Pagan 12 Steps

The term ‘Pagans in Recovery’ appears to have first been used in a Neopagan newsletter from Ohio prior to 1989 which was titled “Pagans in Recovery”. Isaac Bonewits also used the term in an essay he wrote in 1996. A wonderful site to review is Pagans in Recovery.

Pagan in Recovery Prayer

You who are knowable only within,
grant us the sensitivity to hear the truth that others speak,
the wisdom to understand that despite our differences, we are all the same,
and the courage to apply what we learn from others, in our own lives.

Deirdre Anne Hebert

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over (alcohol, food, co-dependency, etc.) — that our lives had become unmanageable. We admitted we had a problem and that we were squandering our power.

Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Came to believe we could realign the power within and the power without such that each served to enhance the other.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a decision to connect the powers within and without and see them as One.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Took an intelligent look at our behavior, seeing its relationship to family patterns and dysfunctional culture.

Step 5: Admitted to our gods and ancestors, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Shared our searching with others, seeking feedback.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
Made myself ready and willing to let go of old patterns.

Step 7: Humbly asked my Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.
Learned to ask for help.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made a list of harm done, and searched for ways to restore balance.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Carried out rectification and balancing wherever possible.

Step 10: Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Made the commitment to continue the process of recovery, knowing that change takes time.

(An important added step, contributed by Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D., from her forthcoming book can be inserted here: Continued to trust my awareness, and when I knew what was right I promptly acknowledged it and refused to back down. We need to overcome the tendency toward collusion with oppressive forces that invalidate our truth. In this patriarchal society, this is especially true for women and minorities.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Pursued the strengthening of our connection with the web of life through appropriate activity and spiritual practice.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Having experienced a stabilized change from our awakening, we sought to help others along the path.

Some additional steps, also credited to Charlotte Kasl, can be added as follows:

Step 13: I examine my life story and my addiction (and codependency) in the context of my role in a patriarchal, capitalistic system. Another good book to read on this is Anne Wilsom Schaef When Society Becomes an Addict.

Step 14: I use the events life brings as lessons for growth and accept my mistakes as part of my humanness.

Step 15: We grow in our awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things and, when ready, take an active part in helping the planet become a better place for all people including ourselves.