In January 2012, the Meomerswiell Seax Coven from Peru started a joint project with the founder of the Seax-Wica Raymond Buckland, to define the basic guidelines of his tradition.
The members who participated in the preparation of the document were:
Priest: Gesith Jarnvid Frey (Freddy Obregón)
Priestess: Gesith Okina (Giovanna Almaza)
Scribe: Gesith Agni Loto (Diego Huertas)
Thegn: Gesith Rasgæl Hræfenwulf (Juan Espinoza)
Revised and approved by :
Faeder of Seax Wica : Raymond Buckland / Seax Gesith Ravenwolf
Special thanks to:
Alaric Albertsson – Saxon Pagan author, Michael Crow – Seax Gesith 1st Stiweard (1993-2001). To the Gesiths around the world from Germany, USA, Australia, UK, Portugal, Venezuela, Peru & Slovakia (2005-2011), and to the first generation of Seax Gesiths of the Seax Wica Peru Coven 2001 – 2004.
Likewise, the sources of these guidelines were:
- The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft.
- The 2005 edition of the Buckland’s Book of Saxon Witchcraft.
- The Buckland´s Complete Book of Witchcraft
- Chats between Raymond Buckland with Seax Gesith Rasgæl Hræfenwulf (Juan Espinoza)
- The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief (which had the purpose of defining Witchcraft in North America without the intervention of those initiated by Gerald Gardner through the Spring Witch Meet – April 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA organized by Carl Llewellyn Weschke).
- The Seax Wica Creed, The Seax Wica Creed (written by Daniel K Williams & Daven / Erin Journal – http://erinsjournal.com/the-creed-of-seax-wica )
Having all these bases and in agreement of all the participating Initiates, these are the basic Guidelines of the Saxon Tradition of Witchcraft / Seax-Wica
We are glad to release the following guidelines to every Seax Wica Coven and Self-Dedicated ( Dedicated in Solitary ), as well as to the public knowledge to every coven from all other traditions and interested non-initiates keen on Wicca, Wica, Paganism and Neopaganism.
About our Tradition:
1. We acknowledge that the anglo-saxon words “Wicca” and “Wicce” mean “Wizard” and “Witch” in modern English (nevertheless, the single word -WITCH- is used interchangeable by man or woman). The oldest source where we can find those words is a scroll written in 1010 a.d. by Wulfstan, the Archbishop of York, called “Sermo Lupi ad Anglos”. Here, “Wicca” adopts the meaning of “Witchcraft” as related to the different magical practices well spread all along Western Europe. Also, the saxon word “Wica” has the same meaning as “Wicca”, and means “Wise people”.
2. We acknowledge that, in anthropological terms, which has commonly been called “Witchcraft” is a denomination to those syncretic and cultural, folkloric or religious practices, that survived the expansion of the christian religion, where some people preserved their ancestrals beliefs.
3. We acknowledge that Gerald Gardner based on their knowledge in philosophy and anthropology, as well as his experience in-initiatory magical, institutions inspired the free practice of what we call “Witchcraft” or as he called it in his works and publications: “The Witch Cult / Culto del Brujo ”or“ The Craft of The Wica / El Arte del Wica ”or“ The Craft of the Wise / El Arte del Sabio ”(modernly rewritten“ Wicca ”). Therefore, what we call Wicca or Modern Witchcraft has its beginning as a tradition in 1953.
4. Gerald Gardner’s system was founded with the purpose of promoting the free practice of devotion to the Gods of the extinct or prohibited cults during the Christian colonization in Europe, valuing the ancestral wisdom or techné (according to Aristotle) surviving in Western Europe.
5. The terms “magic”, “witchcraft”, “acts of witchcraft” and related words that the Roman Empire and Judeo-Christianity have long conceptualized in a negative, evil or heretical way. This has undermined the origin of these practices. Each people or civilization developed a type of proto-science in its early stages, the same ones that were banned in Western Europe with the christianization.
Magic is techné (according to Aristoletes) that can be influenced by “faith”. These are channeled to certain archetypes and operated through egregores; that make it possible to direct energies from the physical plane through the spiritual / astral plane to materialize in a given moment and space (Space-Time).
