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Reflections on Outer Grove

“Why we teach what we teach”
(by some of the gang who were there and did that thing)

Outer Grove, as here discussed, was (and is) a long-running series of weekly classes taught to Pagan seekers in various cities in the western parts of America and Canada. There was no particular reason for this geographic restriction, other than that it reflected the travelling-patterns of the various elder Witches involved with the sponsoring Covens.

The basic idea was that foreknowledge of folkloric and literary bases for traditional Witchcraft practices would be useful to a Pagan Seeker, as he or she sought to discern whether the Witch’s Path would be personally fulfilling. Likewise, Outer Grove was meant as a basis for observation of the Seekers, in a year-long instructional setting of gradually-increasing responsibilities. Seekers started with a foundational understanding of basic ground rules of etiquette and good interaction, and gradually learned how to take a more active part in their education through the years.

Outer Grove, in this form, got its start in Seattle, during the mid-late Twentieth Century; between 300 to 400 people worked their way through Outer Groves in that city, over the years. Another few hundred passed through in other cities. The Groves were never particularly well-advertised, and still they are not. The key behavioural test for a worthy Seeker is that he or she must have held on to the memory of having been told where and when Sortilege Night would take place each year, and at what hours. This tended to focus the Seeker’s attention somewhat.

In most years, the Groves were fully-seated; most of those who failed to successfully draw an entry lot found their way back in the following year. About four-fifths of all the participants made it through the full year; of the successful ones, about half found subsequently found berths within various Covens.

Outer Grove was never intended to substitute for Traditional Craft training, nor for pre-initiatory religious instruction into any specific Path. It was, however, fully meant to provide the Seeker with the literary, folkloric and historical basis to discern, for his- or her- own self, whether Traditional Craft training would be useful and fulfilling. On that level alone, Outer Grove has served as a good test for ‘goodness of fit’ between Seeker and possible Coven.

Over the years, Outer Grove was sponsored by Covens from the Alexandrian, Gardnerian, Georgian, Kingstone, Mohsian and certain other traditions (no specification of number, ranking, nor successive desirability is intended by the alphabetisation of those Traditional names). Sponsoring Covens sometimes were from the same Tradition; sometimes from different Traditions; the common thread here was that the Covens were willing to work together on such a project, were willing to recognise each other as being ‘valid and licit’, and they were willing to share their collective ‘lessons learned’ (about sponsorship and teaching) with other Covens.

Outer Grove was never meant to be a mass-production enterprise; instead, it has always been a small-scale, intimate act of devotion to the Gods. Over the years, we laboured hard to avoid the pervasive pressures towards ‘dumbing down’ of the content which we passed onwards. We expected the participants to learn, as adults should, and they largely did. Four out of five isn’t a bad statistic; and to think that roughly 200 people found their way to Traditional Covens is in itself most remarkable. During those years, the sponsoring Covens agreed amongst themselves that they would only accept petitions from graduates of Outer Grove; this placed the onus on the Seeker to work hard at his or her learning, and it emphasised to the Covens themselves the very importance of folkloric basis of their Faith.

Thus, in that spirit of sharing lessons learned, these notes are here offered. The principal intended audience is leaders of Traditional Covens who might recognise the underlying concepts of the Groves’ teachings and structures; it also does no harm to the Seeker to understand that such things as Outer Grove exist. The wise Seeker, however, will understand that Sortilege Night may well occur on different evening in different cities; furthermore, the location of the first meeting may well change from year to year.

The following Annexes are slightly-edited and commented copies of foundational documents that were used in one city during one year; these would vary from place to place and time to time, but certain common threads would still be apparent.

Caveat: there are other ways to deal with content and intensity of pre-Initiate instruction. This is just one model, that has been found to be workable and successful in over forty instances in various cities over the years.

Annexe 1: The Prospectus of Outer Grove

Welcome to Outer Grove: an English Traditionalist Pagan Study Group commencing at the beginning of February

Outer Grove is a pre-initiatory religious discussion and working group, with the aim of introducing its participants to English Traditional Pagan folklore, customs and practices. Folklore is distinct from myth: it is the story of our cultural roots rather than a collection of fairy tales or wishful re-imagination of some mythical past.

1. When does it start?

The Pine Year of the Outer Grove is now in session. The information here presented pertains to the Spruce Year, which will commence at the beginning of February.

