Themis
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Themis at The Reverb in Toronto

ThemisThemis Wiccan Creed - Our Music's Ethics Themis

  1. We of Themis shall not support anything in our music that would oppress, injure, torture, or kill other living beings.
  2. We  encourage forsaking violence as a means of settling differences believing Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first.
  3. Knowing that music has great influence on human  consciousness, particularly over the young, we pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our own minds through education and by positive thinking.
  4. Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole and so we of Themis have respect for the community of living beings, for people, animals, and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil.

Themis makes a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that in all of our doings, every person is treated humanely, without exception. We must have patience and acceptance. We must be able to forgive, learning from the past but never allowing ourselves to be enslaved by memories of hate. Opening our hearts to one another, we the mebers of Themis must sink our narrow differences for the cause of our larger community, practicing a culture of solidarity and relatedness.

We of Themis consider humankind a family. We each strive to be kind and generous. We must not live for ourselves alone, but should also serve others, never forgetting the children, the aged, the poor, the suffering, the disabled, the refugees and the lonely. No person should ever be considered or treated as a second-class citizen, or be exploited in any way whatsoever. There should be equal partnership between men and women. We must not commit any kind of sexual immorality. We must discourage all forms of domination or abuse.

We of Themis commit ourselves to a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace. We of Themis in our music, performances, lyrics or promotions shall not oppress, injure, torture, or kill other human beings, and will encourage forsaking violence as a means of settling differences.

We of Themis will strive for a just social and economic order, in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. Themis band wil ensavour to speak and act truthfully and with compassion, dealing fairly with all, and avoiding prejudice and hatred. We and our music must move beyond the dominance of greed for power, prestige, money, and consumption to make a just and peaceful world.

We of Themis band believe Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. Knowing that music and various music cultures have great influence, particularly over the young, we pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, through education and by positive thinking.

We of Themis commit ourselves to encouraging socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life.

Themis

Themis Music

Themis in greek mythology means "law of nature" rather than "human ordinance". The goddess Themis presided over the proper relation between man and woman, the basis of the rightly ordered family. She stood for justice.
Pronounced like 'FAMOUS' with a "TH" instead of "F" Spelling: tau eta epsilon mu iota sigma.

Themis music: Our singular goal is having a good time together; being happy; and sharing that happiness with you if that is your choosing. :o)

Themis Band Members: The Countess and Ruffian Angel are smiling, laughing, loving, vegan, wiccan berries. :o) K.n.M.berries.

Click to listen to: Love of Life

Themis Wiccans

Themis Schemata 2012

Emergence of Themis Wicca

A large proportion of members in Wicca are known as eclectic practitioners. That is, they are not a part of any Wicca craft, sect and often not part of any 'coven'. Instead, these eclectic Wiccans drew upon several sources to form their own individualized and innovative religious practices. Themis Wicca evolved out of debate that challenged ancient mystical rituals. Over time a modern eco-theistic spirituality has come to identify a Themis Wiccan emergence of the religion.

Many people in recent years of the 21st century have moved away from traditional religion looking for spiritual satisfaction. Themis Wicca has emerged and grown in this time.

Themis, (a Greek Goddess of Justice) her name meaning 'law of nature' rather than human ordinance, was the mythological Titaness of good counsel. Themis was the embodiment of divine order, law, custom and conceivably the first true Wiccan. Themis is patroness of all existing rights.

Themis Wicca is an forward looking,  modern, eco-theistic, eco-feminist spirituality based on many Wicca traditions but excludes pagan traditional rituals and "Witch Craft".

Themis Wicca has been debated colorfully in the latter part of the first decade of the 21st century from Facebook to Wikipedia because of its resemblance to Dianic Wicca or "Goddess Worship". It is neither.

Themis Wicca was born in discussions of spirituality by University Students at George Mason and George Washington Universities in Washington DC, USA; a student of Cornell University; students of Oxford University in the U.K. and students and teachers at University of Southern California, USA.

Themis Wicca began to emerge in 2006.

