Coven structure & roles

I recently listened to an interesting podcast from Circle Talk: Four Witches on Coven Hierarchy. I was pleased to note that most of the speakers on the podcast were advocating for a pretty flat hierarchy. I have written a fair amount about the roles and expectations of the different degrees in Wicca (in All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca) and quite a lot about coven leadership and the concept of “elders” (in The Night Journey: Witchcraft as Transformation). I regard the Wiccan degree system as being like the apprenticeship system in medieval guilds (apprenticeship, journeyman, master). There was very little in the podcast that I disagreed with, except the one guy who makes his first degree coveners clean the coven brassware. I’m with the woman who said she is happy when people volunteer to help, but she doesn’t make them do tasks.

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I am the Earth

If you hold a shell up to your ear
Then you can hear
The oceans in your blood.

If you stand or sit or lie
Then you can feel
The earth’s crust in your bones.

If you focus on your breath,
Then you can sense
The air that gives us life.

If you touch your belly’s curve
Then you caress
The fire that lives within.

If you know that these are sacred
Then your body knows
You are the Earth and the Earth is you.

Without the oceans, trees,
And birds and bees,
There is no Earth, there is no me.

The Earth is sacred,
The Earth gives us life
There is no planet B.

Yvonne Aburrow
7:20 am, 22 April 2022 (Earth Day)

Inspired by the phrase “I am the Earth and the Earth is me” in Earth Day by JANE YOLEN.

My books

My books

DARK MIRROR

“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”

— Morgana Sythove,
Pagan Federation International
https://silvercircle.org
https://wiccanrede.org

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


THE NIGHT JOURNEY

The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”

Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice

Available from the Doreen Valiente Foundation and all other online retailers


ALL ACTS OF LOVE AND PLEASURE

“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.”
Sable Aradia

Available from Avalonia Books and all other online retailers

Missing Witches

I was on the Missing Witches podcast recently. It’s a new and original format for a podcast: more like a structured group chat, ably facilitated by the lovely hosts.

Among other things, we discussed the subject of the book I’m currently writing, Changing Paths, which is about changing from one spiritual path to another. I was also really pleased with the circle opening that I did for this episode.

You can catch the episode at Missing Witches.

Dear faces

In the candlelight,

faces and bodies are rosy, softly lit.

Love springs from gesture and sound.

The repetition of familiar words

So we know we’re on holy ground.

We walk together

into known and unknown

Steering our vessel

by the winds of the unseen

Sharing our journey within.

Yvonne Aburrow

10:15 am, 15 April 2022

(About the experience of a Wiccan circle)

Inspired by the sentence “Dear faces like a multitude of moons hang over the table” in The Seder’s Order by Marge Piercy.

Call for contributions – Changing Paths

Have you changed from one religion to another, or from a religion to none? Did the process take a long time or was it a sudden change?

I am writing a book to support people through the process of changing paths (leaving a religion, joining Paganism, or changing paths within Paganism).

I am looking for contributions of around 1500-3000 words from people who have joined a Pagan tradition from elsewhere, or left a Pagan tradition for another path.

I am especially interested in people who have left Paganism and then rejoined it, and people who have joined a Pagan tradition from a religion other than Christianity.

What annoyed you about the religion you left? What attracted you about the religion or path that you joined?

Contributions from marginalized people (disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQ2SIA, neurodiverse) are especially welcome. Were you marginalized within the tradition you left? Is that still the case with the tradition you joined?

Email for contributions is yaburrow@gmail.com

Queer Pagan Reading List 2022

New titles this year by Enfys Book of the Major Arqueerna blog, Casey Giovinco, Fire Lyte of the Inciting a Riot podcast, Aaron Oberon, Fio Gede Parma and Jane Meredith, Lee Morgan, Devdutt Pattanaik, Roberto Strongman, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, plus translations into other languages of Mat Auryn’s book Psychic Witch.

Check out the 2015 list, the 2018 list, the 2020 list, and the 2021 list.

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