What special events does the Aquarian Tabernacle Church sponsor?
Every year, from the Thursday before to the Sunday of Easter weekend , the ATC produces the Spring Mysteries Festival, an initiatory event known world wide. This festival celebrates the Eleusinian Mysteries and provides a ritual experience second to none in beauty, inspiration, and spiritual timelessness. Preparation for this event begins each summer for the next year’s production. Occurring continuously since 1985, it has been the model for many other Pagan festivals both in the USA and other countries.
The second major festival that the ATC produces happens the first weekend in November, called Hekate’s Sickle. It celebrates the traditional Wiccan Samhain theme and many of the people who work on SMF also work as part of the team that produces Hekate’s Sickle. It is ranked as one of the highest impacting Pagan spiritual events one can attend. Because of the theme and intensity of this event, attendance is limited to those 13 and over.
The ATC also sponsors classes on different subjects of interest to Wiccans. These range from how to consecrate your magical tools, to a scientific look at magical energy. New classes are being created all the time. These classes are offered at Edge of the Circle Books (in Seattle), Moonflower Magicks (in Everett) and also at our Index church site nearly every month. Some classes are also presented on an irregular basis at other locations. Current schedules are usually posted at the above mentioned sites and also in many Pagan newsletters.
Each month, the church hosts Diana’s Bow and Full Moon celebrations at our beautiful Stone Circle in Index. These are offered as an open worship services, and all earnest seekers are invited to worship with us. A potluck dinner follows each service, which is usually held at 7 p.m. the Saturday of or after New Moon or the Full Moon. Depending on the moon phase, the ATC also hosts Dark Moon rituals, and what we call Alternate Liturgies. Alternate Liturgies have ranged from the Council of Animals to special Sabbat rituals. Newcomer orientation is offered on an on-going basis… look for a schedule posted at the Index church.
Sometimes, during the warm months, we also host picnics around the Puget sound area and camp-outs near the Index church. Again, watch the bulletin boards at bookstores and our Index church. We are always coming up with more things to do than we have hands to do them, so when we grow, we often take up more events. Look for our schedules to change over time and you will probably find a lot of activities not mentioned here.
You can get information about these and other events by phoning (360) PYE-WAKT [793-9258], which is our information service line for those interested in learning more about the Old Religion.
What does membership in the ATC mean?
Membership in the Aquarian Tabernacle Church means that you are an active part of a major international Wiccan fellowship. It means that you are committed to a spiritual tradition that places personal responsibility and honor on the highest level and that you share a bond with others who are likewise committed. To be a member of the ATC means you are part of an active, dedicated group of people who have been serving the Pagan community with worship and educational services for nearly twenty years. The benefits of ATC membership are much more than can be seen on the surface. While members enjoy special enrollment rates at our annual and other events, the real benefits come from working with other dedicated people who want to see Wicca a free and open religion that can be practiced without harassment. The ATC has made a huge difference both locally and internationally in this respect through educational programs, community action, and political and legal activities that are impossible on a personal level.
Active membership (emphasis on the word, “active,” most of our members are downright get-out-of-the-way hard chargers!) is rewarding in many ways. Most importantly, it gives the members and their families opportunities to work effectively for their own spiritual growth and that of their fellow Pagans throughout the world. We welcome children and have programs to hold their interest. Long-time members credit their work and associations in the ATC for much of their own personal and spiritual advancement. Opportunities abound in the ATC for those who wish to find a rewarding outlet for their talents and energies. While giving service through the church to others, they give true worship to the gods. Learning the ATC tradition and being able to share our knowledge with others of like mind provides enhancement to our lives that is simply not available to solitaries or those in small groups.
If you would like to be a member of our church, call or write us now. We welcome your questions and we would like to welcome you as a member.
What does it take to become a member?
