The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief :
The stimulus for bringing witchcraft out of the closet and opening its doors to a wider audience, was the passing of the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951. The passing of this act gave the individual freedom to practice so long as their activities harmed no one. Hence the Wiccan Rede. And sticking to the subject of rules and regulations.... In April, 1974, the Council of American Witches adopted a set of Principles of Wiccan Belief, which I personally follow, and therefore list here for all of you to read, and also for those of you who would like to know a bit more about the reasons why things are done the way they are. Read them carefully, and give yourself time to think about what they mean:
1. We practice rites to attune ourselves with the rhythms of life that are marked by the phases of the Moon, the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters.
2. We realize that our intelligence gives us a special responsibility towards our environment. We strive to live in harmony with Nature, to achieve a balance in the fulfillment of our lives.
3. We acknowledge a power that is greater than that which is apparent to the average person. This power is sometimes labeled "supernatural", but we understand that it lies within that which is a natural potential to all.
4. We see the Creative Power as a manifestation of the masculine and feminine, and that this same Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We do not value one above the other, knowing that they are supportive to each other. We value sex as pleasure, and the embodiment of life.
5. We recognize both the outer worlds and the inner psychological world, and realize that the interaction of the two is the basis of magical exercises. We neglect neither of these, seeing both as a necessity for our fulfillment.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but honor those that teach, respect those that share knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have the courage to lead.
7. We see religion, wisdom and magic as being united, not only in the way we view the world, but also in the way we live in it. This philosophy of life is identified as "Witchcraft - the Wiccan Way".
8. Giving oneself the title of "Witch", does not make you a Witch, neither does heredity, nor the collection of titles, degrees or initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within him/herself, thus making it possible to live wisely and well, and in harmony with Nature, and not harming others.
9. We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life as a continuation of evolution, as well as the development of consciousness which gives a deeper meaning to the Universe that we know, and an understanding of our personal role within it.
10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that they claim to "be the only way", and have thusly sought to deny the freedom of choice by suppressing other ways of religious practice and systems of belief.
11. As Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history and origins of the Craft, nor the legitimacy of the various aspects of the traditions that surround Wicca. We are concerned with our present and our future.
12. We do not accept the idea of absolute evil, nor do we worship the entity known as "Satan" or the "Devil", as defined by the Christian Tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, and therefore do not accept that personal benefit can be derived by denial to another.
13. We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
The creed of Wicca is based on a reverence for the natural world, and the worship of a God and Goddess as principles which exist in all of nature, rather than as actual beings that exist in an ethereal realm. Wicca is primarily a lunar orientated religion, in which eight seasonal festivals, Sabbats, are celebrated. Wiccans also make use of ritual tools, which include a sacred knife (athame), and a chalice. There is also placed a lot of emphasis on psychic training and the exploration of ones spiritual abilities (path working).