QWho or what is Y Dynion Mwyn?

AWe believe that Y Dynion Mwyn (Welsh Witchcraft) is one of the oldest traditions of Witchcraft. In Welsh, Y Dynion Mwyn means "The Peaceful People" while Y Tylwyth Teg (American Version) means "The Faerie Folk."  They are part of Dewianeth Cymry, the "Welsh Craft of the Wise" or "Wise Ones." Y Dynion Mwyn is also the "Welsh Traditionalist Church" in America, with members nationwide, and is one of the fastest growing Witchcraft traditions.

Where Wicca and some Neo-witchcraft traditions have three "degrees" of initiation, similar to the Masonic Lodge, Welsh Witchcraft has nine levels of attainment similar to the Etruscan Strega (Witches), Ordre de Seon of Brittany, and the Dianic Temples of ancient Greece and Turkey. The Pictish Witches of Scotland and Wales and certain family traditions of Witchcraft in Great Britain, and Ireland, once had a system of one initiation after many years of apprenticeship. A Pictish tradition was merged with the Welsh tradition in 1240 C.E.

Dynion Mwyn believes that all genuine spiritual initiations are conferred directly by the Gods, and that awakening to your own true nature is the only real initiation. You have either had this awakening, or you have not; if you have, then you have become enlightened, and are equal in status to any other initiate. Hence although our tradition has levels of attainment, there are really only two "conditions" of initiation: those who are awakened, and everybody else.

Dynion Mwyn, as we know it today, evolved over 700 years ago in the late 1200's when Prince Llewellyn ap Gwyfed commissioned certain Manuscripts to be translated into Welsh from Celtic Ogham Runes derived from his Druidic heritage.In 1465, an English translation of these teachings became the basis of our religious tradition.

Q  What makes you an authority on witchcraft?

A  Although I have studied Witchcraft and Wiccae since 1966, and I have been initiated into two traditions, I do not claim to be an authority on Witchcraft in general. This FAQ speaks for our tradition of Welsh Witchcraft alone, and not for Witchcraft (traditional or otherwise) as a whole.

Q  What is Witchcraft in General?

In our tradition, Witchcraft is defined as both the practice of magick to achieve a certain goal and a pagan religious tradition or "Way".  It is both a spiritual path and an art.  It both is simple and complicated. To some who rely on written history alone Witchcraft is not a religion, it is an art of Magick or casting spells. To others, Witchcraft is a pagan Religion.

QWhat form does the practice of Welsh Witchcraft take?

AThe form and context vary from Coven to Coven, group to group and between each ritual, and may run the gamut from elaborate ceremony to simple meditation. Generally the practice is to consecrate a sacred space, work Magick and worship the Goddesses and Gods within it according to the Welsh forms that are taught by our Elders.

Q How old should I be to become a Witch and practice magick?

We get this question most often from pre-teens and adolescents who learn about magick from TV or their friends. When they encounter at least a bit of apprehension (if not down-right fear and horror) from their parents about the topic, they're usually interested even more!   We have also gotten this question from elders in our community who believe that it's not too late to teach that "old dogs can learn new tricks!"

AFirst, if you're under the legal age of consent in your state, and live at home, your parents SHOULD be made aware of (and involved in) your spiritual pursuits. If you've chosen Wicca or Paganism as a way of freaking out your folks, or "being cool" to your friends, those aren't good reasons.  If, on the other hand, you want something to help you rediscover your importance as an individual, and reclaim the driver's seat in your future fate -- then you're heading the right direction.  While not all families will embrace your choice happily, if you show them you're being responsible and provide good background materials to prove your sincerity, the whole conversation should go more smoothly.    With that said, you cannot be initiated into Witchcraft until you are eighteen (18).  Some covens will let you begin classes or a course when you have reached the age of fifteen (15), but only with your parents or guardians consent.   Recommended ReadingWicca: a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner available from your local bookstore or click on our Pagan On-Line Bookstore.

For others who don't fit in this category, really there is no "right" or "wrong" time to begin studying an alternative belief system so long as you really feel empowered by that system, and it helps you live a more positive life.    All religions are but different paths to the top of the same mountain.   As to becoming a Witch, click on our Application Page.

Even so, the way you "arrive" at "The Top" is often more important than being at the top itself, in terms of learning and growing as a spiritual being.  If you are a teenager, we encourage that you remain open and honest with the people in your life that matter to you. Hiding in the broom closet can have costly consequences in relationships.  In other settings, if you are an adult, you can be more circumspect as necessary.  See our Recommended Reading list at the Pagan On-Line Bookstore.

Q.What is a traditional witch?

