Below is the preamble to the ATC Seeker Traditional Ordains. It is posted here for you to read as a glimpse into the ATC tradition.
It helps provides some insight as to why the ATC exists, what the organization’s motivations and goals are, and where its members derive some of their motivation and passion.
We are of the Old Religion, sired of time and born of the Earth Mother. For too long our people have traveled the solitary and stony path that goes only onward toward an endless, visible yet seemingly unreachable horizon of acceptance. The Horned God plays his pipes lonely and alone in an empty glade — for his people are scattered in this barren age of gray lifeless machines. The gentle winds carry His plaintive notes over deserted heaths and grassy plains, onto the sloping, verdant uplands and mountain groves. Who knows still the ancient language of our Goddess, the Moon? Who yet is able to speak with Her and hear Her reply? The magics of the old Pagan Gods have withered in the dragon’s breath we call scientific enlightenment. The old ways of magic have slipped into the depths of the dim past, and now only the standing stones remember what the moon told us long ago and far away — the things we used to learn from the trees, the voices of the blowing grasses, the scents of the earth around us.
We are Pagans and we worship the Old Gods. Among our people there are some yet who speak with the Moon and dance with the Horned One in the forest. These are the Wicca, our clergy, the leaders in the Old Ways, deep and often inscrutable, recognized only by our own kind by the light in their eyes, the lilt of their voice, the love in their heart, the magic in their hands and their knowledge of themselves and of our realities. The Wicca are the teachers, the guardians of knowledge; but what of the rest, those lone and weary seekers on the path, those whom we have come to call the Solitaries?
A solitary is one who worships the Goddess and God of nature, whether by observation or by study, whether by love or admiration, whether in their sacred rites with the Moon or on the great festivals of the Sun, alone and uncertain of the existence of others of like mind. For centuries there have been those of other beliefs who in their zeal, unsuccessfully tried to drown our tiny, often flickering flame of knowledge, to bring our spirituality to extinction. Failing at that task, they have unwittingly succeeded at another. Once forced into a secretive, small family-like group structure for survival, our growth was effectively stymied for all time.
Although there have been attempts to swell our numbers by forming groups of greater size following that same pattern, those efforts failed. A reliance on the dynamics which often work smoothly in a small group because of the family-like interaction and interdependence, prove unachievable in the larger group setting. The lessons inherent in this experience have in large part been overlooked.
The time is upon us to shed that covenant of secrecy which has kept our groups small, intense, focused sharply on the survival of our knowledge in the hands of a few, the hidden, the clergy. Now many theologians have emerged, generating a large body of publicly available literature. A broad interest in the rituals of our way of life has emerged. The laws unjustly restricting our spirituality have been repealed. Yes, there are yet some who, in the zeal of their own beliefs, would deny us our Goddess and God, but the growing tolerance of our path by other, more popular religious philosophies is the rule of the day. The time is upon us to go forth and gather our scattered brethren who meander alone across a barren wasteland of dying spiritualities. The time is here for the Wicca to come out of the shadows and into the streaming light of a new dawn. The time is now to resume the task of ministering to the almost staggering numbers of people who today are proclaiming themselves as followers of the ways of nature and the Old Gods, all too long neglected: the Solitary Pagans.
It is to that purpose the Aquarian Tabernacle Church was dedicated when it was begun in 1979. The Tabernacle Ordains are the moral system which guide us in our mission. They are adapted from the traditional Craft Ordains handed down through the years, modernized to suit the 20th century and the needs of our unique tradition.
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church is a positive, life-affirming spirituality, a non-dualist, non-racist, non-sexist, non-exclusivist, gender-balanced, ecologically oriented faith dedicated to the preservation of Holy Mother Earth, the revival of the worship of the Old Gods in a modern context, the achievement of the fullest of human potentials and the creation of a peaceful world of love, freedom, health and prosperity for all sentient beings. We claim to speak only for ourselves and no others.
The Tabernacle has never been what might be called “an initiatory order.” The Tabernacle was given the first formalized structure on the Summer Solstice, (Friday, June 21st, 1985). Five Priestesses and Priests joined together at the MoonStone Circle of standing stones in a group ceremony to dedicate the newly installed Altar stone, in recognition of and dedication to the Tabernacle’s goals of service to the community. Some of that original group has dispersed over the intervening years, but the spirit and dedication to the Tabernacle’s goals continue.
We believe above all else, that everyone has the right to identify and follow their own spiritual path, and in that belief, we do not actively seek converts to our religion; we will help those who come to us to learn of our ways so that they may make their own conscious choices of the path that is right for them.
In our tradition, one based on serving the many solitary believers as well as organized groups, we focus our attentions on providing a place for group worship and celebration, a place were seekers may come to learn and grow in their Paganism as a way of life. While we serve the larger Pagan community, we remain a separate Wiccan tradition, following our own customs and laws, and are a self-regulating, closed membership organization rather than a composite community group with open membership from other traditions. The Aquarian Tabernacle Church is governed and perpetuated from within, but we accept into our tradition individuals and groups from other traditions who wish to associate themselves with our work of serving our co-religionists, and follow our tradition’s customs and moral system, The Ordains.
The Aquarian Tabernacle tradition is under the stewardship of two distinct structures, one secular and one spiritual, although there is of necessity an overlap in the duties of several of the offices between these structures. The secular responsibilities rest with the Board of Directors and the Corporate Officers who administer the worldly affairs of the church corporation. The Archpriesthood of the Keepers of the Gate, the innermost circle of this tradition, with the advice of the Council of Elders, administers the spiritual affairs of the church body according to The Ordains of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, the assembled traditionally-based code which governs our actions.