During the quarter of a century of its existence, the church has received more than a half-million inquiries and accepted more than 50, students. The church has eclectic teachings which draw on a variety of religious and magical beliefs and practices. There is what is described as a Celtic flavor due to the personal history of the founders in that magical tradition.
The current teachings of the church rest upon what are thought of as its five supports: 1. Old masters and new texts: The church members, many of whom possess specialized linguistic and scholarly skills, have examined and offered insights from many ancient and modern religious texts; 2. Experimental work: A continuous process of research on beliefs and practices.
As a result, both undergo change and modification; 3. Research into modern remnants of pre-technological cultures: This area, especially as studies by social anthropologists continue, currently forms one of the expanding areas of new insight for the church; 4. Family traditions: The church began with the fragmentary family tradition passed to Gavin Frost.
It has largely been discarded because if its patriarchal emphases; and 5. Students and other Wiccans and Pagans: As dialogue is had with Wiccans and Pagans outside the church, especially those who come to the church after years of practice elsewhere, new insights are brought into the church's teachings. The present philosophy of the church can be summarized in five basic tenets resting on a central affirmation of God, pictured as an impersonal reality.
From this affirmation other ideas flow, including: 1. The Wiccan Rede: "If it harm none, do what you will;" 2. Reincarnation as an orderly system of learning. Reincarnation is not so much an accounting of sins and punishments, as it is a means of guiding learning; 3. Power through knowledge. It is assumed that each living creature has power or energy within its body and that the skill to direct that power can be taught and learned; and 5.
Harmony: It makes sense to live in harmony with the perceptible rhythms of the sun, moons, and seasons of the year. Over the years, the church has chartered 28 subsidiary churches worldwide. All of these subsidiaries have completed their training period and have become independent entities. The church sponsors three national gatherings every year.
The church continually fights for Wiccan rights and recognition in the public sphere. This has involved them in supporting religious freedom for incarcerated Wiccans and assisting the military in becoming informed about Wicca. The church also sponsors special interest groups for gay Wiccans, military Wiccans, solitary Witches, and other Wiccan groups founded around a particular interest or concern. The church runs a survival community called the Celtic Heritage Investigation Foundation, where land can be purchased by Wiccans and regular church services are held. The school associated with the church teaches a full range of courses on alternative topics.
They are directed at serious students and require considerable independent study and reading. Approximately students graduate from the school annually. Membership: At present, the church has limited the student body enrolled in correspondence courses to 5, It currently sponsors three subsidiary churches down from a peak of 28 , the drop due in part to its insistence that each church attain its own credentials from the IRS.
Frost, Gavin, and Yvonne Frost. The Magic Power of Witchcraft. Meta-Psychometry: Key to Power and Abundance. During the mids, the group was centered on the University of Oklahoma campus at Norman and operated under the name Atlan Foundation. In , following a move to St. Louis, Missouri, the Church of All Worlds was legally incorporated.
In March of that year, the Green Egg appeared. From its inauspicious beginnings as a one-page ditto sheet, it grew into a page journal over 80 issues, becoming the most significant periodical in the Pagan movement during the s and made Tim Zell, its editor, a major force in Neo-Paganism a term which Zell coined. It was also the major instrument in the church's expansion. Among his other adventures upon being brought to earth was the formation of the "Church of All Worlds. A basic concept was "grokking," i. CAW also emphasized the experience of non-possessive love and joyous expression of sexuality as divine union.
The nests were places where this grokking and joyful sexual love could find expression. The common greeting was, "Thou art God," a recognition of immanent divinity in each person. The non-fictional Church of All Worlds is organized around a Central Nest where master records are kept.
Autonomous nests are composed of at least three members of 2nd Circle or inner located in the same area. There are nine circles of advancement, named after the nine planets; each circle includes study, writings, magical training, sensitivity, and encounter-group experience, as well as active participation in the life of the church. The clergy, consisting of legally ordained priests and priestesses, begins at 7th Circle and is made up of longtime members of the church who have worked through the other circles, undergone personal and leadership development, religious training, and completed the church's other ordination requirements.
The Board of Directors includes representatives from all Circles attending quarterly board meetings with an annual General Meeting to elect officers and make periodic changes in the church's ever-evolving bylaws. However, the church had some trouble being recognized as a legitimate religious body and was originally refused recognition by the Missouri Department of Revenue for purposes of state sales tax exemption.
The rejection was on the basis of its lack of primary concern about the hereafter, God, the destiny of souls, heaven, hell, sin and its punishment, and other supernatural matters. The ruling was overturned as unconstitutional in The basic theology of the CAW is a form of pantheism which focuses on immanent rather than transcendant divinity. The most important theological statement came in the form of a revelatory writings by Zell in , on the theory which later came to be known as the Gaia Thesis.
This concept is a biological validation of an ancient intuition: that the planet is a single living organism—Mother Earth Gaia. Pantheists hold as divine the living spirit of Nature. Through its focus on Mother Nature as a goddess, its recognition and ordination of women as priestesses, CAW can also rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist church.
Its only creed states: "The Church of All Worlds is dedicated to the celebration of life, the maximal actualization of human potential and the realization of ultimate individual freedom and personal responsiblity in harmonious eco-psyhic relationship with the total Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth. Worship in the Church involves weekly or monthly meetings which are held usually in the homes of nest members on a rotational basis. The basic liturgical form is based on a Circle where members take turns sharing their creativity.
