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.
The Council of American Witches finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs.
(Whilst it says American, these Principles of Belief can be applied internationally.)
We are not bound by traditions from other times and other cultures, and owe no allegiance to any person or power greater then the Divinity manifest through our own being.
As American Witches we welcome and respect all teachings and traditions and seek to learn from all and to contribute our learning to all who may seek it.
It is in this spirit of welcome and cooperation that we adopt these few principles of Wiccian belief. In seeking to be inclusive, we do not wish to open ourselves to the destruction of our group by those on a 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.
We therefore ask only that those who seek to identify with us accept those few basic principles.
- 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.
- We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique
responsiblity toward our environment. We seek to live in
harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering
fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evoluionary
- We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that
apparent to the average person. Beacause it is far greater
than ordinary, it is 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 masculine and feminine. We value
neither above the other.
- We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment
of life, and as the interaction source of energies used in
magical practice and religious worship.
- We recognize both an outer 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 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 courageously given themselves in leadership.
- We see religion, magic, and wisdom in living as being
united in the way one views and lives within it - a world view
and philosophy of life which we identify as Witchcraft, the
- 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.
- We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a
continuation of evolution and development of consciousness
giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal
role within it.
- 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.
- 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 the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through
suffering of others nor accept that personal benefit can be
derived only by denial to another.
- We believe that we should seek within Nature that which
is contributory to our health and wellbeing.
Witchcraft and Shamanism: Witchcraft Today - Book Three
Chas S. Clifton
© Llewellyn Publications
Information on this page is directly quoted from this book unless otherwise stated.
Pages: xi, xii, xiii