of Wiccan Belief
In the spring Witchmeet held
April 1974 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Councel of American Witches adopted this statement entitled "The Principles of Wiccan Belief."
The statement was created in
hopes to bring awareness to the general public as well as to the Wiccan community, and though it was intended for Wiccans
in the US, holds true for many Wiccans around the world.
Not all Wiccans have adopted
this document, for the few statements included here can not fully encompass ones religion, views and beliefs. These principle
statements are more like guidelines than religious "law" and should be understood as such.
The Council of American Witches
finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs. We are not bound by traditions
from other times and other cultures, and owe no alliance to any person or power greater than the Divinity manifest through
our own being.
As American Witches, we welcome
and respect all life-affirming teachings and traditions, and seek to learn from all our learnings within our Council.
It is in this spirit of welcome
and cooperation that we adopt these few principles of Wiccan belief. In seeking to be inclusive, we do not wish to open ourselves
to destruction of our group by those on self-serving power trips, or to philosophies and practices contradictory to these
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, color, sex, age, national or cultural
origins, or sexual preference.
We therefore ask only that
those who seek to identify with us accept these basic principles:
- 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.
- 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 feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing
each to be supportive of each other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of Life, and as one of the
sources of energies used in magickal practices and religious worship.
- We recognize both outer
worlds and inner, or psychological worlds - sometimes know 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 our fulfillment.
- 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 themselves into leadership.
- 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 continuation of evolution and development 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
- 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 - being.
Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit.
If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about
it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?
~Sogoyewapha, "Red Jacket" - Senaca~