(Musen: Minerva)

"Let us leave theories there & return to here's hear'.

- James Joyce (Finnegan's Wake).

What Is The Difference Between A Mage, Witch & Druid?

     A Mage was originally an Eastern Witch King/Queen or 'Magi Priest/ess' of the Hebraic Kabala, and of the Persian Mithraic & Zoroastrian traditions: such as the Three Wise Men who visited the birth of their Sun God by following His Star in the East; or like that of King Solomon & Queen Sheba, etc. In the Mediaeval era, a Mage became associated with a Majickian. The Majickian type of Mage is a 'Spell-caster' first & foremost, not necessarily a Priest/ess. This type of Majickian has no need to celebrates Esbats (Full Moon Rites), and instead must meditate on a daily basis in order to rejuvenate his or her energy. On a theological level, our Order draws no distinction between the word 'Mage' or 'Witch', although the word 'Mage' is used when referring to male practitioners simply for distinguishable purposes, as the word 'Witch' has become highly associated with females.

     A Witch is a Priest/ess of the Old Religion; an Initiate of the Mysteries. A Witch celebrates the Holy Esbat to renew his or her power every full moon; it is considered mandatory for a Witch to make every effort to rejuvenate during Esbat night, even in difficult circumstances. Such Luna ordinances are of mandatory importance to any genuine Witch. A Witch works diligently through the Silver Wheel & its Esbats or '13 Moons' or '13 Æons' in order to help the ascension process into a higher level of consciousness.

     A Druid is another term for a type of Witch, and simply denotes the Priesthood of the Old Religion belonging to Celts: such as the Gaul's & Welsh, etc. Some Druids developed a cross culture between the Scandinavian Witta, which is why there exists many similarities in regards to the Sacred Wood associations & Runic Alphabet, etc.

Do I Have To Be A Witch Or Mage To Be Pagan?

No. Being Pagan simply denotes love for the God & Goddess, or the recognition of the masculine & feminine aspect of deity, the appreciation & feel for majickal energy, while having reverence & humility for nature by celebrating the seasonal Sabbats (8 Festivals of the Wheel of the Year). The path of a Mage or Witch is for those who desire to pursue a priestly life through Sacerdotal Science. Only those who recognize the vital importance of celebrating the Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year have the right to call themselves true Pagans.

Why Do Many Claim To Be Witches Who Do Not Hold The Priesthood?

In these latter-days, many honest seekers have been miss-informed through various Neo-Pagan movements & sources, etc. Practitioners who utilize majickal energy without the Priesthood are simply 'Majick Users' & mostly perform what is called 'Folk Majick' or 'Low Majick' which is basic spell-craft. Low Majick was practiced by the majority of the common people.  

           Although there exist many who practice 'High Majick' through various Grimoires, etc, it is important to realize that such works of art are intended for specific individuals, or various Orders & Covens who have legitimate requirements to invoke such energy; they are those with the power & blessings of the Priesthood in their lives. High Majick is for Initiates of the Mysteries only.            Low Majick however, can be practiced by anyone with the will to do so. Being Pagan & casting spells does not make one a Mage or Witch, since one has to be 'ordained' a Mage or Witch  through sacred ceremony, or 'Degrees of Progression' in order to hold such a title. They are those belonging to the Priesthoods of specific traditions.

Is There Such Thing As Self Initiation?

Yes. However, it is important to realize that the individual must have very clear intentions. They must know exactly what they are doing & for what purpose, as those of the Art Majickal do not look back. One must draw from reliable sources & books, such as those who are already a Priest/ess. The self initiator needs to have a very deep & meaningful connection with the Deity to whom they are representing. It is best to seek the guidance of one who has the experience, as Self Initiation & Solitary Practice can be a very lonely & daunting path. Because of the lack of an experienced mentor, the Solitary Mage or Witch will often make many mistakes before they learn to fully comprehend the mysteries of the Circle, and of Sacred Ceremony. Foundation is important for anyone involved with the Sacerdotal Sciences, and we suggest to the Solitary Practitioner to pursue Freemasonry in order to properly understand Ritual Workings on a universal-level, and to have fellowship. If the individual is female, keep in mind that French Freemasonry accepts both men & women into their Lodges, and there are also other offshoots of Masonry that consist only of women. For ones own good, it is of fundamental importance to place together a peculiar system or 'theme' of morality & truth, which is veiled in allegory & illustrated by unique symbols appertaining to the selected tradition.

Is There Such Thing As A Blood Witch/Mage?

Yes. This is rare today, and only applies to those children born to a parent or parents who are Initiates (Mages or Witches) of the Priesthood Mysteries of The Craft. Someone who is born of Pagan parents is called 'Pagan Born', and this does not necessarily entitle them as a Blood Witch/Mage unless the parents themselves are actual Initiates.

Do I Have To Be 'Of The Blood' To Be A Mage/Witch?

