Western Washington State’s oldest, friendliest, open attendance Interfaith church of Wicca and Earth Religions. We are family friendly and welcome seekers on all Pagan paths and people of all orientations, ages and beliefs. Begun on Samhain of ’79, we’ve been here for over twenty seven years. Come, worship with us, eat with us, and meet new friends.
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, the “ATC,” or sometimes just “The Tab” is the creation of Pete Pathfinder Davis, who serves as Archpriest along with Belladonna Laveau, who is the Archpriestess worldwide. The ATC is based on British Traditional Wicca, and focuses on serving the larger Pagan communities by providing open worship opportunities to the public, education, and interfaith liaison. We offer major Sabbat festivals, full and new moon worship, a place to gather, a lending library, and many other services associated with faith communities.
This all started on October 31 of 1979, when Pete and a few friends decided to form a formal church organization, and established the ATC. It was their intention to establish a quiet place in the countryside outside of Seattle where Wiccans and Pagans could gather for worship without being hassled by neighbors or authorities who did not understand the benevolent beliefs and practices of nature worship. The “Tab,” where the church facilities are located, is about 50 miles from downtown Seattle, in the Cascade mountains of Washington, on the banks of the Skykomish river, one of the nation”s last “wild rivers.” Less than a mile away, two twin peaks, Mt. Index and Mt. Persis rise 5,000 feet above the river valley floor. Bald eagles and ospreys nest nearby and soar in the rising wind currents from the nearby hills and mountains. It is truly a natural site in every sense. Out to the rear of the main church building that houses the library, office, kitchen and dining areas, is the MoonStone Circle, the actual place of worship.
The MoonStone Circle is a circle of tall standing menhirs or stones, on a small rise within a stand of old stately cedar trees. This circle was constructed by Seattle area Pagans over a period of two years. They used beautiful slabs of local granite found along an 1,800 foot high cliff that defines the northern edge of the valley. The circle was dedicated in the evening of December 29th, 1984, in a blinding snow storm. The area was blanketed in new snowfall, and illuminated by literally hundreds of candle stubs, set in the snow. The boughs of the cedars were bending low in their white mantle. The circle dedication was performed by 29 Pagans from diverse traditions, some of whom had driven from as far away as eastern Washington, Oregon and Canada. Everyone there had a part in the ceremony. It was a memorable occasion on several counts (it was 2 days before the cars could be dug out of the snow and people could make their return trip home!)
With the participation of many like-minded Pagans, the ATC grew and flourished. Most noticeable was the absence of the customary frictions and infighting common to many Pagan enterprises. From the very beginning, ATC was an open attendance Wiccan group. Everyone was given a chance to have their say; their ten minutes on the soap box to present their ideas. Certainly, not everyone agreed with everything said, but ATC soon became known as a “safe place” for everyone and their ideas, conventional or otherwise. We believe it is that original concept of Pete’s that is the major force in building the resulting community that ATC has become.
The ATC is a hierarchic organization, though you”d seldom notice that from the way things are done. The Archpriestess and Archpriest oversee the overall activities of the church, both locally and on an international basis, through Archpriestesses and Archpriests of the church in each foreign nation where ATC has an official presence (ATC has recognition as a legal church tradition from the governments of USA, Canada, Australia, Ireland and South Africa at the moment. France does not recognize any church.). The Archpriesthood works with an advisory group, the Black Cord Council (or just “the Board”) and virtually all decisions are arrived at through discussion and compromise in the best interests of the mission of the church, by consensus. Rarely, if ever, has a vote been taken on anything. The Archpriesthood, however, retains the right of veto if they believe an action is not in the long run going to be in the best interests of the church or Paganism in general.
While every member is considered a priestess or priest, to be considered actual ATC Clergy and able to minister to the public, unlike other traditions, one must attend a 4 year seminary program culminating in the award of a Bachelor of Ministry degree from our own Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, with recognized college level religious education status by the Higher Education Coordinating Board of State of Washington. The Seminary also has Master’s and Doctorate programs available. ATC does not intend to try to tell anyone how they should conduct their own clergy training, but we are fully committed to the professionalization of the clergy of our own tradition if they are to undertake matters as serious and delicate as pastoral counseling in the areas of life strategies, marital problems, and psychological and childhood trauma.