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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

 The Church of All Worlds offers a religious position uniquely suited to
 the enlightened, inquiring modern mind. In harmony with the principles
 and conclusions of science, receptive to the values and wisdom of the
 ancients and the great religions of humanity, sensitive to the deep
 psychological and spiritual needs of all people, the Church of All
 Worlds aspires to be the kind of free, growing and unifying religion
 that today's and tomorrow's world so urgently needs.
 The Church of All Worlds is Neo-Pagan : a modern Earth Religion - an
 orientation chosen because of its traditional associations with Life and
 the processes of Nature, which we consider an appropriate religious
 orientation for the emerging Aquarian Age. As Western civilisation has
 been to a great degree the product of the past two thousand years of
 Piscean Age Chrisianity, so do we envision a new whole-Earth culture of
 transformative religious ecology to become the product of the next epoch
 of Aquarian Age Neo-Paganism.  In common with many other Neo-Pagan
 religions, CAW presents a life-affirming religious philosophy for the
 joyous unification of eros, ethos and ecos; of cult, culture and
 We consider the Church of All Worlds to be radically evolutionary in
 concept, rather than revolutionary. We see the evolution of Life on
 Earth as moving towards a point of actualisation whereby the entire
 planet will come to share a single vast global consciousness. We see
 humanity being instrumental in the course of that evolution. As humans
 seem to be the only creatures on the planet capable of disrupting entire
 ecosystems, it becomes our manifest responsibility through our unique
 freedom of choice to prevent such systems from being disrupted. We are
 not anti-technology or science, for we recognise that certain scientific
 and technological advances, such as ecology, geology, astronomy,
 psychology, archaeology, cybernetics, astrophysics, communications
 and the technology of the bio-renaissance can be positively evolutionary
 and in harmony with the accelerating advance of planetary consciousness.
 What we oppose is the senseless use of industrial technology to wreak
 havok with the planetary ecosystem, often in the name of the Biblical
 injunction that Man is to have "dominion over the Earth." We percieve
 our not as dominion, but as responsible stewardship.
 Applying evolutionary concepts to each individual, we agree with Erich
 Fromm that the purpose of life is "to become what we potentially are."
 We identify strongly with the concepts of human self-actualisation
 identified by Abraham Maslow and found in transpersonal psychology and
 ethics. Rejecting utterly concepts of predestination and inherent sin,
 we affirm the ultimate freedom and responsibility appropriate to
 conscious entities, which we express in the phrase "Thou Art God/dess,"
 derived from Robert Heinlein's novel, 'Stranger in a Strange Land.' This
 implies that each one of us must define our own specific purpose. There
 is no excuse; no shelter from the awesome responsibility of total
 Recognising that all Life on Earth comprises a single vast living
 Entity, which has been intuitively conceptualised as a feminine from
 time immemorial, we are in harmony with our Pagan ancestors who
 worshipped The Goddess: Mother Earth, Mother Nature. Thus we also affirm
 mystically and mythically the pantheistic conceptualisation of immanent
 divinity inherent in all living entities, as synergic living Nature, for
 we define divinity as the highest level of aware consciousness acces-
 sible to each living being, manifesting itself in the self-actualisation
 of that being. Hence, "Thou Art God/dess" applies equally to a person,
 a tree, a grasshopper or a planet.
 As Neo-Pagans, we are concerned, not with life after death, but with
 life after birth. We have no dogmas of immortality, considering that
 whatever one believes about an afterlife, may very well be what one
 gets. We view death as an evolutionary prerequisite for the emergence of
 new life, and so we return the dead to the Earth, from which the
 elements of their energy and matter will eventually be recycled and
 reconstituted into the energy and matter of other life forms. Other than
 our ecological responsibility of returning to the Earth that which we
 have taken from Her, we are not concerned with dying, but with living.
 We are deeply concerned with improving the quality of that life, to
 which end we agree with population ecologists that its quantity (in
 sheer numbers of people) must be drastically reduced. Thus we are
 strongly supportive of the various measures of birth control advocated
 by such agencies as Planned Parenthood, including full legalisation of
 abortion. We greatly fear that if humanity does not choose to limit its
 numbers by reducing births, Nature will do it for us by increasing
 The word 'Religion' means "re-linking." The basic committment of the
 Church of All Worlds is to the re-integration of people with themselves,
 their fellow humans, and with the whole of living Nature. In company
 with all other Pagan peoples, we create no artificial demarkations
 between the sacred and the secular, for we recognise that religion must
 ultimately be an entire way of life, not merely some ritual acts
 performed once a week. We are committed to developing an organic,
 vitalistic philosophy of life and its expression in an organic culture.
 To this end, then, the Church of All Worlds devotes itself to those who
 need or want the help and understanding through the processes of
 unlearning and learning. It is our aim to offer assistance through any
 personal expansion programs found to be effective. Furthermore, we
 intend to remain openminded and receptive to new ideas, interests and
 goals, and learn to live responsibly and responsively with each other.
 We advocate envolvement with every conceivable aspect of the emerging
 Gaian culture, from religious service and mythology to family relations
 and child rearing; from education to ecology; from psychic development
 to space travel; from the sensual to the sexual; from intentional
 communities to planetary government and world peace. "Nothing short of
 everything will ever really do."  We are engaged in the eclectic
 reconstruction of ancient Nature religions, combining archetypes of many
 cultures with other mystic and spiritual disciplines. But we are not
 just trying to re-create a Paradise Lost; we are actively working to
 actualise a visionary future. With roots deep in the Earth and branches
 reaching towards the stars, we evoke and create myths not only of a
 Golden Age long past, but also of one yet to come...
