The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion is a congregation and coven of the Old Religion, sometimes called Wicca or Witchcraft, one of the spiritual paths of pre-christian Native Europeans. We were originally named, The First Congregational Church of the Old Religion, Incorporated, and were formerly located in Albuquerque, NM, USA. We were incorporated as a church in New Mexico in 1996. We were recognized as exempt from federal income tax by the IRS under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code in 1997.
The First Congregational Church of the Old Religion, Incorporated relocated to Cheney, WA. in 2004. Residual activity in Albuquerque has diminished. We still officiate at occasional rites of passages in New Mexico, including a wedding, or handfasting, in 2013. Our incorporation status in New Mexico expired after our officers left that State.
Our name was changed to The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion in 2013.
Clergy from the The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion now conduct religious rites, and teach the Old Religion near Spokane, WA. We also occasionally lead rituals and teach at Pagan gatherings across the US.
The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion became affiliated with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) in 2014. ATC Mother Church and World Headquarter is located at Index, WA. There are ATC affiliated churches across the USA, and in Canada and Europe. Other ATC contacts are in Africa and Asia. ATC also sponsors an annual recreation of the Eleusinian Mysteries, now recognized as the best modern recreation.
Articles of Incorporation have been filed in the State of Washington and a renewed IRS registration is in process for the incorporation status in Washington State. All donations to the People of the Woods Church are exempt from taxation by law even without the IRS registration, however an IRS registration makes it easier for deducting large donations.
The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion holds Full Moon and Sabbat observances near Cheney, Washington, USA. Wiccans of compatible beliefs are sometimes invited to attend our religious observances of Moons and Sabbats.
The Church sponsors a Wiccan coven called "The People of the Woods," which is currently accepting a limited number of suitable new members. The Church provides training, initiation and ordination into the Wiccan clergy in the traditional Wiccan manner. A limited number of apprentices may be accepted for the priesthood of the Old Religion. We do not recruit new members, but we will welcome any who sincerely desires to participate in our religion with us. Read our About the Church page for more information on the coven. Our Wiccan tradition is an initiatory mystery religion. We are a smoke free congregation.
Ordained clergy of The People of the Woods Church of the Old Religion are available to those of similar religious calling for pastoral counseling, marriages (handfastings), baby blessings, and other rites of passage.
Gather you Witches in the night while the moon rides full. Gather you Witches in the darkness when the moon is hidden. Gather to follow the old ways, to drum, to sing, and to dance the ageless dance of life. Gather in a circle, man to woman, woman to man, in the circle of life as the Gods have taught you.
Gather you Witches in a circle. Gather you wise ones, you teachers, you keepers of the magick, you Priests and Priestesses of all that is sacred and old beyond knowing. Listen to the wind. Listen to the water. Listen to the fire. Listen to the earth. Hear the heartbeat of the drums and the drumbeat of the heart. Feel the power of magick as it flows hand to hand around the circle.
Gather you Witches in a circle. Call upon the Goddess and welcome her magick as She dances with you. Call upon the God and fear not his power for within the circle He leads your dance. Gather in the circle to celebrated the seasons of the Earth and the sacredness of all life, work the ancient magicks, thank the Gods for the food you eat, and encouraged fertility so that our race will not perish. Call forth the young ones, welcome them to the ancient circle, and pass on the old ways to each new generation. Thus it has been for a hundred thousand generations.
Gather you Witches in the night while the moon rides full.