I have learned from several sources that the "Church of All Worlds Inc"'s BoD [CAW II] will cease operations and divest itself of its financial debts and other problems by planning to discorporate CAW Inc. in favor of creating a new iCAW Inc, sometime next year; and the discorporation of CAW Inc. [President, Jim Looman passed on and ICAW BOD tried to destroy CAW Inc. Oberon G'Zell reincorportated CAW (III) after the Ohio BoD was termed out of office.]
It's time to Declare, Document, and Establish as Fact the desire of many people (both present and past members, and those who chose to affiliate themselves with us without becoming formal members), to retain and improve upon The Church of All Worlds Tradition (CAWT), within the the new iCaw. The relationships that have been created over the years because of it, and its social and religious view of the World within the general Traditions of Neo-Paganism.
The formation of the CAWT is inevitable, regardless of its ultimate form even if the resigned CAW BoD should change their minds, do the right thing, and not complete their alledged intentions.
CAW Inc. was the legal and corporate structure that was meant to protect the "Church of All Worlds Tradition" (CAWT) from legal action and create a non-profit structure for the Tribe's convience, not to control and usurp the Tribe's Traditions by its various and sundry attempts to monopolize that Tradition and and make its Guardians; (the Priest/esses and Scions) impotent against the increasing centralized authority of the Board of Directors (BoD). Their plans for the eventual discorporation of CAW Inc. without notice and without any explanation to its membership, disenfranchised the present CAW Inc. members and threaten the viability of the Neo-Pagan Tradition of CAWT itself.
The native CAWT has evolved from the ATL Tradition into a Tradition of Neo-Paganism, like Wicca and Druidry, over 40+ years and was never meant to be the sole property of a corporation to the detriment of other groups that wished to emulate and improve upon the ideals and propositions of Robert Heinlein's "Stranger In a Strange Land (SISL). Robert Heinlein never consented to CAW Inc. to be the sole expression of SISL, and he and his estate DID NOT give any rights, preferences, or privileges to CAW Inc. as opposed to any independant outgrowth of his works. The CAWT must and shall become the inheritance of those people that have chosen to follow the Tradition whether they choose to affiliate with an incorporated church, choose to informally affiliate with such a church, chose to follow this tradition independantly, choose other affiiliations, choose to create their own rganizations, or choose no affiliation of any kind.
As the CAWT has plenty of room for many exprssions, all those who have, and may in the future, choose to identify with the CAWT regardless of any organizational affiliations or no organizational affiliation at all, are free to create proto-nests and nests in this tradition and practice within it, just as Wiccans or any other Neopagan Trad are free to do, and are free to express the CAWT Tradition in his or her own way, answering only to the authority, institution or personal belief that each individual feels that they are truely call to, whether within an organization or by a solitary practice.
As a free Practitioners of the CAWT, I proclaim the values and practices as central to our Tradition, and form the Unicorn Party to advance its interests; and in so doing acknowledge every group and individual's freedom to interpret these and shape them to their current context, and hope that others in the Tradition acknowlege other practitioner's knowlege, authoritative wisdom and ring status (if they so choose to so describe themselves). "We" do not know what contexts future generations will encounter or create in the CAWT, but it should be preserved so that those generations may do so !
For the sake of clarity and empowerment of all people practicing and cherishing the CAWT who may no longer identify with any particular organization I offer this DRAFT of general CAWT principles, and I hope that others would help to revise and extend it. The NeoPaganism religion is growing, and Deep within in it is the founding and seminal influence of The CAWT and the generations of Pagan leaders it has produced. Let us rejoice in our diversity and celebrate our common heritage !
Basic Principles of the Church of All Worlds Tradition
The Church of All Worlds Tradition is an eclectic tradition of Neo-Paganism. Its practices are intended as a means towards the best outcome for all who choose to practice it. The CAWT is ever-evolving with basic, inclusive practices as follows:
- Reverence for the Earth:CAWT Practitioners revere, honor, and protect the Earth. Most of us believe our planet is a conscious living being. Most revere Her as a manifestation of the Great Mother Goddess worshipped by human beings from the dawn of time, Many of us call Her Gaea or Gaia or by other names appropriate to Sub-Traditions within the CAWT.
- "Thou Art God/dess:" CAWT Practitioners honor the God and/or Goddess as immanent in every human being, voiced in the common greeting, "Thou Art God !", or "Thou Art Goddess". The deepest experience of the divine in other people and things comes through the process of "grokking".. Literally, grokking means 'drinking'. In practice it means expanding one's identity to include the Whole Being of another person or thing.
