A landmark is a prominent feature used to mark the boundaries of real estate. Therefore, these landmarks of the Craft are prominent features of the American Rite, or Druidic Craft of the Wise. Just as departing from the landmarks in real estate signifies that one has departed from that piece of land, so does departure from the landmarks of our Craft signify such a person or organization has departed from the correct defines of the Craft. Other branches of the Craft sometimes call this their "Law".
The landmarks were given to man by The Great God, Pan,
In the dim, dark ages of the past
For the rule and regulation of the wise,
To advise and help them in their troubles
And relations, one with the other,
That all might work and love together.
They are the Bill of Rights of each member,
And the code of operation of the Coven.
And are to be honored by all
Or else they become meaningless and of little use,
And departure therefrom by any person or Coven
Shall be a departure from the rest of the Covens
Which constitute the American Rite.
And they shall be shunned, they from the rest of us,
And no further communication shall be established
Concerning things of the Craft
With either He or They until
They shall return to the fold of the Craft
In love and cooperation.
For the Gods love the Wise, the Brethren of the Way,
And so should we return that love.
But this can only be done and made manifest by love expressed
In deeds for the Brethren of the Craft,
Not in pride, but in cooperation and sincerity.
Any person, be male or female, who is of good mind
And free to decide for himself in good faith,
Who shall learn of the Craft and its Tenets,
And shall desire to follow the Way,
Shall be permitted to do so,
And none may say him "Nay".
And the Gods will love him and look after him,
And they shall bless him on all things,
And his needs shall always be satisfied,
As he shall show forth love and affection
For all the brethren and sisters of the Craft,
And he shall obey the Admonishments
Of the Craft as to secrecy and correct living.
And when he shall desire to join the Craft,
And to follow the Way to Perfection,
He shall make his desires known to any member
Of the Priesthood.
And they shall observe his readiness and sincerity,
And shall then administer the rites of
Secrecy, which is sacredness and brotherhood.
But a Priest shall accept the Sister,
And a Priestess the Brother,
As an eternal reminder of
The duality of the Universe.
And a new name and secret mark
Shall be given each new fellow.
By this name, and under this mark,
Shall they be known among the members
Of the Craft, in love and harmony,
And their old name and identity shall not be known
Even among the members of their own Coven,
And none shall inquire for his name or his house
And he shall inquire these of none.
But the Gods have decreed, that in joining the Rite,
Free Will and independence shall not be in jeopardy.
And he shall have the right to follow the Way.
Walking alone if he will it that way,
Or with a Coven of living brethren
If he so shall choose;
And he shall have the right
To withdraw from any coven at any time
Without the need to say why,
If he shall so choose.
And this either for the purpose of joining another
Or to become solitary for his own reasons,
And there will be none to censure;
And he shall have the right to remain
In a certain Coven, and none shall say him "Nay",
Or to attempt to force him to leave and depart;
Except that should he lose harmony with them
Then they may so decide
And he shall depart.
But no man shall have the right
To speak for the Craft,
And leaving one Coven does not mean
Leaving the Craft, or
Leaving the Way
And each is free, then, or at any time later,
To remain solitary
Or to seek admission to another Coven.
But let him and each other fellow of the Craft
Keep a book, and this shall be of the colors of the Craft,
That it may be readily recognized,
And here he shall keep all the Laws and Landmarks,
And the tenets of the Craft,
That he might not forget,
And if he do forget, that his mind might be
And in this book, all things shall be the mark
Of his own hand, and in ink,
That it shall be long lived.
Let each of the brothers and sisters
Copy what they will from the book,
Providing that they are of sufficient worthiness,
To receive it, and are of sufficient rank,
Or that the writings are of sufficient nature
As pertain to their own rank.
Never suffer this book out of hand or possession,
And never borrow the writings of another
To keep, but merely to copy.
And each shall guard and keep these writings,
As his most sacred possession
And destroy them when danger threatens.
However, should one be of sufficient power,
To remember his past as a wise man,
This book and other Craft artifacts,
May be buried in a stone box
Prepared for them from time to time,
And this in view of immediate death,
And the desire to save them for a future life.
Otherwise, on notice of impending death,
This book should be destroyed by fire,
As well as other things of the Craft,
Which one may posses.
But the wise man will have nothing around
Which has only a Craft use or meaning,
But only things which can be used in daily affairs.
If there is no reason to own a sword,
Then do not own one;
The white wand is just as powerful,
And less distinctive in the minds of the infidels.
If a white wand is too distinctive,
Then any old wand will do for the purpose
Of the ceremonies.
Have no names written and signs drawn
On anything permanently,
When necessary these can be written
In charcoal or chalk
And erased immediately without the telling of tales.
Let the knife have the shape of,
And be stored with the kitchen knives;
Let the cord be seen around the house,
And be used for a vulgar purpose,
In order to fool the infidels.
Never boast, never threaten, never brag
Of your powers; not even to the Craft,
Above all, never harbor ill thoughts toward another
For the power may make it happen for harm;
And never wish ill to anyone.
