The 13 goals of a Witch is an idea that’s been floating around for some time. I would be remiss if I didn’t include it into a series on the Ethics of Witchcraft.
The Goals were originally outlined in Scott Cunningham’s book: Wicca – A guide for a solitary practitioner, first published in 1988.
His essay was since condensed down to the 13 goals that we see pinned all over Pinterest.
However those ideas were not original to Mr. Cunningham. Some of them were as old as civilization. Some were written about by ancient philosphers. The ideas show up in all cultures and can apply to magical people as well as muggles.
They are not only for witches. I feel like if you have a heart beat and happen to be walking around this earth, you have a right and responsibility to work on these 13 goals.
By working on these goals we will become masters of ourselves because all 13 Goals relate to ourselves and has little to do with other people. These goals, and the actions that support the goals, will help to build up our self esteem and help us develop discipline in our actions and thoughts. It will also help us identify and process emotions, as well as connect us to the natural and spirit worlds.
These are not easy to master. It can be pretty difficult to take that good hard look at yourself. It gets a little messy to sift through your experiences.
You’ll be breaking old habits and starting new ones. This kind of work takes time. Sometimes you’ll have to stop actively working in order to process what you’ve learned. That’s okay.
Now Mr. Cunningham, rest his soul, may not be very mainstream in the Witch community anymore. Wicca, as he practiced it, isn’t as popular as it used to be but the values represented in the 13 goals are timeless.
There will never be a time or place where they aren’t useful to the individual.
The 13 goals of a Witch is basically a guide for life, not unlike the 10 commandments but without the fire and brimstone or threat of eternal damnation if you slip up.
The 10 commandments were also a product of ancient Judaic civilization that put a lot of focus on rules.
Most religions have a code of ethics, most cultures have norms and morals. Society has its own code of conduct that evolves over time. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes its not.
I find it interesting that if you look at these codes that snake their way around the globe over the course of centuries, there is a similar thread that link them all. I see an over all theme of love and respect.
13 Goals in the 21rst century
The 13 goals of the witch is a guide for living an empowered life in harmony with your surroundings no matter how they change.
We happen to be living in one of those volatile times when everything is changing. It’s easy to focus on those internal goals when everything is going well. It’s a lot harder when your sense of security and your sense of familiarity is being shaken.
And yet, the world needs us to do just that, more than ever.
I intend to write about each goal as I understand it, explain why its so Important and break down the things you can do to embrace the goal and fold it into your lifestyle.
I feel like its also important to remember that none of this is a one and done thing. Take each step seriously and slowly incorporate it into your life until it becomes a habit. Don’t kick yourself if you slip up. Its okay, we all do.
13 Goals of the Witch
Know your craft
Learn and grow
Apply knowledge with wisdom
Keep your words in good order
Keep your thoughts in good order
Attune with the cycles of nature
Breathe and eat correctly
Exercise the body
Honor the Goddess and the God
Know yourself. As far back as Socrates, and most likely much farther, this was advice best followed. If you don’t know what you want, you are not likely to get it. Consequently if you don’t know what makes you happy, you are not likely to find your happiness. You also need to know your own strengths and weaknesses.(back to top)
Know your craft. Wicca is a craft, hence the term Witchcraft, the Craft of the Wise. This is not something you learn from reading a few books, although they can point you in the direction your path can take. This is something you will learn by living it. Know what you want to study – understand your spiritual path.(back to top)
Learn. Learn everything you can, everything you have an interest in. You don’t have to master every subject completely, but a thorough knowledge of many subjects will help you grow spiritually, and be open minded about subjects you don’t know anything about. (back to top)
Apply knowledge with wisdom. This is perhaps one of the hardest to practice. Put it this way: You can read a dozen books, but until you put into your life what you have read, it is useless to you. Also, the wise person will use their common sense regarding whatever it is print, and especially on the internet. One person’s “truth” is not necessarily truth for all; only you know in your heart of hearts what rings as “truth” for you. Knowledge is power, but without wisdom, you will not be able to have control over that power. (back to top)
Achieve balance. Is this like “moderation in all things”? YES! Your time cannot be totally consumed by something without the rest of your life suffering the consequences. We have a tendency, most of us, to dive into a new area with total concentration, and that can be wonderful, as long as we don’t ignore everything else. Women are usually pretty good at this, since we have to balance husband’s needs, children’s needs, and job needs all at once. What most often suffers, though, are our own needs. Many times we all feel as if we are too rushed, and pulled into many different directions at once. Try to balance your life so that you feel invigorated instead, and so you also enjoy what you are doing. (back to top)
