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the 13 Principles of American Witchcraft

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:12 pm
by Hytegia
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 Wiccan traditions.

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 heralded as a great success.

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 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 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 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 our fulfillment.

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 leadership.

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 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 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 and well-being.


I just thought this should go in here. :)

Re: the 13 Principles of American Witchcraft

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:15 am
by white_harmony
Just out of curiosity, did you get this from online, or in a book? Bit of a history nut myself, so love to read up on these kinda things lol

Re: the 13 Principles of American Witchcraft

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:31 am
by Kitsune
I know that I've read them before in "Drawing Down the Moon" by Margot Adler. She spends a chapter talking about how the board came together and changed over time until the idea was disbanded completely.

Hytegia may have gotten it from somewhere else though.

Re: the 13 Principles of American Witchcraft

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:10 pm
by Hytegia
At there's a group called Huntsville Alabama Old Ways Association. We meet up every month to eat and talk Magick.
They had it referenced on their Meetup Group, and I absolutely needed to post it!
But yes, Drawing Down the Moon by Margret Adler had it aswell. But they are the 13 Principles we should ALL hold to some extent, no matter what creed (simply because they are just baseline. More like a guideline).