Spiral Steps - Origin
Welcome to the Spiral Steps Page.† My name is Dj1, and I am the founder of Spiral Steps.†
In my own family we have alcoholics, addicts and codependents and on both sides of going back at least 5 generations.† We also have artists, musicians, writers, scientists, engineers, teachers, warriors and healers in that same tribe.† They tend to be the very same people.† Iím still not sure why this crazy blend exists, but it does.† Life, as they say, brings us difficult gifts.†
I've spent the last 15 years reading books on Paganism, history, psychology, addiction and dysfunctional families in an attempt to understand just what happened in my family and in my own life.† I began working on the basics for the Spiral Steps groups in October of 1999.† Our first Spiral Steps group began meeting in August of 2001.
Over a decade ago, I had a chance to chat briefly with Gloria Steinem (a long time heroine of mine) at a signing for a book she had recently written titled ďRevolution from WithinĒ.† I mentioned to her that I had found 12 Step Programs very helpful in my recovery.† I told her that I also found them to be patriarchal and Judeo/Christian in their overall focus. She recommended that I read a book by a woman named Charlotte David Kasl.† Dr. Kasl, she said, had developed a new presentation of the traditional Steps which was designed for women seeking empowerment.† I went out and found Dr. Kaslís book and read it.† Her book and Gloria Steinemís book made me think about recovery in a whole new way.† I am grateful to both women for their wisdom and their guidance.
†Dr. Charlotte Kasl is a Pagan Psychologist. Her book is titled "Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps". If you want a copy of this book, you can buy a used version for less then $9.00 at Amazon.com. Her website is: http://www.charlottekasl.com/books.html
I highly recommend this book for anyone who is working on healing and who
wants a Pagan approach to finding balance and joy in their lives. She has
her written her own 16 Steps.† These are for Women Only groups.† While I respect her work enormously, I found that her 16 Steps did not meet the exact needs of the eclectic Pagan group I wanted to organize.† They did, however, point me on the way I wanted to go.†
While writing the Spiral Steps, I also looked at some other, very powerful set of Pagan Steps as rewritten by Anodea Judith. She is a Pagan counselor whose work I respect.
Over a period of two years, I read, studied and thought about the kind of group that I wanted to create.† I also spent a lot of time talking and emailing other Pagans around the country who, like me, had spent a good deal of time in 12 Steps Groups.† I wanted to know what they got from the 12 Step meetings that had helped them and what they felt did not support their spiritual path.†
These groups are for people working all sorts of issues (chemical and process addictions, codependency, dysfunctional family issues, etc.) and for those of us just trying to be healthy Pagans in a very unhealthy culture.
Anyone who respects the ethics of Earth Based Spirituality is welcome.†† The group I attend has a mixture of Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, Buddhists, Mystic Christians, Gaists, Taoists and Secular Humanists among others. This particular group welcomes both men and women.† Some of our members are straight, some are bi-sexual, and some are gay.† Some of us have children and some do not.† Some of us are in committed relationships and some are not.† The point I want to make here is that all Spiral Steps groups celebrate tolerance and acceptance.† Youíll find those values enshrined in our both our Spiral Steps and in our Spiral Traditions.†
If you feel that a Spiral Steps group might work for you,
then you are very welcome to join us.†
If you want to form your own Spiral Steps group in your area, then write
to me and we can discuss what that involves.†
One thing I do ask is that you give credit where credit is due, as I
have done here.† If, for example, you
choose to copy the Steps and Traditions on to your web page, then please link
back to this page.
Above all, I want all Spiral Steps groups to be a safe and supportive places where like minded folk can share their experience, strength and hope. If you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
This website is dedicated to the women from the Womenís Only ACA group that used to meet in Los Angeles in the late 80ís and early 90ís.†† We sat in circle together for over 12 years and from them I learned a great deal about life, courage, hope, survival, forgiveness and above all, laughter.† So I send this out with love and gratitude to Joyce, Jillian, Lynn, Mindy, Pepper, Penelope, Suzanne and the other Goddesses from that Tuesday Night meeting.† You gals are always in my heart.
Blessed Be to you and yours,
(1) A Brief Bio: I practice in a Pagan Green Tradition and I work mostly with animals and plants. I've been clean and sober since 1987. I've been a practicing Pagan since 1984 and involved in the feminist movement since 1976. I am also a Founding Member of Full Circle: http://www.fullcircleevents.org. I often teach workshops at PantheaCon, a Goddess Conference that takes place every year in Northern California where I live and work.† I sometimes work with a ritual group called Bruhaha.† We present humorous rituals at various events and gatherings.†† My feeling on spirituality is this: If I can't laugh, it's not my religion.