A A traditional witch is one who practices a tradition of witchcraft that pre-dates modern neo-witchcraft movements, such as Wicca. Traditional Witchcraft is usually hereditary. Traditional witches are normally very hard to find and very secretive, so it is unlikely that you will find one advertising for students or trying to "educate the public" about witchcraft (handing out tracts, participating in public rituals, and so forth).  For instance Y Dynion Mwyn is hereditary in origin, but we have a web page which can be found with a search engine on the internet.  But you have to come searching for us, we will not come to you.

Q How do I become a traditional Welsh Witch?

A The answer to this question will vary according to whom you ask. The normal way is to study for years, but, "Either you have it in you, or you don't." Some are born into their tradition (Family Traditionals) and others simply "are," and may study and eventually be recognized and adopted into an existing tradition and considered as a member of the family.  Traditional Welsh Witches have a very close kinship with and guardianship of the land and of animals, and feel that they have certain innate abilities.  Oaths and secrecy are very important to traditional witches.

Q.Do traditional witches honor the same gods as Wiccans?

A They might, but then again, they might not. It's all a matter of personal choice. Because the paths of traditional witchcraft are different according to each individual tradition, the ways that the gods are honored are different as well. . I think this depends a lot on the country/culture of origin in the tradition.

QWhat are the origins of Modern Witchcraft?

A There is a great deal of debate over this within the Craft Community. For instance, our mythology holds that the religion of Witchcraft was passed down from descendants of the Atlantian priest/esshood and that Y Dynion Mwyn is a long-held Welsh family Witchcraft tradition, passed down through mothers and grandmothers since at least 1282, which was persecuted by Christians for hundreds of years but survived secretly in covens in the mountains of North Wales; Others feel that Witchcraft is a ancient religious remnant which has been passed down from parent to child over the past three thousand years or so.  Finally there are those who argue that modern Witchcraft (Wicca) was pieced together from bits of occult knowledge by Gerald Gardner, with significant revisions by Doreen Valiente (and others) since 1939.  Who is right? See History of Wicca HERE.

QIs Wicca the same thing as Witchcraft?

AThe answer is yes and no. Though many people mistakenly use the words "Wicca" and "witchcraft" interchangeably, there is actually a distinct difference.  A Wiccan may or may not be a witch, and a witch may or may not be a Wiccan.  Some Wiccans choose not to use the word "witch" when describing themselves because of the negative connotation it has with many people. "Wicca" is the name of a contemporary NeoPagan religion, based on the practice and religion of Witchcraft and largely promulgated and popularized by the efforts of a retired British civil servant named Gerald Gardner from 1939 until the late 1950's.  There are many non-Wiccan witches (people who practice witchcraft, but have no connection with Wiccan spirituality). 

Wicca is but one tradition that may be associated with witchcraft, but they are not by any means one and the same. Wicca initially spread due to its popularity among feminists, but has touched an even deeper chord among the youth of today. Wicca is a Neo-Witchcraft religious movement, containing elements of new age belief as well as some of those of ancient Witchcraft. The word Wicca was coined by Gerald Gardner in his books in the 50's and 60's. (although at that time he spelled it Wica). His view of Wicca demonstrates a love of life, a belief in the sanctity of nature, and has as it's deity "The Lady" or Goddess.

On the other hand Witchcraft is a religion that pre-dates Wicca by hundreds if not thousands of years.  It is practiced in many places and in many ways and not always the same way.  Most of it's forms have an ethical base like other religions, and its origins are in the distant past of Paleolithic caves and/or Atlantian temples.

QHow is Wicca related to NeoPaganism and the New Age?

AMost Wiccans see themselves as distinct from these other spiritualities, and would deny any association or derivation from Neo-Paganism and New Age thought. But Wicca has also become a catch-all word used to describe most Neo-pagan religions that are cropping up even as we speak. So there may be many practitioners of Neo-pagan religions which may call themselves Wiccans but aren't. Unfortunately, when Wicca was born in the 40's and 50's through Gerald Gardner, he was ignorant of some Witchcraft practices, and left a great deal to chance. That is why Wiccan groups which have been in existence and separate from each other for any length of time, may differ widely. (i.e. Wicca practices in England differ from those in the United States). As a NeoPagan spirituality, Wicca draws much of its inspiration from the non-Christian and pre-Christian pagan religions of Europe. "Pagan" is a term derived from the Latin "Paganus" (country-dweller), and "NeoPaganism" is a term referring to revivals and new religions largely inspired by these traditions. NeoPaganism as a general category of religion, often includes Wicca, but some Wiccans have theological differences with NeoPagan or "New Age" groups.

