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           The Craft  (Witchcraft -  NOT to  be confused with  Satanism.   A true
           Witch has  nothing  to  do  with this,  even  though  there  are  some
           Satanists  who (unright-fully)  call themselves  "Witch".) contains  a
           large number  of groups with bonds  to each other, for  the most part,
           which  are looser than those you will find between Christian churches.
           Each has it's  own traditions,  it's own beliefs,  it's own  pantheon,
           etc.   So  just WHAT is  it that,  overall, a  Witch believes  in? The
           American Council  of Witches was formed to  determine what it was that
           all   Witches  have in common,  belief-wise.   In the  early 1970's, a
           paper  was  released with  their findings,  and  gives a  good overall
           picture of it.  The following is the text of that paper. 
                                BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE CRAFT
           1.   The first principle is that  of love, and it is expressed in  the
                     "DO AS YOU WILL, SO LONG AS YOU HARM NONE" 
                     a)love is notemotional in it'sessence, but isan attribute of
                   the individual as expressed in relation to other beings; 
                b) harming others can be by thought, word, or deed; 
                c> it is to be understood the "none" includes oneself; 
                     d) theharm which isto be regardedas unethical isgratuitous  
                 harm; war, in general, is gratuitous harm, although it is        
                 ethical to defend oneself and one's liberty when threatened by  
           real and present danger, such as defense against invasion. 
           2.    The Witch must  recognize and harmonize  with the forces  of the
           universe,  in accord  with the  Law of  Polarity: everything  is dual;
           everything has  two poles;  everything has  it's  opposite; for  every
           action there is a reaction;  all can be categorized as either 
           active or reactive in relation to other things. 
                     a) Godhead is one  unique and transcendent wholeness, beyond
                           any limitationsor expressions; thus,it is beyond our  
               human capacity to understand and identify with this                
            principle of Cosmic Oneness, except as It is revealed to           us
           in terms of It's attributes and operation. 
                     b) The most basic and meaningful attribute of the One that  
                we, as humans, can relate to and understand, is that of           
            polarity, of action and reaction; therefore Witches                  
           recognize the Oneness of the Divinity, but worship and                 
            relate to the Divine as the archetypal polarity of God                
            and Goddess, the All-Father and the Great Mother of the               
            universe.  The Beings are as near as we can approach to               
            the One within our human limitations of understanding and            
           expression, though it is possible to experience the                   
           divine Oneness through the practices of the Mysteries. 
                     c) Harmony does not  consist of the pretty and the nice, but
                           the balanced, dynamic,poised co-operation and         
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
           3.   The Witch must recognize, and operate within the framework of the
                Law  of Cause  and Effect;  every action  has it's  reaction, and
           every effect has it's cause.   All things occur according to this law;
           nothing in the universe can occur outside this law, though  we may not
           always appreciate the relation between a given effect  and it's cause.
           Subsidiary to this is the Law of Three, which     states that whatever
           goes forth must return threefold, whether of      good or ill; for our
           actions affect more than people generally    realize,      and     the
           resulting reactions are also part of the     harvest. 
           4.   As  Above, So Below.  That which exists  in the Macrocosm exists,
           on a  smaller scale and  to a  lesser degree, in  the Microcosm.   The
           powers of  the universe  exist also in  the human,  though in  general
           instance they lie dormant.  The powers and abilities can be 
           awakened and used if the proper techniques are practiced, and    this
           is why initiates of the Mysteries are sworn to guard the    secrets
           from the unworthy:  Much harm can be done by those who      have power
           without responsibility, both to others and to     themselves according
           to the Laws of Cause and Effect and of  Threefold Return. 
                     a) Since our philosophy teaches that the universe is the    
                        physical manifestation of the Divine, there can be        
                   nothing in the universe which does not partake of the          
            nature of the Divine; hence, the powers and attributes of            
           the Divine exist also in the manifest, though to much                 
           smaller degree. 
