DOVES by James Crowley.

    It has always been my view that the Earth Traditions, both in the
    Wiccan (European Shamanic) and Neo-Native Shamanic senses, are
    seeing their rebirth out of a true need to heal this wounded
    Mother of ours, and to stay Her hand, for Her anger is growing. It
    is quite possible that without this renewed spirit of reverence
    and worship of Earth and Sky and the True Source of All that Is,
    humanity as a species would be made as extinct as the Passenger
    Pigeon and the Dodo Bird.

    Therefore, as a Pagan and as a follower of the Ways of the
    Chiricahua Teneh Nation, I cringe whenever I see restrictions and
    requirements that are, for all intents and purposes, useless
    today, and only hamper the mission we have of encouraging others
    to walk in a more sacred way on the Body of Our Mother.  I see the
    power trips, the "I'm the High Priest(ess), that's why" crap and
    the games driving more and more Pagans solitary, when we should be
    uniting.  And I was extremely angered when I read the published
    "ethics" of one organization, the Covenant of the Doves, now known
    as the United Wiccan Church.

    I have listed the salient points in ARTICAL.TXT that disturb me the
    most, and will respond to them one by one.

    >   No woman shall be a Maiden who has not been in her courses.
    MK-H: I guess that's fair enough.  But whether or not a woman is
    currently menstruating is none of the Coven's business.

    >   No woman shall be ordained unless she has passed her 17th year,
    >   nor shall she have her ordination recognized until that time.
   MK-H: No coven has any business ordaining a person, woman or man,
   before the legal Age of Consent, unless the minor is legally
   emancipated, and can produce their emancipation papers.  To do
   otherwise is a wonderful excuse for prosecution if the persecution
   that File 18 and other Fundie hate articles I have been compiling
   in my XIANHATE series of files seem to augur comes to pass.

    >   No woman shall have her ordination recognized unless she is in
    >   her courses, has ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two ears, a
    >   nose.  Her generative organs and breasts must be complete.  The
    >   honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following
    >   ordination shall not invalidate the ordination.
  MK-H: So you would deny ordination to a woman who is handicapped, or
  blind, or deaf, or has suffered the effects of cancer and may have
  had a hysterectomy, a mastectomy or even the less-invasive
  "lumpectomy" done on her to save her life?  That is bigoted and
  totally without reason in this day and age.  And what if she is past
  Menopause?  Would you deny ordination to a woman who may be past her
  fertile years?  That's wholly disrespectful to the Elders who hold
  so much wisdom that could be an asset to a Circle.

    >   No woman shall be a Nymph who has not coupled.
  MK-H: Again, this is none of the Coven's business whether or not a
  woman has had sex.

    >   No woman shall be a Crone who has not given birth.
  MK-H: Some have chosen NOT to bear children, out of either financial
  necessity, or conviction that this society is not the place to raise
  kids in.  And some have recognized that they simply do not have the
  temperment for child-rearing (myself included in that category.)
  Some are infertile, through no fault of their own.  And some,
  through either psychological or physical drives, prefer other women.
  There are a great deal of Lesbians in the Wiccan movement.  Would
  you write them off as nonexistant?

    >   No man shall be a Magician who has not healed.
  MK-H: Healing is not necessarily the only talent the God and Goddess
  give to people.  Therefore, if a person does not have that talent,
  that does not mean that they aren't useful to the Circle in other
  capacities.  And why is this criterion only applied to MALE
  postulants? Some of the best healers I know are female.

    >   No man shall be ordained unless he has passed his 33rd year, nor
    >   shall he have his ordination recognized until that time.
  MK-H: Why a double standard on when a man should be ordained? 18 is
  just fine for an eligability date.

    >   No man shall have his ordination recognized unless he is the
    >   father of a living child, has ten fingers and ten toes, two eyes,
    >   two ears and a nose and generative organs complete.  The
    >   honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following
    >   ordination shall not invalidate the ordination.
  MK-H: Again I voice my objections about the anti-Physically
  Challenged bias that this requirement implies.  And I suspect that
  the requirement of being "the father of a living child" is there for
  only one reason--that it is a legally permissable way of stating "No
  Pooftahs".  Just as the childbearing requirement is discriminatory
  to Lesbians, the fatherhood requirement is discriminatory to Gays.

  So what would I myself ask of postulants wishing initiation?  In my
  theoretical Circle, I would ask them to attest, under pain of
  disfellowship, that they are not law enforcement officers joining
  the Circle for espionage purposes, nor are they there for sabotage
  or infiltration purposes under religious grounds.  Furthermore, they
  should affirm their allegience to The Earth Mother, The Sky Father,
  and Their Ultimate Source, forswearing allegiance to other deities.
  (primarily to weed out Christian or "satanist" infiltrators) They
  should have completed their Vision Quest, and have contacted their
  Lower Self in the form of their Power Animal(s), and their Higher
  Self in the form of the Shaman or Teacher Within.  They also should
  not show outward or inward signs of being mentally unbalanced
  (something that would require a lot of trusting one's gut, although
  a psychologically-based questionnaire might be a good way of
  confirming it) or overly concerned with "finding power".  They must
  also, for legal reasons, be either over 18 or legally Emancipated.

  Furthermore, there will be only ONE degree in my Circle--that of
  Kin.  Anyone who is initiated is theoretically ready to act as
  ceremonial facilitator, and that duty will be rotated to them as
  the rotation goes around the Circle.  Decisions should be made by
  consensus, with one person having only one vote.

  I ask you, James...does not the Mother and the Father decree that we
  should all be free and equal to one another? Is that not why you opt
  to have your Coven be naked in their rite?  (Due to the fact that
  the Chiricahua Teneh never performed ceremonials in the nude, I
  would myself opt for robed work, even to the point of people working
  in comfortable street clothes.) So why all this bloody RESTRICTION?
  Why all these trivial, and sometimes even discriminatory rules and
  regulations?  Your ancestor Aleister once said "The word for Sin is
  Restriction."  It's a good rule of thumb.

  Michelle Chihacou White Puma Klein-Hass