The Witches Divination Journal for April 13th

witches of the craft banner boxThe Witches Divination Journal for April 13th

Psychic Tip of the Day

GROUP HUG
It is time to consider getting active with a group of friends. Your soulmate might be out there in a crowd right now, looking for you. Are you interested in anyone new?

 

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Tarot Card of the Day

Seven of Coins


 

 

 

 

 

 

The Seven of this suit is typically a paean to the humble laborer who is willing to show up every day and sweat in the sun for next season’s bounty. The traditional concept is cultivation, with an attitude that slow and steady wins the race, with faith in nature’s assistance. The protagonist of this card doesn’t make excuses, isn’t whimsical or moody, but is dedicated and sees the job through. Of course, it’s no good to count your chickens before they hatch, but there’s no question that the person who is vigilant over a project is more likely to get the desired result.

Someone who works with nature, cooperating with her ways, will waste less energy and time than the person who works against her. As a side meaning, we sometimes see this normally humble farmer in a moment of frenzy, betting the crop on a roll of the dice. This represents a moment of dementia, addiction or desperation which hopefully will not last long enough for the farmer to lose everything!

Daily Love Tarot

The Sun

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The Sun is an invitation to a supportive relationship in which you can be yourself around your significant other. You feel relaxed and loved, with a sense of peace of heart. You’ve struck gold and entered into a new realm. Keep looking if this is not how you feel because it is how things should be. You can’t expect improvement in a long-term union if you do not take effective steps to create it.

Your Erotic Tarot

The Judgement

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The Judgement card represents a sexual awakening, and now that you aren’t afraid to move in a new direction, a whole new world awaits you. What sex positions do you want to try, and which fantasies have you been dying to act out? Being honest with yourself and potential partner(s) about the details of what you desire will help you get what you want faster, and the end result will be much more satisfying. And above all, enjoy your sexual liberation!

Your Daily Rune for

Mannaz

“Man-az” – Literally: “Mankind”

Esoteric: Humankind, awareness

Rune of the Divine structure of intelligence in the human soul or psyche. Rune of the horizons of human existence and collective potential.

Psi: mind & memory (Hugin & Munin), the difference between human and all other life, development of the intellect, rational mind, perfected intelligence

Energy: psychic order of the gods reflected in humankind, projection of Self into time

Mundane: thinking, planning, analysis, the human condition, people at large (contemporary: the masses)

Divinations: Divine structure, sustainability, intelligence, awareness, social order, divine influence in life; or depression, mortality, blindness, self-delusion, collective suicide, bigotry, elitism, intellectual arrogance.

Governs:

Self-Actualization
Realization of the divine structure in humankind
Increase in intelligence, memory and mental powers (passing tests)
Unlocking the third-eye hvel, the “mind’s eye”
Activating the dynamics of your own inner Christus, or Higher Self
Awareness of our roles as co-creator with the gods and nature
Mental and spiritual potential

Your Animal Spirit Guide for

The Falcon

The Wisdom of the Budda

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

 

Daily Earth Sky News for April 13: For Southern Hemisphere, moon and Mercury before sunup April 13 and 14

We have good news for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere. The next two mornings – April 13 and 14, 2018 – offer a grand view from your part of the world of the waning crescent moon and planet Mercury before sunrise. Our featured chart at top is designed for about 33 degrees south latitude (Mercedes, Uruguay; Cape Town, South Africa; Sydney, Australia), but other southerly latitudes are comparable.

Meanwhile, from our northerly latitudes, the view will be much tougher to see. The angle of the moon’s path with respect to the Northern Hemisphere’s sunrise horizon will be much more shallow, placing both the moon and Mercury low in the sky. Those at mid-northern latitudes might catch the thin waning crescent moon – what’s sometimes called an old moon – on the morning of April 13. Mercury might or might not be visible, even with an optical aid. On April 14, the moon will be even harder to see – difficult, if not impossible – from mid-northern latitudes

No matter where you live worldwide, it’ll be to your advantage to find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunrise. That’s especially true if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere. Binoculars are always a plus, and they’re likely necessary from the Northern Hemisphere. Mercury is only of second-magnitude brightness right now. By this month’s end, when Mercury reaches its greatest western (morning) elongation from the sun, it’ll be about four times brighter than it is at present.

On April 13 – from Mercedes, Uruguay, South America – the moon rises about two hours and 40 minutes before sunrise. Meanwhile, Mercury comes up nearly one hour and 30 minutes before the sun. One day later, on April 14, the moon rises about one hour later whereas Mercury comes up about five minutes sooner. At similar latitudes in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere (Cape Town, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia), Mercury rises at a similar time before sunrise, but the moon comes up somewhat sooner than it does in Mercedes, South America.

From middle latitudes in North America, the moon rises one hour (or less) before sunrise while Mercury climbs above the horizon about 40 minutes before sunup. From mid-northern latitudes in the Eastern Hemisphere – Europe and Asia – the moon rises somewhat sooner before the sun but Mercury comes up an hour or less before sunrise.

Click here for recommended sky almanacs; an almanac can give you the rising times of the moon and Mercury in your sky.

At mid-northern latitudes, Mercury sits in the glow of morning twilight throughout the months of April and May.

From temperate latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, Mercury will rise sooner before the sun day by day. At Mercury’s greatest elongation from the sun on April 29, Mercury will come up more than 2 hours before the sun. In fact – from the Southern Hemisphere – Mercury will climb over the eastern horizon before dawn’s first light for approximately a month, from mid-April to mid-May 2018. This apparition of Mercury in the morning sky will be the year’s best for the Southern Hemisphere.

Bottom line: Live in the Southern Hemisphere? Look for the moon and Mercury to adorn the morning sky before sunrise on April 13 and 14, 2018. Meanwhile, from the Northern Hemisphere, this same view of the moon and Mercury is tougher to see.

