Where does this term come from, and why is it taboo and evil in some circles? Let’s examine the reasons.
Some terms, symbols or names have a negative connotation. Often this negative image or reputation is not an accident, but intentional. It results from branding by those in charge of the culture.
A term gets a negative reputation for several reasons. It could be because of actions, people or other things we associate with the term. For instance, the swastika has a negative worldwide image. But this symbol was in use by Hinduism long before Germany adopted it in World War II.
Everything depends who is in charge of the cultural narrative. Who ever programs and controls the cultural narrative controls the culture. They program the values and beliefs which often include bias and prejudice. So, who is really in charge? Is it social media? No. It has its moments, but it is religion which programs the values and beliefs of the culture.
History of The Craft
Most people associate the term with Witches and Wicca. However, the elements of craftwork are universal principles. When you break it down, its simply the use of ritual combined with emotion, intent and meaning. This seems to be a formula that weaves its way through the alchemy of magic.
Some believe this knowledge the practical application of powerful forms of meditation which open doors to higher states of consciousness. So, the processes that can do this found in cultures around the world. So, this means that this knowledge is still available if we know where to look. There are several tools for spiritual exploration that alter awareness. The key is not just learning about them but practicing them.
“The craft or craftwork is the artful application of intention through ritual. Our intention is like a muscle. You develop intention through the practice of meaningful rituals. Intention infused with personal meaning and emotion create a life-changing force – magic.” — Guru Tua
That which embraces and directs the creative force within us is “craftwork”. This is the alignment with and the invoking of energy. Some believe this is the source of what many ancient authors call Hermetics. It is an esoteric form of magic.
Many people feel an attraction to explore the unknown, to find answers about spiritual nature. Unfortunately, many people think Western organized religion has the answers. Over 3 billion people meet every week to involve themselves in the study of these religions. And they support them financially. Is this a counterfeit for real spiritual exploration?
The Influence of Western Religion
After the Roman army had conquered the world, they needed a more cost effective way to continue reaping the harvest from the area. It was costly to keep an army deployed. However, it saw how the religious cults of the area brought in their taxes voluntarily. No army necessary. So, more profits with less effort.
They created a religion they could scale and transport throughout the world. The goal is to keep the customers of the local cults while upgrading with the best elements. The result is the Universal Religion, Catholicism. It is the first successful large scale rebranding effort.
This rebranding effort took the most marketable parts of mythology from Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Rome. They chose doctrine, rituals and symbols of the area so it could maintain the local cash flow. Then they combined the most popular into their new creation.
Thus, it did not care about the meaning of the rituals. It was a business decision. This mass assimilation of all the mystery religions of the Mediterranean enabled Roman to use its occupation without the expense of keeping an army in the field.
So, they lost the real intentions of the symbolism and in favor of marketing concerns. But this enabled them to build the most profitable state on Earth. The Roman Empire built the richest City State, the Vatican. After rebranding this new Universal Religion (Catholicism), they demonized the source. This it isn’t something they want to be make common knowledge. However, they document it for internal use.
“The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907). Symbolism in a greater or lesser degree is essential to every kind of external worship, and we need not shrink from the conclusion that in the matter of baptisms and washings, of genuflection’s and other acts of reverence, of lights and sweet smelling incense, of flowers and white vestures, of spiritual unction’s and the imposing of hands, of sacrifice and the rite of the Communion banquet, the Church has borrowed without hesitation from the common stock of significant actions known to all periods and to all nations. In such matters as these, Christianity claims no monopoly or originality.”
Demonizing the Competition
If you want to make something socially unacceptable, you associate it with something negative. Nothing is more unacceptable than something evil. If you control the programming of the cultural narrative, you can make this happen. The Abrahamic religions control this programming. These are the religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
To demonize someone or something is to associate them with evil. But the origin of this term not well known. Going back to ancient history, we find the Assyrians were at war with India in 810 BCE. In the Hindu religion, the deities are the bright lights of the stars and planets in the Heavens, called the “Devas”. The Assyrians sought to dehumanize their foe.
So, the Hindu Devas became the Devils, evil Gods for the Assyrians. Slandering the Hindu Deity became part of Persian mythology. Persian mythology became a cornerstone concept of Western theology. If it were not for the Assyrians hatred of the Hindus, the concept of a devil or demon might not be in Western theology at all.
The attempt to demonize is born out of religious prejudice. It’s a ploy to disparage practice of anything that threatens their cash flow. So, they associate it with Witchcraft. It is as simple as that. They demonize anything that doesn’t come from them. It doesn’t matter if they use the same process by a different name. The history of the craft is one that shows the marks of this prejudice.
In the 1800s many researchers like Kersey Graves published books exposing these facts. He believed bringing this knowledge to the public be the end of Western Organized Religion. But, he underestimated the power of religious indoctrination.
