System of Degree and Initiation
Circle of the Green consists of two circles. There is an Inner Circle of those formally initiated into the group and who work behind the scenes functioning as teachers and ritual organizers and facilitators. The Outer Circle will consist of those members who are in the process of learning or who have not been initiated.
We have no hierarchy in the traditional sense. The Inner circle is required for the group to function and for decisions to be made, not to put certain individuals above the rest. We believe a priestess is born not made. When a member is initiated they are claiming a sacred birthright that comes with great responsibility. They are not being given a meaningless title for the sake of gaining power over others.
Possible members must be at least twenty-one years of age to be considered and begin studying as it is typical for wine to be included in our closed rituals. If you have a problem with alcohol, then this may not be the circle for you. Twenty-one is also the age of complete adulthood and independence from one's parents according to the law. There are no exceptions to this rule though members/dedicants may bring relatives or guests to open functions as long as a member of the inner circle is made aware of it ahead of time.
Each season we will open a portal for membership. What this entails is attending an open social gathering where you will have the opportunity to review information on the circle and meet the current members. Any questions you have may be answered at this time. If you are still interested you may choose to fill out an application to join the Outer Circle.
Next Portal: The Season of Midsummer 2005
Details and Event Location: TBA
There will be a period of friendship and learning where existing members find out how well they get along with prospective members. If all goes well and connections are made membership will proceed into the Outer Circle. Initiation into the Inner Circle is not a guarantee with membership.
If you are interested in knowing more about the circle, our members frequent many local events in the Rochester, NY area. For more information on events, see the home page.
Training and Classes
Classes on the ways of the circle are available and required for membership. It is helpful to have a background in Wicca/Witchcraft and classes to provide this background are available as the need arises. Whenever possible, we will learn as a group since there is much to be gained from the ideas of others and great discussions are food for the soul.
We follow a very basic and traditional ritual outline where spontaneity is encouraged. We sometimes include drumming, chanting, and maybe even a song or two if we feel moved. Ritual information, such as our standard invocations and quarter calls, is given out upon receiving membership. Though we may mix up different calls and invocations for special occasions, we believe the soul recognizes repetition thus creating tradition. Most of the variety found in ritual will come from the building of energy and pre-planned themes and activities.
The tradition of Circle of the Green is one of the Goddess. Though we believe that all gods are one and all paths are valid, we tend to call that one the Goddess. It is not our intention to be matrifocal to the point of alienating the God. We honor him as our father, protector, and consort of our mother. Without the God there is no Goddess and there is no life. We recognize that the God is also the Goddess and that they are the two that know they are one. In our beliefs, the way of the Goddess makes room for all other gods and no interpretation of divinity is invalid.
More often than not, if we are not using generic terms for the Goddess and/or God, we will use deities from the Celtic pantheon. The most common way to describe our tradition is Celtic-Eclectic, though we are not bound to or limited by the Celtic way.