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*Principles of Wiccan Beliefs*

The Council of American Witches finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience & needs.

We are not bound by traditions from other times & other cultures, & owe no allegiance to any person or power greater than the Divinity manifest through our own being. As American Witches, we welcome & respect all life-affirming teachings & traditions, & seek to learn from all & to share our learning within our Council. It is in this spirit of welcome & 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 & 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 & 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 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 & cross-quarters.

2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, inecological balance offering fulfillment to life & consciousness within an evolutionary concept.

3. 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.

4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity - as masculine & feminine - & that this same creative Power lives in all people, & functions through the interaction of the masculine & feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the symbol & embodiment of Life, & as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practices & religious worship.

5. We recognize both outer worlds & inner, or psychological worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious & Inner Planes, etc. & we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena & 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 & wisdom, & acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.

7. We see religion, magick, & wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world & lives within it - a world view & philosophy of life, which we identify as Witchcraft or the Wiccan Way.

8. Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch - but neither does heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees & initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within herself/himself that makes life possible in order to live wisely & well, without harm to others, & in harmony with Nature.

9. We acknowledge that it is the affirmation & fulfillment of life, in a continuation of evolution & development of consciousness, that gives meaning to the Universe we know, & 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 tobe "the one true right & only way" & have sought to deny freedom to others & to suppress other ways of religious practices & belief.

11. 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, & 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 do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived by denial to another.

13. We work within Nature for that which is contributory to our health & well-being.

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