No. However, in times of old it was mandatory to be 'of the blood' in order to be an Initiate. There are many who descend from the original bloodlines of Master Asclepius, Mistress Aradia, and Adonai Jeshua & Kallah Adonai Magdalene, etc. Many chose to keep it as a hereditary practice. The down-side to 'Hereditary Craft' is extinction. Not all who are 'of the blood' develop a desire to pursue the Golden Path of Gnosis, thus the line is broken. It is for such reasons that Gnostic & Pagan families began to form specific 'Orders' or 'Covens' to seek out those who were willing  so that The Craft could live on.

Do All Pagans Celebrate Esbats?

No. The Esbat or 'ESHBAT' in Hebrew is a sacred Priesthood Ordinance, and is to be held by such Mages & Witches only; that is those initiated into the sacerdotal mysteries. This is because the ceremony of the Esbat contains specific knowledge & energy which can only be fully understood, controlled or invoked by an initiate of the Priesthood.

Most Neo Pagans Are Female Feminists Or Goddess Worshipers; Is There A Preference Of Gender?

Absolutely not. Paganism is about the co-equality between male & female. Those who only worship the Goddess & consist of only females are practicing things that are contradictory to the Old Religion. Feminism is just as damaging as Chauvinism & promotes sexual separation. The Old Religion encourages the sacred individual purposes of men & women while holding each other as co-equal. Those who view their own gender as superior are one of the biggest problems that we as humans face in this world today.

           There are however, some great Covens that consist of only females known as a 'Sorority', who specialize in things that are important to womanhood, etc. There are also 'Fraternities' that consist only of men who specialize in things that are important to manhood, etc. None of these Fraternities or Sororities are at variance with the opposite sex, nor worship either The God or The Goddess alone; quite to the contrary, since many of these Orders meet together during the Sabbats & for a 'Witches Ball' to celebrate together. In the Order Of The Crescent Moon (O.C.M) we encourage both Fraternity & Sorority, as well as intermingled.

Isn't Paganism & The Craft Celtic In Origin?

No. Its simply more popular. It is important to realize that Paganism & Witchcraft belong to 'ALL' cultures since it is the first religion brought to Earth from the Star People (BENE ELOHIM) of the Cosmic Priesthood. Those who arrogantly insist that Paganism & its craft is Celtic are delusional, since the Celtic traditions have sadly barley survived time, and most certainly not wholly or without blemishes. Before Romans came to the Celtic Isles there was very little written culture, and most of the Celts & Scandinavians, only practiced oral traditions. Out of all traditions appertaining to Paganism & Witchcraft, the Celtic Craft or 'Druidic Priesthood' is unfortunately almost extinct, save those traditions that have survived through various families as 'Celtic Folk Majick', and those traditions recorded & adopted by the Romans. In fact, the majority of Witchcraft today derives from Italian Strega & Scandinavian Witta, blended with the Egypto-Hebraic Kabalistic mysteries which were also recorded & adopted by the Romans in the New Testament Times. 

           The Druidism of today developed in the Romano-Celtic period & is more Roman than Celtic. Many of the remaining Celtic families who claim direct lineage to a Mage or Witch are heavily influenced by Romano Paganism & Gnosticism. In the Mediaeval era, most Mages & Witches were also Freemasons, or belonged to similar esoteric Orders whose influence brought a universal foundation to The Craft that is shared by most Orders & Covens today. There is however, a revival of the actual Celtic Druidic traditions at work; such intriguing traditions have always raised much controversy over the last century.

Do All Pagans Practice Ceremonial Nudity Or 'Skyclad'?

To some degree, since Paganism is a nature orientated religion & encourages sacred sensuality & sexual expression: such as found within dancing & Tantra, etc, not necessarily erotic sexual activity. Today however, in my opinion being skyclad in open Coven often takes away from the ceremony rather than enhancing it. Many people feel forced to practice skyclad & lose interest in the Old Ways all together because they are made to believe skyclad is the only way. Being skyclad is sacred & better to be practiced in private by husband & wife, or those who are bound by love & trust.

           Unless you are more sexually inclined, only practice skyclad rites with experienced couples who are not bound to bring lustful intentions into the circle. It is true however, that being Skyclad draws us closer to who we are, and opens us up to receiving more energy from nature without the restriction of cloths. In our Coven we do not practice skyclad, but we are 'robed over bare flesh'. Being skyclad is optional, and respectable. In time, our robes become energized with our majick through ritual, and act as a protection or 'shield' to us against dark forces.

Does Paganism Use Sexual Practices?

Yes. We do not practice sexual ceremonies in 'open coven', but our practitioners are ecouraged to do this privately - solitary or with a spouse or partner - if they so desire.  It is also true that there exists specific Covens who practice sexual ceremony & erotisicm within open circle, but they do not speak for the rest of us. In Paganism, there is no law against specific erotic ceremony if it is purposeful. Because Paganism consist of many fertility rites, these practices are done through sacred ceremony & not simply for personal enjoyment. Although we respect & understand the sanctity of being skyclad, we do not encourage the idea of minors being present where there is nudity, sensuality, or sexuality in a world like today.

