Circle of Oak and Mistletoe

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Circle of Oak and Mistletoe
Circulus Quercus et Visco
OakandMistletoeLogo.jpg
Location
Adelaide, & Online
South Australia
Information
Type Teaching Coven
Religious affiliation(s) Wicca
Denomination Inclusive Wicca Tradition
Established 2005
Founder Dr Ziggy Smith
Age 18+
Classes offered 1st, 2nd & 3rd Degrees of Inclusive Wicca
Medium of language English
School fees No fees
Tuition Distance Learning & Face to Face
Website

The Circle of Oak and Mistletoe (O&M) is a Wiccan teaching coven based in Flagstaff Hill in the City of Onkaparinga; and an online teaching group and community. It is the founding coven of the Community Church of Inclusive Wicca which was incorporated in South Australia in 2008.[1] Whilst primarily a group for Australian practitioners, it has evolved into a provider of teaching services globally.

History[edit]

Oak and Mistletoe was founded by Dr. Ziggy Smith (Craft nameAmethyst Treleven) in 2005 in Western Australia. It started as a small face to face teaching group, but in 2008 an online presence was established with an Oak and Mistletoe website. Although this was a response to a perceived need to provide Wiccan training for isolated students within Australia who were unable to locate, or join, a teaching group in their locality; it quickly attracted Wiccan students from around the world. Within a year, the website was upgraded to provide real time chat facilities, bulletin boards and a variety of other services designed to generate, support and maintain a community of interested parties, students and initiates.

Initially Oak and Mistletoe was constituted as the first Australian coven in the Universal Eclectic Wicca tradition. However, almost immediately Dr. Smith decided that establishing an independent tradition would allow greater flexibility in developing a program that was as inclusive as possible; and it became the founding coven of the Inclusive Wicca tradition.

Admission[edit]

The face to face group has three levels of membership. The first are friends of the group who may be solitary practitioners and who do not wish to learn formally. They are invited to open festivals held by the group. Student members are those who have been accepted for study and who are undertaking the initial training program. Initiates are members who have completed their initial training and have undertaken the mystery rite of initiation with the group leadership and other initiates.

Student entry to the face to face arm of oak and Mistletoe follows tradition Wiccan principle in that the applicant must undertake an interview with the group leadership to determine commitment levels and a general fit with the existing group membership. Training is free.

The Oak and Mistletoe website has two levels of public membership. The first are forum members who are able to access the site's chat room services, open forums and information pages. Accepted online students have the same access plus that of the lesson to which they are currently assigned.

Student entry to the online arm of Oak and Mistletoe is via an application form located on the website which is then vetted by the group leadership. Training has a fee of $20 to maintain website costs.[2]

Leadership Structure[edit]

The Circle of Oak and Mistletoe has a Coven Council which includes various portfolios that ensure both online and face to face members are equally represented. Elections are conducted annually and voting is secured through a variety of methods to ensure all members have equal opportunity to participate. The Council operates under a constitution that articulates both the strategic and operational aims of the group.

Study format[edit]

All students, regardless of whether they are utilising the face to face or online methodology follow the same curriculum. The curriculum called Seekers Guides 1,2 has been published in two formats, one for the northern[3] and one for southern hemisphere.[4] Whilst essentially both the same, the southern format also explains and explores the differences to original Wiccan practice that are often required in the southern hemisphere in order to maintain a geographically sensible religious practice. Thus face to face students automatically utilise the southern hemisphere version. Online students have the choice of using either although they are encouraged to also read the supplementary material in the southern hemisphere version to better understand the differences in practice.

Face to face students undertake theoretical and practical training with their fellow students and group initiates for eight months during which time they are encouraged to also attend monthly Esbats and the eight celebratory Sabbats of the liturgical year.

Online students are provided with a series of interactive activities to simulate and later generate effective practical application of the religion. They are also provided with a one-to-one tutor who meets with them regularly to review their progress and to move them through the lessons where they have achieved the lesson outcomes. There are regular chat sessions where all students are invited to discuss topics in real time with each other and their tutors and each week a new topic of discussion and exploration is opened in the bulletin boards that supplements their curriculum.

Online students, by the very nature of the fact that the website has a global presence, are often a considerable distance from the face to face group, in fact most online students are located in the United States and UK but are nonetheless encouraged to attend events with the face to face group whenever they might travel to Australia.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Community Church of Inclusive Wicca. "Home". Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Oak & Mistletoe. "School Application". Retrieved 2010-02-23. 
  3. ^ Treleven, Amethyst (2008). Seeker's Guide To Learning Wicca: Training To First Degree In The Northern Hemisphere. Oak & Mistletoe. ISBN 978-0-9805818-2-9. 
  4. ^ Treleven, Amethyst (2008). Seeker's Guide To Learning Wicca: Training To First Degree In The Southern Hemisphere. Oak & Mistletoe. ISBN 978-0-9805818-1-2.