QWhat are the major traditions of Wicca and Witchcraft and where do they come from?

AAuthor Aidan Kelly argues that all of Wicca derives from Gerald Gardner, with some crucial editing by his initiate Doreen Valiente. Alex Sanders is widely thought to have acquired a Gardnerian book of shadows, with which he started his own "Alexandrian" tradition. Other well known traditions are Raymond Buckland's Seax Wicca, Victor and Cora Anderson's Faerie Wicca and feminist Dianic Wicca which emphasizes the Goddess as put forward by such authors as Z. Budapest.

Although at times the Welsh Witchcraft tradition of Y Dynion Mwyn has used the term "Wiccae," we have gotten out of the habit of doing so, and have renewed our allegiance to the word Witchcraft. We are Witches, and are proud of our heritage. There are also branches of Witchcraft identifying themselves with various ethnicities such as Strega, and traditions such as Shamanism and so forth.

Q  What specific tradition are you? Gardnerian, Alexandrian?

A  You're thinking of Wiccan traditions. Traditional Witchcraft, simply put, is pre-Gardnerian. Not all traditional witches practice witchcraft in the same way, or according to a set tradition.

QWhat were or are "the burning times?"

A"The Burning Times" is the term used to refer to the great European witch-hunts of the early 1400s, coincident with the time of the reformation and seen by many as a crucial step in Christianity's crushing of the Pagan religions, driving these underground. It is estimated that 85% of those executed during this period were women, resulting in this period being referred to as a "war against women" and Pagans. Some authors claim as many as 9 million people were killed in these hunts, while more recent scholarship puts the number of documented deaths at somewhat less. Some pagans say that the burning times are with us again.

QWhat is Welsh Witchcraft's View of Christianity?

AWitches are as much into their history as Christians are into theirs. They are not quick to forget the slaughter of hundreds even thousands of pagans and suspected pagans by supposed Christians. Although most Pagans respect Christ as a man of great teachings (but just a man) few really respect the church of Christ. They see all too clearly the bickering and backstabbing that goes on in supposedly Christian sects and to put it mildly think they are idiots at times.  It is important to note that it is from such things as the continuous scandals involving well known Christian evangelists that repeatedly rock the Christian community, sexual assaults by church members, and extreme and harsh judgment   by Christian radicals, that give Witches the impression that rather than being a religion of love and brotherhood, Christianity is a religion of hate, Fear, and violence.

QCan I be a Christian/ Jew /Druid /Shaman /Astrologer /Magician /whatever and also be a Witch?

AThere is no Witchcraft restriction of such things from the Witch's point-of-view. Most Witchcraft traditions have no requirement to denounce any other faith and, indeed, Witches often look askance at "the one true way" which claims to have a monopoly on truth, divine revelation or enlightenment. But those who practice Christianity are usually bound NOT to become involved with the occult and Witchcraft is classified as occult by most Christian ministers. "A Christian Witch" is probably an impossibility given the history and on-going reality of Christian persecution of Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches.

Q  I was reading this book the other day by (insert the name of a famous Wiccan author), and s/he said that witches who don't abide by the Rede and Threefold Law aren't real witches.  

A  If it were true that witches who don't follow the Wiccan Rede or believe in the Law of Three aren't real witches, then there have never been any real witches before the twentieth century.  The Threefold Law is a distinctly Wiccan phenomenon.  Before Wicca, witches never abided by any "harm none" ethic; in fact, much of the magick practiced by our pagan ancestors involved curses and hexes that could be quite elaborate indeed.  It would be more appropriate, since the Wiccan Rede and Threefold Law are Wiccan concepts, to say that any Witch not abiding by these laws is not a real Wiccan.  No Wiccan that I can think of would admit to thinking that there have never been real witches before Wicca. That would make the Burning Times rather obsolete, now wouldn't it? 😉

QWhat is the relationship between Witchcraft and Christianity?

AMuch of Christian ritual (Christmas, Halloween etc.) is taken from pagan roots and made to be Christian so the Christian Church could attract Pagans to their church. Mary was taken from a symbol of obedience to Jesus and made to be the Christian "Goddess". Christmas was taken from a pagan ritual of the Sun's rebirth (December is when the sun seems to disappear for a longer and longer period everyday and it was believed that a ritual made it come back). Witchcraft has many other similarities. Do unto others is equivalent to the threefold law which says "whatever you do will return to you threefold". This might also reflect the sentiment "what you sow you shall reap".

