Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - preservation_of_organizational_knowledge_within_a_volunteer_organization
PRESERVATION OF ORGANIZATIONAL KNOWLEDGE
WITHIN A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION:
A CONTEXTUAL EXPLANATION AND
JOHN J. DELTUVIA, JR.
THOMAS EDISON STATE COLLEGE
IN PARTIAL FULLFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
SEPTEMBER 20, 2006
This capstone project relates to the preservation of organizational knowledge
within a volunteer organization, specifically, SpiralHeart, Inc., a WitchCamp community
in the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft. The project was originally intended as an
“applied” capstone rather than as a more formal “thesis” capstone; however, comments
made by Dr. Robert Price on the applicability of some of the themes in the applied
project to organizations with which he has been involved, combined with comments by
Dr. Laurence Lyons Murphy on the importance of generally-applicable knowledge,
caused a slight repurposing of the project. I present this capstone project as a project
which has elements both of an “applied” capstone and of a “thesis” capstone. In order to
present the “thesis”-type work without disturbing the “applied” work, this capstone is
presented in three major parts:
• this contextual piece, which explains the nature of the organization to
which the knowledge is applied, as well as the applicability of the MAPS
program to the applied work;
• the applied work itself, a Media Guide for SpiralHeart, Inc.; and
• an adaptation and commentary document, explaining certain jargon used
within SpiralHeart to a more general audience, as well as expanding on
certain topics which, while already existing in SpiralHeart, may be matters
of pending concern for other organizations. As the adaptation and
commentary document is, in and of itself, intended as a practical
guidebook, I have not formatted it in APA-style but rather have used
solely in-line referencing when such was required.
SpiralHeart is a 501(c)(3) religious educational organization, which offers both
local classes and a yearly week-long retreat commonly referred to as “WitchCamp.” This
retreat commonly attracts between eighty and one hundred thirty campers. SpiralHeart is
a volunteer organization, relying on the often limited time of its volunteers; preservation
of institutional knowledge does not tend to be a priority within that limited time. As a
result, tasks requiring the use of specialized information must often be researched de
novo by each successive individual taking up a task.
The year that I began my studies in the MAPS program was a time of change in
my life, a time when it seemed appropriate to seek new sources of beliefs and insights. In
March of 2000, I attended a lecture and ritual by Starhawk (one of the co-founders of the
Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft and a leader in the eco-feminist movement) which
was held at Pebble Hill Church, Doylestown, PA; in May of 2000, I began my studies in
the MAPS program; and in October of 2000, I enrolled in a year-long course of massage-
therapy training. These were all major changes from my life up to that point: although I
had already left the religion I had been raised in (Roman Catholicism) and taken up the
practice of Witchcraft, I practiced solely as a “solitary” rather than with a group; the more
logical Master’s program for me to have pursued at Thomas Edison State College would
have been the Management degree; and my tendency of shyness (which is not reflected in
online interaction) militated against the idea of the study of massage. (I had had some
basic grounding in the underlying philosophy of the MAPS program thanks to an
excellent undergraduate course at Rutgers University, “Politics and the University,” in
which Professor Roy Licklider covered the Liberal Arts curricular ideas advanced by the
late Dr. Eliot of Harvard University and their subsequent development in the American
These three happenings, followed by my first attendance of a Reclaiming
WitchCamp in August of 2001, combined in a way to remove certain barriers to thought
which were, largely, created by encounters with people who – from my current point of
view – seemed to equate rudeness with self-assertion. One important change was in my
understanding of the term feminist. My encounters during my undergraduate education at
Rutgers University with women who became upset with me for holding a door open and
citing their feminism as a reason that I should not hold doors for people had given me an
experiential view of feminism which, as it appears to me now, was false-to-fact.
Starhawk’s lecture, combined with coursework in the Sense of Community courses,
changed my view so that I was only slightly terrified at the idea of attending a camp run
by militant feminists.
The ongoing application of phenomenology in several of the MAPS-specific
courses also heavily influenced this capstone project. One important, but paradoxically
inexpressible, concept in several religions is the concept of “mystery.” “Mystery,” in this
context, does not mean so much something hidden, as in a mystery novel, but rather is a
referent for belief structures in a religion which may seem illogical even within the faith
guides of that religion. Phenomenology, as I have experienced the study of it within the
MAPS program, seems sometimes to be nothing so much as to pursue an ever-forking
idea which, for all practical purposes, goes nowhere of import; yet the journey itself
becomes of import. This concept is helpful in relating the mystic nature of religion to the
more concrete tasks of relating to the world at large.
Although I was originally disappointed that several of the planned MAPS courses
had never been developed, and that as a result I and the rest of my cohort had to take
courses actually designed for the Management program, these courses provided some
interesting insights. Looking at the way that knowledge and work product is viewed by
management helps to shape the professional production in ways that managers may not
be able to describe because they lack the philosophical and/or technical underpinnings to
actually ask for what they really want. The study of Peter Senge’s philosophy of the
“learning organization” in one of the management courses was particularly interesting; if
the MAPS/MALS program is ever completely divorced from the management program, I
highly recommend that the MAPS/MALS program include a course developed around his
idea of the “Fifth Discipline.”
While taking the course “Liberal Arts and the Professional,” I personally defined
a “professional” as a person who does an assignment where the person who needs the
task done is unqualified to judge the ongoing work of the task, and may even be
unqualified to judge the outcome. The professional – in whatever field – is ethically
obligated to complete the task even though no outside force may exist to judge the task,
as would be the case in more traditional non-professional assignments. This is especially
complicated by the limited time that volunteers in SpiralHeart and other WitchCamp
groups have available for accomplishing necessary tasks; the community is often used to
other organizations where the people performing tasks have the necessary knowledge to
hand, but the people who volunteer to perform the tasks may not have enough of that
knowledge to perform as well as either they or the community would like. The
preservation of institutional knowledge seems to be logical, yet difficult to start due to the
time limitations of individual volunteers.
To facilitate the preservation of institutional knowledge which will increase the
chances of future self-empowerment by community volunteers, I have created a guide for
media services within a WitchCamp community. In the three-year period in which I held
the role of Chair of the Media Cell (and ex-officio member of the Board of Directors, as
per SpiralHeart’s incorporation papers), much of what I have done has required extensive
research. In addition to laying the foundation for a continually changing description of
how Media Services are carried out in my WitchCamp community, the guide will also be
made available to organizers of other Reclaiming WitchCamps. This may, in turn, create
a continual flow of this type of information among camps; as Peter Senge (2004) writes,
in any social setting, enhancing coordination capability enhances knowledge. Enhancing
shared understanding and shared meaning enhances coordination capability. Enhancing
genuine communication enhances shared understanding. And, enabling connections
enhances communication—and thereby knowledge. Ergo, the network is the knowledge.
To understand the specific choice of language used in the guide, it is important to
have a basic introduction to the concepts of neo-Paganism, Witchcraft, and specifically
the Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft and SpiralHeart’s role as a separate but included
organizational entity of that Tradition.
Neo-Paganism, usually referred to in general speech as simply Paganism, covers a
broad variety of belief structures. In my observation, the terms “neo-Pagan” and “Pagan”
are generally used interchangeably in the United States to refer to practitioners of a
religion which neither worships the god of Abraham nor is a major, accepted Asian-based
religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, or Confucianism. (At the other extreme
of the use of the word “Pagan,” I have, during the time I was a practicing Roman
Catholic, heard the word used by practitioners of some Christian Protestant sects to refer
to all persons outside of their particular sect of Christianity.) In other words, neo-
Paganism is often used as a term describing what a particular religious movement is not
rather than what it is – in part because it is still a newly re-evolving subset of religion.
What, then, is neo-Paganism? According to Carol Barner-Barry (2005, pp. 31 -
33) of the University of Maryland, some of the generally – albeit not universally - shared
beliefs are an idea that a Goddess is primary to what is considered sacred; that that
Goddess is either related to or identified with the Earth; and that the practice of religion is
properly focused on the natural world. She stresses, however, that neo-Paganism is
usually not monotheistic, and sometimes deals with beings that are of male gender,
female gender, or not even anthropomorphic despite her citation of a general belief by
many neo-Pagan individuals and groups in one or more Goddesses as a primary focus:
...most contemporary Pagans work with a number of sacred, spiritual beings, including a
corresponding God or any one of a variety of more specific ancient pagan gods and
goddesses derived from a host of traditions. Some also work with ‘spirits of the land’,
faeries, and other types of spiritual beings.
Within neo-Paganism there are many types of groups, comparable to generalized
sects (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) of Christianity. The Asatru, for example, are attempting
to revitalize the older Norse religion and tend to confine their worship to deities specific
to the Norse pantheon such as Odin, Freya, Thor, Frigga, and so forth. There are several
movements to revive Druidism as practiced in pre-Christian Britain. The group that this
paper addresses practices a form of Witchcraft, generally accepted to have been revived
by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s; Gardner claimed that the practices of Witchcraft were
given to him by some “hereditary” Witches who managed to keep practicing Witchcraft
despite the harsh British laws against it. The generally core tenets of Witchcraft involve a
God who “is the consort of the Goddess and represents the masculine principle within the
deity. He is associated with the sun...is ritually reborn every Yule (winter solstice),
couples with the Goddess at Beltane (May 1)...and dies to be reborn...” (Barner-Barry,
2005, pp. 36-38)
A further step into the structure of neo-Paganism within Witchcraft is the notion
of “Traditions,” which are like “denominations” (e.g., Lutheran-Missouri Synod,
Byzantine Catholicism, Russian Orthodoxy) within Christianity. The Tradition that most
keeps to the teachings of Gerald Gardner, for example, is referred to as the Gardnerian
Tradition. Many Traditions of Witchcraft require a formal initiation to be conducted by
human beings; the Reclaiming Tradition, however, which is the focus of this paper, does
not require such a human-mediated external initiation.
