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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ATC State of the Church Address 2021

Merry Meet and Blessings to you, Witches, Pagans, Kindred, and to all my relatives. I am Lady Belladonna LaVeau, the Matriarch of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Thank you for your interest in the state of the Church and thank you for listening. 


What a wonderful and exciting time to be alive. The world is changing. Old structures are being challenged, as new ways of thinking are being introduced and adopted in the world. We have seen the Great Mother's message from the World Love Tour of 2018 seep into the minds of many people. Home Gardening has now become a popular solution to the food crisis, and the climate crisis is being addressed by all reasoning and scientifically minded people.  


Many things have happened in our world this past year. It has been raw and unsettling, yet filled with surprising blessings for which, without the problems faced during the pandemic, we would not have incorporated into our world. Thankfully, the Goddess prepared us for these challenges, and while we did not expect a pandemic, those of us who heard her message were not caught unaware. 


I have done my best to utilize this time to help grow the membership, repair and remodel the building, acquire more land, build our financial profile, and be ready to usher in a new era. I'm excited to tell you what progress we have made, challenges we have faced, and where we plan to go from here. 


The success of the second Virtual Spring Mysteries, SMF #36 cannot be understated. With an entire year to plan and prepare, we were able to produce the greater mysteries, and initiate 218 people into the service of Demeter this year. These join the likes of Plutarch, Socrates, Aristotle, Homer, Ovid, and many others as Initiates of the Eleusinian Rites. The Gods came, Demeter was honored, we were transformed and spiritually fed to the depths of our soul. We had a successful yearly fundraiser and expect the church to be financially on solid footing for the foreseeable future. 


This brings me to the Theme for Hekate Sickle Festival this year. Avalon. I'm so excited to be exploring the mysteries of Avalon with you. It will probably be online. The state is still not allowing us to make reservations for the park, and until that happens, we have to plan for an online event. Registration is currently open. 


Let's take a look at ATC International. We have added a new Archpriestess during the Pandemic. The ATC has a large presence in Africa, and personnel changes had led to a disconnect. I did not know our African covens, and not being able to drive or fly there due to financial limitations made getting to know them difficult. Over the decade that I've been Archpriestess, we have had many requests from people in Africa. I do not have the cultural knowledge to adequately service their needs. The Goddess asked me to empower Venette Kruger as Archpriestess of Africa, and after approaching her, I found her to be a lovely and powerful priestess, who can help the pagans in Africa appropriately. Venette is already a pagan leader and has effortlessly stepped into the position. We will have an installation ceremony at some time in the future, and I'm sure that will be online as well as in person. We are honored and proud to add Venette to this prestigious group of Wiccan Clergy. We will keep you posted on developments there. 


I am also proud to announce that we have achieved a milestone for Wicca and Paganism that I've been striving for since becoming Dean of Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. We have "hired" at a full-time salaried position, the FIRST EVER paid person in the history of the ATC.  This is a historical moment, and a blessing to all pagans. The Dean of WSTS the only state-recognized college degree granting agency in Wicca, has now a full-time paid Dean. It is not me. I have stepped down as Dean and installed Lady Kara D Williams, previously our Dean of Education. Kara has a Master's Degree in Education, is a 3rd degree ATC Priestess, and served as Dean of Education for the entire time I have been Dean. I am so grateful to be able to have a paid person on staff. The first and only paid person in the ATC church. Congratulations Lady Kara. There is sure to be an in-person installation in the future. Announcements will come as soon as social norms allow. 


Having a salaried Dean is the first step in becoming an Accredited college. Being accredited is a difficult process for Wiccan Colleges for two reasons. 1. There are no other comparable schools to create an accrediting body, forcing us to seek accreditation from a source that doesn't understand our religion. 2. You must have salaried employees that are paid comparable to other colleges. Lady Kara is first updating all the college courses to interface with modern educational norms, then she will continue the accreditation process that has already been started.  


We have made great strides in the school this year, taking it off Secondlife, and bringing it fully into teams with webcam classes that are recorded for future viewing. We were concerned that our ministry on Secondlife would struggle without the school, or that the school would struggle without the virtual platform, but to the contrary both have experienced more success without the other. You will be excited to know that the school is almost to 100 students for the first time since its inception, and Sacred Cauldron on secondlife is thriving as a virtual ministry. 


You might have noticed that the church’s presence on Facebook is diminishing. Archpriest Dusty Dionne has left Facebook and has established a strong presence on Tiktok with 30,000 followers. Our Facebook membership is nowhere near that number. Facebook has allowed for a radicalization that makes for an unsavory experience, where lies are made up and told for truth, and conspiracy theories threaten our culture and even our nation. Dusty is a champion for truth and cannot fight the constant onslaught of untruths that are told on Facebook about him, me, the ATC, or other institutions that he loves, and so he has removed his presence and has found a new love for sharing about the ATC online. You should go check him out on TikTok, and you can find me, the ATC and many other of your church friends. 


To ensure that you stay connected with the ATC and receive announcements and news, be sure to check your spam folder for emails from and prioritize any emails that might get filtered into your spam folder. 


Speaking of Facebook, there are some vicious rumors that have continued to circulate even though we have done our very best to ignore them. Let me say this. The church does not shun or excommunicate people. Excommunication is a Mormon thing, and I'd never do anything Mormon other than sing the Mormon birthday song. Everyone is allowed at the church anytime they wish to come, unless they have proven to create an unsafe environment for others. We do not allow antagonists to disrupt the balance. We do not allow predators to victimize the Wicca. The church will be a safe space for all, meaning once someone makes it unsafe for others, they have to excuse themselves from our holy rite. 


