Note: This is a complete rewrite of an article by Oberon Zell & Liza Gabriel in the "Church of All Worlds Membership Handbook" of 1995. I've rethought many of the major points, made extensive changes in wording, order, and examples of the original article, and additions have been added to it. The 1995 Handbook is no longer published, and this is meant to be a reminder of what once was in CAW, and what it can and will be again...
A Sacrament is Holy and Sacred and mundane acts and substances are often raised to the Sacred within ritual, which can also become Gateways into the Numinious, a greater awareness of the World (Universe) and our part within it, which Casteneda's mentor Don Juan called the "Tonal", all that we can be aware of in our ordinary consciousness, and the "Nagual" where lies the Mysterious Unknown and numinous entities (and is also the title of a Man of Knowledge). Sacraments of the CAWT can be sorted into three general groups: Substances, Actions, and Rituals. No one should ever be compelled or coerced into taking any Sacrament without their full knowledge and consent.
Establishing, or entering into, a personal bond of Waterbrotherhood is a formal contract, done in person, and face-to-face. This sacred act should not be entered into lightly, or without careful thought, because it establishes a permanent bond which lasts even when Nests, Persons, or even the Church itself becomes Discorporate. Water-siblings promise to always Be There for each other, and it is the deepest and most intimate form held in the "innermost circle" ( which must be the 9th ;-> ).
There are only two instances in the SISL CAW where 3rd Circle members had Water Brotherhood with Michael Valentine Smith within the SISL Church. This was done only once within CAW to identify the Avatar of MVS, and relocated him inward to the 9th Circle temporarily and gave him access to it, as well as all his Waterbrothers, thus defining the 9th Circle. It also created an open Priestess position. When the Supplicant retired his temporary Priesthood within the WB ritual, it created an open Priest position, which were intended to be used in creating foriegn CAW group (OK,... Australia !), when the Promise of Waterbrotherhood was fulfilled. Some may deny this, but it's True, nevertheless...
. We do not consider group water sharing to be pledges of water-brotherhood with the same level of intensity of commitment as a personal sharing, but rather as a communion of acknowledgement. There are two levels of group watersharing. The first is the large "outer circle" sharing which affirms kinship in the great "Circle of Life" where "Water shared is Life shared" with "All that Groks", or the God/dess. The second is an "intermediate circle" sharing among those attending a Nest, coven or small group ritual, which affirms the bond of the group. Less formal Waterbrotherhoods may also be used in conversations over the telephone, which is a Promise of future Water-brotherhood, or in writing when addressing those who are already Water-siblings, or a group which has a Water-sibling in it, or two groups which, in effect, merge. An example of Waterbrotherhood in writing is when someone offers knowledge to a superior, or when something of worth is given to someone else in the CAWT.
Seasonal Celebrations-- The annual cycle of the seasons, or Sabbats, are central to all Pagan worship, and is referred to as the "Wheel of the Year".Participation in these celebratory rituals attunes our bodies, souls, and tribe to the "Great Round of Life's Mysteries: Birth, Growth, Discorporation, and Rebirth. There are eight Sabbats which are specifically Celtic or generally European (EUR):
Rites of Passage-- are rituals that honor and empower life's transitions, but theya aren't the only ones:
Divination-- There are many ways to do Divination or "far seeing". The CAWT honors all its forms, which includes the following:
We are born from this act of pleasure. This miracle has been, from the dawn of time, a source of awe and magick. In all of us, somewhere is the child-like and naive belief that because sex creates us, then it can create anything. From this simple set of beliefs, comes the most powerful and effective magick in human experience can be woven from its threads. As a particular part of Mother Earth, our bodies are something especially to us. Sex becomes an act of worship which engages and awakens the God/dess within our partners and within us in the experience of that Sacred Trust. "For, behold, all Acts of Love and Pleasure are My rituals !" (The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente) The CAWT sanctions all loving and responsible sexual relations between informed and consenting adults, regardless of gender, number or practice, and the CAWT also advocates safe sexual practices.
Ritual Nudity-- We of the CAWT encourage and often practice "ritual nudity" and practice "holy nakedness" in our Nests. We conduct many of our outdoor rites skyclad, weather and privacy permitting, as the Stranger In a Strange Land (SISL by Robert Heinlein) did. Group skinny dipping and hot tubbing are long standing practices and traditions within the CAWT. The naked body is honest, unprententous, sacred, and beautiful, for we arenaked and unashamed ! We support the "Charge of the Goddess"'s admonition, "And as a sign that you be truly free, you shall be naked in your rites". The CAWT supports the extablishment and maintenance of clothing optional beaches, hot springs and other sanctuaries for skyclad communion with Nature, and Nature's God/dess.
Enviornmental Action-- The Goddess of the Living Earth is our Prime, and Primal Diety, and we regard the maintenance and protection of Her as our most sacred duty. We are in alignment with Earth First's rallying slogan, "No compromise in the defense of the Mother Earth !" We support all forms of non-violent activism like highway and park clean-up campaigns, tree plantings, and protest demonstrations against the greedhead exploiters and despoilers of Nature.