A chalice of water is always shared around the Circle either as the opening or closing of the ceremony. Other events are celebrated at the church sanctuary, a acre parcel of sacred land called Annfwn, in northern California. Annwfn has a handbuilt two story temple, a garden, an orchard, and a small pond. It has solar electricity, propane hot water, and a cellular telephone. In addition to the eight Celtic seasonal festivals commonly associated with Witchcraft, the church holds handfastings marriages , vision quests, initiations, workshops, retreats, workparties, and staff meetings on the land.
It was publishing two periodicals, Green Egg and The Pagan. Two years later, Zell, having established the churched, moved from St. Louis to northern California with his new wife, Morning Glory, an ordained Priestess, for a rural life more centered upon writing, research in some areas of particular interest and the practice of the religion he had developed. They left the administration and the publication of the Green Egg in the hands of other church leaders.
After only a few more issues, the magazine ceased to appear and many of the church nests dissolved in the wake of intense internal conflicts. By the mids, CAW survived only in California, focalized around the sanctuary land bequeathed to the church by its bard, the late Gwydion Pendderwen. On and around this rural retreat, a pagan homesteading community grew up which included the Zells Tim Zell had changed his first name to Otter in following a vision quest and other long-time church members who moved to the community, as well as many new people. Two new clergy were ordained—Orion Stormcrow and Anodea Judith—who have since become significant leaders in the church Anodea becoming the president for seven years.
In the late s, following Otter and Morning Glory's emergence from eight years of living in the wilderness, the Church of All Worlds began a reorganization and revivification. The community on the land broke up as the other people moved back into civilization. The membership program was radically upgraded to include intensive training courses and new responsiblities, along with a new members-only newsletter, The Scarlet Flame. As of February , the church has six chartered nests in California, with others in Florida, Illinois, Arizona, and Minnesota.
A number of others are in the process of formation. Otter is presently engaged in the formation of the Universal Federation of Pagans, a worldwide association with which he hopes to unify the global Pagan community. A Grand Convocation is being planned for August of to mark the 30th anniversary of the church. Over the years, the Church of All Worlds has chartered a number of subsidiary organizations through which it practices and teaches its religion. These subsidiaries have continued to function even while the main body of the church went dormant.
These subsidiary orders and current addresses are as follows:. Founded in by Gwydion Pendderwen. This is the ecology branch. Sponsors tree-planting events and rituals. Founded in by Anodea Judith. The teaching branch. Offers workshops, classes, healing rituals, recovery programs, and training for the priesthood. Founded in by Gwydion Pennderwen and Alison Harlow. The marketing branch. Tapes, records, songbooks, t-shirts, philosophical tracts, and books. Catalog available. Founded in by Morning Glory Zell. Branch devoted to research and exploration in the fields of history, mythology, and natural sciences.
Produced the Living Unicorn project, the New Guinea Mermaid expedition and a Peruvian Pilgrimage, as well as a series of replicas of ancient God and Goddess votive figurines sculpted by Otter. Founded in by the Zells and Alison Harlow. Magical and shamanic branch open only to trained initiates of this religious discipline.
Creates and conducts the church's rituals and ceremonies. Membership: No records are kept of first Circle members, but as of February , 2nd Circle and inner members numbered Periodicals: The Green Egg. Send orders to Box , Ukiah, CA These unicorns were produced by a simple operation on baby goats. The Zells claim that their research has shown that this is how the legendary creature was originally created by ancient pastoral people in the Middle East. The emergence of the first such animal, named Lancelot, was followed by a national publicity campaign, a shortlived periodical, Unicornews and the eventual lease of exhibition rights by the Ringling Bros.
Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life. Illustrated by Otter Zell. Paul, Minn. Zell, Tim. Born and raised in Russia, the son of the czar's personal physician, he trained for the Russian Orthodox Church priesthood, but prior to ordination he had a change of heart. He decided that Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, was a more appropriate object of his worship.
Before Botkin was able to start a church in Russia, the revolution began. He fled to Japan and finally came to the United States in During the following years Botkin provided for his family by writing about his homeland. However, he never gave up his belief and he finally founded his church in his Long Island home. He acquired a life-sized statue of Venus de'Medici as a worship center.
By the time the church was formally chartered, it had some 50 members. Botkin was a monotheist of the feminine principle, and believed the "Eternal Feminine" was a truer personal symbol of the Divine than its masculine counterpart. The church's creedal statement affirmed a belief in Aphrodite, described as "the flower-faced, sweetly-smelling, laughter-loving Goddess of Love and Beauty.
He also favored greater freedom between the sexes as a means of reducing passion. Sex was seen as an ideal, divine and wonderful. Botkin believed in conditional immortality; one could gain immortal life by coming into a relationship with Aphrodite. Worship was held four times weekly on Sunday morning and afternoon, and Friday and Saturday evenings. Botkin lived in New York for a number of years but at some point moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he died around The church ceased to exist at that time. The Church of Pan was founded in by Kenneth Walker d.
The organization of the church was occasioned by the request of two members to be married in the nude and the inability of the group to locate a minister to perform the ceremony. They decided to form a church and Walker became the minister. The Church of Pan espouses naturalist principles. Reverence and devotion is directed toward the Creator, and actions follow patterns discerned to be in concert with the Creator's designs and purposes. While engaged in altruistic actions which attempt to modify the harshness of nature, in line with the destiny of creation, the church denounces human actions which have destroyed life-supporting systems and polluted nature.
