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Westernesste is a modern Neopagan religious and educational organization whose stated mission is to explore, celebrate and contribute to webs of information, mythology and experience; to provide voice to the Divine within and without; to explore pre- and post-monotheistic and earth based religious myth, rhetoric, and spirituality; and to provide informed Gaia-centric contexts and religious, rhetorical and educational support for celebrating Nature through community dedicated to responsible stewardship and awareness.

The founder of Westernesste is Maerian Morris, who serves as the Church’s Founding Priestess.[1]

Westernesste was first formed in 1996 as a Nest of the Church of All Worlds, but during that organization’s lapse and move to Ohio,[2] Westernesste was inactive, reforming and incorporating in 2002 as a separate organization. As a former Nest of CAW, Westernesste shares that church’s mythological focus upon fiction with an emphasis particularly upon folkloric-based fantasy fiction and mythopoeia.

Westernesste's Bylaws feature a prominent thanks to CAW stating: "Our founding Bylaws were based upon the 1968 articles of Incorporation and the amended year 2000 Bylaws of the Church of All Worlds, the members, Scions and Clergy to whom the Westernesste Founder expresses gratitude for their pioneering insight into Neo-Pagan and Gaian Religious and structural guiding principles." [3]

The Church’s headquarters are presently in Santa Cruz, California.

Westernesste’s members espouse paganism, but the Church is not a belief-based religion. Members directly experience Divinity while respecting others who may have different views and seeing the many approaches to religion as adding to Faelf comprehension of the Divine. Members of Westernesste recognize the many faces of the Earth Mother Goddess and Her beloved the Father God, as well as deities and creatures from many other pantheons. Many Westernesste rituals and celebrations invoke the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Ireland as well as mythic creatures from the realm of the Faeries.

What distinguishes Westernesste from its many spiritual relatives is a primary focus upon the exploration and development of modern archetypes and mythopoeic work drawn from the literatures of fantasy, myth, folklore and science fiction. Westernesste seeks to poetically and creatively draw upon these sources to intentionally birth new myth and meaning with the hope of enriching the lives and spirits of its members and the world. Westernesste merges philosophy, visual, auditory, digital, performance and collaborative participatory arts focused upon inspiring its members and those with whom they come in contact.

Westernesste owns five “digital islands” known as The Sidhevairs which serve those people who are interested in the use of virtual worlds to co-create art that fosters respect for cultural and spiritual diversity. The particular creative focus is the depiction of mythology and fantasy settings that encourage the desire to protect and appreciate nature. The Sidhevairs host virtual events, rituals and religious and academic lectures on topics of interest to Westernesste members.[4]

Each of the Sidhevairs islands has a different mythic focus ranging from Hellenic Paganism, to Steampunk Faeries.

References

  1. See Maerian Morris
  2. See the discussion on the CAW lapse at the Church of All Worlds page.
  3. From the Bylaws of Westernesste
  4. Discussion of the lectures hosted by the Sidhevairs can be found at the organization's website sidhevair.org [1]
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Westernesste, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Kim Dent-Brown Search for "Westernesste" on Google
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