by Darrell Sennich
Reclaiming tradition is an eclectic tradition of what I would call American Witchcraft. Although it is a tradition that is celebrated globally, the roots grew in California as a group formed that was heavily inspired by these things:
Feminism. The analysis of power structures including privilege, hierarchy, and a thorough questioning of status quo authority and rule. The continued struggle towards equal rights and responsibilities regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or other traits. Empowering ourselves and each other is the goal. We seek power within and power with, and we tend to undermine power over. Eco-feminism follows in the vein that the way that we treat our planet is closely linked to the way we treat each other. We do not worship the Goddess in nature as much as we are all aspects of the Goddess in nature. We must be stewards of our planet and our communities.
Anarchy. Insomuch as we are a tradition of many, no one person is in charge. At the same time, we are all responsible for the well-being of the group. Initiation and other titles are not automatically converted to privilege. The structure is loosely formed cells. The principles of unity are the closest thing to a working definition of what Reclaiming is. You can read those on the Reclaiming site. Anything goes is relatively true except in the case that it undermines or compromises the safety, empowerment, integrity, and sovereignty of ourselves, one another and the planet. Political activism is common among our witches as we perceive the political arena, our community well-being, our personal wellness and the well-being of our planet as interconnected. Prayer, picking up trash, voting, chanting, social work, ritual endeavors, and so on are all seen as crucial elements of magical process, with practical tangible results sometimes seen as more effective. We can pray for world peace, but better if we build our lives and actions towards that end. Our decisions are often made by consensus.
The psychology movement. Our rituals and practices are as much ritual magic as they are theatrical expressions and gestalt dynamics. We are unapologetic in our seeking to do this work.
The Feri tradition. Originating through Victor and Cora Anderson, the deep and powerful Current of Feri flows through our ritual spaces. I would say the artful, poetic and charismatic expressions in our practices are reflections of and derivatives of the many inspired witches who studied with the Anderson’s and who continue to explore and perpetuate the ever dynamic spirituality of the Feri tradition.
Our ritual spaces are as safe and as accessible as we can make them. All of our rituals are clean and sober. There is a strong presence of folks in recovery and following 12 step programs. All genders, races, sexual orientations are welcome. It follows that topics of recovery from addiction, trauma, oppression, and disempowered situations may occur. As well the human figure is not perceived in an unclean or shameful way; our rituals may include nudity, or any other aforementioned subjects which may be considered sensitive (or rated R in muggle speak), although these are mostly uncommon. Still, depending on the consensus of the group and the venue, if you are concerned with such things, be advised.
We are, each of us, our own spiritual authority. We are dedicated to the perpetuation of empowering practices, and shun power over, displays of violence, coercion or other means of aggression and control when they are within our abilities to prevent them.
For more information about Reclaiming, please click here.