Humans have the task of maintaining the balance of life on the planet. The church also opposes the distortions of human society in its treatment of sexuality. Forgetting the naturalness of sex, society tends to view it either as sinful or something to be marketed. The church is headquartered at a nudist campground managed by Beulah A. Members are active in the promotion of environmental concerns. As might be expected from the nature of its beginning, the church has experienced difficulties over its status as a tax-exempt religious organization.
Membership: In the church reported 30 families, all members of the one "congregation" in Rhode Island. The Church of Seven Arrows was founded in by the Revs. George Dew and Linda Hillshafer, who serve as the shamans of the church. In , the church was established in Wheatridge, Colorado, a Denver suburb, and began publishing the monthly periodical Thunderbow.
While functioning within the larger Neo-Pagan Movement, the Church of Seven Arrows derives its system of belief and practice from a variety of sources, including contemporary western occultism, Hinduism, and, most prominently, the traditions of the Hopi and Plains Indians as expressed through the writings of Frank Waters and Hyemeyohsts Storm. The basic worldview and system of working is described in the two sets of books produced by the church, Basics of Magic and Shaman's Notes.
Beliefs of the church are expounded in terms of mythos, dogma, and doctrine. The church's mythos, its overall perspective on the nature of life and the universe, states that in the beginning, Creator existed as a State of Being. Creator acted, creating Nephew, who in turn created nine realms, one for Creator, Himself, and seven others. Spirits were created to populate the realms and the worlds. The human spirit is special in that it is the only spirit that may choose whether or not to fulfill its place, and the only one that must learn it. Humanity's function is to lead all the beings of Earth in raising a harmonious sound to the Creator's realm.
Eventually, the original harmony was lost and the sound arising from earth became a cacophony. At this point, Nephew and Grandmother cleansed the world with fire, and the first world gave way to a second. The second world proceeded like the first, but added to the growing cacophony was a mistreatment of the earth for purposes never intended for it. A second cleansing by ice was followed by the third world, its disintegration, and a cleansing by means of water and geologic shift.
We now live in the fourth world, which is progressing toward the time of another cleansing cycle. Those in touch with the harmony of Earth, Grandmother, and the original purpose and function of humankind will survive and pass through the cleansing activity. The dogmas of the church include these: an affirmation that each being is a spirit and mirror of the Creator; a being cannot be destroyed; the universe exists in a state of patterned change; each being has a right to exist but each form of existing may or may not be acceptable ; bodies are masks of the spirit; no one path is proper for all people at all times; and the same basic principles manifest in both the spiritual and material realm.
Doctrine, the more ephemeral beliefs of the church, are summarized in nine statements as a "Guide for Daily Living on the Path of Seven Arrows. The ancient sciences should be used so as to avoid harm to anyone. The church offers a set of rituals for both personal and group use. The church is headed by a board of directors. A variety of classes on basic magic and shamanism are taught at regular intervals. Most members live in the Denver metropolitan area, but the periodical has a national audience. Rituals follow the solar and lunar cycles. Thunderbow , a popular Pagan periodical for a decade, was discontinued in Since the church has sponsored the Earth Home Society which networks among holistic healers in the Denver Metropolitan area.
Membership: As of , approximately 50 participants attend church activities in the Denver area during any given period. Currently, approximately "graduate-practitioners" of church training around the country kept in communication and retain some informal ties with it. Storm, Hyemeyohsts. The Song of Heyoehkah. Harrison and Harold Moss. Harrison, a former Roman Catholic, and Moss were converted to Paganism through the study of Greek and Roman religion and the attraction of the fine arts of ancient Egypt. In , Harrison founded the Julian Review , which became the organ of the Delphic Fellowship, an early Pagan fellowship based upon Greek motifs.
Moss organized a social group professing the Egyptian religion after seeing a movie, "The Egyptian," which focused on Akhenaten. In , the group held an Egyptian costume party. The Church of the Eternal Source combines aspects of a number of Egyptian temples. Each priest and priestess acts autonomously in supervising ritual and initiation procedures for his or her temple.
The two basic principles of the Church of the Eternal Source are polytheism, the plurality of gods, and authentic Egyptianism. The church teaches that divinity is a balance of distinct divine vectors. The diversity of the gods, and their transactions, produce reality. Man's task is to achieve balance in his soul in the divine vectors.
Authentic Egyptian religion relates to the early period when Egypt was relatively untainted by non-Egyptian ideas. This period becomes a source for all later religious insights. The mastery of Egyptian history is stressed. Many of the church leaders have made pilgrimages to Egypt. Religious practices center on personal shrines, the study of theology, divination, the fine arts and personal worship with wide variations. Group worship is manifest in the festivals, which are dramatic reenactments of a holy myth.
The Egyptian pantheon forms the basic content of faith.
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A typical myth is the story of the rebirth of Osiris. Osiris was killed by Set, the god of darkness. Isis, the wife of Osiris, sought him, her tears causing the Nile to overflow. She found the body and buried it, but not carefully. Set exhumed it, dismembered it and scattered the pieces through the land. Isis then carefully sought and assembled each piece. Osiris was then resurrected. Osiris and Isis are accompanied in the pantheon by Horus, their son; Bast, the beneficent solar goddess represented as a cat; Thoth, the god of wisdom; and Ra, the sun god often represented as Khepera, the beetle believed to be self-generated.