Students may enter the group by formal petition, subject to acceptance. Students may resign from the group at any time within the year, for any desired reason.

Upon completion of the year’s work, graduates of the Grove will have the opportunity to petition at least two local Covens for membership, and will probably have met representatives of several other Covens.

We do not, and will not, offer correspondence teaching, whether by mail, phone or e-mail.

2. How much will it cost?

In keeping with our Laws, the sole charge for membership in Outer Grove is the participants’ own time in attending Grove meetings and in completing homework assignments. The commitment of 40 weekday nights is in itself a sufficiently high price to pay for knowledge.

We may from time to time ask Grove members to contribute consumable items such as candles, incense, fruit, or fruit-juice; these items will be held by the Grove in common and used in its meetings.

Teaching papers will be provided to the members, in weekly instalments. All members share the cost of photocopying — during the current Grove year this has run between $1.00 and $3.00 per week, according to our Maiden’s accounts. Each set of papers relates in some way to the work of the Grove at that point in the syllabus, as well as to the changing tides and seasons of the natural world. With each week’s papers a brief introductory essay is provided: this essay outlines the week’s work, relates the handouts one to another, and introduces the coming homework assignment.

3. Who is sponsoring Outer Grove, and why?

Outer Grove is sponsored by two established Wiccan Covens within its local area. We are doing this because it provides a philosophical anchor for the Grove, as well as providing standards of accountability for the teaching being done.

The Covens provide most of the Grove’s teachers and much of its Pagan lore, and will fairly consider membership petitions made by graduates of the Grove, with the caveat that successful completion of the Grove training is an end in itself, and in no way guarantees initiation into the sponsoring, or any other, Covens.

Our hope is that graduates of Outer Grove will know enough about the historical roots and current issues of English Traditional Paganism, that they would be able to make an informed decision concerning possible entry into more active practice of our religion.

4. What about the Covens?

Both sponsoring Covens practice structured traditional witchcraft within a certain lineage of our faith. The two Covens are related by lineage and mutual friendship.

5. Is there a book I can read beforehand?

The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, and Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, are two books which would be worth reading for general interest, but not necessarily buying. A rather more advanced book is I, Claudius by Robert Graves. We will provide further reading lists during the course of the Grove year.

As a general note, you will find that your own religious writing (what you create for yourself) will be of greatest use to you.

6. Do you have any Internet resources or mailing-lists?

You’ve already found our Web page.

7. Who may join the Grove?

Any person over the age of twenty years (—- comment added: nowadays we would probably opt for 23 to 26 as a minimum age —–), of good character and in sound emotional and mental health and reasonably good physical health may petition to join the Grove, with these important exceptions:

  • membership is not open to people who are concurrently apprenticed into another Wiccan teaching group,
  • nor is it open to those who have already received Wiccan initiation from another person
  • interested initiates may, however, be invited to help teach in the Grove, at the discretion of the sponsoring priestesses.

We cannot provide child-care at the Grove’s meeting-place. Past experience has been that single parents can make a go of Grove membership if they have reliable child-care arrangements. The Grove meets at 19:00 hours, sharp.

Some of the homework assignments may entail spending time in parks, gardens or woodlands, and Outer Grove’s meeting space does have stairs to climb. Persons who have mobility restrictions should bear these requirements in mind. The Grove’s work entails a great deal of reading and a fair bit of writing. People with dyslexia may find this difficult.

Despite our best intentions, we have often found that the Grove’s meetings run late. Although we usually have high hopes of finishing each session by 22:00 each evening, sometimes meetings (and post-meeting chat time) have run well past 23:00.

8. How do I join the Grove?

Interviews and sortilege will take place at the customary location, on the evening of February 1 between 19:00 and 22:00. If you are accepted into the Grove, you must be able to attend the first Grove meeting on February 3rd, and weekly meetings thereafter.

In the event that we have more than 13 applicants for Grove membership, we will draw lots for membership, from among all the qualified applicants. Lots, if need be, will be drawn at 22:00 (local standard time) on February 1st.

9. Will I have to swear any vows?

The Grove is not a Wiccan Coven, nor is it an initiatory group, and so the traditional vows will not be asked or made. However, Grove members will be asked to oathmake to the following:

  • to respect and maintain the confidentiality of their fellow members and of their teachers, including not discussing the Grove’s workings with non-participants;
  • to refrain from charging money for teaching or using the lore that they have been taught in the Grove; and
  • to refrain from identifying themselves as Wiccan initiates, or claiming the status or perquisites of Wiccan initiation, during the year’s course of theGrove.