We, thus, acknowledge Arthur C. Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
6. The Seax-Wicca is an initiatory mysteries religion, a cult based on the dynamic nature to the Saxon Pagan People; which survived from pre-Christian times and has uniform characteristics of devotional practices considered pagan in Western Europe. These practices are known as “Traditional Pattern of Rites” or “Traditional Witchcraft-Folklore” which was found in the Middle Ages of the United Kingdom. (The word “mystery” is not only focused in keep secret of the practice, in our Craft is not based in secrets, but the context that we use is for the individual experience of develations in the path)
7. We acknowledge Raymond Buckland as the founder of the First Coven of the Gardner System or Gardnerian Wicca in the United States of America, on Long Island, New York in 1963, as a 3rd degree. Who was proposed by Gerald Gardner to be initiated into his system through his High Priestess Monique Wilson (Lady Olwen). She was the heir of the Gardner’s estate and property.
8. We recognize Raymond Buckland as the Faeder / Father of Seax-Wica (“Religion of Saxon Wisdom”), having founded with the first ritual performed in August 02, 1973, and it was spread to the public knowledge in Yule (December 21) 1973 posted in the Volume I, Issue I of Earth Religion News. Buckland founded his new system, not as a reconstruction of the old Saxon religion or its magic, but as a tradition of modern witchcraft in the sense employed by Gerald Gardner, based in the Saxon (pagan) pantheon.
He did not use any material from the Book of Shadows proposed by Gardner, but reformed the structural system maintaining the criteria that Gardner inspired him (the “traditional pattern of rites”, which is a common aspect for witchcraft practitioners in Western Europe). .
9. We acknowledge that the publication of “The Tree: The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft” or the 2005 edition of “Buckland’s Book of Saxon Witchcraft” is the founding book of our religion, the same one that stems from Raymond Buckland’s own personal approach to achieve an intimate communion with the gods. Therefore, this work is considered complete: it is an essentially liturgical book and its rites are called “psalms” (by conceptual conventionality).
10. We acknowledge that Seax-Wica is a simple religion, without complications in its rites, based on nature, love and tolerance, participation and personal development. Moreover, it is a free and progressive religion, which is based on gender equality.
Seax-Wica does not proselytize and does not adapt to just anyone, nor does it try to impose itself on others; rather, the entrance itself is based on a personal, sincere and genuine commitment or through a group recognition by a Seax-Wicca Coven.
Academically the Seax-Wicca is classified as “modern religion” by having three elements that constitutes: Credo, Cult and Code.
11. We acknowledge that Gesiths Seax are men and women today, intelligent and community spirit. Being Gesith does not mean being backward or isolating yourself in a world full of superstitions, but moving forward. The Seax-Wicca is a religion relevant in time, even more than most established. It is the acceptance of social and personal responsibility, as well as the recognition of a holistic universe and a path to the elevation of consciousness. The rights of equality, ecology, harmony, love between brothers and care of the planet are part of Seax-Wica, the old and at the same time the new religion.
12. The main gods of the Seax-Wica religion are Woden and Freya. We recognize that the pair of Woden is Frig, but in English the word “frig” had different connotations that could be misinterpreted in the context of religion. Therefore, it was decided to name Freya because she was also Woden’s consort.
It is the power of each Gesith whether he venerates Freya or Frig. In others languages the word “frig” has no negative connotations, so if desired, you can nominate Frig openly in the rituals without generating misinterpretations or alter the rites.
Archetypally it is duotheistic as it defines a god and a goddess, which are defined in the attributes of creative death / destruction and rebirth / love respectively. Therefore, the gods of the Seax-Wicca meet this criterion so the Autumn / Winter represents God and the Spring / Summer Goddess.
13. We acknowledge that Seax-Wica is a polytheist religion that worships Saxon Gods, being that this pantheon shared amongst the Viking, Norse, German, Anglo and Scandinavian gods, the only difference lies in the language. Example: Woden, Wotan, Odin, Wodan, Wodanaz.