Themis Wicca sings praise for Wicca, vegan herbivorous habits, feminism and ecology. Additionally, in the spirit of Themis as patroness of all existing rights, Themis Wiccans are strong defenders of the rights of all sentient beings.

Themis Wicca is not about witchcraft. Themis Wiccans may be herbivores, homeopaths and herbalists: yes, most certainly, but not witchcraft in any sense.

Even Christians feel comfortable making the transition to an eco-theistic, ecofeministic, nature-based religion which conflicts with no other religion save maybe in its lack of ritualistic focus. There is none of the usual ritualism other than the practice of ecology; conservation; vegetarianism; veganism; and the Wiccan practice of "do as you will but harm nothing".

"Live the life you choose for yourself" is a mantra of Themis Wicca, "but be responsible for your actions and hurt no living creature".

The feminism aspect of Themis Wicca is based on the focus on the nourturing aspect of "Gaia" ("Mother" Earth as a nurturing biosphere.) and is not to be confused with Dianic Wicca which excludes men almost completely.

Themis Wicca is more about the focus on Gaia (Mother Earth), a female quasi-deity to some believers. Females are respected as equal but have a slightly higher rank to males perhaps owing to the importance of several Titans who while being female are truly deities for both genders equally.

The single most controversial distinction of Themis Wiccans from other wiccans is the general belief in a single Goddess or in other words that "God" is a female and that the energy of all life in the Universe and in particular, Earth's biosphere, and including the essence and energy of all living things, integrated through all time and all dimensions is a concept of God. That's not much different from many traditional religion's concept of God.

By that definition, Themis Wicca is not a pagan religion, nor is any Wiccan sect although many religions describe alternative spiritualities to be paganism.

Typically the defining characteristics of  Wicca are:

  • A reverence for all nature;

  • The Goddess/God are seen as complementary polarities and this balance is seen in nature;

  • Most believe in the ability to harness the earth’s energy to work some form of 'magic' be it medicine and healing, health maintenance, food and nutrition ppreparation, and other eco-based 'tricks' . This is not generally viewed as supernatural but as natural;

  • Wiccan Rede states: "If it harm none, do what you will." Members are allowed to follow whatever path they choose so long as no harm befalls others, including themselves; and

  • A person's deeds return to him/her three times over. The repercussions of both good and evil behaviour return to their originator.

Themis Themis Wiccans


The two Themis Wiccans promote Wiccan eco-philosophy in their songs and written texts/articles. Embedded in the Canadian duo's music and their published explanations of the Themis's musical inspirations, is a clear adoption of Wiccan ecology and feminism.

The Special Holidays of Wicca are tuned to the seasons of nature:

  1. Samhain - Nov. 1

  2. Yule/Midwinter/Winter Solstice - Dec. 22

  3. Imbolc/Brigid/Candlemas - Feb. 1

  4. Eostre/Vernal Equinox - March 22

  5. Beltaine - May 1st

  6. Litha/Midsummer/Summer Solstice - June 22

  7. Lughnasadh/Lammas - Aug.1

  8. Harvest Home/Autumn Equinox - Sept. 22

New and Full Moons are also generally celebrated with meditation and ritual.

Shadow

  • We welcome the light, the shadow and all that lies between.
  • We are in Mother Earths nature, humbled in reverence as if in the temple of the Lord and Lady.
  • Not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls, we are healers, teachers, seekers, givers, and protectors of all things. If this path is yours, may you walk it with us in honour, light and integrity.
  • We have a deep love and appreciation of life and find awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day.
  • We revere the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower; the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon our skin; and the warmth of the summer sun on our faces.
  • We thrive in the fall of colourful autumn leaves; the song and spirit of the birds and other creatures of the wild.
  • Our music is written from a love of life.

Themis Vegans 

Vegan and Wicca love of life and nature are perfect parallels. Read More
Themis supports the Vegan Society - Click to Read More
Themis Wiccans
We thank you our fans and wish you every happiness.
We are lovingly grateful to our beautiful friends, fans and supporters.
May you be blessed in every day with flowers that bloom about your feet;
the tender grass so fresh and sweet;
with the song of the bird and the hum of the bee;
and all the beauty you can hear or see.

