Philosophy of Wiccan Belief

The philosophy of Wiccan belief is a set of spiritual principles. These principles are the fruit of one fundamental insight into the nature of reality . . .

Sacred Balance: Wicca Spirituality Energy Exchange

The universe and everything in it is a manifestation of the Divine.

The philosophy of Wicca therefore carefully balances free will with responsibility; rights with respect.

This balance forms the basis of Wiccan belief.

And while in daily life it may seem that freedom and responsibility are opposing ideals, within the perspective of the One Divine Which Is All, they are found to be identical.

How can that be? Read on . . .

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A Creed-less Credo


Wiccan philosophy is not carved in stone. It is fluid and flexible, as our understanding of Reality continues to develop.

I would like to state clearly that this is not the philosophy of Witch craft per se, nor of the old Wiccan religion. Wiccan belief was very different in the early days, before its evolution into a true spiritual practice.

Instead, offered here is the philosophy of Wicca Spirituality - the New Wicca. These principles represent the furthest evolution of Wiccan belief.

This article isn't proposing a creed to which Wiccans must adhere - the idea of such dogma is in direct opposition to the philosophy of Wicca!

This is simply an illustration of the Wiccan belief of Reality, and how that viewpoint plays out in various aspects of life and Wicca.

The Non-Universality of Wiccan Belief

The principles in Wiccan belief offer a great deal of hope and help to individuals, and to the well-being of the world.

But it would be a mistake to think that all Wiccans hold all these beliefs.

This philosophy of Wiccan belief is not dogma imposed by higher authority, but an expression of the values that live within the hearts of many Witches.

While not every Witch holds each of these values and beliefs, together this philosophy forms a meeting place, a common perspective on life that most Wiccans share.

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The Principles of Wiccan Belief:
Philosophy & Practice


Here are 50 principles, grouped into 13 categories, that together form the basis of Wiccan belief.

Life & Reality | The Nature of the Divine | The Unity of All | Circle of Life | In Service of Life | Interaction with Deep Reality | Authority & Power | Living Spirituality | Purpose of Life | Respect for All Beings | Personal Spiritual Path | Giving Back | Essence of Magickal Power | Summary

Life & Reality

1. Harmony

Since all form (matter) is created by vibration, the world is made of sound. And not just random noise, but musical harmony. This means that harmony is one of the great Truths. And disharmony is distance from Truth.

So harmony with the natural world and with the rhythms of life is at the heart of Wicca.

2. Responsibility

Having greater control over our environment than most other terrestrial beings, through intelligence as well as intention, we carry a special responsibility to protect nature.

We are aware that every choice we make plants seeds for the future we are creating.

3. Deep Reality

There is a level of reality that few acknowledge but is available to all. Reality is deeper and more mysterious than we can even imagine. It is both simpler and more complex than we believe. And that is as true of our minds and our selves as it is of the world.

4. Personal Power

It is possible to perceive, access, and influence that subtle reality. Doing so causes change in the physical world. Every culture has developed techniques for doing so - shamanism, prayer, meditation, affirmation, and magick.

A Witch employs the methods that work for her, which may come from various cultures. In Wiccan belief, the primary method is magick.

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The Nature of the Divine

5. The One Divine

The Great Mystery itself is genderless, omnipresent, and incomprehensible to the 3-dimensional brain. It manifests in this universe as a polarity or balance of forces, which we call feminine (Goddess, yin) and masculine (God, yang). These polarities do not align rigidly with our concept of woman and man.

6. Sacred Polarity: Primary Faces Of The Divine

The yin holds the Power of the Dark - rest, inner reality, deep wisdom, the nurturing womb in which material life begins, the vast embrace to which life returns. The yang holds the Power of the Light - action, outer reality, abstract intelligence, the pursuit of ideals, the intention that spurs creation.

Both are sacred and beautiful. Both are honoured.

Since both yin and yang are Divine, both are equal, and both are necessary to all life, we honour both Goddess and God, female and male, Earth and spirit, nature and intellect equally.

7. Love Is The Source Of Life

All life is created and maintained through the ecstatic dance of love between these two polarities.

8. The Multitudes Of The One Divine

The Divine is One, manifesting as the polarity of Yin and Yang. These two are perceived by humans in a variety of forms, and worshipped as numerous Gods and Goddesses around the world. Each of these holds a piece of the Truth. Yet the whole of the Truth is the One, which unites all existence within Itself.