The Reclaiming Tradition is a type of Witchcraft which embodies “a combination
of esoteric training borrowed from hierarchical Witchcraft and in particular Feri from
Victor and Cora Anderson, Dianic Wicca ... Witchcraft and Goddess religions from other
sources, various elements from other nature venerating traditions around the world,
environmentalism, experimental psychology, anti-racism, feminism, and intuitions” of
people who practice in the tradition (Detrixhe, 2005). To my observation, Reclaiming
has four discernable subcultures; any given individual may be found in one or more of
the subcultures, but there are distinct differences in each subculture. These subcultures
are as follows: local community groups, which tend to be unincorporated entities which
have as a primary purpose the creation of local congregations to celebrate the Sabbats and
other important days; street activists, who tend to be loosely connected but who link up
from many areas to protest various political, social, and economic laws or conditions
which are perceived as anti-environment, racist, or anti-feminist; Witch Camps, whose
organizing groups concentrate on creating yearly gatherings lasting from four to seven
days, and at which an intensive focus on training in the Reclaiming tradition takes place;
and the solitaries, about whom not much is known because the focus of their practice is in
solitary instead of in community.
What these different subcultures share is the basic philosophy embodied in
Reclaiming’s Principles of Unity (Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft, 2001), which is
contained in the guide. These Principles state in part: “We strive to teach and practice in
ways that foster personal and collective empowerment, to model shared power and to
open leadership roles to all.” In my observation in my three year term as the SpiralHeart
Media Cell Chair, both in face-to-face and email exchanges, this statement – though a
very positive statement – has a major negative effect: it evokes an operative fear of
anything in the Tradition which even implies the notion of power–over or directives. For
this reason, the Guide had to be written to stress that it is “descriptive, not prescriptive,”
as Oxford University Press (2006) holds as its intent for the Oxford English Dictionary.
Care had to be taken to format the Guide as a record of experience and suggestions,
rather than as an academic instruction of the way things ought to be done.
The Reclaiming WitchCamp subculture, in which this guide has been developed,
extends throughout the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. The Reclaiming
Tradition’s witchcamp.org site, mentioned in the guide, currently indicates sixteen
WitchCamps per year, organized by differing groups sharing in the Reclaiming Tradition.
(WitchCamps, n.d.) A WitchCamp is, essentially, a religious retreat of a neo-Pagan
nature; it involves ritual, meditation, and the availability of classes (some specific to the
Reclaiming Tradition, others of a more general neo-Pagan nature). It may incorporate
themes and deities from non-Abrahamic religions such as Krishna or Amaterasu, and
even Catholic saints whose origin lies within pre-Christian Pagan practices and were
subsumed into Catholicism. For example, the 2006 SpiralHeart WitchCamp invoked an
Aztec Goddess, Tonatzin, both under her Aztec name and under the name given to her by
the Catholic Church, Guadalupe. Some of the tools used for ritual and teaching are arts
and crafts, music, singing, and drumming.
The social responsibility of technologists is also something that is of importance,
although not as explicitly as I would like, within the Reclaiming Tradition. The political
and social power of persons who control the means of political and religious propaganda
– especially when there is an implied or explicit agenda – is an often-ignored power. The
importance of a moral compass - of some sort - for technologists was pointed out in a
1944 article published by The Observer of London (as cited in Speer, 1969/1971),
referring to Hitler’s minister of armaments, Albert Speer:
Speer is, in a sense, more important for Germany today than Hitler, Himmler, Goering,
Goebbels. or the generals. They all have, in a way, become the mere auxiliaries of the
man who actually directs the giant power machine--charged with drawing from it the
maximum effort under maximum strain. . . . In him is the very epitome of the ‘managerial
Speer is not one of the flamboyant and picturesque Nazis. Whether he has any other than
conventional political opinions at all is unknown. He might have joined any other
political party which gave him a job and a career. He is very much the successful average
man, well dressed, civil, noncorrupt, very middle-class in his style of life, with a wife and
six children. Much less than any of the other German leaders does he stand for anything
particularly German or particularly Nazi. He rather symbolizes a type which is becoming
increasingly important in all belligerent countries: the pure technician, the classless bright
young man without background, with no other original aim than to make his way in the
world and no other means than his technical and managerial ability. It is the lack of
psychological and spiritual ballast, and the ease with which he handles the terrifying
technical and organizational machinery of our age, which makes this slight type go
extremely far nowadays. . . . This is their age; the Hitlers and Himmlers we may get rid
of, but the Speers, whatever happens to this particular special man, will long be with us.
Although many technologists I have encountered on the Internet have strong
moral views on matters that directly impinge upon them, such as freedom of
speech and of the press, on other matters there is often a silence, or even
suggestions that discussions of such topics are not appropriate within a technical
space. The free-wheeling nature of some groups is sometimes off-putting to such
people; formal documentation of procedures – which are important in their own
way for the preservation of knowledge – may also provide a way for such people
to relate to organizations providing the “psychological and spiritual ballast” to
which the above excerpt refers.
SpiralHeart is both one of the groups (comparable within Christianity to a parish or
congregation) which organizes a Reclaiming WitchCamp, and is the name of the
WitchCamp it organizes. The organizational operations of SpiralHeart are vested in three
cells and a Treasurer. The three cells are:
- Camp Operations, which conducts the business transactions necessary to rent a
campsite for the week of camp, arranges for the hiring of teachers for the camp,
registers people for camp and collects fees from them, and runs the camp;
- Anchor, which handles the general planning meetings (typically four) throughout
the year, coordinating the agenda, facilitating the meetings themselves, and taking
the minutes of the meetings; and
- Media, which handles advertising, a quarterly newsletter, mailing of the
registration form, maintaining the contact database, facilitating and moderating
the email discussion lists, maintaining the website, and creating the yearly camp
To facilitate the notion of making the Guide a living and non-prescriptive document, I
have adopted a format which will enhance the notion that it is one person’s experience,
which is suggested but not required for use; and further, that successors (or other
communities, if they adapt it) can readily note the source of alternative suggestions. In
the Tradition, I have a “magickal name” of “steward”; thus, suggestions relating to my
personal experience are often prefaced with “steward says.”
One final note is required on one particular belief structure in order to explain a
metaphor used in the foreword to the Media Guide, and that is an explanation of the
concept of “between the worlds.” In the Reclaiming Tradition, as well as many other
subgroups of neo-Paganism, there is a belief that the creation of sacred space for the
holding of a ritual literally places that sacred space as a gateway between two or more
planes of existence. The standard circle-casting (a process which sanctifies an area on a
temporary basis for the conduct of a ritual) which I learned at SpiralHeart WitchCamp
2001 concludes with the phrase: “The circle is cast. We are between the worlds. And
what happens between the worlds affects all the worlds.” Ritual in the Reclaiming
Tradition is conducted in a way that allows for the interaction of the deities, faeries, and
so on referred to by Barner-Barry (2005, p. 32) with humans without either leaving their
home ground unless desired; it is a meeting place which has been created and can be
voluntarily entered into.
Similarly, there is often a vast disconnect between the spiritual practices of a religion
and the dealings that it must have operationally with other persons in order to conduct its
business practices, often with people who neither know nor care about the religious
beliefs of the people or the organization. The organizers, and especially the Media Chair
– who, in my experience, often winds up as the effective ‘voice’ of a camp community
for 51 weeks of the year – must be able to navigate not just between the realms of normal
experience and faerie, but between the realms of spiritual practice and business practice
while still holding on to that spiritual practice which necessitates the business practice.
Thus, I have extended the “between the worlds” metaphor to the notion of “among the
worlds,” to emphasize this often peculiar process. This is also addressed in a practical
manner in the adaptation and commentary document.
The foregoing should serve as an introduction to the belief structure and language
patterns which underlie the SpiralHeart Media Practices Guide, as well as to the
influences of various MAPS courses into the production of the Guide. As the Guide
largely addresses the business world with which the Media Cell must interact, it should
be largely understandable by the average reader; but this introduction will, I hope, cover
some of the language and ideas peculiar to the Guide, as well as explain why a Guide is
needed in the first place.
Barner-Barry, C. (2005). Contemporary paganism: minority religions in a majoritarian
America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Detrixhe, P. A. (2005). Shape-shifting 'religion': Witchen identities as post()modern
exemplum. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University, Philadelphia.
Oxford University Press. (2006). Overview – Guide to Oxford English Dictionary entries.
Retrieved September 14, 2006, from http://www.oed.com/about/guide/overview.html
Reclaiming Tradition of Witchcraft. (2001). Reclaiming’s Principles of Unity. Retrieved
September 14, 2006, from http://spiralheart.org/resources/unity.html
Senge, P. (2004). From the Chair. Reflections, 2(2), 80.