Keep your words in good order. Have you heard that “A witch is only as good as her word”? It comes from a time when the person’s word was their bond, and it still is as important today. When you say a thing, you make it so. Why does your magick work? Because you say “So mote it be”, and your words and your will have that power. When you don’t keep your word, you are breaking that bond. Be very careful HOW you speak, what you say, negatively or positively, is what you bring into manifestation. Another reference to this is found in the Christian Bible, in Genesis, where it says “In the beginning was the word”. Words have power, which is recognized many religions.(back to top)
Keep your thoughts in good order. “Energy follows thought” is another Wiccan saying. Again, what you think, thought often enough, you bring into manifestation. Every single invention started out as a thought. Think about it! Positive thinking and positive affirmations can make a difference in your life. (back to top)
Celebrate Life! Life is meant to be joyful! The whole earth is alive, and so are you! Think about all the senses you have, and all the sensations you feel, and how fantastic that is! We are linked to all life, everywhere.(back to top)
Attune with the cycles of the earth. Be aware of the seasons, and the phases of the Moon. Wiccans do this by celebrating the Esbats and Sabbats. Everything runs in cycles, our bodies, the animals, and the plants. Gardners know that timing is important in planting, not just with the seasons, but also with the moon. You can even do such things as trimming your hair more effectively by utilizing the moon’s cycles. (back to top)
Breathe and eat correctly. Breathing is very important to life, and to proper magick, to energy raising, not to mention, your health. Breathing deeply from the diaphragm should be mastered. Also breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, especially during meditation, or other forms of energy control and conciousness control. Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Eat what is a proper diet for you, and not until you are stuffed. Eating the wrong foods, and eating too much of anything, will inhibit your ability to do much except take a nap! (back to top)
Exercise the body. This is so important, and gets ignored so much in our techno-pagan society. Exercise relieves stress, tones muscles, burns fat, and adds years to your ability to enjoy life. This is the physical vessel your soul has incarnated into, at least take care of it! And while we’re on the subject, along with exercising, drink plenty of water, at least 6-8 glasses a day. This will flush out the toxins that are caused by stress, as well as by other factors. (back to top)
Meditate. This concept one of the most misunderstood by many students today. What people think of when they see this word, is perhaps an Indian Yogi sitting in the Lotus position and chanting “om”. While that is one valid way to meditate, there are many others, including mediation through concentrating on an object, a thought, your own breath, your own body rhythms, or concentrating on nothing at all. Other ways to meditate are to dance, to move the body, as in T’ai Chi, or Sufi Dancing, or just in exercises such as walking, when you are being at one with your body and not thinking about anything at all. Another form of mediation is by doing a skill over and over, something repetative, to the exlusion of all other thoughts, except the total concentration on the skill you are doing. Many people who say they can’t meditate, or have trouble with it, are only aware of one kind. There are so many different ways to do this, that there is a method to suit each person. (For more information, get the very small book “How To Meditate” by Lawrence LaShan.) (back to top)
Honor the God and Goddess. Since God/Goddess dwell within ourselves, while we are honoring them, we must also show honor to ourselves, and to others. Try this simple exercise: the next time you are standing in line somewhere, try to see the God and Goddess in each person in line with you. Really look at them and see their innate deity. This is one that may take practice, but when you really see it, it will have impact. We are all divine, we are all God and Goddess both. (back to top)
I recently came across the 13 goals for a witch, and I thought – wow! How beautiful! They really illustrate the journey of healing, and I wanted to share them here with you.
1. Know yourself. Self awareness is the beginning of health, becoming aware of what isn’t working, of what is, and how it shifts and changes as you do something about it.
2. Know your craft. Your craft could be anything you are good at – your talent, your gift to the world. It’s about stepping into your life’s purpose, and being that.
3. Learn and grow. No point staying static, as long as you have a physical body, there are things to learn, and things to do!
4. Apply knowledge with wisdom. Don’t do it the way you were told to, do it based on your experience, your perception of the world, and your learning.
5. Achieve balance. Keeping balanced in a world that’s constantly changing is a difficult task, this goal maps beautifully to goal 3, by keeping balance in an unbalanced world, we automatically learn and grow.
6. Keep your words in good order. See the blog post “Words Matter” or “The Energetic Power or Words” to learn more about this.
