Council of Magickal Arts

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Logo of the Council of Magickal Arts

The Council of Magickal Arts or CMA, Inc. is the largest Neo-pagan organization in Texas, and runs one of the USA's largest bi-annual Neo-pagan festivals in the Southern United States.[1]


Founded in 1980, the CMA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, registered in the state of Texas.[2][3] CMA's festivals are held on a 101-acre (0.41 km2) parcel of land called Spirit Haven Ranch, which is owned by the corporation. CMA produces an online quarterly newsletter, The Accord. CMA "promotes spirituality based on Pagan beliefs, and is open to people of all traditions who are interested in celebrating nature, spirit and community."[4][5]

Starting out as little more than a joint camping event of several covens and some unattached solitary practitioners, as of 2012, CMA had a membership of nearly 1000 people and festival attendance of 500 or more at each festival.[1]

Mission statement and principles[edit]

The Council of Magickal Arts promotes spirituality based on Pagan beliefs and practices, by holding religious programs and gatherings for members to celebrate the holidays of Beltane and Samhain, and by publishing a quarterly magazine devoted to the religions and practices of the magickal arts.


These are the guiding principles of CMA:[6]

  • Inclusiveness - CMA is open to adults of all traditions or religions who wish to celebrate nature, spirit and community, who are on or wish to explore a Pagan or magickal path.
  • Tolerance - CMA strives to operate in a spirit of harmony, goodwill and acceptance toward others. CMA neither advocates nor condemns any religion, tradition or spiritual path and takes no position on credentials of any practitioners or clergy.
  • Integrity - CMA strives to conduct all its affairs according to the highest standards of honesty, fairness and professionalism, to comply with local, state and federal law, and to act in the spirit of the Pagan maxim “in perfect love and perfect trust.”
  • Confidentiality - CMA will safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of its members, as far as is possible under the law. Members’ identities, place of residence and other personal information, including the fact of their membership in CMA, will not be revealed without their permission to anyone either in the organization or outside it. Officers of CMA and employees of its Board and certain appointed staff are given access to such confidential information as needed to conduct the activities of the organization.
  • Liberty - CMA supports personal responsibility and individual freedom of thought, belief and action. At its gatherings, CMA strives to provide the least restrictive environment possible consistent with the safety and privacy of all who attend.
Cover of The Accord, Summer 2002

The Accord[edit]

The Accord is the online quarterly periodical of the corporation, and contains a wide range of articles by members.[7][8] In the past The Accord was a medium quality magazine periodical with national distribution, but printing costs and the expenses of land ownership have caused CMA to move to a paperless, online publication, which may be read on the corporation's website .pdf format.


CMA hosts two festivals a year: Beltane and Samhain. Held a couple of weeks before Beltaine and Samhain, to allow for local and coven obligations, CMA has become primarily known for them. [9] [10] [11]

For many years the festivals were held at a commercial camping property in the hill country of Austin, Texas.[12] In 1999 CMA purchased land of their own, called SpiritHaven, located near the community of Cistern in Central Texas.

A typical festival starts with setup on Wednesday for vendors and early arrivals. The main attendees arrive on Thursday and Friday. Each night a public ritual is held, presented by different volunteer members and their groups (covens, kindreds, groves, etc.), and, weather permitting, a bonfire (Revels) is lit. The bonfire serves as the main public area for those who wish to stay up late into the night, drumming, dancing, and talking. Personal and group campsites also host gatherings at night.

During the daylight hours of Friday and Saturday, a full schedule of workshops are presented, some by members and some by guest presenters which, in the past, has included such notables as Patricia Telesco, Fritz Jung and Wren (of The Witches' Voice), Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart, and more.

Between the workshops and the evening ritual and bonfire, the main stage is used to present regional and national Pagan artists, such as Dreamtrybe (formerly Velvet Hammer), Canvas, Spoonfed Tribe, SONA, Lisa Thiel,[13] Darwin Davis, Spiral Dance, and others.

The corporation's business meeting, called Great Works, is held on Sunday after the festival.


Often referred to as, simply, "The Land", Spirit Haven Ranch is 101 acres (0.41 km2) just outside the town of Cistern, Texas, which is a few miles north of IH-10 and the town of Flatonia, Texas. Although some improvements have been made, such as a water well and electricity for some critical needs such as a First Aid Building, and Ritual Areas, the land is mostly rough. The camping areas are mesquite covered, while the Sacred Spaces (located in the flood plain, around the creek) are more densely wooded with oaks and other native trees.

Maintenance between festivals, and the majority of the work to ready the land for each festival, is done by the volunteers of the Spirit Haven Ranch Team, and all members are welcome to come out on the work weekends as part of the team, as well as interested persons wanting to learn more about CMA.

Tent camping is the only form of lodging available at Spirit Haven Ranch. RV space is limited and without amenities. Members may also now lease campsites on a yearly basis, reserving their group's placement during Festivals. These sites are reserved for the lessee and their associates.[14]


  1. ^ a b Provided by CMA registration, 2012
  2. ^ "Search for Charities, Online Version of Publication 78 Search Results". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Style guide for less-popular religions - By Mark M. Hancock". Retrieved 2008-04-24. Council of the Magickal Arts, Inc. Note the k in Magickal. CMA is acceptable on second reference. The Pagan group was founded in 1980 and incorporated in 1993. 
  4. ^ Council of Magickal Arts website
  5. ^ Adler, Margot (1986) [1979]. "Resources". Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (Paperback) (Revised and Expanded ed.). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. p. 517. ISBN 0-8070-3253-0. 
  6. ^ Mission Statement and Principles Archived 2006-12-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ The American Religions Collection, Nontraditional American Religions: Western Esotericism from Witchcraft to the New Age, Part 1: Witchcraft, Paganism and Magick, microfilm reels 14 and 15 download Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ McCoy, Edain. "General Pagan Publication". Spellworking for Covens: Magic for Two or More. Llewellyn. p. 210. The Accord
    Council of the Magickal Arts, Inc. (out of date contact info redacted) Published by a well-known Texas-based networking organization.
  9. ^ Wren. "Beltaine in the Lone STAR State". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  10. ^ Waterhawk, Don. "CMA Beltaine 2001 Festival". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ Waterhawk, Don. "CMA Samhain 2002 Festival (1)". Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  12. ^ Adler, Margot (1986) [1979]. "Resources". Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (Paperback) (Revised and Expanded ed.). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. p. 536. ISBN 0-8070-3253-0.  lists the CMA Beltaine and Samhain festivals.
  13. ^
  14. ^ CMA Registration Office

External links[edit]