Speer, A. (1971). Inside the Third Reich. (R. Winston and C. Winston, Trans.). New
York: Avon. (Original work published 1969)
WitchCamps. (n.d.) Retrieved September 14, 2006, from
Creating Our Future ◊ Embracing Our Past
Celebrating Our Spirit ◊ Restoring Our World
SpiralHeart is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Organization
A note on style of the guide:
This manual was originally published to SpiralHeart by steward around Mabon,
2006. For ease in change tracking as well as in asking for clarifications, it is
suggested that changes be clearly marked with the name or magical name of the
person changing the item. This style was completely established in the first
version of the guide for clarity’s sake; instead of the impersonal “I suggest” or the
passive “It is suggested”, suggested courses of action – other than this one - in
the first version are plainly marked “steward suggests”.
Also, for clarity in following along movements on webpages, text in this manual is
on the odd-numbered (right-side) pages only, while illustrations, if required, are
on the even-numbered (left-side) pages. An exception is section 9b, where a
flow-through process is illustrated with screenshots on both sides of the booklet.
Table of Contents
Section Number Subject
1 Letterhead and public interactions
2 Direct Mail – Introduction
2a Direct Mail – Establishing a permit
2b Direct Mail – Designing, preparing, and sending the mail
3 Dealing with restrictions imposed by our tax-exempt status
under 26 USC 501(c)(3)
4 Direct Advertising
4a Newsletter preparation and mailing
5 Formal Advertising
6 Shared Advertising
7a Maintaining the website: webpages
7b Maintaining the website: email forwarding and email boxes
8 Setting up a new website host
9a Maintaining email lists
9b Setting up email lists
10 General notes on artwork
12 Cell Interactions
13 Outside duties
14b Calculating printing costs
Reclaiming's Principles of Unity
"My law is love unto all beings..." The Charge of the Goddess
The values of the Reclaiming tradition stem from our understanding that the
earth is alive and all of life is sacred and interconnected. We see the Goddess as
immanent in the earth's cycles of birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration.
Our practice arises from a deep, spiritual commitment to the earth, to healing
and to the linking of magic with political action.
Each of us embodies the divine. Our ultimate spiritual authority is within, and
we need no other person to interpret the sacred to us. We foster the questioning
attitude, and honor intellectual, spiritual and creative freedom.
We are an evolving, dynamic tradition and proudly call ourselves Witches.
Honoring both Goddess and God, we work with female and male images of
divinity, always remembering that their essence is a mystery which goes beyond
form. Our community rituals are participatory and ecstatic, celebrating the
cycles of the seasons and our lives, and raising energy for personal, collective
and earth healing.
We know that everyone can do the life-changing, world-renewing work of magic,
the art of changing consciousness at will. We strive to teach and practice in
ways that foster personal and collective empowerment, to model shared power
and to open leadership roles to all. We make decisions by consensus, and balance
individual autonomy with social responsibility.
Our tradition honors the wild, and calls for service to the earth and the
community. We value peace and practice non-violence, in keeping with the Rede,
"Harm none, and do what you will." We work for all forms of justice:
environmental, social, political, racial, gender and economic. Our feminism
includes a radical analysis of power, seeing all systems of oppression as
interrelated, rooted in structures of domination and control.
We welcome all genders, all races, all ages and sexual orientations and all those
differences of life situation, background, and ability that increase our diversity.
We strive to make our public rituals and events accessible and safe. We try to
balance the need to be justly compensated for our labor with our commitment to
make our work available to people of all economic levels.
All living beings are worthy of respect. All are supported by the sacred elements
of air, fire, water and earth. We work to create and sustain communities and
cultures that embody our values, that can help to heal the wounds of the earth
and her peoples, and that can sustain us and nurture future generations.
steward says: The Media Cell of SpiralHeart performs numerous tasks, which
need to be done on a rolling basis throughout the year. Many of these tasks
require specialized knowledge. If the Chair is lucky, various people throughout
the Cell will, together, possess all the base knowledge needed. However, that
cannot be assumed to be the case.
This manual has been put together to help future Media Cell chairs to access the
various information needed to perform the tasks that were done by the Media
Cell during the period of steward’s chairpersonship. Many of these tasks may
also be done by other WitchCamps, although the assignment of duties may be
done in a different form. The manual is intended to be descriptive – that is,
describing how tasks have been performed – rather than prescriptive. It is
intended as an aid, not as any sort of rule; it is being supplied by one person (or,
if maintained, on an ad-hoc basis by several people) – it has not been consensed
upon by persons having the authority to declare a rule.
WitchCamp organizers often find themselves, not just “between the worlds”, but
rather “among the worlds”. The organizers, especially the Cell Chairs, form both
a bridge and a shield between the legalistic forms of modern society, and the
more mystical concentration of those who are not currently performing an
organizing task. In addition, the organizers, as members of the community, are
also involved both in the practical aspects of dealing with internal community
matters, as well as fostering their own individual spiritual and/or mystical growth.
Media Cell members actively working on tasks that may take several weeks –
and the Media Cell chair, in coordinating this on a day-to-day basis all year long
– find themselves among the worlds on a very intense basis. It is important to be
able to pull back occasionally and ensure that the spiritual is not neglected; if one
does not, it can result in some disconnects between what seems “practical”
versus what would otherwise be done.
As in any group that is filled with active, opinionated people, no matter what the
Media Cell Chair does, there will be people who disagree with what was done. It
can be difficult not to take it personally. The only thing steward can suggest is to
meditate on it, and to try to separate the constructive criticism from what feels
like a personal attack. Don’t hesitate to take questions to the other Cell Chairs;
just as you need to function within the Cell as a team, so you also need to
function with the other Cell Chairs as a team.
Finally, a note on the two things that steward has found most helpful in dealing
with the outside world: a professional-looking website and photo ID cards. Hey,
you’re the Media Cell Chair, you can make yourself an ID card! The props of the
business world are every bit as important in that world as the symbolism of a
ritual in the Craft.
Section 1: Letterhead and Public Interactions
steward says: The business world has its own standards of communication;
conforming to these standards, insofar as it does not violate our basic
philosophies, can be of great assistance in establishing a professional
relationship with businesses such as magazine and newspaper companies. One
facet of these standards is using a letterhead instead of an unadorned, plain-
sheet, business letter. A letterhead incorporating the camp logo catches the eye
of the person with whom you’re trying to communicate; a tag line as a footer may
also help communicate our values in the hopes of eliciting a more positive
reaction as well. On the page opposite is a picture of the current letterhead as of
this writing for the Media Cell chair. (Versions have also been created as
necessary for other cells, when requested.) Note the use of color; not an array of
different colors which would tend to draw attention away from the gist of the
letter, but a simple darker purple for the SpiralHeart logo at the left top of the
paper, and a slightly lighter purple for the tag line.
At the upper right of the sheet is the legal name of the Cell Chair. When dealing
with strictly Pagan-oriented interests, a Magickal name might be acceptable; but
businesses like to deal with what is more readily understandable – a first name
and a surname. The less complication, the easier the transaction. Following the
name is the business-oriented title: “Director for Media Services”. It is truthful, in
that the Media Cell Chair is a Director by virtue of being the Media Cell Chair; it is
expedient, in that “Cell” brings to mind anarchist and/or communistic terminology,
which can be off-putting to capitalist-based businesses.
The address on the example is the PO Box used by SpiralHeart. In some cases
– especially when the Chair lives far away from the PO Box – it may be better,
when time is of the essence, to use one’s own personal mailing address. This
also may depend on personal comfort level about giving out one’s personal
mailing address. (Keep in mind that the Commonwealth of Virginia already has
the address of the Cell Chair – as a Director – on file as public record.) steward
has used each address, depending on the situation.
Finally, the methods of contact should be included. These may include the
phone number (again, it is your decision whether to use the SpiralHeart
answering machine number or your own personal phone number), a FAX number
if available (in this case, since SpiralHeart has no FAX number, it is my personal
FAX number), and an email address (using the role-based
email@example.com address ensures that, if a long-standing relationship is
established, emails will go to the correct person once you’ve passed the role to
One quick note on the FAX number: as of this writing, eFax.com still provides a
no-frills free incoming FAX number. Faxes are directed to an email address
supplied by the user. If SpiralHeart becomes more dependent on incoming
faxes, or if a future chair is uncomfortable with supplying hir own FAX number for
use, it may be a good idea to acquire a free incoming FAX number for
SpiralHeart. This may already be available through the provider of SpiralHeart’s
phone service. If it is not, there are companies that offer phone answering
service and fax-to-email forwarding gateways at the same number for as little as
$5.00 / month.
Section 2: Direct Mail - Introduction
steward says: For mass-mailings of over two hundred pieces (such as the
registration form and newsletters), a non-profit bulk mail permit provides
significant financial advantages. As of the current writing, first-class mail costs
39 cents for the first ounce, and 24 cents for each additional ounce. As
newsletters often weigh between one and two ounces, postage costs for a
newsletter sent first-class are usually 63 cents per piece (at the current mailing
list size of 460, approximately $290 in postage).
The non-profit bulk mail permit postage costs just 17 cents per piece, for up to
3.3 ounces. For a list size of 460, this is only $78 in postage, a savings of $212!
There are, however, upfront costs involved; for this reason, if the only mailing of
200 pieces and above is the registration mailing, it may be better not to bother
with a non-profit bulk mailing permit.