9. The Limitations Of Perceptions Of Truth

Since the Divine One is beyond all conception, all Truth that can be perceived by the 3-dimensional brain must necessarily be incomplete. So Witches are accepting of ambiguity, paradox, and conflicting beliefs, knowing that . . .
  • All truths contain some piece of Divine Truth,

  • All confusion arises from imperfect perception of Divine Truth,

  • No mortal mind can directly perceive Divine Truth in its natural state,

  • Any mind that directly perceives Divine Truth cannot communicate it to other minds, which are still in their mortal state,

  • All paradox is resolved in the One.

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The Unity Of All

10. The Immanent Divine - Equality Of All Beings

The Great Mystery manifests Itself as all that exists. Which means that the Divine dwells within each of us, and everything else. Every person, every river, every tree, every rock is sacred. The One is the Life Force. In Wiccan belief, all actions that serve life are sanctified.

11. All Is Sacred

Since the One is manifest in all matter, our bodies and the Earth are sacred. They are Temples in which the Divine dwells. Everything in existence is a Temple of the Divine. It is only our illusions that prevent us from seeing this.

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The Circle of Life

12. The One Manifests In The World As The Circle Of Life

The Circle or Wheel of Life is the manifestation of the Divine in a polarized universe. With each quality, a corresponding "opposite" quality exists. Thus we experience life and death, up and down, past and future, gain and loss.

On opposite sides of the Wheel, this creates balance, which allows the Wheel to keep moving forward in harmony. Yet this is only a perception, limited by a mortal brain. In Truth there is no separation, no limitation, no death.

13. The Movement Of The Circle Is The Spiral

Since nothing can be lost, everything that drops from perception at one point must arise again at another. But as there is always forward movement in the universe, it will be changed when it re-appears. This is perceived in Wiccan belief as returning to a place on the Circle, but at a new level. This is the sacred meaning of the Spiral.

14. Nothing Lives Forever

All things must pass. The Circle must turn. So that new things may arise, the old must fall away. This is a sacred Mystery, to be honoured and celebrated.

15. Nothing Dies Forever

Nothing is truly lost. The Circle of the One is complete; nothing can leave it nor enter it, since it is All. Everything lost is found again in a new form, when the time is right. Another level of the Spiral will reveal a new manifestation of all that was.

16. The Ripples Return

Since nothing is lost, and the One is a "circle," everything we do returns to us. There is no way to avoid the consequences of our actions. This is the basis of the Three-Fold Law.

17. Nothing Is Hidden

Since nothing is lost and nothing can be hidden from All That Is, integrity and authenticity are vital components of a Witch's practice.

18. Life After Death

Since nothing can be lost, and everything is "recycled" by Nature, life is not lost at death. A person's essence continues, although the details of this can't be fully known. We acknowledge the probability of reincarnation as one option.

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In Service Of Life

19. Constructive Action

Only that which serves life is worthy of veneration. Anti-life forces, whether called evil or "Satan," or disguised as "forces for self-protection" or "warriors for [an individual's] God" are not recognized as having spiritual authority or worldly validity. The basic code of life-serving action is expressed in the Wiccan Rede as "An it harm none, do what you will."

20. Non-Harm

Since we are all manifestations of the One, we are not truly separate from each other or anything else. So we know that to harm anyone is ultimately to harm ourselves. Everything we do comes back to us. And we seek to harm none, but to serve Life instead.

21. Joy Is A Sacrament

Since life is created through the union of the Goddess and God, and since the purpose is to celebrate life, in Wiccan belief sexual pleasure - indeed, all pleasure - is a sacrament. And sexual ecstasy is a bridge between the human and the Divine. Through the openness and union with another, we can reunite with the Divine Essence that creates us.

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Interaction with Deep Reality

22. Multiplicity Of Worlds

Since we are manifestations of the One, yet experiencing ourselves as mortal, we recognise the existence of both worlds: the energy/spirit/consciousness realm that unites us all, and the outer/matter-formed/"ordinary" world. We know there is actually no separation between them, and that what affects one affects the other.

23. Non-Causal Reality And "Magick"

This non-causal relationship between the worlds is the basis for magick, psychic, and paranormal phenomena. These phenomena are not "supernatural" but of a deeper nature than the one our physical senses register.

24. Co-Creators Of Life

Since we are all manifestations of the One, we each hold the power to access the Creative Force, and to exercise it to change worldly reality. Thus everyone has the innate ability to work magick. We are conceived and born as magickal beings.

