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From Experience to Belief: How UPG Shapes Spirituality

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) or Unverifiable Personal Gnosis, refers to any spiritual beliefs, truths or revelations experienced or adhered to by an individual that is based on personal experience that differs from or does not exist in accepted lore.


UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis) plays a pivotal role in shaping the beliefs and practices of modern witches and practitioners of witchcraft.

UPG is the personal and intuitive insights gained through spiritual experiences, dreams, and interactions with deities and spirits, often forming the foundation of a witch’s unique spiritual path.

Through UPG, practitioners create a dynamic and evolving connection with the divine, allowing for a more personalized and authentic expression of their spirituality.

Reconstructionist Circles

The term is used quite a bit in reconstructionist circles to distinguish those beliefs and practices that are held by an individual based on personal experience from those beliefs and practices that have a historical basis or that are drawn from myth, folklore or archaeological evidence.

The personal gnosis itself may take the form of a “gut feeling”, a logical deduction or a message received from spirit in the form of a dream or vision.

For reconstructionists, primary sources of liturgy and cosmology tend to be written works, including epic poems, discussions of philosophy, various historic documents and ethnographic accounts, as well as evidence gathered by archaeologists.

Unverified personal gnosis can fill in the gaps that these sources leave, but it is generally approached with caution.

The related term “Shared Personal Gnosis” (SPG) is used when several people arrive at the same conclusion independently of one another, whether through logical deduction, “just a feeling”, or a vision, dream or other messages from spirit.

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About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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