Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Finding True Tribe - Growing Pains at Spiral Steps

I just got a copy of an email posted to the new Spiral Steps Yahoo support group. It seems that the first Moderator, the one who asked Dj to open and approve the site, didn't actually read the Steps, and was shocked, shocked and appalled, when Pagans showed up in the room!

They have a new Moderator now. And the group is forming and sharing - Fingers crossed.

Email sent today to the Spiral Steps Yahoo Group:

Irony alert:
One person has just left this group because we discussed "spirituality" too much for her liking. (I've sent her on to Rational Recovery). Another person freaked when she saw that Pagans were here. Another left because she wanted it to be "Witches Only".

So, here's my take on that:

Spiral Steps is indeed an non-denominational, interfaith group based on Earthwise ethics. It include Pagans, Witches, Druids and Goddess Celebrants, along with Pagan-friendly Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Taoists, Native Americans, etc. We also have Secular Humanists at our meetings. You don't need any kind of deity to be here, folks. If your Higher Power (AKA Healing Power) is a tree or Love or your library card, that's just fine. Alternatively, you can have lots of Gods or Goddesses or just one - your choice.

Did you know that Mormons have a Goddess? Neither did I until a Mormon gal showed up at my local group. She is a Wiccan-Mormon, a very powerful Reiki Healer and she's been a great asset to the group.

One of our best volunteers, ever, was a woman who is a sincere Evangelical Christian. She is Pagan-friendly, a gamer and a costumer, and is involved in the leather community out here. She's since moved away and we all miss her.

Neither of these people I just mentioned could fully be themselves except with us. Does anyone else relate to that?

So, my point is this: You never know where you are going to find people who really "get" you. For me, what a person calls themselves is not nearly as important as how they behave.

In an age in which so much intolerance and hate is out there and so little empowering support is available, we felt it was important to make a place for healing where:

a) it is safe to practice spirituality as we choose, and be "out" about that

b) where we could find the experience, strength and hope from like-
minded people who would support us.

c) that respects Earthwise Ethics

As for "Witches Only"....well, I've seen groups start out for Witches Only, and then do nothing all day but argue about who is a true Witch or not. I don't need Witch Wars in my recovery and I'll bet the other Pagans in here don't either.

I've been working in the Pagan and other communities for almost 20 years now, and I've met a lot of dysfunctional jerks calling themselves "Witches' and I've met a great many magickal Buddhists and open minded Others - So I don't go by titles or appearances. These days, I look to find true Tribe where I can and to learn from them and I don't care what they call their deity or even if they have one :-)

Go well, stay well.

Founder, Spiral Steps

The Spiral Steps:
We admitted that we had a problem and made the decision to reclaim our lives.
We came to believe that there was hope for healing, health and balance.

We now honor our connection with the divine, as we understand it, and we accept the process of change.

We make a searching, fearless and honest inventory of our behavior and beliefs. We consider their effect on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves and their impact on our relations with others.

We admit to ourselves and to another human being what is both healthy and unhealthy in our lives and we make a daily commitment to heal ourselves in body, mind and spirit.

We are willing to seek our Highest Good and to grow both spiritually and emotionally.

We let go of dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors and we consciously welcome joy, love and peace into our lives.

We make a list of all beings we have harmed, including ourselves, and we become willing to make amends to them all.

We work to restore balance in our lives. We make direct amends to others wherever possible and we value and care for ourselves.

We continue to take personal inventory and promptly acknowledge both our mistakes and our achievements whenever they occur.

We continue to grow in compassion, strength and understanding. We learn to celebrate our lives and our connection to all living things.

Having had a spiritual and emotional awakening, we work to help others along the path and we practice these principles in all our affairs.

We seek to find our calling and to develop the will and the wisdom to follow it.

No comments: