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Coven of the Mystic Grove's By-laws and Beliefs

Overview:

The Coven of the Mystic Grove is located in Cape May County, New Jersey which was formed in 1999 and dedicated Beltane 2000. We are non-heirarchial and the energy of the coven is very close knit, family-like atmosphere. We have held the following community events: Beltane 2001, Mabon 2001, Beltane 2002, Open House 2002, Samhain 2002, and Litha 2003. We offer student assistance, in-person student training (free for those seeking to join the coven), branch-membership, and full-time membership.

Purpose:

-honor the Lord and Lady

-celebrate and bring in the seasons through ritual and celebration

-learn and respect the power of magick

-study and learn...making our religion an ever growing and changing entity

-support one another in our persuits

-teach our beliefs and practices to members and those who wish to learn with respect to the coven

-build strong ever lasting bonds and become a family

Qualifications:

-members will be initiated by coven vote based on knowledge, personality, group cohesion, and skill. With an emphasis on group cohesion.

-all members will be considered of equal parts and role in rituals

-candidates must write and perform an esbat prior to initiation


Student Training and Membership

-all full-time members must attend a minimum of 75% of the meetings, rituals, and classes related to the coven.

-ritual esbats may be attended by students and possible candidates for membership who have a knowledge and feel for the group however, Sabbat rituals are strictly coven members only

-A student(beginner) must be working with the coven actively for 1 year minimum to be considered for membership.

-A potential member(non-beginner) must already be working with the coven for a minimum of 13 moons(esbats).

-branch-members must start at student status(either beginner or non-beginner).

-when that person feels they fully understand our tradition, practices, and beliefs he or she may request a branch-membership dedication.

-branch-members must attend 1 ritual per season in order to maintain active status.

-at any time a full-time member may request a branch-membership as a branch-member may request a full-time membership, which will be voted on by the coven.

-a branch-member does not hold the priviledge of voting.

-It will be up to the candidates choice to determine readiness to join the coven.

-votes will be taken at each Sabbat for new members(if their is any candidates), and must be unanimous to be accepted. If not the vote will be taken again for up to 2 more Sabbats, and unless there has been a change there will not be an acceptance.

-minors accepted for training only with written and verbal permission from parents/guardians whom are an active member of the coven, but not less than 16 years of age.

-temporary leave may be issued for special circumstances.


As part of the religious organization, The Temple of the Old Ways, these duties will be assigned and two may be filled by one individual.

*Founder/President

*Vice-President/spokesperson

*Secretary

*Treasurer

-For casting circle and calling forth the elemental guardians there shall be appointed Earth Priest/ess, Air Priest/ess, Fire Priest/ess, and Water Priest/ess.

-esbats shall be held on the evenings of the new and full moons. *they may be held on the days before or after.

-Sabbats shall be held on their actual date or if necessary on the weekend nearest. As schedules permit. On every sabbat these issues shall be discussed:

-event planning

-finance and budget

-community action

-changes to any part of coven or rituals

-membership and initiation

Possible reasons for Termination and/or Suspension :

1-la ck of attendance/participation

2-malevolence without just cause

3-violation of the "rules" of the coven

-Substance abuse will not be tolerated and is cause for suspension and/or termination...substance abuse refers to any drug/alcohol/cigarette/herb that is affecting your behavior and/or attendance with the coven. All of which must remain out of circle including cigarettes.

4-other unmentionable behaviors deemed inappropriate and harmful to the coven will be dealt with on a individual case basis.


Degrees System

Degrees are set in this coven to not make one person better then another but to recognize achievements. These degrees in the future may be referred to by other names not yet assigned.

First degree must accomplish:

-active participation

-create own Book of Shadows

-learn to ground

-learn some form of healing

-cleanse and bless your home(learn to make sacred space)

-understand and respect the energies of the Earth and the practice of magick

Second degree:

-be able to lead a planned ritual

-know the basic Rites of Passage, Sabbats, and Esbats

-working knowledge of the elements

-learn to successfully use one system of divination

-improve your relationship with your inner-child, higher self, and/or intuition

-develop a relationship with one Goddess aspect and one God aspect

-heal problem areas in your life (mind, body, and spirit)

-achieve a personal goal

Third degree:

-learn at least 5 magickal techniques that can be performed without tools

-organize and teach classes if necessary

-be able to form a sister coven if necessary including being ordained

-learn basic and efficient counseling skills

-understand both light and darkness