The Principles of Belief
The Council of American Witches finds it necessary
to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs.
As American witches, we welcome and respect all life-affirming teachings
and traditions, and seek to learn from all and to share our learning within
the council. It is in this spirit of welcome and cooperation that we adopt
these few principles of Wiccan Belief.
We therefore ask only those who seek to identify with us accept these 13 basic principles.
We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural
rythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal quarters
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 fulfillment to life and consciousness within
an evolutionary concept.
We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than
is 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.
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 interaction
of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing
each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the
symbol and embodiment of Life, and as one of the sources of energies used
in magickal practice and religious worship.
We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or
psychological worlds-sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective
Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc.-and we see in the interaction of these
two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magickal exercises.
We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for
We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy,
but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge
and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves
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 or the Wiccan Way.
Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch-but
neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees, and
initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within him/herself that
make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others,
and in harmony with nature.
We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and
fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution and developement
of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our
personal role within it.
Our only animosity toward Christianity, or toward
any other religion or philosophy-of-life, is to the extent that its institutions
have claimed to be "the one true right and only way" and have sought to deny
freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practices and
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.
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 do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived by
denial to another.
We work within Nature for that which
is contributory to our health and well
Updated 17 May 2001