By the blue of the stream and the azure sky;
the fragrant sweet air and a cooling breeze;
by the beauty and breath of the blooming tree
and the pleasant shade of it's branches high;
we are all truly blessed.
Themis
Themis Music


 


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More about Wicca from the US Army chaplain's handbook:

Traditional Wiccans



Wicca, a leading Neopagan religion
US Army chaplain's handbook: Excerpt on Wicca
The excerpt US Army prepared a book for the guidance of its chaplains when dealing with a soldier of a non-traditional faith. The book is: "Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains," and was first published in 1978. The 1990 edition appears to have gone out of print. However a new version was published in 2001 under the same name. The the U.S. Department of the Army is listed as editor 1 Pages 231-236 of the 1990 edition contained an excellent description of Wicca. The text appears below:


WICCA
ADDRESS: No central address. Wiccan worship groups, called covens, are essentially autonomous. Many, but far from all, have affiliated with: Covenant of the Goddess, P.O. Box 1226 Berkeley, CA 94704
OTHER NAMES BY WHICH KNOWN: Witchcraft; Goddess worshippers; Neo-Paganism, Paganism, Norse (or any other ethnic designation) Paganism, Earth Religion, Old Religion, Druidism, Shamanism. Note: All of these groups have some basic similarities and many surface differences of expression with Wicca.
LEADERSHIP: No central leadership. The Covenant of the Goddess annually elects a First Officer and there is a constitutional limit of two consecutive terms, but in practice officers have almost always served for one year only. In 1991, there are two co-First Officers, Phoenix Whitebirch and Brandy Williams.
MEMBERSHIP: Because of the complete autonomy of covens, this cannot be determined. There are an estimated of 50,000 Wiccans in the United States (1).

HISTORICAL ORIGIN: Wicca is a reconstruction of the Nature worship of tribal Europe, strongly influenced by the living Nature worship traditions of tribal peoples in other parts of the world. The works of such early twentieth century writers as Margaret Murray, Robert Graves and Gerald B. Gardner began the renewal of interest in the Old Religion. After the repeal of the anti-Witchcraft laws in Britain in 1951, Gardner publicly declared himself a Witch and began to gather a group of students and worshipers. In 1962, two of his students, Raymond and Rosemary Buckland (religious names: Lady Rowen and Robat), emigrated to the United States and began teaching Gardnerian Witchcraft here. At the same time, other groups of people became interested through reading books by Gardner and others. Many covens were spontaneously formed, using rituals created from a combination of research and individual inspiration. These self-created covens are today regarded as just as valid as those who can trace a "lineage" of teaching back to England. In 1975, a very diverse group of covens who wanted to secure the legal protections and benefits of church status formed Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), which is incorporated in the State of California and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. CoG does not represent all, or even a majority of Wiccans. A coven or an individual need not be affiliated with CoG in order to validly practice the religion. But CoG is the largest single public Wiccan organization, and it is cross-Traditional (i.e. non-denominational).

BASIC BELIEFS: Wiccans worship the sacred as immanent in Nature, often personified as Mother Earth and Father Sky. As polytheists, they may use many other names for Deity. Individuals will often choose Goddesses or Gods from any of the world's pantheons whose stories are particularly inspiring and use those Deities as a focus for personal devotions. Similarly, covens will use particular Deity names as a group focus, and these are often held secret by the groups. It is very important to be aware that Wiccans do not in any way worship or believe in "Satan," "the Devil," or any similar entities. They point out that "Satan" is a symbol of rebellion against and inversion of the Christian and Jewish traditions. Wiccans do not revile the Bible. They simply regard it as one among many of the world's mythic systems, less applicable than some to their core values, but still deserving just as much respect as any of the others. Most Wiccan groups also practice magic, by which they mean the direction and use of "psychic energy," those natural but invisible forces which surround all living things. Some members spell the word "magick," to distinguish it from sleight of hand entertainments. Wiccans employ such means as dance, chant, creative visualization and hypnosis to focus and direct psychic energy for the purpose of healing, protecting and aiding members in various endeavors. Such assistance is also extended to non-members upon request. Many, but not all, Wiccans believe in reincarnation. Some take this as a literal description of what happens to people when they die. For others, it is a symbolic model that helps them deal with the cycles and changes within this life. Neither Reincarnation nor any other literal belief can be used as a test of an individual's validity as a member of the Old Religion. Most groups have a handwritten collection of rituals and lore, known as a Book of Shadows. Part of the religious education of a new member will be to hand copy this book for him or herself. Over they years, as inspiration provides, new material will be added. Normally, access to these books is limited to initiated members of the religion.

PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS: The core ethical statement of Wicca, called the "Wiccan Rede" states "an it harm none, do what you will." The Rede fulfills the same function as does the "Golden Rule" for Jews and Christians; all other ethical teachings are considered to be elaborations and applications of the Rede. It is a statement of situational ethics, emphasizing at once the individual's responsibility to avoid harm to others and the widest range of personal autonomy in "victimless" activities. Wicca has been described as having a "high-choice" ethic. Because of the basic Nature orientation of the religion, many Wiccans will regard all living things as Sacred, and show a special concern for ecological issues. For this reason, individual conscience will lead some to take a pacifist position. Some are vegetarians. Others will feel that, as Nature's Way includes self-defense, they should participate in wars that they conscientiously consider to be just. The religion does not dictate either position, but requires each member to thoughtfully and meditatively examine her or his own conscience and to live by it. Social forces generally do not yet allow Witches to publicly declare their religious faith without fear of reprisals such as loss of job, child custody challenges, ridicule, etc. Prejudice against Wiccans is the result of public confusion between Witchcraft and Satanism. Wiccans in the military, especially those who may be posted in countries perceived to be particularly intolerant, will often have their dogtags read "No Religious Preference." Concealment is a traditional Wiccan defense against persecution, so non-denominational dogtags should not contravene a member's request for religious services. Wiccans celebrate eight festivals, called "Sabbats," as a means of attunement to the seasonal rhythms of Nature. These are:
January 31 [Called Oimelc, Brigit, or February Eve],
March 21 [Ostara or Spring Equinox],
April 30 [Beltane or May Eve],
June 22 [Midsummer, Litha or Summer Solstice],
July 31 [Lunasa or Lammas],
September 21 [Harvest, Mabon or Autumn Equinox],
October 31 [Samhain, Sowyn or Hallows], and
December 21 [Yule or Winter Solstice].

Some groups find meetings within a few days of those dates to be acceptable, others require the precise date. In addition, most groups will meet for worship at each Full Moon, and many will also meet on the New Moon. Meetings for religious study will often be scheduled at any time convenient to the members, and rituals can be scheduled whenever there is a need (i.e. for a healing). Ritual jewelry is particularly important to many Wiccans. In addition to being a symbol of religious dedication, these talismans are often blessed by the coven back home and felt to carry the coven's protective and healing energy.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: Most Wiccans meet with a coven, a small group of people. Each coven is autonomous. Most are headed by a High Priestess, often with the assistance of a High Priest. Some are headed by a High Priestess or High Priest without a partner, and some regard themselves as a gathering of equals. Covens can be of mixed gender, or all female or male, depending on the preferences of the members. Every initiate is considered to be a priestess or priest. Most covens are small. Thirteen is the traditional maximum number of members, although not an absolute limit. At that size covens form a close bond, so Wiccans in the military are likely to maintain a strong affiliation with their covens back home. There are many distinct "Traditions" of Wicca, just as there are many denominations within Christianity. The spectrum of Wiccan practice can be described as ranging from "traditional" to "eclectic," with Traditions, covens and individuals fitting anywhere within that range. A typical difference would be that more traditional groups would tend to follow a set liturgy, whereas eclectic groups would emphasize immediate inspiration in worship. These distinctions are not particularly important to the military chaplain, since it is unlikely that enough members of any one Tradition would be at the same base. Worship circles at military facilities are likely to be ad-hoc cross-Traditional groups, working out compromise styles of worship for themselves and constantly adapting them to a changing membership. Therefore, the lack of strict adherence to the patterns of any one Tradition is not an indicator of invalidity. While many Wiccans meet in a coven, there are also a number of solitairies. These are individuals who choose to practice their faith alone. The may have been initiated in a coven or self initiated. They will join with other Wiccans to celebrate the festivals or to attend the various regional events organized by the larger community.