7. Keep your thoughts in good order. The alchemical formula states: as above, so below. Don’t say one thing and mean another. Makes sense doesn’t it? Read my blog post “The Power of Thought” for more on this.
8. Celebrate life. Coming from a space of celebration and gratitude keeps your energy high, your thoughts pure and your body healthy.
9. Attune with the cycles of the earth. This one is about communion with nature, respecting the environment and being part of that. Knowing that we have cycles too (wake/sleep cycle, growth cycles, menstruation…) to dance with the seasons, to work with them instead of against them.
10. Breathe and eat correctly. Common sense? Maybe not – I love the saying I saw recently “Eat locally grown, organic, fresh food. Or as your grandmother would call it, food.” There’s so much out there that is no longer pure. And breathing is so important too, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and allows the body to heal.
11. Exercise the body. Beautiful goal, keep moving keep strong keep in the flow of life. Need I say more?
12. Meditate. In order to come back to ourselves, we need to disconnect from the environment around us, and just be. To move away from our mind chatter, and into the space of the energy that is our soul. Just being what we are, and remembering who we are.
13. Honour the Goddess and God. I think in general this one means to realise that we are part of something that is bigger than us. To have that spiritual awareness that we are not alone, we are loved, supported and looked after.
If you live by these goals, you will have a healthy body, a healthy mind and a high vibration. If you had resistance or an aversion towards witchcraft, perhaps its time to look at it again with fresh eyes?
I’m a healer, a bestselling author and a spiritual teacher. I believe that the heart is the GPS system of the Soul, if it’s ignored or switched off, we get lost. Join me for a group healing session , an online programme or download one of my healing meditations . Get in touch if you’d like more information about what I do, or to book a session. You can email [email protected] or fill out the contact form on my website.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a safer, cleaner and more prosperous world by 2030. Now it’s up to all of us to join forces to address the most pressing global challenges and turn goals into action.
To accelerate progress towards the SDGs for every child, UNICEF embraces a “3As” approach: raising awareness, taking action and holding decision makers accountable for progress.
With the right tools and information, children and young people can play a critical role in the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, sparking action in their communities and holding leaders to account.
This is why UNICEF works to raise awareness of children’s rights – educating and engaging young people on why the goals matter to their everyday lives.
We do this through three flagship initiatives:
The World’s Largest Lesson
The World’s Largest Lesson reaches millions of children, primarily through schools. Co-founded by UNICEF and Project Everyone, the initiative offers a set of free and translated lessons, animations and activities for every classroom.
Educators can use the World’s Largest Lesson to teach students about the SDGs and identify actions children and young people can take to make the goals a reality in their communities.
Comics Uniting Nations
Comics Uniting Nations works with world-renowned comic book artists and storytellers to bring the SDGs to life. Co-founded by UNICEF, PCI Media Impact, and Reading with Pictures, the library of comics has reached 20 books and counting.
Through this partnership, our Superhero Comic Contest asks children and young people to think creatively about superpowers to achieve the SDGs: Young people submit their original superhero ideas on different goal areas for a chance to work with us on publishing their own comic book.
SDG Activate Talk Series
Youth Activate Talks bring young change-makers to the stage to showcase for decision makers the ways they are supporting the goals, and to inspire others to take action. Through moderated discussions using activism, the arts, invention and innovation, young speakers welcome their peers and leaders to join them in support of the SDGs.
UNICEF has organized SDG Activate Talks all over the world. Here’s how you can too.
With millions of children and young people becoming aware of the goals, more and more are taking action across the globe.
We commit to acting, too. From health to education to child protection, UNICEF’s work is guided by the SDGs. We support governments to act for and with children as they plan, budget and implement programmes and policies. Often our support takes the form of providing technical knowledge; assessing data availability and gaps; establishing SDG baselines; and facilitating consultations with children and youth.
Annually, UNICEF also develops key asks for governments to take into consideration as they carry forward the SDGs.
Global leaders must be held to account on commitments made. At UNICEF, we help do this in two ways: (1) by collecting, analyzing and sharing data on children to monitor progress, and (2) by bringing children’s perspectives on the SDGs to decision makers to promote accountability.
In Indonesia, for example, UNICEF assisted the national government with the SDGs Baseline Report on Children to ensure no child is left behind in the implementation, monitoring and reporting of the SDGs. And in Ghana, UNICEF ran a poll on youth and the SDGs through U-Report ─ a free, global, SMS-based tool for community participation. When responses indicated low awareness of the SDGs, UNICEF and the government joined forces to engage youth for positive social change.