- We open ourselves to Mystery.
- We walk the Sacred paths to mature our Souls and to become more fully human.
- We seek guidance from the Ancestors and the Greater than Human.
- We serve the generative forces of Life.
- We center our work within the needs of our Communities.
- We believe our work shapes the World.
Our six vows inform and are interconnected with the values we share:
- Sustainability - We vow to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in accordance with our own individual and collective understanding of what that means.
- Discernment - We use discernment to determine what actions are in line with our personal gifts and what is healthy or not for our bodies in order to make conscious, responsible decisions to care for ourselves.
- Beginners’ Mind - We are willing, throughout our entire lives, to approach our work, teachings we give and receive, and our spiritual paths as if for the first time, relinquishing assumptions and always seeking new learning and insights.
- Discipline - We keep our commitments to ourselves, each other, and the Divine, and we complete projects and tasks on time and in good faith.
- Humility - We strive to develop an understanding of our impact on the world and on each other that is neither inflated nor deflated. When we check in with each other we may see our projections, and others may also see and reflect back to us what we hide from ourselves. We care enough to ask for and tell the truth of what we see in each other. (The teaching concerning the Respect Protocol applies here.)
- Service - We give a meaningful and sustainable portion of our time, talent, and energy in service to our community and to the Divine without expecting compensation.
Values We Share
- Inherent Worth and Dignity of Each Person - We treat all people with respect for the innate worth and dignity that is their birthright as human beings.
- Liberation - We know that we each have a role in the liberation of others and ourselves from various forms of oppression. We strive to fulfill that role with words and actions.
- The Earth is Sacred - The Earth is our home and our Mother. We treat Her with reverence and declare her Sanctity with every breath and step we take.
- Community - We participate in the creative work of building healthy, sustainable, and welcoming communities.
- Hospitality - We welcome newcomers and old friends with generosity, warmth, and an inclusive spirit.
- Magick is Real - We all exist in physical and ethereal realms. The work we do in the realm of spirit has a discernible effect on the material world. We strive to provide an experience of Magick and Mystery through our teachings and rituals.
- Alignment with the Generative Forces of Nature - We strive to align our intentions, magick, and our individual and collective practice with the natural cycles of life, death, and rebirth. We use our discernment to determine what is and is not generative for our bodies, our families, our groups, and our communities.
Our Strengths & Community Needs
- Our community needs pagan-owned land to provide a sanctuary that we can call home.
- Our community needs good, public, accessible, pagan ritual.
- Our community needs instruction, mentorship, and role modeling by ethical master teachers.
- Our community needs leaders who are committed to show up and do the work necessary for individual and community development.
Students of Reflections Mystery School, Initiates of the Order of the Elemental Mysteries, Members of the Connect DC Ritual Circle, Ritual Participants, and Guests at all RMS/OEM/CDC activities have the following rights:
- Bodily autonomy and freedom of conscience, thought, speech, and association. All are free to move where their lives take them and can leave the school freely at any time without retribution.
- Freedom from sexual or emotional manipulation, control, or abuse.
- Consultation with external elders, teachers, and therapists about their concerns. Any teaching that is considered tradition bound is clearly stated.
- Protection from harm and accountable responses to harm caused by racist, colorist, sexist, classist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, ageist, or other discriminatory language or actions by other students or teachers.
- When appropriate, the conflict resolution process will be used, and the above described behaviors may be grounds for dismissal from the school or other relevant activities.
Connect DC Ritual Circle
- We welcome members of the public who seek to participate in our rituals.
- We strive for an environment that is inclusive of those who are attending now and those who would like to attend in the future.
- We recognize that, in order to function well as a ritual circle, we must include and value the perspectives of all attendees. We each strive to take up an appropriate amount of space and time with our contributions to ritual planning and other activities.
- We support each other and the intentions of the group when challenges arise.
- We are all upholders of the intention and magick of each ritual we create. We strive to keep our attention focused on our annual and ritual intentions as we move into and create ritual space together with all participants.
- Members of the Ritual Circle commit to the following responsibilities:
- We agree to engage in continuing education regularly throughout the year.
- We agree to accept and give appreciative and constructive feedback appropriately and according to our training and conscience.
- We agree to uphold the fundamental mission of the Ritual Circle, which includes:
- Leading public rituals that seek to heal and transform the communities where they are located through magic, mystery and celebration, and to create an expectation for public pagan ritual.