As it will Occur.
If anyone speaks of the Craft, to down it,
Remember: the Craft needs no defense,
For it has the Father and
All things will be as He wishes
In the end.
And it shall be that any Fellow of the Craft,
Finding himself in a place where he knows of no Coven,
Or other Fellow of the Craft
Shall have the right, nay, even the duty,
To seek out such a Coven,
Or other Fellow of the Craft
Provided that he shall not reveal secrets to jeopardize
His former Coven or the members of it,
Or the Craft itself.
And two or three Fellows shall have the right
To meet and discuss subjects of Craft interest,
And to help each other along
On the Way to Perfection,
Except that Craft ceremonies
Must be done by the Priesthood.
Any five fellows who shall desire
To form a Coven may do so,
And they shall apply for a charter
To any High Priest or Priestess,
And they shall then select and choose
A man and a woman to lead them.
And their elected leaders shall be ordained by their High Priest,
And they shall choose two more,
A woman to be the deputy; to learn to be a priestess,
And a Scribe for their Coven.
But these shall not be ordained to the Priesthood,
Unless also qualified for another reason.
And this Coven shall belong to the High Priest,
And shall be answerable to him in all their doings,
Because they did owe their Priesthood to him,
And he shall act at all times in their interest
As their Spiritual Father in the Craft
So that he may lead them as they walk
The way to perfection.
But the newly appointed Priesthood,
Should it be lacking in the knowledge and wisdom needed,
For the positions to which they have been set apart
Then it shall be his responsibility as their High Priest,
To lead and instruct them,
Or cause it to be done by another.
But should the new Coven refuse to follow
The teachings and instructions of their Spiritual Father,
Then he may, at his discretion and Judgment,
Recall their charter, and their right to work as a Coven.
For that which one can give he may also retrieve,
And they shall not again meet,
Unless they can find another High Priest,
Who will assume responsibility over them.
It is the bound duty of the High Priest to preside,
For all things must be presided over by the High Priesthood;
And should any Coven desire to change,
Their allegiance from one High Priest to another,
For any reason, even the loss of harmony,
Or if, in their considered opinion, their Spiritual Father
Is no longer spiritual, or serving the Father
Then they shall be re-ordained in the Priesthood
By the New High Priest, and this shall then
Have superseded the original ordinations,
And there shall be for them
A new Spiritual Father.
And if any Priest or Priestess, or other member of the Priesthood,
Find themselves in a place wherein there is no Coven for them to lead,
Then it is their bound duly to try to the extent of their Power
To find Fellows of the Craft
And organize them into a Coven.
And should they find that there are no other Fellows of the Craft,
In that place, but there are some of the same good bend of mind,
It is then their duty to teach them by word and deed,
Until there be sufficient to form a Coven,
And this shall be done under the supervision,
And with the knowledge of their High Priest,
Through which they received their ordination
And their Powers.
And they shall obligate, teach and initiate all the members of their Coven,
And they shall be theirs and they shall be to them
As elder brothers and sisters,
And shall care for them in all their affairs,
And not just at meetings,
For it is in this that the Craft differs
From all man-made institutions.
Should any member be absent, and love of the Priestess is such
That she shall continue to contact them in any manner
And by any method possible,
To tender them her loving care
At all times of sickness or stress.
And should any member move to a far city
The Priestess will continue to care for them
In love, by whatever method is available,
Until such time as they shall,
Of their own free will,
Obligate themselves to another Priestess.
And the Priestess shall at all times remember
That she is the direct representative of the Goddess to her Coven,
And the Priest is the direct representative of
The unknown God, the Father,
And both must act as such at all times.
Yet the Priestess shall have whomever she shall choose
As her Priest, be he of that rank, or qualified to be,
Or else another Fellow, who shall be called
And she must remember at all times that the man provides the power,
For the woman to direct, and so it is,
That the Priest resigns all his power over to her,
Yet it is not his power, nor hers to keep,
It is the power of God to use in the performance
Of the Work.
The Power of God is only lent to be used,
Wisely and Justly.
Both the members of the Priesthood shall remember their Spiritual Father,
At all times with gratitude, love, veneration and cooperation,
keeping constantly in contact, and acting with him in utmost harmony,
For they must always remember that the power
And wisdom which they use,
Comes to them through him.
In the days of old, ere the coming of Christendom,
The Craft was free and open in its ceremonies,
And entire states and nations worshipped the Gods
Freely and without restraint;
But in these unhappy days, we must remain secret,
And hold our rites and ceremonies in secret,
And there are those who will talk, even without torture,
Which loosens any tongue.
Then let it be ordained, heeded and supported by all
That no Coven shall know wherein
The next Coven shall abide, or who its members be,
Except only the Priestess, Magister and Deputy,
And even they shall not remember
Except for good and sufficient reason.
But, and if only, it should be safe, may the covens meet
In some safe place for festivals, and while there,
None may say whence they came, nor give their true names,
Or tell of where or when their meetings are, and
No secret things shall be spoken of
At these festivals for fear of Cowans and Eavesdroppers.