A Little Humor for Your Day

Coven Pecking Order


  • High Priest : Leaps tall buildings with a single bound, is more powerful than a locomotive, is faster than a speeding bullet, walks on water and dictates policy to God.
  • 3rd Degree Initiate : Leaps short buildings in a single bound, more powerful than a switch engine, is just as fast as a speeding bullet, walks on water…if the sea is calm and talks to God.
  • 2nd Degree Initiate : Leaps short buildings with a running start and favorable winds, is faster than a BB, more powerful than a railroad hand-car, walks on water in a swimming pool and talks to God…if a special request is approved.
  • 1st Degree Initiate : Clears a small hut, loses the race with a locomotive, can fire a speeding bullet, swims well and is occasionally addressed by God.
  • Neophyte : Runs into small buildings, recognizes a locomotive two out of three times, frequently wets self with a water pistol, can do the doggy paddle and mostly mumbles to animals.
  • High Priestess : Lifts tall buildings to walk under them, kicks locomotives off the track, catches speeding bullets in her teeth and freezes water with a single glance. SHE *IS* GODDESS!

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If You Were Born Today, April 13

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If You Were Born Today, April 13

You are a success-oriented person. Although you may not actively pursue success, it tends to come to you anyhow as you work determinedly. While you are willing to take some risks, you are basically very security-conscious. You rarely ask for help, feeling that if you can’t learn or do something on your own, it is somehow not very satisfying. You can be a bit of a workaholic and should try to avoid being so consumed by your work that your personal life suffers. Famous people born today: Thomas Jefferson, Don Adams, Ron Perlman.

Your Birthday Year Forecast

Personal magnetism is tremendous this year. You are playfully competitive and might win a major competition, if applicable. This is a good period for creative projects and joining with others in pursuing a common goal.

You are likely to idealize and expand a relationship this year. Benefits come from paying attention to your dreams and intuitions as well as a more creative approach. In fact, your creative impulses are potent. This can be a particularly good time for such pursuits as dancing, swimming, photography, arts, and entertainment. If you are an artist, this could be an especially inspired, imaginative, and productive year. Finding outlets for tension can be a strong focus and very rewarding. You are likely to idealize and expand a relationship through sensitive interactions and a more giving approach. Benefits come from paying attention to your dreams and intuitions, as well as through creative approaches to your life and relationships. Even so, you may be reevaluating certain relationships in terms of whether or not they are contributing to your personal growth this year if a friendship seems to be stifling you or clashing with important goals.

The year ahead can be an ambitious time and a supportive period for reaching your goals. You might solve a long-standing problem, or capitalize upon a resource that was previously hidden.

You might experience some difficulties and delays in communications in the period ahead. It’s a strong year for recognizing flaws and errors. As long as you don’t forget the “big picture”, you could find you are motivated to channel your mental energy into tasks that require structured and organized thought, tackling projects that you may have found too mundane or downright boring in other years. It’s a strong year for polishing your skills and formal learning.

Jupiter forms a trine to your Sun from March 2019 forward, and you have a stronger than usual desire to improve, grow, and learn. This is a fortunate aspect that helps boost optimism and confidence, and you are able to attract fortunate circumstances into your life as a result. Problems are easier to resolve. Matters related to universities, higher education, religion, publishing, legal affairs, and/or foreign interests can be especially strong. It’s an excellent time to further your education. You are likely to enjoy a larger perspective on matters that keeps you from getting lost in details or overly frustrated by everyday stresses during the course of the month.

The coming year is one for both satisfying work and play. While there can be some ups and downs, the period ahead is a time for getting your life into order in key ways, but at the same time, your creativity and personal appeal blossom. This can be a wonderful year for meeting new people or more thoroughly enjoying your current friendships. Cooperation with others comes easily.

 

2018 is a Number One year for you. Ruled by the Sun. This is a year of action. The seeds you plant now, you will reap later. Others might find you less sociable, as you are busier than ever and you focus on your activities and your needs. Still, you are outgoing and your initiative is stronger than ever. Advice – Stand alone, take action, start fresh, express independence.

2019 will be a Number Two year for you. Ruled by the Moon. This is a year of potential companionship. It is a quiet, gentle, and mostly harmonious year that is less active than other years. Instead, you are more responsive to the needs of others. If you are patient and open yourself up in a gentle manner, you will attract both things and people. This is an excellent year in which to build and develop for the future. Advice – be patient, be receptive, enjoy the peace, collect.

 

Courtesy Of:

Cafe Astrology

Your Egyptian Astrology for Friday, April 13th

Your Egyptian Astrology for Friday, April 13th

By Mary, The Astrologer

 

The Egyptian gods are half-man, half-god, and influence human behaviour. Egyptian astrology is composed of 12 signs.

The Nile is the sign of those born between 1st – 7th January, 19th – 28th June, 1st – 7th September, and 18th – 26th November: The Nile is tolerant and highly pragmatic. People of this sign like to establish peace, and do not provoke conflict. They are impulsive, and capable of tenderness and maternal love.

Osiris is the sign of those born between 1st – 10th March, and 27th November – 18th December. Osiris gives people of this sign a generous and highly creative personality. They are spirited people, but who are also extremely fragile and sensitive, and who need to battle before they can act.

Toth is the sign of those born between 1st – 19th April, and 8th – 17th November. Toth is an enthusiastic being who likes to go forward. People of this sign are able to commit themselves to big projects. Their taste for risk enables them to make some great achievements.

Horus is the sign of those born between 20th April – 8th May, and 12th – 19th August. People of this sign are sensitive, with an impatient nature that sometimes leaves them feeling dissatisfied. They need movement and change. These are brilliant people, gifted with a sharpness of mind that is quite rare.

Amon-Ra is the sign of those born between 8th – 21st January, and 1st – 11th February. People of this sign are generous, and shine brightly. They light up every place they go.

Geb is the sign of those born between 12th – 28th February, and 20th – 31st August. Geb is the guardian of nature. People of this sign give without expecting anything in return.

Anubis is the sign of those born between 9th – 27th May, and 29th June – 13th July. People of this sign are often pessimistic, and consumed by their inner demons. Their courage and conscience help them to free themselves.

Sekhmett is the sign of those born between 29th July – 11th August, and 30th October – 7th November. People of this sign are moral, and know how to command respect. They are often found working in roles that involve managing or governing.

Isis is the sign of those born between 11th – 31st March, 18th – 29th October, and 19th – 31st December. People of this sign are not blind; they see the unhappiness of others. They like solidarity and union. They know how to bring people together to make things better.

Bastet is the sign of those born between 14th – 28th July, 23rd – 27th September, and 3rd – 17th October. People of this sign will often protect others. Their lives are given meaning through contact with others. Their anxious nature means that they are not always the most serene of people.