Witches marvel at the wonder of creation and the value of it in the same way any Christian would. A true Witch would tend to act in much the same way as a true Christian, with love, compassion, understanding and respect for all the creations brought forth. The main difference is that Wiccans do not believe in sin (as such) and do not believe they need forgiveness other than to the person they wronged. Witches believe that a sin is the same as a wrong against a person or thing which must be righted and the wrong is not against the Goddess.

Q. If not Christian theology, what do you believe in?

ALife. We see the entire Universe, all matter and energy, as bursting with life, loving its own living parts -- including us -- and gathered in one eternal dance. We try to catch the tune and dance to the beat.

Sometimes we call the leading dancers Light and Dark, or Sun and Moon, or the Lord and the Lady, Cernunnos and Ceridwen, Pan and Diana, or by other names. These represent the duality in all things -- male and female, yang and yin -- neither side of which can be denied or ignored, even within ourselves.

(We hope this helps us avoid the error that some worshippers of a single deity have made, such as thinking that "since God is all good and God is male, therefore anything female or feminine is evil.")

Our feeling about the Gods is that they are teachers, family members, and fellow dancers: not some untouchable abstraction infinitely distant, but an intimate part of our own lives. Our feeling about other religions is that they, too, are part of the universal dance: not enemies, but fellow strugglers seeking as we do, to live and learn to keep time with the music.

QHow do Witches view the Goddess and God of Witchcraft?

AAlthough Witches may worship many god(desse)s by many different names, most worship some form of the Great Goddess and Her consort, The Horned God (Not Satan!).

These dual forces are often conceived of as embodying complementary polarities. In some traditions worship of the Goddess is emphasized, although in others the Goddess and God are seen as complementary coequals. The Goddess may be seen as associated with the life force of Mother Nature, the Earth, the Cosmos, the interconnectedness of all life on Earth, and the Moon; The God with procreation, light, the sun and wildlife, especially horned animals, etc; but there are no hard and fast rules. Some traditions worship the Goddess alone while others see Divinity as The Great Spirit, a being essentially beyond human understanding, with "Goddess" and "God" simply a convenient shorthand.

QDo all Witches practice their religion the same way?

AYes and no. Witchcraft (sometimes called Wiccae) is a highly individual religion. Moreover, the number of different sects within the Craft may give the impression that no two groups practice the same way. Though practices may vary, most traditions have many similarities, such as the working of magic and a respect for nature. Most Witches find enough common ground for mutual support and productive networking throughout the Craft community.

Some myths and associations are common to many Witchcraft traditions, such as the Goddess' giving birth to the Horned God, the theme of their courtship and His death, the descent of the Goddess into the realm of death and others. Another theological point held in common by many Witches is the inherent presence of deity/divinity within the natural world and cycle of the seasons. This places value on the earth and this world, as distinguished from views of transcendent divinity and an un-enchanted creation. Witches as a whole are very much "into" cycles: of life, of the moon and seasons. Cyclical change is an erotic dance of life, death and reincarnation and is a popular theme in Witchcraft imagery, ritual and liturgy.

Witches distinguish themselves from Christians in this view of natural divinity and the embracing of many or all gods. Unlike the Jewish, Christian or Islamic traditions, there is no emphasis on interpretation of "scripture" or a revealed text, and although many Witches may believe in some sort of reincarnation, they distinguish themselves from Buddhists in seeing life as a journey or adventure of learning without any desire to "leave the wheel" of creation. Witches also distinguish themselves from the "New Age" in their value for all facets of existence, a do-it-yourself attitude with a distrust of money, hierarchies and gurus.

QIs Witchcraft a "cult"?

A. No. A cult is group of people who owe blind allegiance to one charismatic leader who ostensibly represents "truth". They indulge in "extravagant homage or adoration" (Webster's Dictionary), of their leader, thus trading the ability to think for themselves for "salvation" and a sense of belonging. This is the antithesis of the Witchcraft experience. Most Witches come to the Craft through reading, communing with nature and later finding like-minded groups. Witches tend to be highly individualistic.

QDo Witches use ritual implements and what kind of ceremonies do they have?

ASome ritual items are common to almost every Witch tradition, including the athame (ritual knife) and chalice (ritual cup). These are similar to the Masonic Sword and the Catholic chalice. Other tools may be used by some traditions: bells, brooms, candles, cauldrons, cords, drums, incense, jewelry, special plates, pentacles, scourges, statues and wands. The meanings of these items, their use and manufacture will differ between traditions and individuals. Usually a Witch ritual will involve some sort of creation of sacred space (casting a circle), invocation of divine power, sharing of dance/song/food or wine and a thankful farewell and ceremonial closing. (something like a Catholic Mass) Rituals may be held at Wiccan "Sabbats" or "Esbats" or to mark life transitions such as births, coming-of-age, marriages/hand-fastings, housewarmings, healings or death.

