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FIRST RING

FIRST RING – SEEKERS
Purpose: Getting to Know Us

The first RING section of the net is made up of those who are newest to us The purpose of this RING is to meet the Church of All Worlds with an open and inquiring mind; to find out if it is a Tribe that might suit you or that can help you in any way along your own individual path. We would like seekers to get to know us before becoming more involved. This means making personal contact with CAW members, attending events, reading CAW literature, subscribing to related magazines, learning about our history, sociology, and the practice of our religion.

Seekers are encouraged to pursue their own spiritual growth and to be well-informed before determining if the Church of All Worlds is for them. We want to make sure that you know what you are getting involved with, and that this is the right path for you.

Because of its emphasis upon new growth, this Ring is associated with the color green.

First Circle (Pluto) Contact

The purpose of First Circle is to establish personal contact. Anyone who has been to any of our events, or attends any of our classes, is automatically in First Circle. This is our larger community, of which only a portion are actual members.

Second Circle (Neptune) Getting to Know Us

The purpose of second Circle is getting to know us. It is made up of those individuals who have decided to join the Church of All Worlds. We would like these people to familiarize themselves further with the Church and to extend their connections to other members by attending events, working with their local Nest, and reading related literature. To demonstrate that they understand what we’re all about, we ask them to write an essay or to create a presentation or composition on their impression of the Church of All Worlds and how they see themselves fitting in.

Third Circle (Uranus) Growing

The focus in third Circle is attending to your own personal growth and development while also growing closer to other CAW members. In this Circle you will be asked to read books, begin a spiritual practice, and begin learning manifestation skills and effective communication. You will also be asked to take a self-inventory to determine what steps are necessary for your holistic personal growth. This may entail things like entering therapy or taking classes.

As the actualization of human potential is an important goal for the Church of All Worlds, this Circle addresses the development of self as a later tool for service and social change. We do not want sheep, but people who understand their own strengths and purposes in the greater scheme of things.

A NOTE ABOUT WATER SHARING

To transition to 4th Circle, and from that point inward, Water Sharing becomes one of the requirements for movement. In harmony with the process of grokking, sharing the water that is essential to all life is the primary Sacrament of the Church of All Worlds. The intention of the Water Sharing ritual is to affirm bonds of kinship. Depending on the intimacy of the Circle, four levels of this bond are common:

1. Affirming our connection to each other and to all life;

2. Affirming belonging to a Tribe or tradition;

3. Affirming friendship;

4. A lifelong Commitment of deep communion, friendship, love, and

compassion, which may or may not have an erotic component. (This is what we define as the deepest level – what we mean when we say “water-siblings” or “water brother.”)

This Sacrament affirms our connection to each other strengthens the bonds of our Tribe and is important to the second goal of the RINGS program – “to strengthen & deepen the individual’s connection to and participation in the CAW Tribe.” As such, it is an integral part of the RINGS. To achieve this goal individuals progressing through the RINGS are expected to share water with more individuals and at deeper levels at each transition.

 By the time an individual enters 3rd Circle, it is assumed that they will have shared water with members at the 1st and 2nd levels at festivals, nest meetings and other CAW events. To transition to the 2nd RING, the member is asked to begin sharing water at deeper levels and it is hoped that you will have at least one friend within CAW with whom you are intimate enough to share water at the deepest level, to become actual “water-siblings” with them. Likewise, it is expected that someone transitioning to the 3rdRING will have traveled, met many of our Tribe and have several individuals who are close enough to share water with at this level.

Since this requirement is such an integral part to connecting with our tribe, Water Sharing requirements are not as flexible as self actualization requirements.

FOCUS ON COMMUNICATION

Over the years, CAW has learned that clear and respectful communications are necessary to full self actualization of the individual, as well as to healthy interaction within the tribe, and to constructive contribution to the Mission of CAW.  Without clear, respectful communication unnecessary and often unhealthy conflicts arise and miscommunications can eat away at our most precious resource, the time and energy of our tribe’s volunteers.