The Seax-Wica allows the worship of the other gods of the Saxon pantheon in addition to the main gods, within the Saxon language, maintaining the same cosmogony and adding them in the rites without modifying the Psalms in “The Tree”.
The objective of the Seax-Wica is transtheistic, because through the gods it connects with the “Creative Force” (Odic Force) which is that which is unknowable and unimaginable that generated all existence.
14. The Seax-Wica does not promote the oath of the secret of his foundational book, nor have degrees of progress within it. What we call “magic” (point 5) in Saxon is known as “Galdra” (Galdorcraeftig) and its practice is secondary. These are not intended to harm anyone and is called “White Magic”. The Seax-Wica allows these practices to be developed within the Saxon guidelines and the foundational book.
About how to join the religion:
15. The Tree provides two means of entering religion:
- Initiation into a Seax-Wica Coven
When you don’t have access to an established Seax-Wica Coven in your area, you may be able to get started on your own. The decision to perform the Self-Dedication ritual should come when you feel that you have learned enough to accept and commit to the gods you have chosen, through Seax-Wica. In this way, you can take the oath as a personal act without intermediaries with the deities that the Seax-Wica honors.
The solitaire currently has the information technology and communications, to contact other Gesiths outside their locality, if desired. Their preparation can be remotely guided through a Coven with Instructional Program called “Seminary Seax-Wicca”.
Either way, the solitary practitioner undertakes to the following oath:
- Worship and protect the Gods of Seax Wica and all that they represent.
- Live and love life in everything that exists.
- Always preach that “Love is the law, love is the bond”.
The Self-dedication rite must be performed according to what’s stated in “The Tree” without any variation. Anyone willing to do it, however, must take in consideration that it involves a promise made to the Gods and that if they would fail Them, they would fail themselves as well.
Furthermore, only if he/she has spent enough time as self-dedicated practitioner would they be allowed to set a Seax-Wica Coven and help other people worship the Gods. If there were a group of people who desired to join our religion, those who want to become priest and priestess should perform the Self-dedication rite and then initiate the other ones to make a coven. If this were the case, the new coven’s progress would be based on its activities and achievements.
If a self-dedicated practitioner would have the chance to contact a Seax-Wica Coven later in his life, that coven could recognize the self-dedication rite as a self-initiation and acknowledge that person as a Gesith. This decision, however, would be based on the confidence the members of the coven should have regarding the knowledge and abilities the self-dedicated practitioner would have developed during his or her training in our path. There is a chance that the coven would decide to test them or help them in such training so that they can reach the desired level; sometimes, the coven can also ask them to perform an initiation rite.
The recognition of a Seax-Wica Coven that was formed through Self-Dedication, is evaluated by the results of its activities and its members.
Initiation into a Seax-Wica Coven:
Whenever there is a Seax Wica Coven in a given city, those interested in joining our religion must approach it following the three stages, namely Theow, Ceorl and Gesith.
Everyone who is applying for a coven and is not a solitary practitioner is called a Theow which would be either a “Friend of Seax Wica” or a “Follower of Seax Wica”. When a Theow takes part in one or more celebrations as a guest, they may be interested in joining the coven. If this were the case, its members should decide the amount of time they find necessary before they ask the Theow to start the instruction programme called “Seax-Wica Seminary”.
After they start this programme, the Theows become Ceorls. It is preferred that those instructing the Ceorls would be of the opposite sex to them. This instructor should also answer any question the Ceorl might have, as well as training them intro the use of every tool they would be using should they succeed in joining the coven. This training includes reading different books regarding the Craft, learning the coven’s structure and also an introduction to herbology and divination.
After the Ceorl finishes the Seax Wica Seminary (which is determined by his or her instructor) and if the coven has the capacity to do so, he or she is invited to join the group as an initiate or Gesith. Each coven should decide for how long will this programme last in each individual case.
Also, the aspirant must be sure that this is the path they will to follow and undertake the following oath:
- Worship and protect the Gods of Seax Wica.
- Love and honour their brothers and sisters in the Craft; helping them when they need you, caring for them when they are ill and protecting them from their enemies.