People, who find themselves in this position, like to complain that there is no way to return to the church, no way to address grievances. Yet there are plenty of people who have left the church and returned. Those people aren't harming others. You can usually tell the people who have been predatorial and antagonistic to church members, because once we stop letting them come and do it to our face, they keep doing it on social media. We ask you not to indulge this behavior. If you have any concerns about happenings at the Mother Church, we encourage you to come and experience the magic yourself or call and ask us directly. A person's behavior speaks for itself. The hidden children of the Goddess are wise enough to know that people are always talking about themselves when they are pointing fingers at others. 


Accountability is a word that I have heard thrown around, about how the church doesn't hold people accountable for their actions. I have prayed on this and thought about my own overly compassionate heart. I have erred in leadership on the side of being too kind, too forgiving, to the point that I allowed a couple of people to hurt and victimize our community. Many have suffered because I have delayed in taking action to protect you from lies told. I have not wanted to act against people that I love, because it would make me sad to cause them pain, and because of that, I have allowed them to hurt many of you. I apologize to you for that. I have avoided dealing with sacrilege, lies, and crimes against the church, and for that I am sorry. 


I have spent too many years hoping people would be accountable to the mirror. I have learned that Criminogenic thinking is real and common. The commonality is that they rationalize all their behaviors that hurt others, accepting no true responsibility. I have accepted that criminally minded people will never see an accurate reflection in the mirror, and that is what makes them criminally minded. What I have learned is how to spot a criminal in our midst, and how to stand against them. I pledge to you, that I will be more diligent in protecting you and this church in the future, and that I will bear the burden of watching the perpetrator suffer, instead of everyone else in the community. I hope you can forgive me and support me to learn and grow as a leader. 


The Goddess Demeter has spent much time in what she calls Her Anakteron, you will know it as the Hekate Shrine, Demeter considers it her Holy of Holies.  She has asked for many things this year. But it all revolves around the restoration of Her Holy City and Her Gardens. She is very concerned for the future of our food, and our freedom. She feels it is imperative that She has the year-round care of the priesthood so She can be restored to roam the earth and bring back the balance. For many years I have been called to bring the Goddess into the Light. I have often wondered what that meant, and in over my 30+ years of service, I have come to understand that it has many layers, and I don't know that I will ever fully complete that task, although I have completed it many times.  


We are currently raising the money to buy land. Through a generous gift, we have acquired the land where the gate and parking area is at the entrance to Sky Country Club, where the Mother Church is located. We have put in an offer to purchase two more areas on the river front for gardening, camping and river access. I have gone back to work, so that I can earn enough money to significantly contribute to the church finances. I am honestly tired of not having money. I'm tired of telling hungry and cold mothers that we can't help them. I'm tired of making something out of nothing and needing too much out of too little. We have things that need to be fixed and while a church is supposed to live of the donations of its members, we are never going to get anywhere in the pagan community if someone doesn't take an interest in giving us significant amounts of money. 


I have trained an incredible team in the last 10 years and they need to be allowed to lead while I'm still around to help them when they struggle so I have gone back to work and have been donating $500 a month since August. I have been asking for donations weekly and updating everyone with how much money we have and what we are doing with it. We currently hold a gold-star seal of Transparency with Guide-Star Nonprofits Association, and have close to $50,000 across ATC Mother Church, Spiral Scouts, WSTS, and Wiccan Cauldron. This is more than we had in the bank when Pete was alive, and I'm very proud of the progress we have made. The Seminary and the Scouting program have been very successful during the pandemic, as have been online attendance to rituals, and festivals. Our membership has grown significantly over the past two years as well, where we had added about 200 members every year since I became Archpriestess, in the last two years we have added 2000 new members to the database. 


If you would like to help support the church through regular or one-time donations, there are many ways to send money. You can find these opportunities at under the "JOIN" tab.  We also have a Go Fund Me to raise money for Demeter's Holy City. We are starting with $2.5M because that's what the Goddess has asked us to do. There are over 10 Million pagans in the US alone. If every pagan donated 1 quarter, we'd have this money. If 1/4th of us donated even $1 we would have it. If everyone gives what they can, shares and encourages others to give, we can do this. If you care, give and share.


When we were at the Parliament of World Religions Dusty had a powerful experience that shook us both and still haunt us today. A Native American Elder approached Dusty and said "You're Pagan? You guys have everything taken from you. I still have my songs, my language, my culture, and most of my sacred lands. Your people had everything taken from you. One day you won't be too proud to admit it." Since then I have understood that the Goddess needs Her Holy places, but so do you. How validated would you feel if you could travel to Demeter's Holy City, go to Her Temples, and Temples of the Olympian and Chthonic Deities? How much easier would it be for us to the promote spiritual values of the Great Mother if She had a permanent home worthy of Her? Please take a special interest in helping Demeter by donating to this cause and sharing it to your social network. Encourage others to join and let's do this together.


Lastly, a very exciting thing happened a month ago, we were asked by the office of the Lt. Governor for the State of Washington to submit prayer videos in the style of our religion to be placed at the beginning of the state congress meetings. We are currently compiling those videos from church elders in the state. That's certainly progress, and we're excited to get to serve in this way.


We are growing in membership, land, assets, as a worldwide and local religion and as individuals within the whole church, even though we are apart. The restrictions we face have only forced us to find new avenues to express our worship. Our ability to thrive in this environment that has caused so much hardship is a testimony to our strength as a people. Please join us in transforming this planet and promoting pagan ideals and values. Together, we can affect legislature, and laws that are more humane, create jobs and promote people over profits. 


Thank you, you honor me with your attention. Blessed be.

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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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