QWhat is this ceremony you're doing?

AIt depends on the moment. You may be watching a circle dance, or a Maypole dance, or a feast of "cakes and ale", or just a group hug. (We like to have fun.) Possibly, you were watching us "cast a circle". That's one of our basic religious ceremonies.

When we "cast a circle", we mark off a space as dedicated and protected for our use, rather like Christians consecrating a church. (The difference is, we don't need a building, and we let the space go back to normal after we've used it.) Within this circle, we ask for the protection of guardians -- call them the four elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, or the four archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel -- again, the names may vary. Then we invite the Lord and the Lady to be with us for a time. We have a nice visit, a little snack of cookies and wine (or fruit juice), and then everyone goes home. It's fun and very friendly.

Along the way, sometimes we ask for help with our problems, such as healing an injury or illness; if you believe in the power of prayer, it's the same sort of thing -- but we try to put our own energies into the task, rather than asking someone else to do all the work.

QYou say rituals should be fun. So what are your rituals like?

A  Rituals involve all things we humans regard as fun, like eating food, looking at friendly colors, appreciating and creating natural art, dancing, and ecstasy.  At our rituals we sing and chant about our lives and our happiness, our death and our sadness.  We use new rituals and rituals that members in our community have created over the years. They are simple enough to learn by almost anyone and we sing them together.

We always have music at festivals.  The music can range from Santana and Grand Funk railroad to Brittny Spears and the Backstreet Boys.  It can be emphasized by african or native american style drumming. 

There are also a wide variety of foods consumed at rituals, because in the pagan community, some members are vegetarian and some are omnivores.

QIs there a specific religious calendar?

AMost Witches recognize eight holiday "Sabbats" in the "wheel of the year," falling on the solstices, equinoxes and the four days midway between. The names of Sabbats may differ between traditions, and many Witches also mark "Esbats," rituals for worship in accordance with a given moon phase (such as the night of the full moon). Although there is no one source for all Witch liturgy, many liturgical items such as the methods for casting the circle, the "Charge of the Goddess," certain myths and formulaic expressions are common to many traditions. Some common expressions include "hail and farewell," "blessed be" and the closing "Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again."

QDo Witches have a Bible?

ANo. A bible is supposedly the word of a deity revealed through a prophet, or "a book containing the sacred writings of any religion" (Webster's Dictionary). Witchcraft is a Pagan religion of personal experience rather than transmitted revelation. A Witch may keep a "Book of Shadows" which is an individual's workbook or journal meaningful to the person who keeps it containing rituals, discoveries, spells, poetry, herb lore, etc. Covens may keep a similar group book, but Y Dynion Mwyn relies on The Thirteen Treasures or Manuscripts to set coven philosophy. There is no one document considered by all Witches to be authoritative, as in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam.

QHow can I get a "Book of Shadows?"

AThe Book of Shadows is a customized reference book for Witches, containing useful information such as myths and liturgy. According to Gerald Gardner, such a book should be hand-copied from teacher to student but in practice not every Witch or Wiccan has a "book of shadows" and few are exactly alike. There are many "books of shadows" available in print and online (leading to the "disk of shadows" or even "directories of shadows" several megabytes large). If you'd like to copy from these sources for your personal use, you may assemble your own book. But please observe copyright laws in your newfound enthusiasm.

QDo Witches cast spells?

ASome do and some don't. Since a commonly held belief is that what is sent out is returned to the sender threefold, Witches tend to be very careful with spells. A spell is a series of steps taken, to direct the will to a desired end. Energy is drawn from the earth, concentrated, and sent out into the world and it is also believed that with proper training and intent, human minds and hearts are fully capable of performing all the magic and miracles they are ever likely to need.

Q  Why shouldn't a Witch do a spell to woo back your old boyfriend?

A Witches have a saying that anything you do with magick returns to you three times over.  If youre attempting to control somebody else, really you're asking for trouble. And usually that sort of thing doesn't work any better in magic than it does in life.

Q  So why do witches bother with spells?

A  To open up possibilities, to shift reality.  But you have to do it with a sense of ethics.  If people do love spells for themselves, there's absolutely nothing wrong with doing something to bring love into your life as long as you're not trying to control people for selfish gain.

But part of doing that spell means that you will undergoing a process of change and transformation.  It might mean you are encountering the things inside you that have been keeping love away for a long time. So it might not be as simple as waving a wand and your perfect partner appears. It might be a whole life process through the years to go through.

Q  Do you wave magic wands?

