by Silver Raven Wolf
At the spring Witchmeet of 1974 held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Council of American Witches adopted a document titled .Principles of Wiccan Belief. in an effort to inform, educate, and define for the general public, as well as new Craft practitioners, the central belief system of Wicca (Witchcraft).
This document represents an overview of Craft law and theology, but does not contain the many nuances of the religious structure that most Witches may follow. As with any religious belief that has had time to grow and change, no single set of thirteen statements could completely define the faith. The Principles of Belief serve well as a simplified explanation of the system.
Unfortunately, the Council of American Witches disbanded in that same year, but this does not mean the efforts they made were inconsequential--quite the contrary! Thirty years later, in 1994, the religion known as Witchcraft (Wicca) made history, when members of its belief system were invited to attend the World Parliament of Religions Conference in Chicago. Those attending included Selena Fox (of Circle Sanctuary) and members of the Covenant of the Goddess (COG). Through their fine efforts, Wicca moved from what many thought of as a fad to find a definite place among the religions of the world.Principles of witchcraft by the American Council of Witches:
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 us 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 embodiment of Life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practices and religious worship.
5. We recognize both outer and inner or psychological worlds - sometimes known as the Spiritual World, The Collective Unconscious, the Inner Planes, etc. - and we see in their 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.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater wisdom and knowledge, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themsleves 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, 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 continuance 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 various traditions. We are concerned only 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 the Christian tradition. We do not seek our power through the suffering of other, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefits can only be derived through denial to another.
13. We seek within Nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
Covenant of the Goddess
So many links, my brain might explode and there is no time to write. Look here.
The Pagan Alliance - Australia and New Zealand
Still to scour through this, and the site design is so naff you'd think it was an embroidery club!