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What is The Spiral Dance?

The holiday popularly known as Halloween is the time of year known to witches as Samhain, when the veil is thin between the worlds of the living and the dead. We gather to remember and honor our ancestors, our Beloved Dead, and all those who have crossed over. As we mourn for those we love who have died this year, we also mourn the losses and pain suffered by the Earth, our Mother. Yet even as we grieve we also remember and honor the sacred cycle of life, death, rebirth and regeneration, celebrating the births of our children born this year, and our own vital connections to the Earth and each other, in which we ground our hope.

The first Spiral Dance ritual was held in 1979 to celebrate the publication of Starhawk's book, The Spiral Dance (Harper and Row) Starhawk, a founding member of the Reclaiming Collective, wrote the original script which remains the heart of the ritual, though it has been altered and embellished over the years by her and many other people. Traditionally, the Spiral Dance calls upon the energy and talents of musicians, artists, poets, dancers, crafts people, singers, technicians, priests and priestesses from the Reclaiming Community and beyond, and we are grateful to everyone who helps to create this magical experience we all share.

This is a participatory ritual and pageant which has become a central event in the Wheel of the Year for many in the Reclaiming Community and beyond. Over 1,200 people join in this observance of the Witches' New year, and the event raises funds which support the work of Reclaiming throughout the year.

When we dance the Spiral, young and old together, we remember and honor our own past at that same time that we renew our vision and embrace the future. Let it begin now!

Why we do this:

REMEMBERING THE DEAD IN COMMUNITY
by M. Macha NightMare

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Last Updated: 8 September 2004
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