The Tradition of Spiral Tree was formed out of Spiral Tree Grove, Church of the Earth, which was founded in December 2000 by Cheryl and Melanie.
Cheryl & Melanie meet in a previous coven that was based in a loose Alexandrian structure. They were initiated into this coven and although they agreed with many of the philosophies, at that time they needed a more earthy feel; a deeper connection to the earth and her mysteries. They also wanted to give more focus on the religious aspect of Wicca.
There was always be a great appreciation to the previous training as that was the precursor to the first footprint that walked into the spiral of this Tradition.
The Below article was written by Melanie back in 2007.
It gives a glimpse into the beginning of the Spiral Tree Grove Tradition. Melanie (Co-founder) retired and stepped away from our Tradition and is no longer is part of it, however her contribution and dedication to it’s lineage is evident in all we do.
In the Beginning….
The old proverb says ‘the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step’, and our journey is no different. Cheryl and I took our first steps independently at different times for different reasons, but eventually our journeys intersected and went on together.
We met many moons ago when we both were receiving training in another group. As we walked that spiral together, we discovered we both had very similar views and goals as to where we wanted our training to eventually take us. The further we walked along our spiral, the more realized our paths were more like each others than any established tradition.
It took a lot of convincing ourselves, but finally, late in 2000, we took the plunge and decided to start a new spiral together.
Everyone who has ever started a big project will tell you two things; 1 – there is always more to the task than you originally thought and 2 – it is ALWAYS much more difficult than you think! Both of these things held true. But really, what worth doing is ever easy?
We talked for hours about what our core concepts would be. We challenged not only each other, but our previous training as we forged a new road. Each challenge helped us both to look inwards and find what was truly important to us and would become a part of our tradition. After many (many, many, MANY) long evenings of discussion, many (many, many, MANY) re-writes, more hours of research than either of us can recall, and more than a little inspiration from the Gods, we were able to plant the seeds of our new spiral – the seeds that would grow to become Spiral Tree Grove.
Then, as now, our most important seed, the backbone upon which our tradition rests, is “Balance.”
Balance in many forms and incarnations is a constant theme throughout our entire teaching spiral, and throughout our entire Grove.
We were both taught that a group should always be run by a male and female – this was how balance was achieved. What we discovered was that at least for us, the balance of male and female is nowhere near as important as a balance of ideas, philosophies, strengths and even weaknesses. In choosing to focus on balance, we are ensuring that we create an atmosphere that encourages a balance of magical and mundane, growth and understanding, spiritual and the everyday, and most importantly, a balance of light and shadow within us and the deities we honor. All of these things were important then and still are today. This striving for balance leads to personal self growth for us, and for the Grove as a whole.
In addition to balance, another core concept is the idea and symbol of the spiral.
If you look at a spiral moving, you will realize it is moving inward and outward at the same time. Once you walk to the end, you begin to walk back out. In doing this, you start walking on the same path but begin to see everything in an entirely different light. The spiral is our constant reminder of the cycles of life; without the inward and outward movement, life experiences would cease to exist. This is one of the foundation markers of our tradition.
Even though change is difficult, we are not afraid of change, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons our Grove is still around today. We have been though difficult times both personally and with the Grove, and more than once we have hunkered down to dig out roots in deeper and gain perspective. We have made changes not only to our clergy program but to our entire Grove as well. Over the years we have found that many of the traditional aspects we originally challenged have come back around again.
We now truly can say that nothing worth doing is easy – and believe us when we say that nothing about the pagan path is easy. It was hard to start down this path so many years ago and it was harder to put our thoughts on paper and plant the seeds of the Grove. Now, almost 8 years later, it is still hard. But has it been worth it? Absolutely. And with the help of balance, our students and more then a little Divine inspiration, we will still be planting seeds for our Grove for many years to come.
Written By Cofounder Melanie in 2007