The Pagan Credo


The Pagan Credo

Compiled by Stewart and Janet Farrar
with help from Leonora James, head of the Pagan Federation, Chris Bray and other Pagans.

First published April 1990

1. Paganism is a religion (or field of related religions) in its own right, being traceable from prehistoric times through most ancient and modern cultures, and maKing a continuing contribution to the spiritual evolution of our species.

2. It is not rigid or dogmatic in form its exact expression depends on the individual Pagan, or willingly cooperating group of Pagans. This Credo is therefore itself not dogma, but an attempt to describe the mainstream characteristics of Pagan philosophy.

3. Paganism aims to offer a way to recognise and attune oneself uith the manifold forces of Nature, which already exist within and without us, and uhich are vital to our survival, fulfilment and evolution. By celebrating the seasons and becoming one with other living creatures, Pagans synchronise intimately with the planet, and liberate their personalities and magnify their perceptions and talents, in the interests of themselves, their groups and communities, and humankind as a whole .

4. Paganism believes in the same Divine Creative Force as anyone else, because if there is one there can only be One. Like any other religion, Paganism personifies this Ultimate as a means of attuning oneself to It, because It cannot be apprehended directly except perhaps in brief flashes of intuition.

5. Paganism's basic personification of this Ultimate is in Its creative polarisation of male and female aspects, as the Father God and the Mother Goddess. The God represents the fertilising, energising, analysing, intellectual, left-brain-function aspects. The Goddess represents the formative, nourishing, synthesising , intuitive, right-brain-function aspects.

6 As above, so below; this basic Divine polarisation is the primal cause of all manifestation, and it is reflected at all levels of being, including ourselves.

7 Pagans make use of many different God and Goddess forms as tuning-signals to different aspects of the essential God and Goddess. These forms vary according to cultural, geographical, and personal backgrounds, and are USUALLY (and naturally, since men and women aspire to emu;ate them) envisaged in perfected human form, but they are all valid. They are real, in the sense that if one attunes oneself to them sincerely they are vitalised and empowered by the Ultimate of which they respresent aspects. They are not idols, but are the numinous archetypal symbols which are vital (or in everyday language, "God-given") components of the human Collective Unconscious.

8. Pagans do not worship the Devil; that would be totally incompatible with the principle of paragraphs 4 and 7 above. The Devil of monotheist religions does not exist in Pagan philosophy; Pagans regard evil as an imbalance to be corrected, not as an independent force or entity.

9. Like all religions. Paganism believes in multi-level reality. These levels are generally defined in Pagan thinking as the spiritual, mental, astral, etheric and physical levels. Each level has its own laws, but the laws of different levels do not conflict with each other, (as, for example, the laws of mathematics, chemistry and biology are different, but do not conflict with each other.) Pagans believe that by understanding these laws and their interaction, one can achieve results generally defined as magical.

10. Pagans regard all these levels as equally holy, and essential parts of the cosmic spectrum of manifestation. They totally reject the dualistic concept which equates the spiritual with good and matter with evil.

11. Pagan philosophy and worship therefore tend to be strongly Nature-based. Mother Earth is not a temporary stopping-place, but our home, of which we are a living part, and for the health and protection of which we bear a constant responsibility.

12. The Pagan view of the Cosmos is essentially organic. The Ultimate is its creative life-force; but all manifestation is part of the total organism. Our own planet can be regarded as one limb or organ of it, and we ourselves (and all Earth's other creatures and components) as cells within that limb or organ. Our health depends on its health, and vice versa.

13. Paganism therefore does not envisage a gulf between Creator and Created. The spectrum is continuous and interdependent. Each individual is of the same nature as the Source, and is capable of being a channel for it.

14. On the basis of all the foregoing, most Pagans regard all sincere religions as different paths to the same truths. The particular Deity-personifications, symbology, and meaningful mythology uhich suit one person as tuning-signals to the Ultimate may not suit another. Pagans are therefore essentially ecumenical, non-proselytising, and tolerant.

15. This does not mean that Pagans cannot voice constructive criticism of the attitudes of some religious hierarchies, or of the narrowness and bigotry of some dogmatic systems. Pagans reject as dangerous and destructive, in particular, the belief that one's own religion is the only true one, and that all others are devilish and therefore to be condemned and persecuted.

