When most people think of spells they think of witches: and when most people think of witches they think of gnarled old crones casting evil spells. For centuries, writers, and later filmmakers and television producers, perpetuated this view, although to be fair there were movies such as The Witches of Eastwick and television series such as Bewitched and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch that showed witches in a more lighthearted manner.
To improve the witch?s image, in 1974, the American Council of Witches set out to remedy this. The Chairman of the Council, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, drafted thirteen principles of Wiccan belief to define Wicca and to help non-believers to realize that those who followed its ways were far from the wicked witches of the popular imagination.
These principles are:
1. We practise rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the moon and seasonal quarters and cross-quarters.
2. We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment.We seek to live in harmony with nature, in ecological balance, offering fulfilment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
3. We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater, it is sometimes called ?supernatural? but we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all.
4. We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity ? as masculine and feminine ? and that this Creative Power lives in all people and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither above the other, knowing each to be supportive of the other.We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magical practice and religious worship.
5. We recognize both outer worlds and inner, psychological worlds and see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfilment.
6. We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honour those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.
7. We see religion, magic and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it ? a worldview and philosophy of life that we identify as the Wiccan Way.
8. Calling oneself ?witch? does not make one a witch. But neither does the heredity itself, or the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. Witches seek to control the forces within themselves that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others, and in harmony with nature.
9. We acknowledge that it is the affirmation and fulfilment of life, in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness that gives meaning to the universe we know, and to our personal role within it.
10. Our only animosity towards Christianity, or towards any other religion or philosophy of life is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be ?the only way? and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.
11. As (American) witches we are not threatened by debates on the history of the craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.
12.We do not accept the concept of ?absolute evil? nor do we worship any entity known as ?Satan? or ?the Devil? as defined by the Christian tradition.We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor do we accept the concept that personal benefit can only be derived by denial to another.
13.We acknowledge that we seek within nature for that which is contributory to our health and well-being.
Book - The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Spells by Michael Johnstone, page 25-26, title; 'A Principled Group of People' under 'Witchcraft Past and Present.'
Blessed Be - Peace & Smile