- Sharing Water: In harmony with the process of grokking, the Water that is essential to all life is the CAWT's Primary. Water is Blessed and passed in a chalice, or otherwise shared. Often the last drops are offered to the Divine. Usually when a chalice is passed, the person passing blesses the person receiving the chalice by saying, "Never Thirst", "Thou Art God", "Drink Deep", "Don't spit in the cup", or other appropriate words. This ritual, more than any other, is the common practice of the CAWT. One variation is thats/he who first passes the cup will drink last, and the cup should contain just enough water to complete one revolution, showing the Scarcity of Water, and its preciousness..
- Water Kinship: The intention of the Water Sharing ritual is to affirm bonds of kinship. These bonds of kinship transcend any organizational affiliation and are the Social Contract and what binds us together. Depending on the intimacy of the circle, four levels of this bond are common:
- Affirming our connection to each other and to all life;
- Affirming belonging to a tribe or tradition;
- Affirming friendship;
- A lifelong Commitment of deep communion, friendship, love, and compassion, which may or may not have an erotic component.
- Nests: Nests are the basic grouping of the CAWT and are usually composed of at least three people who have a consistent commitment to the tradition. At least one member, the nest coordinator, has at least one year experience and the blessing other long-term practitioners of the Tradition. A nest may begin with no experience and work towards the ideals of nesthood. Some Nests are families. Others are social networks, or ritual working groups. They are usually small and intimate. Sometimes several Nests may form a branch, but all nests are independant and choose their affiliations as well..
- Freedom of Expression in Intimacy, Family and Community: The CAWT is associated with open attitudes towards intimacy and sexuality. How this is practiced differs widely from person to person and nest to nest. CAWT Practitioners affirm and support the broadest diversity of intimate and familial expression consistent with a sustainable and ethical life. For example, CAWT Practitioners support same-sex bonding through marriage, handfasting or other means, and those who are single. While quite a number of practitioners of the CAWT are monogamous, and all support the full range of choice in relationship, including intimate relationships and familial bonds that contain more than two adults, in other words, polyamory.
- Looking Equally to Future and Past for Inspiration: Four of the five practices above derive directly from SISL, the 1961 science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein in which the name "Church of All Worlds" first appeared. Some members of the CAWT glow with pride over this fact, while others are embarrassed and do not wish to be identified with the book. There is no question that many aspects of the book are increasingly outdated, and the CAWT has gone beyond it.
What will never be outdated, however, is the CAWT's embrace of the Mythology of the Future and of Science and Technology as sources of Wisdom as valid as the sacred traditions of the past and present. The CAWT Tradition honors the ancient past and looks, with equal reverence, to the future.
- Fun: Humor, enjoyment, play, fantasy, and all forms of pleasure are central to the ways that CAWT practitioners come together.
Commonly Shared Practices of CAWT
and Other Neo-Pagan Traditions.
- Polytheism:. Most but not all practitioners of The Church of All Worlds Tradition believe that divinity takes many forms and worship whatever form is meaningful to the individual. The Myths and Mysteries of many deities provide deep sources of Initiation and Wisdom for practitioners of the CAWT.
- The Wheel of the Year:. The CAWT, like almost all NeoPagan traditions,celebrate the cycles of the seasons, especially the traditional quarters and cross quarters: Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Oimelc.
- Magic Practitioners: CAWT Practioners sometimes use traditional and untraditional means to influence the course of events through the focus of personal will. They acknowledge, honor and use unseen forces beyond rational human understanding.
- Ethics: Most CAWT practitioners support the Wiccan Rede, or other ethical creed, as a foundation of their work: "An it harm none, do as you will." However, in the CAWT, it is understood that all magick, whether it serves personal ends or not, is intended to move towards the best outcome for all. The CAWT looks beyond the perennial spiritual value of doing no harm, and actively contributes to the evolution of the Whole. What form this takes varies widely.
- Circle Casting. CAWT Practitioners frequently cast a circle by ritually drawing it with a blade, wand, or other power object. The circle then serves as a place of protection, holiness, and power in which religious and magical acts are accomplished. The ideal of every action and relationship inside the circle is perfect love and perfect trust. However, their are times when the Circle may cover wide areas, including the entire planet or solar system, etc. ( Wide Area Magick (WAM) is an extension of the CAWT "Wing It" Tradition. )
- The Five Elements: CAWT often use the traditional elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit (Essence) and the corresponding directions North East, West, South (NEWS) and the Center as important parts of religious practice.
