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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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