Prnciples of Wicca

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 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, color, sex, age,
national or cultural origins or
sexual preference.

1. We practice Rites to attune ourselves
with the natural rhythym 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 enviroment. 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 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
interaction of the masculine and feminine.
We value neither above the other, knowing
each to be supporting 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 auhoritarian
hierarchy, but do honor those who teach,
respect those who share their greater knowledge
and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageouly
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 worldview 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, 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.

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 within it.

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 and belief.

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 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 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.

  Taken from The Council of American Witches, meeting April 11 - 14, 1974, in Minneapolis.