Let each Priestess govern her own Coven in justice and love,
Ever heeding the advice and instructions of her High Priest.
She will ever heed the complaints of the brethren
And strive to settle all differences between them with love.
But there are those who, in pride, will ever strive
To force their will upon others
But these are not necessarily evil
And will think that they do rightly.
Oft they have good ideas and such ideas
Should be discussed in council with their brethren.
But if they will not agree with their brethren,
Or if they say "I will not work under this Priestess",
Then they shall have the right to withdraw from that Coven,
And work Solitary.
Or if five or more of them shall withdraw,
They shall have the right
To form another Coven under another Priestess.
Even as it shall be the right of any five or more persons of a Coven
To withdraw, and form a new Coven, for any reason whatever,
But they shall then utterly avoid the old Coven
In all things, as it shall then have ceased to exist for them.
Let every Coven of whatever rank
Keep a record in a book of black and silver,
And it shall contain, first, the Landmarks and Tenets,
Then a collection of Wisdom of the Craft,
The Rites and Ceremonies of the Coven
As well as the History of the Coven,
And its charter empowering it to work.
And a record of every meeting shall be written therein,
Together with a record of the doings of any member thereof
With the other side, or the Father, or
Any other thing which is for the teaching of all,
Even unto the listing of herbs and medicines
Spells and incantations and Rites
Which contain power for the use of man.
This book shall be kept by the Scribe,
And it shall be kept and approved by the Priesthood
And also the High Priesthood, when it shall come,
But no names or Craft secrets shall be written therein
That he Craft should not be betrayed
Should the book be taken by force,
Or slyness, by the infidels.
And when the coven shall disband,
It shall be the duty of the High Priesthood
To secure this book and make suitable disposition
That it might not endanger the Craft
Or any brother within it
As if the Coven were a person or Fellow
And the book were his book,
So let it be burned.
The Mother, The seven Elder Children, and all the worlds,
Draw their power from the Father.
But the children of the Father are like the sands of the sea,
And He has ordained and set apart certain of his older children,
To help and assist Him in caring for the younger children,
And has given them the Power and the Wisdom to do so,
And these children constitute the Priesthood.
The Father will bestow this power upon whom he will, and none may say him "Nay"
Yet also may the Priesthood choose workers and helpers
And shall share their power with them,
And this is called ordination.
The Power of the Priesthood is that of the Father
And it is love unfeigned and sincere,
Compassion and gentleness and meekness,
Persuasion and long-suffering and kindness,
And there is no authority over the free will of men
Inherent in the Priesthood,
Nor to be assumed by the members of it.
And the Power of the Priesthood is the Power of God,
And the Power of God can never be wielded by an ungodly man,
Nor an evil man; nor the love of God by an unloving man;
And when the man becomes evil, the Power of God is withdrawn from him.
Nor can a member of the Priesthood be inactive,
For inactivity without cause is lack of love for the Father,
And this man's priesthood shall depart from him
At the end of a year and a day,
For it is truth eternal,
That the thing which is unused will be taken away.
So if any Fellow of the Craft shall desire the Priesthood,
First let him learn to be a leader of men,
For a Priest with no following is no Priest,
And his Priesthood is in vain.
So therefore let the Fellow who would be a Priest
First learn the knowledge and wisdom he will need in the new appointment,
Then let him learn to lead men, and
When he shall either have been selected
As leader for his Coven,
Or when he shall have gathered up a Coven of his own,
Then let him apply for ordination.
And he shall apply to a High Priest, for it is written
That only the higher can ordain the lesser,
That there shall be an unbroken line
Of power and authority extending
Back through the line of ordination,
To the Father Himself.
And no man can ordain his peers,
For the Lord's House is not a house of confusion,
So let not the line be broken
For it is the cable tow by which
Men are drawn from the lower
Up to the greater;-
An impossibility without it.
And each must work within their line of ordination
In perfect love and perfect trust,
With perfect harmony in all things,
But should they find that they fall out of harmony
With their line of ordination,
Then let him seek another, to be ordained of him
To be their new spiritual Father.
Let the Priesthood be a leadership of fact; not of fancy,
For those who have no following to lead,
Why are they in the Priesthood?
And so it is that they who lose or give away their following,
Or they who through inactivity have lost their power,
Or they who are not in harmony and love with their Spiritual Father;
Shall be retired from a rank to which entitled
Other than by leadership of men.
But this can only be done by he who ordained them,
For only those who give can take away,
Yet each High Priest is responsible that this is done.
Should any Fellow fain the Priesthood, and use it wisely and well,
The Gods have decreed that those who serve them
Shall prosper and grow in this life,
And shall gain eternal perfection
To be freed from the Wheel of Life,
And to become like unto the angels
In that they should be perfect.
For perfection is to be gained by love,
And there is no greater love than to
Lay down one's life for his brethren
In their service and for their sake,
And the Father will reward them for
Their labor of love, because
He is not unjust.
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