                     b) These powers can be awakened through the various          
                           techniques of theMysteries, and,although they areonly 
           capable of small effects in and of themselves, it is                  
           possible to use them in order to draw upon the forces of              
           the universe.  Thus humanity can be the wielders of the                
            power of the Gods, a channel for Godhead to act within                
            It's own manifestation.  This, then, is further reason                
            for the oath of secrecy. 
                     c) Since the universe is the body of the One, possessing the
                        same attributes as the One, it's Laws must be the         
                   principles through and by which the One operates.  By          
            reasoning from the known to the unknown, one can learn of            
           the Divine, and thus of oneself.  Thus the Craft is a                 
           natural religion, seeing in Nature the expression and                 
           revelation of Divinity. 
           5.   We know that everything in the universe is in movement or 
           vibration and is a function of that vibration.  Everything  vibrates;
           all things rise and fall in a tidal system that   reflects  the motion
           inherent in the universe and also in the     atom.   Matter and energy
           are but two poles of one continuous     phenomenon.     Therefore  the
           Witch celebrates, harmonizes with, and  makes  use of the tides of the
           universe and of life as expressed  through  the  cycle of  the seasons
           and the motion of the solar   system.    These ritual  observances are
           the eight great Festivals     of the Year, referred to as the Wheel of
           the Year.  Further, the  Witch works with the  forces and tides of the
           Moon, for this body      is the mediator of  much energy to our planet
           Earth and thus to   ourselves. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
           6.   Nothing is dead matter in the universe.  All things exist, 
           therefore all things live, though perhaps in a different manner  from
           that which we are used to calling life.  In view of this,   the  Witch
           knows that there is no true death, only change from one     condition
           to another.  The universe is the body of Godhead, and  therefore
           possesses one transcendent consciousness; all things   partake  of the
           consciousness, in varying levels of     trance/awareness. 
                     a) Because of this principle, all things are sacred to the  
                        Witch, for all partake of the one Life. 
                     b) Therefore the Witch is a natural ecologist, for Nature is
                        part of us as we are a part of Nature. 
           7.   Astrology can be useful  in marking and interpreting the flow and
                ebb of  the tides of our solar system, and  thus of making use of
           those tides; astrology should not be debased into mere 
           8.   Throughout the development of the human race,  civilizations have
                seen and worshipped many  and various attributes of the  Divine. 
           These universal forces have been clothed in forms which were 
           expressive to the worshipper of the attribute of the Godhead     which
           they expressed.  Use of these symbolic representations of   t   h   e
           natural and divine forces of the universe, or god forms, is a 
           potent method for contacting and utilizing the forces they  represent.
           Thus the Gods are both natural and truly divine, and   man-made     in
           that the forms with which they are clothed are    products          of
           humanity's striving to know the Godhead. 
                     a)  In keeping with the Law of Polarity, these god-forms are
                           brought into harmony by the one great Law whichstates:
                           All Gods are oneGod.  All Goddesses areone Goddess.   
               There is one Initiator.  This law is an expression of our         
           understanding that all of the forces of the universe, by              
           whatever ethnic god-form is chosen to clothe and relate                
            to whichever force, can be resolved into the fundamental             
           polarity of the Godhead, the Great Mother and the                     
                     b) It is the use of differing god forms, of differing ethnic
                           sources or periods,which is the basis ofmany of the   
                                 EachTraditionuses theforms,andthusthenames,which
                               to thatTradition bestexpress and awakenan         
                             understandingofthe forcerepresented,accordingto the 
                   areas of emphasis of the Tradition. 
                     c) Because we know that differing names or representations  
                                 forces,werequire ourmemberstoswearthat theywill 
                               nevermockthenames bywhichanotherhonors theDivine, 
                             eventhough thosenames bedifferentfrom andseemingly  
                           lessexpressive thanthe namesand godforms usedby our   
                         Tradition(for tothe membersof anotherTradition, using   
                         it's names, oursmay easily seemequally less             
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
           9.   A Witch refuses to allow her/himself to be corrupted by the great
                guilt neuroses which have been foisted on humanity in the name of
                the Divine,  thus freeing the self  of the slavery of  the mind. 
