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And so a New Year dawns! Welcome Year 13! I for one must tell you that I am not sorry to see Year 12 end. Year 12 has been a difficult, grinding year for pretty much everyone I know, and I have hopes for a much kindlier Year 13. You can read about my hopes for the future farther down in the letter.
I would like to begin this year's Address by thanking First Priestess Traci Wood for all of her support and help throughout the year, and throughout these many years as well. After so long without a First Priestess, it is a great blessing to have a helpmeet in this position to share the work of running the Tradition – and Lady Traci has proven perfectly suited to the office. The First Priestess of the Tradition is co-equal to the First Priest, fully empowered for any and all actions, wielding the same level of authority as I do myself – thus allowing her to be a real help in the heavy burden of running the Tradition. Thank you Lady Traci!
This has been a long time coming, but is a great thing not only for me personally, but for the Tradition as a whole. It is a crucial step in solidifying the future, which is my main goal for Year 13, and indeed we have many plans for the future that will be being rolled out in coming weeks and months!
On a less happy note, I would have to say that Year 12 was one of the hardest years of my life in many ways. I think this was true for many other people as well. It was predicted to be a time of great change, and I think that it was in fact a time of change and transformation – life changing transformations. It was a year that saw many endings and many new beginnings – and the greater number of these were traumatic for people.
For me, obviously, the greatest change was the end of the World of Witches Museum, and my return to Chicago. This was a deeply painful ending, not only for me but for the many people involved with the Museum. I want to thank everyone who supported the World of Witches project – your support is deeply appreciated and touched many lives during the Museum's existence.
Another major change was the retirement of Ed Hubbard as First Elder of the Correllian Tradition. This retirement became effective on 21 December, Year 12. For over 20 years Ed has held various high positions in the Correllian Tradition, including Elder, First Director, and ultimately First Elder. During these many years Ed has worked tirelessly to promote and expand the Correllian Tradition, and his work is a primary reason why we are where we are today. Sadly, many have not realized that, but I assure you that Ed's vision and drive have been vitally important in our movement forward. Ed is a genius and generally far ahead of his time, with the result that people do not always understand the importance of his goals. Because they are do far ahead. Ed's vision and willingness to think and act outside of the box have allowed the development of not one but several interrelated global platforms, and an internet portal that has allowed people from around the world to come together in ways they never could have done otherwise. Many Pagans are not conscious of the many benefits Ed has brought to the community because they have become second nature to us, but they have been truly revolutionary.
I am very grateful to Ed both personally for the many years of friendship and partnership we have shared, as well as for all his work in the community. The time has come for Ed to move on to other work which I am sure will be equally revolutionary in its impact, in the green industry.
Ed now joins Lady Krystel and Lady Bitterwind in a place of honor as retired leaders of the Tradition, who though no longer involved in the daily running of the Tradition are no less important to our present and future. Lady Traci and I will name a new First Elder in Year 13.
This was also a year in which death took many people who were dear to us. First and foremost for me was Katrina “Foxglove” Kessler. Katrina was such a shining star, and had such a great future in front of her. Katrina was one of those people who could light up a room just with her presence if she chose to. Her death at age 23 was simply and unequivocally tragic. Although Katrina had physically moved on from her job as manager of the Museum, we were still involved in many projects and anticipated continuing to work together in the future. Her talent and creativity were incredible, as was her humor and her humanity – her death left a hole in the life of everyone who knew her.
Another tragic death was that of baby Star Ann. Although Star Ann was in this world only a short time, she was loved by all who knew her. Her death was a tragedy for her parents and also all those who loved her.
Two others who died just in the last few days were Bobbie Welsh of Hoopeston and Bill Erbacher of Chicago, both old friends. A resident of the Manor in Hoopeston, Bobbie was a former hairstylist and beautician who had also once enjoyed a cabaret career as “Diana Midnight”. Bobbie was also one of our most vocal supporters during our years in Hoopeston, always open minded and interested in learning more about Paganism and Pagan ways. Bobbie will be missed.
Bill Erbacher was a long time leader of the Chicago Pagan community. Bill was a very kind and most interesting man, noted among other things for a perceived resemblance to the common image of Aleister Crowley. Bill had been a member of the Heartland Pagan Association, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and the Temple of the Lake, as well as having edited the Pipes of Pan magazine, among many other accomplishments. Lady Traci and I always enjoyed when Bill would come out to Holy City Temple events. Bill would always bring his special incense -the only one his severe asthma could tolerate, which also happened to be a really nice Kyphi blend. Bill had a very imposing presence and a grand manner, as well as a kind heart. He too will be missed.
But while death has taken these and other loved ones from us this year, we do not forget that their Spirit goes on. They live on in the Otherworld, and also in our hearts -but also in our work. We who live on must carry forward the ideals and the memory of those who have departed, and must be inspired by them to redouble our own efforts to make a better world.
This is not to say that nothing good happened in Year 12.
One of the best things was the 20th Anniversary of the St. Louis Pagan Picnic. That is amazing. In my opinion the St. Louis Pagan Picnic is one of the best Pagan events in the US, and every years seems to only make it better. The Picnic is a marvel of positive community expression, and the result f the hard work of many, many people over many, many years. A few of those people are Larry “Elbee” Brown, River Higginbotham, Charlynn Walls, Karen Doerhoff, Ron Beery, and oh so very many more. Pagan Picnicers – I salute you!
