PERSONAL + CULTURAL EMPOWERMENT WORKING FOCUS: THE AIDS CRISIS Link-up date and time: LAMM

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PERSONAL & CULTURAL EMPOWERMENT WORKING FOCUS: THE AIDS CRISIS Link-up date and time: LAMMAS (Saturday, August 1, '87) 7-10 PM EDT *note--major steps in ritual outline are in caps for easier reference--(yes, i know it sounds like shouting but apparently subtlties like underlining & italics don't translate well electronically* PLEASE PHOTOCOPY AND DISTRIBUTE THIS INFORMATION SHEET. This is a networking effort to include as many people/groups as possible. Also inform those whose lives are directly affected by AIDS, so they may participate if they choose, on whatever level they desire. If you can't make the link-up time, please do this working when you can, as close to the link-up time as possible. As Lammas approaches and the wheel of the year turns towards harvest time, we as Witches feel a desperate need to use our power *together* to recognize the teachings of this disease on a personal and cultural level. It is only through opening to the teachings which lie beneath the horror of AIDS that we can begin to heal ourselves, each other, and our culture of this monster we've collectively created. (we know this is hard. please keep reading.) AIDS is transmitted through intimate contact, but often leads to painful isolation. The work of confronting AIDS is a cultural task and should *not* have to be faced alone. Because of this, we are suggesting a link-up time and we ask that people do this ritual with *at least* one other person. It is only through compassion and the connection of the open heart that we can heal our- selves and our culture, and stop the spread of the virus. Twentieth Century culture denies death as well as the sacredness of sex- uality, which are the domain of the Dark Goddess. As the Dark Goddess is re- pressed, our resources are poured into making tools of destruction and selling sex as a commodity. As we further alienate ourselves from each other and the Earth, the Dark Goddess we've repressed becomes terrifying to us. The longer we deny our mortality and the sacredness of our sexuality, the more severe Her teachings become. Let's start *now* to reverse this trend, to embrace the life-force in its fullness, which necessarily includes death. LAMMAS RITUAL FOR THE HEALING OF AIDS Since this is a challenging task which demands a lot of trust, we suggest that people plan extra time before the ritual for discussion and trust build- ing. In casting the circle, invoke whatever spirits and deities will provide the most support for you in this working. Be prepared to communicate your own needs and feelings, and to be receptive and supportive to the needs and feelings of others throughout the working. As you ground into the Earth's Center, feel the power of all of us as we link up and turn our energy toward this common purpose. 1) FACING THE TRUTH: Whether or not we believe we have been personally exposed to the virus, it is a threat to all of us and to those we love. Since no effective healing can be done while we remain in a state of denial and fear, it's time to take stock of ourselves and our experience in full honesty so that we may all learn the lessons of this disease. Hopefully, if we open fully to these teachings, we will not have to learn through manifesting phys- ical symptoms; and if we already have physical symptoms we can arrest them here, and not pass them on, nor be consumed by them. Take time to EXPLORE AND SHARE our feelings and concerns about AIDS with each other. Acknowledge how we have all been touched by this. Our fears have kept us separate; it is through accepting our own fears and sharing about them with others we're close to that isolation ends. Mourn our losses and accept the sacrifice; honor the teachings given to us and our culture by those who are suffering now and those who have died of AIDS. People should take as much time as they need to grieve, to feel their fear, to feel their sorrow, to name and accept all of these, whether these things appear to be rational or not. INVOKE THE DARK MOTHER as comforter and guide in this process. Ask Her to show each of us what our personal work is to restore balance in ourselves and in our culture. Allow time for all to MEDITATE and be with the Dark God- dess. When that is done, the group should SHARE with each other any images, realizations, feelings, and insights gained. 2) OPENING TO CONNECTION: Building on the realizations gained, FIND AND NAME ways to integrate these teachings into our daily lives, to carry out this work on the Earth plane. RAISE POWER for healing and compassion, to empower and root our visions and promises for action. AFFIRM our openness to connection and healing. ENTRUST the AIDS virus itself to the care of the Dark Mother, affirm that as we open personally and culturally to these teachings, the virus will become obsolete. Visualize the mutations of the AIDS virus slowing down and stopping, so that a medical cure can be found as soon as possible. 3) GROUNDING THE WORK: When the power has peaked and all feel complete with this process, release all excess energy and begin to ground. As you dismiss the circle, see the spirits and powers you've invoked carrying the healing and wisdom out into the world in each direction. As you do the final grounding into the Center, send the power that has been raised into the center of the Earth, and through the Center, out through the entire planet. Hugs all around for having the courage to have faced such a challenging issue. Blessed Be. This ritual written and originally distributed by Flaming Crones Coven P.O. Box 1200, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 we as Witches feel a desperate need to use our power *together* to recognize

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