We therefore place a heavy focus on encouraging clear and respectful communications among our members.  To transition inward to 3rd Circle and beyond, we require you to communicate to us your intentions and desires and request that you include training in communications and group dynamics in your personal self actualization plan.  We recognize that these skills will not only serve you in your personal life, but are crucial to the constructive and creative health of our tribe.

We also recognize that individuals from 4th Circle inward have volunteered to accept a leadership role within CAW, and by doing so become representatives of our community. It is therefore crucial that these individuals fully grok our Mission, and are able to clearly and positively communicate that Mission to others. Demonstration of the ability to do these things is therefore a non-flexible requirement for becoming a Scion. 

To support and foster clear and respectful communications within CAW, we encourage formal training, and whenever possible we offer informal training through CAW classes.  We also ask that CAW members abide by the CAW Communication Guidelines, which have been established for both face-to-face and online communications.  Whether dealing with each other face-to-face or online, we expect that CAW members will treat each other with unconditional positive regard and will strive always to listen to each other with open hearts and minds.  All members, from all circles, are expected to follow the Principles of CAW, most especially the guideline to “Be Excellent to Each Other” and to recognize the Imminent Divinity in each other (“Thou Art God”/”Thou Art Goddess”) in the course of communicating with each other.  

Finally, we want to clarify our position on verbal (both written and oral) and non-verbal communication.  From 3rd Circle inward you will find requirements such as “write an essay” or “submit a Curriculum Vitae” to communicate to us specific things about who you are, where you’ve been and where you see yourself going within CAW.  We want to make clear two things about these requirements.  The first is that we believe that having strong oral and written communication skills are important. Most people communicate first and foremost through words, and being able to make yourself understood through your words is important, both within CAW and outside of CAW.

The second is that we also recognize and respect that some people communicate creatively through non-verbal forms of communication and those non-verbal forms of communication are honored and valued within CAW.  We understand that creative, non-verbal forms of communication are valid expressions of feelings and ideas, however we also accept that they are not always as equally understood by others. Communication has two ends: the sender and the receiver. If it is not received with the same meaning in which it is sent, it is not communication, but merely expression.

We encourage all of our members to learn both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication, and to develop both expository and creative communication skills. But we are unwilling to accept non-verbal expressions in lieu of verbal communication skills. 

To advance inward within CAW entails accepting a leadership role, and the responsibility to represent our Church, and to responsibly carry out the duties of a Scion or Beacon, a member must be at the very minimum literate.  These essays ensure that the member meets these minimal literacy requirements.  Verbal communication is essential; non-verbal communication—albeit wonderful and appreciated—is not. Artistic expressions enhance, inspire and ennoble us, but artistic expressions are not an adequate substitute for the skills in writing and speaking necessary to communicate the artistic message to a broader audience.

We feel strongly that basic literacy (the ability to read our required books) and the ability to express one’s self clearly and respectfully in written and/or oral form should be a minimal expectation for CAW Waterkin.  So while we encourage artistic expression, and welcome your submission of artistic materials to supplement these essay requirements, we cannot accept artistic creations in lieu of the essay requirements. Since that ability to be understood by others is the entire point of the “essay” requirements, we feel that the core of these submissions must be written or oral.

So throughout, when we say “essay”, we mean a written or oral communication.  The form of this communication is not pre-determined and may be any form of written or oral communication (essay, story, letter, poem, oral presentation, etc.), as long as it conveys the information requested.  The verbal component may be supplemented with other artistic components (artwork, graphics, music, dance, etc.) but the core requirement must be verbal. As example, a video of a dance with voiceover narration explaining the dance might be acceptable, if it addressed the requested elements of the particular “essay”.  If you wish to submit a creative component with your essay, we encourage you to do so.  Audio or video presentations may be submitted in a common video format, such as on a DVD or in.mp3 file format. And if you have any questions as to whether a creative concept can be submitted as part your “essay”, just contact the RINGs coordinator for clarification.

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