Principals of Pagan Belief and Conscience
1.) We believe that Divinity dwells in all things, and may be sought both within and without.
2.) We feel our human intelligence gives us the responsibility of caring for our environment, rather than a right to exploit it at will. We seek a way of life in balance with Nature that is beneficial for all forms of life involved. It is necessary to have love and respect for Nature as Divine in Her own right, and to accept ourselves as part of (and dependent upon) Nature, rather than as Her “rulers”. Paganism is an earth religion, and proud of it.
3). The core of our religion is a practice of rites we celebrate to attune ourselves to the natural rhythms of the life force of Mother Earth which manifest in the phases of the moon and the cycle of the seasons.
4). We recognize that a spiritual force of great power, known to many peoples by many names, resides in all things; it is this power that makes magic and life itself possible. This power is often seen as supernatural, but we believe it to be entirely a part of Nature.
5). We see the Divine as manifesting in pairs of complimentary opposites (female/male, dark/light, waning/waxing, etc.). We value neither side of the coin above the other, knowing each to be necessary to the existence of the other; after all, who ever saw a coin with only one side?
6). Since Divinity is as likely to manifest in female as in male form, we regard women and men as spiritually equal, and make no distinction on the basis of gender.
7). We perceive the world we live in to be the result of interaction between our inner world, or psychic state, and the energies and movements of the world around us. We give equal value to both inner and outer experiences, seeing the development of both as necessary for living a full, satisfying life.
8). We reject hierarchies based upon dominance, and power based on the threat of force. Hierarchy in Nature, like that of molecules, cells, and organs, is based upon systems within systems, a progression from forms that are simpler to those more evolved, more complex. Therefore, we honor those who possess and share experience and knowledge greater than our own, and who undertake the responsibility of teaching others.
9). We see religion and magic as one, and manifesting as wisdom in living. A Pagan uses magic as a religious discipline for balancing the forces within her/himself that makes living without harm to others in harmony with Nature possible. We must practice what we preach. Paganism is a way of life, not an intellectual stance or social function.
10). We believe good and evil to be an arbitrary, abstract concept that exists entirely within the human mind; we do not worship or even acknowledge the existence of the “Devil”, or any other spirit or entity of absolute evil. By the same token, we do not believe in entities of absolute good, either. For us, the Divine is like fire, a force that can be at once dangerous and benevolent, and must be treated with respect and care.
11). We believe that ethics and morality should be based on tolerance, mutual respect, and love for oneself and others, avoidance of actual harm to others, and the increase of general benefit. This is most commonly expressed as “Do what you will if it harms none, and do not interfere with the right of others to do what they will so long as they harm none but themselves.” Remember, everyone has the right to go to hell in their own handbasket, as long as no one else is compelled to come along for the ride.
12). The only animosity we feel towards Judeo-Christianity or any other religion or philosophy of life is to the extent that its institutions, feeling that they possess the “one, true, right, and only way”, seek or have sought to restrict the freedom of choice of their members and above all, to suppress other ways of religious practice and points of view, and compel compliance with their tenets by those who reject them.
13). We believe that human beings were meant to live lives filled with joy, beauty, love, pleasure, and humor, and regard the Judeo-Christian concepts of sin, shame, and guilt as sad, neurotic misunderstandings of human life and development. In particular, we regard all forms of consensual sexual practices as sacred. “All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals”.
14). We believe in accepting the positive, beneficial aspects of modern science and technology, while maintaining an attitude of critical distrust towards their supposed harmlessness and ethical neutrality.
15). We believe that people have the ability to solve their current problems, both personal and public, and create a better world. War, poverty, hunger, pain, depression, lack of creative opportunity and mutual oppression are not necessary, nor inevitable, parts either of the world or of human nature.