Seth is the sign of those born between 28th May – 18th June, and 28th – 2nd October. People of this sign are perfectionists, who need to do things well. They are very demanding with themselves, and rarely satisfied.

Mout is the sign of those born between 22nd – 31st January, and 8th – 22nd September. People of this sign are shy and withdrawn, who always dwell on the past. They have trouble making the most of the present. That said, they know how to get to the point with others, and hate wasting time.

 

Reference:

Free-horoscopes.com

Your Love Horoscope for the Weekend of April 13th

This Weekend’s Love Horoscope: You Snooze, You Lose

Love horoscopes for the weekend of April 13-15


 

Earlier this week there was a beautiful connection between the “Cosmic Lovers” that, lucky for you, is still in effect this weekend! Venus, the planet of love and connectedness, and Mars, the planet of motivation, teamed up in a lovely trine that helps put love into action. Under this influence it’s easier to get what you want without much pressure. Both Venus and Mars are also schmoozing with Neptune this weekend, helping to make hearts desires come true and bringing exciting changes to the romance front. If you’re single and seeking a potential partner, act on all this energy! Especially with the Moon in Aries all weekend, you’ve got the confidence you need to make the first move, and the support of the universe to help it go smoothly. If you’re already attached, you can also get a big boost from these romantic vibes… Plan a date night with your lover to reignite the fires. With both Venus and Mars are in contented Earth signs now, you don’t have to do anything extravagant. Keep it simple and practical, like a picnic in the park or an indulgent candlelit dinner at home.

By Sunday it feels like the weekend is coming to a close, but no, some brand-new energy is just revving up! Early Sunday morning Mercury Retrograde finally ends, which means communication starts to get back to normal and misunderstandings are less likely to occur between you and your loved ones. What’s more, on the same day there will be a New Moon in Aries, sitting with the rebel-rouser Uranus. Something both the sign of Aries and the planet Uranus have in common is individuality. When it comes to relationships, all too often we change parts of ourselves to get along with or impress others. This New Moon is a wake-up call that helps you realize you don’t need to hold back or edit yourself in order to please anyone else. Use this time to consider how can you let your true self thrive, without fear of turning off others or appearing selfish. Aries wants you to be brave and Uranus wants you to do things that liberate you. Have the courage to be you!

 

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

 

Luck and your horoscope for this Friday the 13th

Luck and your horoscope for this Friday the 13th

Written by Alison 

Are you superstitious? Do you believe Friday the 13th brings good luck or bad? We are the main players in our lives and we need to exercise our free will in all circumstances. But superstition aside, our future is also formed from what we envisage and we can never stress this enough: positive thoughts lead to positive events and negative thoughts lead to situations which cause harm. Taking this as our basic standpoint, let’s have a look at the potential of each sign for luck in general, especially where this Friday 13th is concerned …

Aries: You rarely have doubts in your lucky star and your combative spirit often leads you to success. Nevertheless, you can have frequent and intense fits of despondency, but fortunately these are short-lived.

This Friday the 13thThis is a day when you will have every chance of winning a little something when trying the odds. However, you need to be sensible. Luck is as likely to mean £2 as £2,000!

Gemini: You have a habit of taking opportunities as they arise and your lucid intellect protects you from misleading illusions or wild flights of fancy.

This Friday the 13th you’ll probably have an opportunity to establish very pleasant and powerful connections in your love-life. There’s also the possibility of financial good fortune, with modest gains.

Cancer: You believe in luck when you are in a good mood and rotten luck when you are fed up. But at the end of the day, it’s you that create the atmosphere you are dependent upon. Think about it!

This Friday the 13th, you are in a position to meet new, worthwhile people or even win a little something if you try your luck.

Virgo: Your practical common-sense and modest outlook most often preserve you from the gambling dens. You have more faith in effort, hard work and perseverance than luck for being successful in life.

This Friday the 13th, why not break with tradition and buy a scratch-card. The planets are looking at you favourably and could well bring you an unexpected gain or give your diverse activities a boost in the right direction.

Scorpio: You aren’t really superstitious, but are aware that Nature has hidden forces. You generally do your utmost to get all you can from opportunities which come up.

This Friday the 13th, the heavens look clear for fulfilling your desires and ready to push you towards starting afresh and a new life.

Capricorn: You don’t really believe in chance, You rely more on hard work, ambition and discipline to achieve your goals. But when you’re relaxed, you aren’t averse to trying your luck, though you always take the sensible approach.

This Friday the 13th: The planets are boosting your enthusiasm and could make you more optimistic and inclined to believe in your lucky star. The ideal placement of the planets could bring you an unexpected gain, so watch this space!

Aquiarius: Your outlook is unconventional. You aren’t superstitious in the usual sense of the word, but you can believe in other influences which, if nothing to do with magic, are less easily explained by science alone.

This Friday the 13th: The opportunities are there and numerous, especially in your home and family life. However, if you do decide to take a gamble, you’ll need to make sure you don’t persist. If you by chance lose, you could face ruin.

Pisces: For you, magic is a definite part of your life. Your sensitivity and extraordinary intuition put you in contact with worlds whose existence is unsuspected by most mere mortals.

This Friday the 13th: You have very good chances of making a win, especially in your immediate environment. Colleagues, neighbours or relations will give you the chance to seize some unexpected opportunity or other. Make the most of this!

Taurus: Your appetite for life’s pleasures is tinged with solid common-sense. You have little faith in illusions and prefer to rely on your abilities rather than on pure luck.

This Friday 13th: With good aspects to Venus and Pluto, you have real chances of a great win. The opportunities are there, but not just on the financial front. Stay on the alert and be ready.

Leo: You most often seem confident and enterprising in life, an outlook which attracts good luck, as long as you don’t lapse into excesses which would have an adverse effect on your equilibrium.

This Friday the 13th: These excesses are the ones to worry about. If you get it into your head that you are going to win, you will be in danger of squandering a fortune gambling, or making an investment that goes against all good sense. Be cautious, especially in your professional life.

Libra: For you, luck is often bound up with other people. Your dependency on those around you makes you follow most fashions and trends. Luck is therefore often dependent on your relationships … This Friday the 13th: the heavens will waver between

This Friday the 13th: the heavens will waver between surprise and frustration, depending on which decan and area. If luck is to show its face, it will be in your personal and love- life. However, you could make a small gain, thanks to the presence of Mercury in a friendly sign.

