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MorningDove030202
October 29th, 2004, 10:07 AM
I'm courious as to how different groups educate both their clergy and non clergy.

Dove

Raven Reed
October 29th, 2004, 11:10 AM
My coven has been around for 20 years. But we are doing something new in training the first years. It used to be that every dark moon all the second and third years had to attend with all the HP/HPs and train the first years. But our members now span 200 miles. So we have each first year mentored by one HP/HPs. Then the first year shows his/ her knowledge off at the quarters.

Once a person finsishes third year in my coven, he/she qualifies to become an ordained minister. Not having gotten there yet, I don't know what happens...

What other questions did you have in mind?

misschief
October 29th, 2004, 11:23 AM
i'm not part of a group, and we don't have clergy, we do not train unless we teach ourselves. i'm from a family tradition of witchraft.. our parents/ grandparents teach us until we find our own way.. then it's only me from there until i have someone to teach.

MorningDove030202
October 29th, 2004, 11:36 AM
My coven has been around for 20 years. But we are doing something new in training the first years. It used to be that every dark moon all the second and third years had to attend with all the HP/HPs and train the first years. But our members now span 200 miles. So we have each first year mentored by one HP/HPs. Then the first year shows his/ her knowledge off at the quarters.

Once a person finsishes third year in my coven, he/she qualifies to become an ordained minister. Not having gotten there yet, I don't know what happens...

What other questions did you have in mind?

Well that sounds like:

We have one required training program for all members. On completions we are all clergy.

Unless there is a membership option that doesn't require any training....

Dove

Ben Trismegistus
October 29th, 2004, 02:08 PM
We have one required training program for all members. On completions we are all clergy.
That's the option I chose, although we DO have open circles and workshops that are open to anyone regardless of training.

My group functions on a slightly altered version of the traditional Gardnerian method. It is a hive coven from a tradition which originated in Brooklyn in the early 70s. All members of the coven receive the same training. On receiving the first degree, you're called a priest or priestess and considered clergy. On receiving the second degree, you're called High Priest or High Priestess. On receiving the third degree, you're entitled under our tradition to hive off and start your own coven. In my group, about half intend to start their own covens. Additionally, we have a fourth degree, which involves community service.

This particular incarnation of the group has existed since August 2001, and I've gone through the second degree.

MorningDove030202
October 29th, 2004, 03:09 PM
That's the option I chose, although we DO have open circles and workshops that are open to anyone regardless of training.

My group functions on a slightly altered version of the traditional Gardnerian method. It is a hive coven from a tradition which originated in Brooklyn in the early 70s. All members of the coven receive the same training. On receiving the first degree, you're called a priest or priestess and considered clergy. On receiving the second degree, you're called High Priest or High Priestess. On receiving the third degree, you're entitled under our tradition to hive off and start your own coven. In my group, about half intend to start their own covens. Additionally, we have a fourth degree, which involves community service.

This particular incarnation of the group has existed since August 2001, and I've gone through the second degree.

In your particular Coven, and within the tradition as a whole, what is your Clergy to non Clergy ratio?

Congrats on your second degree! Can you describe what the training is like? Are there tests, books to read, papers to write, specific skills you had to learn?

Dove

Ben Trismegistus
October 29th, 2004, 03:43 PM
In your particular Coven, and within the tradition as a whole, what is your Clergy to non Clergy ratio?
In my coven, we're all clergy. But we have friends and family who come for open circles.


Congrats on your second degree! Can you describe what the training is like? Are there tests, books to read, papers to write, specific skills you had to learn?
All of that. We have quizzes and tests (the last one was on things like magic squares and color correspondences), papers (i've written them on deities, herbs, and gems), skills (certain ways to conduct particular rituals, etc.)

We meet once a week (or did, before I moved out of town) for rituals, which would either be for training or just for journey work and stuff.

Jenett
October 29th, 2004, 09:26 PM
Hard to vote, but it's closest to the last option.

Once someone becomes a Dedicant (committed student with the group), there's a year of classes. At the end of the classes, people can choose to petition for initiation, or choose not to. Either way they can stick around if they wish.

People who choose to petition for initiation can choose either a sort of 'general' one (recognised in the broader community, personally meaningful, etc.) or the tradition specific one (which ties that person in more tightly to the tradition's existing energy patterns, etc.)

Either makes you an initiate, which is not the same thing as clergy.

After that, you can choose to go on to study for your second (and eventually 3rd) degree: with my teachers who are working on/just got their thirds (one of each), they've been acting as high priest on a regular basis since part way towards their second. I'm in the relatively early stages of my 2nd degree work (largely due to practical scheduling issues for the group as a whole) and help do a bunch of teaching and supporting ritual roles, but don't think of myself as clergy yet (and won't for a while. And that's good: I know some stuff, but there's a lot more to learn, and I'm getting a lot out of watching other people handle different situations and talking to them about it.)

People aren't required to continue training after initiation, but if they take the trad initiation, they are (not unreasonably) expected to continue contributing to the group (helping with rituals, etc.)

People who are continuing with further training are expected to be more active, though this can vary in how it works. (I happen to like teaching, so I've been teaching our Seeker classes, and I'm online all the time, so I do the group email answering.)

Nacken
November 1st, 2004, 07:29 AM
In BTW, generally, the training is uniform and you are considered a witch after your first degree, and clergy on the second. You can hive off then, but your coven is not independant of the mother coven. The HP and HPS is still in a supervisory position over the 2nd even though they are fulfilling the duties of a HP or HPS. On getting the third degree, you are able to hive off and form an independant coven
So it boils down to everyone will probably get their first, but those who remain firsts, while capable of leading a ritual, are laity in normal practice. They are capable of doing ritual on their own, but are not called upon to lead the group. However, there is a difference between the degree held and the function or office held. You could end up with several 3rds who are not interested in hiving off and remain as summoners or maidens.
The training is fairly standardized however. You are expected to have covered certain subjects and mastered certain skills to a certain level in order to get your first degree. The bar is raised on getting the 2nd and third, but the idea is to produce a witch or clergy with a standardized set of skills. This would mean that if they moved to another coven, the HP there would know approximately what level of knowledge and skill the new member possesses. Clear as mud? I will look at this later and maybe correct it or add to it.

squerrik
December 18th, 2004, 01:47 AM
We have a base training and then several different programs (one of which is for clergy) to go after from there. You can do all or none if you wish but, if you do any then you must start with the base training.

Raven Reed
December 18th, 2004, 02:37 AM
Well that sounds like:

We have one required training program for all members. On completions we are all clergy.

Unless there is a membership option that doesn't require any training....

Dove

I am sorry I wasn't clearer. We are a legal church that has two covens. My coven, for the most part, has open rituals. The other coven is closed to outsiders.

We have a separate path for those not interested in becoming clergy. But it isn't part of the degree system. Those members can partipate in casting and even running ritual, with assistance from a trained member, should they so choose. However there are no lessons for this path, other than life lessons which are considered as valid as any. We don't have many members go that route.

First years are required to lead ritual as well as learning a prescribed set of lessons and performing certain tasks. Second and third are devoted to personal study and there are certain tasks to perform. Once third is reached, one can hive off or stay with the coven. It is personal choice. One can also become an ordained minister at this time. Then one is an elder of the church.

For example, my coven has three High Priestesses, the other one. So at the moment there are only four church elders. But at times there have been more. Some folks are inactive, but haven't cut cords.