 Since we are concerned with the emergent evolution of a total new
 culture and lifestyle, and since we perceive no distinction between the
 sacred and the secular, we consider every activity to be essentially a
 religious activity.  For us, taking our cans and bottles to the
 recycling centre is as much a religious duty as prayer and meditation.
 And so are composting our garbage, growing organicl vegetables,
 practicing birth control, using bio-degradable products, boycotting
 tuna, training and study, protecting animals and celebration of the
 seasons. We recognise that the essence of a religion is in the living of
 The Church of All Worlds traces its history back to 1962, when a "water
 brotherhood" called "Atl" was formed by Tim Zell and Lance Christie at
 Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. During the mid 60's the group
 was centered on the University of Oklahoma campus at Norman and operated
 under the name "Atlan Foundation". A periodical "The Atlan Torch" (later
 "The Atlan Annals") was published from 1962-1968. In 1968, following a
 move to St. Louis, the Church of All Worlds was incorporated, becoming
 the first of the Neo-Pagan/Earth Religions to obtain full federal
 recognition. In March of that year, the Green Egg appeared. From its
 inauspicious beginnings as a one page ditto sheet, it grew over 80
 issues into a 60 page journal, evolving into the most significant
 periodical in the Pagan movement during the 1970's. After a 10 year
 hiatus while the original staff moved to northern California to
 experience a life of homesteading in the mountain wilderness, the Green
 Egg resumed publication in 1988 with its 81st edition.
 The Church of All Worlds took much inspiration from the 1961 science
 fiction classic, 'Stranger in a Strange Land' by Robert Heinlein. In the
 novel, the stranger, Michael Valentine Smith, was an earthman born on
 Mars and raised by Martians. Among his other adventures upon being
 brought to earth was the formation of the "Church of All Worlds". The
 "Church" was built around "Nests," a combination of congregation and
 expanded family. A basic concept was "grokking" i.e. the ability to be
 fully empathic. It also emphasised the experience of co-equal love 
 between sexes. The common greeting was "thou Art God;" as recognition of
 the immanent divinity in each person.
 The basic theology of the real-life Church of All Worlds is a form of
 pantheism which focusses on immanent rather than transcendant divinity.
 The most important theological statement came in the form of revelatory
 writings by Tim (now Otter) Zell in 1970-1973, on the theory which later
 became known as the "Gaia Thesis". This concept is a biological
 validation of an ancient intuition: that the planet is a single living
 organism; Mother Earth (Gaia).  Pantheists hold as divine the living
 spirit of Nature. Thus to CAW recognises Gaia, Pan and other nature
 spirits as the Divine Pantheon. In this manner, the Church of All Worlds
 became a forerunner of the Deep Ecology movement.
 Though the Church maintains an egalitarian rather than matriarchal
 social structure, nevertheless, through its focus on Mother Nature as
 Goddess, its recognition and ordination of women to the priesthood, and
 the important central policy making positions held by women in the
 Church, CAW can rightly be held to be the first Eco-Feminist Church. We
 are not a secret or members only organisation, and we welcome partici-
 pation by all who are sincerely interested in our path regardless of
 race, sex, national or cultural origins or sexual preference. We support
 unity through diversity. Our only creed states: "The Church of All
 Worlds is dedicated to the celebration of life, the maximum actualisa-
 tion of human potential and the realisation of ultimate individual
 freedom and personal responsibility in harmonious eco-psychic relation-
 ship with the total Biosphere of Holy Mother Earth"
 Worship in the Church involves weekly or monthly meeting which are held
 usually in the homes of nest members on a rotational basis. The basic
 liturgical form is a Circle where members take turns in sharing their
 creativity. A chalice of water is always shared around the Circle either
 as the opening or closing of the ceremony. Other events are celebrated
 at the Church retreat sanctuary, a 55 acre parcel of land called
 "Annwfn" in Northern California. It is maintained by a small residential
 community of caretakers.  In addition to various campfire and ritual
 areas, the land has several hand-built buildings including a two-storey
 temple, plus a garden, an orchard and a small pond. It has limited solar
 electricity, propane hot water and a radio telephone, but no TV. In
 addition to the eight Celtic seasonal festivals, we hold handfastings,
 vision quests, rites of passage, workshops, retreats, work parties,
 summer camps and staff meetings on the land.
 As in "Stranger in a Strange Land", congregations of the Church of All
 Workds are called nests, and quite a few are currently in existance
 around the world.  See the latest issue of Green Egg for listings to
 find the nest nearest you.
 Over the years, the Church has founded a number of subsidiary branch
 orders through which we practice and teach our religion. These include:
  NEMETON - Founded in 1972 by Gwydion Pendderwen and Alison Harlow, this
                is the publishing arm. Tapes, records, songbooks, T-shirts,
                figurines, jewelery and philosophical tracts. Catalog $US 1.
  FOREVER FORESTS - Founded in 1977 by Gwydion Pendderwen, this is the
                Churches ecology branch. Sponsors tree planting rituals and
                environmental actions. Has stewardship of Annwfn, the Church
  ECOSOPHICAL RESEARCH ASSN - Founded in 1977 by Morning Glory Zell, the
                ERA is devoted to research and exploration in the fields of
                history, mythology, and natural sciences.
  LIFEWAYS - Founded in 1983 by Anodea Judith, this is the teaching
                order.  Offers workshops, classes, healing rituals and
                training for the priesthood.
  PEACEFUL ORDER OF MOTHER EARTH - Founded 1n 1988 by Willowoak, POEM is
            dedicated to children and child nurturing. Provides enriching
            activities for children at gatherings, summer camps,and a  quarterly childrens magazine, 'How About Magic?'
    Director of Australian Operations,
    PO Box 408,
    Woden, ACT, 2606,
    FAX (06) 299 4100
    PHONE (06) 299 2432

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