A  Well, we do have wands and use them during certain rituals.  My garden pruners are one of my major magical tools, because I do a lot of work with herbs and with plants. I carry them everywhere. Im always using them for something, for snipping this or pruning that or taking a little slip of this to propagate. My drum is a very important magical tool, because its a great way to create energy in a group and to bring the energy of a group together.

Q  Can you predict the future?

A   Yes and no.  Certain forms of what we call divination, can be used to look into the future of a particular person.  We usually use a tool to make our intuition visible about the whole situation or the present, all the different dimensions of forces that are acting and interacting.  And when you do that, usually some kind of line on the future is revealed.  We'll often do a tarot reading to ask:  What are the factors we should be looking at in this situation?  What are the things we should focus on?

Q  Pagans say birth and death are one. What does that mean?

A If you have the opportunity to be present at the birth of a child or witness someone's death, you can understand.  Birth is, of course, tremendously joyful and death is sorrowful, but with both events there is a sense of a gate opening and a transition happening.

Birth and death are both processes that totally take over. They're more important than anything else going on. You may have planned to go out to a movie that night, but if your friend is giving birth or your mother is dying and you're called to that bedside, it's the kind of thing you drop everything for. And there's that sense of a vigil, of waiting for an opening, for something to take place.

QDo Witches fly on brooms?

ANo. Brooms were (in rural Europe) and sometimes still are ridden astride in ceremonies. In one such ceremony, people ran through the fields astride a broom to coax the grain to grow, or participants would leap over a broom, telling the grain to grow to the height of the highest leaping. Uninformed observations of such ceremonies could lead to tales of flying on brooms.

QDo Witches worship the Devil?

ANo. The concept of "the devil", as a personification of a supreme spirit of evil, is a creation of Middle Eastern thought which is fundamental to the religions of that region, including Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Worship of this being as "Satan" is a practice of profaning Christian symbolism and is thus a Christian heresy rather than a Pagan religion. The gods of Witchcraft and Wicca are in no way connected with Satanic practice. Most Witches do not even believe Satan exists, and certainly do not worship him. Historically, the gods of an older religion are often branded as the devils of a newer one in order to promote conversion.

We don't venerate evil in any form: our chosen religion is a celebration and affirmation of life and living things, as opposed to their destruction or harm. As we believe that good or evil done will return upon the doer, this does not encourage doing evil.

Satan is a figure in Judeo-Christian beliefs -- originally not even an opponent of Yahweh, but more like his prosecuting attorney (as in the Book of Job). Those who do worship Satan actually accept the later Christian theology, with Satan as Yahweh's opponent, but choose to support Satan's side of the battle. We are not Christians or Satanists, and do not accept their theology or world-view, so we would no more worship Satan than, for instance, Christians would worship the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl; he simply has no place in our beliefs. (We prefer the figure of Pan, who does have horns but is a much nicer fellow.)

We think history shows that, if you invest belief and emotion in any idea or thought-form, you give it strength and power in your own life -- it becomes more real TO YOU. We have no wish to invite hostile entities into our lives and give them such power over us, which is why we don't venerate any form we consider evil. That's also why we're shocked to see how much energy some Christians invest in Satan.

QThen why do I hear those things about you?

A"Devil-worship", baby-killing, cannibalism and all that? These are typical accusations made by one religion against another. The Syrians accused the Jews of ritual murders long before Christ; then the Romans accused the Christians (who at least claimed to be eating someone's body and blood every week); then the Christians accused the Jews and Muslims and every other religion; today different Christian denominations even accuse each other. Making wild accusations not only sells newspapers, and books, and movies; it helps drum up support for the Religion Of Your Choice. This is a cynical use of hate, fear, and ignorance, but as long as it works, it will be used. (And there will always be psychotics willing to live up to the image -- then claim "the Devil made me do it.")

QWhat about Satanic rituals (do Witches engage in them?)

AWiccans believe that Satan is something a guilty Christian thought up as a scapegoat after he had sinned. If Satan does exist, he is to a Witch bad karma returned to them for something they did to someone else. So performing rituals to Satan would be as laughable to a Witch as setting a trap for the tooth fairy would be to a Christian. Satanists have several rituals that are similar to 'Witchcraft' rituals because when early Satanists began to form groups, they borrowed rituals from the pagans (who better to borrow rituals from than the very people the Christians were trying to exterminate?).

QWhat is a Cymry Warrior?

AA Cymry Witch Warrior is someone who has found or is actively seeking the Welsh Witchcraft Path who also believes in a set code of ethics and beliefs. Through these beliefs a person finds himself or herself prepared to fight and if necessary to die in order to maintain the freedom and capacity for  living within the Way of the Cymry.