In addition, Grove members will be asked to commit themselves to prompt and regular attendance of the Grove’s meetings, including that if an emergency arises, they will make a fair effort to contact their teacher(s) beforehand, to ask for a boon of absence.

The Grove will operate within a framework of Laws, which will be binding upon all members during their period of Grove membership; applicants must copy the Laws in their own handwriting during the interview evening on February 1st. If you wish, you may read the text of these Laws beforehand. Please note that these are a special set of Laws which were written specifically for Outer Grove by the teachers of the very first Outer Grove.

10. Will I have to wear a robe or a special uniform?

Comfortable street clothes will do just fine; in deference to the comfort of your fellow members we will ask you to wear clean clothes (including clean socks!) that are loose enough to allow you to move comfortably and sit or kneel as you please.

Women will be asked to wear a claspless necklace of beads, preferably made of natural objects — this symbolises the continuity of our faith and of our collective charge.

11. What about behavioural standards?

We won’t dictate your musical preferences, and neither the Grove nor its sponsoring Covens will pass judgement upon your sexual or affectational preferences, so long as they are non-violent, non-abusive, and non-harmful to self or others. People who consider heterosexual metaphors, heterosexuality in general, or members of the opposite gender in collective, to be personally offensive will probably not find much of worth in the Grove’s teaching. The Grove’s teachers will neither demand nor accept sexual or monetary favours from students, nor will we encourage or condone the use of illicit drugs or other intoxicants during Grove meetings.

If your doctor has prescribed medicines or analgesics, by all means you should use them as needed before and during Grove meetings. You are primarily responsible for your own well-being and comfort: ours is not a religion that denies bodily needs.

12. Will I become an initiate?

No. Working with Outer Grove will not directly lead to Wiccan initiation. From our point of view, that happens in covens, to which you will have the opportunity to petition for membership following completion of the year’s sessions. It is up to the High Priestess of each coven to determine who is to be initiated, and when that is to occur.

After your Grove year, you will have several options on how to proceed. You might choose to petition to join one of the sponsoring Covens (which, if your petition is accepted, would entail rites of initiation according to our traditional enactments), or to enter another Witch or Pagan group (which might or might not entail additional rites of passage). You may also choose to work outside the traditional model, perhaps to self-initiate and work as a Solitary Witch or Solitary Pagan after your Grove year, or you might form a coven or collective with some of your fellow members and initiate each other after your Grove year. Such alternatives would not confer, nor could they confer, traditional initiatory status. Be careful in considering how such choices may shape your subsequent opportunities.

The non-initiatory nature of the Grove is intended to let it function as a low-pressure discussion group, within which you may explore the folklore and meaning of traditional English Paganism.

Hopefully, after having completed your Grove year, you will have a rich collection of resources from which to work, and you will have had the opportunity to consider whether you would like to enter formal apprenticeship or dedication to eventually become a Wiccan initiate.

13. What would I need to bring to the first meeting?

Yourself, in a rested and relaxed state of mind; and:

  • two white candles (which will become collective property of the Grove),
  • a durably-bound, black-covered blank book (lined or unlined as you prefer,
  • at least 15 x 23 centimetres, 40 to 100 pages preferred),
  • and at least one pen.

You will be copying materials into your book during the first meeting, and at frequent occasions thereafter. How much you decide to put in your book will be largely up to you, but past experience indicates that you will have no difficulty in filling it.

You will probably want to obtain a three-ring binder of standard size, so as to keep your teaching papers and notes organised; you may need several binders through the year (about 400 pages of handouts will be provided) but one will do to start.

You will also want at least one more blank book, in the event that you are accepted into Outer Grove. Expect to do a fair bit of writing…

14. Can the date and time of the meetings be changed to suit my circumstances?

In a word, no. During the year, the Grove will meet on a specific weeknight at 19:00. In other years and other cities, the Grove might meet on the same night, or on some other night of the week depending upon circumstances. The particular weeknight was chosen as the night which would be most convenient for the most people.

If you must work or go to school on such nights, do keep in mind that there are other Pagan and Witchcraft training groups in the City which do meet on other nights of the week.

We are very serious about the commitment of attendance: what we have to offer, like our faith itself, is not a casual pastime or an amusement which may be enjoyed at option. Please think very carefully about what sort of effort you are willing to put into learning.

