We the Board of Council and its’ Members therein, support and uphold the "Principles of Belief" as set forth by the American Board of Council of Witches in 1974 and "The Earth Religion Anti-Abuse Resolution," adopted in 1988.
Principles of Belief (1974)
- We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythm of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal Quarters and Cross-Quarters.
- We recognize that our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature, in ecological balance offering fulfillment to life and consciousness within an evolutionary concept.
- We acknowledge a depth of power far greater than that 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 that this same Creative Power lies in all people, and functions through the interaction of the masculine and feminine. We value neither (gender) above the other, knowing each to be supportive to the other. We value sex as pleasure, as the symbol and embodiment of life, and as one of the sources of energies used in magickal practice and religious worship.
- We recognize both outer worlds and inner of psychological, worlds sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, Inner Planes, etc.-and we see in the interaction of these two dimensions the basis for paranormal phenomena and magical exercises. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.
- We do not recognize any authoritarian hierarchy, but do honor those who teach, respect those who share their greater knowledge and wisdom, and acknowledge those who have courageously given of themselves in leadership.
- We see religion, magick and wisdom in living as being united in the way one views the world and lives within it - a world-view and philosophy of life, which we identify as Witchcraft - the Wiccan Way.
- Calling oneself "Witch" does not make a Witch - but neither does heredity itself, nor the collecting of titles, degrees and initiations. A Witch seeks to control the forces within her/himself that make life possible in order to live wisely and will without harm to others and in harmony with nature.
- We believe in the affirmation and fulfillment of life in a continuation of evolution and development of consciousness giving meaning to the Universe we know and our personal role within it.
- Our only animosity towards Christianity, or toward any other religion or philosophy of life, is to the extent that its institutions have claimed to be "the only way" and have sought to deny freedom to others and to suppress other ways of religious practice and belief.
- As Witches, we are not threatened by debates on the history of the Craft, the origins of various terms, the legitimacy of various aspects of different traditions. We are concerned with our present and our future.
- We do not accept the concept of absolute evil, nor do we worship any entity known as "Satan" or "the Devil", as defined by Christian tradition. We do not seek power through the suffering of others, nor accept that personal benefit can be derived only by denial to another.
- We believe that we should seek within Nature that which is contributory to our health and well being.
The Earth Religion Anti-Abuse Resolution (1988)
We, the undersigned, as adherents of Pagan and Old and Neo-Pagan Earth Religions, including Wicca or Witchcraft, practice a variety of positive, life affirming faiths that are dedicated to healing, both of ourselves and of the Earth. As such, we do not advocate or condone any acts that victimize others, including those proscribed by law. As one of our most widely accepted precepts is the Wiccan Rede's injunction to "harm none," we absolutely condemn the practices of child abuse, sexual abuse and any other form of abuse that does harm to the bodies, minds or spirits of the victims of such abuses. We recognize and revere the divinity of Nature in our Mother the Earth, and we conduct our rites of worship in a manner that is ethical, compassionate and constitutionally protected. We neither acknowledge or worship the Christian devil, "Satan," who is not in our Pagan pantheons. We will not tolerate slander or libel against our Temples, clergy or Temple Assemblers and we are prepared to defend our civil rights with such legal action as we deem necessary and appropriate.
Rules of the Wiccan Family Temple
We hold that every individual has the right to be secure and respected in his or her own person: in body, in mind, and in spirit. Therefore, WFT will neither countenance nor tolerate the following on the part of any celebrant, student, or dedicant or its’ HPs, HP:
1). Forcing or coercing another individual to participate in sexual activity against his or her desires, or to consume mind-altering substances against his or her will; or requiring complete or partial nudity of any individual against his or her will; or obtaining consent to any of these by deception or misrepresentation, or under color of authority, regardless of the circumstances under which these actions take place.