- Always preach that “Love is the law, love is the bond”.
As of the moment they undertake this oath, the new Gesith is regarded as a brother or sister amongst the coven members, always in a relationship of equality.
The devotion every Gesith has towards Seax Wica is always at the bottom of their hearts. They are also allowed to follow more than one religion at the same time as long as it does not contravene the oath taken before the Gods of Seax-Wica. Every coven is autonomous and can decide to expel someone if they have to. However, they cannot expel them from the religion: only from the coven. No Gesith can exclude anybody from the religion or make their membership conditional. The oath is all one has to judge whether or not a Gesith follows the Seax-Wica religion.
About the characteristics of our Religion:
16. Our Liturgical Book is known as “The Tree” or “The Tree” (just as in the Gardner System it was known as “Book of Shadows”). In it are written the rituals and activities of the Coven, as well as its teachings and the principles on which it is based. This book is personal, so there is freedom to adapt or develop positions that complement or beautify our tradition and religion, provided that they are oriented within the context of Saxon culture and are in accordance with the Principles of the Founding Book.
The Coven has its own “Tree” and it develops “autonomously” based on the work of its members. The Tree of the Coven, must be handwritten, and not typed through computers or new technologies. This is because magic power is generated through action and writing. Individually, you can make your “Tree” as you wish, but the Coven Tree must be handwritten.
17. We acknowledge that each coven is autonomous regarding its activities and rituals, as well as its internal administration (which should not be hierarchical). However, there must be a synarchic relationship of respect, aid and fraternity amongst covens and also towards the instructors training Ceorls. Not to do so would lead to ego-trips and, thus, to disharmony in the religion.
18. We acknowledge that there is a process of subsequent reincarnations in human form. When we die, our spirit gains access to Summerland or Dreun, where it rests until it comes back to this world. This is why we experience déjà -vu.
19. We acknowledge the principle of retribution, in magic stuffs, which establishes that “what you have done in a conscious way, will be returned to you with triple magnitude … be it good or bad.”
However, one has the right to influence things when personal protection is concerned itself. For example, in the event that someone (obviously a non-witch person) is against you, magically or not, instead of sitting and waiting for the damage to come to you unexpectedly which would mean that you will suffer in your own flesh as a result of their actions-certainly you can defend yourself.
20. A coven’s members assume a responsibility for a year: either priest, priestess, scribe or thegn. They are in charge of the coven’s celebrations and administration.
21. The coven is the assembly of a group of Gesiths. The physical space is known as covenstead and the surface where the temple is erected is called covensdom. The latter usually covers an area of three miles.These limits are rarely respected. In the same locality you can open more than one coven, depending on the number of people who received or the proximity of these to congregate. If a new coven were to be created, there should be more than one Gesith in it (traditionally three, between them must be a man and a women). A coven exists as long as its members gather on a regular meetings.
22. The Seax-Wica has eight celebrations every year: Major and Minor Sabbats. The Major ones are: Samhain or Haligæfen, Imbolc or Ewemeolc, Beltane or Sumoræfen y Lughnasadh or Hláfmæsse; the Minor ones correspond to the four seasons. Other meetings are known as Esbats, that are the meetings of the witches in the coven in each lunar month, and usually take part during new moon or full moon. Usually Seax Wica(n)s prefer use a saxon name for these celebrations, because are only labels. So, other ones prefer use the old english word “symbel” instead the word “sabbath”.
23. We acknowledge that Seax-Wica is a religion open to every true hearted man or woman who wants to join it based on vocation and not for any other reason, regardless of gender, ethnic filiation, political ideologies or nationalities.
24. To call yourself “Seax-Wica(n)” does not make you a Seax Gesith. Neither can you “inherit” it or collect grades and titles. A Seax Gesith can only be called like that if he or she is initiated or performs the self-dedication rite based on a true hearted will to be a priest or priestess of our religion. Doing so would imply a quest for a way to control their inner forces (those that make life possible) as a way to live wisely and keeping harmonic relationships with other people.
