Constitution of American Traditional Witchcraft Association
i. As members of an ancient practice, to establish a Church that will further our mutual interests and purposes in the practice of the American traditions of American traditional witchcraft; training, education, and preserving our heritage of the various traditions of American traditional witchcraft.
ii. We are agreed: that we practice American traditional witchcraft and that we recognize one another as being members of an American tradition of American traditional witchcraft.
iii. We are also agreed that we are not the only members of an American tradition of American traditional witchcraft. If the members of a coven choose not to join this Constitution and the Church thus created, their choice creates no presumption that they are not members of an American tradition of American traditional witchcraft.
iv. We are agreed further that the practices of an American tradition of American traditional witchcraft lies within each coven, and that there is no sovereign authority in witchcraft outside each coven. Therefore, the covens which enter into this Association with one another cede to the Church thus created only as much sovereignty as the Church will need in order to function effectively as an instrument of their joint will.
Term clarification used within this document: Local congregation(s) shall be referred to herein as a coven(s).
ARTICLE I - NAME AND AFFILIATION
I-A. The name of the Church shall be: American Traditional Witchcraft Association.
I-B. The Church shall be a confederation of sovereign and equal covens. It shall be referred to herein as the Association, to emphasize these covens taken jointly, or as the Confederation, to emphasize these covens taken severally. It shall be unincorporated as a free will church.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
II-A. The purpose of this association is to practice and preserve the various American traditions of American traditional witchcraft. To accomplish this purpose, this congregation shall provide and maintain a place of learning; teach American traditional witchcraft for all members and American traditional Wicca for clergy in our witch school and assist in establishing and maintaining the standards to preserve the heritage of the various traditions of American traditional witchcraft to the best of our ability.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP
III-A. The membership of the Association shall consist of persons who practice a traditional form of American traditional witchcraft; and who will abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Association.
ARTICLE IV - ASSOCIATION GOVERNMENT
IV-A. All authority in the Association is vested in the Rí and voting membership of the Association. The Association shall function in full compliance with this Constitution and the By-Laws as approved by the Rí and voting members. There shall be no inconsistency between the Constitution and By-Laws.
IV-B. ATWA Council is the governing body of the Association. The ATWA Council shall consist of the Officers and the Representatives. Each coven that holds Regular Membership in the Association shall have the right to elect an official representative to the ATWA Council to represent their coven at the Regular Annual Meeting.
IV-C. At each Regular Annual Meeting, the ATWA Council shall choose officers and other persons as provided for in the By-Laws charged with overseeing the affairs of the Association for the following year.
IV-D. The position of Ri is reserved for the McCullough/Mason family clan’s representative. This position is handled internally within the family structure by birthright. The Ri office is not subject to the election process of the officer positions within the ATWA Council.
ARTICLE V - LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY & LAWSUITS
V-A. The Association is not financially liable, criminally or civilly, for any action, event, workshop, injury, or gathering that a member or coven hosts, advertises, participates, or creates. Each member and coven is financial and morally responsible for their own actions and guests they invite to attend functions of American Traditional Witchcraft Association, its affiliates, covens, or members. Members, covens, and the public will not hold American Traditional Witchcraft Association, its affiliates, covens, or members liable for any injury real or imagined.
ARTICLE VI - POWERS OF THE CHURCH
VI-A. The Association shall have all the powers, rights, and privileges normally exercised by a church. However, nothing in this Constitution, or in any By-Laws or procedural rules adopted by the Association, shall limit the right of each coven to continue to operate in its customary way, or shall be construed as giving to the Association, or to any agency or instrumentality created by the Association, the power to abridge or impair the autonomy of any coven in the management of its own affairs. The autonomy and sovereignty of a coven are inherent and are modifiable only by its own action. The affairs of a coven include, but are not limited to, the following rights: to retain or adopt its own methods of organization, worship, and education; to retain or secure its own charter or name; to formulate its own theology, beliefs, and liturgy; to admit and train members, to confirm them in membership, and to provide for their discipline or dismissal in its own way; to ordain or dismiss its own Priestesses and Priests by such procedures as it shall determine; to acquire, own, manage, and dispose of its own property and funds; and to withdraw from membership in this Association by its own decision at any time without forfeiture of ownership or control of any real or personal property owned by it.
VI-B. The Association shall have the power to issue instruments, which shall include but not be limited to the following: Charters, to establish Coven Councils of the Association; Certificates of Membership, to recognize a coven that has joined in the Constitution and this Association; and Ministerial Credentials, to recognize the status achieved by a person who has been ordained as a Priestess or Priest by a coven.
VI-C. A Coven Council shall be any Council of the Association representing covens within an area smaller than the entirety of the United States of America. A Coven Council shall have all the powers. rights, and privileges of the Association as a whole, including the power to issue instruments, and shall be empowered to do for itself; and for the covens that make it up, all the things the Council can do for the Association as a whole. Each Coven Council shall abide by all the provisions of this Constitution and of all By-Laws adopted by the Association, except where specific exceptions are allowed in the By-Laws.
VI-D. A Coven, being sovereign in itself, is not and cannot be created by the issuing of a Certificate of Membership by the Association. Instead, the issuing of such a certificate shall merely recognize the real and previous existence of a coven of members, and shall be intended merely to guarantee to the coven the advantages of having as well a legal existence, should those advantages be desired.
VI-E. A person does not and cannot become a Priestess or Priest of our religion by receiving Ministerial Credentials from the Association. Instead, such credentials shall be issued to recognize the real and previous existence of a status that a person has earned according to the usages and traditions of a coven, a status that can be conferred only by a coven, not by the Association. Such credentials shall be intended merely to guarantee to the person as well the advantages, rights, responsibilities, and privileges, if he or she should desire them, which are enjoyed by ministers of religion under the laws of this country.
VI-F. In order to provide for its own viability and proper governance, the Association shall establish in its By-Laws certain minimal criteria that must be met before a Certificate of Membership or Ministerial Credentials will be issued. However, in establishing such criteria, the Association shall in no way attempt to define the nature of a coven, to interfere with the autonomy of any coven, or to establish universal procedures that covens should follow.
VI-G. For the sake of its viability, the Association shall have the power to expel any person or group from the fellowship and privileges of membership in it, and to revoke any Charter, Certificate, Credentials, or other instruments issued by it. However, any such expulsion or revocation shall be carried out only for due cause as defined in the By-Laws. Toward the goal of clarity and fairness in such a potential situation, the By-Laws shall include a general code of ethics as a minimal, mutual, and common agreement on how the traditional Laws of our association shall be interpreted, for the sake of preserving the usefulness of the Association for all its members.
ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS
VII-A. Proposed amendments to this Constitution and By-Laws shall be introduced in writing at the Regular Annual Meeting, cannot be finally acted upon until the next Regular Annual Meeting, and must submitted to the Confederation to receive the affirmative of the Rí and vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting before adoption.
ARTICLE VIII - EMPOWERMENT
VIII-A. This Constitution and the Association it creates shall come into existence on the day when this Constitution and its accompanying By-Laws have been signed, and thus ratified, by duly authorized representatives from a majority of the covens that have participated in their conception and writing. Those who sign it shall choose from among themselves the officers and other persons to make up the first ATWA Council of the Association.