The Wiccan Rede

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's
insight. Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.

Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be.
Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.
Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know.
When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"


What is an Ordeal Path?

Many Paths

Many traditions of modern Paganism believe in Paths to Power. The number of Paths varies from tradition to tradition. As do the Paths themselves. Among the more common Paths are:

  • Dancing
  • Drumming
  • Bondage
  • Drugs
  • Sex
  • Meditation
  • Art
  • Ritual
  • and Ordeal

A cursory examination of any Pagan gathering can find examples of most of the common Paths. The one Path which is most often excluded is the Path of Ordeal. The idea seems to frighten many and outrage some. Fortunately, in our age of ever increasing specialization, smaller festivals focusing on specific Paths are becoming more common. In these smaller venues, the Ordeal Path is finding a home and safe welcome expression.

What is a Path?

To understand any one Path, it may be useful to explore how we understand the idea of Paths to Power. In our tradition, we understand a Path to Power as being an action or practice which bring the practitioner into an altered state of awareness where direct awareness of or union with Spirit occurs. This state of awareness is referred to as an Ecstatic State of Awareness/Consciousness. This state of awareness is often described as: timelessness, infinite bliss, unconditional love, consciousness.

Kindlers believe that Spirit calls to each of us to It in a unique way. When we follow the calling and urges of Spirit, we are brought closer to union with It. Therefore, we believe that there are as many Paths to Power as there are living beings seeking connection to Spirit.

Spirit is without bounds. Because It does not have categories or lists, It may call an individual to follow one Path for a life time. It may also call an individual to follow many Paths. One person’s path to Spirit may be simple while another’s may be complex and wide roaming, following many paths in succession or many at one time. It is this mind blowing diversity of ways to reach ecstatic experiences which people are trying to describe when they innumerate the Paths to Power. This has led to much confusion because of differences in opinion of how to group and label categories of experiences.

So, any listing which can be imagined is incomplete. Fortunately, so long as they keep the basic ideas that ecstasy connects us to Spirit and that our connection to Spirit is our ultimate power they are practically correct. They also point towards a simple truth - namely that union with Spirit is Bliss.

What is an Ordeal Path?

An Ordeal Path is any practice with a spiritual intent which creates a state of Ecstatic Bliss by subjecting the body and mind to an extreme experience or sensation. In short, working with intent towards Spirit through the vehicle of the body and its biochemistry when it is pushed to some physical limit.

Like other Paths to Power, Ordeal uses the processes of the body to manipulate the mind and awareness. As the body is pushed to its limits (subjective) biochemistry kicks in and the body produces chemical responses which altar awareness of the surroundings and of the physical experiences. As the physical experience becomes more intense, the chemical changes in the body become more intense. At some point (again subjective for the individual) the brain becomes overwhelmed by these chemical changes and the mind enters a state of euphoria (ecstasy) which can be directed by the intent of the individual to enter states of awareness in which Spirit can be directly accessed.

The idea of what is an ordeal has no fixed definition. Nor is there a hierarchy of ordeals. This is a deeply personal path based on the perceptions and needs on the individual seeker. What is an ordeal for one person may be no challenge for another. What is a challenge to some may be impossible for others. The experience of challenge, courage, ecstasy and fulfillment are the focus of an ordeal. The form of the ordeal is irrelevant. That the experience is truly a challenge for the seeker is the only important factor.

Examples of Ordeals include: Fasting, Pain, Long term physical exertion, Extreme bondage, Asceticism, Extreme hedonism, Sensory manipulation, Long term stillness, Exposure to extreme environmental conditions, Public speaking, Confronting old traumas and fears, Total self acceptance, …(remember your mileage may vary)

Most of the members of Kindlers are part of the BDSM community. This means that we have leaned skills and techniques for safely exploring the limits of the human body and mind. Playing on the edge of what we believe to be safe while exploring our ability to trust ourselves and others creates energetic charges between partners and within an individual which can be directed (as all energy can be) by intent to create states of awareness. In BDSM, the skills are about how to safely create and experience intense experience while the intent is to channel the energy of the experience into ecstatic erotic pleasure. The knowledge that one is safe, in spite of the perception of danger, and protected by one’s partner(s) allows a person to give into their experiences and transform them in ways that could never happen outside the safe container of intentional SM space.

As classic Paganism has been taught, it is our intention that makes what we do Magikal. Along the Path of Ordeal, this statement is especially true. Our intent generates our perception of the experience. We choose to focus the charge of the situation to move us towards connection to Spirit. As the charge grows greater, our connection grows stronger until we break free from our bodies and enter an ecstatic state of awareness where we are in the presence of Spirit. Because intent is the key, those of us who play in the BDSM community have a large toy box of skills which we can use to create these kinds of trance experiences.

That we feel we understand the biological mechanisms of this process does not detract from the Magikal aspect of this Path. Through our understanding of how our bodies enter these states of awareness, we are able to create ritual elements which promote those processes within an individual and help them connect to Spirit. There are an infinite number of ordeals and limitless intents which one can set. Our faith makes our experiences of BDSM Magikal while our knowledge keeps us safe in the experience.

Why would anyone want an Ordeal?

What makes any of us want to follow this Path? With other, “easier” and more “acceptable,” Paths to Power, why would anyone put themselves through all this work?

We believe that Ritual Ordeals give us an opportunity to test ourselves in a safe supporting environment where, unlike common reality, the entire situation is designed to encourage and support our success. Living in physical bodies we are faced with challenges and ordeal each day of our life. These tests come with no safety net and no guarantee of success. Which is what makes them life.

In a Ritual Ordeal the experience is designed to serve a purpose and be safe for all involved. It may be to face a fear, to overcome a past trauma or to explore and test a perceived limit. Each part of the Ordeal is created with the overall intent in mind as well as making every opportunity for the success and every preparation for the safety of the person(s) experiencing the ritual. They are able to safely explore dark areas of themselves in the loving safety of the coven. Though their exploration they may gain insight to deeper levels of their Self and learn to go beyond who they believe themselves to be into who they truly are. The intent and energy of the ritual, gives the explorer a chance to escape the bonds of their body and with their intent connect to the bliss that is Spirit.

The keys to this Path are safety and trust. An explorer on this Path learns a great deal about how they trust and who they trust. This trust is fostered by the care with which the coven keeps the explorer safe within the Ordeal. As they learn about trusting the people around them, they discover deeper and deeper layers of connection to the other coveners and to Spirit. The end goal is to learn to trust Spirit as it challenges us with the ordeals of life outside the safety of Sacred Space. By doing this, we learn to connect to Spirit in every aspect of our life as we journey from our mother’s womb to The Mother’s womb.

An old rule about meditation is that we learn to meditate during peaceful times in our lives so that we can create that peace in times of stress, when we need it. The Ordeal Path gives us the same gift. By challenging ourselves in the safety of Sacred Space we learn to trust and communicate with Spirit as It challenges us in the mundane world of our everyday lives.

Why do you deserve an Ordeal?

Because if Spirit calls you to this path, it is better to play in the safety of Sacred Space before Spirit brings the Ordeal to your front door without warning.


How to join or find out more about us

We invite others in the DC metro area interested in our path to join us and find out if this is a direction for you to explore. If you are interested in learning more about us or have questions about the ideas we are exploring, please contact us.

All genuine seekers are welcome. If this is not what you are seeking, then please seek elsewhere and blessings be with you.