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Dialectic of the Spiral

From the Revolutionary Pagan Workers Vanguard - found in every issue of RQ!

Elvis Spotted at Spiral Dance

Legendary rock icon Elvis Presley was spotted by numerous revelers at the 1997 Spiral Dance, re-opening a bitter debate between partisans and skeptics.

"This proves he isn't dead," exclaimed noted Reclaiming Elvisologist D. Quirky. "I saw him with my own eyes!"

"It proves nothing of the sort," retorted renowned Reclaiming Elvis-debunker T. T. Quarrel. "It just means that the veil was thin down at the end of Lonely Street."

Despite desperate attempts at mediation, the dispute remains unsettled, and has been placed at the top of the agenda of the next Reclaiming Wheel meeting.

Reclaiming Launches New Product Line

Instant Waters of the World

Each packet contains a tiny sample of mud, sludge, micro-organisms, or toxic waste from dozens of different sources. Just add bottled water, and voila! Waters of the World!

Send $19.95 for one packet, or just $999.99 for our "Solstice Special" - enough for an entire ritual or Witchcamp!

"The Spiral Dance" Karaoke CD

Yes, finally you can sing along with all the hits from the Spiral Dance! Join in on the harmonies, or step out and belt a solo on "Let It Begin Now." Relive all the excitement at your next karaoke party. Comes with free bonus karaoke CD, "The Tree of Life Grounding." Entire package just $29.99.

All products now available exclusively at your neighborhood Reclaiming store!

The earth invocation at WitchFest 2001, Reclaiming's new musical show premiering in Las Vegas in January, was an instant hit with audiences tired of the usual secular fare. Photo by RPWV staffer Leona.

Las Vegas Show Features Reclaiming

A new Las Vegas musical extravaganza stars members of Reclaiming. WitchFest 2001, which opened in January at the Golden Nugget, includes a topless chorus performing Reclaiming chants, while other members of the ensemble lap-dance their way into the hearts and souls of the audience.

The show consists of five acts, each geared to an "elemental" theme. The Air portion features aerial acrobatic stunts, while the Fire segment involves flame-twirlers and fireworks.

While WitchFest 2001 is expected to be a major drain of energy for Reclaiming, it is compensated by the fact that the new show can replace the Spiral Dance ritual. "We'll just add a two-hour ancestor trance in the middle, and make people sit on the concrete floor for five hours without any food or drink," said Mistress of Ceremonials Sunshine Moonbeam. "They'll never notice the difference."

Tickets to WitchFest 2001 can be purchased at any Reclaiming ritual.

Reclaiming Rituals Go On-Line

In a first step toward eliminating costly and anachronistic live rituals, Reclaiming will launch a series of on-line interactive rituals for 1999.

Beginning with Spring Equinox, on-line pagans will access the complete cycle of casting, grounding, invocations and trances that comprise a Reclaiming ritual.

Minor changes in the content of rituals are to be expected. For instance, the on-line grounding, rather than envisioning a cord running from the base of your spine to the center of the Earth, will begin as follows:

"Place your left hand on your mouse. Feel the mouse cord going deep, deep into the computer. Pull up all that hot, flowing data. Feel it coursing through you, flowing up and out into cyberspace..."

In addition, earth, air, fire and water will be replaced by the new quadrad of plastic, javascript, fiber optics and silicon. Spirit, the fifth sacred element, will be replaced by invoking one's Internet Service Provider.

Basic Ritual Service begins at $20 per month, with a set-up fee of $25. Chakra cleansing will be slightly more.

In a controversial move, Reclaiming replaced the ancestor's trance at the 1998 Spiral Dance with The Big Spin. "The only problem," said an organizer who asked to remain anonymous, "was a lot of grumbling from the losers. But isn't that always the case?" RPWV photo by Robin Roberts.

Reclaiming Rituals to Adopt Corporate Sponsors

In a major financial move, the Board of Directors of Reclaiming has agreed to corporate sponsorship of its 1999 cycle of rituals.