The myths are described in ancient literature, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Important festival days are held each full moon; on the birthdays of the deities, the latter occurring in July; and the equinoxes and the solstices. Ritual magick is performed, but no set ritual is prescribed. Remarks: Don Harrison, one of the Church' founders, is the author of several novels emphasizing both ancient religions and sexual themes. Frankfort, Henri. Ancient Egyptian Religion, An Interpretation. According to Wilbur Tracy, the church grew out of a revelation enabling him to discover the existence of a priestess with a lineage back to ancient Egypt.
She could not publicly assume her religious functions, but ordained him. Mary Ellen Tracy soon had a similar revelation and was trained and ordained as a priestess by her husband. The church teaches and practices a form of hedonism, a philosophy that sees the search for pleasure as the goal of life. It draws its inspiration from ancient Egypt, which it also sees as the originating point of Christianity. Thus, members consider themselves Christian but deny any relation to Judaism.
They believe that Mary Magdalene was a priestess of Isis or Eastar and that it was to her that Jesus first appeared after his resurrection also an old Egyptian belief. Jesus entrusted the church to Mary Magdalene , but the apostles later wrestled control away from her. The essence of the church's practice is found in the rituals, the ordinances of the Goddess. The nature of these rituals is only hinted at in the church's few pieces of literature. Participation in the series of rituals is deemed necessary for individual progress.
They begin with confession, a personal acknowledgement of one's spiritual state. Dedication or commitment is an act of devotion which leads to a higher order of hedonism. A sacrifice, or offering, is required as a sign of dedication. Immersion is the preparatory ritual for the communication through the Goddess, represented by the priestess.
In the Tracys were arrested for prostitution. The state of California charged that the church was merely a cover for their operating a house of prostitution, and that the rituals, which involve oral sex dedication , the payment of a sum of money sacrifice , and intercourse immersion constituted simple sex for money.
The Tracys were convicted and have pursued an appeal. They claim interference with their right to freely practice their religion.
Bush, G. The Goddess and Horned God were worshipped, the former taking slight precedence. The Goddess was thought to rule from Yule to Midsummer's Eve, and the God, the other half of the year. The eight sabbats were also celebrated. Midsummer's Eve is the most important. The sabbats were concluded with a shared meal. There are also regular esbats. Worship was within the circle. Members took turns in being the coven leader and conducting the ceremonies.
There were no overt sexual activities involved in the rituals. Oneness with nature was the prime goal. Members were pacifistic and charitable, and refused reward for their services. Black magic and Satanism were strongly condemned. For several years, Lady Cybele managed The Cauldron, an occult supply store and center. It offered lectures on occult topics, psychic readings, books and health food. Lady Cybele is a herbalist and incorporated her knowledge of herbs into her teachings. Buchholtz was the operator of Sanctum Regnum, an occult supply and book shop.
It teaches a system of Pantheism that emphasizes freedom, joy, and self-worth. The church emphasizes the right and privilege of religious freedom and champions a "live and let live" philosophy. At the same time the church is opposed to those forms of religion that are preoccupied with sin and suffering to the extent that followers are not allowed to develop their own individuality. The Church of Universal Forces is a pantheistic religion and acknowledges the Godhead of the Divine as the root of humanity. The Godhead, known under many names of gods and goddesses, is both male and female in equal portions.
The Godhead is to be worshipped daily. Members are encouraged to have daily devotions in their home and to raise their children in the knowledge of the deities. Ethically the church follows the Rede, "That ye harm none, do what you will. Members are admonished to be slow to take offense and quick to seek reconciliation with another member with whom there might have been differences.
The church has developed its own variation on the Neopagan rituals. It teaches development of psychic ability and affirms a belief in astrology. It offers a course on magick and magical religions whose graduates are ready to form their own group. The church also operates an occult supply house and offers a course to the general public on various occult and related topics. Circle began in when Selena Fox, its founder, received the central concept, logo, and name in meditation.
Shortly after this event, she and her partner Jim Alan began to host informal gatherings of people interested in magic and mysticism with a Wiccan focus in their home in Madison, Wisconsin. In June , they moved to a farm near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. This site, known as Circle Farm, was the meeting place for Circle's first coven and later for Circle's first community, which included several covens.
Through their writings and music, Fox and Alan began to meet and correspond with Pagans around the United States and in the British Isles. In , their first book, a songbook, was published, as well as a tape of their spiritual music. Fox also founded Circle Network that year. The following year Fox began to devote her full time to the expanding Circle ministry which was incorporated as the Church of Circle Wicca in October In May , Fox compiled the first Circle resource guide, a networking directory and sourcebook, which contributed to the growth of the developing Pagan movement.
In November , after being evicted from their first farm because of their religion, which had received national media attention, Circle moved first to a farm near Middleton, Wisconsin, and then to a farm outside of Black Earth. In , a more permanent location, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve, was purchased near Barneveld, Wisconsin, and Circle changed its corporate name to Circle Sanctuary.
The preserve includes a variety of ritual sites and meditation places, including a stone circle, outdoor shrines, and an indoor temple. During this time, Circle became the focus of an ever-widening network of Neopagans and Witches throughout the United States and other countries. Also that year, the Pagan Spirit Alliance was formed as an international and ecumenical Pagan friendship network. In , the first of the annual week-long International Pagan Spirit Gatherings was held. In , Circle expanded its Wiccan-Pagan religious freedom work through its leadership in a nationwide action, and in , this form of ministry was further developed through the creation of the Lady Liberty League.