2). Any deliberate action directed toward another individual that is calculated to cause injury, harm or pain; be it physical, mental or emotional, where it is clear that the member in doing so has acted inappropriately, out of proportion to the circumstances, or in abuse of his or her discretion.
3). All problems within the Wiccan Family Temple should be brought to the attention of the membership in a timely manner and under the proper circumstances (the latter being at the beginning of each non-Sabbat gathering, during the time designated for the general discussion of organizational and informational matters.) Both of these factors- expediency and orderliness- seek to reduce infighting, to promote solidarity and unity, to further the amicable running of the Wiccan Family Temple and to protect the reputation and integrity of the Wiccan Family Temple and the Old Ways.
4.) In no way shall the actions of the Wiccan Family Temple members be restricted in any way. They are free to join other magickal groups, to associate with whom they wish, etc., but this is on the understanding that they abide by the rules of the Wiccan Family Temple at ALL times. In addition, all members are responsible for upholding a respectful representation of the Wiccan Family Temple to the Witch, Wiccan, Pagan and Non-Witch, Wiccan, Pagan community at large.
5.) The basic rituals and belief system shall be laid down in our Book Of Shadows.
6.) All members of this Wiccan Family Temple are oath-bound to maintain the anonymity of the other members of the Wiccan Family Temple. What occurs within the Wiccan Family Temple shall be kept within the Wiccan Family Temple WITHOUT exception. Any member found in violation of either of these rules will be asked to convene with the Board of Council.
7.) It is the intention of this Wiccan Family Temple shall meet for the eight Sabbats (which shall be observed according to their astronomical timing) and on 13 of the Esbats, Full moons (New Moons could be celebrated as you wish).
8.) Drugs and Firearms shall NOT be permitted at any Wiccan Family Temple meetings, rituals or activities and those who are found to be under the influence of ANY mind- altering substances shall be asked to leave the proceedings immediately! This Wiccan Family Temple does NOT condone any sort of illegal practices. Any member found to be taking part in such practices shall be, after due deliberation, removed from the Wiccan Family Temple.
9). In order to make a spiritually safe and comfortable environment within The New York City Wiccan Family Temple, we exclude, drunkenness, scourging, pain et al at our events. Violence in any form has no place at The New York City Wiccan Family Temple events.
10). Any member of Wiccan Family Temple who violates the standards outlined above shall be subject to disciplinary action as set forth by the Board of Council and all who attend the Wiccan Family Temple are governed by these rules regardless of Temple status.
11.) The Circle is a Sacred Space, outside of linear time and mundane space, and shall be respected as the dwelling place of the Gods and Goddesses. Interruptions, immaturity and/or improper behavior-Especially that which stands to nullify the positive flow of Ritual Energies- will NOT be tolerated! Those indulging in such behaviors will be asked to leave the Circle and, depending on the situation, may be barred from future Wiccan Family Temple ritual work. PLEASE SEE WFT CIRCLE ETIQUETTE & POLICY BELOW.
WFT Circle Etiquette and Policy
- While there may be time set aside for socializing (usually during the “Cakes and Ale” part of the Ritual), the main purpose of a Pagan or Wiccan Circle is spiritual attunement, rites of passage, celebration and/or spell working.
- The purpose of a particular Circle should be made clear to all participants at the beginning of the rite.
- Out of respect for the other people in the Circle, there should be NO chatter, laughter or commentary while others in the Circle are speaking, singing, meditating or otherwise engaged in spiritual work.
- If there is an emergency, it should be brought to the attention of the Guardian or Gatekeeper of the Circle immediately, as discreetly as possible so as not to disrupt the ritual any more than absolutely necessary.
- If anyone must leave the Circle for any reason, that person must inform the Guardian or Gatekeeper of the Circle, so that a doorway may be “cut” in the Circle to allow that person to exit without disturbing the flow of energy around the Circle. This also goes for people wishing to enter a Circle after it has been cast.
