As I prepare to teach Elements of Magic again in December with two amazing co-teachers (the magical Amanda and Ayla) I’ve been thinking lately about the revolutionary potential of Elements of Magic.
On one level this course can function as a beginner’s Witchcraft class.
But it is more than that.
This class is a community rite of passage that has been continuously and generously offered for almost 40 years. It is an initiatory experience - not just into the way Reclaiming works magic but into the way Reclaiming builds community. It is an invitation to become a shaper of this tradition - a welcoming into service and leadership in a community. When people leave Elements, their relationship to the community has changed. They have walked through a powerful gateway, been through a significant collective experience. They are empowered to act in service of and in leadership for the community. That might look like participating in public ritual, or helping on the activist or media cells, or taking advanced classes, or simply helping build the web of community by welcoming first timers or greeting returning guests at events. It might look like taking the initiative to organize a new cell or interest group, or bringing a proposal to the community during one of our meetings. It might look like just doing what needs to be done instead of asking “How can I help?” Taking Elements isn’t what gives people permission to do these things; they have the ability to engage in these activities before they take Elements. But Elements offers a powerful container through which people are woven into the fabric of the community and thereby they feel empowered to act on behalf of the community in this way. Elements is a process through which belonging occurs, and it is the method through which the magic that is Reclaiming reaches new hands.
It’s powerful. And this power is why people take this class over and over again, even experienced Reclaiming witches who have taught this class dozens of times. Even people who have sophisticated and integrated magical practices informed by other traditions. They might yet be missing community - a chance to be with others in offering this world the medicine it needs - to be together as we seek healing, justice and liberation. This class is for them, too.
This class is for all of us.