• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reclaiming

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

"The truly great ones become less creators of art than conduits for the wild art that exists at large in the Universe."

b2ap3_thumbnail_wild-things.jpg

That line is a joke. Literally. It's spoken by a character in a play of mine, an actress pretending to be an author. It usually gets a big laugh. My playwriting is an integral part of my spiritual practice, part of honoring creative freedom, as we say in the Principles of Unity.

I was backstage during a performance of that play last month, and I thought, What if it's true? What if I am a conduit for the wild art that exists at large in the Universe?

Last modified on
3
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I LOVE it! I do feel like a conduit, of sorts, for my poems and my sculptures. They come through me, not from me. Like my kids, to

Earlier this week The Wild Hunt blog featured a report on CoG’s recently concluded MerryMeet/Grand Council, complete with photos of the new National Board.  What a change from my day!

There was a time when Witches (and Wiccans) kept deep within the broom closet, for all manner of reasons, most involving fear of discrimination at work, school, or housing.

I remember the first MerryMeet held on the East Coast in the mid-eighties, at Rowe Camp & Conference Center in Massachusetts.  That was when I first met some of the wonderful folks at the then-Northeast Local Council: folks from NECTW, EarthSpirit, and the then-Lone Star LC from Texas, among many others.  At that MerryMeet I saw my first tea dance.  It seemed to have a very New York flavor, especially with BrightShadow[1] in leathers. 

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Robert Scott
    Robert Scott says #
    Well put, and thank you for sharing.
  • Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says #
    We can only hope that this trend continues.
God Is Self and Self is God: Musings on Godself and Living a Magical Life

Who is this flower above me,
And what is the work of this god?
I would know myself in all my parts.
~ Feri Flower Prayer

My work of late has been focused around surrender, specifically, surrendering to the moment and surrendering to the Gods. And first and foremost, I have to surrender to my Self, specifically, to my Godself.*

Danielle LaPorte recently wrote about asking for and receiving cosmic guidance. Her second suggestion really resonated with me:

...
Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

We stand in a circle beside the enormous maple branches that lie across the road, a sort of honor guard to a fallen land Wight. Claire, on whose lot the maple stands, greets each newcomer by name; Susan, who lives across the road and has a gas stove, offers coffee to folks without power.

Scarlett informs us, with a seven-year-old's precision, that the kids (seven at last count, though the number fluctuates as neighboring families walk or cycle past, witnessing our changed landscape) have collected ten earthworms. They've all been presented to us as holy offerings before being released back to the greater Mystery that is the rain-soaked boulevard. Summer has arrived with a bang.

Last modified on
3

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My home Reclaiming community has launched a series of meetings to try to define ourselves as a community. What is our history? What are our values? What is our power structure, and how do we make decisions? Who, exactly, are "we" in the first place?

Last modified on
3

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

It's 7:30 on a Sunday morning. I'm writing this in the home of Marianne and Dennis, who I don't think are awake yet. For company I have a cat named Skeksis and a young man named Lee. Skeksis is ignoring me. Lee is dead.

Last modified on
8
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    This kind of loving care for each other is needed much more. I have no desire to be hauled off to some hospital to die surrounded
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    Thanks for the comment, Greybeard. I agree that being able to die in familiar surroundings with, if possible, family and friends n
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I am so sorry for your loss, Eli. In other news, I'd be very happy if you wrote something about this work for our upcoming Elemen

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My wife and I spent last weekend at the third annual Paganicon, a gathering of Pagan-identifying folk from the Twin Cities area (and beyond). The Reclaiming presence continues to be small. Apart from my lovely wife and myself, and a couple friends we're slowly pulling into the Reclaiming orbit, I only spotted one person who positively identifies as being part of that nebulous entity known as "Paganistan Reclaiming".

b2ap3_thumbnail_Paganicon3.jpg

So there we were, a small number of us expected, whether people said so or not, to "represent" our tradition among the swirl of other Paganisms present at the convention. Which, as I've mentioned before, is nigh impossible. I can represent the way I practice Reclaiming, and perhaps the way it's done here in "Paganistan" (a term for the greater Twin Cities area Pagan community), but beyond that, we weave a glorious tapestry of belief and practice that's difficult to easily encapsulate.

...
Last modified on
4

This week, my wife and about 60 fellow members of the Reclaiming tradition traveled to rural Wisconsin for Winter Witchcamp. Staying behind is hard for me, despite knowing I need the year off. Winter Witchcamp is a spiritual home-away-from-home, and many members of my home community will be there, as well as friends I only see at that time. I miss them fiercely.

