Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Solstice Clan|
Posted: May 15th. 2004
Times Viewed: 2,281
(Disclaimer: Please note that I in no way wish to offend anyone, nor is it my intention to convey that my way is the only way. There are several other techniques and traditions all of which are valid and right. These are simply my ways and views. I would also like to note that I in NO way believe that a Witch must make a Witch or anything of the like. Please be patient as I completely explain in my essay. I just ask that you have an open mind. If you have any comments please share, but be respectful. Thank you.)
For two years of my life, during the last part of my own priestess training, I began to look at various covens and their structures. I was interested to find that nearly all of them were different and yet they all worked, at least for a time. The ones that made it through the years had one thing that separated them from rest: Structure.
Structure plays an important role in the hows and whys of a coven. Just like a well blended formula every ingredient counts and makes a difference. After I completed my own training, I tried to find a coven that I could settle into. My first choice was a coven of my peers, those who had studied as long as I had; we of course always accepted new members but for beginners it was hard. For those of us who had practice for years there were things that through time had become second nature for us so we never thought to explain and unfortunately for beginners the stair step teaching just became frustrating. So after receiving my grandmother's blessing I started the Solstice Clan.
The Solstice Clan is unique in design, despite its traditional influences. I wanted to make a coven that was easier for beginners to understand. Something that took you step by step, while still offering practical experience. I wanted to teach classes that would train a beginner using a combination of studying and hands-on techniques. So I focused on the obvious. Most everyone has a High School diploma. Meaning that for twelve years of your life, five days a week and six hours a day you not only learned the material but were trained on how to assimilate the information. So I set up my classes to reflect some of the same techniques we all learned in school. This had amazing results, because no matter how much previous Magickal experience one had, it was all easy to understand. This is where I made the switch from mundane to the un-mundane.
Let me explain: I used three degrees and broke down my "curriculum" into all three. As the student moved up in degrees, less focus was given to the High School format and more emphasis was placed on the spiritual aspects. Thus the student began to learn the same way we've always learned and slowly made the switch to learning in ways we haven't. The first degree is almost entirely set up with classes, workshops and events. There're even homework and group assignments. My curriculum centered on getting the information; learning the complete ins and outs of things like a circle; the theory, structure and design. Meditation was also a large portion of the curriculum, as it is my belief that one can't proceed into advanced training without a firm grasp on meditation and grounding and centering. During the first degree the student is encouraged to find the basis of his/her ethics and morals. All of which is done while attending Sabbats, Full Moons and Rites of Passage, giving the student practical experiences.
The Second Degree is still run by classes; only the curriculum now focuses on advanced techniques, such as advanced circle casting or advanced divination. The students are introduced to advanced spells, which requires the ethical and moral foundation found previously in the First Degree. The student is now given classes on how to teach others and is given basic counseling techniques. It isn't enough to know; one must strive to share and teach others. Though there are fewer classes there are other important activities students participate in. Each student takes two journeys while working through the Second Degree, usually a camping trip spent in nature. On one of these you take a vow of silence for two days so that you may better align yourself with nature and learn to listen to its messages. Second Degree students also begin to take a more active part in the set up and performance at Sabbats, Full Moons and Rites of Passage, giving them more practical experience but from a different standpoint.
The Third Degree is based almost entirely on spiritual concepts. There is very little outside guidance, other than your own spirit guides. At this point Patron Deities have been established; ethics, morals and knowledge foundations have all rooted themselves and allowed for personal growth. The student now has one more aspect to learn, the role of a teacher. Third Degree students aid in classes for First and Second Degree students. Each Third Degree student is given the option of performing Sabbats, Full Moons, and Rites of Passage by their own accord. Upon completion they are given the option of running their own circle under the "Solstice Clan" family.
This is where things get complicated and unique. Inside the "Clan" there are three parent circles. Two of which are training circles broken down by gender. Not because anyone has gender bias, but rather because it is a well-known fact that women learn much differently than men and visa versa. One is not smarter than the other, just simply different. The first group was called "The Daughters of Solstice," an all-female group who would climb through the degrees and later stand to start their own circle. This is of course the defining factor between a teaching coven and a Priest/ess training coven. The end goal is different. The second group is the Draconic Dearthair or, loosely translated, the Dragon Brotherhood. Though its basic design and structure is similar to the Daughters of Solstice, its focus ran more towards Dragon Magic. Dragon Magick is a well-known specialty magick, though by its own design is not suited for beginners. So in light of that the First Degree was set up to teach the basics of Celtic Wicca, with mild expansion into Dragon Magick.
The third circle was created for two reasons: To bring both the Daughters of Solstice and the Draconic Dearthair together for Sabbats, Full Moons, Rites of Passage, discussions, events, workshops, etc and to provide the community with a place to worship with others of a like mind with out having to climb our degree system. We named this circle the Circle of the Triple Moon. Our uniqueness came from providing two aspects in one coven. Those who had practiced for years or those who just weren't interested in training could still maintain an active and equal place in the coven and those who wanted to become a Priest or Priestess could work their way through.
Becoming a Priest or Priestess is not like learning to become a Witch. It means that you learn everything you can; your goal is to become more well-rounded. To become educated, a community asset, a teacher, a counselor, to change the way the public views a Witch. A Priest or Priestess takes responsibility for everything they do. Now it is not my intention to imply that a solitary or otherwise does not have the same goals; it is only my intention to imply that a Priest or Priestess must follow these standards. Which leads us to, of course, a screening process. When ones goes through initiation one pledges an oath, and an oath is an oath simply because it cannot be broken. Not everyone is able to make such an oath so for the happiness of the individual and those in the Clan, and for the safety of its members and their families, there is a screening process that must occur. For our two training circles there is an interview and application process. As for the Circle of the Triple Moon, there is only a brief interview, again to ensure the safety of our members.
Our Clans structure, though unique and complicated, follows a cycling path that continues to pay it forward. We created a family that embraces our differences and supports both ones spiritual and personal growth. We created a set of standards and classes for those with a mind to become a Priest or Priestess and a worship group for those who didn't; together we created a family. We don't all have the same goals, or needs, but we're the cause of learning and celebration. We are the Solstice Clan.
Location: , USA
Bio: Ravynne lives with her husband, children and two feline familiars, Tristan and Mythias, in a small condo in Banning, CA. She works as an Import/Export Manager for Sheridan Australia. She earned her Priestess-hood through the SilverRain Clan and continues to practice through the training of her grandmother Fiach Celebros. She's practiced for 14 years and is the High Priestess/Founder of the Solstice Clan, which has been in existence since January 2002.
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