Already, Timberland has signed exclusive rights to the Fall Equinox, while the June 21st celebration will henceforth be known as the "Dr. Pepper Summer Solstice."

"This will mean a few slight changes in the content of our rituals," admitted Reclaiming Treasurer P. Martian. "For instance, at the Winter Solstice, our west invocation will be of Evian Mineral Water. And the Spiral Dance will be re-choreographed by our new sponsor, Arthur Murray Studios."

At press-time, only five of the eight rituals have sponsors, but others are in negotiation. The Trojan and Kimono companies are reportedly engaged in a bidding war for the rights to Beltane, while the Thrifty Drug Store chain has tendered an offer to sponsor the flaming cauldron at the Brigid ritual.

In a related move, the Witchcamp Scholarship Fund has signed a contract with Hallmark to produce a line of Samhain greeting cards, using the always-popular Peanuts cartoon characters to deliver snappy seasonal slogans such as "Blessed Be!" and "May You Never Hunger!"

Martian denied corporate sponsorship would alter Reclaiming. "Just because we work between the worlds doesn't mean we can't do a little business in this one."

Reclaiming to Wire Isle of Apples

Reclaiming stocks soar in wake of announcement

In a major coup, Reclaiming has obtained the rights to wire the Isle of Apples - home of the beloved ancestors - for the internet.

By next fall, full DSL capabilities are expected, and people attending the annual Spiral Dance are encouraged to bring laptop computers to the ritual. "The new high-speed capabilities should make for much faster connections with the ancestors," said J. Log-On, chief engineer for Reclaiming's internet services division.

A Reclaiming-affiliated group in Seattle, Turning Tide, also got the contract for cellular service on the Isle. With the spread of pagers among the beloved dead, the ancestor trance that has often turned the Spiral Dance into an endurance marathon is expected to run much more smoothly.

In response to the announcement, Reclaiming shares traded on the Neo-Pagan Stock Exchange (NPSE) rose

continued on page D-167

Spiral Dance Gets 'Real' Makeover

Concerned that Reclaiming's annual Spiral Dance ritual was losing ground to reality-based programming, organizers this year took the dramatic step of altering the ritual script.

"We have to get 'real,' if you know what I mean," said Sunshine Moonbeam. "Magic is fine, but we need a healthy shot of down-and-dirty competition."

The changes start right at the entrance. While the timid will enter through the usual veiled passage, participants will have the option of passing through a flaming tunnel. Those who make it to the other end earn five bonus points.

The altars, while retaining their directional focus, will present element-based challenges. The West altar, for instance, will require people to submit to an ordeal by water. Those who last through three dunkings get 10 points.

Style Points

At the North altar, participants will be invited to eat eye of newt, wing of bat, and other traditional delicacies. Points will be assessed according to size and texture. Style points will also be awarded.

The trance will still visit the Isle of Apples, but instead of communing with the Beloved Ancestors, people will engage in a struggle for survival with a group of Reclaiming teachers aspecting the spirits of dead professional wrestlers.

Insufficiently competitive participants will get voted off the island by their peers, until only 13 remain. Those 13 will engage in a Reclaiming trivia contest to determine who gets to stand in the middle of the spiral.

Meanwhile, fundamentalist Witches led by Jimmy Bob Cernunnos vowed to cast a picketing spell on the ritual: "Thou shalt not tamper with the holy words of our most sacred ritual."

But Reclaiming planned to press on

continued on page D-134

Dead punk icons Sid Vicious and Joey Ramone were surprise visitors at last year's Spiral Dance, playing a short set during the trance journey to the Isle of the Ancestors. Said Sunshine Moonbeam, who was lucky enough to be within spitting range during the concert: "Sid's playing is as lousy as ever, and Joey still can't sing - but those guys can flat-out rock!" Photo by RPWV staffer Robin Parrott.

Reclaiming Rituals to Offer Pre-Blessed Food

In a departure from traditional ritual etiquette, Reclaiming will begin selling pre-blessed food at rituals this year.

