Wiccan Ethics

Ethics: the Laws of Wicca

Although there are indeed many traditions of Wicca, Wiccans have one ethic in common “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.” Wicca has no concept of sin per se, but it does have a strong system of ethics — the individual laws may vary slightly from tradition to tradition. These ethics are based in a kinship with all things and beings, We believe that we must weigh our actions in relation to the good of all as far as we are able to, not just to others in our group..

Raymond Buckland, in his book Complete Book of Witchcraft, lists a set of “Principles of Wiccan Belief” adopted by the now disbanded Council of American Witches. Some of these principles further describe the religion of Wicca. These are as follows:

We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythms of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon, the seasonal Quarters and Cross Quarters,
We recognize that our intelligence gives a unique responsibility toward the environment.
We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person. Because it is far greater than ordinary it is sometimes called “supernatural.” But we see it as lying within that which is naturally potential to all;
We conceive of the creative power in the universe as manifesting through polarity as masculine and feminine and this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine.” (Buckland pp. 9-10)

Gerald Gardner, to many the father of modern Witchcraft states in The Meaning of Witchcraft, “it must be understood that Witchcraft is a religion. It’s God is the Horned God of hunting,” death and magic who rules over the Afterworld …. where he welcomes the dead and assigns them their places; where they prepared according to their merits and wisdom, for rebirth into a new body on this earth, for which they will be made ready by the love and power of the Goddess, the Great Mother “who gives rebirth and transmutation, and love on this earth, and in whose honor and by means of ritual the necessary power is raised to enable this to be done.” (p.26)

In The Spiral Dance, Starhawk describes Wicca as “a religion, perhaps the oldest religion extant in the West, and predates Christianity, Judaism, Buddism and Hinduism.” It is “more in spirit to Native American Traditions or arctic shamanism.” It has “no dogma or set of beliefs.” And she states that Wicca “takes its teachings from nature and reads inspiration in the movements of the sun, moon and stars.” Further, she states that Wicca is “a religion of poetry not theology. The myths, legends and teachings are metaphors for the absolute reality our limited minds can never completely know.”


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