Eternal Harvest Tradition of Wicca
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Article ID: 14856
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Spanish Moss
Posted: February 19th. 2012
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The Eternal Harvest Tradition of Wicca is a Priesthood of the Lady and Lord of our Craft. Our roots were born forth from BTW (British Traditional Wicca) and American Witchcraft Traditions, and we are in praxis a form of TIW (Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft) . While we have much in common with those Traditions that came before us, we are distinctly our own and make no claim of lineage from them. Though the first Coven of the Tradition was founded, it was the evolution into Tradition that has made us what we are today.
On Lughnasadh Eve in the year 1990 Gaelan Firestorm sponsored the first Eternal Harvest ritual and from it was born the Coven of the Eternal Harvest. Over the following years he would go on to train and initiate Seekers that, in time, would hive off and train and initiate in turn. By the mid-1990s a number of Covens existed under the Eternal Harvest banner, and it was decided that it was time for the praxis that had formed to be named a Tradition. Since those humble beginnings twenty plus years ago, many Covens and individuals have come and gone, and some have found themselves a home, each leaving their mark.
Organization of Groups
The Tradition as a whole is a vehicle of group worship and endeavor unto Mystery. Though the Tradition enhances the practice of the individual, it does not dictate one’s personal practice.
Anyone that has started the process of investigating the Tradition, to see if it is right for them and likewise for the Tradition to determine if they are a good fit, is called a Seeker. This process is often drawn out, as the inclusion of a new member into our family of choice is serious, both for them and us. The process of seeking includes a formal interview, various social events, and a series of five Seeker classes designed to inform the Seeker about our Craft and how we practice it.
Once a Seeker has determined that the Coven and Tradition they have been seeking with are both a proper fit for them and the Coven (and by extension the Tradition) has decided the same, the Seeker then undergoes a rite of Dedication.
After a minimum of a year and a day of immersion into our egregore, lore, and having met all the various requirements, the Dedicant may formally request to undergo the Rite of Initiation. If the Dedicant is accepted as ready and is successful during their Ordeal then they will be initiated as a 1st Degree Priest or Priestess of the Eternal Harvest.
Within the hierarchy of the Tradition there are an addition two degrees that an Initiate may be elevated to, these being 2nd and 3rd Degree respectively. It should be noted that at 3rd Degree an Initiate becomes autonomous and is accountable only to their peers, the greater Tradition, and the Gods. It is for this reason the process of immersion and becoming a steward of the Tradition is immensely important.
The foundational axis of our praxis is the Coven; our Tradition is a thread that exists between people. The Coven is comprised of anywhere between a few to thirteen Initiates and Dedicants. The primary purpose of the Coven is to do the work of our Lady and Lord; however, training and group spiritual advancement are also key functions.
A Coven or Initiate of appropriate grade may choose to sponsor an Outer Court, or group of Seekers that use non-oath bound material for rituals, Seeker’s classes, or simply social gathering. The Outer Court provides a means for Seekers to get to know the Coven, and them the Seeker, as well as to investigate the Tradition. The model of an Outer Court is not all inclusive of the entire Tradition with many Covens opting not to adopt this method. In some cases Initiates may feel called to ministry and may organized a Church around Outer Court lore.
Everyone has their own beliefs and ways of expressing those beliefs in their own personal work. It is when we gather and share in common worship that our paths meet; this is possible because we have an agreed upon way of doing things when we are together. This crossroad is the Tradition as it has grown and evolved over the years. Though it is this praxis that ties us together through tradition, there are a few basic beliefs that are shared; however, our own understanding of these beliefs is interpreted by the individual and not the group at large.
-Our Tradition is an Initiatory and Oath-bound Priesthood that has been regenerated in modern times from a variety of sources.
-Our Lady and Her consort the Lord are equal and equally important.
-Our rites and praxis are experiential in nature.
-Our Tradition has names for our pantheon but with Covens and Initiates individually identifying additional relationships as proper.
-Our Tradition works with the Ancestors of Land, Blood, and Spirit as a regular part of our praxis.
-Our Tradition at its core has an array of Tradition-specific practices to include our approach to ritual, various chants, meditations, pathworkings, and a set of principals keyed to the pentagram.
-Our Tradition works with a Sacred King cycle in addition to Agricultural, Hunter, and Solar cycles in our expression of the Wheel of the Year.
-Our Tradition stresses the importance of the reconstruction, restoration, and creation of new lore by research and investigation, divine inspiration, ancestral memory, and personal gnosis.
We observe, mark, and assist the cycle of the seasons as expressed on the Wheel of the Year as the Eight Sabbats. It is not uncommon for several Covens local to each other to gather together for some of the Sabbats.
In addition to Sabbats, the Covens of the Eternal Harvest also celebrate Esbats with the cycle of the moon. Most Esbats are done at the full moon but on occasion they will be held at other points of the cycle.
Standards of Conduct
The Eternal Harvest Tradition views a firm foundation in ethics and morality as central to spiritual development and a must for the determination of what constitutes a proper person for the Priesthood. The various opinions on what virtues make up this foundation may be different from Coven to Coven and Initiate to Initiate but in accordance with the praxis of our Tradition it is agreed that the Wiccan Rede is essential and core to our basis for ethics.
Ours is the call of the Priesthood and it is a capacity we take very seriously and strive to maintain and even raise the expected standard. For this reason, the Eternal Harvest does not charge it’s Initiates for training and we do not hold quarter for any exploitation or abuse whether it is sexual or other by our Tradition members.
As an Oath-bound Tradition our oaths are important to us for several reasons. Oaths serve us as an aide in being an experiential and mystery religion. In addition, oaths also provide our Tradition members with some degree of personal protection from discrimination because the openness of their identification is each member’s own. The last reason is often over looked in that oaths are a matter of privacy in that our lore and our Coven workings are ours to keep.
This article was written by L. Spanish Moss, High Priest of the Coven of the Harvest Crossroads, but has been reviewed and approved by various Elders of the Eternal Harvest Tradition of Wicca; these elders include L. Gaelan Firestorm and L. Greenflame, High Priest and High Priestess of the Coven of the Ancient Harvest, and L. Clayfeather, High Priestess for the Coven of the Harvest Moon. The information herein is as accurate as possible though it may not be all-inclusive.
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