QWhy is it necessary to have Warriors?

AThe world is not a sweet and kind place, even if our pacifist brothers and sisters desire it to be. The Chinese monk traditions such as the Shao-lin and others, especially Tibetan orders, found this to be true in the past. This is why they developed such lethal forms of martial arts. We are certainly no different than they. We are faced with dangerous and terrible times in the near future. Our government has lost sight of the very purpose upon which it was founded. Religious groups that now seem control the greater part of Washington maintain that this country was founded in principle to be a Christian county ... this simply is not true. Most of our founding fathers were Diests and members of the Masonic Lodges, which we all know are composed of disguised pagan forms of ritual etc. The very survival of the Pagan Craft can be traced within this last century to efforts by the Freemasons to preserve the rituals and the secrets entrusted to them in Burning Times. In addition, our government has increasingly betrayed the trust of the American People in stripping away our Constitutional freedoms at an alarming rate. When I was in the military we took an oath stating that we would defend the Constitution of The United States from all threats, foreign and domestic. It is every citizen of this country’s right and duty to do the same.

Our government has no right to do anything any differently than was originally planned by our founding fathers and we have an obligation as citizens of a free and democratic county to defend ourselves both from a corrupt government and a lawless society that is become ever more violent and out of control.

QWhat does a Cymry Warrior do?

AA Cymry Warrior spends his or her life doing what all Witches do .... if they are real Witches.

We spend our time studying, reverencing the Goddess and God, enjoying what little is left of a once glorious world, planting trees and plants, cleaning up after ourselves, LIVING AN ETHICAL AND HONEST LIFESTYLE, and more ... much, much, more.

QWhat do you mean by an ethical and honest lifestyle?

AAn ethical and honest lifestyle is a lifestyle based upon Honor. You create your own Honor.

HONOR IS A SPIRITUAL STATE which you mold around your Spirit. This Spiritual State says that you are good for your word, that you stand for your beliefs and that no one can take away from you what you are. You do not cheat, steal, deceive nor do you force anyone else to do these things.

You are fair in all things but you are not a pushover. Anyone who tries to take away your Honor or any part of these things which make up your life, or the life of other Pagans or Family ...  is a person without Honor and will be dealt with accordingly.

QWhat if I just want to be a soldier?

A Join the Marine Corps. As anyone who has ever been in the Marine Corps can tell you, anyone can be a soldier, not just anybody can be a Warrior. This is exactly the same in Paganism. Anybody can be a Pagan, not just anybody can be a Cymry Warrior. The Warrior Way is a Way of The Spirit. It conjoins the blessedness of the religion with the sacred honor of the soul.

QHow do I learn more?

AStudy yourself. Know yourself. With self-knowledge comes a lot of truth. The truth is not always easy to look at. Do you think you have what it takes to be a Pagan Warrior? Are you an honorable and ethical person? If you are, write to us or E-mail us at the address given elsewhere in our Web-Site. You’ll find our e-mail address and P.O. Box at the end of this FAQs page.  Or send an e-mail to http://www.tylwythteg.com/contactus.htm

QDo Witches sacrifice living things?

AThe answer is no. The Witches Rede's, "an it harm none" clause, several passages in the Charge of the Goddess ("nor do I demand aught in sacrifice") and some explicit writings by Gardner on blood Magick explicitly condemn sacrifice or (non-menstrual) blood magic of any sort. Some folk magic traditions promote the use of blood, but that is not Witchcraft. Many traditions forbid the ritual knife (athame) to touch blood at all, lest it be desecrated. Often a libation of wine or food offering is made during the "cakes and wine" section of Witchcraft worship, but it is not thought of as a "sacrifice" anymore than eating the host in Christian communion is the actual consumption of Christ's Flesh (although some Catholics would argue the point.) It is more a thankful offering for the bounty of the earth.

QAre Witches only women?

ANo, but in the United States of America women do predominate in the Craft overall (in Britain, men seem to predominate). Some traditions have only women practitioners, just as others have only men. Most traditions admit both. Men are also called "Witches", and most male Witches take exception to being called "Warlock" (Which is a Scottish Gaelic word meaning traitor!).

QWhat are Witch ethics?

AThere are no ten commandments in Witchcraft, but there are some common expressions such as the "Wiccan or Witches Rede" and the "threefold law." According to most versions of the threefold law, whatever one does comes back to one three times; kind of an amplified karma. One short, rhymed version of the Wiccan Rede states "Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill: An it harm none, do what you will." Often "none" is interpreted to include the doer in analogy to the "golden rule" of other faiths. There is no universal proscription regarding food, sex, burial or military service and Witchcraft, as a rule, discourages proselytization.

