Monday, November 28, 2016

CoG statement on Standing Rock



Covenant of the Goddess, one of the oldest American Wiccan and Witchcraft organizations, has at its very roots, the spiritual assumption that all of nature is sacred, from humanity to the waters of life.  While the members of CoG are diverse in practice, this fundamental spiritual ideal lives at the core of the organization's heart.

In 2014, CoG published a national statement on the environment:

 We, members of the Covenant of the Goddess, honor the sacredness of Planet Earth and Mother Nature. We honor the powers of Air and we rejoice in breathing fresh air and in all the creatures of air. We support efforts to protect the atmosphere that shields our planet and to ensure that our air is clean and refreshing.

 We honor the fire of the Sun above and the fire within our Earth -- the fires that warm us and transform us. We support efforts to provide sustainable energy to fuel our future without further damaging our ecosystem.

We honor the Waters of Life – springs, rivers, lakes and oceans – and the waters of our bodies – blood, sweat and tears --the waters that keep our bodies and our dreams fluid and ever-changing. We cherish all the creatures of water. We believe that access to clean water is a basic right, and thus we oppose privatization of water sources and efforts to deny anyone access to those sources. We support efforts to prevent and reverse pollution of our waters, to preserve groundwater, marshlands and the oceans that embrace our world.

We honor the Earth, our bodies, trees and plants, animals and rocks, and all that is manifest on this plane of existence. We support efforts to remediate damage, to conserve natural resources, to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity, and to maintain wilderness areas.

We stand at the Center, mindful of our interdependence as part of the Web of Life. We commit to support efforts to rebalance our wondrous world for future generations. We know that climate change presents an imminent threat to humanity and other life on Earth. Since this imbalance is caused by human activity, we humans must accept responsibility for our actions and seek to reverse the damage and restore the balance.

We support local, regional, national, and global efforts to conserve natural resources, to seek clean, sustainable sources of energy, and to rebalance our world.

And as such, as a group of many, the Covenant of the Goddess stands together with the Great Standing Rock Sioux Nation, the Lakota, all Indigenous Peoples and their allies in the protection of the Waters of Life and ask for the blessing and support for the Water Protectors in their work to keep the water safe and free for us, our future generations, and in honor of our ancestors.

Jack Prewett
CoG National First Officer

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

California CoG Coven working with active duty military Pagans

Annual Report, Dragon’s Weyr Circle
National Coven member,
Covenant of the Goddess

 Sarah “Stone” Hentges & Lisa Morganstern 
"Dragon’s Weyr Circle members have done a number of things for many years but we have not reported them to Grand Council.  Dragon’s Weyr is a traditional BTW coven, practicing Wicca, with some members who are “out” and others who are not. We respect the traditional secrecy of our faith. We are involved in our community leading public rituals as well as blots and a number of us are involved in Antelope Valley Pagan Pride Day, which Lisa Morgenstern our HPS founded. Lisa has been doing prison ministry as a volunteer Chaplain at California State Prison-Los Angeles County since 2005. She has taken the past year off but continues to advise on the internet via The Troth’s In-Reach program, which supports Heathens in prison and seeks to provide an alternative to the racist Heathenry which is rampant within many prisons. In-Reach has helped a lot of Heathens be permitted to have services in prison that normally would have been told no by the administration because of ignorance of Asatru, Heathenry, and other forms of Germanic Paganism. Lisa also serves as a member of the Antelope Valley Interfaith Council and offers prayers at the two annual services held, the Thanksgiving Eve Service and the National Day of Prayer event.

Amy Watson (Nia-Ailey), one of our long time members, continues her ministry as a REVL (Religious Education Vocational Learning) and Non-Chaplain Worship Leader at Los Angeles Air Force Base. She is not currently leading services there like she did at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, or at Edwards AFB in California, but she has been asked to lead some training classes for interested employees and airmen by the Chaplain. Amy was asked to man a Wiccan booth for a Diversity Workshop at the base this month. She began this work nearly 8 years ago, and has been an inspiration to other members of our coven to make similar use of their credentials. COG is one of three Pagan Organizations that the military will recognize a clergy credential from and authorize a COG credential holder to lead services.

When Amy’s family moved to a new base, Lisa Morgenstern was authorized to lead services in her absence at Edwards Air Force Base. Sadly there are few “out” pagans currently at Edwards of which we are aware, and the current Command’s Chaplains are Evangelical Christians. Lisa continues to reach out to the Chaplains at Edwards should there be a call for services, because when there are people requesting it, we can start services again. Previously we held weekly Thursday services at Edwards for a group who have mostly PCS’ed (moved away).

One of our newer members, Sarah “Stone” Hentges, has this to report: Dragon’s Weyr Circle now has a member that is the Wiccan Lay Leader at China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center in Ridgecrest California.  These are the first Wiccan services offered at this base.  Until 2016 the Navy offered no Wiccan services in the western region.  As of August 2016 there are two Naval bases that offer these services.  On Thursday May 5, 2016, the national day of prayer China Lake held its first Wiccan services with the Lay Leader and two participants, one of which had to leave early.  As of August 2016 there are six core participants and multiple occasional participants, including one retired and one active duty Sailor.  We have a room dedicated to our meetings so that we may store items there rather than take them home every time we meet.  We hold ritual for Full Moons and Sabbats and have multiple other activities such as meditations, herbs, stones, and spell crafts.  We always share a potluck meal.  Without the support and encouragement of my coven and ordination from The Covenant of The Goddess this would not have happened.  The China Lake group meets every Thursday at 1800 in the All Faith Chapel Education Building room 8. If you find yourself in the area, please join us. 

This past Memorial Day, Lisa and John Morgenstern and Sarah Hentges drove about three hours to another California base to meet with Heathen military servicemen who wanted to have a blot. John and Lisa led a ceremony to honor the Einherjar, the fallen warriors who are revered in Asatru. Her COG credential and a letter from Diana Paxson of The Troth helped that along. Because Lisa had her COG Credential and the chaplain of that unit was familiar with COG, we were permitted to hold this service in the Chapel, on a military base, which had great meaning for us and we believe, for the two servicemen who were new to Heathenry.

Dragon’s Weyr Circle members feel strongly about supporting our military and our freedom of religion as well as other social justice issues regarding minorities.   We are proud to say that we have led services for military on 4 different bases over the years and for Navy, Marines, and Air Force."

Blessings,

Lisa Morgenstern

COG Local Councils support Standing Rock Protest

COG Local Councils support Standing Rock Protest