           The Witch expresses responsibility for her/his actions, and 
           accepts the consequences of  them; guilt is rejected as  inhibiting to
           one's self-actualization, and replaced by the efforts of the     Witch
           to obey the teachings of harmlessness, responsibility for   t    h    e 
           consequences of one's actions, and the goal of actualizing  the   full
           powers of the individual. 
                     a) We refuse to believe that a human being is born innately 
                                 sinful,and recognizetheconcepts ofsinandguilt   
                               aretremendouslyinhibitingto thehumanpotential;the 
                             consequencesof theLawof CauseandEffect,called karma 
                             bysome, arenot punishment,but therecurrences of     
                           situations andtheir effectsbecause theindividualas    
                         notgained the Wisdomneeded tohandle or avoidsuch        
                     b) There is no heaven except that which we ourselves make of
                                 bypunishmentorreward,but bylifeandthecontinuing 
                     evolution of the human potential. 
                     c) One cannot damn the divine in oneself; one can, however, 
                                 cutoneselfofffromitthroughthe rejectionofwisdom 
                               anda refusaltostrive forself-realization. This    
                    cutting off does not lead to personal suffering 
                                     in"hell", forthereisnoSelftosufferifthetieto
                                   one'sown divinityhasbeensevered;whatremainsis 
                     devoid of it's ensouling Spark of the Divine Fire. 
           10.   We  know of the  existence of  the life-force  which ensouls all
           living things, that is, all that exists.  We know that a spark of this
           Divine Fire is within each and every thing that exists, and      that
           it does not die; only the form of it's existence changes.   We    know
           that this spark of the life-force returns to      manifestation  again
           and again in order to fully realize and      actualize it's potential,
           evolving finally to the peak and   essence of existence which  is pure
           being.  In this process of    reincarnation each form  returns in  the
           same type of form, though     it's  ever-increasing actualization  may
           lead to higher levels of      existence of that form.   Man returns as
           man, cat as feline,      mineral  as  mineral,   each  class  of  form
           evolving as the individual    forms of that class evolve. 
           11.   This  process of  evolution through  successive incarnations  in
           manifest form works through the utilizations of wisdom gained,   t h e
           essence of the life-experience.  This essence of experience,     o   r
           Wisdom, is an attribute of the spark of life itself, one and 
           inseparable (see 9a). 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
           12.  We must care for the body,  for it is the vehicle of the spark of
                life, the form by which we attain.  Thus we must heal the body of
                it's ills and keep it a tuned and perfected tool; so must we heal
                others  (both physically  and psychologically)  as far  as it  is
           within our power to do so.  However, we cannot interfere with the life
           of another, even to heal, except at their request or with   t h e i r
           express permission; unless such non-interference would be   inhibiting
           to our own, ethical existence and development -- and  
                even then the responsibilities and consequences must be 
           understood and accepted.  This, then, is one of the important 
           reasons for the communal life the Witches under the guidance of  t h e
           Priesthood:  That the group may be guided by wisdom and 
           experience, with the aid and support of one's peers; and that    one's
           actions may be guided by the influence of the ethical life  of     the
           group as a whole. 
           13.  Harmony with, and utilization of, the great natural forces of the
                universe is called magick.  By magick we speak, not of the 
           supernatural, but of the superbly natural, but whose laws and 
           applications are not as yet recognized by the scientific 
           establishment.  The Witch must strive to recognize these forces, learn
           their laws, attune her/himself to them, and make use of     them.  The
           Witch must also be aware that power corrupts when  
                     used_only_ for thegains of theself, and thereforemust strive
                to serve humanity:  Either through the service in the Priesthood,
                or by example and effects of his/her life on others.   The choice
                must be made in accord with the true nature of the Witch. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 

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