Annexe 2: Syllabus and Class Schedule for Outer Grove

And here is the syllabus itself, as used some years ago. The syllabus is edited ever so slightly; remember that this was posted on the Internet back then, but omniscient tools such as Google did not yet exist, and so the location and viewing of the syllabus could be reasonably expected to be mainly by folks local to the Grove’s meeting-place. Details have been suitably blurred to protect the participants’ and hosts’ privacy.

Notes added in editing are shewn thus: —–

First Quarter

January 28th: Week Zero:
[Athena, Bona Dea] Staff meeting and planning session for Year One of the Outer Grove, 19:30 hours at the customary place.

—– every meeting was in the Name of one or more Goddesses drawn from folklore. Larousse’s Encyclopaedia was a valuable reference work, inasmuch as it allowed us to give the participants a short description of what was known by scholars concerning each of the Goddesses. —–

February 1st:
[Coventina] Sortilege Night, as explained in the Grove’s prospectus.

—– Sortilege Night was always rather interesting, and intense. Some folks queued up early on the street. Others dashed through the door at the last possible moment. The ones who came latest, in experience, turned out to be the ones who got the most out of their year in Outer Grove. —–

February 4th: Week 1:
[Brigid] Introduction to the Outer Grove. Opening ceremonies. Preliminary principles of English Paganism. Why do we have the Laws of the Outer Grove, and why did we ask you to copy them on Sortilege Night? What are the working tools of the Outer Grove students? Why do we pay dues, and to what purpose are they spent? (dues)

—– Dues were carefully accounted-for, and held in trust by one of the Grove members; we used a little brightly-painted tin can that resembled an overgrown 35-mm film-canister. As supplies were bought, they were duly receipted. What ever was left over at the end of the year was passed on as a gift to the following year’s Grove. —–

February 11th: Week 2:
[Coventina] Blessings and consecrations and the keeping of the tools. How to create a Pagan Circle for work and worship. Greek and Hebrew roots of English Paganism.

February 18th: Week 3:
[Rhiannon] Magical Power and its uses; the role of the Gods and the Archetypes. Pagan rituals for daily use. Dream meditations. `

February 25th: Week 4:
[Cerridwen] Wishes and Boons and what power grants them. Wishing opportunities and folk customs of luck. What is the Pagan Law of Return and why does the Goddess send it? Pagan herbal folklore.

February 27th and 28th:
Weekend out in the forest, wallowing in the snow-drifts (not a Grove event, but Grove members are welcome to come play in the snow for a day.)

—– And did it ever snow, that weekend. The Gods kept us busy shovelling the roof of the house. —–

March 2nd:
Full Moon.

—– Kept in private by the members, each as they desired. —–

March 4th: Week 5:
[Coventina] Counter magic and protection. The importance of calling upon the Gods when you need Their aid. (dues)

March 5th, 6th and 7th:
A local Pagan festival (not a Grove event, but some Grove members may be going along.)

March 11th: Week 6:
[Erzulie Danto and Erzulie Freda] Why have some people been accused of using vengeful magic? Historical review, and the importance of compassion. Amulets and talismans, charms, miracles, the Blessing of Good Health and the granting of wishes, boons and petitions.

March 18th: Week 7:
[Coventina] Solitary workings and the importance of daily devotionals. Books that are useful to the solitary practitioner. Devotionals to your chosen Deity. Solitary practice before and after Initiation.

—- Large reading-list, and examples of many useful texts. Photocopier ran steadily afterwards. As always, little was said about Initiation, other than that such a Rite might be experienced by some of the people. As it turned out, only some of the Grove members ultimately found berths in local Covens, but they all seemed to be happy with their choices. —–

March 25th: Week 8:
[Cerridwen] Recognising Pagan symbols and insignia, and telling the insider from the fashionable. The Pagan name and its power to transform you. Ritual greetings and fellowship. Folklore of the May-Dances. Invoking the God or Goddess, and the impact of meeting the Gods.

—– Discussion here was in context of what Larousse, and other sources, had to say. Consequences of failing to recognise a request made by the Gods, when incarnate but incognito, were discussed: many historical examples from ancient Greece and Rome were available (see Robert Graves’ masterful work: I, Claudius, for a very trenchant warning). —–

March 31st:
Full Moon.