We are continually creating our reality, and only our conscious mind is unaware of how much this is so. Our lives and our world are exactly what we make of them. Whether we create consciously or unconsciously, the world around us is a direct consequence of our inner reality.

This is not merely a fact of life. It is part of our Purpose in coming to the Earth.

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Authority and Power

25. Inner Authority

Since we are all manifestations of the One, we are all equal. There is no higher authority, no prophet, no bible, no single leader that can legitimately claim authority over others.

Our highest authority is the Divine Herself, and our duty is to interpret Her messages within our own hearts, and live them as we see fit.

26. Following The Heart

In the philosophy of Wiccan belief, the heart - as the voice of the Divine - is our highest authority. It is the truest guide we have in life. Following the heart creates a practice that is vibrant, responsive, spontaneous, and soul-full.

This is why Wiccan belief is becoming so widely embraced around the world. It is alive, authentic, and full of spirit. These are qualities we - and our planet - are literally dying for.

27. True Power Is Shared

Since we are all our own prophets and priest/esses and leaders, power is a commodity to be shared and passed from hand to hand. So we take turns leading and organizing, surrendering and supporting. And we encourage and assist newer Witches in gaining the skills and the confidence they need to take their full place in the Circle.

28. False Power Is Force, Not Power

Power may not be accumulated into one person's hands without violating the philosophy of Wiccan belief. Anyone who claims such authority has abdicated it, by abandoning the principles of the religion they would profess to lead.

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Living Spirituality

29. Temples Of The Divine

Since the Divine dwells everywhere, anyplace anyone reaches out to the Divine is a Temple.
  • Indoors,

  • Outdoors,

  • Perpetual,

  • One-time-only . . .

  • The body,

  • The kitchen,

  • The workplace,

  • The sidewalk,

  • The garden,

  • The hallway,

  • The bathroom . . .
All existence is the Temple of the Divine.

30. The Worship Of Life

Since all the world is a Temple, so all of life is a sacrament. It is as sacred an act to make a bed as to meditate, when awareness of the Divine is present.

The worship of the One Divine is the worship of life. Not just the surface of life - the illusions of the world - but the meaning beneath the surfaces.

The worship of life is accomplished in all that enhances life: joy, pleasure, love, compassion, charity, service, and grace. These are our Wiccan rites and offerings.

(And so letting blood is a death-action, and is contrary to Wiccan belief.)

31. By Their Fruit They Are Known

A Witch is created by her actions, by living the principles of Wiccan belief. Merely saying she is a Witch, or having others proclaim her a Witch, doesn't make her a Witch any more than claiming she is a tree. Only a tree is a tree - by virtue of its being-ness, and only one who lives as a Witch is a Witch.

32. Spiritual Self-Determination

Anyone who chooses to be a Witch can be a Witch. "Membership" cannot be denied, since there is no outside authority to grant or deny Witch-hood. A person can be a Witch in conjunction with following other spiritual paths, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc., as long as she finds the two compatible.

33. Ritual Creates Harmony With Reality

According to Wiccan belief, the purpose of Wiccan rites is to align ourselves more thoroughly with the natural rhythms of life and the beauty of the Divine Within and Without.

34. Magick Co-Creates With The Divine

The purpose of Wiccan magick is to align our lives with our Purpose for incarnating, and our world more perfectly with the beauty of the Divine.

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The Purpose of Life

35. Creation Is Eternal

Since there is no boundary or limit to the Divine, creation is not a static event that happened long ago, but an evolutionary process that is ongoing. And since the Divine is each of us, we are all co-creators of the universe together.

Since the Divine is the universe, the Divine can't be static, but ever evolving.

And She relies on us for Her growth. Through our lives and our experiences, we are continually creating not only the world, but God Herself. And it is for this reason She created us.

In other words... God experiences life through your life experiences.

36. Home Coming

Since we are in our essence Divine, it is our path to seek reunion with the Divine. We do this by uncovering this Truth within us.

37. Serving The Divine

Since the Divine is neither static nor separate, the Divine too is evolving and growing. And She needs us for Her growth and well-being. A Witch's relationship with the Divine is balanced and reciprocal. A Witch gives back to God as well as receives from Her with thanks.

The greatest gift we can give is to live our dreams. Everyone is created as a gift to the world, with special talents to offer. To refuse to use those talents is to deny your reason for being here, and to let us all down. The Divine is counting on you, to do what only you can do.

