This is a tldr; post explaining how I came to be where I am in my practice and how my beliefs may or may not align with traditional Wiccan based practices and beliefs.

I am a solitary practitioner. I did spend some time with a coven and several working groups throughout the years, but my practice has largely been solitary for the last two and a half decades. This has left me very open to exploring whatever struck my fancy, and to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.

Exploring Dianic Witchcraft

One of the things that I explored, especially in the early 2000s, was Dianic Wicca/Witchcraft and a Goddess focused spirituality. There were parts of Dianic Wicca that really resonated with me and worked for me. However, there were also things that were, to me, as biased as traditional Wicca’s assignment of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ to energies and its’ insistence on balance.

I am a woman – biologically, psychologically, and energetically. I, also, like many other witches, want my practice and my spirituality to exist on my terms. So, I had to figure out what those terms were and what I do or do not believe.

I don’t consider myself an expert on what is or what isn’t Wicca or what you should or shouldn’t do in your own practice. I do however consider myself to be Wiccan, though of a solitary, eclectic slant, and have since 1997. I am constantly examining my beliefs and practices, and really believe that is one of the core tenants of Wiccan beliefs and witchcraft in general – to discover what you believe and why you believe it. So, this is my current understanding of what it means to be Wiccan.

At its heart, Wicca is a religion and it is loosely defined by Principles of Wiccan Belief as set down by a group called the American Council of Witches in 1973/1974. While there are many people who claim traditions or lineages that go back however long, officially Gerald Gardner is considered to be the father/founder of the current religion of Wicca. Following the 1951 repeal of Britain’s archaic witchcraft laws, Gardner published Witchcraft Today (1954), founded his first coven of followers, and, with the assistance of high priestess Doreen Valiente (1922–99), developed what became known as Gardnerian Wicca. During the 1960’s and 70’s, following the civil unrest and social revolutions that were happening in the US, Wicca started to develop a following in the US.

Hearken ye to the Words of the Dark Mother, who of old was called Hecate, Nuit, Morrigan, Banba, Erda, Macha, Mother Night, Sekhmet, and many other names:

“Whenever you seek wisdom, at the time of the Darkening Moon, come together in love and trust and learn of Me, who am the Wisest of Crones.. Ye who search for the mysteries of the Earth… The secrets of Air and Darkness, of Blood and Fire, the silence of the uttermost stars, come unto me, and I shall whisper to you in the depths of midnight. Ye shall approach Me in silence, and as a sign that ye are free from fear, your breast you shall bare to My blade…for fear has no place in My mysteries, and that which you seek of Me will destroy you if you fear it.

As adopted by the Council of American Witches at its Spring 1974 Witchmeet,

April 11-14, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Council of American Witches finds it necessary to define modern Witchcraft in terms of the American experience and needs.

We are not bound by traditions from other times and other cultures and owe no allegiance to any person or power greater than the Divinity manifest through our own being.

As American Witches, we welcome and respect all Life Affirming teachings and traditions and seek to learn from all and to share our learning within our Council.

It is in this spirit of welcome and cooperation that we adopt these few principles of Wiccan belief. In seeking to be inclusive, we do not wish to open ourselves to the destructions of our group by those on self-serving power trips, or to philosophies and practices contradictory to ours, we do not want to deny participation with us to any who are sincerely interested in our knowledge and beliefs, regardless of race, color, sex, age, nationality or cultural origins or sexual preference.

We therefore ask that only those who seek to identify with us accept these few basic principles:

Magical Rites from the Crystal Well

Ed Fitch and Janine Renee

1987, Llewellyn Publications.

Insofar as the Craft of the Wise is the most ancient and most honorable creed of humankind, it behooves all who are Witches to act in ways that give respect to the Old Gods, to their sisters and brothers of the Craft, and to themselves.

Therefore, be it noted that:

1. Chivalry is a high code of honor which is of most ancient Pagan origin, and must be lived by all who follow the old ways.

Those of the Wicca follow an intricate set of laws in their personal and group practice. Collectively, these laws are called The Ordains. The Ordains fall into three basic categories: spiritual laws, practical laws, and coven laws. The spiritual laws can be seen as a code of ethics or morals giving the Crafter a guideline for spiritual living, whether you choose to practice as a solitary (a Witch alone) or within a group structure. These spiritual laws apply to all magical people, and most magical individuals incorporate these laws into their group workings, as well as their solitary practices.

Consider practical laws as the blossoms of experience from those who have practiced the religion before you. Therefore, not all of the practical laws will apply to every person. Think of these laws as guidelines.

Charge of the God (Version 1)

(Author Unknown)

Listen to the words of the Great Father, who of old was called Osiris, Adonis, Zeus, Thor, Pan, Cernunnos, Herne, Lugh and by many other names: My Law is Harmony with all things. Mine is the secret that opens the gates of life and mine is the dish of salt of the earth that is the body of Cernunnos that is the eternal circle of rebirth. I give the knowledge of life everlasting, and beyond death I give the promise of regeneration and renewal. I am the sacrifice, the father of all things, and my protection blankets the earth.

 Hear the words of the dancing God, the music of whose laughter stirs the winds, whose voice calls the seasons:  I who am the Lord of the Hunt and the Power of the Light, sun among the clouds and the secret of the flame I call upon your bodies to arise and come unto me. For I am the flesh of the earth and all its beings. Through me all things must die and with me are reborn. Let my worship be in the body that sings, for behold all acts of willing sacrifice are my rituals. Let there be desire and fear, anger and weakness, joy and peace, awe and longing within you. For these too are part of the mysteries found within yourself, within me, all beginnings have endings, and all endings have beginnings.

by Doreen Valiente

Whenever ye have need of any thing, once in the month, and better it be when the moon is full, then shall ye assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of She, who is Queen of all witches. There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet have not won its deepest secrets; to these will She teach things that are yet unknown. And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye be really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in Her praise. For Hers is the ecstasy of the spirit, and Hers also is joy on earth; for Her law is love unto all beings. Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it; let naught stop you or turn you aside. For Hers is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth and Hers is the cup of wine of life, and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality. She is the gracious goddess, who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, She gave the knowledge of the spirit eternal; and beyond death, She gives peace and freedom, and reunion with those who have gone before. Nor does She demand sacrifice, for behold, She is the mother of all living, and Her love is poured out upon the earth.

Traditional by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.

Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.

For My law is love is unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the cauldron of Cerridwen, that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.