25. We acknowledge that other religions and traditions should be treated with respect even if they are opposite to the spirit of our religion. Every human being is free to chose his or her own path.
26. We do not believe in the idea of “absolute evil”, nor do we worship any so-called “evil” entity of any kind (especially those linked to other religions). We do not seek power through other people’s suffering, neither do we preach that personal welfare should be based on denial of other people’s welfare.
27. We acknowledge that we should use what nature and life offers us to increase our health and welfare.
28. The names used by the Seax Gesiths in Seax-Wica Covens are based on palingenesis and are chosen by every initiate or self-dedicated practitioner. This name can be created with any system considered appropriate. If a Gesith changes to another coven or a self-dedicated practitioner initiates into a coven, they can chose a new name if that makes them feel more comfortable. Such name should be registered in the coven’s Tree.
29. We acknowledge that covens are public groups, but their members may choose to keep their legal names in secret (except for the priest, the priestess, the thegn and the scribe). Only each country’s state authorities may access the coven’s Tree for judicial situations. Furthermore, each Seax-Wica Coven may let members of other covens access their Tree in special cases.
Suggestions made by our coven ( Meomerswiell Seax Coven – Peru ).
The following suggestions may or may not be taken by other covens or self-dedicated, each of them should decide whether or not to do so.
- For Theows who wish to get closer to Seax-Wica, but not yet commit to it, it may be considered to create a space for them. (currently this is known as “Seax-Treów”)
- Wiccan practitioners usually organize informational talks and celebrations with the Theows. These encounters are known as “Groves.”
- If it is a self-dedicated person, this can organize the “Grove” in your locality. If it is a coven, at least one Gesith authorized by the priest and priestess may organize the “Grove” in her covensdom. The Grove will aim to educate those concerned about the old and new religion, its history, representatives and the development of Seax-Wica, as well as having them share the main celebrations.
- Coveners or self-dedicated may have the initiative to organize inclusive events for Seax Gesiths around the world, in their country, region or locality.
- The coven or the self-dedicated that call the event will also host it; These will take the agenda of the event and will be in charge of its development. They will be recognized as “Scribes of the event”.
- The Events will be called “Moot”: When the event has as its purpose, the discussion or debate of procedures and organization of one or more covens that they wish to develop.
- The Events will be called Thing (Ding): When the event is intended to share the proposal that has been taken in a Moot, for which the gathered attendees will be known as members of the “Witan”. The physical or virtual place will be known as “Thingstead”.
- The conclusions resulting from the meeting may be freely accepted by the representatives of each coven or individually by the self-dedicated.
- In the specific case that the “Thing” is summoned by a self-dedicated, this may deal with proposals for his own practice or that of other self-dedicated, as well as request help or advice from the covens.
- Attendance at these meetings is optional, but the conclusions of the “Thing” must be published through some means of dissemination that allows them to reach all members of Seax-Wica.
- The Events will be called “Folkmoot”: When the events are related to the celebration of sabbats / symbels or open esbats. The sabbats / symbels that are summoned through the “Moot” will define who can attend it; that is, they will specify if they can attend: Gesiths, Ceorls and / or Theows.
- Both Ceorls and Theows are admitted only to folkmoots performed for the Groves. In special cases that the moot is of integration between gesiths from different covens or self-dedicated from different localities, these will exclude the Ceorls and Theows from participating in the event. Open esbats will only have the presence of Gesiths.
- In order not to have discussions or lawsuits over a specific name or to use the names of a specific country, region, city or locality at the time there are two or more covens in it, it is proposed that each one use the following format when creating their title: “Word in Saxon or English” + Seax + Coven + “city / country
Meomerswielll Seax Coven – Peru
Spiral Seax Coven – UK
The city name is only required in case there are one or more covens in the same country.
- For the maintenance of a Coven or a Grove, the Gesiths must agree to collaborate financially or in property, maintaining their activities. In the event of Grove activities, you may offer the opportunity for the Ceorls & Theows to participate in the collaboration through voluntary donations. Except for the fixed administrative expenses to sustain the activities, they can implement other types of voluntary contributions for those who participate in them.