Before one begins on the Spirit Pathways to training, they begin as either a Dedicant or Root Member. There they get the basic classes, discussion topics, homework and a glimpse into the dedication needed to be either a Ritual Leader (Fferyllt) or Clergy member (Winter Spirit) of STG.
They also get a glimpse into the increased responsibility need to be a leader within our Tradition. One one enters the Training program in our Tradition, they work closely with the Inner Grove and Winter Spirit(s).
To read what our expectations for entering clergy training, see Inner Grove Training Program.
Spirit Pathways for Clergy Training
In the Spiral Tree Tradition’s training program, the emphasis is placed upon the growth cycle in every person. Just like the seasons change, people have tendency to follow the same format when starting on a path of learning.
Each “teaching” Spirit path is 1 year and 1 day long (or longer) and each has specific expectations and requirements- Refer to the Inner Grove training page for more information.
Take a journey down our Inner Grove (Training) Spiral pathways.
These paths take 3 years and 3 days…for most it will be longer.
Spring Spirit Path
In the spring, new buds form and trees begin to grow and blossom. This path is one of new beginnings, growth and learning. This is the time when the new Spring Spirit learns the fundamentals of the Spiral Tree Tradition, God and Goddess theory, history, Sabbats, Esbats, laws, etiquette and above all, and understanding of this unique spiritual path. This is perhaps the most important path of the Spiral as it is the foundation.
Summer Spirit Path
In the summer months, the tree displays it’s lush, rich foliage for the world to see. Summer Spirits start to use their skills for the whole Grove’s benefit. The Summer Spirit becomes more involved in the how and why of ritual writing and working. At this path, they also begin to teach, mentor & sponsor the new Spring Spirits. Summer Spirits are learning how to apply their previous knowledge gained in the Spring Path along with an in-depth understanding about ritual writing, directing and raising energy and the different uses in ritual. In the Spiral Tree tradition, a student is considered a Priestess/Priest at this level, and therefore the teaching (and expectations) is more hands on.
The Crossroads of choice
This is a decision that is found within, as each requires commitment. Moving forward to the Autumn Path and then onto the Winter Path is something that takes an inner calling to do so. Not everyone chooses, or is ready to become ordained clergy. So after the Summer Spirit has journey upon their path, they will stand at the crossroads of choice. To stop being a ‘trainee’ and travel the path of the Fferyllt as a dedicated Ritual Leader, or move on to Autumn Spirit, and eventually onto ordination as a Winter Spirit.
What ever path one chooses, they do so with dedication, honor and commitment.
Inner Grove Ritual Leader- A Fferyllt (Fire-lite) which is a Welsh word for Alchemist, is a Priest/ess within our tradition who has learned to blend magick, metaphor, elements, and Spirit into ritual form to create spiritual wholeness for themselves and the members of the Grove. The Fferyllt has internalized their own divine light as a Summer Spirit and now utilizes that magick and mystery to stir the cauldron of Awen. The Fferyllt is a no longer a trainee in the tradition, but they are always growing spiritually by honing their skills through leading ritual, teaching and mentoring/sponsoring new Spring Spirits. The Fferyllt is a competent Ritual Leader & assistant to the Clergy (Winter Spirits) of this tradition and we are honored by their dedication and abilities.
Autumn Spirit Path
Fall foliage blazes into brilliant color, and then drops to the ground as the tree prepares for it’s quiescent time. If one chooses to continue on with clergy ordination, they will see that the Autumn Spirit path focuses on inner reflection and deep spiritual growth. Working with the Dark moon energy and the mysteries of Crone/Enchantress, Stag/Sage aspect of the Gods is the main thrust of learning. ‘Balance’ becomes the keyword for the Autumn Spirit as students strive to acknowledge the shadow within, and bring the Craft to everyday life. Advanced ritual work, myth and metaphor, counseling, rites-of-passages, clergy responsibilities and other aspects of running a group are discussed in detail. Some Autumn Spirits can begin an “umbrella” group and learn what running their own Group is all about.
Winter Spirit (Ordained Clergy)
Ordained Clergy- (*High Priestess/Priest) The winter is a time of waiting for a tree: waiting for the rejuvenation of the warm spring rains. In order to be reborn, a student must face the ‘death’ of their old self. They are now at a short time of rest and silent contemplation. They will be “reborn” as clergy to take on all aspects of running a church, either within our Grove or hive to create their own branch. The Winter Spirit has demonstrated their determination, ability, strength and love of the Craft and our tradition as well as finding inner spiritual awakening. The learning does not stop at Winter Spirit, it just takes on a new form, as our clergy go out and are able to teach others about this tradition with confidence.
* Winter Spirit Balance-Terminology for the High Priestess & Priest in our Tradition, as we do not believe that “balance” has to be that of male and female. It simply has to be a balance between two people who complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, we do not call ourselves HPS/HP; instead we are the Winter Spirit Balance, eliminating a need for gender distinction.
*There are times when a hive is run by only one Winter Spirit.