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                                          MY WICCA 
                                     By Durwydd MacTara
                My RELIGION is Wicca, my LIFE-STYLE is Witchcraft!  I believe in
           a supreme being that is both Immanent and Transcendent, that is
           expressing  itself within AND without.  However, I also believe that
           trying  to define/describe  such  an infinite  Divine Being  in finite
           terms to be a waste of time and energy.  I CAN describe my perceptions
           of the Ultimate  in terms of  the energies that I  work with and  find
           significant in my  daily living.  My style and  methods of relating to
           what I can perceive of these Divine Energies are what I describe as my
           RELIGION. How I  apply these  insights gained via  my religious  prac-
           tices, I term my CRAFT.
                The name for my religion is derived from the Saxon root "wicce"
           (pronounced "witchy") and is loosely translated as "Wise".  The word
           "Wicca" was first used in modern times in England by Gerald B. Gardner
           to describe/define an attempt at restoring "the old wisdom" of pre-
           Christian beliefs and practice into a modern context in the 1940's. 
           Ergo, I could call my religion "wisdom" and my style of application of
           this wisdom "wise-craft" or more simply, "The Craft of the Wise".
                For the sake of convenience and easy understanding, I divide the
           expressions of the Divine Energies into two groups; that of the active
           positive (symbolically "male") energies represented to me by the stag
           horned Lord of the Forest, and those of a more passive, nurturing, or
           "negative" polarity represented to me by the Threefold Goddess. 
           Approaching  my perceptions of the  universe and its  energies in this
           way allows me to break them down into  "bite sized chunks", applicable
           to  my daily life  in a  mundane world,  and what  good is  ANY belief
           system if it is not of immediate and practical use here and now?
                So what are some of the beliefs and practices of this religion
           called Wicca, and how do I apply them to my daily life?  What does it
           all mean?  The following explanation is based on a press statement
           released by the American Council of Witches released in the early
           1970's, with some editing on my part to reflect my own beliefs and
                             BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE CRAFT 
           1. The first principle is that of love, and it is expressed in the
                     "AN IT HARM NONE, DO AS THOU WILL"  
                a) love is not emotional in it's essence, but is an 
                attribute of the individual as expressed in relation 
                to other beings; 
                b) harming others can be by thought, word, or deed.
                Thought is included here, because for the Witch,
                "thoughts are things" and every action, even thoughts,
                can become magical actions, whether consciously intended
                or not;
                c> it is to be understood the "none" includes oneself,
                though it is permissable to harm self in helping others,
                should one so choose;
                d) the harm which is to be regarded as unethical is 
                gratuitous 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 personal defense or defense of another WHEN REQUESTED. 
           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) The Infinite and Ultimate Godhead is one unique and
              transcendent wholeness, beyond any limitations or 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) One of 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 
              c) Harmony does not consist of the pretty and the nice, 
              but the balanced, dynamic, poised co-operation and 
             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
           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 the Mysteries, and, although they are only 
             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, many feel, is further reason
             for the oath of secrecy. 
             c) Since the universe is the body of the One, possessing 
             many of 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.  By experiencing the Mysteries
             a person can truly LEARN more about the One. Thus the Craft is a
             natural religion as well as a MYSTERY 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 oursel-
           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.   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 the 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 which 
             states:  All Gods are one God.  All Goddesses are one 
             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 All-Father. 
             b) It is the use of differing god forms, of differing 
             ethnic sources or periods, which is the basis of many of 
             the differences between the various Traditions of the 
             Craft. Each Tradition uses the forms, and thus the names, 
             which to that Tradition best express and awaken an 
             understanding of the force represented, according to the 
             areas of emphasis of the Tradition. 
             c) Because we know that differing names or 
             representations are but expressions of the same divine 
             principles and forces, we require our  members to swear 
             that they will never mock the names by which another 
             honors the Divine, even though those names be different 
             from and seemingly less expressive than the names and god 
             forms used by our Tradition (for to the members of 
             another Tradition, using it's names, ours may easily seem 
             equally less expressive). 
           8. 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 conse-
           quences of them; guilt is rejected as inhibiting to one's self-actual-
           ization, and replaced by the  efforts of the Witch to obey  the teach-
           ings  of harmlessness,  responsibility for  the consequences  of one's
           actions, and the goal of  actualizing the full powers of  the individ-
             a) We refuse to believe that a human being is born 
             innately sinful, and recognize the concepts of sin and 
             guilt are tremendously inhibiting to the human potential; 
             the consequences of the Law of Cause and Effect, called 
             karma by some, are not punishment, but the recurrences of 
             situations and their effects because the individual has 
             not gained the Wisdom needed to handle or avoid such 
             b) There is no heaven except that which we ourselves make 
             of our life on Earth, and likewise there is no hell 
             except the effects of our unwise actions.  Many of us believe
             in a "waiting place" sometimes called Summerland where we rest,
             recuperate and prepare for our next sojurn in the earth.  "Death
             is not followed by punishment or reward, but by life and the
             continuing personal evolution of our human potential. 
             c) One cannot damn the divine in oneself; one can, 
             however, cut oneself off from it through the rejection of 
             wisdom and a refusal to strive for self-realization. 
             This cutting off does not lead to personal suffering in 
             "hell", for there is no Self to suffer if the tie to 
             one's own divinity has been severed; what remains is 
             merely an empty shell, a "personality" or thought-form 
             devoid of it's ensouling Spark of the Divine Fire.
           9.   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. 
           10.  This process of evolution through successive incarnations in
           manifest form works through the utilizations of wisdom gained, the
           essence of the life-experience. This essence of experience, or Wisdom,
           is an attribute of the spark of life itself, one and inseparable. 
           11.  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  their express  permission.
           The reasoning behind this  apparent limitation is that we  are endowed
           with  Free Will,  and what  the Gods  themselves hesitate  to infringe
           upon, is best left alone by us "mere" mortals.
           13.  Harmony with, and utilization of, the great natural forces of the
           universe is called magick.  By magick we speak, not of the  super-
           natural, 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 the gains of the self,
           and  therefore  must 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. 

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