Merry Meet! Tips for Visiting the Grove

Planning on visiting soon? Great! We look forward to meeting you!

Here are a few tips that will make your visit with us an enlightening one...

  • Ask tons of questions. We welcome them!
  • It is acceptable to arrive an hour prior to the start of a ritual.
    This gives you time to settle down, get a tour, and chat with people.
  • Anyone who comes needs permission from the High Priestess and High Priest.
    Please do not extend invitations to others without getting permission first.
  • Please use discretion regarding its location and the identities of those who attend.
    The covenstead is a private residence.
  • We feast together after Sabbat rituals, but not Esbats.
    Not sure what to bring? You can't go wrong with a bottle of wine, your favorite dish, or dessert.
    Please bring enough for 12.
  • Wear comfortable, causal clothing and shoes. If your feet aren't happy, you won't be either.
  • Please do not wear the colors red or purple.
  • Please do not touch the altar without permission, but feel free to ask questions about the items on it.
  • Please do not touch anyone's jewelry without getting permission first.
  • Please refrain from the use of mind-altering drugs prior to or during ritual.
    Anyone bringing illegal drugs to the covenstead will be asked to leave immediately.
  • Please do not use any alcohol prior to the ritual.
  • Financial donations defray the shared costs of the Grove.
    Donations are not expected of guests, but are always appreciated.

As a guest, we will expect you to:

  • Ask tons of questions.
  • Make mistakes, and maybe even feel a little lost.
  • Follow the tips outlined above.
  • Come with an open mind.
  • Show courtesy.

As your hosts, you can expect that we will:

  • Ask you questions. We're an inquisitive bunch!
  • Make a few mistakes of our own.
  • Treat you with kindness and courtesy.
  • Will joke and laugh. We genuinely enjoy one another's company.
  • Do our best to be respectful of your time by starting our rituals in a timely manner.
  • Enjoy time to visit with friends (new and old) over good food and great conversation.
  • Will do our best to make you feel welcome.
    Remember, we understand what it is like to be in your shoes. We began there, too!

Becoming Part of our Community

Individuals who have met with our High Priestess and have attended ritual with our group may be given the opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of the Old Religion. Interested individuals are formed into classes that meet once a month, usually on a Sunday afternoon. Individuals who chose to study with us are referred to as neophytes. We consider neophytes a part of our Grove.

Our curriculum consists of thirteen classes: protocol, laws tenets, meditation and mental discipline, myth and symbolism, metaphysical theory, magickal theory, ritual, tools, and energy. Core classes taught by initiated members of the Grove of the Willow Wood, and take at least a year and a day to complete. Homework assignments require study, research, and introspection. Classes are dynamic and neophytes and initiates are encouraged to take them multiple times.

Participation in regular rituals with the Grove of the Willow Wood while attending classes is not mandatory, but is strongly suggested as these rituals provide a practical opportunity to apply and explore the ideas presented in class.

Upon completion of the classes, each neophyte is able to make a balanced and considered decision about whether or not to seek initiation to become a priest or priestess of the Old Religion. Regardless of whether initiation is sought by or granted to a neophyte, this individual will remain a welcome friend of our Grove.

Please note:
  • Initiation is not a graduation ceremony, mandatory, or automatic; it is also not for everyone. Each candidate is considered on an individual basis by the High Priestess and High Priest in consultation with the Grove's initiate body.
  • The Grove of the Willow Wood will not, under any circumstance, instruct individuals under the age of 18 without written and verified parental consent. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to jointly attend classes.
  • We do not provide online or correspondence courses.

How We Practice

At Willow Wood, we believe that your spiritual practice should be found in your daily life. Every day that we live is an opportunity to takes steps along our spiritual path. One can find holiness and reverence in the stroking of a pet or snuggling with a loved one just as easily as it can be found in the lighting of your altar, or meditation.

Wiccans usually celebrate twenty-one (21) holy days each year. Though Wicca is a religion for the individual, Wiccans often come together to worship the God and Goddess. Wiccans mark the progress of the seasons and nature's cycles at thirteen lunar (full moon) Esbats and eight Sabbat festivals each year; four solar and four agrarian. The Sabbats make up what we call the Wheel of the Year.

We gather together on the Saturday closest to the actual date. Sabbats are celebrations. We follow each Sabbat with a potluck feast.

The Covenstead is housed in a private residence. We gather to celebrate Sabbats at the covenstead, but also expect our students and members to commune with the God and Goddess individually and, on occasion, do rituals on your own.

Although we come together and celebrate as Wiccans, we are each responsible for our own spiritual lives and practices on a day to day basis. Practicing your Craft and putting to use that which you have learned is necessary to your spiritual development.


Common Misconceptions about Wicca

While there may be more, below are some ideas that are commonly--and incorrectly--assumed to be part of Wicca. The Grove of the Willow Wood does not partake in any of the actions below.

