In 1974 the Council of American Witches adopted a statement, “Principles of Wiccan Belief” to inform and educate the general public and fellow Witches. In their eyes, this is what a Witch believes. Now, I am going to list the document using the blockquote function and then my response below it. In my response you will find whether or not I believe what they list, what I don’t understand, etc. It is my belief that you should be able to pick your own beliefs. So, here we go!
A Drawing of the Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, and Crone
The Council of American Witches finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs.
While I find it great that they want to define modern Witchcraft, I am not thrilled with the idea of having it describe all Witches; Witches of a certain group, sure.
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.
Sounds good to me!
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.
Also sounds nice.
It is in 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.
Apparently I am one of the excluded since I don’t follow all of their principles. But I do enjoy that they are open to anyone and everyone interested in the Craft. It is inviting and doesn’t discriminate.
We therefore ask only that those who seek to identify with us accept these few basic principles:
Guess I can’t identify with them.
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.
This is something I do agree with as it seems to be the basis of any earth-based Pagan Religion.
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.
This is something else I agree with and it seems just about all Witches have some interest in the environment. Since coming upon Paganism, I have found myself more in tune with the environment and more caring about it.
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.
I love the above and agree with it 100% for myself!
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 practice and religious worship.
I agree, as well; I feel there has to be a balance to make the Universe exist, anyway.
5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, or psychological worlds—sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscios, 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.
That is such a huge part of my beliefs and life!
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 or the Wiccan Way.
Although I’m not Wiccan, I do agree.
8. Calling oneself “Witches” 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.
I do agree with this, although I also feel that each person has their own definition of “Witch” and we shouldn’t tell someone that aren’t a Witch if their defintion—their “truth”—is otherwise.
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.
I like it!
10. Our only animonsity 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.
I feel this way toward any Religion that isn’t open to their way not being the right way. Who are we to judge what is right or wrong?
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 aspect of different tradition. We are concerned with our present, and our future.
Although I feel the present and the future should be focused upon, the past is also important so I feel that with this statement it is almost like saying “We don’t want you to know our past.” It may shut some people out.
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.
I do believe in absolute evil; while I am far from worshipping Satan, the Devil, I do believe in him in some way, shape, or form. I don’t know if I believe of him as a figure or more just various Energy or entities; I’m still trying to figure out what I believe when it comes to this.
13. We work within Nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
I like that above statement, as well.
So although I do agree with most, there are still some things I don’t agree. I tried to point them out. But perhaps I will change my mind in the future. Who knows?
What do you agree or disagree with?
- Lady Cerridwen Brighid Morrigan
Silver RavenWolf gets mixed reviews but you can check out her book to see for yourself. Although you may not like everything about the bok nor agree with it, there are some gems within these pages! I wouldn’t recommend this to a total beginner, but someone with some knowledge of the Craft and/or their Path can find this useful as they can pick what information they want to keep and what to throw away. I recommend reading it at some point just to see what you can get from it for yourself! Buy it used for less than a dollar on Amazon (click below); it’s well-worth the money.