- Developing, designing, and conducting celebrations, ceremonies, and other rituals, and providing spiritual leadership and guidance, as service, to members of our respective communities.
- Publicly celebrating four, or more, of the Sabbaths each year.
The Order of the Elemental Mysteries
- As members of The Order of the Elemental Mysteries (OEM), we support and uphold the magic of the Tradition on all levels; respect the leadership of the Tradition in words and deeds; live our lives in accordance to the values, principles, and purpose of the Tradition; and uphold our sacred vows to the best of our ability.
- We strive for alignment with the Ancient lessons. We listen and respond to the deeper call within the pulse of Life.
- We allow the Divine to move us, to guide us, and ultimately to transform us.
- We follow, to the best of our abilities, the will of our Greater than Human guides while using discernment about our group and individual spiritual work.
- We evolve. We cooperate with our own evolutionary path. We walk toward the Source, the Self, and the great Goddess that is all.
- Within the scope of our mission and through our individual and collective work, we strive to uphold the sacred nature of all forms of life on the Earth.
- Expectations and Ethics of OEM Elders and Leadership:
- Elders shall be mentors of the Tradition for all time.
- The thickness of their skin shall be seven spans—which is to say that they shall be proof against anger, offensive actions, and criticism.
- Their hearts shall be full of peace and good will, and their minds filled with a yearning for the welfare of the members of the Tradition.
- With endless patience they shall carry out their duty, and their firmness shall be tempered with a tenderness for the members.
- Neither anger nor fury shall find lodging in their minds, and all their words and actions shall be marked by calm deliberation.
- Elders and Leaders within the Tradition are responsible for developing an understanding of power relations, their own power, and for their life-long learning and evolution.
- The leadership of the Tradition shall choose or develop rules and procedures, that whenever possible, build consensus and good will.
- Order members have the right to speak to external elders, teachers, and therapists about their concerns. Any teaching that is considered tradition bound is clearly stated.
- Elders shall be mentors of the Tradition for all time.
- Organizational and interpersonal conflicts should be handled between individuals or groups initially by listening circles or mediation with assistance from other members of the Order as needed.
- If that is unsuccessful or if the conflict is between two groups or members of differing groups the next higher group will initiate a listening circle and invite all affected by the conflict.
- Membership shall not be denied on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual or affectional orientation, marital status, economic status, personal appearance, political affiliation, or disability.
- All membership revocations, censures, and suspensions must follow the appropriate processes and procedures. Membership can be denied or revoked due to any of the following reasons:
- Unlawful, destructive, abusive, and violent actions.
- Evidence of a practice of racism, colorism, xenophobia, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, or other antagonistic or oppressive beliefs.
- Members and employees of the Order shall abstain from involvement, whether by voting or otherwise participating in the decision-making process, in those situations where they have or may have a conflict of interest.
- The Order of the Elemental Mysteries, Reflections Mystery School, and the Connect DC Ritual Circle foster self respect and mutual respect among Students, Order Members, and Ritual Circle Members. When engaging with the wider community, we all strive to speak and act with respect for ourselves, each other, our evolutionary paths, our tradition, our teachers, and our founder.
- All members of the public are welcomed in good faith into our public rituals and can expect to be treated with compassion and respect as well as to treat all others in the ritual space with the same.
- Photography, video, and audio recording is only permitted during classes and ceremonies with the permission of the teacher, ritual leader, and those being photographed or recorded.
- Unless otherwise explicitly noted, nudity is forbidden at private or public events.
- Smoking is allowed outside in designated areas only.
- Using or keeping illegal substances anywhere at Two Rivers Sanctuary or public events is strictly prohibited.
- Anyone arriving at public events under the influence of non-prescription mind altering substances will be prohibited from participating in events.
- Alcohol may be prohibited during retreats, sequestered weekends, rituals, or other spiritual events. Alcohol may be used at social gatherings with the permission of residents of any private home where an event is occurring or at restaurants for post-ritual fellowship.
- Ritual Circle members and other participants will model ritual etiquette and respect, including abstaining from distracting behavior that could disrupt the flow of energy in a ritual.
- We strive to leave the spaces where we hold ritual, indoors and out, cleaner and more beautiful than when we arrived.
Internal sources for this document include: The OEM Bylaws, OEM Conflict Resolution Policy, OEM Mission Statement, RMS Handbook, OEM House Rules and the OEM Conflict of Interest Policy. External sources include the Iroquois Confederacy (Role of Elders), and the writings of our founder, Katrina Messenger.