On Tuesday, August 6th M. Macha NightMare issued the following press release (excerpted below).
I, M. Macha NightMare, Priestess & Witch, aka Aline O’Brien, withdraw from the publicly recognized organization known as Reclaiming Tradition Witchcraft and hereby dissociate myself from further involvement with the tradition. I make this statement formally and publicly because I am a public figure known to be connected to Reclaiming.
I do not make this decision lightly or without forethought and considerations for potential consequences. [Read the full Press Release]–
Pagans, both within the Reclaiming Tradition, and independently, are struggling to understand the significance of this departure by a co-founder. Some say it is insignificant, people and traditions change and grow. Others want to characterize the withdrawal as an indicator of crisis within a tradition. Neither is accurate. Macha acknowledges in a statement to PNC-MN :
Macha: … over the next weeks and months I’ll be exploring and trying to articulate in an understandable but constructive and non-accusatory way the various reasons that led me to this decision. It’s much more complex than it might seem to someone not part of the community, and to most who even are part of it, especially those who have no knowledge of our history (which is most everyone).
The Reclaiming Tradition just completed approval of revised Principals of Unity (POU) underway in discussions for several years prior, at the biennial Reclaiming Dandelion Gathering immediately before the release of the press statement of withdrawal by Macha. In a statement from Starhawk, an additional co-founder of the tradition, this change is indicated as a possible cause of the withdrawal. [The 1997 Reclaiming Principles of Unity can be read here.]