In , after a two-year legal battle, Circle Sanctuary land won local zoning as a church, and Circle began being listed alongside churches of other faiths in the worship directory of Madison area newspapers. This path emphasizes communion with the Divine in nature and focuses upon honoring the Goddess as Mother Earth. Strong elements of ecofeminism, animism, shamanic healing, and Native American land spirit wisdom help to shape the ritual life.
In the s, Circle has increasingly used the term "Nature Spirituality" a term coined by Fox in to describe its multifaceted networking and spiritual focus. Circle has emerged as one of the most visible and public centers for Witchcraft and Neopaganism in the United States, and Fox is reguarly called upon by the media, the government, and other churches to speak for the broader Neopagan community.
Through the variety of periodicals and festivals sponsored by Circle, it has built the largest network currently existing within the community. It has also been the seedbed for other Pagan groups, some of which have had their beginnings among those who have studied and worked at Circle's headquarters. Currently the church is headed by Fox and her husband, Dennis Carpenter, who function as high priestess and high priest. Both are professionaly trained psychotherapists. Fox does counseling and spiritual healing, and Carpenter is involved in doing scholarly research and writing as part of their ministry.
The multifaceted local and global ministry of Circle is carried out by volunteers and full-time staff members. In , Circle published its updated statement of purpose which identifies the thrust of its work as encouraging the growth and well-being of nature spirituality. Periodicals: Circle Network Bulletin. Remarks: Following the movement of the Church of Circle Wicca on the land that had been purchased as Circle Sanctuary, the church was forced into a still ongoing battle against elements in the county opposed to the existence of a pagan center in their community. An attempt was made to use zoning laws in a heavily agricultural section of the state to force the church from their land.
After a lengthy fight to inform the public of the nature of their faith, in the Sanctuary finally received church zoning, though other issues remain to be resolved. In the midst of the debates with county officials, Fox founded the Pagan Strength Web, and broadened her efforts in defending religious rights of pagans in other parts of the country.
Circle, Carpenter, Dennis D. Horeb, WI: Circle Publications, Confederation of Independent Asatru Kindred CIAK was founded in Alabama in as a Pagan organization that facilitates, in a non-dogmatic manner, the following of the Gods of the Northern Tradition and fellowship among those who do. CIAK is led by a circle of elders. Early growth came as otherwise independent Asatru groups affiliated. Any group of three or more adult members may form a kindred local group within CIAK. At the time of its creation, the founders of CIAK dictated that there would be several semiindependent guilds and halls that would be active as subsidiary organizations.
Among these are the Ancestors Hall, to provide a focus on the religious importance of honoring one's ancestors and doing research in family history; the Clergy Hall, to facilitate the training of the clergy gothi and gythia and encourage the continuing pursuit of knowledge by the leadership; and the Warriors Guild that prepares members to cope with the enemies of the faith.
While presenting a loose format for the worship of the deities, CIAK has a strong ethical policy that members are asked to accept. It includes responsibility to the organization and its members; living so as to contribute constructively to the public image of Asatru and Asatru-like belief systems; honesty; and acting in no way that is unlawful or detrimental to the health and welfare of the public. CIAK has developed a reading program of clergy training for those who would assume leadership.
It annually sponsors a national Asatru gathering, the Summer's End Moot. A variety of holidays are celebrated annually, including the anniversary of the founding of the original Kindred in Alabama during Yule of Among the goals of CIAK are to offer an online library on the northern traditions and to locate land upon which a hof can be built and an Asatru community created. Currently there are four kindreds associated with CIAK, with an estimated less than 50 members. Confederation of Independent Asatru Kindred.
A growing split within the Pristine Egyptian Orthodox Church discussed elsewhere in this chapter led in to a schism and the withdrawal of Milton J.
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Neruda, who then formed the Congregation of Aten. At least one issue in the schism was the method of approaching the dominant American Christian faith. Neruda argued that Christianity was heavily reliant on Egyptian religion for such concepts as the Trinity , the virgin birth, Christmas and resurrection. He took a highly polemical stance with respect to the Christian faith. The Egyptian faith of the congregation of Aten offered answers "to one who is not blinded by prejudice and ignorance. Knowledge is the only path to true salvation!
Neruda led the single congregation which existed for several years in Chicago. The Congregationalist Witchcraft Association was founded in the late s by members of several Neo-Pagan Witchcraft covens across Canada after several years of discussion of its bases of agreement and constitution.
When finally chartered in by the Canadian government as a non-profit corporation, the association began life as a confederation of self-governing groups covens in several Canadian provinces Initially in Ontario, British Columbia , and Nova Scotia ; it presently also has members in Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Groups share a common statement of belief and ethical principles, but whose members control their own administration and worship.
The association was formed to accomplish tasks that no one of its members all of which tend to be small covens can accomplish alone. It represents them to the government, promotes festivals and gatherings, and assists the growth of Wicca. The association holds that divinity is multi-faceted and as such can be given a variety of names by which the many gods and goddesses are known. There are also levels of divinity; thus it is appropriate to speak of lesser deities such as guardian spirits.