Wiccans are NOT Satanists

Satanism is a deliberate perversion and reversal of Christian practices. Wiccan beliefs predates Christianity and has nothing to do with Satan, who is the Christian personification of evil. In fact, Wiccans do not believe at all in an ultimate evil force. Wiccans do believe that ignorance can lead misguided individuals to commit harmful acts. It is unfortunate that Satanists have stolen and then perverted the sacred symbols of both Christianity and Wicca. This is disrespectful to both religions. Such harmful ignorance of the Wiccan religion by the larger public leads to a belief that Witches are Satanists because of confusion over similar religious symbols.

Wiccans do NOT commit blood sacrifice

As practitioners of a life-affirming nature religion, Wiccans find human and animal life sacrifice sacrilegious. The very concept of blood sacrifice is repulsive, and the practice is an abomination to Wiccans.

Wiccans do NOT practice 'black magic'

Wiccans do not spend time casting spells or indulging in ego-feeding hocus-pocus. Rather, Wiccans know that when life is responsible and harmonious, things fall into place as they should as if by magic. Well, to Wiccans, this is magic--the only magic. Magic happens when an individual is able to discipline the mind enough to control thoughts no matter what else happens. According to Wiccan teaching, our minds can be our undoing or our doing. As we think, so shall it be. Thus, magic is a by-product of right-living and disciplined thought.

Wiccans do NOT seek to proselytize, evangelize or convert

Wiccans do not 'recruit.' The Path of the God & Goddess is one of immense personal responsibility, study, and reflection. One must come to the Path through his or her own free will.

Please be certain to read what we, as Wiccans, do believe and practice.


Getting to Know our Community

The landscape of Paganism and Wicca is vast and diverse. No two people, or groups, will practice in exactly the same way, or share the exact same beliefs. However, here are some beliefs that are commonly (though not always) shared by other Wiccans and by our Grove:

Wicca is a nature oriented religion

Wiccans consider the natural processes of the Earth and the greater universe to be divine. All life and all lives are sacred. Members of the Wiccan priesthood, both men and women, are called Witches A Wiccan is not the "witch" depicted by Hollywood images or defamed by the ugly stereotype seen at Halloween. The terms Wicca and Witchcraft refer to the whole of an ancient pre-Christian religion and its practices complete with deity, ethics, holy days and trained clergy who minister to Wiccan congregations. A warlock is any witch, male or female, who is shunned by the coven for unethical behavior.

Wiccans believe in God

To a Wiccan, God (The Creative Life Force) is the all-encompassing, all-powerful force of life - the Creator. Wiccans view The Creative Life Force manifested in a duality of male (God) and female (Goddess), each of equal importance. Though the different religions of the world worship gods and goddesses of many names, Wiccans consider all gods to be one God and all goddesses to be one Goddess. The Wiccan God and Goddess are the same deities as those worshipped by everyone else. There are many pathways, but they are all traveling up the same mountain along the way to spiritual fulfillment and a personal relationship with the Divine.

The Wiccan clergy consists of Priests and Priestesses

The clergy functions just like that of any other religion, performing religious services, legal marriages, funerals, baby blessings and personal counseling.

Wiccans usually celebrate twenty-one (21) holy days each year

Though Wicca is a religion for the individual, Wiccans often come together to worship the God and Goddess. Wiccans mark the progress of the seasons and nature's cycles at thirteen lunar (full moon) Esbats and eight Sabbat festivals each year; four solar and four agrarian. The Sabbats make up what we call the Wheel of the Year.

Wiccan ethics are summed up in the following creed: '~n ye harm none, do what ye will."

This rule, also known as the Wiccan Rede, seems simple, but a great deal of personal responsibility is necessary to live up to its requirements. In striving to fulfill this creed, Wiccans must take responsibility for their actions and their consequences on a mental, physical, and emotional level. They must give deep consideration to all the possible repercussions of any thought or deed. Wiccans try to live a virtuous and balanced life in harmony with other people and with nature.

The Wiccan concept of Salvation is incorporated into the Witches Three-Fold Law, which states that any action or thought of an individual will return in like kind thrice over.

Thus if good deeds and intentions are set into motion, positive consequences will ultimately return to the individual. Whereas if negative or destructive deeds and intentions are propagated, the individual will receive the same in turn from others. Spiritual fulfillment is achieved through positive works and harmonious living.

Please take a moment to review the practices which, in our opinion, are not part of Wicca.


Our Community

Our Grove is open to adults who have love in their heart, a sincere desire to learn the ways of the Old Religion, and seek the love and light of the Goddess and God.

Our group operates under a three-tier degree initiatory system where each level of initiation specifies further responsibility within either the Grove and/or the Craft community.

The church is led by Lady Jasmine and Lord Solandrin. The other initiated members are first, second, and third degree male and female Witches. Second and third degree witches are addressed with the title of Lord or Lady. Students and friends of the group are referred to as neophytes.