Grove of Earth Rising Coven
If you know nothing about Wicca, here is a mini-explanation:
Wicca is an Earth-based belief system, older than any of today’s organized religions as it came before religion was organized. It honors the Earth and all life upon her, and celebrates with gratitude and joy the changing of the seasons through festival days that are based on the old agricultural calendar. It honors the Creator in its guise as God and Goddess, representing the highest principles we as humans can attain.
As Wicca re-forms in modern consciousness after having been lost during The Burning Times, it draws in people who have lived it as practitioners in past lives or need a spiritual one-ness with the Earth that other beliefs might not offer. It bears great similarities to many of the existing native practices that are still so connected to the Earth in daily life.
The Old Religion, as it’s sometimes called, bears no similarity to the witches and Satan worship-concept taught by the Christian church, although a lot of people still automatically think “evil” when they hear the word “witch”. However, those concepts were the only way one religion could overtake another, via vilification, as has happened repeatedly in history and will continue to happen as humans evolve and need new lessons.
My journey as a witch:
I have been a practicing witch for over thirty years, a High Priestess for fifteen. When I was growing up, there were no teachers or books about the Craft. It was all self-discovery and self-awareness in the face of the Christian teachings of my youth. The church was part of my family; with ministers and missionaries among the aunts and uncles. In many ways, their teachings helped me solidify my beliefs by showing me where I disagreed and felt uncomfortable. They certainly had very clear beliefs on what a “witch” was.
I wasn’t aware until later in my life, when I first picked up Scott Cunningham’s “Solitary Practitioner” that I had been following a Wiccan path in my heart for as long as I could remember. And for years I was a Solitary Practitioner – there weren’t many covens or even people of like mind who talked about it in Ohio and Michigan.
But slowly I found people who were on their own like me and we began to gather. When I started teaching at the Psychic Eye Book Shoppe in 2003, my first class was Wicca 101. There I met amazing people who would later form a coven with me. There were several permutations of coven-mates coming and going over the years, but change and the natural flow of the world and people on their path is part of what we embrace.
Our coven, The Grove of Earth Rising, calls itself an eclectic teaching coven as we follow a more broad-based practice than has been established and organized by other Wiccan and Pagan groups. All of us teach the Craft in some way. Our basic tenet is “Do as ye will, as long as ye harm none.” We have a healthy respect for all life and live that respect every day.
For the years that we’ve been practicing together, we’ve done many Circles and Festivals, and as High Priestess, I’ve presided at many Rituals, from Handfastings (weddings) to Wiccanings (Christenings) to funeral rights and helping people pass to the other side. Here are some pictures that show us in our natural habitat. Click on the individual picture for a caption that explains it.