The divine is primarily immanent rather than transcendent, and thus ever-present and active in the world. Every woman and man is an embodiment of divinity, and all acts of love and pleasure are acts of praise of the Goddess. All forms of sexual expression that are non-coercive are considered legitimate by the association. Members also practice magic and believe that through petition, action, and ritual, the world may be changed according to their will. Members of the association agree not to practice animal sacrifice, promote coercive activities, or charge fees either for teaching the Craft or initiation.
Priests and priestesses are expected to keep pastoral confidences.
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Membership: In there were five full member congregations one each in British Columbia , Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and seven associate members congregations found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. There were also 17 individual members. Educational Facilities: The association was formed with the idea of creating a nondegree granting-college to train people for the priesthood.
Periodicals: The association publishes a newsletter, Duck Tales, for members only. Several of the member congregations also publish newsletters. The church is congregational in structure, being composed of autonomous covens and solitary practitioners. It honors a multiplicity of female and male deities, and follows the worship cycle of the eight common Wiccan festivals by celebrating community cycles. The church offers many different clergy services to its community, such as weddings, funerals, and coming of age rites. The church is headed by a board of directors who are elected annually.
The Covenant of the Goddess C. Largely confined to California in its first years, by the end of the decade it had accepted covens in the East and during the early s became a national organization which had shifted a significant amount of its activity to the Midwest. It now has covens in seven regional groupings across the country.
Membership is open to witches, both covens and individuals practicing as solitaries. New members must be recommended by two active C. A code of ethics binds members to the Wiccan Rede, "An ye harm none, do as ye will. Annually members of the Covenant of the Goddess gather for the Merry Meet, an annual festival, during which the Grand Council meets and the officers are elected.
Where three or more covens exist in close geographic proximity, they may organize a local council for the accomplishment of specific projects and general cooperative endeavor. The Spiral Dance. The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans CUUPs emerged in the mids among some Unitarian Universalists who had come into contact with the Neo-Pagan movement and had concluded that the two groups had much in common and much of value to share with each other. At the Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association UUA in Atlanta, Georgia, a spontaneous and spirited summer solstice ritual led to exploration of the possibility of an ongoing organization.
A newsletter was begun, and Pagan scholar and writer Margot Adler was invited to address the assembly, at which time CUUPs was formally organized. The interim steering committee became the first board of directors. The possibility of such a group within the UUA is the result of its movement as primarily a liberal Christian body to one which acknowledges its life as a confluence of the world's religious traditions and insights.
The association also places a great deal of emphasis upon individual freedom of belief and worship, intellectual inquiry, and toleration of differences. Religious pluralism has become an established way of life within the association. CUUPs has developed a formal program of providing networking among Unitarian Universalists who identify themselves as Pagan, promoting dialogue among Pagans and those of the dominant western religious traditions, and serving as a liaison between Pagans and the larger UUA.
In practice, CUUPs has provided the Pagan community with not only a means for Pagan clergy to gain a theological education and credentials, but also a spiritual home for many Pagans who otherwise have no relation to the UUA. Thus CUUPs operates as both a caucus within the association and as a growing and increasingly important Pagan grouping in its own right.
It was the first such recognition of the significance of Neo-Paganism by a major American religious body. CUUPs is headed by a board of directors co-chaired by the Revs. It holds a national meeting in conjunction with the annual UUA Assembly, and numerous chapters have been formed around the United States and Canada. The group was originally the Brotherhood of Wicca but changed the name, so as not to be confused with Lady Sheba's covens.
William was initiated in England and afterwards spent four months studying in Wales. The Cymry received its laws and traditions from Great Britain through William.
They are contained in eight volumes in manuscript form. The Cymry Wicca moved its headquarters to Georgia in Celtic names are employed by the Cymry. Worship is both skyclad naked and robed, and both inside and outside the circle, depending on the occasion. Reincarnation is stressed.
Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism
Major focus of Cymry is on becoming attuned to nature and its forces. Drugs are forbidden. The Cymry differs from other Wicca groups in that it is organized on seven levels. Each probationer is given a level name and a secret name, both in Welsh. Movement through the levels is occasioned by initiation ceremonies.
The first level, the "naming," is coincidental with the members' identification with the coven. The Cymry is organized in autonomous covens. There is no witch king or queen, but there are elders who render binding decisions on questions put to them. Cymry Wicca covens were most active in the mids.
In September , in upstate Georgia, the Cymry hosted the first of several Gatherings of the Tribes, a conclave of Witches and Neo-Pagans from a wide variety of traditions and perspectives. During the s the covens have been less active. Gawr, Rhuddlwn. Atlanta: Pagan Grove Press, Closely related to Fereferia, an organization discussed elsewhere in this chapter, were the Dancers of the Sacred Circle, founded in the early s by Richard Stanewick. Stanewick was one of the founders of Fereferia and served as its secretary until he moved to the San Francisco area and formed an autonomous group.
Headquarters for the Dancers were near Redway, California, on a forty-acre nature sanctuary. The Dancers attempted to build a total life based on the central figure of the Maiden divinity. Devotions were daily and seasonal, and had both aesthetic and erotic emphases. Included were wilderness mysteries, henge rites a henge is an open air ring temple , and work in the maintenance and creation of gardens, orchards and wilderness shrines. The group was small, consisting of Richard, his wife, Phyllis Stanewick, and a few adherents. It disbanded in the early s. Among the early Goddess-worshipping groups in the United States was the Celtic traditional Delphic Coven founded by Bonnie Sherlock, who operated from a small town in Wyoming.
