28 August, 2017

Reclaiming - Principles of Unity

Hey, Readers,

This past weekend at Cleveland Pagan Pride, I presented two back-to-back workshops. The first was co-taught by myself and my friend Ariawn, a High Priestess of a traditional English coven. We talked about the Art of Ritual, comparing and contrasting public/private ritual, and traditional/eclectic/solitary ritual. My second workshop was my Pagans & Prejudice workshop that I've done before, but in a rebooted format, with more activities to help with understanding concepts.

During the event, I mentioned to people that I'm on the slow but steady track to becoming a teacher in the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft. A few people know what that is, but most people I talk to around here do not. Then I ask, "Have you heard of Starhawk, and the book The Spiral Dance?" Even when the answer is yes, people haven't necessarily heard of the Reclaiming Tradition, because in that book, Starhawk didn't really talk about it as a tradition. It wasn't, really, at the time. It started as a collective, and over the years has grown into a tradition that has groups and practitioners in pockets all over the United States and in other countries, as well.

I'd like to encourage anyone who doesn't already know about this tradition to add it to your mental list of types of Witchcraft you know about by reading about it at the Reclaiming website. And below, I wanted to share the Reclaiming Principles of Unity. The bold formatting is my addition, but the words are directly from the website.



Principles of Unity

"My law is love unto all beings..."
- from The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente

The values of the Reclaiming tradition stem from our understanding that the earth is alive and all of life is sacred and interconnected. We see the Goddess as immanent in the earth's cycles of birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration. Our practice arises from a deep, spiritual commitment to the earth, to healing and to the linking of magic with political action.

Each of us embodies the divine. Our ultimate spiritual authority is within, and we need no other person to interpret the sacred to us. We foster the questioning attitude, and honor intellectual, spiritual and creative freedom.

We are an evolving, dynamic tradition and proudly call ourselves Witches. Our diverse practices and experiences of the divine weave a tapestry of many different threads. We include those who honor Mysterious Ones, Goddesses, and Gods of myriad expressions, genders, and states of being, remembering that mystery goes beyond form. Our community rituals are participatory and ecstatic, celebrating the cycles of the seasons and our lives, and raising energy for personal, collective and earth healing.

We know that everyone can do the life-changing, world-renewing work of magic, the art of changing consciousness at will. We strive to teach and practice in ways that foster personal and collective empowerment, to model shared power and to open leadership roles to all. We make decisions by consensus, and balance individual autonomy with social responsibility.

Our tradition honors the wild, and calls for service to the earth and the community. We value peace and practice non-violence, in keeping with the Rede, "Harm none, and do what you will." We work for all forms of justice: environmental, social, political, racial, gender and economic. Our feminism includes a radical analysis of power, seeing all systems of oppression as interrelated, rooted in structures of domination and control.

We welcome all genders, all gender histories, all races, all ages and sexual orientations and all those differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity. We strive to make our public rituals and events accessible and safe. We try to balance the need to be justly compensated for our labor with our commitment to make our work available to people of all economic levels.

All living beings are worthy of respect. All are supported by the sacred elements of air, fire, water and earth. We work to create and sustain communities and cultures that embody our values, that can help to heal the wounds of the earth and her peoples, and that can sustain us and nurture future generations.

Reclaiming Principles of Unity - consensed by the Reclaiming Collective in 1997. Updated at the BIRCH council meeting of Dandelion Gathering 5 in 2012.

07 August, 2017

Saturn Returns Course 2.0 (Sept.-Dec. 2017)

Greetings, all!

It's time for the second iteration of my Saturn Returns course! Here is some information about this course, links to relevant videos, and at the end, a link to your way to start the journey if you are ready to go!

Saturn has been called the Taskmaster of the Skies, and also, perhaps less intimidatingly, our planetary Life Coach. Every 29.5 Earth years or so, Saturn completes a full orbit. Thus, in your 30th year of life, when you are age 29, Saturn makes it's first return to the place where it was at your birth. The second time this happens, you are around age 58/59. A third return occurs when we reach age 88 or so.

What happens when Saturn comes back around?
People experience the effects of Saturn differently, and pick up on different things. Because we are in different places in our lives, the tasks that Saturn has set up for us will vary. If you're pretty much on course, you may not need a lot of additional guidance, maybe just some support and confirmation. But if you've wandered far from your path, you may feel some pretty extreme turbulence as good ol' Saturn whips you back into shape. What it all boils down to is this: We get 29.5 years to live our lives. When Saturn comes back for inspection, we get a progress report, and if we've gotten off our marks, we get... well, readjusted.

You can feel these effects as early as years in advance, because nothing in the Universe happens immediately and suddenly, as far as the movement of planets into different places/signs goes. And something as big and foreboding as Saturn? You can feel it. I've been going through things for maybe three years now--definitely two years--that can be classified as Saturn Return *STUFF*, and I'm only 27 right now... If I'm already being prepared and given homework and being guided to turn my life upside down and inside out... what the heck is going to be in store for me when I turn 29?

