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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reclaiming

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.

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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.

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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
  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub says #
    I have considered it. But it's difficult to find another job where the work and the work environment are so well-suited to my temp
  • David Salisbury
    David Salisbury says #
    My first thought would be to take some long calculated breaths, drop into stillness, and ask the God-soul which way is best. While

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.

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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.

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  • 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.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Eli - As someone pretty well ensconce and steeped in the Reclaiming tradition, I really loved how you captured what it is
  • 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

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