The following statement of principles was agreed upon in 1997 by the members of the Reclaiming tradition of Wicca/Witchcraft, then almost twenty years old and in some ways coming of age. What had begun as a collective of neopagan artists and activists in San Francisco had grown rapidly, and its members and affiliates were determined that its continued growth would not require a bureaucracy or hierarchy to thrive. (For more on the Reclaiming tradition, see sleeping_wolf's excellent Reclaiming Wicca writeup.) The shared core values expressed in the Reclaiming Principles serve as a kind of mission statement for the tradition. It reads like a manifesto.

"My law is love unto all beings..."
The Charge of the Goddess

The values of the Reclaiming tradition stem from our understanding that the earth is alive and all of life is sacred and interconnected. We see the Goddess as immanent in the earth's cycles of birth, growth, death, decay, and regeneration. Our practice arises from a deep, spiritual commitment to the earth, to healing, and to the linking of magic with political action.

Each of us embodies the divine. Our ultimate spiritual authority is within, and we need no other person to interpret the sacred to us. We foster the questioning attitude, and we honor intellectual, spiritual, and creative freedom.

We are an evolving, dynamic tradition and proudly call ourselves Witches. Honoring both Goddess and God, we work with female and male images of divinity, always remembering that their essence is a mystery that goes beyond form. Our community rituals are participatory and ecstatic, celebrating the cycles of the seasons and our lives, and raising energy for personal, collective, and earth healing.

We know that everyone can do the life-changing, world-renewing work of magic, the art of changing consciousness at will. We strive to teach and practice in ways that foster personal and collective empowerment, to model shared power, and to open leadership roles to all. We make decisions by consensus, and balance individual autonomy with social responsibility.

Our tradition honors the wild and calls for service to the earth and the community. We value peace and practice nonviolence, in keeping with the Rede "Harm none, and do what you will." We work for all forms of justice: environmental, social, political, racial, gender, and economic. Our feminism includes a radical analysis of power, seeing all systems of oppression as interrelated, rooted in structures of domination and control.

We welcome all genders, all races, all ages and sexual orientations, and all those differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity. We strive to make our public rituals and events accessible and safe. We try to balance the need to be justly compensated for our labor with our commitment to make our work available to people of all economic levels.

All living beings are worthy of respect. All are supported by the sacred elements of air, fire, water, and earth. We work to create and sustain communities and cultures that embody our values, that can help to heal the wounds of the earth and her peoples, and that can sustain us and nurture future generations.

Source: Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, 20th anniversary edition, introduction to the 20th anniversary edition. HarperSanFrancisco, copyright 1979, 1989, 1999 Miriam Simos.

2002.01.09 at 02:02 meson says Yeah, that's roughly how I feel about it too. Anyway, I'm babysitting my niece tonight, and she demands attention. ttyl. -->

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