- In general, it’s best to remain in Circle once the Circle is cast. The less the energies of the Circle are disturbed, the better.
- If a person really cannot wait for the Guardian to cut a doorway, then he/she can do it him/herself. That person must remember to seal the doorway behind him/herself after going through the Circle! This involves visualization and pantomime and should only be done by experienced magickal-workers.
- There will be Templeers trained as Assistant Guardians just in case the Guardian is not available to do it, which can be helpful in large circles.
- Very young children (under age seven) and small animals can normally pass through a Circle without affecting it. Children age seven and above should be instructed in proper Circle etiquette, including how to cut and seal a doorway in a Circle, whenever possible. WFT as a group is there to assist whenever possible parents with educating their child on circle etiquette. If however, a child is 10yrs and older and persists in disruptive behavior, parents will have to cut themselves out of circle with that child as they are held responsible for keeping their children from disrupting the circle.
- Wiccans and Pagans are generally tolerant of differences. WFT’s public Circles are open to everyone, regardless of race, class, creed, age,* gender,**disability or sexual preference. Our goal is to meet and work together “in perfect love and perfect trust”; to create a place of safety and welcome for all our attendees. So that these may not be empty words:
- Please do not invite or bring anyone into Circle whom you do not trust to behave appropriately. Also, do not pressure or coerce anyone into attending Circle who clearly is not interested in doing so. This includes your own child/ren, if applicable. Please get a sitter for them instead, until they are ready, willing and able to participate.
- Please refrain from doing some of the things you would do at home while in a public open ritual “in perfect love and perfect trust” applies. That includes drawing invoking pentagrams at quarters.***
- Please do not sit during ritual unless you have an injury, it is the same as not cutting yourself out of circle it disturbs the flow of energy around the Circle. If you do not have an injury and this is intolerable for you then please have yourself cut out of the circle and sit outside of the circle, until we are finished.
- We have a “Zero Tolerance” policy towards discriminatory behavior. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when circling with us, please keep it to yourself as it might cause disruption or disharmony within the Circle.
- Anyone found to be engaging in discriminatory, disrespectful and/or criminal behavior while in Circle AND who does not desist when asked to WILL be escorted out of the Circle by the Guardian of that Circle.
- Whether or not that person can re-enter that particular Circle is up to the discretion of the Guardian. Sometimes a short discussion is all that is necessary to clear up the problem.
- The behavior of the offender will be discussed among the Board of Council and a decision will be made as to whether or not the offender may attend any more WFT gatherings, and when he/she will be allowed to resume attendance. The offender will be informed of this decision as soon as possible.
- If the offender wishes to appeal this decision, they may either:
- submit a written rebuttal to the WFT Board of Council; or
- ask to arrange a face-to-face meeting or telephone conference with the WFT Board of Council to discuss the matter.
- After this process is completed, the final decision rests with the WFT Board of Council.
- Circles are community events. They involve participation by everyone attending the Circle. As such, attendees are expected to pitch in and help out as much as they are able. It is this spirit of good will and active participation that builds and sustains a community. Therefore:
- There are no “free rides.” Suggested monetary tithes are given for every event and Circle we hold; these are the bare minimums we must receive from each person in order for us to continue to hold these events and Circles on a regular basis. Please contribute the suggested Tithe.
- If you have a little extra, please feel free to give it. It helps to offset the lesser amounts we sometimes receive from others.
- If you have a little less, you will not be turned away. However, there may be other ways in which you can donate; contact the WFT Board of Council and we will try to work with you.
- Unlike other mainstream faiths, many Wiccans and Pagans are not yet out of the “broom closet,”due to fear of misunderstanding or reprisals. Thus, discretion is important both within and outside the Circle. What occurs in Circle, remains in Circle. All participants are expected to adhere to this policy.
- Please use discretion when discussing your own experiences within Circle with others who were not part of that particular Circle. Do not give identifying information about anyone who was in Circle with you without their prior consent.