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.

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