According to Sherlock, the tradition had been handed down through the family, which migrated from Scotland in , first to Ireland then to America. Sherlock was taught the craft by her great-grandmother, who imparted the first two initiations. The third was received from a Sioux medicine man. The group claimed Celtic origins "in that we take our muse from the Cauldron of the Kerridwen, and will at length become as the radiant browed Taliesin. Creative expression, primarily through arts, was a major theme; ecology and love of nature, especially as expressed in reverence of the mountain environment, were also emphasized.
The coven dissolved following Sherlock's death in the late s. Harrison began to publish the Julian Re-view as a forum of discussion of the Pagan religion. The Fellowship was formed the following year with the intent of restoring the heritage of Greece and rightful homage to the gods. The Delphic Fellowship took its inspiration from the ancient oracle at Delphi. The Greek pantheon, headed by Zeus, was worshipped. The Delphian Affirmations asserted belief in the plurality of Gods; in the experience of the wholeness of nature; in the sacred character of the Cosmos and the denial of its fall ; in man as a child of Holy Earth; in moral freedom; in the beauty, purity, and holiness of man's sexuality; that the instinct to survive is natural and pleasing to the gods; that man's posture toward nature should be one of reverence and joyous participation, and in the Sacred Precepts of Elder Delphi, especially his admonition, "Know Thyself; Nothing in Excess.
The headquarters of the Delphic Fellowship was in Los Angeles. Dianic Wicca is a name given to those Witchcraft covens which have developed a strong emphasis upon feminism and the role of Witchcraft as the religion of females wimmin. While most Wiccans recognize their origins in the work of Gerald B. Gardner and the new form of Witchcraft he developed in the s, the Dianics claim a tradition independent of Gardner, in the worship of Diana, the ancient Greek Goddess, from Central Europe. It is the belief of Dianic witches that the worship of the Goddess in a primeval past co-existed with a period of peace on earth which was destroyed by the rise of men and patriarchal deities.
In Dianic covens, worship is focused upon the mother Goddess as the Source of Life and as the Source of both sexes, and seen as including both sexes already. Individual covens vary from all-female separatist groups, to all female groups, to mixed male-female groups with a strong feminist emphasis. Within the Dianic coven, the high priestess represents the Goddess and facilitates a ritual based upon the circle. She is assisted by a maiden, and occassionally where men are allowed by a high priest.
They represent the consort and the child. Some all-female covens operate in the nude, weather and inclination permitting and some Dianic covens believe in parthenogenic birth, that is, birth not requiring male assistance. Dianic Wicca began to emerge in the United States in when at least two different Dianic groups began. In southern California, Zsuzsanna Emese Budapest developed a coven associated with the Feminist Wicca, a "matriarchial spiritual center" in Venice, California. That original coven, known as the Susan B.
Anthony Coven No. It has been renamed the Circle of Aradia. In the early s, Budapest moved to Oakland, California, and began a second coven which eventually took the name abandoned by the first one.
Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Dark Eldar(8E)
In Oakland, Budapest has led in the formation of the Women's Spirituality Forum, an organization dedicated to bringing Goddess consciousness into the mainstream of feminist, earth conservationist, and peace and justice work in the United States. High Priestess McFarland was a freelance photographer, writer, and feminist who began to explore the Craft in her early teens. She published a shortlived Neopagan periodical, The Harp , before going public in High Priest Roberts was also a freelance writer and photographer.
Their group had originally been established as an occult group called the Seekers. In , that group began to publish The New Broom. An article in described the Dianic aspect as a blending of monotheism and pantheism. Dianic witches were monotheistic in that they worshipped the Goddess as the essential creative force. They were pantheists in their consideration of every creation in nature a child of the Goddess. Withstanding attacks from those who complained that Dianic Witchcraft had lost the balance implied in the acknowledgement of the God and Goddess, the Dianics have become recognized as an important part of the Goddess tradition in North America.
Beside the separate Dianic covens, Dianic Wicca has found strong advocates within otherwise non-Dianic groups. For example, Starhawk, popular feminist Wiccan writer, is the leader of the Compost Coven, a coven within the larger fellowship of the Covenant of the Goddess see separate entry , as is the Susan B. Membership: Dianic is a designation describing a number of covens and Witchcraft groups. Their inclusion under that label does not imply any organizational connection or even mutual recognition.
They are united only in their sharing and emphasizing a generally feminist perspective within the larger neopagan community. There are an estimated 20, Dranic Wiccans in the United States. Budapest, B. The Feminist Book of Lights and Shadows. Venice, CA: Luna Publications, Budapest, Zsuzsanna. The Rise of the Fates. Los Angeles: Susan B. The Holy Book of Women's Mysteries. There is one aspect of the Neo-Pagan movement in America which seems to be a complete put-on, the Discordian Society.
As described in Principia Discordia , the "bible" of the group, Discordians worship Eris, the goddess of chaos. The Society was founded by someone named Malaclypse the Younger who, in , upon evoking the Lady in the Erisian aspect, was told, "We Discordians must stick apart.
