The Greencraft Wicca Manifest.
Aim 1: To re-awaken the Old Gods. To build a religion and a spirituality based on those elements of pre-christian religions that are eternal and a source of inspiration in today’s world; and on ancient as well as current techniques which may further our work with and understanding of Nature, WoMan and the Universe. We can call this the ‘tradition principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 2: To promote a tolerant society with true freedom of religion, where everyone’s path is sacred and where any Woman, anywhere, may live and worship as they feel fit, and respect others’ similar right We can call this the ‘freedom principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 3: To restore the Covenant between the Goddess and Her children. The bond between all lifeforms of Gaia. To build a religion in which respect and care for Nature are central. Humans, plants, animals and megaliths are all Gaia’s children and the Sacred Landscape is Her body We can call this the ‘ecological principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 4: To build an ethical system where guilt and punishment are replaced by the reparation of harm as central paradigm, and ‘sin’ is replaced by responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions. Causing harm means to cause harm to self, other humans, plants, animals, minerals and ultimately the Sacred Landscape itself. We can call this the ‘ethical principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 5: To restore the central place of the polar principle of the God and the Goddess. To build Wicca in such a way that the male and female aspects of the divine are equally important and equally worthy of worship. We can call this the ‘bi-polar principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 6: To build a religion where the different levels of the divine are recognized: the pantheistic, the polytheistic, the bitheistic and the monotheistic in harmony. In which the polytheistic deities worshiped need not be from a single historic pantheon. We can call this the ‘multi-level principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 7: To build Wicca as an a-dogmatic experiential religion. The final interpretation of the personal religious and mystical experience is with the individual and not with a hierarchically organized clergy. We can call this the ‘a-dogmatic principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 8: Reclaiming both, the Masculine and Feminine aspects of the divine, in the sense that the Divine is in its essence a creation process, and that, in our human reality, this process is best seen as the unification, yet individuality, of each of these two aspects. We call this the ‘sexual principle’ of Wicca.
Aim 9: To build Wicca into a religion where not only priests and priestesses have their place but also those who share our religion but do not feel a personal vocation for the priesthood. We call this the ‘nation principle’ of Wicca
Remarks on the Nine Principles:
On Aim 1: This aim is compatible with all three ‘versions’ on the origin of Modern Wicca: Version 1: Many hold that Wicca is a new religion started by Gerald Gardner, Doreen Valiente, Alex and Maxine Sanders. Version 2: Gardner and Sanders based their Wicca reconstruction experiment on our medieval European esoteric heritage and Wicca can be traced back to the Middle Ages and even before. Version 3: There is enough evidence of customs and country traditions having survived through folklore and family tradition that Wicca can be considered as the modern counterpart of the ancestral pagan traditions of pre-christian times. All three versions are compatible and all may be part of the truth. Often Wicca is considered as an exclusive ‘European’ pre-christian religion. In our view this is not correct. Though of course MOST is European, we only have to remember the names of the Goddess in the Charge: “Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hekate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna” to know there’s no need for restriction to the purely ‘European’. The qualification ‘those elements’ excludes those characteristics of our ancestor’s religion which we would find uninspiring or even abhorrent today, like headhunting or setting people afire in wicker cages.
On Aim 2: This aim has a number of social implications. It simultaneously recognizes that: Wicca is not a conversion religion. No missionaries. Wicca does want to be recognized in our society as a religion not a cult. The fact that both Gardner and Sanders ‘liked’ publicity on a personal level does not diminish their accomplishments in achieving such recognition.
On Aim 3: Wicca is both a mystery and a nature religion. It may well be our greatest challenge in these times to build and structure our religion in such a way that we, the dominant species on this planet, become once more worthy of living amongst those we share this beautiful Goddess with.
On Aim 4: This aim too has a number of social implications. It simultaneously recognizes that: The individual should bear responsibilty for its actions and for repairing harm caused by them. The state should protect its members from harm caused by other beings, be they human, or forces of nature; and this protection and where possible insistence on reparation should be its prime purpose rather than meting out punishment.
On Aim 5: From these aims follows a general restoration of the value of the Feminine: Of the Goddess: the feminine aspect of the divine. Of Woman: including the role of the priestess and the place of woman in society. Of Nature: the Earth as Great Mother. Of the female elements Water and Earth: feelings, emotions, physical and material. Of a healthy sexuality and the body.
On Aim 6: Though most of us consider our roots as primarily Celtic and Germanic, the history of Europe and North America, usually called ‘the Western hemisphere’ has undergone significant influence from all four quarters. Western esoteric tradition was partly molded by the Hellenistic civilization and the Roman empire, by christianity, by the Moorish kingdoms of Spain and in our own time by shamanistic techniques from Siberian, African, North European and Amerindian cultures.
On Aim 7: To quote Fred Lamond: “Our HPS and HP and the authors of books on Wicca are teachers of techniques to find the inner truth, but never teachers of the truth itself.” The initiatory degrees are a series of landmarks in a personal evolution and growth process often linked to a hierarchy of responsibilty by the willingness to share knowledge, wisdom and experience.
On Aim 8: From the re-evaluation of the role and importance of the Female follows that it becomes now possible to better see and develop the true role of the Male. The potent symbolism of the Horned God of which the Greek concept of Pan was an example becomes a new source of inspiration. Also the symbolism of the God who is married to the Land and the symbolism of Death and Rebirth. These themes are developed in harmony with the three aspects of the divine Female: the unvanquished Maiden, the nurturing Mother and the wise Crone.
On Aim 9: From the fact that we have moved closer to realizing at least part of Aim 2, it becomes possible to reclaim the role of the priest(ess) in a community. To quote Fred’s quotation of Gardner: “In PreBurning times the witches were the priests and healers of farming villages. It is only the witch hunts which turned us into a priesthood without a congregation!” Although many of us may prefer to celebrate our rituals among the priesthood, we must hope that at least some will provide for the religious needs of the laity.