Witches’ Principles of Belief and Way of Life
Posted on April 21, 2012 | Leave a comment
We witches seek to define our beliefs and way of life so as to be better understood.
A witch is defined as a wise person; one who seeks wisdom beyond the ordinary, to understand the mysteries of the world for the purpose of enhancing life for one’s self and those around her or him; and is able to do so by using all available power.
Our beliefs are as individual and diverse as our people, but we share many fundamental beliefs and values. Above all we believe that these principles promote peace and understanding, and to that extent are compatible with all religions and spiritual paths.
We acknowledge that all spiritual paths are sacred, and seek to learn from any and all of them as we are drawn. Likewise, we welcome all who seek to understand us, to the extent that a safe and respectful environment and attitude is present.
We acknowledge that there is a force of consciousness that flows through all things. This force is perceived and conceptualized in as many ways as there are people. We seek to connect with Divine Consciousness or Spirit as we live our lives. We believe this is the source of all power.
We acknowledge the feminine and masculine polarities of Spirit. Whether we see these energies as deities, goddess and god, male and female, many or few, we believe that harmony between the two and everything that lies in between is the ultimate truth. Polarities are complimentary, part of each other, flow into each other, and are part of one whole.
Given this truth we believe that men, women, and those of undefined gender are created equal and have equal rights to life, liberty, empowerment, and the pursuit of happiness.
We believe that sexuality is a fundamental expression of harmony between the feminine and masculine forces, and is a creation of consciousness and life. Pleasure and sexuality enhance life and well-being, and connect us to the divine. Given this truth we believe that sexuality should be practiced freely, healthfully, lovingly, joyfully, ethically, and celebrated as sacred.
We believe that the universe and everything in it is connected. All life exists in a balance and is interdependent. Each person is a part of this web. As witches, we seek to understand this balance, preserve it, and live within it. We live in harmony with nature, ourselves, and other people.
We believe that harmonious conduct is exemplified by practicing the principles of freedom and compassion in balance with one another. This is evident when both are present in the highest quantity and quality possible, for all concerned.
We acknowledge that nature created life, and that the natural order is most conducive to sustaining life. Given that nature gave birth to us, we acknowledge that nature is more powerful and wise than us. We believe that attempting to destroy, alter, manipulate or control nature and natural forces is counterproductive and harmful. In living our lives we seek to understand the natural order and live in accordance with it.
We believe that large and small elements of nature are mirror images of each other, expressed in the concepts of macrocosm and microcosm, that there are patterns reproduced in all levels of the cosmos.
We believe that in living in harmony with nature we can understand ourselves and connect to the divine. Nature is a reflection of ourselves. We find connections in the cycles and rhythms of the Earth and moon, and honor these connections in many ways including meditation, celebrations, and rituals.
We believe that Spirit is present in each person and each life, and each person has equal access to enlightenment through their own intuition.
We believe that harmony exists through individual and collective empowerment rather than power over others. To limit another’s freedom and happiness decreases freedom and happiness for all. Because we are interdependent, free cooperation is necessary, as is balancing the actions of one against another.
We believe that the highest authority is that of divine consciousness, which is expressed in peace, love, harmony, understanding, and well-being. Each person has equal access through their intuition.
We believe that life is best lived in a state of understanding the fundamental reality of life in our present human state. By understanding our human experiences we gain consciousness and joy. We acknowledge as sacred all human experiences which connect us to divine consciousness and a fundamental understanding of our reality. We celebrate the cycle of life, of fertility, birth, death, and rebirth, and the experience of life itself. This viewpoint can be described as sacred humanism.
We acknowledge that the universe is made up of multiple levels of existence, and that we are not aware of all of these at all times. As witches we seek to understand reality on all levels with our intuition, and we believe that this knowledge is both useful in living our lives in an efficient manner, and a source of wisdom and empowerment.
We believe that everything is made up of energy and that energy flows through all existence. As witches we seek to sense this energy, attune ourselves to it, and use it to enhance life for ourselves and those around us.
A witch is able to use all available power in living life and directing her or his will to manifest. Sources of power include positive human relationships, connecting to nature and elements of nature, knowledge of medicinal plants and stones, energy work, all knowledge and wisdom, connecting to the divine in many ways and forms, activities which alter states of consciousness, and above all harmony with and understanding of one’s self.
We value all ethical avenues to gaining knowledge and wisdom. We believe in both intuitive and analytical sources of truth, and that they exist in polarity. We believe that knowledge and wisdom are gained by each person freely seeking it and engaging in dialogue, debate, questioning, and exploration.
In defining our beliefs and way of life, we hope to increase peace and understanding toward us as individuals and our communities, amongst our own people, from us to others, and in the world.
Adapted from The American Council of Witches’ “Principles of Wiccan Belief,” 1974.