Principles of Paganism
The principles of paganism, presented below, are not drawn from any one Pagan tradition, but are our synthesis of principles encountered in variety of Pagan traditions. These principles are not a list of beliefs a person must adopt in order to be Pagan; rather they are statements that embody Paganism's worldview that point to the development of one type of relationship with the universe and the Divine rather than another, and that outline the direction in which spiritual and personal growth might proceed for a Pagan.
You are responsible for the beliefs you choose to adopt. You are in control of what you choose to believe. The power to choose your beliefs resides in you. Not in a institution, church, or government. It is important to take responsibility for the beliefs you adopt because beliefs act as templates around which you build your reality. Pagans accept their responsibility to become more self-aware, identify the beliefs they are allowing to operate in their lives, and then to examine the merits of those beliefs periodically.
You are responsible for your own actions and your spiritual and personal development. The development of a conscience, or personal ethic, and then the application of that ethic to everyday life is the responsibility of every person. Any resource, teacher, practice, or holy writing that helps you move toward your goal of spiritual maturity can and should be used. However, they cannot be substituted for the effort each person must give to their own growth. Growth is a muscle that must be exercised. Spiritual muscles don't get strong by letting other people do your work for you. Pagans strive to become spiritually mature and to take responsibility for their beliefs, actions, and spiritual growth.
You are responsible for deciding who or what Deity is for you, and forming a relationship with that Deity. Someone who joins a particular faith has gone through the process of deciding what Deity is for them and that the faith they are joining is a good match. Pagans openly acknowledge this process and are open to a variety of ideas about Deity. Pagans have many images of Deity, including multiple images, male, female, animal, energy, or spirit images, or no images at all.
Spark of Intelligence:
Everything contains the spark of intelligence. Each part of the world contains a form of consciousness or spark of intelligence. In the physical realm, consciousness exhibits as awareness, personality, energetic vibrations, or other characteristics that are in keeping with the particular physical form. Science and mysticism both suggest that consciousness is multidimensional, that it folds and unfolds into physical reality form unseen realms, and its expression in the physical world is only a part of its greater reality.
Everything is Sacred:
Sacredness means different things to different pagans. To some it means that all parts of the universe are precious, and worthy of respect and careful handling. To others it implies a feeling of kinship, of connection, a kind of cosmic brotherhood. To others sacredness means that something is holy, having been created, blessed, or approved by a Deity. For some, it also relates to how Deity is involved with the physical and nonphysical universe, and whether by its nature the universe is good or evil.
Each part of the universe can communicate with each other part, and these parts often cooperate for specific ends. it is the crux of magick. Magick is completely natural process, which, in its simplest form, is the communication and cooperation of many consciousnesses. Other religions call this same process prayer, meditation, inspiration, synchronicity, or miracles.
Consciousness survives death. Consciousness exists on multiple levels simultaneously, and physical reality is only one expression of it. Physical existence can be seen as the intrusion of consciousness into the world of matter, and death as the withdrawing, or enfolding, of it back into other dimensions. Pagans hold a variety of views of what happens after death, and most, though not all, believe in an afterlife.