What is OSG?
The Order of the Sacred Grove is a modern American Witchcraft tradition dedicated to the practice of the Old Religion and to the establishment of the Temple of the Goddess. We are open to all who seek training and initiation into the ways of the wise. We are devoted to the Goddess in all of Her forms. OSG consists of independent but cooperative covens or groves within the larger order. Each coven develops its own patron gods and may follow an independent, but harmonious magickal current. We believe that witchcraft must remain a living tradition, and although traditional structure is essential, we allow for a free expression of dynamic and fluid energy to express itself through a working group.
The Order offers training for those who wish to become Priestesses and Priests of the Goddess as part of the OSG tradition. We are an initiatory tradition and apprentices are taught by mentors within the Order. We are open to both men and women. However, it must be recognized that this is a Goddess oriented group and as such is matrilinear. We encourage freedom of thought and individual expression; "Do What Thou Wilt, An It Harm None." We strive to accommodate a wide range of beliefs and practices.
What is the history and lineage of OSG?
OSG in its current form was established in 1995 by Lady Salome. She was initiated into NECTW (The New England Covens of Traditionalist Witches) in Providence, RI in 1977. NECTW was started by Lady Gwen Thompson in the 1960's. She formulated the tradition as a blend of the folk Witchcraft that was passed down through her family, specifically through her paternal grandmother, Adriana Porter, and the weighty influence of other traditions that were gaining popularity at the time. She was the witch who transmitted the original "Rede of the Wiccae".
Lady Salome founded Women With Wings, a Goddess based Women's Circle in 1990. In 1995 she asked to be elevated to HPS in the NECTW tradition in order to "marry" the old ways with more recent magical currents she had connected with. OSG reflected the blend of these two currents.
Lord Shade is HP to The Birch Grove, located in Walnut Creek, CA. He was dedicated as an apprentice in 2003 and was initiated into OSG in 2004.
Lady Mau is HPs to the Fig Grove, located in Berkeley, CA. She was dedicated as an apprentice in 2003 and was initiated into OSG in 2004.
What are our practices?
Our practices are very "old school". Neophytes copy the Book of Shadows in their own hand. We meet to celebrate the Esbat of the Full Moon, perform seasonal rituals on each Sabbat and gather weekly as covens. We perform magickal workings as needed, both individually and within the covens. Our Order has developed a strong shamanistic bent, connecting with the subtle forces of nature. Other practices include spellcraft, divination, study of the old gods, astral work,sacred craft and devotional practices.
Are you accepting apprentices?
We teach groups of apprentices as the need for growth arises. Training involves face to face meetings for practice, deeper study and connection with the Order.
What does the apprenticeship program consist of?
The Order of the Sacred Grove offers a training program in the magickal arts. The program consists of cycles of experience. The apprenticeship program is the first of these cycles and lasts for a year-and-a-day, the evolution of one turning of the Great Wheel. This is followed by further cycles of at least a year-and-a-day. The training involves study, practice and initiation. It should be noted that the Cycles of training are not meant to be a ladder of hierarchy. The Cycles represent a continuous journey, one that does not end at the completion of the Adept Cycle.
What are the cycles of training?
Outer Court (pre-initiation)
The Apprentice - The Call to Adventure
Before anyone is initiated into The Order of the Sacred Grove, they are trained as an apprentice for a year-and–a day. Although apprentices are not yet initiated members of OSG, they participate in a variety of Outer Court gatherings and activities. This year of shared experiences allows the apprentices and Initiated members of OSG to get to know each other and decide if a future relationship will be mutually beneficial.
The apprentice is trained under the guidance and watchful eye of a mentor. A mentor is an adept who has chosen to devote a year-and-a-day to teaching.
The study areas of the apprentice include the elements, the lunar cycle, spell craft, ritual basics and the magickal properties of herbs. The practice of the apprentice includes the acquisition and consecration of the elemental tools, finding a magickal name, establishment of a personal altar, devotional rites and solitary ritual observances of the full moon and the Sabbats.
Inner Court (post-initiation)
The First Cycle - The Initiate - The Road of Trials
The initiate in the Order of the Sacred Grove completes this cycle of training under the guidance of the High Priestess of her grove. In addition to learning how to participate in a group, this cycle is an inward journey of self-discovery and inner planes work.
Second Cycle - The Pathwalker - Finding the Jewel, Honing Skills
The pathwalker cycle is characterized by independent study in a specialized area of interest. This study, called pathwalking, involves immersion in the study and practice of an area of magickal arts chosen by the initiate.
Third Cycle - The Adept - The Return Home
Adepts are expected to share their skills and experiences with the Order. Adepts may also be called upon to perform public rites such as Hand Fastings, House Blessings and Rites of Passing Over. She may become a mentor or High Priestess when the Order needs her. The High Priestess is the Mistress of Initiation and the representative of the Goddess for her grove.
What is the cost of the training program?
The cost is commitment, hard work and dedication. Anyone in the Order can teach classes and charge a fee but we do not charge for the traditional year-and-a-day apprenticeship.
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