Firefly is both a coven-based and solitary-based tradition. If a coven is located in your area, seekers may approach for membership if that coven is open to new members. The “mother coven” of our tradition is Coven of the Spiral Moon, which was our first coven, formed in 2008. We currently have three covens in the DC area. Covens are designed to be family units and as such, each members assists the others. In teaching, this plays out in the form of higher degree initiates mentoring those below. In general, the following points make up our coven degree system:
Dedicants are those who have been accepted as a dedicant by the coven and are considered full members with voting privileges upon the completion of the Dedication Ritual. The length of dedicancy is one year and one day, after which the possibility of 1st degree initiation is considered. To qualify for dedicancy, the seeker must complete the following:
- Have attended events of the outer circle (the meetup) long enough for the coven members to know the seeker.
- Have attended a few classes taught by Firefly initiates so that a working knowledge of the tradition has already been established.
- Have attended at least one public sabbat ritual.
- Have achieved a unanimous vote of acceptance by all coven members.
ATTENDANCE NOTE: To maintain dedicant status throughout the year and a day, members must attend at least 4 out of 8 sabbat rituals and 8 out of 12 full moon rituals.
First Degree – The Priest or Priestess
The first degree is considered the general “priesthood” level (not clergy) and all members must strive to attain at least the first degree. To qualify for the first degree, the following is required:
- Completion of our three part Wicca class series
- Completion of both the Sabbats and Tools classes
- Become skilled in one divination technique
- Maintenance of a consistent daily practice
- An individual study of one topic specific to the Craft, upon approval from an HP or HPS. Candidate will complete an essay on the topic or teach it within the coven.
The first degree is the first level where a set system of training is put in place at the discretion of the current HP and HPs of the coven. Currently this consists of regular lessons set up to train the initiate on “Outer Temple” work such as:
- Circle Casting
- The Guardians of the Watchtowers
- Magick Theory
- Energy Raising and Spell Casting
- Ritual Practice and Dynamics
- and more…
ATTENDANCE NOTE: To qualify for and maintain the first degree, members must attend at least 4 out of 8 sabbat rituals and 8 out of 12 full moon rituals.
Second Degree – The Shadow Shaman
The purpose of the second degree is to develop a strong sense of personal sovereignty within the Craft. The second degree initiate seeks to “go within” and cultivate a deep sense of personal power and leadership of the self or others. This is first done primarily through what we call “Shadow Work” – spiritual practice based on exploring the dark forces of the self and of the Powers Beyond. Examples of topics within the shadow phase are:
- Personal Cleansing
- Unveiling and Seeking the Shadow
- The Dark God and the Dark Goddess
- The Eleusinian Mysteries – The Descent of the Goddess
- and more…
With the shadow work performed, the initiate will move on to phase two of the second degree. The path of the second degree in phase two is twofold:
Path One (Clergy) – The first path is the option to seek clergy certification within the church entity of the organization. Clergy develop skills that are put to use for the entire local tradition in whatever specialized area the initiate chooses: pastoral care, teaching, community organizing, and the overall maintenance of the tradition. Clergy candidates work directly with an HP or HPS on a personal course of study appropriate to the goals of that clergyperson. In general, this will consist of:
- Training in pastoral care and counseling
- Training in teaching and mentoring
- Learning the various laws of the clergy for your state
- Developing a set of leadership goals within the tradition
Path Two (Shaman) – Initiates who do not wish to pursue the path of clergy may instead pursue the path of the shaman. The goal of Path Two is to develop a personal practice that engages the deep magickal skill of the practitioner for the benefit of the self and the coven. Second Degree initiates become skilled in “inner plane” work and develop mastery of one or more specific magickal systems. In particular, the second degree candidate will be trained by a third degree initiate on the following:
- Trance, astral travel, and hedge-riding
- Spirit contact and the development of relationships with allies and guides
- Developing a deep relationship with a personal god(s) of the seeker’s choice
- Dream sorcery
- Aspecting and the ability to make oneself a vessel for divine communication
ATTENDANCE NOTE: To qualify for and maintain the second degree, members must attend at least 4 out of 8 sabbat rituals and 8 out of 12 full moon rituals.
The role of the third degree is the work of the High Priest(s) and High Priestess(es). A coven may have one HP(S) or two, but two is preferable. This may be a combination of male and female, two males, or two females. So gender is of no concern. Other specifications of the third degree/HP role are as follows:
- If the role is filled within a coven, but a second degree initiate wishes to pursue the third degree, they may choose to hive off and form their own coven. Before doing this, the second degree initiate will work with the HP’s to develop a plan for hiving. The initiate should have spent some time within the second degree – generally, at least a year.
- Third degree initiates are primarily responsible for ensuring that all requirements of initiates to maintain their degrees are met. Attendance is tracked by the HP’s for each member to make sure everyone is in good standing with that requirement.
- Third degree initiates are responsible for the training of the second degree initiates, although the initiates should keep up with their own training and be responsible for their own progression. They should ensure that each member has a “mentor”. Generally, each member should be guided by someone of the higher degree where appropriate. Dedicants are mentored by first degrees, first degrees are mentored by second degrees, and second degrees are mentored by the HP’s.
- Third degree initiates help facilitate conflict resolution should the need arise.
- Third degree initiates should seek out some kind of formal training of any kind outside of the tradition to keep their skills and wisdom forever on an increase. A sign of a good teacher is one who continuously seeks out teachings.
ATTENDANCE NOTE: To qualify for and maintain the third degree, members must attend at least 5 out of 8 sabbat rituals and 9 out of 12 full moon rituals, but strive to attend all of them.
Understanding the Commitment to Join:
Join a Firefly coven is not like a typical meetup (the Firefly Outer Court) and possibly unlike some other covens you may be familiar with. Our covens are not simply casual groups who meets to train and perform magick. We are “clan-based” covens which means that through time, the goal of our partnerships is to develop family-like bonds with every member. It is our belief that through this deep level of love and trust, truly powerful magick can be achieved.
This requires a high level of commitment and participation and is not for everyone. In fact, it is not for 90% of those who show an interest. Those who petition for entry to dedicancy should only do so if they are willing to give this an honest try. The purpose of dedicancy is to get used to this family and see if you’re right for it and if we’re right for you. If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok. But most people are screened thoroughly before dedicancy to ensure a higher likelihood of success on the candidate’s coven journey. If you’re interested in petitioning for dedicancy, your best chance at acceptance is to prepare by coming to as many open events as possible and making an effort to get to know our members.
If you have any questions, please let one of our priests or priestesses know! We realize our coven standards sound strict but we have found that structure is the best way for us to reach our particular goals.