A Gardnerian Statement on Consent & Abuse

by bennybargas

 

 

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I am a Gardnerian initiate with traceable lineage back to Gerald Gardner. I do not speak for all Gardnerians or for the tradition as a whole. That would be impossible as there is no governing body nor hierarchy outside of individual autonomous covens. Nonetheless:

  • I recognize that abuses have been perpetrated in the name of religions the world over and ours is no exception.
  • I further know that the personal, spiritual, and human value of religion is immeasurable, making harm done in its name even more important to speak out against.
  • I also recognize that, as a community, more vocal statements on our beliefs regarding sex, sexuality, and consent are needed.
  • I additionally recognize that a lack of openness and transparency on these important matters has allowed abuses to be perpetrated against those earnestly seeking the tradition.

THEREFORE

  • I affirm that proper teachers of our Craft will never pressure students into sex, sexual activity, or other non-consensual physical contact for any reason.
  • I affirm that consent is an inviolable expression of trust and love.
  • I affirm that consent is required for the teaching of our Craft.
  • I affirm that I believe that seekers under the tutelage of proper Gardnerian teachers have the following rights:
    • the right to bodily autonomy,
    • the right to an experience free of sexual coercion,
    • the right to an experience free of abuse, and
    • the right to leave a coven or teacher at any time, especially if their rights have been violated.
  • I further affirm that seekers who feel that they have had their consent and rights violated should be heard and be taken seriously.
  • I affirm that maintaining an open dialogue on consent and abuses within our community, and with the greater Pagan community, is necessary to dispel misinformation about our tradition.
  • I affirm that I will support the voices of victims and that they will be able to report abuse without fear of retaliation.
  • I affirm that abusers should be held accountable for their actions and I will do so to the extent possible, whenever possible. Individuals and/or groups who violate the consent and/or rights of those under their care will be persona non-grata within my Circles and events and refused referral to seekers.

I invite other Gardnerian initiates, elders, and coven leaders who agree with the affirmations above to add their names.

We do so affirm:

  • Benny Bargas, Philadelphia, PA USA
  • Erebus, Highlands Coven, Louisville, KY USA
  • Mortellus, High Priestess of The Coven of Leaves, Rutherfordton, NC USA
  • ZS, Philadelphia, PA USA
  • Hjordis, High Priestess, Awen Forge Coven, PA USA
  • Mario Pabón-McAllister, High Priest, Queens’ Coven, New York City, NY USA
  • John Stiteler, High Priest of the Stillwater Coven, MN USA
  • Claudiney Prieto, High Priest of the Moon Temple Coven, Brazil
  • Yarilo, Jersey City Coven, NJ USA
  • Carol Stiteler, High Priestess of the Stillwater Coven, MN USA
  • Aima, High Priestess of Dragon Tryst Coven, Oxford, PA USA
  • Dylan, High Priest of the Beacon Hill Coven, Boston MA USA
  • Bren, Starfire Coven, NY USA
  • Samara, High Priestess , the Highlands Coven, Louisville, KY USA
  • Sophia Boann, High Priestess of the Cup of Wisdom coven, Ireland
  • Serapis, Cauldron of the Midnight Moon, Pace, FL USA
  • Raewen, High Priestess of the Awakened Forest, Wake Forest, NC USA
  • Sirana, Beacon Hill Coven, Boston, MA USA
  • Zelena, HeartSong, MD USA
  • Carnelian, HeartSong, MD USA
  • Kore, Dragon Tryst, PA USA
  • Nicanthiel, Dragon Tryst, PA USA
  • Heather, High Priestess,  LindenWood Coven, Waterloo ON Canada
  • John, High Priest, LindenWood Coven, Waterloo ON Canada
  • Emlyn Price, Reading, UK
  • Medb, High Priestess of Serpent Tree Coven, Warwick, RI USA
  • Morgaine, High Priestess Path of the Phoenix Coven, NH USA
  • Anna Stockinger High Priestess, Our Lady of the Stars Coven, Southport, England
  • Guinivere, Dragon Tryst, PA USA
  • Sherri Molloy, LindenWood Coven, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
  • Ishara, High Priestess of Whispering Forest Coven, FL USA
  • Turner, High Priest of Whispering Forest Coven, FL USA
  • Hermes, NJ USA
  • Acacia, High Priestess of the Glenwood Coven, North West Florida, USA
  • Puma, High Priest of Thorn Moon, Portland, OR USA
  • Misha Magdalene, Seattle, WA USA
  • AuraLea, High Priestess, HeartSong, MD USA
  • Europa, Minneapolis, MN USA
  • Epona, High Priestess of Autumn Moon Coven, NC USA
  • Adariana, High Priestess, Circle of the Silver Oak, MN USA
  • Rayn, High Priestess Of Hexen Moon Coven, TN USA
  • Wesley Leão, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Lilith, High Priestess of HearthStone Coven, MA USA
  • Kailani, HeartSong, MD USA
  • Rich Wandel, High Priest, Polyhymnia Coven
  • Proteus, Coven of Leaves, NC USA
  • Ian, High Priest, Circle of the Four Winds, UK
  • Aria, High Priestess of the Beacon Hill Coven, Boston MA USA
  • Yvonne Aburrow, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
  • Jenny Chalek, High Priestess, Lions of Rhea, Louisville, KY USA
  • Patrick, StarFire Coven, NY USA
  • DelaLuna, Detroit, MI USA
  • Loki, Serpent Tree Coven, RI USA
  • Kim Gardner, High Priestess, Sacred Grove Coven
  • Zemyna, High Priestess, Moonstone Coven, Southern NJ USA
  • John King, High Priest, SwansCove Coven, New York USA
  • Paula King, High Priestess, SwansCove Coven, New York USA
  • Chris Frey, High Priest, Erntemond Coven, Bochum, Germany


To read this statement in Portuguese, click here.



 

Have you been affected by sexual assault? You are not alone. You can contact RAINN at 800.656.HOPE or online at online.rainn.org.



For a printable PDF version of this statement to give to your potential students or take to a potential teacher, click here.

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