Section 2a: Direct Mail – Establishing a Permit
steward says: There are two steps to establish the type of permit which
1. Establish a bulk-mail permit; and
2. Get a non-profit status approval for the permit.
As steward discovered when working through this process, these steps cannot
be done at the same time. The permit must be established first, at the post
office to be used for bulk mailings, and then an application may be made for non-
profit mailing status. For this reason, when moving between offices for mailing, it
is imperative that the application process be started as soon as reasonably
The permit is tied to a specific office; the non-profit status is tied to the permit.
There is an application fee ($160.00 as of 9/1/2006) attached to initially obtaining
the bulk mail permit, and an additional, yearly fee (an additional $160.00 as of
9/1/2006) attached. steward therefore strongly suggests that due consideration
be put into the most convenient post office for the purpose of submitting bulk
emails. One idea is to check with a couple of post offices in the area to see the
procedures. Ask questions, even if you know the answers; a helpful postal
employee handling bulk mailings is much easier to deal with than someone who
simply does what the mailing manual requires.
The technical term the post office uses for the type of bulk mail which SpiralHeart
uses is “Standard Mail”. A basic introduction to Standard Mail is on the web at
The Bulk Mail representative at your selected Post Office will supply you with the
necessary forms and walk you through the process. In order to mark the mail
properly for the NONPROFIT ORG rate, you will need to apply to use preprinted
indicia (allowing you to print the postage right on the envelope from your laser
printer without any special online connection to the post office).
Once the Standard Mail permit has been obtained, the next step is to obtain non-
profit mailing status. Detailed instruction manuals are available for downloading
from the web at
Both Publication 417 and Quick Service Guide 703 should be read thoroughly.
The Post Office generally wants samples of what types of mailings are done, and
what the organization does. Based on prior experience, steward suggests the
inclusion of the minutes from one or two of the organizing meetings, along with
copies of one or two newsletters. There is no fee to apply for nonprofit eligibility;
however, form PS-3624, as provided in Publication 417, must be completed and
filed with the Post Office for processing (which may take several weeks,
especially – as steward discovered – if you don’t send them enough enclosures
so that they understand that SpiralHeart is legitimate). The IRS certification,
while required, is not sufficient, and although the bylaws from the Virginia
Secretary of State are a good idea as one enclosure, the above suggested
enclosures should speed approval.
Sample Tray Label from Jackson, NJ:
Section 2b: Direct Mail – Designing, preparing, and sending the mail
The USPS Quick Service Guide 630, available at
should be reviewed for preparing the mailing proper. Although the letters must
be sorted by Zip, SpiralHeart does not have enough letters in any one “AADC” to
qualify for that special rate. Accordingly, the letters can simply be placed in order
by Zip in a series of mailing trays obtainable for free from the Post Office.
You must also prepare form PS 3602-NZ for submission with the mailing, a
sample of which is on the page facing. Tray labels are also required for each
mailing tray; as these are specific to the local postal facility being used, you
should ask your local Bulk Mail coordinator what to put on the tray labels. A
sample tray label as used from Jackson, NJ is on the page facing.
In steward’s experience, the post office generally does not care what return
address is used, but check with your local bulk mail coordinator. If you feel
comfortable with people having your return address, it would be more convenient
to use your own. Alternatively, you could use the SpiralHeart post office box
When using bulk mail, undeliverable pieces are normally disposed of by the
Postal Service. You can obtain change-of-address information, as well as
forwarding, by using the ancillary service endorsement “Address Service
Requested” as specified in Quick Service Guide section 015, available on the
Because of the weighted fee charged for returns – approximately 2 ½ times the
first-class rate for the item – it is probably best to do this only once a year, when
the individual pieces being mailed are lightest: the camp registration mailing. If
the return address you have used is the SpiralHeart PO Box, make sure that the
person responsible for checking the box is aware that there will be incoming mail
for the next few weeks. For pieces returned as undeliverable, you can then go to
the mailing database, find the email address, and email the person asking her to
send a new mailing address if she wants to continue receiving mailings. For
example, you could send the following from firstname.lastname@example.org :
Subject: The post office says they can't find you!
The post office returned our recent mailing of the 2006 SpiralHeart WitchCamp
registration form as "undeliverable". If you'd like to receive our
newsletters and other mailings, please respond to this email with your new
mailing address. Thanx!
-Cell Chair Person’s Name
Chair, Media Cell
Creating Our Future * Embracing Our Past * Celebrating Our Spirit * Restoring
SpiralHeart is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Organization
Finally, one very important note: International mail is not covered under the bulk
permit. These pieces must be removed from the bulk mailing and sent out with
the proper postage for their weight, airmail, to their respective countries.
Section 3: Dealing with restrictions imposed by our tax-exempt status under 26
SPECIAL NOTE: steward is not a lawyer. This section, while detailing how
steward dealt with matters and his reasoning for them, does not constitute
legal advice. steward strongly suggests that when dealing with anything
which might impact on SpiralHeart’s tax-exempt status, that the Media Cell
chair or the SpiralHeart Board of Directors obtain competent legal counsel.
steward says: The IRS publishes general compliance rules for non-profit
corporations at http://www.irs.gov/charities/index.html . In its guidance for the
2006 election cycle, it says in part:
“Political campaign intervention includes any and all activities that favor or
oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond
candidate endorsements. Contributions to political campaign funds or public
statements of position (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization
in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the
prohibition on political campaign intervention. Distributing statements prepared
by others that favor or oppose any candidate for public office will also violate the
prohibition. Allowing a candidate to use an organization’s assets or facilities will
also violate the prohibition if other candidates are not given an equivalent
opportunity. Although section 501(c)(3) organizations may engage in some
activities to promote voter registration, encourage voter participation, and provide
voter education, they will violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention
if they engage in an activity that favors or opposes any candidate for public
office. Certain activities will require an evaluation of all the facts and
circumstances to determine whether they result in political campaign
intervention.” (footnote to “Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political
Campaign Intervention for Section 501(c)(3) Organizations”, FS-2006-17, from
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=154712,00.html , 3/5/2006.)
As the Reclaiming Tradition is expressly political, care must be taken to divorce
the official position of SpiralHeart, Inc., from statements regarding candidates
and their positions. This is less problematic at times when we have a pro bono
publico attorney available to the group. At times when we do not (such as the
time of the current writing), steward opines that a conservative approach should
be taken. Thus, for instance, the SpiralHeart discussion list, which is very loosely
moderated, contains an organizational disclaimer:
Please be aware that posts and their content belong to their respective posters.
SpiralHeart is not responsible nor does it endorse any content posted to this list.
steward finds the newsletter more problematic. Although a case could be made
for regular columnists writing opinions that are disclaimed by SpiralHeart – and,
in fact, many magazines have such disclaimers on columnists – absent
competent and specific legal advice to the contrary, steward feels that he – to
fulfill his fiduciary obligation to SpiralHeart as a whole – must exclude articles that
even brush the limits prescribed by the IRS in the above quote. Unlike the
discussion list, the newsletter has active editing by the organization; this
potentially increases the organization’s culpability for a violation.
In steward’s opinion, which he is aware that many people may disagree with,
there are more than sufficient Reclaiming local groups and Reclaiming activist
groups which – although they may have overlapping membership with
SpiralHeart – are not non-profit corporations and which consequently do not
need to comply with any of the IRS non-profit rules. Keeping SpiralHeart safe as
a basic place to learn Reclaiming-style magic – and, possibly, even general
techniques for activism without focusing on specific candidates or positions – has
been steward’s first priority in dealing with the clash between Reclaiming’s
inherent political nature and the IRS non-profit rules.
Section 4: Direct advertising
steward says: For the purposes of this manual, direct advertising consists of the
• The SpiralHeart website (covered in Section 8)
• The SpiralHeart Yahoo!Groups (covered in Section 9)
• The SpiralHeart quarterly newsletter (covered in Section 4a)
• Press Releases
• Community / networking websites (deviantART, WitchVox,
Word-of-mouth is both the hardest to control and the most effective means of
advertising that SpiralHeart has, based on the information we have gotten from
camp feedback forms. The Media Cell must act in a supporting role for this
means of advertising, by regularly reminding people via the website and lists of
the availability of brochures and extra copies of newsletters.
At this writing, SpiralHeart has a glossy, professionally-designed brochure. The
company which we have found with low prices for good quality for this brochure
is M13 Graphics (http://m13graphics.com/ ). It is important to keep track of the
brochure supply so that there is adequate time to order more before major
happenings, such as Pagan Pride Day, local community core classes, and
events at which the Open Hearth Foundation will allow SpiralHeart to distribute
Press releases are another way to attempt to advertise events. While there is no
guarantee that a newspaper will publish the information, the small effort that goes
into sending such a release to the religion or other appropriate editor is worth the
possibility of getting it printed. The left-side page has a sample press release
which was sent out for M. Macha NightMare’s workshop last year in Philadelphia,
Finally, many SpiralHearters use community networking sites such as
LiveJournal, Blogger, MySpace, deviantART, and so forth. Encouraging people
to promote SpiralHeart where appropriate in those areas is another way to get
the word out. Pictures of the camp, the altars, etc. can be placed on many of
these sites. Also, there is an animated gif available on the SpiralHeart website,
and the code that people need to insert into their site to use it can be found in the
Promotional Materials section at
SpiralHearters who are good with the written word may also be encouraged to
write essays for sites such as The Witches’ Voice (http://www.witchvox.com ).
