Principles
Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!
Principles Of Wiccan Belief

In 1974 one group of American Witches meeting in Minneapolis adopted the following group of Principles.
Since then several versions of these principles with minor differences in wording have been circulated.
These principles are not required of anyone, but they do reflect the thinking of many modern Pagan Witches whether in the United States or elsewhere.

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces
marked by the full of the Moon and seasonal quarters and cross quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our
environment. We seek to live in harmony with nature,
in ecological balance offering fulfilment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the
average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary,
it is sometimes called "supernatural," but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through
polarity - as masculine and feminine - and that this same Creative Power lives in
all people, and functions through the masculine and feminine.
We value neither above the other.

5. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of live, and as the
interaction source of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.

6. We recognize both an outer world and an inner, or psychological world -
sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner
Planes, etc. - and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for
paranormal phenomena and magical exercises.
We neglect neither dimension for the other,
seeing both as necessary for our fulfilment.

7. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honour those who
teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom,
and acknowledge those who courageously give of themselves in leadership.

8. We see religion, magic, and wisdom in living as being united in the way one
views the world and lives within it - a world view and philosophy of life which we
identify as witchcraft, the Wiccan Way.

9. Calling oneself "witch" does not make a witch - but neither does heredity itself nor the collecting of titles, degrees, and initiations.
A witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and well without harm to others and in harmony with nature.

10. We believe in the affirmation and fulfilment of life in a continuation of
evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we
know and our personal role within it.

11. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or
philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the
only way" and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

12. As American Witches we are not threatened by debates on the history of the
Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different
traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.

13. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil nor do we worship any entity as "Satan" or "the Devil" as defined by the Christian tradition.
We do not seek power through the suffering of others nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only be denial to another.

14. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to
our health and well being.


Thirteen Principles

In 1974 the Council of American Witches was formed with 73 Witches of varying traditions.
They attempted to form a statement of common principles and definitions shared by Witches in order to dispel misinformation.
These principles have been incorporated into one or more editions of the U.S. Army handbook for chaplains.
Here follows the introduction that accompanied the principles, this explains them better than we can, and the 13 principles themselves. Although most Witches embrace the Wiccan Rede, many embrace some or all of these as well.
We have included some comments in italics.

Introduction:

In seeking to be inclusive,
we do not wish to open ourselves to the destruction of our group by those on self serving power trips, or to philosophies and practices contradictory to those principles.
In seeking to exclude those whose ways are contradictory to ours, we do not want to deny participation with us to any who are sincerely interested in our knowledge and beliefs, regardless of race, colour, sex, age, national or cultural origins or sexual preference.
Principles of the Wiccan Belief:

1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked
by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment.
We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfilment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that apparent to the average person.
Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called "supernatural",
but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the universe as manifesting through
polarity-as masculine and feminine and that this same Creative Power lies in all people,
and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine.
We value neither (gender) above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other.
This next section of #4 is often omited in recent copies, partly because of residual puritanical
beliefs in the public and in some modern Witches, and partly because it is often misunderstood: We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, of psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc. and we see in the inter-action of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises.
We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

6. We so not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honour those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

7. We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it. A world view and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft the Wiccan Way.

8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations.
A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and will without harm to other and in harmony with Nature.

9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfilment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.

10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life,
is to the extent that its institutions have clamed to be "the only way" and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.

11. American Witches, they are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft,
the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions.
We are concerned with our present and our future.

12. We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil", as defined by Christian tradition.
We do not seek power through the suffering of others,
nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and
well being.