Sagittarius: Your open mind and optimistic outlook give you a reputation for being a jammy devil, as you attract good luck with your behaviour and unshakeable enthusiasm.

This Friday the 13th, The planets will protect your interests and could bring you some great surprises in your everyday life. Be careful, however, of going on wild spending sprees. Luck is to be found in moderation!

 

Reference

Free-Horoscopes.com

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th

Numerology’s take on luck and superstition


The number 13 has been considered unlucky since medieval times, most likely because of its association with the number of people at the Last Supper. Friday, too, is seen as unlucky because that was the day of the crucifixion. For the superstitious among us, that makes Friday the 13th a double whammy and, therefore, a particularly unlucky day. For the rationalists among us, the opposite is true, as we recognize that two negatives can make a positive.

As a Numerologist I am inclined to consider it a lucky day for some, an unlucky day for others and an average day for the rest of us. This is because I recognize that the effect of our individual cycles far outweighs any peripheral influences. The question for you, then, is how do you know in which category you will find yourself?

There are two different sets of influences that affect an individual at any given time, those that are internal and those that are external. Numerology calls your internal forces your “personal cycles,” and considers them far more powerful than any external energies. This is the main reason Numerologists generally consider any possible universal negative influences of a date, such as Friday the 13th, to be negligible in relation to the individual.

The only people who are strongly affected by this superstitious date are those who suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, a phobia called “paraskavedekatriaphobia.” These are the folks who undoubtedly experience every Friday the 13th as an unlucky day — such is the power of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Count on yourself to create good luck

For the rest of us, the experiences of that day are affected 99.9% by our personal cycles, as reflected in our personal Numerology chart. Understanding where you are in your personal cycles can help you take advantage of the positive forces and limit the potential impact from negative forces.

As a human being you carry within you the forces and energies that influence the way you experience every moment of every day, and those powers are yours to work with. And contrary to popular belief, you have a lot of control over them — it requires just as much effort to be miserable as it does to be happy.

You may, therefore, want to learn what personal influences are at play during Friday the 13th or any other day. Take advantage of the knowledge that is out there and use it to your benefit.

Now, enjoy some Friday the 13th trivia!

  • The 13th day of the month is slightly more likely to be a Friday than any other day of the week.
  • Every year has at least one and at most three Friday the 13ths.
  • Just as many people are born on Friday the 13th as any other day, but there are slightly more people who die on Friday the 13th. The theory is that fear, with or without reason, can kill.

And, here are some practical (and some humorous) tips to help you get the most out of other people’s superstitions:

  • Less people will fly on Friday the 13th. It is, therefore, a good day to travel by plane, and with luck you may even have an empty seat next to you!
  • Less people are inclined to make important business decisions, which may give you an upper hand at the negotiation table.
  • Teachers, parents and others involved in guiding young people toward maturity all recognize that age 13 is generally the most difficult age for boys and girls alike. If you have kids, simply let them jump from age 12 to 14 — it will save you countless headaches.
  • If you feel like living on the edge, call your boss and tell him you suffer from paraskavedekatriaphobia (a recognized disease) and are unable to leave the house to go to work. Though be forewarned: only superstitious bosses are likely to be so understanding.

 

Tarot.com is Part of the Daily Insight Group ©2018

Study of Pagan Gods and Goddesses: Mars, Roman God of War

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Mars, Roman God of War

Mars is the Roman god of war, and scholars say he was one of the most commonly worshiped deities in ancient Rome. Because of the nature of Roman society, nearly every healthy patrician male had some connection to the military, so it is logical that Mars was highly revered throughout the Empire.

Early History and Worship

In early incarnations, Mars was a fertility god, and a protector of cattle. As time went on, his role as an earth god expanded to include death and the underworld, and finally battle and war.

He is known as the father of twins Romulus and Remus, by the Vestal virgin Rhea Silvia. As the father of the men who later founded the city, Roman citizens often referred to themselves as “sons of Mars.”

Before going into battle, Roman soldiers often gathered at the temple of Mars Ultor (the avenger) on the Forum Augustus. The military also had a special training center dedicated to Mars, called the Campus Martius, where soldiers drilled and studied. Great horseraces were held at the Campus Martius, and after it was over, one of the horses of the winning team was sacrificed in Mars’ honor. The head was removed, and became a coveted prize among the spectators.

Festivals and Celebrations

The month of March is named in his honor, and several festivals each year were dedicated to Mars. Each year the Feriae Marti was held, beginning on the Kalends of March and continuing until the 24th. Dancing priests, called the Salii, performed elaborate rituals over and over again, and a sacred fast took place for the last nine days.

The dance of the Salii was complex, and involved a lot of jumping, spinning and chanting. On March 25, the celebration of Mars ended and the fast was broken at the celebration of the Hilaria, in which all the priests partook in an elaborate feast.

During the Suovetaurilia, held every five years, bulls, pigs and sheep were sacrificed in Mars’ honor.

This was part of an elaborate fertility ritual, designed to bring prosperity to the harvest. Cato the Elder wrote that as the sacrifice was made, the following invocation was called out:

“Father Mars, I pray and beseech thee
that thou be gracious and merciful to me,
my house, and my household;
to which intent I have bidden this suovetaurilia
to be led around my land, my ground, my farm;
that thou keep away, ward off, and remove sickness, seen and unseen,
barrenness and destruction, ruin and unseasonable influence;
and that thou permit my harvests, my grain, my vineyards,
and my plantations to flourish and to come to good issue,
preserve in health my shepherds and my flocks, and
give good health and strength to me, my house, and my household.
To this intent, to the intent of purifying my farm,
my land, my ground, and of making an expiation, as I have said,
deign to accept the offering of these suckling victims;
Father Mars, to the same intent deign to accept
the offering of these suckling offering.”

Mars the Warrior

As a warrior god, Mars is typically depicted in full battle gear, including a helmet, spear and shield. He is represented by the wolf, and is sometimes accompanied by two spirits known as Timor and Fuga, who personify fear and flight, as his enemies flee before him on the battlefield.

Early Roman writers associated Mars with not only warrior prowess, but virility and power. Because of this, he sometimes is tied to the planting season and agricultural bounty. It is possible that Cato’s invocation above connects the more wild and frenzied aspects of Mars with the need to tame, control and defend the agricultural environment.

