiation ceremonies is the receiving of a magickal name to be used in the circle and known only to the other members of the coven (or only between the individual and the Divine, for solitaires). Initiation is intended to be a mystical, spiritual experience aimed at bringing the initiate into a more magickal, attuned state of mind. Most Wiccans consider the exchange of money for teaching or initiation taboo. In modern Wicca, self-initiation is becoming a more and more widely accepted phenomenon. It should be noted, however, that self-initiation is not regarded as valid by most traditions, and that to be a member of a certain Wiccan tradition an initiation and formal training must take place.

Wicca is a religion that celebrates life and all that life's experiences have to offer. It is ever-evolving and ever-changing as its modern forms move further from the traditional roots of the past. It has come to accept eclecticism almost as the norm, its followers incorporating new practices and discarding old ones at will. This loose structure, misinterpreted by some as "roll-your-own" or "create your own religion," attracts many followers to modern Wicca. As it becomes more and more accepted, it will likely continue to evolve into an organized, structured belief system, as it seems that all fast-growing, widely popular religions tend to do.

(It should be noted that Wicca is not the same thing as traditional witchcraft. Wicca is a modern invention of Gerald Gardner, and many Wiccans do not consider themselves to be witches. On a similar note, many traditional witches do not consider many Wiccans to be real witches. )

(The four Guardians (or Watchers) stem from ceremonial magick, and often have no association with the elements, though in some circles they have elemental attributions. )

 


Works Referenced

Cunningham, Scott. The Truth About Witchcraft Today.

Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon.

Kramer, Heinrich; Sprenger, James. The Malleus Maleficarum.

McCoy, Edain. Celtic Women's


BECOMING A WELSH WITCH:

A Warm Welsh Welcome or "Croeso Cynnes Cymraeg!" This is an on-line source of free information about the old religion of Wales and Great Britain.  Discover knowledge, love and power as you browse many fascinating pages of wisdom. This is a doorway page created to help you find our site more easily. Your complete satisfaction is our number one priority.

Croeso I Paganiaeth Cymreig. Welcome seeker. Y Dynion Mwyn is a Georgia, USA based cenedl (Which means Kind.) We apply that meaning as a type of Grove or Coven) of a Welsh Tradition.  Our parent cenedl Dynion Mwyn, is located in North Wales. Our cenedl's focus is on the teaching of Magick and ancient Celtic mysteries with a healthy dose of information from other sources as well.

This web page is dedicated to the thousands of seekers who are looking for TRUE answers to those age old questions: Why am I here? What is the meaning of Life? Is there a god (or Goddess)? Where am I going? and What is Witchcraft?

Almost everyone has asked these questions from time to time.  It is the nature of humanity to be curious. Many thousands of books have been written over the years that have tried to address these questions with only limited success. We will now try to answer these questions from a perspective of a Welsh Witchcraft philosophy.

Before you go any further, If you don't know anything about Welsh Witchcraft, go to http://www.dynionmwyn.com/beliefs.html out the Principles of Belief and/or Frequently Asked Questions. Then click on our Reading List, History of Y Dynion Mwyn in America, our Dictionary, Wheel of the Year (Religious Calendar), Coven Symbols, and our Gathering of the Tribes 2000 festival. We also have a page which describes Other Traditions.

We have two navigation areas above this article which include a Site Index and a Disclaimer. Also available is a Search page, a Recommended Groups page, a Halloween Page, and much more. Wherever you see words that are underlined, you can be sure that they are links to pages on or off this site.

Now that you have read the above pages, we can discuss Y Dynion Mwyn and Dynion Mwyn, and you should have a pretty good idea about what we are talking about.

Welsh Witchcraft was founded over 700 years ago by the bards of Prince Llewellyn ap Gwyffes, the last true Prince of Wales.   Their descendants were of the family which they called Dynion Mwyn. Although we have only seen proof that it was in existence in the 1920's, we do believe that it has components of an older surviving Mystery Religion. The principal legends of Dynion Mwyn, containing the language, symbols and main theme of our tradition, are said to be substantially the same as they were in Prince Llewellyn's time.

Y Dynion Mwyn (which means The Faerie Folk) is a clan of the tribe of Dynion Mwyn and was brought to the United States in 1966. The beliefs of Y Dynion Mwyn are veiled in allegory and illustrated by esoteric symbols that tell the story of the search for the Mystical Grail of Immortality. This is the eternal search by men and women for Love, Knowledge and Power.

We are both an extended family from Dynion Mwyn, a hereditary system of Worship in North Wales, handed down to us through Sarah W. Llewellyn and Taliesin enion Vawr.

Within our tradition, you will find simple human friendships and discover an empathetic and supportive community. You will experience a personal relationship with the Great Spirit and the Lord and Lady. This worship of the God and Goddess and the acknowledgment of their seasonal influences is the heart and soul of our philosophies.

