13 basic principles of Witchcraft, written by The American Council of Witches in the 1974. The council consisted
of members from several different traditions.
13 Basic Principles Of Witchcraft
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 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 livves 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 embodiment of Life and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious
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 magickal exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
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 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 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 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 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 various terms, the legitimacy 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 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 and well-being.