What is witchcamp? For many, it's integral to the Reclaiming experience. It's part summer camp (even in Winter), part symposium, part family reunion. For several days, we learn together in groups small and large, eat together in a lodge and sleep together in cabins (and tents, in Summer, but this is February in the Upper Midwest, and we're not crazy) , and make magic and ritual together.

There's really no wrong way to "do" Reclaiming (folks sometimes use this as a criticism of the tradition, but I count it among our greatest strengths). But sometimes, if we're doing our thing on our own, without contact with others, we risk losing track of our principles, even the very practices and beliefs that first drew us to the tradition.

...
Last modified on
2

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Political and social activism form the core of many a Reclaiming witch’s practice. A main impetus of the tradition’s formation was the desire to reunite spirituality and activism, a union deliberately put asunder by many neo-Pagan traditions. From envelope-stuffing for local school board candidates to getting arrested at the RNC and DNC, activism is at the heart of what many of us do.

One of my day jobs is for the Minnesota Legislature. Not one individual legislator or party, but the body as a whole. Because ours is a nonpartisan office, and because I made certain agreements when I took the position, I am barred from overt political action. For the past several years, I’ve made my peace with this.

But this year, there are amendments.

...
Last modified on
1
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Careswen ferch Madoc
    Careswen ferch Madoc says #
    Just catching up. I understand why you feel like you are in quite a pickle. I can't recall right now if I've ever been in a posi
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Understood, Eli: sounds like the situation may be a bit less cut-and-dried that I initially understood it to be. May the Goddess o
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    If it's causing you that much torment, I'd say, look for a job that won't put you in this dilemma. It's a third way, and, IMHO, wo

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I am about to tell you a Deep Reclaiming Secret. Seriously. This is, like, twelfth-level initiate stuff.* This is the secret of how to become a Reclaiming Witch. Are you ready? Here goes (at least, as I was taught. Your Moose May Vamoose):

In order to be considered a member of the Reclaiming Tradition, you must name yourself as such  and agree to abide by the Principles of Unity.

Ta-da!

...
Last modified on
1

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Do we celebrate diversity, or do we simply tolerate it?

Mitchell stares at me intently as he asks the question.

Mitchell has helped bring trans awareness into Bay Area paganism, particularly Reclaiming events. So I had to stop and think. Do pagans really celebrate gender diversity and transgender people’s experience?

Or do we simply tolerate people who are permanently seen as “other”?

Mitchell has been part of the Spiral Dance ritual in recent years, when the “trans deity” invocation has certainly felt celebratory.

But he’s also been part of rituals that practice inclusivity by invoking “both goddess and god,” or that do gender work which recognizes only two groups, often defined by how we were labeled at birth: male and female.

Last modified on
1
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley says #
    Good post and welcome!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

The day I started this post was pretty easygoing, spiritually. I got up early and took a six-mile bike ride. Later in the morning I edited the first chapter in a novel-in-progress about pilgrims who travel thousands of miles to worship a tree. In the evening, I biked about a mile to help a local feminist theater company label brochures for their new season. Blessed be.

When I started in Paganism twelve years ago, big, elaborate rituals were the order of the day. Every day. This took a lot of time (one of the few times I've been glad of underemployment). In some ways, that's a good thing: sacrifice can (and perhaps should) be an integral part of religious practice. Problem was, the rituals did nothing for me, spiritually. Day after day I performed these solemn rites, and I never felt connected to the divine, the Cosmos, or my Highest Self. I felt like a silly girl surrounded by fire hazards, waving a knife around.

a1sx2_Original2_Reclaiming-by-Doing01-00.jpgHere's where I felt the deepest sense of spiritual connection: walking the two-mile mini-pilgrimage from my apartment to the Mississippi River, experiencing the wondrous aliveness of my body and humility in the presence of this ancient and majestic river. Ghost-writing letters to the editor for a conservation and renewable energy campaign, placing mind and hand in service to the Earth I loved. Making a game out of how many days in a row I could go without starting my car, challenging myself to do better, to be better, for Gaia. I knew these things about myself. Yet for my first Pagan year, I resisted this understanding. I'd embarked on a new religious path rich in magic and mystery; I couldn't find spiritual fulfillment doing the same mundane things I'd always done, could I?

...
Last modified on
4
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Fascinating idea (solitaries with occasional potlucks) sounds GREAT!
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    Thanks, Anne. I think you might even groove on the way we do "joining" around here; Twin Cities Reclaiming is a loose association
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Brilliant exposition of the way I do my Paganism as well, Eli. If I was a joiner instead of a committed solitary, your "elevator p

Additional information