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Respect For All Beings

38. Everyone Is Integral To The Divine Plan

Since we are all aspects of the Divine, everyone has an integral and unique part to play in the world. So every being is deserving of respect.

39. All Paths Lead To The One

Since everyone's path is unique and worthy of respect, all religions and belief systems are valid to their practitioners. No one has the right to judge another's path or to coerce them to a different one.

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Personal Spiritual Path

40. Validity Is Created By Service Of Life

A spiritual path is not legitimized by its history or the extent of its membership, nor diminished by internal debates. It is justified or not depending upon the actions of its adherents.

Its impact on the present and its potential for the future are the sole basis for assessment. So Wicca is valid to the extent that it is a positive force in the life of its adherents and the world.

41. Personal Responsibility

Every Witch is personally responsibility to the Divine for her choices, words, actions, and inactions - and even her thoughts, since she recognises the power contained within them.

42. Everyone Can Communicate Directly With The Divine

The Divine interacts with all beings on a continuous basis, but few are willing to notice and understand.

The Divine is directly accessible to every person, through meditation, prayer, introspection, ritual, and magick. No one needs an interpreter or intervener, but her own heart and body and mind.

According to Wiccan belief, the mind of God is open to understanding, and many tools exist to aid us in this great task. Tarot, runes, astrology, and all other divination techniques help us understand the Divine's wishes for us.

43. The Obligation And Right Of Personal Choice

It is not only every person's right but her responsibility to find her own way, determine her own values, and live by her own choices. No one may dictate another's Path, or judge it by her own perspective.

We must choose for ourselves. And having chosen, we are then directly responsible for those actions. No excuses can be offered, when we are acting of our own free will.

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Giving Back & Paying It Forward

44. Honouring Teachers And Guides

While there is no worldly authority and no interpreters mediating between a Witch and the Divine, there are many who help us understand our way. These leaders and guides are offered respect and gratitude.

45. Balance Is The Law Of The Circle

A balance must be maintained. It is the way of all circles. To take, something must be given. If it is not given voluntarily, it will be lost nonetheless. This concept is found not only in Wiccan belief but most aboriginal belief systems.

46. Offering True Gifts

Only what is ours to give can be an offering. For example, blood sacrifice is theft and harm, unless it is our own blood willingly offered. In Wiccan belief, another's sacrifice can't us bring any good.

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The Essence of Magickal Power

47. Magick Is Aligning With The One

Magick is not coercion. No human could dream of forcing the One to do her will, any more than a bacterium could operate a bulldozer. Magick is the process of aligning oneself with the Power of creation, and guiding its direction in a process of co-creation. True magick thus engenders feelings of gratitude and humility.

48. All Power Is Divine Power

The source of all Power is the Divine. To gather Power, all that is necessary is to clear the conduit to the Divine Within you.

49. You Are The Conduit

No props are necessary to work magick. The Power is the Divine and your ability to connect and channel that creative energy. Symbols such as wands, candles, pentacles, incense, etc. merely aid us in focusing our attention and accessing other levels of consciousness. But the only magick tool that is ultimately necessary is you.

50. The Nature Of Power

To abuse Power by harming another or succumbing to greed is to contaminate the conduit to the Divine. This results in an inevitable loss of Power.

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Summary


Even though each Witch follows her own Path, there are commonalities that most Witches can agree to.

These principles are contained within the Wiccan Rede. the Charge of the Star Goddess, the Invocation of the Goddess, and the Three-Fold Law.

These commonalities form the cohesive basis of Wiccan belief. This is the foundation of Wiccan philosophy.

This philosophy of Wiccan belief is not necessary followed in all ways by all Witches. The core of a Wiccan belief is that each Wiccan has her own belief system.

So you can still be Wiccan without belief in all of these principles.

Wicca tends to be very open to others' beliefs. This is built-in to the philosophy of Wiccan belief: no one can say how another should worship.

Of course, sometimes our lower traits rise up. It is not hard to find Wiccans ridiculing other Wiccans, but this is an aberration.

The very core of Wiccan belief is founded upon the heart and spirit as the utmost authorities.

Since everyone's heart knows what's best for her, there is no justification in Wiccan belief for judging anyone else's path.

By its nature, Wicca is inclusive, respectful, and loving.


With Bright Blessings,

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With acknowledgement to The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief, by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke and the "Council of American Witches."



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