Wilson is a popular writer and and advocate of the Illuminatus conspiracy. He coauthored with Robert Shea a three-volume fantasy novel Illuminatus! Members in the Discordian Society are initiated as popes. Being infallible, they have the power to excommunicate everyone. The member can then proceed to higher orders—bishop, knight, castle, priest, dupe and finally clown. In fact the Discordian movement has not functioned as an organization but has been perpetuated as an inside joke and means of relieving tension within Pagan groups. Quite simply it is the Neo-Pagan version of "Murphy's Law.
The most well known literature, apart from Principia Discordia which has been kept in print in ever newer editions was a periodical, St. John's Bread , that enjoyed a brief life in the mids. The Divine Circle of the Sacred Grove was founded in by Janette Gordon, a priestess who has a long history of participation in Druidism as well as training in Wicca and a broad mastery of occultism in general. The church holds weekly religious services and the school offers a full course of study on Wicca, magic, ritual, healing, occultism, and related topics.
The school operates as a correspondence school under the tutelage of Janette and her husband, Norman Gordon. She has authored all of the curriculum lesson material. The church teaches the balance of Nature affirmed in ritual activity, the polarity of Goddess and God, and a way of life based upon personal empowerment through magic. While operating out of a single center in Fontana, California, the church had extended its influence to Wiccans across the United States through its school, which offers master's and doctorate degrees to its graduates.
It also offers special training for the priesthood and provides an opportunity for graduates to become initiates and priests of the church. The form of Wicca followed was called "Gwyddoniaid" and is traced to the mixture of Celtic male deity and Pictish female deity religions in Wales. They worship the Earth Mother in her nine-fold aspects and the Horned God. Covens are limited to thirteen male and female members, chosen alternately. Each coven is under the guidance of a high priest and high priestess. Each coven is autonomous, but is tied to others by similar ritual and laws. The high priestess is ascendent, in keeping with the matriarchal orientation.
There are weekly and monthly on the full moon rituals as well as the eight sabbats. No magick is worked at the latter. Power usually raised for magick is "given directly to the god in loving sacrifice. Identical red robes are worn, emphasizing the equality of individuals before the gods. As well as being transgressive, writing itself is a sensuous act for the Coven; each member relishes the materiality of writing.
For these vampires, writing is sexy, sometimes even approaching the acme of their bliss: several of them compare writing to drinking blood or having their own blood drunk by another. There is a final consequence of the gift worth scrutiny: the telepathic silence that falls with it. The relentless articulation of the Coven of the Articulate, then, is in part also an attempt to overcome the dead silence that falls after vampiric transformation.
Like us mortals, these vampires must create their bonds through words; like us, with their most beloved, they cannot rely on preternatural, wordless psychic union. Words must fill their silence, so first you swallow, then you speak. Rice wrote her vampire novels over twenty-seven years, and her use of the Dark Gift does change over time.
The Coven of the Articulate begin referring to vampiric supernatural powers as gifts: the Fire Gift incinerating others by the power of mind , Spell Gift entrancing others , Mind Gift telepathy , Cloud Gift flying , and the Spirit Gift astral projection. In addition, the novels become a little more optimistic about the possibility of equality. At the end of the ninth book, Lestat and his Coven have to go into complete hiding from the mortal world, but even then Lestat declares he is determined that the Coven should continue writing Merrick Their communities of hunger circulate around the empty mouth: the mouth open to accept blood, and the mouth open to proffer language.
The communities thus created are textually promiscuous. Those who would conceive revolutionary economies of relation might learn from those bloodstained lips. Auerbach, Nina. Our Vampires, Ourselves. Chicago: U of Chicago P, Bataille, Georges. Theory of Religion. New York: Zone, Benefiel, Candace R. Bercovitch, Eytan.
Bourdieu, Pierre. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Richard Nice. New York: Cambridge UP, Carrier, James. Case, Sue-Ellen. Craft, Christopher. Creet, Julia. Derrida, Jacques. Given Time: I. Counterfeit Money. Doane, Janice, and Devon Hodges. Barbara Tepa Lupack. Bowling Green, Ohio: Popular Press, Dyer, Richard. Susannah Radstone.
London: Lawrence and Wishart, Edelman, Lee. New York: Routledge, Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Joseph Slater, Alfred R. Ferguson, and Jean Ferguson Carr. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap, Gelder, Ken. Reading the Vampire. Gomez, Jewelle. The Gilda Stories. Ithaca, New York: Firebrand, Grosz, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Grosz and Elspeth Probyn. London: Routledge, Haggerty, George. Queer Gothic. Urbana, Illinois: U of Illinois P, Hall, Donald E.
Queer Theories. London: Palgrave, Hennessy, Rosemary. Jagose, Annamarie. Queer Theory: An Introduction. Keller, James R. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, Gary Hoppenstand and Ray B. Lingis, Alphonso. New York: Norton, Mulvey-Roberts, Marie. Nelson, Marcia Z. Accessed July 2, Nemoianu, Virgil.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, Ramsland, Katherine. New York: Penguin, London: Little, Brown, Rein-Hagen, Mark. Vampire the Masquerade. Rice, Anne. Blackwood Farm. London: Arrow, Blood and Gold. Blood Canticle. New York: Ballantine, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. New York: Knopf, Interview with the Vampire. Memnoch the Devil. The Queen of the Damned.
London: Futura, The Tale of the Body Thief. London: Penguin, The Vampire Armand. The Vampire Lestat. Vittorio the Vampire. Roquelaure, A. New York: Dutton, New York: Plume, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.