The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, abbreviated as ATC, is a Wiccan church located along the Skykomish river in Index, Washington and is considered the first Wiccan church with full legal status and recognition by major governments, the United States, Canada and Australia. In addition to being the only Wiccan church with 'Umbrella Affiliate Tax Exemption", the ATC is also the mother entity of Spiral Scouts, and the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary; the first Wiccan college with state recognition to award legal degrees in Wiccan Ministry. The ATC is also the forerunner in Pagan Prison Ministries, with affiliated churches in Colorado obtaining the right to receive charitable donations, from government employees, through government employer charity programs.
Founded as a church by Pete "Pathfinder" Davis, the current archpriest, in 1979, the church is based on British Traditional Wicca. The purpose of the ATC has forever been to provide services to the larger Pagan (or Neopagan) community, such as open worship, festivals, prison ministries, affiliate church support, and a lending library. The policy of open attendance assists this goal. Festivals include Hekate's Sickle Festival (Samhain) and Spring Mysteries (a recreation of the Eleusinian Mysteries). In 2002, Raymond Buckland wrote that "the ATC has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the most respected Wiccan institutions in the country, if not the world." Now in its 33rd year (2012), the current Archpriestess Belladonna Laveau, and retired Archpriest Pete "Pathfinder" Davis now holds emeritus status. The Archpriest position is currently vacant.
The Aquarian Tabernacle Church is primarily responsible for spearheading the successful campaign for official recognition of Wicca in the United States military.
Category: Religious - Misc