~ The 13 Basic Wiccan Principles ~
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the spring of 1974, the newly formed Council
of American Witches decided to create a definition of what it means to practice
modern WitchCraft. As Witches around the world respect all life and Wiccan
traditions, the American experience also has new meaning and gives additional
value to the Craft. As such, the Council created this set of bi-laws for their
members to practice and reconfirm their commitment to the God/Goddess and
Unfortunately the Council disbanded later that same year, but their gatherings
were definitely not in vain. The Principles have been welcomed, celebrated and
accepted as the Principles of Wiccan Belief all over the world. There are some who
believe that this was the sole mission of the council as determined by the Divine
forces. If that is indeed the case, then their efforts can be harolded as a great
Take time to read these bi-laws and choose a special holiday to recommit and
reaffirm your relationship to the God & Goddess within yourself. As well as, your
relationship to the Divine forces around you.
Principles of Wiccan Belief - Spring Witchmeet of 1974
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 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 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 and 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 and the seasonal quarters and
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 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 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 supportive of the other. We value sexuality as pleasure, as the
symbol and embodiement 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
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 to themselves in
7.We see religion, Magic, 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 or 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
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 one true right and only way" and have sought to deny freedom
to others and to suppress other ways of religious practices and 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 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
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