Wicca - The Craft of the Wise
Wicca is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced religion and way of life which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists. Wicca is a fertility based and Earth based religion. It is being in humbled in admiration in the presence of Mother Earth. To be a Wiccan is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. The origins of Wiccan belief system are traced further back to the Palaeolithic peoples who worshipped a Hunter God and a Fertility Goddess. Witchcraft in ancient history was known as "The Craft of the Wise" because most who followed the path were in tune with nature just like Shamanic healers and leaders.
Initiation and the first degree:
Degree initiation is a new beginning rather than the end of something. A Degree initiation ceremony is a powerful and moving experience. Our path of Wicca follows the traditional practice of insisting on at least a year and a day of study before initiation to the First Degree. In our theme you will be brought blindfolded and bound and challenged at the threshold of the circle to determine if you enter of your own free will and measure will be taken and returned to you. It symbolizes being reborn into a new life of being a Wiccan. Initiation represents recognition of a certain level of mystical understanding. Part of its purpose is recognition, but it is given after you finish the first level. In our traditions, it also links you to the lineage of those who have come before you and transforms the initiate and improves him or her as a person and a Wiccan. During this time, the seeker studies and completes assignments designated by the coven's High Priest. This includes books to read, written assignments to turn in, public activities, demonstration of skills or knowledge obtained etc.
At Second Degree
You should have enough understanding of the Craft to be able to teach it and perform rituals if required. The ritual for initiation in this level involves a symbolic death and rebirth. An initiate is seeking to become an instrument of the Divine. A Second-Degree seeker is called a Priest or a Priestess they are someone who has shown that they have advanced beyond the basics of First Degree. They are often tasked with assisting the High Priest, leading rituals, teaching classes, etc. Sometimes they may even act as mentors to new initiates. This is a self-study level with guidance of the High Priest in the tradition of Wicca.
Wiccans who have reached Third Degree should be able to understand Wicca well enough to intelligently debate and create theology. A Third Degree Initiate may choose to hive off and form their own coven if they want. This degree is only granted to those who intend to form their own coven or part ways. However one can choose to remain at Second Degree for years and continue to be a part of ours.