April 1st: Week 9:
[Bona Dea] Exam prep week! Wombattery and other general foolishness. Magical alphabets, and tools both strange and wonderful. Home cooking and the importance of good food in the Circle. (dues)

—– Recipe exchange ensued. The famous rice-and-cheese casserole made its first appearance in Grove. —–

April 8th: Week 10:
[Cailleach] First Quarter Review and evaluation. Bring your Book of Correspondences, Book of Rituals and your handout notebooks.

—– Spring Break ran from April 9th through May 5th, to coincide with the examination schedule of the local universities and colleges. —–

April 30th:
Full Moon.

Second Quater

May 6th: Week 11:
[Coventina] Different forms of Grove and Coven structures. Working Circles, meetings, groups, and their relationship to the Coven. How and why Covens are formed. Basic degree concepts; the Goddess Coventina and Her blessings on the Covenstead. Traditions of sacred groves and other protected places.

—– We made a field trip to a local sacred place, and marvelled at the builders’ manifest devotion. The neighbours were likely amused by our flower-crowns, thinking us good Catholics and all. —–

May 13th: Week 12:
[Lady of the Lake] Putting it all together and making your magic work for you. Getting from theory into practice. The importance of being true to your own needs, and to love yourself.

May 20th: Week 13:
[Arianrhod] Everything you ever needed to know about Pagan astrology but were afraid to ask. Elemental and quarterly attributes, and the importance of birth season. Fireflies all the way up, and turtles all the way down. Why did Raven steal the moon, and what part did Coyote play? (dues)

May 27th: Week 14:
[Brittania] English folk festivals and their North American counterparts. Feasts and dances. Reckoning the seasons.

May 30th:
Full Moon.

June 3rd: Week 15:
[Athena] The Goddess and the seasons. What happens when the Goddess comes to visit? The room, the garb, Her priests and priestesses. Oracles and Sybilline books. The Moon.

—– Another rollicking discussion based on Graves’ I, Claudius. Was the Sybil accurately portrayed there? —–

June 10th: Week 16:
[Coventina] The God and the seasons. What happens when the God comes to visit. The room, the garb, His priests and priestesses. Auguries and portents. The Sun.

June 17th: Week 17:
[Blodeuwedd, Brigit, Brigantia] The Maiden, the Lady in waiting, and her work. Brigit and Her sacred fires and wells. The priestess within her precinct, apart from the world of men. Brigantia, the warrior Goddess of fearsome powers. Why the Lady’s image is on coins ancient and modern. (dues)

—– Games with coin-guessing. —–

June 24th: Week 18: [Cerridwen] The Magister, the best man to the High Priest, and his work. The Man in Black and the messengers, both human and Divine. Perilous journeys and patron saints.

June 28th:
Full Moon.

July 1st: Week 19:
[Athena] The Warrior and the Summoner, defenders of the Circle. Warrior Gods and Goddesses. Martial arts and the Craft of the Wise. Pyrotechnique and other things that go bump in the night.

July 8th: Week 20:
[Rhiannon] Three outer paths: the Fire-keeper, the Diviner, and the Bard and Lineage Keeper. Saunas and sweatbaths; trance and divination; recollection of the Ancient Ways and passing their knowledge on to others in song and story.

July 15th: Week 21:
[Bona Dea] Woodland retreat and garden-party weekend (snow not provided). Second Quarter Review and evaluation. (dues)

July 28th:
Full Moon.

Third Quarter

August 19th: Week 22:
[Athena] Methods of divination, a survey of ancient and modern forms. What everyday people expect a Witch to know.

August 26th: Week 23:
[The Fates] Full Moon. Initiation rituals: their purpose, contents, enactments and significance. Why do this? Why not do this?

—– Again, discussion was grounded in what has been discernible from archaeology. We used the best, most reputable sources we could find. Goals rather than processes were the key, as they should be. —–

September 2nd: Week 24:
[Coventina] Working tools, 1: altar-candlesticks, knife, besom, scarves and shawls, cup, robe, sickle, Book of Shadows, fake and genuine. Magical languages; personal almanac of your body’s life cycles; advanced Laws.