In Greek legend, Mars is known as Ares, but was never as popular with the Greeks as he was with the Romans.

The third month of the calendar year, March, was named for Mars, and important ceremonies and festivals, especially those related to military campaigns, were held this month in his honor. Mark Cartwright of Ancient History Encyclopedia says, “These rites may also have been connected to agriculture but the nature of Mars’ role in this area of Roman life is disputed by scholars.”

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Mars

Roman God of War – Mars

Religion was an important part of daily life in Rome. It helped Romans make sense of good and bad things that happened. If terrible things like natural disasters or battle losses occurred, Romans believed it was evidence that the Gods were unhappy with the people of Rome. When good things like a battle victory or a good harvest happened, Romans believed it was evidence of help or approval from the Gods. To keep the Gods happy, Romans often participated in animal sacrifices of lambs, pigs or bulls. At one time, even prisoners of war were offered as human sacrifices, but this practice was discontinued. Romans also held festivals and built temples to celebrate the Gods.

Romans worshiped a pantheon, also thought of as a council, of 12 major gods. These 12 major gods were called the Dii Consentes. This group included six gods and six goddesses. The gods included: JUPITER, Neptune, Mars, Apollo, Vulcan and Mercury. The goddesses were Juno, Minerva, Venus, Diana, Vesta and Ceres. Jupiter ruled over the Pantheon.

In fact, the famous Pantheon in Rome was dedicated to the ROMAN GODS. The exact purpose of the building is unknown. Though it has been used as a church, historians are unsure of whether ancient Romans actually worshiped there. The Pantheon was built by the consul Agrippa between 27 B.C. and 25 B.C.

In Roman religion, Mars was a very important god. His role was second only to Jupiter, the leader of the pantheon. Mars was the son of the God Jupiter and the Goddess Juno. His father, Jupiter, was the God of the sky and thunder. Jupiter was considered the chief, or central, guardian of Rome and was often considered to be witness to solemn oaths such as those undertaken by government officials or soldiers. His mother, Juno, was the protector of Roman women and was the patron Goddess of Rome. Both his mother and father were renowned for strength and protection. Mars himself was the god of war and was, himself, seen as protector of the Roman Army. He was thought to be difficult, argumentative and unpopular among the gods, but was revered by men; especially soldiers. It was even reported that Mars was the father of Romulus and Remus, the twin brothers who were the founders of Rome.

Mars was known as the Roman god of war. He was said to love the violence and conflict. His persona represented military power and the noise and blood of battle. Since he was the father of Romulus and Remus it was believed he would come to the aid of Rome during times of conflict or war. He was the patron God of soldiers and was worshiped prior to battle. Soldiers in the Roman Army prayed to Mars before battle, asking that he might fight on their side. Soldiers hoped that their prayers would appeal to Mars and that he would protect them in battle and lead them to victory. They believed that ultimately it was Mars who decided who would win any battle. All aspects of war in Rome were associated with the God Mars. This did not only apply to military campaigns of conquest. Mars was said to protect cities from invading armies and help soldiers crush rebellion as well.

As the God of War, Mars had many symbols associated with him. The most recognizable was The Ancile. The Ancile was his sacred shield. Legend has it that this shield fell from heaven during the rule of Pompilius. It was said that if the shield remained in the city, Rome would be safe. Priests were commissioned to protect the shield and eleven copies were made, reportedly to confuse would-be thieves. The group of 12 ancilla were used in rituals. Mars was often depicted clothed on bronze armor. He carried a spear that was often depicted as covered in blood.

Other symbols surrounding the God of War included a burning torch, a vulture, dog, woodpecker, eagle and owl. Mars was a strong god and rode a chariot drawn by fire-breathing horses. The names of his horses were Aithon, Phlogios, Konabos and Phobos. Aithon means red fire, Phlogios means flame, Konabos means tumult – which is a loud confusing noise – and Phobos means fear.

Mars was celebrated twice a year in March and October. The old Roman calendar began with mensis Martius. This translates to Mars’ Month. This is what the month of March is named for. The Salii – the priests who protected and carried the ancilia – celebrated the new year on the first day of March by dressing and dancing in battle armor. This was said to be when Mars was born. Also in March, the twelve Salii carried the ancilia around the city in a parade with war trumpets, stopping at different sacred locations along the way.

Festivities complete with trumpets, dancing, feasts and sacrifices continued throughout the month of March. On the 23rd, The Tubilustrium festival was held in Mars’ honor in the Atrium Sutorium. This date was chosen because it coincided with the start of the military campaign season. This group of festivals and celebrations were called the Feriae Marti.

In February and March, horse races were held at the Campus Martius outside the walls of Rome in honor of Mars. These races were said to have been started by Romulus. In October, Mars’ parents Jupiter and Juno were celebrated. On the Ides – or 14th – of October, one of the winning horses from the races was sacrificed in honor of Mars for his continued protection.

As a nation of conquest and war, Gods such as Mars were important to Rome. It was believed that he kept enemies of the state at bay and protected the divine right of the state’s rule. At different times in history, he meant different things to the people. He was a military deity as Rome conquered its neighbors and a protector in times of peace.

Eventually, Mars became not just the protector of Rome, but the guardian and avenger of Emperor Caesar himself.

Reference
Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo.com

– Greek Gods & Goddesses, February 22, 2017  Mars: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net

Various Paths of Witchcraft: British Traditional Witchcraft

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British Traditional Witchcraft

 
British Traditional Wicca, or BTW, is an all-purpose category used to describe some of the New Forest traditions of Wicca. Gardnerian and Alexandrian are the two best-known, but there are some smaller subgroups as well. The term “British Traditional Wicca” seems to be used in this manner more in the United States than in England. In Britain, the BTW label is sometimes used to apply to traditions which claim to predate Gerald Gardner and the New Forest covens.

 

Although only a few Wiccan traditions fall under the “official” heading of BTW, there are many offshoot groups which can certainly claim kinship with the British Traditional Wiccans. Typically, these are groups which have broken off from a BTW initiatory line, and formed new traditions and practices of their own, while still being loosely connected with BTW.

 

One can only claim to be part of British Traditional Wicca if they (a) are formally initiated, by a lineaged member, into one of the groups that falls under the BTW heading, and (b) maintain a level of training and practice that is consistent with the BTW standards.

