I've spent the day thinking about my initial reaction to reading about Reclaiming and how I've viewed them for a long time.
My introduction to organized occult work was through Alexandrian Wicca. I didn't do very well but it is amazing how much attitude I picked up from that group. One such attitude was a distaste for Starhawk and her ilk, even as I participated in some of Reclaiming's public rites. Someone in the Alexandrian group would make some comment about Reclaiming and I'd reply, "Yeah but, their Samhain ritual was really interesting and educational." I also liked freezing my naked ass off during the solstices on a San Francisco beach.
Even without the Alexandrian group's influence, I'd likely have had issues with Reclaiming as a ceremonial magician. A Golden Dawn neophyte hall has six floor officers plus a sentinel, who is technically not in the temple. Those six officers embody three male and three female god forms. There is nothing I like doing more than being an officer in a Golden Dawn style neophyte hall. There is a sublime beauty to it all and I deeply respect any candidate going through that, for they are voluntarily embarking upon a very difficult journey. That candidate is being introduced to balance the moment s/he enters the hall. So, my perceived imbalance of goddess only spirituality comes from my training tradition.
However, one of the things I've learned in doing magick is that the in between places matter. Magick performed between night and day (dusk and dawn) can be particularly effective. Magick done at a cross roads (between ways) is very traditional for a reason. Some meditations have the seeker focus on the space between the inhalation and exhalation. If you want to effect a mundane situation, wait until it is already morphing (in any direction) and then hit it with magick.
With theurgy and, I suppose, thaumutergy where does the greatest change to the magician happen? Change occurs during that moment of the ritual when the mage has expended every last bit of will, every emotion, every thought. Change occurs at the very point the last bit of energy leaves the magician. This is why he seals the work immediately and keeps the power from flashing back. He is, for an instant, void, empty. He is 'in between'. It is here the Universe works whether that impact is known immediately or at some future point.
I've always disparaged Reclaiming because of their imbalance but let us look again. If the participants perceive the world as so patriarchal (male glorification) that they are diminished and then enter a space where the feminine is glorified all out of proportion, they must undergo transition into and out of each state. They force themselves 'in between'. Here is where the Universe works its magick. They are seeking the in between, the void space between their own perceptions of gender. What a wonderful place to be.
I've always disparaged Alexandrian Wicca because they have a tradition of the younger serving the older. Neophytes get water for the 1st degrees. The 1st degrees have to do it for the seconds, unless there is a neophyte around. The neophytes do the dishes prepare the food etc. They are treated very much like unpaid disrespected busboys and waitresses. The flip side is that magick does teach power. An Alexandrian Wiccan circle is a very powerful place to be. The transition between being some one's bitch and that place of power is another 'in between'. Perhaps their adherents need that particular space. I know why they tell you they have that tradition and it doesn't wash. Being in between makes more sense.
I know enough of an OTO group to know that you'll find the long time high ranking members in the kitchen doing the cooking and cleaning side by side with the newest members. As an outsider, I value them for that. It shows they feel no 'better' than a newbie. Yet, maybe too, this is another in between. For the higher ranking members run the show in the hall and just a moment before and a moment after, they are doing the mundane tasks of feeding people. This is very fitting with the gnostic mass where the priest begins asking "who am I do to these things? I am just a man," or words to that effect.
Right now, I am in between. I needed the rigid rites of a ceremonial magician. I needed a 'proven and teachable' system of magick. I need a trusted teacher and mentor. The Universe provided these things. I needed a rigid moral standard of theurgy (which was my own moral standard not my mentor's or the Golden Dawn's). Now, I'm learning to deal with Pan. Rigid he is but not in the same way, if you know what I mean. Now, I'm learning thaumaturgy. Now, I'm learning to trust my intuition. But I'm learning those things. I am not there yet. I am 'in between' and it is a wonderful place to be.