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Changes and new beginnings
BIRCH amendment to the Principles of Unity 2012 - Part 1

Gender Diversity amendments to the Reclaiming Principles of Unity

BIRCH amendment to the Principles of Unity at the 5th All Reclaiming Dandelion Gathering in Oregon (August 1–5, 2012)

Last weekend the 5th All Reclaiming Dandelion Gathering was hosted by the Portland Reclaiming Community in Oregon and the major result for Reclaiming communities worldwide is the consensus on the gender diversity discussions within Reclaiming over the last few years.

The photo shows the consensus document of the amendments to our Principles of Unity (POU). Here are the changes in italics in the context of the POU:

We are an evolving, dynamic tradition and proudly call ourselves Witches. "Our diverse practices and experiences of the divine weave a tapestry of many different threads. We include those who honour Mysterious Ones, Goddesses, and Gods of myriad expressions, genders, and states of being, remembering that mystery goes beyond form." Our community rituals [...]

We welcome all genders, "all gender histories", all races, all ages and sexual orientations and all those differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity.

None of the Heart of the Witch members were able to be present at Dandelion or the BIRCH meeting (not though lack of desire) and thus were unable to be part of of this year's discussion or consensus process which is limited to those physically present. At this point in time the members of Heart of the Witch have not decided on how to use this new version. We will issue a statement later.

Since it came up in the comments and it is not possible to post URL there, here is a link to all of Donald's personal terms and definitions, where "Mysterious Ones" is listed.

from all of the Hot Witches


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A long time, lots of discussions and work, and here we go: a changed PoU and many happy witches... I'd highly appreciate any hints or resources to study and learn more about those "Mysterious Ones", which so mysteriously sneak into my life asking to honor them (or feel no longer included to Reclaiming)... well yes, I've heard of them here and then, but never learned who or what they really are, even less that they are so essential and integral to Reclaiming. And I was wondering, how about asking someone to provide a basic introduction here in Europe or even Germany, maybe in the context of a PoU workshop? What do you think? I'd love to help and assist with organizing.

Love, Ella


@Ella -
Those 'Mysterious Ones' are pretty mysterious indeed...I have also not heard about them in the context of Reclaiming.
Until now.


As far as I know, the term is personal jargon, invented by Donald Engstrom. That unfortunately makes it, as far as I understand, nearly impossible to translate into languages other than English.


@Fortuna - well, lets do it! :)

@Chelidon - thanks for this piece of information! I think, I'm going to ponder translation issues as soon as I've got the meaning of this term in its original language. That already is quite a mysterious task as it seems. I love such sneaky hidden things that make me curious ;)

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