Again, this can help get the word about SpiralHeart around without creating
actual expenditures from the SpiralHeart treasury.
The Witches’ Voice allows individuals to list groups whom they are associated
with as group sponsors of the site. At the time of this writing, Wolf, the Camp
Cell Chair, has SpiralHeart listed under his associated groups, giving SpiralHeart
Section 4a: Newsletter Preparation and Mailing
One method of keeping people in touch with the SpiralHeart community
throughout the years is the quarterly newsletter. This newsletter varies from 12
to 20 pages in length and contains articles, columns, and information about the
next upcoming Camp. It is important to include pictures, often of past camps, in
the newsletter, as a simple long string of words does not tend to attract the
reader. Original artwork and poetry is also good to include.
At this writing, the quarterly newsletter is sent on or about Mabon, Yule, Ostara,
and Litha. In steward’s experience, a lead time of at least one month is
necessary for editing and printing purposes. A typical laser printer designed for
home use tends to start jamming once it’s gotten too hot, and requires a few
hours of cool-down time. This slows newsletter printing production. If possible, it
is recommended that a group of local people be gathered to help with stapling,
envelope-stuffing, and envelope-sealing.
steward suggests that regular columnists be recruited. At the current time, Wolf
is a regular columnist who appears on the front page of the newsletter. Beth
Owl’s Daughter is a semi-regular columnist who writes about the Tarot, but who
generally does not want her columns to run at the same time another Tarot piece
Gathering content for the newsletter is a never-ending process: it often occurs
that someone will commit to write something for the upcoming newsletter, but by
the time it comes in, you’re three newsletters into the future!
Standard features of the newsletter at this time are the following:
• On the left side of the front page, the theme for the upcoming camp;
• Midway down the front page, below the newsletter title, and occupying 2/3
of the remaining space, the start of Wolf’s Wramble column;
• Occupying the remaining 1/3, the start of a lead article;
• On the left side of page 2, a table of contents;
• Below the contents, if there are any entries, the “Community Cauldron” of
life passages, etc.;
• On the next-to-last page, specific news items or upcoming events;
• On the left side of the back cover, the masthead with publication
• On the middle-to-right of the back cover, a list of local Independent
Reclaiming communities located in the US, east of the Mississippi River;
• At the bottom of the back cover, the tagline:
Creating Our Future ◊ Embracing Our Past
Celebrating Our Spirit ◊ Restoring Our World
SpiralHeart is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Educational Organization
Once content has been obtained, the editing process begins. This is most easily
accomplished with software such as Microsoft Publisher, InDesign CS2,
QuarkXPress, or other products specifically designed for creating print
publications. However, Microsoft Word or a comparable product can be used in
landscape mode. This requires much more work on the part of the editor, as it is
much harder to flow column text from page to page, etc. The paper size used is
8 ½” x 14”; each sheet, folded at the 7” point, provides 4 pages for content.
Layout can be different on each page. steward has tended to use a three-
column text format on the cover page, and a two-column text format on the inside
pages. However, short blurbs such as event announcements may be better
formatted across the entire page (that is, the 7” minus the margin in the
For stapling purposes, steward has found that a long-reach stapler is preferable
for three reasons:
It can reach the seven-inch mark on the paper;
It can be adjusted to seven inches so that the staple goes into the correct
Stapling the newsletter before folding it makes it easier to fold it in the
correct place, especially if simply a single staple is placed at the
approximate center of the page.
Once folded into newsletter format, the newsletter must be folded one again over
to fit into a #10 size envelope. The creases must enable the newsletter to be as
flat as possible, as postal regulations specify that the contents cannot exceed a
certain thickness. You may want to place some sort of weight on a pile of
newsletters to encourage the flattening process.
Using a mail merge between the SpiralHeart database and an appropriate
program such as Microsoft Word, the envelopes can then be generated with the
indicia as specified by the post office. Be sure that the margins are correctly
placed on the envelope as specified by the publications referenced in section 2b.
steward strongly suggests the use of envelopes with peel-off, pre-sticky flaps;
these make it a lot faster to get the envelopes stuffed and sealed. Once the
newsletters have been placed in the envelopes, finish the mailing in accordance
with the USPS procedures in section 2b.
Section 5: Formal advertising
steward says: Past analysis of camp evaluation forms has indicated that there is
very little return on advertising through “traditional” means such as magazines
and newspapers. However, there is always the possibility that a market may be
identified where SpiralHeart has not yet tried to advertise (previous advertising
campaigns included major regional and national Pagan magazines; the
Washington Blade newspaper; and the Daily Targum. There was also a classified
ad run for a year in Mother Jones magazine for the Tradition-wide
There are also “new” types of “traditional” advertising being introduced such as
kiosk placement, etc. This might well be something for the Media Cell to look
into in the future, especially in concert with SpiralHeart members who work in
academic settings. A Google Search on “+advertising +kiosk” will bring up many
possible contacts for researching this as a possible venue. Another possibility is
contacting SpiralHearters who work for colleges and universities to find a contact
at the school itself who you can deal with for placement opportunities.
Unless dealing with either a Pagan-friendly venue or personally-known contacts,
a business-oriented approach is important in dealing with traditional advertisers.
This often involves paper-based mail instead of email, and the use of legal
names instead of personal identifiers used within the SpiralHeart community (for
example, in dealing with traditional advertisers steward used his legal name
“John J. Deltuvia, Jr.”, not “steward”). Even when dealing with Pagan-friendly
venues or personally-known contacts, it is helpful to present materials to them in
a format they understand. To explain this format to potential advertisers, such
outlets make their rules known in an industry-standard format known as a “media
kit”. If the advertising outlet has a website, the “media kit” can usually be
downloaded from their website, or requested online from their advertising sales
group. Otherwise, it is necessary to phone or mail the company to ask for a
The media kit outlines the rules for submitting advertisements. Most publications
prefer that advertisements be submitted either in .tiff or .pdf (Acrobat) format; if
someone in the group does not have software that will output to either of those
formats, it may be advisable to use the Adobe Educational Discount program to
obtain a full copy of Acrobat Professional version. The required resolution in dots
per inch is also often stated; you can set this in your publishing and/or graphics
The page on the left shows the “rate card” for PanGaia magazine (obtained from
http://bbimedia.com/MediaKit/bbiunifiedratecardal061.pdf ). It supplies the rates
for an advertisement, the required size, the size relationship to the page (e.g., 2/3
of a page is 9 ½ “ x 4½ “), and the price for the advertisement. PanGaia is a
quarterly magazine, so four insertions is one year’s worth of advertising. Note
that, with multiple insertions, the price per issue declines; so, for example, the
total cost for a ¼ page ad would be:
1 issue total cost $ 85
2 issues total cost $ 150
3 issues total cost Although they do not indicate a 3x
discount, you could probably negotiate
it at the 2x price for a total cost of $225
4 issues total cost $ 260
Generally speaking, most advertisement salespeople are more than willing to
help you in setting up your ad to your satisfaction. However, some familiarity
with the terminology is always helpful in any specialized endeavor.
Section 6: Shared advertising
steward says: There is only one current method of shared advertising among
Reclaiming WitchCamps; that is the witchcamp.org website, started by
SpiralHeart a few years ago as a service to the greater Reclaiming Community.
As of this writing, the site is maintained by Laurel LaFey of the DreamRoads
Community, Traci from Tejas Web, and Chelidon, a well-known WitchCamp
teacher. Yarrow, our current Anchor chair as of this writing, maintains some of
the contact points for the site as well, and the site is paid for by SpiralHeart as a
contribution to the running of the WitchCamp Council (WCC).
A second avenue of shared advertising instituted in the 2006 camp year is
advertising by becoming a Foundation-level supporter of the Open Hearth
Foundation (OHF). The cost to SpiralHeart is slightly under $1,000 / year, and a
special “Zodiac” fundraiser (in which contributors sponsor signs of the Zodiac)
has been designed in hopes of funding this advertising without using any money
from the general fund. In return for supporting the OHF at this level, SpiralHeart
gets a prominent placement on OHF’s webpage as a Foundation sponsor, as
well as being mentioned in event announcements and at actual OHF events as a
major sponsor of the OHF. In addition, as mentioned in section four, this
sponsorship affords SpiralHeart the opportunity to distribute brochures at OHF
Another possibility of shared advertising would be to contact other camps via the
WCC about running a one or two-page spread in a nationwide Pagan magazine
such as SageWoman or PanGaia. This idea has been advanced before, but it
has so far been deemed unfeasible because of the lack of funds at several
Main Events Resources
Section 7a: Maintaining the website: web pages
The SpiralHeart website and email system is currently hosted on a shared server
provided by iPowerWeb (http://www.ipowerweb.com/ ). This server has a fairly
self-explanatory control panel for setting up site functions.
Samples of the arrangement of the website proper are provided in this manual
using screenshots from Adobe Dreamweaver; but, if desired, other FTP-
compatible editors may be used, or even FTP itself to obtain the files, edit them
in notepad or a comparable text editor, and reupload the files using FTP. Using
a web editor like Dreamweaver gives the advantage of being to write HTML code
directly if you wish, while also being able to use a WYSIWYG (what you see is
what you get) editor which generates the desired code.
