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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         

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          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. 

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          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             

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          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). 

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          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. 

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