I was giving a talk at one of the pagan moots in NW London last night (Staines Moot).. The title was `Wiccan Journeys: There and back..and there again..!’.
It mainly outlined my (thus far) journey in the Wicca path.. how I became interested, how I became an initiated Wiccan, reaching my stage (and responsibility) as a High Priest, running training covens & groups, initiating new Seekers and so on. The talk also covered my back and forth journeys – as I have not always felt like a `wicca’ (but always a `Witch / Magician’ !) There are times when I have slipped out of the coven life and wiccan communities – and gone to do other magical things.. like starting `Hern’s Tribe- outdoor shamanic / eclectic group’ (the more recent one being the `woodland wicca rituals’ and the `Thames-Isis rituals) – see links at the bottom.
Well, this morning, I caught on to some debates that have been going on…about the good/ bad experiences, the ego and hierarcrhy of High Priests, High Priestesses, and coven leaders.
Needless to say, I have some deep thoughts on this ( I never like to hear anyone bad-mouth Wicca ..especially hard working Coven leaders..!)
Here are some of my responses:
Taking pot shots at Wiccan Hierarchy?
No one is forcing anyone into a particular tradition, path or system of beliefs.. But if one is entering a system, they should learn to be aware of its exiting form, structure, rules, guidelines.. – before criticising it, attacking it, or trying to change it. !
My HPS once told me, `walk in the footsteps f others..see what entails..before criticising what they do’ !
I appreciate that people may have had bad experiences from individuals or groups..but unless you have ever organised events, rituals, groups..and run things for long periods of time… no real wisdom is gained.
I get a little tired of people ranting on about Wiccan Hierarchy, and taking pot shots at the roles of High Priests & High Priestess. They are part of that path and system.. Learn it, understand why it’s there in the first place.. before tearing it apart. And if you are compelled to tear it apart.. I ask why? Is it because of a personal grudge, bad experience, or one;s own ego not being fed? –
The training of Coven Leaders:
Leadership of anything is always a double-edged sword.. It is there to serve the people.. but abused, it can harm the people.. To quote a line from Spiderman, `With great power comes great responsibility’
Serious covens filter interested people .. work out their commitment, dedication, loyalty etc..before even taking anyone on as trainees…and then after a year or even many years…initiate them…(into their tradition and their coven!)
It takes many years of practice ..before those initiates reach a stage of taking good personal responsibility and also that of others..and the HP / HPS stats is a `teaching position’ – it’s NOT handed down like confetti.
Even after reaching that stage.. they then undergo more months / years of `on the job mentoring’ to become `good’ HP & HPS.. Anyone who’s got this far ..then goes out and starts their own coven..trains others..initiates others.. !
This is the long hard path in an ideal world.. Old ideals and standards are dying out with those people who held it.. They have tried to pass those on.. and that wisdom survives.. just about..!
So there you have it.. just some immediate responses.. But no doubt, we shall all come to this topic..again and again…and again 🙂
Coven Guide: Becoming an initiated Witch (e-book)
Introduction to Wicca, Witchcraft and Magic
Woodland Wicca Circles 2014 (London)
Tamesa – celebrating birthday of Isis
4 thoughts on “Wiccan Journeys & High Priestly thoughts on covens”
Thank you for joining us last night Mani, so great to hear your thoughts and experiences, which provoked some poignant thoughts for self reflection. Now I know why you don’t sleep… your mind is always one step ahead! You are a dear friend to our circle and we hope you finally get to join us at our ancient Yew. Gina (Circle of Ankerwycke- Staines)
Dear Gina, very kind of you.. 🙂 It was a pleasure to be at the Staines Moot of the Circle of Ankerwycke.. and I do really hope to join ou all by the eons old Yew soon .. Brightest Blessings. Mani.
I think I accidentally started the Ankerwyke group about 13/14 years ago.
That was before I lost my faith in fairy tales and moved to Japan.
Fantastic yew tree though – I still have a couple of ‘wands’ from it.