The basic layout of the site was created by Deb from http://spiffyweb.net when
she was a member of the Communications Cell. Some changes have been
made as necessary to accommodate new features or web-hosting redesign, but
for the most part, the site layout has not changed in several years. Part of the
reason for this was the strong commitment to keep the site “Section 508
compatible”, which means it is easily accessible by those with sight difficulties.
The site is largely sparse on graphics (except for pages particularly marked as
having photographs) due to the fact that many people in the SpiralHeart
marketing area do not have broadband available. There are some people still
using dial-up modems; an excess of graphics delays the person in getting the
information desired – and may even induce the person to give up and go to
On the page facing are some of the directory listings from the SpiralHeart
website. The Main listing shows the main directories (as folders) as well as
some of the pages in the public_html directory (which forms the root of the
website). There are several files in the root location of the server itself; however,
these are used by the iPowerWeb control system for internal functions such as
email and should not be manipulated via Dreamweaver, FTP, or similar products.
Note in particular the “balance” folder. This folder contains a file which is
programmed to redirect the user automatically to a page in another folder where
the balance for camp can be paid. One-file folders like these are useful for
creating short web addresses which redirect to much longer web addresses.
The easiest way to create a page in a given directory is to use the template page
in that directory. The templates are commented so that you put your content in
the correct place. (Note to experienced Dreamweaver users: these are generic
.html templates, not Dreamweaver template files.) You will only likely need to
create a page for a totally new event; files from old special events are still on the
server so that you can copy code from them to speed development.
This icon is used to indicate an Official SpiralHeart Event
This icon is used to indicate an event which is either
Reclaiming or Feri related.
This icon is used to indicate events that may be of interest to
SpiralHearters and which fulfill other criteria as shown on the
The page that is updated most frequently is the index.html file in the events
folder, where events are listed. If it is an “Official Spiralheart Event”, the event
should also be listed on the home page with a link to the event.
On the page facing are the graphics indicating types of events. These types
were developed by the Media Cell and endorsed by the organizers. There are
three types of events that SpiralHeart will list on its events page:
1. "Official SpiralHeart Event":
a. the event is fully funded & insured by SpiralHeart, with ALL
monetary surplus (after cost reimbursement) going back to
Spiralheart (an 'underwritten' event), or
b. the event is partially funded or insured by Spiralheart, with a set
percentage of monetary surplus going back to Spiralheart (a
2. "Reclaiming Related Event": The event would be a Reclaiming Tradition
"core class", or a Reclaiming or Feri workshop in which profit is not
necessarily given to SpiralHeart (although if you plan to tithe back to
SpiralHeart, please mention it in your event description!). This also covers
announcements of local pagan-cluster meetings that will be attended or
hosted by Reclaiming or SpiralHeart members.
3. "Event of Interest": An event that isn't specifically Reclaiming related, but
would be of interest for those looking to build their spiritual tools, such as a
Wendy Palmer "sensate intuition" class, for example.
All events listed on SpiralHeart’s events page must also fit the following basic
• a SpiralHeart or Reclaiming Tradition community member connection
(either teaching, hosting, or organizing);
• some sort of financial accessibility (such as sliding scale, scholarships,
work/study, no one turned away for lack of funds, a more
affordable/similar workshop offered later, other), and:
• it must be in harmony with the Principles of Unity.
The easiest way to update events is in source code, copying and pasting
information from other events as needed. As you look at the source code, you
will see that there are specific styles for specific parts of each announcement.
Remember to remove events from the page once they have occurred!
To set up a secure link, instead of the normal spiralheart.org address, you must
use https://host128.ipowerweb.com/~spiralhe/ as a prefix instead.
Main vDeck Menu
Section 7b: Maintaining the website: email forwarding and email boxes
The main vdeck control panel at
has several selections. Some may be of interest, but in steward’s opinion they
are not essential as of this writing. The one essential option is the Email control
option. This allows email boxes and email forwarding to be set up. Email boxes
are useful for collecting input (such as evaluations or teaching team proposals),
and for maintaining an address through which email can be sent out from
(particularly useful for the email@example.com address). The email forwarding
allows email to one address to be forwarded on to multiple addresses, which is of
particular use for such things as camp registration (where the Registrar and the
Media Cell Chair both need to have the information).
At the current time, SpiralHeart offers members a spiralheart.org email address
for $13.00/yr or $30.00 for 3 years. Selling just three 3-year forwards each year
falls just five bucks short of funding the entire website fee! In addition, there are
several role-based forwarding addresses, so that a “role” address can be
provided to outside entities or placed on the website or in the newsletter, and
people don’t have to figure out who the treasurer is or where to send agenda
items – because the mails can just be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and
email@example.com , respectively. It is a duty of the Media Cell to keep
these forwarding addresses up-to-date.
To add, update, or delete accounts, log into the main vdeck control panel at the
above address. (vDeck menus are shown on the page facing.) Click Email, and
then click Accounts on the submenu. To add a user, click add users and follow
the instructions. Note that you are provided with a list of users. Some in the
example are role-based (admin, agenda, anchor-weaver, camp, and events);
some are personal addresses (caillean, deborah, and evelyn); and one is a
storage box (eval – note that there is a “yes” in the “store” column). Although not
shown in the screenshot, there is a help link at the upper right corner of vDeck
pages which provide further guidance beyond that which is shown on the screen,
although steward has found for the most part that the directions provided while
clicking through procedures are adequate.
To get mail from boxes such as eval or media, you can log into the email server
at http://host128.ipowerweb.com:8080/webmail/index.pl .
Section 8: Setting up a new website host
Within steward’s tenure, the host for the SpiralHeart website has been moved
from Hurricane Electric to iPowerWeb, a company that offers more services for
less money. However, one lesson that has been learned is: when changing
webhosts, even if you’ve posted the information for discussion to the media list,
send personal emails to your web specialists as well, because they may not be
paying attention to the media list. One web specialist in SpiralHeart who prefers
to use Telnet to edit websites was greatly perturbed by the unavailability of
Telnet at the new site.
steward opines: The following services are absolute requirements when moving
• E-Mail forwarding (because we sell that on a regular basis to fund the cost
of the website);
• Sufficient webspace (the current amount used as of this writing is
approximately 32 MB);
• SSL at a reasonable price (for registration forms);
• FTP (for file transfer).
In addition, Telnet access would be nice to have, notwithstanding other
conditions, as would some E-mail storage for things such as evaluations, etc.
The selection of a Microsoft web host versus a UNIX/Linux web host depends
mainly on available web technical skills in SpiralHeart. Microsoft-based websites
work very well with Microsoft Front Page to produce a professional-looking site
with very little web knowledge or skill on the part of the developer. On the other
hand, in situations where knowledgeable people are available – especially
people skilled in UNIX – a UNIX/Linux web host is much preferred due to the cost
differential. It is not unusual to see prices for Microsoft-based web hosts that are
twice the price of UNIX/Linux web hosts.
Personal webhosting – that is, a web hosted by an individual member of the
group on their own server – has been tried by other Reclaiming communities and
has been, on the whole, not a good idea. Reclaiming is political by nature, and
this extends to the internal community; and as Starhawk has pointed out, politics
involves conflict. It is steward’s considered opinion that placing webhosting on a
personal server instead of with a professional webhosting company may be
unwise, despite the potential monetary cost savings.
To search for a new webhost, standard search engines such as Google and
Yahoo! will locate many sites; comparison sites can also be found. steward
suggests using a spreadsheet program or database to track the required features
and desirable features, cost, and additional possible helpful features for each site
In steward’s personal experience thus far, the most cost-effective alternative is
the usage-based pricing at nearlyfreespeech.net – however, they do not have
SSL and thus cannot handle SpiralHeart’s registration forms. If a search is made
for a new webhost, steward suggests that that site be particularly checked to see
if SSL has been added.
Section 9a: Maintaining e-mail lists
SpiralHeart maintains several e–mail lists using the Yahoo!Groups™ service.
Maintenance of these lists is generally easy; however, setup can be tricky. The
following is the way that these email lists are maintained as of Mabon 2006.
• SpiralHeart – this list is minimally moderated, but the function that new
member posts must be approved is active. This nearly eliminates spam
on the list. This list is for general community discussion.
• Sph_Announce – this list is moderated. Posts must be approved to go on
the list. There is a policy currently in effect requiring people to preface the
subject with the location of the event, e.g., “CROZET, VA: Mudflap’s
Ritual”. This is to make it easier for readers of the list to skip things that
look only moderately interesting and are a long distance away, without
having to open the mail and read the whole thing.
• SpiralHeartOrg – this list was originally for all persons actively involved in
organizing the camp. In the interests of openness, discussions formerly
on this list are now on the general discussion list, SpiralHeart. This list is
now restricted to the Cell Chairs and other members of the Board for the
purpose of emergency discussions for between-meeting actions.
• Sph-Media – this is a discussion list for the media cell.
Other lists may be added as needed. All SpiralHeart accounts are “owned”
by Yahoo account “spiralygo” (spiral yahoo groups owner), and the cell chair
should log into that email account at least once every four months to ensure it
is kept active.
The cell chair may, upon request, set up a list for that year’s teaching team,
but should then transfer ownership to one of the teachers and then leave the
In early 2005, steward looked at the possibility of private email lists not run by
Yahoo!Groups™, but the feature list required was prohibitively expensive. As
pricing changes rapidly on the web, the Cell Chair may wish to occasionally
re-explore this option.