QWhat is initiation?

ASome traditions such as Y Dynion Mwyn, look on themselves as the priesthood or clergy and require formal initiation ceremonies. We are among those who believe that only a Witch can make a Witch by a ritual initiation. We also believe only the Goddess and God can imbue a Witch with enlightenment. The author Doreen Valiente and many others assert that if someone chooses to use self initiation, they may do so. We disagree. If someone is self initiated, it may be Wicca but it isn't Witchcraft. Witchcraft is by definition, a religion of a priest/esshood, and in our opinion you cannot be taught a Mystery Religion by yourself.

QWhat is Trance?

ASeveral religions use Trance in their rituals including Y Dynion Mwyn. During a drumming ritual for the Old Ones, a Guardian or God/dess may be persuaded to join the ritual by entering the body of one of the priest/esses consecrated to that God/dess or Guardian. This is referred to as the person being "touched" by the Guardian or that the Guardian has "come down" from Gwlad yr Hav to be with us. The songs, rhythms and dances are actually calculated to entreat the Old Ones to come so that we may be blessed by their counsel, cleansings and their sheer presence. Any priest or priestess who has experienced being "touched" will tell you the profound feelings of joy and wisdom that accompany the presence of these great spiritual beings known as Old Ones.

QWhen so many people have a negative mental image when the words Witch or Witchcraft are mentioned, why not use the word Wicca? Why are you re-adopting the name Witch?

AVirtually every religion can look back into the dark corners of history and find a period when it was held in disrepute. Some religions were accused of crimes through ignorance and malice (e.g. Medieval Christians were sure that Jews ate Christian babies). Other religions face prejudice because their practices are different from those of their accusers (e.g. the Mormons for their polygamy). Others defame each other for being on the opposite side of some power struggle. Consider the many incidents from the Crusades through the Inquisition to current affairs in nations such as Ireland or Iran. Just because a group was or is persecuted and maligned is not a reason for it to change its name. The practices of prejudice and scapegoating seem to be universal human pastimes, and we have had our share of being victimized. As Issac Bonewits once said: "Never again the Burning!!"

QWhat is a coven?

AThe coven is the "congregation" of our religion. Some traditional covens are often very formal, selective and closed. Most Witches begin in less formal ways such as attending festivals, public rituals, classes or more open groups (often called "circles"). Many Witches probably begin and continue practice as "solitaires," whether before, after or while a member of a coven.

QIs Witchcraft in Many Communities?

AIn a word YES. It is in every neighborhood in America. Don't worry, witches are not out to 'take over the world' and most could care less what religion you are, let alone waste their time with trying to change your mind. In fact it is one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Usually a person will become dissatisfied with a Christian church because of it all too often preaches hell-fire and damnation and dry Bible history rather that preaching love and understanding; to give 10% of your money to the church but then gives very little in return to it's members. When someone leaves the Christian church they sometimes find that Witchcraft, Wicca or Neo-Paganism offers a path which does give something to its members and asks for nothing in return.

Q How are pagans celebrating the end of the second millennium?

A The Christian culture usually remembers The Book of Revelations of the Christian Bible at the end of each thousand year period and start preaching Armegeddon.  The fundamentalist Christian churches then begin generating fear and confusion as they preach about the Rapture and the Second coming.  When nothing happens, there is a big sense of relief and the Christians go back to sinning and committing terrible acts in the name of their religion.  The end of the second millennium and the beginning of the third is not really a deeply rooted Icon in pagan tradition.  But for those who live in this society, its still a big change.  There seems to be a great deal of negative energy associated with it.  Lots of different forces are drawing together around this time.  As I said, thereis always a great deal of fear around the turn of a century.   Its interesting that this time the fear seems to be mostly centered around our technology.

QHow can someone find out more about Welsh Witchcraft or Neo-Paganism in general?

AWitchcraft and Wicca are not missionary religions and do not proselytize. One must seek rather than be sought after. There are excellent books available, and many Witches teach classes or facilitate discussion groups in occult bookstores. In this way, people may connect with a like-minded coven or form a study group of their own. Some good places to find other Witches are on the internet, in Pagan and New Age magazines, through occult or"new age" bookstores, and national, regional and local festivals. These sources should provide you with enough information to make contact with the larger Craft community. The Church of Y Dynion Mwyn and the Association of Cymry Wiccae are two such groups fulfilling all of these functions. We have a list of internet contacts and resources: web sites, internet news-groups, mailing lists, and a list of some Wiccan organizations and periodicals which should help you.