How We Teach
We offer our tradition’s rituals and teachings as open source and for free. If you decide to become an initiate of the Circle of Cerridwen, or, when they exist, any of our sister covens, we expect that you will be an active member. This includes attending rituals as much as possible, participating in circles (chanting, drumming, calling quarters, etc.), and doing the work required for each degree. While we don’t have set candidate periods or strict requirements for attendance, we do expect members to interact with the rest of the coven through face to face meetings, our online presence, and with the public during our public events as much as they are able.
We do not expect any payment for initiations or teachings. We have seen that some teachers who charge their students will string them along for extended periods of time. These students will pay to get through the process, but in reality, they usually get to a point where they should have been initiated twice over. It is our belief that when candidate is ready for initiation, they should be initiated.
Typically, when a student is ready for initiation, there is a philosophical and psychic shift that occurs, which, if the teacher is paying attention, is obvious. This shift usually happens after some sort of spiritual ordeal or test. This is not a written or oral exam. It is typically a magickal or life event that changes the perceptions of the student. These ordeals are not easy, or even something that is fully understood to be an ordeal at the time. Sometimes they can be radically life changing, even to the extent of realizing that this path is not for them. It is something that can happen in minutes, or something that can effect the student for years. Also, initiation can help move a student forward, if the teacher recognizes that a student has the dedication and ability. Sometimes, the power of initiation can bring out a student’s abilities just because they have been recognized of being worthy of it, and the granting of power in the initiation is the ordeal that is needed. (This isn’t a very common pathway, but it can be necessary in some cases.)
We generally encourage members, when they feel they are ready, to ask for initiation. However, we do, from time to time, offer it to those who we feel are ready, or at least, strongly encourage them to ask for it!
The degree requirements listed below are the minimum, and they are not set in stone. We acknowledge that all people have different talents and strengths, and will allow for the student to utilize the tradition in a way that works for their own particular skill set and knowledge. Many books will have definitions of what the requirements of a witch should be, but not everyone can do astral travel, or enjoys working with herbs, or can do possessory work, etc. We believe that everyone can and should contribute from their own experiences. We consider this a tradition in evolution, and if new ideas are not brought into the tradition, it will stagnate and die. There are many examples of this in the world, and it is better that we learn from them and adapt rather than follow their example.
Initiation into the Open Source Alexandrian tradition is through three degrees. What follows is a description of the Circle of Cerridwen’s degree requirements and expectations. Initiation is not required to be a member of the coven, but if you show up on a regular basis and are doing the work, that work will not go unrecognized for long.
This initiation is the dedication to the Open Source Alexandrian path and/or entry into studying the Craft (if they are very new to the Craft), taken of one’s own free will. The candidate asks for initiation and shows willingness to learn on their own and others in the coven.
This initiation is for getting connected to the egregore of the OSA tradition and coming into one’s own power. The candidate will demonstrate the following: Realizing that we are all connected, and that the spiritual parts of life are not disconnected from any other aspect of life. That also means that the candidate has realized that they are (mind, body, spirit) part of the whole. The beginnings of, or continuation of, talking to gods/spirits (at minimum). Able to cast and maintain the energy of a circle during a working. Initial tools are created/obtained (at minimum). Has had an ordeal/test from spirit/deity (either given through the teacher, or from the spirit/deity themselves, generally more of the latter). Has received a witch name from the spirits (not a deal breaker, but best), and is willing to do the public work of a priest.
This initiation is acknowledgement of the full realization of the connectedness of mind, body, and spirit. The candidate demonstrates the following: Getting instruction from and/or dedication to deity or deities. Creating and running circles on their own. Has own set of tools. Would be able to run own coven, and work autonomously. Has begun to use their training and power to help others, using their own moral compass, and understands the ethics behind the use of Power.
We also consider 3rd Degree ordination. In other words, one is putting out their “shingle” to the universe that they are willing and able to be creators of change in the universe. This usually results in doing more public, visible work in the community.