To be a member of the ATC means that you dedicate yourself to the principles as stated in the ATC Ordains and that you give due worship to the gods of the Old Religion within the community. Simply stated, the Ordains say that those who worship the Old Gods must be responsible for their actions, feelings, thoughts, and the results they produce in their environment. We expect our members to get along with one another and to make every effort to relate to their fellow members in an atmosphere of Love and Trust so that real spiritual growth can happen for everyone. If you can willingly do these things, then everything else about becoming a member is easy. There is a membership packet available for those who wish to join the ATC. If you would like, please tell one of our staff and they will arrange to put one in your hands. The ATC, like most churches, runs on a very low budget, so we ask that you pay $5.00 to cover the cost of copying and mailing this packet. You’re welcome to read the packet and then decide if you want participate. A sample packet is available for you to peruse at the Retreat House (at the Index church). Usually our Church officers will have a copy with them when participating in ATC events outside of the Index site.
New members and their families are recognized with a welcoming/joining ceremony (four times a year) at our Index church or at the Spring Mysteries Festival and Hekate’s Sickle events. You don’t need special clothing or robes for this, though many feel it enhances their formal welcoming into the church. You also have the option of refraining from this recognition ceremony if you so choose. Before your membership is made official, we ask that you attend one of our orientations. This so that you understand how the ATC operates and what our goals are. Only those who have asked to be members will be at the orientation meetings. If, after learning or traditions and history, you feel you do not wish to proceed, that’s OK, you will still be more than welcome at our public services and festivals. The orientation is required because we want everyone to be completely comfortable with the way we do things and to familiarize new members with the ATC and help them fit in comfortably with those who are already part of our growing body of worshippers. After you have become a member, we ask that you dedicate yourself to the four altars, one each quarter year for the first year. This will provide a focus for your participation within the ATC and enhance your understanding of our Year and a Day study program. We think you will find it an effective way of learning and providing a good start on your way to becoming a spiritually whole being. We also ask that members attend six or more ATC events (Diana’s Bow , Full Moon or Dark Moon ceremonies, festivals, etc.) during the year and to pledge whatever financial support for the ATC they can reasonably afford.
If you think that all this activity means we’re very busy at the ATC, you are right. We have lots of projects for those who are interested in jumping right in and becoming part of the ever expanding body of people who are learning new skills to help others learn about Wicca, the ATC, and Paganism in general. Almost everything the ATC does is accomplished through the efforts of dedicated and active Pagan people, most of whom may never have done anything like this until they became part of the ATC. If you are looking for a place that welcomes your efforts as well as enhances your life both socially and spiritually, we truly think that the ATC is one of the best ways to do that. We invite you to talk with our members and staff about membership with us… we predict you’ll hear good things!
Some background about the ATC and its people:
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church was founded in Index, Washington in 1979 by Pete Pathfinder Davis after his moving from New Jersey to the Pacific Northwest. With the help of numerous local area Wiccans, the Stone Circle was erected in the early 80′s and has been used for ceremonies of all kinds by many different groups. It has been the site for the ATC Diana’s Bow rites since its beginning. Mr. Davis has been the ATC’s Arch Priest since its beginning. He lives at the Retreat House on the church property in Index year round.
The ATC has gained IRS Non-Profit Religious Organization Group Exemption status (501C-3) and has affiliates in the USA, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. It is dedicated to worship of the Old Religion and the idea that Wiccans should enjoy the openness and freedom customarily afforded other religions, without fear of persecution or social reprisals. As part of that goal, the ATC was the organization that accomplished the recognition of Wicca as a faith group by gaining election to membership in the Interfaith Council of Washington. Members of the ATC have served as both President and Vice President of the I.C.O.W. in years past, probably a first in the known universe for any Wiccan clergy.
Debbie Hudson is ArchPriestess and Festivals Director for the ATC as well as serving as Priestess for the Dark Moon ceremonies. She also heads the ATC Tradition program, teaching classes for Postulants and working with the higher degrees in both a formal class setting and in one-on-one sessions. Debbie has a long association with the ATC and has worked most every job at one time or another. She lives with her husband and daughter in Woodinville.
Over the years, the ATC community has been served by hundreds of capable and dedicated people. Though some people’s names may be better known than others, the fact is everyone who is associated with the ATC is important. Our work can not be accomplished without the capable help of those who willingly pitch in at every opportunity. If you are reading this, then it’s likely that your name belongs here too!
“Blessed Be” from the entire ATC family.