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8967what is progressive witchcraft

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  • Kiara
    Nov 25, 2011
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      What is Progressive Witchcraft?
      By Terminus
      "We do not see our 'trainees' as empty vessels, waiting to be filled
      up, but as individuals with a wealth of experience and ideas which they
      can contribute to the craft. (Rainbird, 1993)
      The use of the term progressive arose from a discussion between
      Ariadne Rainbird and Tam Campbell in London in the late 1980s (*3) They
      were discussing the evolution of Wicca, and the fact that it had moved
      on over the decades, beyond the labels of "Gardnerian" or "Alexandrian" .
      They clearly stated that the term was being used to describe a trend,
      not a tradition, and that any coven that was eclectic in its approach
      and not limiting itself to the Book of Shadows was being progressive.
      In 1991 Ariadne Rainbird formed a network for covens who
      subscribed to a more eclectic view of Wiccan practice, called the
      Progressive Wiccan network (*1). This network included covens in Wales,
      England, Germany and Canada. 1991 also saw the first Grand Sabbat, at
      Lughnasadh, with around 30 witches from six different covens meeting up
      to camp out in the wilds of South Wales and celebrate together. This
      tradition was to continue for some years, developing into an annual
      weekly gathering in Cornwall for members of different covens to work
      together.
      In 1992 David Rankine became the editor of the magazine Dragon's
      Brew, which became the magazine of the Progressive Wiccan movement.
      Dragon's Brew was created by Chris Breen in 1990, originally as the
      house magazine for the Silver Wheel Coven (*1).
      To quote from the magazine (1992):
      "Progressive Wicca is a movement which spans the traditions and
      emphasises networking, closeness to nature, personal growth and
      co-operative development. Personal experience of other paths is welcomed
      and integrated into covens, and we do not slavishly follow a Book of
      Shadows, as we see Wicca as an ever growing religion and the Book of
      Shadows changes and grows with each new Witch." (*1)
      Contact details for a number of covens were given in the back of
      each issue of the magazine. The editorial stance of the magazine was
      actively supportive of environmental protection, detailing protests,
      distributing leaflets and supporting organisations like Dragon
      (eco-magick environmental network) and Friends of the Earth Cymru in
      their actions. Campaigns like the ones to save Oxleas Wood and Twyford
      Down were covered, as well as events in other parts of the world, like
      proposed wolf culling in Canada, tiger conservation in India, and
      anti-nuclear testing by the French in the Pacific. (*1)
      Dragon's Brew ran quarterly until 1997, with a circulation of
      several hundred copies, and covered a wide range of subjects, from
      chakras and kundalini to Enochian magick and running effective open
      rituals. Different pantheons were also explored, including the Welsh,
      Greek, Sumerian and Egyptian. A number of prominent academics also
      contributed to the magazine, which received articles from distinguished
      figures such as Professor Ronald Hutton and the Egyptologist Terry
      DuQuesne. (*1)
      By 1994 Progressive Witchcraft was widely known throughout
      Europe. David Rankine gave a number of talks at events like the Talking
      Stick Meet the Groups conference in 1994, and at various University
      Pagan Societies. The growth of the movement was acknowledged by Michael
      Jordan, who gave it a sizeable entry in his 1996 book Witches: An
      Encyclopaedia of Paganism and Magic. (*3)
      To avoid some disharmony caused by the term "Progressive" in the
      Wiccan community the term was changed from "Progressive Wicca" to
      Progressive Witchcraft in 1993, as was demonstrated by the cover of
      Dragon's Brew (*1). In combination with this Ariadne Rainbird and David
      Rankine set up the Progressive Witchcraft Foundation, to deal with
      enquiries about Progressive Witchcraft, and also ran workshops under the
      banner of Silver Wheel with other coven members on a variety of related
      subjects.
      In 1994 Ariadne Rainbird and David Rankine started running
      correspondence courses on natural magick based on much of the
      (non-oathbound) Progressive Witchcraft material. This material was to
      form the basis for their book Magick Without Peers: A Course in
      Progressive Witchcraft for the Solitary Practitioner, published by
      Capall Bann in 1997. (*2)


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