ROLE OF MINISTERS: Within a traditional coven, the High Priestess, usually assisted by her High Priest, serves both as leader in the rituals and as teacher and counselor for coven members and unaffiliated Pagans. Eclectic covens tend to share leadership more equally.

WORSHIP: Wiccans usually worship in groups. Individuals who are currently not affiliated with a coven, or are away from their home coven, may choose to worship privately or may form ad-hoc groups to mark religious occasions. Non-participating observers are not generally welcome at Wiccan rituals. Some, but not all, Wiccan covens worship in the nude ("skyclad") as a sign of attunement with Nature. Most, but not all, Wiccan covens bless and share a cup of wine as part of the ritual. Almost all Wiccans use an individual ritual knife (an "athame") to focus and direct personal energy. Covens often also have ritual swords to direct the energy of the group. These tools, like all other ritual tools, are highly personal and should never leave the possession of the owner. Other commonly used ritual tools include a bowl of water, a bowl of salt, a censer with incense, a disk with symbols engraved on it (a "pentagram"), statues or artwork representing the Goddess and God, and candles. Most groups will bless and share bread or cookies along with the wine. All of these items are used in individual, private worship as well as in congregate rituals.

DIETARY LAWS OR RESTRICTIONS: Often Vegan, eating nothing from living beings.
FUNERAL AND BURIAL REQUIREMENTS: None. Recognition of the death of a member takes place within the coven, apart from the body of the deceased. Ritual tools, materials, or writings found among the effects of the deceased should be returned to their home coven (typically a member will designate a person to whom ritual materials should be sent). It is desirable for a Wiccan priest or priestess to be present at the time of death, but not strictly necessary. If not possible, the best assistance would be to make the member as comfortable as possible, listen to whatever they have to say, honor any possible requests, and otherwise leave them as quiet and private as possible.

MEDICAL TREATMENT: No medical restrictions. Wiccans generally believe in the efficacy of spiritual or psychic healing when done in tandem with standard medical treatment. Therefore, at the request of the patient, other Wiccan personnel should be allowed visiting privileges as though they were immediate family, including access to Intensive Care Units. Most Wiccans believe that healing energy can be sent from great distances, so, if possible, in the case of any serious medical condition, the member's home coven should be notified.

OTHER: With respect to attitude toward military service, Wiccans range from career military personnel to conscientious objectors. Wiccans do not proselytize and generally resent those who do. They believe that no one Path to the Sacred is right for all people, and see their own religious pattern as only one among many that are equally worthy. Wiccans respect all religions that foster honor and compassion in their adherents, and expect the same respect. Members are encouraged to learn about all faiths, and are permitted to attend the services of other religions, should they desire to do so.

GENERAL SOURCE BOOKS
The best general survey of the Wiccan and neo-Pagan movement is: Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986. 595pp
For more specific information about eclectic Wicca, see: Starhawk. The Spiral Dance. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
For more specific information about traditional Wicca, see: Farrar, Janet, and Stewart Farrar:
Eight Sabbats for Witches. London: Robert Hale, 1981. 192pp.
The Witches' Way. London: Robert Hale, 1984. 394pp.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Pagan Military Network, Inc has a web site at: http://www.milpagan.org/
The Witches' Voice maintains a list of Pagan military groups at: http://www.witchvox.net/links/net_military.html
Because of the autonomy of each coven and the wide variance of specific ritual practices, the best contact person would be the High Priestess or other leader of the member's home coven.
REFERENCE USED:
1. U.S. Department of the Army, "Religious Requirements and Practices of Certain Selected Groups: A Handbook for Chaplains," University Press of the Pacific, (2001). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store. It received a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 by three reviewers.