- Evoking the God and Goddess: CAWT Practitioners often choose individuals in their circles to serve as focal points and expressions of the Divine male and female. Divinity is also invited into the ritual circle on its own without being invited into a particular individual.
- Bardship:. The CAWT is a rich source of song, chant, ritual, art, lore, scholarship, vision, etc. CAWT practitioners who have made major contributions to the creative life of the NeoPagan Movement and the broader culture are too numerous to name. Innovation and creativity are valued and nourished.
- The Influences of Other Traditions: The CAWT enjoys and embraces influences from all the world's religions and traditions in ways that complement its basic principles and practices.
The Common Values and
Ethics of Neo-Paganism
This article is about the "Generally Accepted Values and Convictions of the [Neo] Pagan Community". The Neo-Pagan Community subscribes to these values in most instances.
These values are a product of a community that tolerates a wide variety of beliefs, practices, sexual orientations, and alternative life styles while retaining some sense of common community-held core values among a large diversity of beliefs and practices such as: the the belief in the divine nature of individuals, polytheism, Astrological cycles, Magick, and living the Joyful Life.
The Values and Ethics
- The idea that divinity is immanent (internal) as well as Transcendant. This is often phrased as "Thou art god/dess or Namaste.
- The belief that divinity is just as likely to manifest itself as female. This leads to a very strong belief in gender equality.
- A belief in a multiplicity of "gods" and "goddesses. Whether as individual dieties, or facets of divinity, or archtypes. [[, there's more to life than "The Only One True Way"]]
- A respect and love for Nature as divine in Her own right
... Makes ecological awareness and activity a moral and religious duty.
- A distaste for monolithic religious organizations and a distrust of would-be Messiahs and Gurus. Sometimes makes us hard to organize. (especially "for our own good"...)
- The firm conviction that human beings were meant to lead lives filled with joy, love, pleasure, and humor. The traditional Western values of sin, guilt, and divine retribution are sad misunderstandings of natural growth
experiences. "The only "True Sin" is Hypocrisy."
- A simple set of ethics and morality based on the avoidance of actual harm to other people. Some extend this to some or all living beings and the planet as a whole.
- The knowledge that with proper training and intent, human minds and hearts are fully capable of performing all the magick and miracles that they are ever likely to need through the use of natural psychic powers.
- A belief in the importance of celebrating the Solar, Lunar and other cycles of our lives, in both old and new ways. This has led to the investigation and revival of many ancient cultural customs and the invention of new ones.
- A minimum amount of Dogma and a maximum amount of Eclecticism. Neo-Pagans are reluctant to accept ideas without personally investigating them, and we are often willing to use concepts that they find useful, regardless of its
- A strong faith in the ability of people to solve their current problems on all levels, public and private.
- A strong commitment to personal and universal growth, evolution and balance.
- A belief that one can progress far towards achieving such growth, evolution and balance through the carefully planned alteration of one's "normal" state of consciousness, using both ancient and modern methods of aiding concentration, meditation, reprogramming and spiritual technology. This is what magick and spiritual technology, such as Shamanism, is all about.
- The knowledge that human interdependence implies community cooperation Neo-Pagans are encouraged to use their talents to help each other as well as the community.
- An awareness that if we are to achieve any of our goals, we must practice what we preach ... a concern with making one's lifestyle be consistant with one's talk.
- That one aspect of Wisdom is "believing is seeing". A belief in the collective sense of the possibility of something, whether its the Goddess or unicorns, that you can call into
The skilled and wise practitioners of the CAWT are also too numerous to count. "We" hope that you will join us in affirming our tradition and heritage, and in addition will teach, write, and create their own visions, answering to their own authority in the freedom and embrace of our evolving Tradition. "We" are counting on these people to contribute their rich and diverse wisdom to the world for the good of all. Our hope is for a cooperative and diverse honoring of our common values, heritage and practices.
So It Is,
So Mote It Be,
Never Thirst !
My name is Donald Campbell Wilson aka Sheik Sebir, Editor of "The Barsoom Fish 'Rap" which is the newsletter of the Two Rivers P-Nest of CAWT Network. I reviewed and approved of this message and its contents, and take full and sole responsibility for its publication.