BIRCH – the Broad Intra-Reclaiming Council of Hubs

BIRCH’s Intention

To serve all parts of the evolving Reclaiming communities by nourishing our webs of connection, past, present and future, through passionate, generous, magical reflection, service and action.

BIRCH’s Purpose

To act as an empowered, accountable and transparent body that will:

  1. Facilitate communication, resources sharing and skill building
  2. Affirm our identity and honour our history and lore
  3. Support and strengthen our diverse communities, individuals, networks and guilds
  4. Enhance the visibility of Reclaiming in the world

BIRCH’s structure

BIRCH has three major parts:

  1. Large gatherings to make big decisions of core values and structure, where issues can be widely debated beforehand and communities can send representatives. (Generally the Dandelion gatherings, which are planned for every 2-3 years.) Anyone can attend those gatherings and participate in the discussion, but only group representatives can block consensus.
  2. Working groups (a/k/a cells or “pods”) as listed below, plus others that might form.
  3. The Administrative Cell: Coordinates the work of BIRCH (charged with getting the whole thing up and running), makes administrative decisions, makes sure the next large gathering happens (finds a location and organizers), and makes sure the other cells (pods) are functioning.

Current working groups

Descriptions are subject to change as each group clarifies their own purpose.

  • Identity: Examines questions of what it means to identify as/call oneself Reclaiming. Decisions are subject to review and consensus at next Dandelion. If no consensus is reached, the decisions are erased. (email: identity at reclaiming dot org)
  • Healthy Reclaiming Body” (a/k/a Liver, Immune System, etc.): Examines issues of conflict resolution and group process, establishing a ‘liver’ to move toxins out of the body, and identifying other missing organs.
  • Communications: Creates infrastructure and processes for web, email, phone, print, etc.
    (email: communications at reclaiming dot org)
  • Supporting Local Communities: Looks at how BIRCH can help local communities
  • Outreach/Fostering/Welcoming: Strengthens the web of connection between Reclaiming and related/overlapping communities; looks at how we welcome people into our tradition.
    (email: outreach at reclaiming dot org)
  • Strengthening Wider Community: Looks at how BIRCH can support connections between local Reclaiming communities, individual Reclaiming practitioners, etc.
  • History and Lore-Keeping: Collects NeoPagan history, heritage, lore and sources in our human past, as well as Reclaiming and some other tradition-specific history, including where, how and from whence certain Reclaiming-identified practices arose. (email: history at reclaiming dot org)

In general, these groups are open to anyone who wishes to join and do the work. However, they are empowered to set their own criteria for membership. They are empowered to make the decisions they need to do their work.

However, these working groups are only the beginning. BIRCH also can hold any existing community or group within Reclaiming today and the hope is that new communities and groups of people with common interests (a/k/a guilds) will form and join BIRCH.

The raw, unedited notes from the meeting are available – click here.