The Aquarian Tabernacle Church: A World-Wide Wiccan Ministry

The Aquarian Tabernacle Church has been promoting Pagan rights and protecting our people's choice to worship since 1979. Here we share about our ministries, temples, the resources we share and what we do to help develop the future of today's Witches.

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Keeper of the Memories by Lady Haight Ashton

I often see transparent gossamer threads emanating from each person, connecting us together and binding us and our ancestral traditions together. Our Akashic memories from the past form patterns for the future. 


Every family has its history, stories, hereditary traditions and rituals, however vague or simple, defining our origins and linking us forever to our roots. Many of these traditions, both spoken and demonstrated, can lift the veil of time, opening the doorway that unites us with the Great Goddess centered cultures of our ancestors. The pre-Christian Pagan world is alive and well in many of our hereditary family traditions. 


My heritage is very diversified being one-part Scot and another Slavic. I have ancestral roots reaching back to the Carpathian Mountains and the farmlands of Eastern Europe to the rugged shores of Scotland’s Coast from the Moray Firth to the North Sea.


While my Scottish ancestors revered the Sea, my Slavic ancestors venerated their Forests, as these ancient Neolithic Europeans had been tillers of the soil, honoring “Mokosh,” Mother Earth and “the Leshy,” Lord of the Wildwood, who is perhaps also the ancient Stag God.


Celebrating the return of Spring brought out the artistic abilities of one great Aunt who created the intricately delicate hand painted eggs, that are so important to the Slavic people. These eggs, the incredible symbol of rebirth, are so potent that every household displays these artistic creations prominently. I remember each family unit exchanging these lovely eggs as a blessing for good health and happiness in the next year. The ancient patterns and abstract forms of chevrons, meanders, lozenges, and parallel lines take us back to the primordial Goddess and are also seen in the embroidered work, handicrafts and folk art of the Slavic people. Once a year at Ostara/Spring Equinox each member of Sacred Moon Coven honors me with a gift of an egg. I keep eggs of ceramic, glass, crystal, wood and painted shell in a ritual bowl to decorate my Spring Altar, bridging the traditions of my ancestors to my tradition of being a practicing Witch. 


My believed Scottish Uncle travelled extensively throughout Scotland in search of long-lost relatives and always came back with one fascinating tale after another. One such tells of the “Dracae” who were a sort of water spirit. As ancient Scottish tales relate, they lived beneath lakes and rivers, luring unsuspecting women and children into servitude. “It is a curious fact that this story, in almost all its parts, is current in both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, with no other variation than the substitution of Fairies for Dracæ, and the cavern of a hill for that of a river”.


Scotland is filled with ancient stories of Brownies, Bogles, Kelpies, Mermaids, Witches and Giants. Perhaps because of my ancestors’ connection to the Sea is the reason that I am so captivated by the myths of the mysterious ocean Mermaids and other watery nymphs such as the Undines who swim in and around waterfalls. But my favorite childhood story was that of the “Selkie”.




One of the most fascinating Scottish myths is contained in the story of the “Selkie”, a seal who comes onshore to shed her skin and transform into a beautiful maiden. As the tale relates, a fisherman would secretly witness the Selkie shed her skin, steal it and hide it. All because the fisherman fell in love with her. And as she too caught a glimpse of him and she fell in love. Thus, without her skin, the Selkie was bound to the human world. But never for long as the Selkie always found her skin and always went back to the ocean, leaving the husband to pine away and die. But usually not before she birthed her captor many children.


In my family it is said that in every generation a child is born who has the “sixth sense,” the ability to feel and see beyond into the future. On many late nights my old relatives both Scot and Slav would tell of one or the other of our relations from the past who could feel the “cold touch” and then hear a dog’s howl, a sure sign that someone nearby had died. The elders always looked my way and, as a child, I always wondered if indeed I would be the one to inherit the “sense”. I AM and I carry this hereditary trait, awaiting the next one who will also receive this gift. Most of my elder relatives have passed on, and we are a much smaller family now. I don’t tell tales late into the evenings, I do Sabbat and Moon Rituals and spell work instead, but I do look into the eyes of the children. I gaze into my nephew’s bright eyes as my elders once looked into mine, and I wonder if I see the light that links the generations.


As Witches and Pagans, we are particularly sensitive to our ancestors. Take my words here as inspiration to discover your own family’s ancient traditions and roots. I believe they will probably harken back to a family tradition that is very Magickal indeed!


Lady Haight Ashton (Lady Lillith) is a prolific writer, teacher, and dancer. She currently teaches Egyptian Mythology at Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, and is the author of many books, including "The First Sisters: Lilith and Eve," "If Mermaids Could Dance," and "A Witch's Diary."

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Rt. Rev. Belladonna LaVeau is the ArchPriestess of Aquarian Tabernacle Church and Dean at Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. A Navy Veteran, Mother of three, and Spiritual Counselor; Bella is a 10 year veteran of full-time Wiccan ministry. Her current passion is to create a benefits package for Wiccan Clergy to help provide the resources for groups and leaders to be successful in their ministry.      


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