 

In other words, much like the Gardnerian tradition, you can’t simply proclaim yourself to be British Trad Wiccan.

 

Joseph Carriker, an Alexandrian priest, points out in a Patheos article that BTW traditions are orthopraxic in nature. He says, “We do not mandate belief; we mandate practice. In other words, we do not care what you believe; you may be agnostic, polytheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic, animistic, or any variety of other classification of human belief. We care only that you learn and pass on the rites as they were taught to you. Initiates must have similar experiences with the rites, though the conclusions they come to as a result of them may be wildly different. In some religions, belief creates practice. In our priesthood, practice will create belief.”

 

Geography doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not someone is part of BTW. There are branches of BTW covens located in the United States and other countries—again, the key is the lineage, teachings and practice of the group, not the location.

 

British Traditional Witchcraft

It’s important to recognize, however, that there are many people who are practicing a traditional form of British witchcraft that is not necessarily Wiccan in nature. Author Sarah Anne Lawless defines traditional witchcraft as “A modern witchcraft, folk magic, or spiritual practice based on the practices and beliefs of witchcraft in Europe and the colonies from the early modern period which ranged from the 1500s to the 1800s… there really were practicing witches, folk magicians, and magical groups during this time, but their practices and beliefs would have been tinged with Catholic-Christian overtones and mythology – even if thinly veneered on top of the Pagan ones… Cunning folk are a good example of the survival of such traditions even up to the mid-1900s in rural areas of the British Isles.”

 

As always, keep in mind that the words witchcraft and Wicca are not synonymous. While it’s entirely possible to practice a traditional version of witchcraft that pre-dates Gardner, and many people do it, it’s not necessarily true that what they are practicing is British Traditional Wicca. As mentioned above, there are certain requirements in place, put there by members of the Gardnerian-based traditions, that determine whether a practice is Wiccan, or whether it is witchcraft.

__________________________

The Guild Structure of British Traditional Wicca

 

Introduction

 

Within British Traditional Wicca (called in Britain simply “Initiatory Wicca”), there exists a structure known as the degree system. One’s first degree is initiation, or becoming one of the Wicca. Second and third degree initiates are acknowledged to be more experienced initiates of progressively greater skill, talent, or “power.”

 

But what does it all mean in practice? In order to answer this question, let’s discuss the parallels that the medieval guild structure has with the Wiccan degree system.

 

A guild was an association of artisans who controlled the practice of their craft in a particular town. A few guilds in France even gave rise to the earliest of the universities, where our modern academic degrees—bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate—retain this guild-like structure: apprentice, journeyman, master.

 

For those not conversant with matters medieval, here is a brief description of the guild structure.

 

Apprentices lived with their master while being taught the craft; parents paid for the apprenticeship. An apprentice did not marry until apprenticeship was over, and in return the master guildsman taught well. At the conclusion of apprenticeship, the youth became a journeyman, who had fully learned his trade but was not yet a master. He now earned a wage and was expected to save enough money to start up his own business. For the journeyman to become a master, he had to submit a master work piece to a guild for judgment. If the work were deemed worthy, the journeyman would be admitted to the guild as a master.

 

However, an extremely significant difference exists between the craft guild system and the Craft or Wiccan degree system. That difference is simple—there is no requirement for any initiate to seek elevation to a higher degree.

 

In the trade guilds, apprentices are expected to complete training in trade skills and rise to journeyman status as an employable worker in that trade. Mastery is not a guaranteed status, for that requires a certain aptitude or talent beyond the skills, whereas apprentices become journeymen or “flunk out.” In contrast, in the Craft an initiate may continue at first degree without seeking to achieve a higher degree, as they choose. Initiates may, equally, choose to seek elevation as they grow in their Craft and in their life.

 

Let me state clearly, here, that one must seek out training, initiation, or elevation in British Traditional Wicca. One must ask, or one does not receive; the Wicca do not proselytize. At the same time, asking does not guarantee that any candidate will be accepted for training with a coven’s outer court, initiated into a coven, or elevated to a higher degree. Receiving a yes or no answer from one coven may not be the final answer—but no is a valid answer. Coven leaders make their decisions for the good of their Craft and their coven. Often, no means “not now” or “not with these elders” or “I don’t know why, but my spidey-sense says not him, or not for us.”

 

Apprentice
Historically, an apprentice was contractually bound for a set period of time (usually seven years) to serve a master at a trade or craft—weaving, metal-smithing, carpentry, stone-working, etc. The apprentice’s duties were often simple labor at the outset, cleaning the shop and learning the most basic activities by observation and instruction: the names and uses of the tools of the trade; the materials used and how they were acquired, stored, readied, and put to use; and the social interactions of the shop, between customer and master, or master and workers, which might include lesser masters, journeymen, and other apprentices.

 

The duties of an apprentice were to learn his trade in all its aspects, and to keep the secrets of that trade. The master committed in his turn to train the apprentice in the specific trade—the obverse side of the contractual coin. The master provided instruction at the level needed and opportunities to learn by doing. He also corrected the inevitable errors of a novice and remedied the difficulties encountered in novice projects.

 

The first degree
In British Traditional Wicca, one’s “apprenticeship” begins with initiation. At the time of Gerald Gardner’s initiation in 1939, witchcraft was illegal in Britain. As described by Gerald Gardner, it was only during his actual initiation that he even discovered that the coven initiating him were witches. “I was half-initiated before the word ‘Wica’ which they used hit me like a thunderbolt, and I knew where I was, and that the Old Religion still existed.”

 

Gardner’s initiation was when he began to learn the Craft specifically. His long interest in matters magical and occult informed his witchy education, but it was not until he was a sworn “brother of the Art Magical” that any information was shared—be it written or oral or action. Like the apprentice of old, Gardner was oath-bound to keep the secrets of the Wicca.

 

In Gardner’s published non-fiction, he states that he may not describe the magical techniques and words that the Wicca use in their rites; he is keeping his oath of secrecy. For this reason, when writing his 1949 novel High Magic’s Aid, he instead used material from the 19th century McGregor-Mathers English translation of The Key of Solomon (a Latin grimoire of ceremonial magic) to flesh out the scenes that depicted magical workings (spells).

 

Our rites are transformative, productive of subtle change in those who undergo them. Any new initiate is exposed to words and actions and energies within the magical circle that are outside of prior experience.

 

It is often said that one’s first degree is especially about getting to know the Goddess, a reality necessitated by the patriarchal roots of modern culture, one in which the very title Pope means “father.” Like the apprentice, a new initiate has duties which are, primarily, to learn: to know the Wiccan calendar, to call a quarter, to structure a ritual, to memorize an esbat ritual, to cast a circle, etc.

 

Our solar-calendared rituals follow what is now called “the Wheel of the Year” in a neat progression of eight sabbats at the solstices and equinoxes alternating with the cross-quarters that begins at Hallowe’en. Hallowe’en, Candlemas, May Eve, Lammas, these are the fire festivals central to the Wicca. One sabbat ritual at a specific season is a scant introduction to that sabbat’s energies as well as its traditional ritual.

 

Think about it. You may remember one special Yuletide, but it is more likely that, for instance, you think of youthful summer camps or Mardi Gras events as a collective montage that is seasonal in nature and features a number of actions and feelings that mean that time of year to you. So it is with our sabbats. Doing them more than once takes more than one year.

 

For this reason, the lunar esbat rituals become familiar to the new initiate much more quickly. Celebrated once or twice monthly at full and new moons, frequent repetition aids both the memorization expected of initiates and aids them to perform the energetic steps that occur in creating, working, interacting with deities, and concluding any ritual circle. By the time initiates have completed a year working in coven, they have experienced at least twelve esbat rituals as well as the four fire festivals, and more likely all eight of the currently practiced sabbats.[6] They will have memorized the esbat ritual text and actions used in coven, and the annual progression of the sabbats have taught the basics of the Wiccan progression of seasons and energies. An experienced first-degree initiate can call a quarter, or all four, perform a simple traditional circle solo if required, work with an experienced partner to lead a pre-arranged esbat or sabbat within the coven, and aid in the general running of the coven. Energetically, the initiate will raise and ground energy as led by the coven leaders or elders.

 

If the initiate is working towards a hoped-for elevation to the second degree, the necessary first degree material has been completely hand-copied into the initiate’s own book of shadows. Likely the initiate has pursued individual own study interests in support of the coven or personal practice. Within a particular coven’s practice, the initiate may be assigned reading, writing, or practical exercises to complete as a part of training. Thus, sometime following that oft-quoted “year and a day,” a first-degree initiate may be elevated to the second degree.

 

Journeyman
Journeymen artisans were expected to do just that, journey. Travel from town to town, work with others of the same guild in which they had apprenticed, learn and share styles, materials, tools, and techniques. Like apprenticeship, a journeyman’s study could take years. Journeymen were paid a wage, might live apart from the master’s residence, often married and started a family.

 

To transition to mastery, journeymen undertook to create a master-piece, a piece of work by their hands that was adjudged to be work worthy of a guild master. And not every journeyman, sometimes called a “jack,” succeeded in becoming a master in his guild. “Jack of all trades and master of none” refers to a person unsuccessful in achieving master status. A competent journeyman often remained in his master’s business as a valued assistant and still might rise to mastery in time. In larger craft workshops, a number of masters might work in a common facility.

 

The second degree
Whether an initiate has been once or thrice round the Wheel of the Year and its sabbat cycle, elevation to the second degree brings many responsibilities and connections. First and foremost, second-degree elevation connects an initiate to the current of energy specific to initiatory Wicca. Such connection causes inevitable changes in an initiate—ones that need to be absorbed throughout her ensuing year and a day. The second degree carries a responsibility to the Craft as a whole.

 

The expectations for a newly elevated second-degree witch begin with getting to know the God, a task which often involves path-workings and underworld trance journeys.

 

Once the degree has settled, the second may guest with other covens, or attend multi-tradition open sabbats or classes of other traditions of witchcraft. During second degree work, initiates explore within themselves as well as without. Often second-degree initiates find challenges in dealing with their shadow selves, those parts which they’d rather not acknowledge, confront, resolve, nor have others know.

 

The duties of a second-degree witch include learning to teach magical skills, assisting the leaders of the coven, and learning the process of initiation to first or second degree.[9] The teaching requirement of second degree does not send our initiates out in search of converts; the Wicca do not proselytize. A second-degree initiate may have personal or family knowledge that interests the coven. For example, a student of eastern European ancestry might give the coven a class on traditional techniques and designs for dying pysanky, Slavic Easter eggs. Another may pursue research into home-brewing methods for making ritual ales or wines or meads, and share successful recipes in ritual. A working geologist may introduce the group to practical uses of natural minerals, including how to find the crystal that works—in contrast to the one that just looks pretty.

 

A second-degree practitioner may be given responsibilities beyond that of every coven member. A woman might be named “maiden” of the coven, often considered a deputy high priestess. Similarly, a man might be appointed “guardian” or “summoner” or asked to understudy the role of the high priest. Such understudy roles match the custom of the “maiden coven,” where its coven leaders are second-degree initiates growing into fully-fledged coven leaders under the guidance of their parent coven.

 

Underworld journeying, shamanic studies, divinatory methods beyond any yet used, Craft history, the second degree calls the witch to live the Wiccan path as much as study it. Inevitably, bumps and bruises, missteps and mistakes occur along the way. Often, coven leaders are called upon to assist with mistakes, correct missteps, cluck over the bumps, and salve the bruises… or not, as seems good to them. Sometimes a coven leader’s hardest task is to allow the error to occur, and wait until asked for assistance before deciding whether to act or to let be, to speak or to keep silent.

 

During second-degree studies, practitioners determine or discover any Craft specialties. They may have healing talent, and learn ways to use it within Craft as well as without. They may find they develop undiscovered psychic skills, or even the ability to teach them. A second-degree witch may choose a wider audience, presenting open rituals for the local pagan community, offering classes in herbs, stones, divination, or dance. Nothing in the tradition forbids such public teaching, and nothing in the tradition demands it.

 

Second degree also requires practitioners to step out of their comfort zone, another form of journeying. They may be adept at tarot but ignorant of astrology, talented at rhymed spells but unable to keep a steady beat on drum or rattle. Learning unfamiliar skills, stretching into tasks and techniques that are unfamiliar or outright alien, these challenges broaden practitioners while adding more tools to their witchy toolbox.

