The Ara Tradition is an international shamanic Wiccan spiritual tradition devoted to experiencing the divinity that dwells within Nature and in ourselves. It is a spiritual path and a community that is rediscovering the wisdom of our ancestors and creating a new relationship with our Mother Earth and with one another. Our central spiritual and ethical precept is that we live in a sacred world and so we seek to live in a sacred manner. Our mission as a tradition is devoted to helping you experience, rejoice in and be guided by that immanent divinity.
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Founded by H.Ps. Phyllis Curott, the Ara Tradition began in New York City as the Circle of Ara in the early 1980’s. At the same time that she was training in the Minoan Tradition to become a Wiccan Priestess, Phyllis was practicing core shamanism with the Brooklyn Group, the first drumming circle based on the work of Dr. Michael Harner. Uncomfortable with dogmatic and patriarchal remnants within traditional Wiccan teachings, she began to deconstruct elements to distill a system of core principles and practices. Weaving core shamanic techniques into these essential Wiccan practices, the Ara Tradition was born. The Temple is a spiritual path that empowers its practitioners to directly experience the Sacred.
The publication of Phyllis’s books led to numerous opportunities to teach across the U.S. as well as in Canada, Europe and Australia. The Temple of Ara was subsequently created to formalize and support the active and growing Ara communities across the globe. Legally recognized as religious organization, Ara is one of the oldest and longest running Wiccan congregations in the U.S. and one of the first to return to Europe.
Development of Community
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the Ara Tradition, we encourage you to attend our online Full Moon rituals and our solar Spell Rebellions. Become a member and receive many exclusive benefits, including discounts on initiatory prep training.
We also offer three initiatory training intensive workshops for those who want to learn our tradition’s practices and to ritualize in a community of shared values:
- Level One: Deeper Wisdom of the Circle
- Level Two: Spirituality of Immanent Divinity
- Level Three: Dancing with Your Shadow
Additional guidance is provided by Temple Elders, Priestesses, Priests, and Initiates who conduct circles, public rituals, workshops, lectures and online classes. Temple of Ara Elders are also available for spiritual coaching and energy healing. Guidance is also available in Phyllis’ books and through this website.
Religious Freedom Advocacy
The Temple of Ara has been active on the behalf of our broader Wiccan, Pagan and indigenous community since its inception. Seeking to dispel the false and negative stereotypes attributed to Paganism for hundreds of years, Ara was one of the first traditions to “go public” in the early 80’s, welcoming the public to many of its celebratory rites which were often held in parks and progressive churches, and it has been frequently profiled in national and international media. As attorneys, founder Phyllis Curott and Elder Kristen Rostedt have championed our community’s religious rights, including the rights of Wiccan clergy to perform legally binding marriages, of Wiccan and Pagan congregations to hold rituals in public parks, of Wiccan and Pagan students to wear the symbols of their religion and Wiccan and Pagan soldiers to be buried with the symbol of their faith on their grave markers.
Temple of Ara and Interfaith
In it goals to eradicate religious bias, strengthen community and further the dialogue between traditions and religions, the Temple has supported Ara’s founder as she has taken on leadership positions in such inter-tradition organizations as the Covenant of the Goddess. Phyllis also has taken on leadership in interfaith organizations including the prestigious Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Harvard University Religious Pluralism Project, the Interfaith Consortium for Ecological Civilization, the Indigenous institute of the Americas and Women of Faith and Spirit. And the Ara Tradition has consistently opened new theological and cosmological frontiers, seeking to contribute to the philosophical growth and maturity of this important spiritual movement.
The Ara Tradition is a welcoming community in which clergy, initiates, students, members and volunteers contribute to the Temple’s vitality and growth.