We also place a great deal of emphasis on ecological and environmental concerns as well as demonstrating our LOVE for Mother Earth. Our overall purpose is to relink humanity with itself and Nature. Therefore knowledge of the world of Nature and the forces of Nature, are important in this tradition.

Our ultimate goal is the spiritual and psychic development of our members. We give you the tools to understand the Universe and all its myriad aspects; and we show you how you can live in harmony with nature and its forces. In our teachings, we emphasis the creative aspects of the Great Spirit and stress the respect that you must have for these forces.

In days past, oral teachings were the basis for our tradition, but times change and many of our teachings have had to be written down or lost forever. In 1933, there were 23 family members in North Wales, who followed the path of Dynion Mwyn. Today there are only two who are directly descended from Prince Llewellyn, and practice the old ways.

Thankfully, in 1965 eight outsiders were adopted into the tribe of Dynion Mwyn and these eight have gone on to establish hundreds of cenedl (covens) around the world and thousands of Gwyddoniad Cymreig. (Welsh Witches)

If you study our ways, you will learn various techniques of obtaining inner awareness such as meditation and rituals which will help you to induce a higher form of consciousness leading to spiritual enlightenment. These methods are also essential in the practice of Natural Magick.

We regard Natural Magick as an integral part of our workings. We believe that Magick can be used to heal and to help. Magick and psychic development are our tools for understanding the Universe and all living things and improving the conditions of our life. We believe that Magick is the essence of creativity, that it is the energy of the God/dess and the nature spirits.

We teach a healthy respect for Nature shown by our worship of the God and Goddess, the Lord and Lady. We celebrate the Turning of the Wheel at the Sabbat festivals, and meet together at Full Moons and at other times for ‘work’ as well as worship.    By these means we attune ourselves to the changing seasons and the phases of the Moon.

The first phase of our path is the study of herbology, learning to recognize different species of trees, plants, and wildlife in their natural state. You will learn to follow the animals into the OtherWorld. This involves experiencing ‘wild’ places in forests and mountains. You will learn to use all your senses to observe and remember. You learn a kind of meditation in order to communicate with the living things around you.  

You learn to appreciate the different forms of Weather and learn to dissolve clouds. You will experience nature in different seasons and in all kinds of weather. You will learn weather lore and bird migration patterns.

On clear nights you will be taught how to observe the stars and the Moon, and learn its four major phases.

You will learn to work with the five elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. You will learn the control of the forces associated with each.

You will be taught the four cornerstones of Magick: Belief, Will, Secrecy and Imagination. The most important tool you must develop is the ability to imagine or visualize. This involves allowing the left or creative side of your brain to develop, and allows you to shut out the everyday thoughts which can interfere with your visualization.

You will be taught techniques of healing, dowsing, Tarot, astrology,etc., and develop whatever we think is appropriate.

The mysteries of Dynion Mwyn will be found in your communion with the natural world and the study of the Welsh/Celtic mythological cycles.

If you complete this training and are initiated, you will become a Gwyddon! (Witch!) A Witch is a pagan who has dedicated him or herself to the service and worship of The Mother Goddess and The Father God in all the many forms and names they are known by. A Witch teaches the knowledge of the Mighty Ones, and lives by the philosophy of the Three Fold Law of Utterance and Return. As in days of old, only true witches are involved in the most magickal aspects of the ancient ceremonies, though pagans and friends can celebrate the Great Sabbats together, feasting and reveling. The title Gwyddon is exclusively reserved for those pagans who know the Craft well, who are knowledgeable of its many facets and who have been properly initiated. A Witch is initiated by someone who has already completed the training and has gone on. A Gwyddon by definition cannot be initiated by themselves. You can dedicate yourself to the Craft. You can do a great deal of reading by yourself. You can meditate by yourself. You can worship the gods by yourself. But you cannot become a Witch by yourself.

After initiation, you can practice solitary and you can do rituals solitary, but the nature of the practice of Witchcraft makes it imperative that you ground yourself and come together with others of your coven from time to time to balance your energies. One of the old laws is "Thou shalt not be a Witch alone!"

The Craft of the Wise is rich with unspoken Secrets and Mysteries that are well guarded from the uninitiated. The Mysteries cannot be expressed in words to those who are not ready, because they will not understand. The Greater Mysteries are for those serious students who desire to know and search for the Mysteries of their being and discover why they are part of the All-In-One, the Great Spirit, the Divinity within everyone.

A Warm Welsh Welcome or "Croeso Cynnes Cymraeg!" This is an on-line source of free information about the old religion of Wales and Great Britain. This easy to use site gets you guaranteed results. Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Find sources of Health, Love and Money. Please click on the image to enter the site. Discover knowledge, love and power as you browse many fascinating pages of wisdom.

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