What is a First Degree?
Many persons feel that the first degree initiation is something that a person receives simply because this group or that wishes to accept a person into their circle (Gardenarian, Alexandrian, etc.).
In the my tradition, as a first degree, you ARE a priest/ess, and as such you carry responsibilities. In some traditions, the knowledge you have gained during your first degree studies will qualify you for a third degree in that tradition. But let's look at it a minute.
As I have stated, as a first degree, you ARE a priest/ess. What does this mean? In other faiths, you must go to seminary or its equivalent for a period of at least 5 years to obtain this goal. When you leave there, you are knowledgeable in not only the beliefs of your faith, but also it's history, sects, and doctrines. You have been trained to be a counselor, helper, and friend to your parishioners. You have had training in dealing with problems within your church, your community, and "the enemy". Basically, you have been given the trust of your church to be knowledgeable, loving, caring, and trustworthy.
Should a Priest/ess in the craft be expected to be any less? As an Isian, the answer is a resounding NO!
During your first degree studies, you are the equivalent of an Associate Pastor/Minister/Whatever. You are now in training to eventually have your own coven, or if you wish to be solitary, you are in training to be able to defend your religion to the outside world if the need arises.
What are the responsibilities of a First Degree in my tradition?
As always, in the this tradition, you are required to constantly be learning and growing. This does not mean that you have to be constantly be learning about the craft, but about yourself, your community, Mother Earth, etc. This responsibility does not cease even when you receive your third degree. This is a responsibility to yourself.
of your responsibilities to the coven are listed below:
1.) To grow within the craft.
2.) Observe and participate in all circle functions of your degree or lower.
3.) To assist in preparation for all circle functions of your degree or lower.
4.) To assist any student of a lessor grade in his/her studies when asked by this student for assistance.
5.) To contribute at least one research paper of 10 pages (5 if single spaced) or more on the craft subject of your choice.
6.) Contribute in some manner to each sabbat or public gathering either by time, monies for supplies, or bringing something to share either during or after event. Time could be by arriving early to help set up, staying a little later and helping to clean up after, preparing and sharing a workshop (if open workshop is scheduled), making phone calls to remind people of the event, etc.
7.) Contribute to ideas for coven gatherings and help arrange same. (Remember, all things do not happen at Covenstead!)
8.) Be aware of any conflicts within Circle, and bring this to the attention of the HP/HPS (even if that's where the conflict is!)
9.) Be prepared to accept the responsibility of a circle or ritual should something happen to your HP/S.
To some people, this may seem like a lot of expectations, but keep in mind. We are not are not training "week-end witches." You are in training to be a Priest/ess of Wicca.
first degree is something to be proud of. You have worked hard and
long to receive it, and your HP/S has found you worthy of same.
May the Lord and Lady smile on your efforts.