—– Lengthy discussion ensued, as to why some folks felt the need to cobble together and sell or distribute Holy Books in general. Appropriate horrid examples were given: Llewellyn’s syndrome, etc. —–

September 9th: Week 25:
[Blodeuwedd] Working tools, 2: bell, censer, drum, knife of Jack, mortar and pestle, quarter-candlesticks, staff. The language of flowers and herbs; personal almanac of opposite gender’s life cycles; more advanced Laws. (dues)

September 16th: Week 26:
[Jeanne d’Arc] Working tools, 3: cauldron, computer, drop-spindle, garter, head-dress of office, icons, pipe, sword. The magic of birds and animals, and the power of the Familiar. Duty of sponsorship that the Ways may survive.

September 23rd: Week 27:
[Cailleach] Magical times of great power: dusk, dawn, mid-day, midnight and the twilight hours. What are nautical and civil twilight and why do they matter? Camouflage, discretion and invisibility, both wished-for and practical.

—- Practical examples of twilight, using binoculars and range-poles. Discussions of the traditional riding-habit of the Pagans, and how to get by without awakening the neighbours. —–

September 25th:
Full Moon.

September 30th: Week 28:
[Coventina] Third Quarter Review and evaluation. Recommendations of autumnal festivals that you might wish to attend.

—– Pagan festivals of good- and ill-repute were discussed. The importance of listening before speaking was again discussed, along with the need to be mindful that we would be held to full account for our enthusiasms. —–

October 24th:
Full Moon.

Fourth Quarter

November 4th: Week 29:
[Brittania] Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. Other places of interest in British history and folklore. Things you can do with great big stones; Asterix the Gaul and The Big Hewer. Ghosts and hauntings; sacred wells, springs and rivers; why we paint fish by the manhole grates. (dues)

—- Euen McColl’s music was a big hit. Guy Fawkes story (including possible religious underpinnings) was followed by making a date to go keep the Eve at a place close by. Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, that Gunpowder Plot shall not be forgot! —–

November 11th: Week 30:
[Cerridwen] Fishing, hunting and agriculture; the Solunar Tables. Garden diaries and snow-shovels. The Celtic cult of the Head, and the Horned One. Other survivals from ancient sources.

November 18th: Week 31:
[Brigit] The magic of smithcraft and jewellery; making magical tools; bracelets and necklaces. Metallurgy and magic in many cultures.

November 23rd:
Full Moon.

November 25th: Week 32:
[Herodias] Traditions which exist, or “Look what Llewellyn’s done to our group, Mom.” The problems that come from growing too fast, or lifting the drawbridge too soon. Secret Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose.

December 2nd: Week 33:
[Bona Dea] Building your own rites. Building trust, negotiating, rewriting and rewrighting and working it all out. Writing Outer Grove’s Winter Solstice Ceremony. (dues)

December 9th: Week 34:
[Aphrodite] Dhofterie and sexual symbols in Pagan ritual; the magic powers of Ye Potato, Ye Zucchini and Ye Bagel; aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs. Rites and tokens, and the meaning of the partnership bond. Diana and Herodias, and Their rites.

December 16th: Week 35:
[Coventina] Preparation for Winter Solstice Ceremony, worship and rite.

December 21st: Tuesday Night:
Winter Solstice Ceremony.

December 22nd:
Full Moon.

December 23rd: Week 36:
[Lucina] No class tonight. Spend the evening with family and loved ones if you can. Potluck salmon banquet at the house for those who can’t.

December 30th: Week 37:
[Luna, Diana, Arianrhod] The Goddess cycle. The phases of the Moon and their importance to us. Mother Moon as the Triple Goddess. Calendars and clocks, and why many Witches eschew wristwitches. (dues)

January 6th: Week 38:
[Gaia] The God cycle. The Wheel of the Year and its eight spokes. Pagan Celtic customs of the God through the year; festivals and fairs; farmer’s markets as places of religious importance — why your daily life is sacred.

—– This was probably the most intense, and lengthy, discussion of the whole Grove Year. —–

January 13th: Week 39:
[Brigit] Poetry and the Art. Going under the hill and coming back transformed. Finding your own magical song. Readings shared with us by other Groves.

January 20th: Week 40:
[Coventina] Full Moon. Final evaluation and graduation. Preparation of certificates, group photographs, feasting and revelry. Reconciliation and redistribution of excess dues.

—– Excess was passed onwards to another Grove. —–

January 27th: Week Zero:
[Bona Dea] Meetings with various Coven leaders, to discuss future work and receive petitions of membership. Planning session for next year.

Permission is hereby granted to use these notes for non-commercial, religious-education purposes, in keeping with the General Public License. Thanks are due to H., L., A. and B. for their commentaries and sage counsel over the years.

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