Where does this term come from, and why is it taboo and evil in some circles? Let’s examine the reasons.
A Brief History of the Craft
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. If you know your magic and the meaning of the terms, then you open doors that the culture doesn’t want you to know about.
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. Many people today associate this term with a movie by the same name, “The Craft”. This film takes some liberties to sensationalize the process.
Everything depends on who is in charge of the cultural narrative. Whoever 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 organized religion that programs the values and beliefs of the culture.
A Truth-Seekers View of Magic
Most people associate the term with Witches and Wicca. However, the elements of craftwork are universal principles. When you break it down, it’s 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.
The craft 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 is expensive to keep an army deployed. However, they saw how the religious cults of the area brought in their taxes voluntarily. No army was 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 absorbed the 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.
They did not care about the meaning of the rituals. It was a business decision. This was mass assimilation of all the mystery religions of the Mediterranean. This enabled Roman to occupy and control the region without the expense of keeping an army in the field.
So, they lost the actual 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. Thus it isn’t something they want to make common knowledge. However, they document it for internal use.
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. ― The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907)
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 Assyrian’s 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 the 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. Knowledge of this history helps you to know your magic and its potential.
In the 1800s, many researchers like Kersey Graves published books exposing the facts about Western religion. He believed bringing this knowledge to the public would be the end of Western Organized Religion. But he underestimated the power of religious indoctrination. Facts don’t matter.
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 top 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 the 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
There is an important connection between ritual and intention. When you combine them, this makes personal rituals an effective and powerful force. Your own experience will prove that personal ritual is better. It is more powerful and effective than those created by others. This is because when you create a ritual, you are infusing it with the power of your intention, emotion, and meaning. No one else can do this for you.
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 rituals.
For example, visualization is a powerful tool to focus on 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.
Creating your own rituals is the key. You will get to know your magic on an intimate level. You will learn your strengths and weaknesses.
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. Start with basic patterns and then personalize them.
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 understand the 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 a fraternal organization that associates itself with The Craft. It uses a formalized ritual with an emphasis on memorizing long passages of text. The primary 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 part to bridge the gap. Educate others on the difference between a personal ritual and those of institutions. You can start by doing independent research. Use sources outside the paradigm. Break the cycle of bias and prejudice. Speak up for those who don’t ascribe your paradigm.
Take time to develop your own rituals. By all means, call upon the power of your ancestors. Ask for the ancient elemental powers of 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 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.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
Kersey Graves, Wikipedia