Cooperative Living, Open Relationshis & Group Marriage

Articles – Church of All Worlds and Live the Dream Parallel Paths – Now Joined

Twenty-five years ago, I was part of a Stranger in a Strange Land type Nest formed by about ten science fiction fans who went to high school together. Many of the original group scattered to the four winds, but my first water brother is still my best friend and we’ve drawn many others to us over the years – twenty-two at last count. Some of these are lovers as well. Stranger in a Strange Land has been my interpersonal relationships Bible all this time and has served me well. I have used it (with some help from such other Heinlein books as Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Time Enough for Love) as a touch stone for educating people about alternative lifestyles such as multiply committed relationships, group marriage, and families -by-choice. Family Synergy was my first forum for such discussions as an adult. This organization was founded in the early 70s and was based largely on the writings of Robert Rimmer (Harrad Experiment, Proposition Thirty-One), though some of its members were more science fiction oriented. In 1987, a triad of myself and two of my water brothers broke off and formed Live the Dream for those members and nonmembers (many from science fiction fandom) whose philosophy was based more on writings in that genre. We have fun and do family things together.

Rimmer hasn’t been forgotten. He’s an honorary lifetime member of LTD.

Shortly after founding LTD, I heard about Church of All Worlds and discovered to my delight and amazement that Heinlein’s fantasy concept existed in the real world and that its organizers and I had been walking similar paths separately for 20+ years. As I made my pilgrimage to meet with Otter (now Oberon) and Morning Glory soon after that, I arranged to visit Otter and Morning Glory at their home near the Russian River in northern California. As we drove up there a filk song played: “We were traveling north to see some friends we’d never met…there were unicorns…” It seemed unbelievably appropriate, though I didn’t know at the time I’d soon meet a real unicorn. I found out later the song had been written for the folks I was about to visit. It’s been special to me ever since.

Naturally, I became a member of Church of All Worlds (CAW). The magazine they put out, The Green Egg, is fascinating and frequently contains lifestyles related material. It’s founder Oberon Zell actually coined the term Polyamoury. He and Morning Glory are now in a five person line marriage (See Moon is a Harsh Mistress). Though LTD has more emphasis on alternative lifestyles than paganism, appropriate ritual is woven into some of our holiday events. Such events will become more frequent now that I have become a Scion (4th Circle initiate) in CAW as of 4-25-98. The initiation was done just weeks after my husband Paul and I shared an adult Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Conflict? There are many rooms in the mansion of the Lord and his Lady…Those of you who are not Pagan oriented whether in a traditional religion or agnostic/atheist–no problem. Live the Dream has room for anyone with an open and loving mind.

When I read “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals!” in the Green Egg, I felt a joining of spirituality with my choice of lifestyle which has been a blessing in so many ways. Those of you who want to learn more about this are welcome to discuss it with me.

Live the Dream is an education and support group for those who believe it is possible to deeply love and be committed to more than one significant other. Some of us express this by having a primary partner that we may be legally married to and lovers with whom we may share anything from a romantic evening each month to family activities and nights over several times a week. Others are actually in group marriages, some of which have been together for over a decade. Group marriages, intimate networks, etc. may be sexually open or closed. Some of our members have been in monogamous marriages and are just now considering more open arrangements. Paul and I have been involved in multiply committed relationships since our teens. Our handfasting and a year and a day later our marriage ceremony (otherwise traditionally Jewish) included a Water Sharing for members of our Nest.

Professionally, Terry is a hypnotherapist and a matchmaker. She has given numerous presentations on alternative lifestyles since 1978 at Family Synergy, Elysium, Lifestyles, Loving More and science fiction conventions.