Thirteen Principles of Wiccan Belief

The “Thirteen Principles of Wiccan Belief” as set out by the American Council of Witches in 1974.

1. 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.

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 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 lies in all  people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and  feminine. We value neither (gender) above the other, knowing each to be  supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and  embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in  magickal practice and religious worship.

5. We  recognize both outer worlds and inner, of psychological, worlds  sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious,  Inner Planes, etc.-and we see in the inter-action 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.

6. 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 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 Way.

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 her/himself that make life possible  in order to live wisely and well without harm to other and in harmony  with Nature.

9. 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.

10. Our only animosity towards  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 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.

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 Christian  tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor  accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.

13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.

“Equally as important as the thirteen principles was the introduction to the document, which said that anyone was welcome to be included, “regardless of race, color, sex, age, national or cultural origins, or sexual preference.” This was pretty radical for 1974, particularly the part about sexual preferences.” Patti Wigington

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