Perhaps knowledge of Hermetics was not available to those designing the Abrahamic religions. Or, did they get this knowledge, but keep it secret for those of high leadership positions? Either way, they didn’t want others to use it. So, they demonized anyone else from using it. They especially targeted people with natural abilities of plants and medicine. These were the domain of the Shaman and Witches. So, they were lumped together as unacceptable and evil. Then they could appropriate their rituals and symbols without any competition.
The Connection Between Ritual and Intention
The connection between ritual and intention is the reason personal ritual is an effective and powerful force. Your own experience will prove that personal rituals are more powerful than those created by others. This is simply because when you create your own ritual, you are infusing them with the power of your own intention, emotion, and meaning.
“Create your own rituals. Rituals created by others are a waste of time and sometimes dangerous. This is because unless you create the ritual, you don’t know the true meaning and intentions behind it. You can be told what someone else’s ritual means, but you don’t really know.” — Guru Tua
Developing Your Own Ritual
We all have goals and aspirations. Reaching these goals takes hard work. The path to these goals requires several effective personal habits. Habits are rituals that have reached enough critical mass to manifest.
The systematic practice of ritual and intention creates a positive mindset. This is essential for reaching any goal. Here are four important points about developing your own personal rituals.
For example, visualization is a powerful tool to focus intent. Create and use a vision board. This is a simple tool. You place pictures of the ultimate goals you want to achieve on a bulletin board. Then you hang this board somewhere you will see it often like your office or hallway. Some people set a reminder to move it to a new place every month. This way you see it and reinforce the goal.
Develop your own rituals. If you are just starting, learn the basic patterns others use, but don’t copy. Don’t stay with a predetermined pattern. Personal rituals are a pathway to cultivating the positive things you want in your life. Remember that there is power and influence in the structure of the old ways. So, start there, and personalize.
2) Partner with like-minded people
Unlike institutionalized rituals, personal rituals can change with your growth. However, there is power in collaboration. You need not create a coven or secret society. Just meet and share ideas. You’ll learn a lot from others even though you are doing your own thing.
You are the designer with ultimate control. What works today may not work tomorrow. Similarly, what works for someone else may not work for you. Feel free to modify and experiment. Your rituals may consist of any pattern of thought or movement or both.
Experiment using sound, implements or objects to facilitate the focus of our intent. The time the ritual takes is not as important as the focus and power of your intent. Experiment with different drums and music. Allow your practice to grow. For instance, learn how to create and use circles in your rituals.
4) Practice with Enthusiasm
The emotional context and velocity you impart into your ritual is the fuel to power your intention. We recommend you inject your rituals with positive, life-affirming power of love and compassion. Also, don’t forget to use a spiritual journal or book of shadows. Use it to record your daily spiritual practice, your experience your evolving rituals.
Practicing any ritual without the true knowledge of its meaning can be dangerous. If someone else creates the ritual, you don’t know the original intent and purpose. Therefore, we do not recommend practicing institutionalized rituals. You’ll find they hinder the effectiveness of your own rituals.
Here’s the problem. All Western religions use ritual and symbolism developed by other cultures. They infuse them with superficial meaning, but don’t really understand real essence behind them. That’s why it’s important to avoid situations where these are in use.
Stand up to the cultural narrative, which depends upon the acceptance of cultural mythology. Otherwise, you substitute compliance and community for independence and personal success.
Freemasonry is fraternal organization which associates itself with The Craft. It uses a formalized ritual with an emphasis on memorizing long passages of text. The main purpose is to create a patriarchal community. They use membership as a means of cultural favoritism. Does it hold the ancient knowledge of Heremtics? Some believe this is so because its members include the most influential. Others see it as a pyramid scheme.
We hope this brief history of the craft is food for thought. If you still think this term is evil, don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault. This is part of groupthink programming. You can change your programming.
Now that you know the facts, you can do your own part to bridge the gap. Educate others on the difference between a personal ritual and those of institutions. You can start by doing your own independent research. Use sources outside the paradigm. Break the cycle of bias and prejudice. Speak up for those who don’t ascribe your paradigm.
Finally, and take time to develop your own rituals. By all means, call upon the power of your ancestors. Ask for the ancient elemental powers earth, wind, water and air to guide you. Let your intuition find your implements for your rituals, for altars for things and places to focus your emotion and intention.
Create a vision board with pictures that symbolize the goals of your life. Find living teachers to provide you with tools for expanding your awareness and opening the doors to higher states of consciousness. We can help you with this last one.
So, the bottom line. The history of the craft shows us that All ritualistic magic operates using the same principles. Without a doubt, the real meaning and intention of ritual come from the originator of the ritual. Overlaying meaning and intent on top of symbolism doesn’t change the original intent. It simply dilutes the effectiveness of the ritual.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their own path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia