What can you expect when it comes to studying in a traditional Wiccan inspired lineage coven? What can you expect from Cottonwood Star as a coven and training group? What will a lineage and more specifically, what will Cottonwood Star expect of you as a coven mate and student?
A traditional lineage
- Training in a traditional lineage with a structured approach to praxis. You will be given a guided, scaffolded system of information from which to learn the lineage.
- You can leave at any time. The only commitment we ask is that you honor the secrecy of your oaths if you are initiated.
- The goal of the coven is to create a safe learning and practice space: you will never be asked for favors that violate this (sexual, financial, or personal).
- You will be asked to leave your personal agendas at the door and help foster a non competitive, safe space where all can learn. This is easier said than done but it is always the goal!
Personal autonomy and responsibility
- You will be encouraged to take ownership of your practice and think about what is within the tradition and what is your unique flavor, including how you can interpret and modernize things where appropriate.
- You are expected to learn the foundations and then specialize in what interests you in practice once you’ve learned the basics of the tradition. What the lineage will teach you is really just the beginning of your practice. If you make it to the third degree, you will realize that your years of study have really given you the building blocks from which you can go on.
Cottonwood Star commitment
- Transparency and honest feedback. No teacher is perfect or has all of the answers. Teachers and students will grow and learn together as coven-mates, based on group dynamics and personalities. We will tell you if we don’t feel the system will work for you (not because we don’t like you but because sometimes students feel uncomfortable admitting that it isn’t a good fit or aren’t ready to see it for themselves). Likewise, when we feel you are ready to go further, we will let you know and give information about what next steps might look like for you.
- Despite being a lineage tradition, Wicca is a system that is constantly evolving and changing with society. Some of the practices we have inherited no longer have the same relevance or need to be reconsidered in light of different ways of thinking in modern times. We will work to adapt and reconsider the tradition in light of modern perspectives and practices. You will be passed on the lineage as it was taught and asked to initially try working with the lineage as it is written (unless it it impossible to do so without harm) but this is a living tradition so we will find ways to live it in a modern context.
- Note that outwardly, Wicca is a system that is based on polarity as a means of finding a personal union or internal balance. This does not mean that it is closed to non binary or trans identified individuals or that gender roles are fixed, despite the surface reliance on polarity rhetoric. Polarity is simple a tool to work with, based on a evolving personal understandings of our relationship to society and the land. It doesn’t mean the tool can’t be reimagined or reworked. However, it will require extensive conversations and considerations about how polarity is navigated within the tradition in order to find a means of conveying the underlying teachings that the tool builds individuals towards in their personal practice . This is not something that is well mapped out in the lineage and will take time to navigate, but it is work that Cottonwood Star is willing to do as it arises.