"Our rituals aren't getting any shorter," admitted spokesperson Sunshine Moonbeam. "By the time we get to the blessing and sharing of food, everyone is getting cranky."

But no one wants to be caught nibbling on unblessed food. Hence the new plan: Graces wearing vending-trays will circulate through the crowd selling sacred snacks and drinks to ritual celebrants. Since the effort is a benefit for Reclaiming, food will be priced according to expected demand. Wheat-free fig bars will be 50 cents apiece, while packs of M&M's will cost $25.

"Sure, it's a lot of money," said Moonbeam. "But when you consider how long it will take us to bless each one of those M&Ms, it's a bargain."

continued on page D-113

Charges of Eastism Rock Reclaiming

In a blistering critique of Reclaiming's style of circle casting, Esmeralda RagingWitch has leveled charges of "rampant Eastism" against the Ritual Planning Cell.

"The pattern is all too clear," stated RagingWitch. "When is the last time we started our invocations with West?"

While denying the potentially explosive charge of Eastism, Reclaiming's Wheel quickly responded by adopting an entirely new set of culturally-relative directions - frontwards, backwards, sideways, and

continued on page D-142

Gentrification Hits Isle of Apples

Condo developments on the Isle of the Ancestors?

That's just one of the changes in store for the famed Isle of Apples, which is visited by Spiral Dance trancers each Samhain.

As increasing numbers of yuppies pass over the Sunless Sea, the seemingly changeless land of the dead cannot help but be impacted.

"I'd expect with the influx of baby boomers," said renowned authority Petunia MayBloom, "we're going to see a dramatic rise in property values. Beachfront lots are already escalating

continued on page D-17

Film version of Spiral Dance Tanks

The film version of The Spiral Dance, released in direct competition with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, took a nosedive after a promising opening.

While a good pre-release buzz produced healthy first-weekend crowds, the deluge of critical reviews soon translated into empty theaters.

The film - six hours with no intermission - opens with a bang, as giant puppets and fire-breathing stiltwalkers invoke the sacred elements. But excellent performances by Drew Barrymore (as a chorus member suffering from a sore throat) and Tom Cruise (in a tour-de-force turn as Starhawk) are wasted as things bog down during the interminable reading of names of the beloved dead.

The plot regains momentum during the trance journey to the Isle of Apples, but crashes and burns during the hour-long spiral dance.

As filming begins on the sequel, "Winter Solstice at Ocean Beach,"

continued on page D-112

Spiral Dance Ritual Replaced by New Broadway Musical

"My Faerie Lady" opens at Samhain

In a move aimed at shoring up sagging attendance at its annual Samhain blockbuster, Reclaiming has replaced this year's Spiral Dance ritual with a new Broadway musical.

"My Faerie Lady" features a dozen original compositions by the renowned songwriting team of Bacchus and Apollostein, including sure-fire hits such as "I Could Have Tranced All Night" and "Get Me to the Grove on Time."

The musical involves a Reclaiming teacher who wagers that she can take a lowly Witchcamper and transform her into a High Priestess in time for Winter Solstice. Naturally, the two fall in love, and in a tragic twist are thrown out of Reclaiming for having an illicit teacher/student affair. All ends happily as the Faerie Queen reveals that the lowly Witchcamper was in fact the

continued on page D-179

Reclaiming Holiday Gift Nook


Celebrate the most festive holiday on the Reclaiming calendar in the privacy of your own home! No more standing in line, sitting on the floor, or dealing with all those pesky Witches. Best of all, when you need a bio-break, you can hit the pause button without missing a single thrilling minute of the Samhain-season classic.

Includes personal trance veil, tea-light candle, dried rose, yellowed photograph of someone from the early 1900s, step-by-step spiral dance floor chart, and five-CD set containing the entire spoken, sung, and chanted text.

Besides all songs and chants used during the ritual, SDIAB features an inspiring ancestor trance led by High Priestess Esmeralda RagingWitch, complete with sound effects of a live audience coughing and shuffling.

The Spiral Dance through the years - a chronological chart

Click here for info on this year's Spiral Dance ritual.

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