Another wonderful thing that happened in Year 12 was Lindsay Irvin. Lindsay took over editing the Correllian Times magazine and has done a wonderful job with it. Lindsay has also become Director of Witch School, and I am sure we will see amazing things from her in this capacity as well! I'd like to ask everyone to give Lindsay your full support as she moves forward. Most of us know that Witch School is its own entity, separate from the Correllian Tradition, but this does not mean that the school and its administration do not need our support and co-operation. We have had a long association with Witch School from which we have greatly benefited. Witch School has always supported us and we must support it as well.
Year 12 also saw the creation of a number of resources to help our members grow and thrive within the Tradition. Organized by Arch Priestess Stephanie Neal these include our new Information Center headed by Rev. Laurie Denman. This group serves as a central source for information on all facets of the Correllian Tradition. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/CorrellianTrad. There is also a group just for Outer Court headed by Rev. Harwe Tuileva at http://www.facebook.com/groups/265398186909862. A group for First Degree headed by Rev. Alyssa Maxon at http://www.facebook.com/groups/488152121213459. A group for Second Degree headed by Rev. Rick Keen at http://www.facebook.com/groups/115795191900655. And a group for Third Degree headed by Rev, Angela Munn at http://www.facebook.com/groups/494266537255175. If you haven't checked these resources out yet, you should do so! I want to thank all of our Department Heads for all your hard work on behalf of your fellow Correllians!
Of course for the New Year our biggest thing is the Lustration of the Ancestors. This year the Lustration of the Ancestors in being held in South Africa, at Durbanville, Cape Town, the weekend of April 26-29.
I am really looking forward to this event, and to meeting members of our seven South African Temples, Shrines, and Study Groups. If you are a South African Correllian please, please come out to the event if you can -I would love to get to meet every Correllian in the country! It has been more than ten years since I last traveled to Africa to visit a Correllian Temple, and so much has changed in that time! Arch Priestess Raene has worked tirelessly to promote Correllianism in South Africa, and has done a remarkable job with it, as have Lady Susan Wheeler, Rev. Gita Seyfert, Rev. Morne Pretorius, Francois de Marcy Pugin, Rev. Trish de Lange, and Rev. Sharon Corrans, and all of our people in South Africa.
You can learn more about the Lustration of the Ancestors in Africa here: http://www.clanofkhepertemple.co.za/#/lustration-2013/4564563467
Of course we realize that there are many people in North America who cannot make it to South Africa for Lustration, so we will be having a kick-off gathering at Children of Gaia Temple in Florida on April 19 -21.
We are also holding a book drive in order to create an Interfaith Library in Africa. Books in general are very expensive in Africa, and metaphysical books in particular are much harder to come by. By creating this Library we hope to create a significant resource for African Pagans. We are asking for contributions of new or used books. All kinds of metaphysical and spiritual books are desired. Tarot cards, DVDs, and CDs are also welcome.
I would really like to see some of our Temples include a book drive as part of their Candlemas festivities.
Donated books will be on display at the kick-off gathering in Florida, then shipped to Africa. Book donations may be sent to:
11250 Old St. Augustine Road, Suite 15 #150
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Finally to conclude this years novel -er, Address- it was suggested that I should include what I would like to see from the Correllian people. My answer to this is that I would like to see you enjoy your lives and express your spirituality. I would like to see you bring the light of Goddess into your homes and your communities like never before, and illuminate the world around you! I would like to see you care for each other and create charitable activities to benefit those in need -like making blankets for cancer patients (like Rev. Angela Munn) or hats for babies in need (like Rev. Angela Grimes) or volunteering your time to help those in need (like Lady Traci). I would like to see you not only learn and grow as individuals, but also expand the frontiers of metaphysical knowledge. I would like to see a greater awareness among Correllians of the global nature of our family, and a strengthening of ties around the planet. Most of all I would like for us to be able to say that we left the world a better place than we found it - for in the end that is the best thing any of us can say.
So let us bravely venture into the 13th Year of Aquarius and may Goddess bless us all!
Rev. Don Lewis
First Priest and Chancellor
Correllian Nativist Tradition
Thank you Lord Don and Lady Traci, all the Elders and all the Clergy for everything you do to help the Correllian-Nativist Tradition span the globe and make each and every new member feel welcome and loved. Thank you to the Staff of Witchschool.com for the education and fellowship you offer and fostering the expansion of Paganisim in so many people's lives. I hope everyong has a happy, safe and magical 2013!
Thanks Rev. Don for inspiring us to shine the light of the Goddess within us and radiate it to our homes, community and the Whole World!
May Everyone be Blessed this Year 13!
I agree with you Sparrow. But I also know that challenges bring change, and knowledge, and my hope is that all of us will move forward during this year, and be the strong voice that we are.
Many Blessings to all !
You sound like me. Major changes are in store for me as well, as I have had many revelations in 2012. So 2013 is going to be filled with more study, knowledge and gaining a stronger sense of myself.
Peace and Blessings to you as well !