The Aquarian Manifesto

with Historical Notes

(Version 1.5)

Copyright © 1973, 2001 c.e., Isaac Bonewits

All intelligent beings have the right to worship who, what, where, when, why, and how they wish; provided that they do not violate the similar rights of others. All intelligent beings have as well the right (some would say, “duty”) to develop their talents — mental, physical, psychic, and others — to the highest degree possible; subject as always to the equal rights of others. It is in this complex interplay of rights that the children of the Aquarian Age may be distinguished from their ancestors of previous ages.

According to astrological tradition, the term “Aquarian Age” implies a time in which there is increased concern with the ways in which each individual can live by his or her own lights, while guaranteeing the same freedom to all others. All those, therefore, who work for the greater evolution of consciousness and freedom may be justly called “Aquarians,” regardless of the day or year of their actual birth.

Aquarians — Neopagan, Neochristian, Agnostic or of any other faith — are by definition tolerant of all life-affirming beliefs and organizations. They do not proclaim the existence of any “One-True-Right-And-Only-Way” but rather that every intelligent being must find her or his own path.

We will not, however, in the name of tolerance or any other ideal, allow ourselves to be persecuted or exterminated by anti-life individuals or organizations, whether secular or religious.

As Aquarians we do not, in our religious services, magical rituals, psychic activities, or in our private lives, engage in the commission or encouragement of felony crimes-with-victims (as defined by civil law and modern sociological research). We do not therefore engage in murder, rape, maiming, torture of animals, grand larceny, or other heinous crimes; and we will no longer quietly accept accusations that we do.

Neither do Aquarians use our talents — whether we call them “psychic,” “magical,” “spiritual,” “paranormal,” or something else — to achieve ends or through means that, if done physically, would constitute such felony crimes with victims. Accusations in this area will not go uncountered either.

We know full well that new witchburners seek to once again light the stakes of persecution with the fires of bigotry and hate. Equally well do we know that, despite our innumerable differences with one another, the time has come for us to stand together against the forces of fear and oppression. The very survival of ourselves, our children, and our planet depends upon the outcome of our present struggles.

Therefore: we will use whatever means exist to preserve, protect and defend our religious, civil, economic, and human rights, as well as our reputations, from all those who would slander, libel, defame, suppress, or otherwise persecute us for our beliefs.

We will no longer allow self-righteous followers of anti-life beliefs to prevent us from the free exercise of our human and constitutional rights. We will no longer allow anyone with impunity to publicly accuse us of being “Satanists,” “devil worshippers,” “charlatans,” “lunatics,” or any other loaded terms of slander and libel designed to denigrate, defame, or prevent us from the peaceful and legal spreading of our beliefs. We will no longer hesitate to bring civil suits and/or criminal charges against our would-be inquisitors whenever possible, no matter how wealthy or powerful they may be.

Aquarians together — Witches and wizards; Pagans and psychics; priests and parapsychologists; mystics, mediums and magicians; astrologers, diviners, and occultists of both sexes and all races, many faiths and traditions, ages and nationalities — hereby agree upon our battle cry as we declare war upon those who would persecute us:

Never Again the Burning!

This was first published in 1973 c.e., as part of the founding of the Aquarian Anti-Defamation League, Inc. (now defunct). What became the official A.A.D.L. logo, minus the name of the organization, can be seen to the right here. I originally designed it to be easy to turn into a graffiti stencil, and based it on the logos being used by the Black Panthers and other radical movements. I’ve released it for use by any Aquarian organizations and individuals who agree with the words of the Manifesto above and are not frightened off by its, let us say, “forceful” symbolism. Feel free to put it on your website with a pointer to this page.

The phrase “anti-life beliefs” made some folks assume that A.A.D.L. and I were part of the “pro-life” (i.e., anti-abortion rights) movement, but such was never our intent. I’ve always been pro-choice, but there were members of A.A.D.L. on both sides of that particular controversy.

The phrase I coined at the end became part of the vocabulary of the North American Neopagan community, though some Wiccans added the word “Times” at the end, to refer to the “Burning Times,” i.e., the Renaissance persecutions of alleged “witches.”

I’ve clarified the phrasing, punctuation, and capitalization a bit to make the text easier to understand, but it’s essentially as it was twenty-five years ago. We’ve come far as a movement since then, but we still have a long way to go.

Copyright © 1973, 2001 c.e., Isaac Bonewits. This text file may be freely distributed on the Net, provided that no editing is done, the version number is retained, and everything in this notice box is included. If you would like to be on one or more of Isaac Bonewits’ emailing lists, click here to get subscription information.

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