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The Reclaiming Tradition

Reclaiming is considered by many to be an off-shoot of the Feri Tradition (informed by Starhawk, M. Macha Nightmare, and other Feri initiates), eventually evolving into it's very own Tradition. Reclaiming, like Feri, is an ecstatic tradition (rather than a fertility-based tradition), plus includes a strong emphasis on gender equality, environmental health, and social justice. Many adherents are politically active, and range from being politicians themselves to protesting in the streets. The main unifying philosophy of the tradition, at this point in time, is embodied in The Principles of Unity.

As a Tradition, Reclaiming is very loose in its expression. There's no need to initiate; initiation is a personal choice, and does not confer any special privileges. Anyone can come to their public rituals, no matter what their religion might be. Reclaiming can be likened to a "community stitcher", where everyone sews their own fabric and threads into a beautiful whole cloth. There are several communities that have sprung up around North America and Europe in recent years that have adopted the Reclaiming Tradition as their own. Many of these got their start in local week long gatherings called Witchcamp. You can get more information about the original Reclaiming from their San Francisco web site, reclaiming.org. If you like what you see, you can also ask for an experienced practitioner to help you develop your own personal practice, teach a class, or start a community through the Reclaiming Community Resource Collaborative (RCRC).

My first experience of religion, and spirituality, was through a charismatic Christian church. Reclaiming was the first pagan/craft group I found to express that same intensity and spirit. Reclaiming is also a teaching tradition. If you don't have the desire to teach, are not talented in the craft of theater, dance, art, music, etc., have no patience for debate, and find the concept of feminism and political activism to be silly in a religion, it may take awhile to find a comfortable spot.

More about Reclaiming in Recommended Resources.