The Circle of Cerridwen, the founding coven of the Open Source Alexandrian tradition, was founded in 2009 by Rev. Gina Pond and Sarah Thompson. Both Sarah and Gina wanted to run a coven that allowed for experimentation and inclusion in the spirit of Alex Sanders. Alex Sanders was an innovator, and included other traditions in his magick (primarily Ceremonial magick). He also was the first to really publicize Wicca to a wider audience, which Gina and Sarah opened up even more by making all of the Open Source Alexandrian’s rituals publicly available on their website.
In 2010, they released the original wiki version of the Circle of Cerridwen website with essays, rituals, and statement of principles. Over the years, the Circle of Cerridwen grew and evolved as its founders and members have grown. They did more work around radical inclusion and gender issues, particularly transgender issues (the most prominent work done in 2011 and 2012) and have expanded the scope of what the Circle of Cerridwen is about. New members were initiated into and moved forward in the coven, creating new groups and ministries in the process. Gina went to seminary and started Between the Worlds Church (now closed) and began the podcast This Week In Heresy. Sarah and Calyxa redacted Golden Dawn rituals and started the Witches’ Order of the Golden Dawn. More new members came and started doing other new ministries such as Spirit Babies by Nisaa.
In 2015, we realized that the wiki no longer reflected what we do and who we are as a community. This website, st4r.org, was the next evolution of the Open Source Alexandrian Tradition and a way for the greater community to interact with our members, groups, and ministries, and to participate in the expansion into a greater community of radically inclusive progressive spiritual people. What we mean by radically inclusive is that we intentionally welcome all persons, to this site and to our events, of any race, color, age, ancestry, sexual or relationship orientation, body size, gender, religion, or any other difference. On this site, as best as we are able (we don’t always get it completely right, but we try our best), you will find voices from many different spiritual paths and life experiences. We want to promote the diversity of the progressive spiritual community, even while working in our own specific spiritual paths. The idea of this type of inter-faith working is what we call metafaith, and you can read Sarah’s paper about metafaith here. This became more important when our founders, Gina and Sarah, moved to Chicago in 2017.
Our Founding Principles
The Open Source Alexandrian covens practice a recension of the neopagan witchcraft tradition founded by Alex Sanders in the mid-20th century, which we call Open Source Alexandrian Witchcraft. We differ somewhat from mainstream Alexandrian witchcraft, as summarized by our founding principles:
- Our degree structure is based on Sanders’ original version as reported in Farrar, What Witches Do, and Farrar & Farrar, A Witches Bible, with some clarifications and modernization.
- It is a fundamental founding principle of our line that magickal polarity is unrelated to gender. Our rituals are not gender specific, nor are separate roles ascribed to a High Priest or High Priestess. People of any and all genders, and none, are welcome.
- We regard sexual preference as entirely irrelevant to one’s ability to practice magick.
- We have no secrets. All of our rituals, where practical, are published for the benefit of all, regardless of their initiatory degree or lack thereof. We have no oathbound material.
- We honour all gods, and no gods. There are no gods that are specific to our line, nor do we preclude working with gods, spirits, angels or daemons from any other tradition.
- We do not, and shall never, charge for teaching or initiation.
- We have no founding myths. The material stands on its own merits, and requires no invented justification or falsified lineage.
- We practice open-source syncretism. Though we have utmost respect for others’ privacy and for the integrity of all systems of magick and religion, we operate on the principle that, if a technique is openly described, it works, and it serves our purpose, we reserve the right to use it and, if we so choose, to teach it.
- We do not use a prescribed Book of Shadows. All rituals are our rituals. All gods are our gods.
Again, we welcome you and invite you to share your thoughts and opinions with us! If you would like to be a part of this community as a blogger or writer, please contact us.
And it harm none, do what you will.
We credit the following persons, past and present, for inspiration, material, and invention.
- Gerald Gardner and Alex Sanders, without whom, we would not have this practice.
- Stewart and Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone, who’s published works and philosophies have been a great source for our own.
- Grandfather Star, Nimishoomis Onagocag, who was Gina’s first teacher of the Alexandrian tradition, and from whom she received her first and second degree initiations. We give credit and thanks for his redaction of the original Alexandrian in order to make this tradition accessible for queer folk.
- The Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn was the inspiration for the open source aspect of Open Source Alexandrian Witchcraft.
- Victor and Cora Anderson, founders of the Feri tradition of witchcraft, who showed that gendered polarity is unnecessary and that syncretism works.
- Valerie Walker, Sarah’s Feri teacher
- Athena Wallander, who introduced Sarah to the Goetia and the Enochian angels.
- Bishop Yvette Flunder and City of Refuge UCC for teaching many of us about, and giving us the term for, radical inclusion. We thank you for your vision and hope that we can carry that vision into the Pagan community in the same spirit of love.