16. Pagans lay more emphasis on continuing spiritual development than on instant revelation, though they accept that the latter can sometimes happen - usually as a breakthrough to consciousness of a longer unconscious accumulation.

17. Most Pagans believe in reincarnation, in one form or another. This belief further strengthens Pagans' attitude to Earth as our continuing home for the foreseeable future, rather than as a temporary and restrictive stopping-place. It is also a powerful moral force, because it emphasises that all offences against other individuals, the community, or the Earth, and all failure to learn lessons, must ultimately be put right by oneself, and cannot be evaded by bodily death.

18. Pagans' ethical attitude is often summed up in the sentence: "An it harm none, do what you will." This means achieving full self-development while accepting equally full responsibility towards one's fellow-humans, one's fellow-creatures, and the Earth itself. Love for all of these is a foundation-stone of Paganism. In particular. Pagans feel a special responsibility towards the young; their vulnerability must not be abused, and they must be helped to develop themselves according to their own natures, so that when they are mature they can choose their own paths— and their own religious forms - with maximum awareness and without pressurisation from their elders.



Copyright Free: For reproduction Throughout the World providing this link is included

History of the Pagan Credo

When the Satanic Ritual Abuse hysteria first imploded in Britain in 1988 Chris Bray of The Sorcerer's Apprentice Bookshop already had long-standing working relationships and/or correspondence with many leaders within esoteric fields world-wide. At that time he also had a very good relationship with the media who, up till then, had been fair and intelligent in their reporting of the new religion of paganism. When the fundies began accusing us of killing, microwaving and then eating babies all that changed.

The idea for the Pagan Credo came from Stuart Farrar who was working with Chris on pagan anti-defamation. It was an attempt to distil an overall philosophy of paganism for public consumption which pagans world-wide could use to counter the lies and disinformation being given out by fundamentalists and leading edge social workers who wanted the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth to drive a new child-scare industry. During this period, before the publication of the Pagan Credo, journalists and the authorities actually relied on information about paganism and witchcraft foisted on them by our sectarian enemies which made us out to be monsters.

Stuart and Janet Farrar.were perhaps the best known representatives of the burgeoning Wicca at that time. Stuart, a British journalist, had become a pagan after visiting Alex Sanders (the founder of what later became known as Alexandrian Witchcraft which was itself based on the work of Gerald Gardner with an admixture of Solomonic magic). This resulted in Stuart writing a famous book with Sanders titled "What Witches Do" in 1971. Stuart later went on to become a prime mover in the development of Wicca amplyfing and expanding Gerald Gardner's Wicca philosophy in two seminal books, 'Eight Sabbats for Witches' (1981) which laid out a yearly ceremonial regime for pagans, and 'The Witch's Way (1984) a book aimed at the history, development and tenets of paganism. These two were published together in an omnibus edition in 1987 under the title 'A Witches Bible' an incongruous title which Stuart said was forced onto him by his publishers. In the second edition it was retitled 'A Witches Bible, The Complete Witches' Handbook' and it sold well on both sides of the Atlantic. His writings, particularly the latter, has probably influenced the thinking and religious observance of the majority of Wiccans in the world today.

Stuart and Janet enthusiastically joined the project, as did a number of other leading pagans, and Chris worked on the wording with him. Stuart and Chris wrote the first draft of the Pagan Credo and submitted it for discussion to the pagan community. It went around a good few leading pagans and groups but only minor alterations were necessary, mainly to give it the widest possible scope. It was first published in April 1990 and distributed free, singly and in bulk copies to shops and organisations by the SAFF.

The Pagan Credo formalised what every pagan already knew but it coalesced it all into a structured framework understandable by outsiders. It came into its own countless number of times when journalists and researchers, primed by the black propaganda of the fundamentalists, demanded to know exactly what Witches believed in and why they worked their rites. The Pagan Credo has contributed greatly to diminishing the fundies' lies about paganism at crucial times and has therefore been a success in preserving freedom of belief and action for all religious minorities, not just paganism.

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