What about for you?
What's feeling strained in your life these days? What is changing? Do you feel a profound desire to make a change, but don't know what, why, or how? Maybe you're feeling called, pushed, or prodded into making a change already. Relationships changing or ending, jobs changing or ending, moving, getting rid of, letting go of... Feeling like you lost track of what you're doing, who you are, and where you're going...

I know that feeling. And it's not even here yet.

What is this course?
This is the second iteration of my Saturn Returns workshop/course, which takes place from September to December, 2017. It includes eight "lessons" which will be sent and shared in video form--one "lesson" (or exercise, or activity, or ritual, as it were) will come every two weeks, over a span of those four months. We will talk about Saturn and some of the ways its lessons can appear for us, and do exercises and activities aimed at looking into what's going on, where we are, and figuring out what our goals are, what we feel our limitations are... And getting some guidance for working past that. There will also be more obvious "Witchy Stuff"--Tarot, spells, ritual. Between lessons, there will be other, smaller prompts and activities on our private Facebook group, and an opportunity to interact with everyone in the workshop, for feedback and sharing.

This course is taking place during the Saturn in Capricorn return (view the video linked above for more on this), but this work is open to those who have already gone through their Saturn Return (once, or more times) and to those who have not yet reached their first or are coming up on another one! There will be some Saturn-in-Capricorn specific energy and information at times, but the work is appropriate for Saturn Returns in general, regardless of your Saturn sign. In the private FB group, there will be discussion time to tell everyone what sign your Saturn is in (and I will show you how to do this, if you don't already know how), so that I can provide some insight for you personally, as well.

Some expectations/requirements for participants:
  • It IS NOT required that you be going through your Saturn Return right now. Parts of this course are geared for Saturn in Capricorn folks, as Saturn Returns to Capricorn this December 2017, but this course is open to anyone regardless of Saturn status. =)
  • It is expected that you have an interest in astrology or specifically learning about Saturn Returns and what it can mean for us. No prior knowledge of what Saturn Returns is, or what your Saturn sign is, is required--I'll teach you all that if you don't know! And the video linked above is full of good info on that, too.
  • There will be a private Facebook group for folks in this session only, to chat privately among each other and with me. So it is preferred that you have a Facebook account in order to utilize this element, but you are welcome to do this course via email only, with the understanding that you will not necessarily hear from everyone in the group or be able to join in those chats. (If you don't have Facebook, let me know, and we'll all try to work something out!)
    • After you finish this session, participants in this and previous Saturn Returns sessions will be invited to join a larger group together, to keep up discussions with everyone who's done this course at some point or another--Participants in future Saturn Returns groups will be asked to join it after they finish it, too!
  • Active participation in group discussion! You don't have to share all your deepest, darkest secrets, but I will be posting various small discussion topics in the group in between sessions, and others may post thoughts of theirs, and it's very nice when everyone participates and responds in some way, just so people know they are being witnessed, if nothing else.
  • The ability to disagree respectfully, communicate with dignity and respect, and not be rude, or belittle others in any way.
  • At the onset of the course, mid-way through, and toward the end, I will be sharing links to surveys that will help me get a feel for where the group stands before, during, and after the course. These help me to improve your experience in the course as we go, and will help me to improve things for the future, so I would let to let you know in advance that when those come around, I would like you all to complete them! They don't have to be done same-day or anything, but within a reasonable amount of time. I'll let you know if their are specific deadlines, and remind you.
  • Sessions should be posted every other week. You do not have to complete them right away, but the course is designed so that you have two weeks between each session to complete it. This way, any ongoing work or discussion in the group can be specific to work that has been done.
  • I will be posting discussion topics in the Facebook group between sessions, and you are also free to create prompts yourself, ask for guidance, share a dream or insight with others in the group, etc. You do not have to wait for me to post something if you feel called to share!
    • I also ask that we all, of course, respect each other's privacy in the group. The group is private to only current participants in the course. Do not share anyone's personal experiences, words, or anything with those outside the group. If you want to share something outside the group, please ask that person's permission and see if they mind. If people want to be called by their Craft name in the group, let's try to remember and respect that, and so on. More on this will come in the group itself, but I wanted to include it here so you are aware in advance. =)

That's a general idea of participation/behavioral expectations for respectfully working together in an online group with me. More specifics may come as needed. =)

If you're ready to start your journey, click here to view the options for how to sign up and get started!

The deadline to sign up is Saturn's Day, August 26th.

This session has begun! Reach out to let me know if you're interested in future sessions through Facebook at facebook.com/cutewitch772, or at cutewitch772@yahoo.com

**I'm also offering an additional reading currently, that is not on my Readings page on this blog. If you are interested in using Numerology and the Tarot to look at your Year Cards, finding the connections and transitions from last year, to this year, and into the next, please read the page here. If you sign up for this Saturn Returns course and would like a Year Card reading, let me know once you've signed up and I'll make special arrangements with you!**

Email cutewitch772@yahoo.com or message me at facebook.com/cutewitch772.

If you are unfamiliar with my work and my style, please do watch the Saturn Returns video I have linked above, but also check out my YouTube channel (cutewitch772) to get a feel for who I am and how I teach!