A Response To "Craft Ethics Of The Covenant Of The Doves"

Michelle Chihacou White Puma Klein-Hass

It has always been my view that the Earth Traditions, both in the Wiccan (European Shamanic) and Neo-Native Shamanic senses, are seeing their rebirth out of a true need to heal this wounded Mother of ours, and to stay Her hand, for Her anger is growing. It is quite possible that without this renewed spirit of reverence and worship of Earth and Sky and the True Source of All that Is, humanity as a species would be made as extinct as the Passenger Pigeon and the Dodo Bird.

Therefore, as a Pagan and as a follower of the Ways of the Chiricahua Teneh Nation, I cringe whenever I see restrictions and requirements that are, for all intents and purposes, useless today, and only hamper the mission we have of encouraging others to walk in a more sacred way on the Body of Our Mother. I see the power trips, the "I'm the High Priest(ess), that's why" crap and the games driving more and more Pagans solitary, when we should be uniting. And I was extremely angered when I read the published "ethics" of one organization, the Covenant of the Doves, now known as the United Wiccan Church.

I have listed the salient points that disturb me the most, and will respond to them one by one.

> No woman shall be a Maiden who has not been in her courses.

MK-H: I guess that's fair enough. But whether or not a woman is currently menstruating is none of the Coven's business.

> No woman shall be ordained unless she has passed her 17th year,
> nor shall she have her ordination recognized until that time.

MK-H: No coven has any business ordaining a person, woman or man, before the legal Age of Consent, unless the minor is legally emancipated, and can produce their emancipation papers. To do otherwise is a wonderful excuse for prosecution if the persecution that File 18 and other Fundie hate articles I have been compiling in my XIANHATE series of files seem to augur comes to pass.

> No woman shall have her ordination recognized unless she is in
> her courses, has ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, two ears, a
> nose. Her generative organs and breasts must be complete. The
> honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following
> ordination shall not invalidate the ordination.

MK-H: So you would deny ordination to a woman who is handicapped, or blind, or deaf, or has suffered the effects of cancer and may have had a hysterectomy, a mastectomy or even the less-invasive "lumpectomy" done on her to save her life? That is bigoted and totally without reason in this day and age. And what if she is past Menopause? Would you deny ordination to a woman who may be past her fertile years? That's wholly disrespectful to the Elders who hold so much wisdom that could be an asset to a Circle.

> No woman shall be a Nymph who has not coupled.

MK-H: Again, this is none of the Coven's business whether or not a woman has had sex.

> No woman shall be a Crone who has not given birth.

MK-H: Some have chosen NOT to bear children, out of either financial necessity, or conviction that this society is not the place to raise kids in. And some have recognized that they simply do not have the temperament for child-rearing (myself included in that category.) Some are infertile, through no fault of their own. And some, through either psychological or physical drives, prefer other women. There are a great deal of Lesbians in the Wiccan movement. Would you write them off as nonexistent?

> No man shall be a Magician who has not healed.

MK-H: Healing is not necessarily the only talent the God and Goddess give to people. Therefore, if a person does not have that talent, that does not mean that they aren't useful to the Circle in other capacities. And why is this criterion only applied to MALE postulants? Some of the best healers I know are female.

> No man shall be ordained unless he has passed his 33rd year, nor
> shall he have his ordination recognized until that time.

MK-H: Why a double standard on when a man should be ordained? 18 is just fine for an eligibility date.

> No man shall have his ordination recognized unless he is the
> father of a living child, has ten fingers and ten toes, two
> eyes, two ears and a nose and generative organs complete. The
> honorable loss of limbs or the effects of torture following
> ordination shall not invalidate the ordination.

MK-H: Again I voice my objections about the anti-Physically Challenged bias that this requirement implies. And I suspect that the requirement of being "the father of a living child" is there for only one reason-that it is a legally permissible way of stating "No Pooftahs". Just as the childbearing requirement is discriminatory to Lesbians, the fatherhood requirement is discriminatory to Gays.

So what would I myself ask of postulants wishing initiation? In my theoretical Circle, I would ask them to attest, under pain of dis-fellowship, that they are not law enforcement officers joining the Circle for espionage purposes, nor are they there for sabotage or infiltration purposes under religious grounds. Furthermore, they should affirm their allegiance to The Earth Mother, The Sky Father, and Their Ultimate Source, forswearing allegiance to other deities. (primarily to weed out Christian or "Satanist" infiltrators) They should have completed their Vision Quest, and have contacted their Lower Self in the form of their Power Animal(s), and their Higher Self in the form of the Shaman or Teacher Within. They also should not show outward or inward signs of being mentally unbalanced (something that would require a lot of trusting one's gut, although a psychologically-based questionnaire might be a good way of confirming it) or overly concerned with "finding power". They must also, for legal reasons, be either over 18 or legally Emancipated.

Furthermore, there will be only ONE degree in my Circle-that of Kin. Anyone who is initiated is theoretically ready to act as ceremonial facilitator, and that duty will be rotated to them as the rotation goes around the Circle. Decisions should be made by consensus, with one person having only one vote.

I ask you, James...does not the Mother and the Father decree that we should all be free and equal to one another? Is that not why you opt to have your Coven be naked in their rite? (Due to the fact that the Chiricahua Teneh never performed ceremonials in the nude, I would myself opt for robed work, even to the point of people working in comfortable street clothes.) So why all this bloody RESTRICTION? Why all these trivial, and sometimes even discriminatory rules and regulations? Your ancestor Aleister once said "The word for Sin is Restriction." It's a good rule of thumb.

Michelle Chihacou White Puma Klein-Hass

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