Section 9b: Setting up e-mail lists
The following is the process for setting up a new email list on Yahoo!Groups as
of 9/1/06. It is a mostly straightforward process; however, there are a couple of
settings that are not very obvious and which can cause problems if not caught.
To start a new group, log in as “spiralygo” and go to http://groups.yahoo.com .
Find the “Start a Group” area on the page.
Click the Start a Group now entry. You will be taken to a page where you can
start to categorize the purpose of the group.
Select “Religion and Beliefs” and
you will be taken to the next page.
Select “Paganism” and you will be
taken to the next page.
You may either click “Place my
group here” or select “Wicca and
Witchcraft”. If you do the latter, you
will be taken to another page in
which to place the group.
At this step, you must name the group, select the email address for the group,
and include a description. In this example, the name of the group is “SpiralHeart
Test 1” and the address for the group is firstname.lastname@example.org . When
done, click Continue for the next page.
The next page allows you to select your profile (spiralygo should only have one
profile) and requires that you enter the word verification image. When done, click
Continue for the next page.
This is the first “tricky” screen. Although your group has now been created, if you
do not customize the group, chances are it won’t work the way you want it to.
Click “Customize Your Group” to continue.
You are first presented with an informational page which lists the available
customizations. Click “Get Started” to continue.
If the group is something you want people to be able to find, click “Yes, list the
group”. Otherwise make the group unlisted. For example, the SpiralHeart org
list should be unlisted; the discussion group should be listed.
If the group is something you want people to be able to join immediately, click
“Anyone can join immediately”. Otherwise click “People can join only with my
approval”. steward opines that Cell lists and teacher lists should be set to the
If you want only members to be able to post to the group, click “Only group
members” under “Who can post messages to your group”. steward is unable to
think of any other setting that would be wanted for a SpiralHeart group.
When you have made your selections, click Next to continue.
In the “Do you want to approve messages before they are delivered”, steward
opines that most of the time “Only messages from new members require my
approval” should be selected. This prevents people from joining the list to spam
it. “Yes, messages require my approval” should be selected if creating a list
similar to the announcement list.
steward opines that for the other two selections in Step 2, the defaults are
appropriate. There are special circumstances that steward has seen on
Reclaiming-oriented lists; for instance, the volume of replies that addressed
discussion rather than action planning on the LivRiv list required the moderator to
send replies only to the message sender, lest the list become unusable for its
When you are done selecting the three options in step 2, click Next to continue.
Step 3 is the trickiest step of all, and, in steward’s observation, has confused
several Reclaiming groups or sub-groups setting up a list. Yahoo’s default is
“Anyone can view archives”. If this is left at its default position, anyone on the
web can read what is posted to the list. steward opines that the best setting
for this is “All members can view archives”. In certain circumstances, archives
might be restricted to the moderators, and there is an option for that as well.
You are then presented with a list of who can access the web features. For
maximal access but minimal trouble, steward opines that, for the most part, the
selections be left to members. The ones steward would consider changing are:
• Database – Databases can take up a lot of disk space, so you may want
to reserve that to moderators.
• Member listing – there may be cases where you wish to restrict the
member listing to the moderators.
• Promote – If you feel that there is a risk that members may be too
enthusiastic in using the invite feature, to the extent that the recipients and
Yahoo!Groups might consider it spam, you may wish to restrict this to the
Press Finish, and you’re done!
Section 10: Artwork, generally
Artwork (drawings, paintings, digital art) is essential to the proper decoration of
many SpiralHeart Media publications. It is therefore important to try to identify as
many SpiralHearters as possible who may be able to contribute artwork, both on
general SpiralHeart or Pagan themes as well as on the theme and story selected
for the upcoming camp. If sufficient artists are located, the possibility exists of
obtaining artwork specific to a story or column in a specific newsletter issue; this
helps to draw attention to the specific article as well as emphasizing the points in
Other uses of artwork may include camp flyers, event flyers, signs for display at
Pagan Pride Week or other events (such as Open Hearth Foundation events).
There even exists the possibility of SpiralHeart promotion, in this case including
photographs, by establishing “SpiralHeart” accounts in online social networking
spaces such as LiveJournal, mySpace, and deviantART.
Last-ditch sources for artwork, assuming a piece of art is needed for a newsletter
or flyer, may include the royalty-free artwork included with certain software
products, the purchase of royalty-free artwork collections, or the purchase of a
specific piece of royalty-free art from an online site specializing in clip art sales.
Photographs of persons at camp, meetings, etc., require that SpiralHeart have a
photography model release on file. A sample model release is on the page
Section 11: SpiralBound
SpiralBound is the annual camp instruction book, usually mailed to registered
campers approximately five weeks before camp. Most of the information in
SpiralBound is repeated from year to year, but changes must be made based on
items specific to the current year’s camp that have been modified from previous
steward suggests the formation of two SpiralBound subteams, under a
1. The preparation team. This team should be formed within a month after
the teaching team has been selected, and should consist of two to three
I. The rewriter – this person will take the prior year’s electronic copy of
Spiral Bound, first changing venue-specific materials, and then, as
information comes in from the teaching team, adding that information
in as well. This person will need constant communication with the
Camp Cell chair.
II. The outlay person – this person will format the text into an attractive
booklet. If the outlay person does not have either the talent or the
time to find sufficient artwork, a third person must be recruited to
handle artwork as specified by the outlay person.
2. The review team. This team should be formed about two to three weeks
before the rewriter person has finished, and should read the final rewrite,
making sure that all previous camp references have been modified or
eliminated as appropriate.
steward strongly suggests that the Media Cell chair not handle SpiralBound
directly, unless there is absolutely no other choice. The amount of work in
coordinating the Media Cell, combined with the work doing SpiralBound, plus that
elusive thing called “a life”, would make it difficult in the extreme for the chair to
do anything other than the final read-through of the formatted draft, looking for
any last-minute changes necessary.
Section 12: Cell Interactions
As the Media Cell’s primary function is to promote SpiralHeart’s activities, it is
necessary to keep in touch with what everyone else is doing, as well as to make
sure there’s enough money for the Cell to do what it wants to do. The following
are some examples of essential interactions; others come and go depending on
what’s going on or if someone has taken on an ad-hoc responsibility (for
instance, the proposed craft camp, if approved, will require coordination with the
craft camp planners).
1. Registrar – There must be close coordination between the Media Cell and
the Registrar in order to design the camp registration form (both web-
based and paper), making the form available, when to change the prices,
and so on. The Media Cell also must obtain addresses and attendance
records of registrants so that the database can be updated in order to
send out newsletters, announcements, and SpiralBound.
2. Treasurer – steward has operated by fronting the money needed for
supplies and then obtaining reimbursement from the Treasurer. If the Cell
Chair is unable to do this, a system must be worked out to advance the
money for purchases. Either way, the treasurer needs an accounting of
funds spent in order to keep our books – and our IRS standing – in order.
3. Camp Cell Chair – Information is needed from the Camp Cell Chair (or
designee) as to teacher/facilitator information, camp-related newsletter
and web content, and other matters to promote Camp. Teacher/facilitator
information may be provided by a Teacher Liaison, if one is appointed;
biographies, path information, story information, and, if possible,
photographs of teachers are needed to keep the website and the
4. Anchor Cell Chair – There is normally not much interaction with the
Anchor Cell; however, it is a good idea to check in from time to time to see
if that Cell requires dissemination of any information.
Section 13: Current outside duties
The only current “outside” duty which is traditional to SpiralHeart is providing a
team member to the witchcamp.org site mentioned in section 6. This site was
started by Deb and Lizard when they were active in the Communications Cell.
The duty of the SpiralHeart team member for the past year has been updating
content on the site; this is done via a hand-scripted text editor and requires
knowledge of HTML. To discuss further participation (or not), send email to
Given the right combination of volunteers and talents, another outside duty that
might be considered would be to coordinate more closely with the Open Hearth
Foundation on events and happenings. If cell volunteers express such an
interest, and if other duties are taken care of, this might be a good and low-cost
Section 14a: Budgeting
The SpiralHeart budgeting process begins each year at the annual September
reorganization meeting. Note, however, that the SpiralHeart fiscal year runs from
through October 31st
; thus, monies approved at the September
meeting for the next camp year’s budget are not monies for expenditure before
. There may be special exceptions (such as expenditures for postal
permits which will not take effect until the new budget year, even though the
funds must be remitted earlier); these items are best worked out with the
Items to be considered for budgeting, based on current and past Media activities,
may include the following:
Yearly postal fees
Other new plans that may be in the works
Media budgets have tended to be tenuous at best, because special
circumstances often arise during the year from other cells or from the Organizers’
meetings requiring additional expenditures, especially for mailing.
At the time of writing and based on the May 2006 meeting, there are items which
may or may not ultimately be placed as Media items, such as the Open Hearth
Foundation sponsorship and costs associated with reimbursements for
SpiralHeart members attending functions, etc., where word-of-mouth advertising
can be more easily done in a conducive market environment. Such discussions
may well go on past the September reorganizational meeting, as the Treasurer
and other parties discuss which part of the budget best fits which activities.
Section 14b: Calculating Printing Costs
In steward’s experience, much crisper type as well as better-looking pictures are
obtained by printing a newsletter from a laser printer than by photocopying it.