 

Unlike the first degree, once one has progressed to the second degree, one is expected to work to achieve the third degree. First degrees are practitioners, plain and simple, with but responsibility to their gods, their coven, and themselves. Second degree engenders a deeper change, imbuing a sense of having begun something which is less than complete… and an awareness of challenges to come.

 

Master
In the guild system, once a panel of masters in one’s own guild adjudged one’s submitted master work piece(s) as being of the standard expected of a master in that guild, then one became a master. To give an example, journeymen knitters in one 14th century European guild presented three items to be judged of master-work quality: a man’s shirt, a hat, and a carpet.

 

The third degree
One’s training in any degree truly begins when the ritual initiating or elevating one to that degree is complete.[10] Thus, Gerald Gardner was taught the secrets of the Craft only after his initiation. Similarly, once a candidate is brought to second or third degree, a period of further learning follows, no matter how well-prepared and how apt the candidate may be. At the same time, every BTW coven is autonomous—independent, a law unto itself. This autonomy means that the newly minted third degree witch—theoretically—springs forth fully formed with lore and wisdom at the ready. In practice, any new coven leader consults with her mentors while “finding her feet.”

 

Once the ritual that creates a third-degree witch is complete, that witch may move into leadership of her coven. She may remain in a supportive role to her coven leaders; for instance, she may be especially skilled in a magical ability, and talented in the teaching of it. In the mobile population and fluctuating job market of our modern society, she may find herself relocated from a region thick with BTW covens to one with but one or two across three states… or none. In such a case, any third-degree witch can found a coven from scratch, a time-consuming labor of love. Equally, she may simply work as “a witch alone” for a time.

 

By the same token, a witch may be head of the only BTW coven—as far as anyone knows—within several hundred miles, or encounter life-altering circumstances that put her in the midst of a metropolitan region where every second coven among a baker’s dozen is BTW. She might choose, in such a case, to join an existing coven… or even an elder’s coven, a rarity that occasionally blossoms.

 

All Wiccan covens are led by a third-degree priestess, called in BTW the High Priestess, and assisted by the priest of her choosing, usually also third degree, the High Priest. As with guilds and mastery, achieving the third degree moves a witch into some kind of a leadership role. Because covens are led by thirds, a new third-degree witch may step in to lead an existing coven, or “hive off” from the parent coven to form a new one.

 

Some of the lore and practice of the higher degrees are unsuited to less-experienced witches. For this reason, written, oral, and ritual practices are usually passed by coven leaders to first, second, and third degrees separately, most often individually. For example, a new initiate may never have experienced the intense combination of spiritual and physical energies that often occur during a magical working in coven. Thus, coven leaders must ensure that when initiates do encounter such, they recover successfully with any needed assistance. Further, coven leaders teach their initiates how to recognize and care for their own needs if working magic alone, as well as in coven, a common practice for many witches.

 

Any elder may choose to share written, oral, and ritual practice with any initiate as it seems needed, so that a first-degree or second-degree coven member might come to have some lore and material usually restricted to a third-degree witch. In an example of my knowledge, when a witch’s sister was stalked and assaulted with emotional wounds to the entire family, that witch consulted her coven leaders.

 

Those coven leaders chose to summon arcane aid to back up the mundane legal actions already taken—a restraining order, police charges filed, action for damages, and so on. In an arcane echo of these mundane actions, the coven leaders led a degree-specific circle of the second and third degree members of their coven, which then “bound” and “banished” the perpetrator from doing further injury. And so did that witch come to have written and oral lore—at second degree—which was usually reserved to the third degree.

 

Conclusion
Such is one of many duties of leadership, to ensure both the continuation and safe practice of our Craft, just as the master in a guild workshop both taught and oversaw safe practice of his craft. The Wicca do not proselytize; however, our elders find that a fair number of individuals seek out the Wicca hoping to learn magic, join a coven, work love spells, gain power, break hexes, acquire status, and so on.

 

A very few of those seekers discover that the more they learn about British Traditional Wicca, the greater the sense of coming home, of returning to a spirituality and deities they never knew they missed. And some of us find the teachers who “fit” for us happen to be of the Wicca… which is how my own journey into the Craft grew from chance meetings into my own initiation, and thence to hiving off and founding my own coven. A saying among us encapsulates this progression: “May the Gods preserve the Craft!”

 

Apprenticeships often included fostering; apprentices were housed and fed and clothed by their contracted master, living as a part of his extended family. I do not discuss this aspect of the master-apprentice relationship here, except to note that it existed—its relevance to Wicca is that a coven leader’s role often seems quasi-parental.

 

 

Wicca is often called an experiential religion for this reason—it is not about believing, it’s about doing, experiencing, and dealing with the result.

 

Historically, the four cross-quarter sabbats or “fire festivals” of Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain or Hallowmas were the Wiccan large events; the solstices & equinoxes were celebrated at the closest full moon circle or esbat. A particularly successful Yule ritual in the late 1950s in Gardner’s coven led to the coven asking to celebrate the solar quarters as separate sabbats.

 

The phrase “a year and a day” describes one full year counted inclusively‚ a term used in mathematics but most often applied to the calendar. Example: one full week, counted inclusively, is 8 days Sunday through Sunday. The same effect arises in music, where an octave (meaning eight) higher is seven half-tones up from the original pitch.

 

At second degree, most North American initiates have the ability—but not the authority—to initiate another person into the Wicca; that authority remains with the third-degree coven leaders, who may appoint a working pair of second degrees to lead what is sometimes called a maiden coven. Initiations into such a maiden coven are performed by the second-degree leaders… whose authority to perform the initiations are granted by their elder third degrees. In contrast, some European BTW covens are led by second-degree initiates; the third degree being viewed as almost a spiritual retirement, or one undertaken by a working partnership together to complete the hieros gamos.

 

Between the two largest segments of initiatory Wicca, Gardnerian and Alexandrian, it has been said that Gardnerians initiate and then train to that level, different from Alexandrians, who train to a level and then initiate to match. These two methods represent the ends of a spectrum along which any coven may operate—if true in practice at one time, that practice has altered in most locations.

 

In the commonest North American practice, many third-degree witches are coven leaders. In other parts of the world, both second and third-degree witches are coven leaders, and as noted before, British and European covens are often led by second-degree practitioners. In either system, third-degree coven leaders become autonomous and independent.

 
Reference
Patti Wigington, ThoughtCo.com

Deb Snavely, Wiccan Rede Online