How to Become Wiccan Clergy

by Jen Saunders
The pentagram is a spiritual symbol used by Wiccan clergy.

The pentagram is a spiritual symbol used by Wiccan clergy.

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Wicca is a very complex Pagan faith that encompasses varying practices and traditions. This postmodern religion, which is about 60 years old, is rooted in ceremonial magic that has resonated with people around the world. As its members have increase in number, the need for leaders to provide guidance to growing covens has soared. If you feel called to be a member of the clergy in the Wiccan faith, there are some key points that should be considered.

Finding the Right Coven

Typically one’s journey in becoming a member of the Wiccan clergy starts by finding the right coven, or community. There are covens all over America and they typically take on the flavor of their founder. To find the right coven you can simply visit different groups and gauge them. If there is anything in a particular coven that makes you feel uncomfortable, just move on to the next. Some groups are Dianic and exclude men, while others endorse a balance of genders. Finding the right coven involves finding a group of people you fit comfortably with, as well as one structured to fit your lifestyle.

Education

Anyone can get ordained into the Wiccan faith online, but don’t expect to be taken seriously by traditionalists. Becoming a widely respected member of the clergy requires about four years of dedicated work that involves studying, passing exams, trials and initiations.
Once you have found a coven you fit comfortably into, you will be mentored by a second or third degree member while studying and learning the principals of Wicca. Though varying covens require different standards, most well established groups require rigorous learning processes that meet high standards. The educational standards are not placed simply on book learning, but also on practical execution that is demonstrated through rituals, mentoring and relationships with higher members. In order to master these areas, you must move through a structured ranking system and earn degree titles.

Degrees

The road to becoming a member of clergy involves earning degree rankings. Typically, a clergy member must earn a second or third degree. The degrees are:
• First degree -- You must understand the coven's principals and basic etiquette; establish a good rapport with a 2nd- or 3rd-degree coven member; learn all the basic laws, rules and history of the faith; and carry out basic spells. • Second degree -- You must acquire advanced skills in herbalism, practical magic, craft skills and ceremonial skills; oversee and mentor first degree members; prepare the temple for ceremonies. • Third degree –- This degree is typically reserved for those who are leaving their coven to form a new one. You must have mastered the second degree requirements and be of sufficient age to have real life experience within the faith.

Dedication

Being a Wiccan clergy member is not a job to take lightly. As a member of the Wiccan clergy, you are taking on a big responsibility. Ultimately a priest or high priestess puts the needs of their followers above their own. They are responsible for the coven members' spiritual wellbeing and protection. Doing some soul-searching and a great amount of research into the requirements of this role will help you determine if it is the right move to make in your life.

About the Author

Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.

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