Because labor costs are covered by volunteer assembly of a newsletter, using a
home laser printer to print newsletters, flyers, etc. is approximately equal to the
cost of having a store such as Kinko’s do it – and with far better quality. The
problem is that, with a home laser printer, the person who owns it uses the toner,
etc., for home purposes as well. For that reason, it is necessary to calculate the
costs per sheet and per side of using the printer. (Note: when steward originally
calculated this, he included electricity, but the cost is so minimal that it’s not
worth it to include billing back to SpiralHeart, so the cost of electricity is not
The cost per sheet is the price per case / 5000. steward has found that it’s really
convenient to order it via Staples online and have it delivered for free.
The cost per side printed is a little more complicated, as both the toner and the
printer drum must be accounted for. The printer drum is a replaceable,
mechanical part of a laser printer which is not inexpensive. For that reason, the
cost per side printed equals:
• The price per toner cartridge / prints per toner cartridge, plus
• The price per drum unit / prints per drum unit.
You can find these figures on the packaging for the toner cartridge and the drum
unit corresponding to your laser printer.
Example, at $ 0.17 per piece for postage, a 16-page (4 sheet, 8 side + 1 side for
envelope) newsletter would cost the following per piece:
Mailing Type / Item Desc Price ea Qty Line Amt
Nwsltr #10 Env $ 0.101 1 $ 0.101
Paper (hammermill 14" multipurpose
$52/ream) $ 0.010 4 $ 0.042
Toner (tn-540 buy.com) $ 0.014 9 $ 0.123
Drum replacement $ 0.010 9 $ 0.010
Postage (up to 3.3 oz) $ 0.170 1 $ 0.170
Total $ 0.445
That is, with printing and postage included, one newsletter would be 44 ½ cents.
Wastage (jammed paper, etc.) tends to be about 10% - 15%. steward did not
include this in reimbursement requests. If you want to include this, steward
suggests that you add 12.5% to the estimate per newsletter, bringing it up to an
even 50 cents per newsletter.
COMMENTS TO AID
IN ADAPTING THE SPIRALHEART MEDIA GUIDE
FOR THEIR OWN SPECIFIC USES
This work is copyright © 2006 John J. Deltuvia, Jr. and is licensed without charge
to non-profit organizations (whether incorporated or unincorporated) pursuant to
the following stipulations:
1. You may produce guidebooks or other instructional media (referred to
below collectively as “guidebooks”) for the use of your non-profit
organization using material from this document and/or the SpiralHeart
2. You may not sell such guidebooks for profit.
3. To the best of your organization’s ability you will make your guidebook
available for the use of other non-profit organizations. If your organization
has a website, you will make your guidebook available on your website.
4. You must include these stipulations in any work derived from this
document and/or the SpiralHeart media guide.
Stipulation three does not apply to any organization identifying with the
Reclaiming or Anderson Feri Traditions of Witchcraft, although it is suggested
that Reclaiming or Anderson Feri organizations make any versions created
available via a centralized tradition site such as http://www.witchcamp.org
These stipulations are in the spirit of the General Public License (GPL)
created by the Free Software Foundation
(http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html ), but this work is not covered
specifically under the GPL.
The SpiralHeart Media Guide was originally produced for the use of one specific
non-profit organization (NPO), with the intention that related organizations –
organizations which identify with the Reclaiming Tradition – could adapt the
Guide for their use. Drs. Lawrence Murphy and Robert Price of Thomas Edison
State College have noted that some of the information contained in the Guide
could be of use to other NPO’s, provided some explanations were given to adapt
organization-specific terms and usages in the Guide to a more general audience.
This document addresses that perceived need.
In the Foreword to the SpiralHeart Media Guide, reference is made to the terms
“between the worlds” and “among the worlds”. These are metaphors specific to
neo-Paganism which quickly explain the differing socio-politico-religious venues
with which leaders of an organization must often interact. The importance of this
is such that I expand on it here in a more detailed way.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former United States President Jimmy Carter
has noted the increasingly polarized nature of American society in his book, Our
Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis. NPO’s often operate out of the
mainstream of popular culture, and – relative to the organization’s particular
purpose and values – the views of the members of the organization may differ to
some greater or lesser extent from those of the people in power at various media
organizations. For this reason, while remaining true to their organization’s
values, the leaders or officers need to be able to operate within the sphere of
mainstream society as well. The leaders, officers, or trustees – whatever they
are called in a specific group – act as a buffer between the organization and
society. As Robert Heinlein described the role of trustees in his novella
“...the board of trustees were the custodians of a foundation which existed as a
part of and in relation to a society. The trustees were never a government; their
sole duties had to do with relations between the Families and the rest of that
Thus, it is important to bear in mind that – when you are dealing with the
business world for the purpose of engaging their professional services – it is not
the time to promote your organization’s purpose to the persons with whom you
are dealing, unless you are fairly sure that the person and/or organizations with
whom you are dealing share those values. You serve as a bridge between two
or more worldviews, and you must be able to operate freely and without
hesitation in any of them.
The remainder of this document is laid out in sections corresponding to the
SpiralHeart Media Guide, noting explanations or expansions as required. It is my
hope that this document will foster the ability of non-profit organizations to
advance their aims, as self-actualization is one of the important goals of
SpiralHeart and the philosophies from which it derives, such as Reclaiming, Feri,
Commentary on Section 1:
Letterhead and Public Interactions
While there is no organization-specific jargon in Section 1, there are matters
raised that – although already established as a matter of course in SpiralHeart –
may be of planning concern to NPO’s.
One area is methods of contact. If your NPO wishes to invite public participation
and/or attract new members, the more methods of contact, the better. Not
everyone is on the Internet yet; providing access to your NPO only via websites
and e-mail may exclude a portion of the people that you want to reach.
Moreover, there are services available which provide fax-to-email and voicemail-
to-email services for a fairly low fee (such as $5/month). Using such services
along with a web presence, your group can reach nearly the entire population for
a relatively low cost.
The other area raised is that of incorporation. Incorporation has several
advantages, such as protection of the group’s members’ assets from being
seized in a suit against the organization, as well as the ability to apply to the
Federal Government for non-profit status. A potential disadvantage – especially
in groups whose values are anti-statist – is that incorporation may be seen within
your organization as cooperation with the statist hierarchy. In addition, the
names of the officers of your corporation must be filed with the office of the
Secretary of State of the state in which your group is incorporated, and there may
be certain filing fees involved. When SpiralHeart was incorporated (at a time
before I joined the group), apparently the group felt that the advantages
outweighed the disadvantages – despite a philosophical anti-statism. If your
group is not currently incorporated but is looking to do so, I strongly suggest the
retention of legal counsel versed in NPO incorporation; such a person will be
able to review your organization’s particular situation and make suggestions as to
whether it is likely to be a good step for your group.
Commentary on Sections 2 – 2b:
Direct Mail is often not cost-effective unless you have Internal Revenue Service
NPO status as well as a United States Postal Service (USPS) Non-Profit mailing
permit. This is another consideration in incorporating as an NPO. It is
particularly important to document the nature of your organization before
applying for a Non-Profit mailing permit; for this reason, your group should follow
standard organizational practices, such as the keeping of minutes of meetings
which can then be included in your application to the USPS.
There are further discounts available in certain situations, where a mailing is
going to a USPS-set minimum of addresses either within a 5-digit zip code area
or a 3-digit zip code prefix area. Except for organizations which are locality-
based within one municipality or several adjoining municipalities, these additional
discounts will not likely fit your organization. The USPS links provided in the
Media Guide address these discounts in more detail.
Commentary on Section 3:
The Effect of NPO Status on Free Speech
SPECIAL NOTE: The author of this document is not a lawyer. This section,
while noting several general principles about the nature of IRS NPO
exemption, does not constitute legal advice. I strongly suggest that when
dealing with anything which might impact on a current tax-exempt status or
planned future efforts to obtain tax-exempt status, that your organization
obtain competent legal counsel to review the matter.
Title 26, section 501 of the United States Code addresses several types of non-
profit organizations which may be eligible for tax-exempt status. Some of these
are even organizations which are explicitly political. However, the nature of each
type differs, and organizations operating under one type of tax-exempt status
should not assume that they can follow the rules of a different-type of tax-exempt
One of the most important things to note is that certain types of tax-exemption
provide some restrictions on political speech, such as candidate endorsement.
Some organizations get around this by stating their views and then distributing
information about legislative voting records of candidates; however, it is
important to have a lawyer research such tactics properly. Penalties for violating
IRS tax-exemption regulations can be severe, ranging from simply assessing
monetary penalties against your organization, to cancelling your tax exemption
status as well as invalidating the tax-exempt donation status retroactive to the
point of the offense. This, in turn, would make your donors liable to file an
amended tax return and pay additional taxes.
The easiest and least expensive way to deal with this is to have a member of
your organization who is a lawyer willing to fulfill his pro bono publico duty by
advising your group. For some years, SpiralHeart was lucky enough to have
formally-recognized counsel in this way; for lawyers interested in your group’s
purpose, this benefits both your organization in the saving of money, as well as
the lawyer in giving him a chance to work on something important to him while
fulfilling Bar Association requirements for pro bono publico work. Rules and
hours may vary from state to state, but practicing attorneys will know these
criteria for any state in which they are authorized to practice law.
If your organization is not so lucky, I strongly urge the retention of legal counsel
for the discussion of whether or not to seek IRS tax-exempt status (if your group
does not already have such) as well as for discussions which appear to come
close to the allowable conduct for the type of tax-exemption your organization