admission requirements" post, we feel that we would serve our readers best by sharing one or two of the (many) paths "in."
It All Begins with a Request ...
However it may work in other groups, we hold to an old tradition of expecting potential students to ask us for admission at each step of the process. Even if we know you personally and really think you'd be great, that choice -- and the leap of faith & fear that goes with it -- must be yours and yours alone. We've been there. (Laurelei's initiating coven even had the practice of denying potential members at least three times before granting admission, which added a whole other "gulp factor.")
Do not wait for an invitation from us. Even if we know, love and see you regularly, that personal invitation will not come. If you're not asking for what you need and want, it's because you aren't ready yet; and, honey, that's okay with us. You take your time. We've been sitting on this Tradition -- nesting and hatching -- for years.
Near and Far
If you live close to us, you'll probably be asking to join us through the first admission, which means Greening. That's a trial period for both you and us to figure out how well we work together, if you really want to walk THIS path, and for you to learn some of the very basics. You don't need much: a couple of binders and a flash drive. We need to have met you in person, since you'll be coming into our home and interacting with our family (including our children, who are at the Greening and Adoption stages, respectively). And, of course, that "formal request" mentioned in the requirements is a reminder that you need to have actually asked us to take your green cord.
What if you don't live close to us and you still want to walk THIS specific path, learn from US, etc? If you lived close, you would ask right now, but you don't. You live on the South Coast. What then?
Here's the thing: We can't really take vows with you from a distance, and there ARE vows at the Greening and Adoption. However, we feel certain that we can teach green- and red-cord materials at a distance, and we can offer you self-led variations of the Greening and Adoption rituals, as well. So, through the basic levels, anyone who wishes it can be taught, we feel, at the same level as a student we would take on here locally.
We would teach you individually. If there are truly several authentically interested individuals in pursuing this option, we might start a private e-mail group or something to facilitate communication, file-sharing, and camaraderie. Both Glaux and I would be your teachers and guides, just as we are for students in-person.
But then we come to the Raising ritual -- the point at which you become a full-fledged Witch. After all the time spent together on-line, we would probably have developed a sense of family, and Glaux and I feel that we would be willing to raise any Witches that we taught in this way. But we'd have to do it in person. The Raising involves trials and tests -- and Mysteries -- that we simply cannot convey except in person. Luckily, we have access to wonderful sacred ground in Southern Indiana (with our own cabin on it), where we can go to perform the Raising, if no other site presents itself.
The time-frames suggested in the requirements document are a rough estimate. The Greening requires a "getting to know you" time, but it really shouldn't last too long, either. If you haven't decided, for instance, within a year to ask for Adoption, you probably have reasons NOT to ask that you should heed. (Think of Greening as being akin to childhood within a family structure. It's over in a flash, and by the end of it, you have a good sense of your own mind -- and skill.)
On the other hand, you may spend significantly longer than a year and a day wearing your Adoption red cord. There is a lot of material to cover, and we won't be surprised if it takes you more than a year to do it. It just can't take less than that. (Adoption is like young adulthood in a family/tribal setting. You are learning vast amounts of knowledge, gaining independence, discovering what draws your interest, making significant bonds with your peer and family groups.)
Once you've been Raised, and you have red, black and white cords, you will govern your own studies and perhaps begin your own coven. You don't have to jump right out and hive off. Feel free to stick around for as long as you need. Forever, if that's what you choose. (A "Raised Witch" is like a full adult in a family unit -- completely independent, held by bonds of love and kinship, a contributor to the internal workings of the clan.)
Getting in Touch with Us
Laurelei -- firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/laureleiblack
Glaux -- email@example.com Glaux on Facebook