Does The Old Religion Teach Harmful Majick?

Within the Old Religion is contained the 'Law of the Force of Power' or 'War Majick ' which is used when harm threatens the Coven, individual, friends or their families. It is used when all means of defense & escape from harm have been tried & failed. Because of the Unholy Inquisitions that followed the vehement empire of Constantine (such as Uther Pendragon), etc, Mages, Witches & Druids needed to defend themselves from such dire circumstances. War Majick should never be used for egoic personal gain.

How Does The Old Religion Differ From Wicca?

Reformed by Gerald Gardener, Wicca is new in comparison to Druidry, Strega, and Kabala, etc, and derived from the Scandinavian word 'Witta'. Although Wicca is now a respectable part of the Old Religion, it remains a fragmented version of the lost archaic arts that fell victim to the Inquisitions, thus became a unique blend of Italian Strega, Scandinavian Witta, and the Egypto-Hebraic Kabalistic traditions. Wicca is now one of many traditions belonging to the Old Religion, and while maintaining Priesthood authority through the basic foundation of 3-degrees, each Wiccan Coven has its unique blend & flavour.

What Does The Grail, Wine & Bread Have To Do With The Old Religion?

The Grail is not a symbol of the New Religion; it never was & never will belong to that tradition. It is a symbol of the Old Religion, and of the Goddess. The Grail was purloined from Paganism by the Church of Rome as they did with everything else. The Great Rite, also known as the Bread & Wine or 'Sacrament' is a sacred ceremony belonging to the Old Religion which was also purloined by the New Religion. The Wine represents our Lady, and the Bread represents our Lord. It is the same for Gnostic Circles in regards to Lord Jeshua & Lady Mary Magdalene, who were 'ADONAI' or High Priest/ess of the Old Hebraic Religion known as Kabala, not Mainstream Christianity which was invented by Paul of Tarsus, nor Judaism which was developed by the corrupted Pharisees who bastardized the Kabala. The Pharisees even whent as far as to condemned its rightful Priests & Priestesses, such as Adonai John the Baptist, Adonai Jeshua, & Kallah Adonai Magdalene, etc. Paul of Tarsus on the other hand was a Mithraic Pagan by origin, which is why there is some similarities in Orthodoxy with specific numbers & symbols: such as the Grail, Bread & Wine, Trinity or 'Triad', 3, 7 & 12, etc.

How Long Does It Take To Advance From Dedication To 3rd Degree?

Being Dedicated requires sincere & meaningful practice. The usual length of initial study is a year & a day. If the Dedicant (Progeny) has not lived up to the obligations & expectations given to them, they will have to be more diligent & patient in order to progress another step (Initiation). The usual length of progression is as follows:

     Advancing from 1st to 3rd is unpredictable. Some people can advance from 1st to 2nd within a few years, while others can remain a 1st degree for 5 or more years depending on their level of understanding. In order to progress to the 2nd Degree, the Initiate has to practice on a daily basis. They need to live what is called a 'priestly-life'.

     Advancing from 2nd to 3rd is more difficult, as it requires the individual to skillfully demonstrate arcane knowledge through various strict examinations & trials. The minimum expectancy to attain 3rd Degree is a decade, although it is very possible to attain it sooner. Remember, it is entirely up to the individuals faith & level of Gnosis (understanding), and there will to practice on a daily basis while enduring to the end.

In many Covens, 2nd Degree is the highest level a Covenor attains, and some do not rise to the 3rd Degree until later in life, or even near the end of life in order to prepare for death. In our Coven however, it is until the student of the 2nd Degree can understand & expand on specific mysteries while memorizing ceremony thoroughly. The 2nd Degree Mage or Witch must also be capable of seeking out possible Progenies to bring back to the Coven or 'Hive'. The 2nd Degree Mage/Witch becomes the Progenies 'Sponsor', and is entitled to train that person privately in Low Majick if they so desire. Before attaining the rank of High Priest/ess, one must live the Circle, love the Circle, and know the Circle in order to teach its mysteries & bestow Priesthood authority unto others. After going into the chair, A High Priest/ess is entitled to 'Hive-off' to form a complimentary Coven, or Fraternity/Sorority; this does not entitle a Covenor to ingloriously 'abandon hive', it is only to create a new one.

What Is A Triad?

There are 2 main forms of Triads in the Craft:

     An alliance of 3 Covens who work together for a cause;

     A Coven or Order of 3 individuals who preside over others Covens & their High Priests/esses. The High Priest/ess answer to a Triad of 'Grand High Priests/esses, but this is not so with all Covens. Because freshly sprouted Covens have yet to develop & grow, it is usually the first 3 Covenors who become a Triad & expand their circle together.

NOTE: Feel free to E-mail us with any further queries that we might add.

- Domina Sigana