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The Gwyddonic Order
This was sent to me by Mairwen and was an in-depth answer to some questions that "E" had regarding her tradition. For more information on this tradition, please visit http://www.pagan.drak.net/gwyddon
I'd like to thank you for posting this. We've recently had some issues come up in our Tradition, and this has helped/is helping me to think ~ which is partly why it's taken so long for me to answer. So, I apologize if this is a bit long-winded, as well.
> I would appreciate anything you can share with me.
Whatever I can. In this Tradition, the only thing we can't provide to those "outside" is a copy of our Initiatory material, though I can certainly sit here and discuss those things until we both pass out from exhaustion. Make sense? We're free to answer any and all questions ~ we just can't go around passing out those materials to whomever requests copies, or publishing them as someone did recently. *fume!*
> Can you tell me what you consider the hallmarks of your tradition, those
> things which should not be changed by daughter covens?
I'll start here, then go down the line ....
Student never has permission to change our teachings to suit himself, no matter how much he thinks he understands the material. A Teacher's (on this Path) most important objective is to teach the Concept of Oneness. He can also share the knowledge of the Craft's traditions, history, and respect for life and nature. A small clause in our Craft Law allows us to update the Law as we see fit, when certain things are outgrown or no longer apply; however, most do this by creating By-Law for their College (similar to a Coven in some aspects). A geasa was set down many years ago when our Trad was still closed-famtrad to never write down the Tuatha Oath, as well. We expect that our Little Works (the five steps we use to teach magic) will be left un-changed, as they are a strict set of steps/methods for learning our magical path. We also expect that our ritual methods/patterns will be left unchanged.
> Or those things which make your tradition that tradition?
It's rare to see the Concept of Oneness outside of Buddhist Tradition. I've been trying to do research in order to find it elsewhere, and keep coming up empty-handed. Our main philosophy is "WeSSeL", or Wisdom, Self-honesty, Self-responsibility, and Love. We also stress "Perfect Love and Perfect Peace".
>Teaching standards and training standards
On our webpage, I have a blurb that states, "This is not a Path for wimps. Our teaching methods are strict and exact." :0)
1. A College must have a High Priestess (who may be of any degree, if a Third Degree is unavailable, but a Third is preferred), or it's not recognized as a "legal" College of our system. A College must have, beyond the HPs, an HP (who must be Third Degree), and at least one founding member (some say two or three). The HPs has the final word.
2. Ritual and practical functions may be performed by either the HP or HPs, or the Wayland (2nd Degree male), or the Maiden (2nd Degree female).
3. A person must be Initiated in order to learn our Tradition. Upon Initiation, the person goes from Seeker to Student. A Student is considered a First Degree. Upon completion of the Little Works, the Student requests Elevation to Second Degree, whereupon he is considered a Lesser Priest. Certain work and training is completed/achieved, and the LP is tested for Third. At Third Degree is when the High Priest's training truly begins! ;0)
4. We allow no-one under 18 into the Tradition, unless his parents are already members; even then, training doesn't begin until the person has reached 16 years of age. We do not allow children under the age of 8 into our Circles. (Practices under this heading may vary from College to College, according to their personal needs.)
5. Anyone drunk or drugged is turned away at the door. If anyone should become drunk or drugged will be asked to leave.
I think that's about it. Please note that I use "he" to mean either a male or a female. I came to the conclusion a few years ago while editing some materials that trying to be PC while writing about the Craft is way too time-consuming and can be exhausting. ;0)