Magick-- Magick is defined herein as "the art of probability enhancement" or "coincidence manipulation and control". The study, practice, and mastery of these Arts is a lifelong study and Quest which involves the ability to formulate, embrace, and shift the very paradigms of the Mainstream culture's consensus Reality for our Tribe's and Community's benefit.
Bread and fruit, and other foods, like a special selection of of "Underworld Foods" eaten in silence during the Samhain Dumb Supper, are also shared Sacraments. Such foods are believed to be the blood and body of Our God/dess. Common phrases we use when passing food have various variations are like; "May you never hunger or thirst", and "May sufficiency be with you, always".
Chocolate-- is widely believed to represent the Fifth Element in Pagan Circles. Celebrants call themselves "Chocolytes", but those who over indulge are "Chocoholics", who may have to enter ten step-program to make their affliction easier on the conscience.
The Aztecs considered it to be the Drink of the Gods, even without sugar ! In Tantra a couple practicing thes Art would place a chocolate square between their lips, then eat out the middle until their lips would meet in a passionate kiss. This is meant to raise Kundalini, among other things, and evolve the taste buds to oral Bliss and Satisfaction.
The Divine Taste of Chocholate is orgasmic as it melts in your mouth. It causes a euphoric state which satiates the deepest desires and most the compelling cravings.
When sharing this sacrament in Circle we use common phrases like, "Thou Art Sweet", "Thou art Creamy', and during the darker times of the year, "Thou Art Bitter Sweet". After ingesting the sacrament and have reached True Enlightenment, you may achieve the state of "S' more than enough for Everyone, and even More to Share !".
Primal Ooze-- shouldn't be confused with "Primal OOBE" or "Primal Uzi". Experiencing the Elements of Earth and Water is a fun and delightful way to experience Primal Ooze. Bleeding Edge Science tell us that the original template for the formation of DNA was wet clay over six-billion years ago. Asmooth wet clay filled pit makes a truly wonderful mud bath for slipping and sliding Waterkin ! Adding Fire to Clay produces durable, artistic and sometimes even useful artifacts.
All CAW rituals include a sharing of water. It can be the simple communion of a Solitary which acknowledges Our Waterkinship with Life, to the lifelong commitment of Waterbrotherhood within a group, which is not destroyed if and when Our Nests, Our Church, Our Networks and Associations, or Ourselves are destroyed or become Discorporate.
Other liquids, of course, like Wine or Fruit Juice may be sacramentally shared, for they all have the Essence of Water. We may say, "Wine shared is love shared." or, as a joke, "May you always be juicy"
Coffee-- Countless Pagan households perform the "Javacrucian Mysteries" and rites every morning, and also at countless Pagan Events. Many Pagans could not get through the day without the Black Drink, often taken with Milk and Sugar at Sunrise, the Celebrant faces the Rising Sun, holds forth the Mug of Brewe ( called a "Cuppa" in more Advanced and Enightened Cultures ), Drinks Deep, and intones in a Fell Voice, "Gods, I needed that !", and means it. This begins the Daily Recapitulation of Ontogeny, whatever the Hel that means...
Javacrucian Sects often have various additives to Ye Basick Brewe:
Similar cults include Teaosophists, Rastacolians, Mateyanists, Coladues, Pepsilytes, and Chocolatytes.
Music-- In almost every religious Tradition, Music plays a central role. The experience of singing and music can bring diverse groups of people closely together very quickly. When Music fills the air, it embraces everyone present by echoing in our souls. The Pagan community in general are blessed with many inspired magicians of music we call Bards, and these folk contribute to almost every Pagan ritual and occasion and they often invite everyone to join in. The Drum, Rattle, and Voice are widely used, and are intimately connected with body rhythmns; the breath of voice and the Drum to the heart beat. and the rattle to the rhythms of the body itself.
Candle Burning-- Candle of various colors are often used in spellwork. The most common color associations are:
The CAWT, through CAW Inc when it was active, has registered legal resolutions to establish and ordain certain substances as being sacraments, to be used in a sacred and ritualistic manner, with full reverence. These psychotropic herbs and subastances were not currently porscribed or designated as controlled substances by the laws of any known municipality, county, state, province, or country at that time. Two of these are MDMA or "Ectasy" 5/5/85, and "Salvia Divinorum", (Diviners Mint) 1/19/95. This registration dones not constitute any requirement that these substances be ingested, but they are rather an acknowledgement of their Divine nature. Ectasy has garnered a bad rap because of thugs, idiots, libertines, and jerks, and is now considered a street drug and is probably illegal.
Dance-- is a much safer subject than the former. One of the most prevalent and primal scenes in Pagan culture is a fire circle with drummers and dancers. Dance in ritual is often called Mudra, but freeform dancing and circle dancing is also essential parts of our celebrations and rituals. Expressing through our bodies our joy, sorrow and beauty of our lives in dance is not a mere head trip, for it affirms our identity within the natural world. We are OF the natural world, we are not just visiting a "Veil of Tears" on our way to a better place. We are no longer separate and estranged from it.
Humor-- Most Pagans in general and CAWT Waterkin in particular have a great fondness for humor and jokes, both clever and lame. Speaking of lame, Puns are a almost a trademark of our sense of humor. The references from which they're drawn are affirmations of our common heritage as a Tradition. Some of the more ubiquitious references usedit humor include:
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