Principles of Wiccan Belief
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 allegiance 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 and to share our
learning 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 the destruction of our group by
those on self-serving power trips, or to philosophies and practices
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, nationality, cultural origins, or sexual preference.
We therefore ask only those who seek to identify with
us to accept these few basic principles.
1. We practice Rites to attune ourselves with the natural
rhythm of life forces marked by the Phases of the Moon, the Seasonal
Quarters and the 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 fulfillment 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 all 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 interaction of the masculine and the feminine. We value neither
above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value
Sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of
the sources of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.
5. 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 magical exercises.
We neglect neither dimension for the other seeing both as necessary
for our fulfillment.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but
do honor those who teach, respect 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
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 him/herself
that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm
to others, and in harmony with Nature.
9. We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and fulfillment
of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness,
that gives meaning to the Universe we know, and to our personal role
10. 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 only way" and have sought
to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice
11. As American Witches, we are not threatened by debates
on the history of the craft, the origins of various aspects of different
traditions. We are concerned with our present and 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 the Christian tradition. We do not seek power through
the suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal
benefit can only be derived by denial to another.
13. We acknowledge that we seek within Nature for that
which is contributory to our health and well being.
Adopted by the American Council of Witches
April 14, 1974
1. That members of this Council will refer sincere applicants
to other Traditions if they are not suitable to the one first approached.
2. That no member of this Council will ever refer in print
or in speech to his or her Tradition as being "the one true, right,
and only way" of WitchCraft, or state that all other Witches are
"not real Witches."
3. That members of this Council maintain a standard of
vigorous statement and defense of their own positions as opposed to
the destructive criticism of the beliefs and traditions of others.