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The History of STG

faces of stg...

These are the different “logo” we used at STG.

This Tradition was formed out of Spiral Tree Grove, Church of the Earth and I can say it has gone way beyond my expectations.

Where many groups “dissolve” after about 3 years, we kept going. We made changes where they were needed, and when we knew we were starting to spiral out of chaos, we would hunker down and focus within; to our members and our Tradition. We allowed ourselves to make mistakes and within those mishaps we learned the most valuable lessons.

It is with a warm heart that I share some of our lineage with you.

 

I believe in walking steadily into the future while looking back at the footprints that have been made in the past.

 It is important to know where you have tread so you can continue to forge that path. In this tradition we have certain classes, beliefs and expectations that we weaved gently into our clergy program to continue on our Tradition. The “hives” of our tradition layer their own spice, flavor and individual spirituality upon that foundation.

Anyone who attends a group functions will see just that.  The few things that come to mind is we have respect for each other, we never expect our members to do what we haven’t, plus we abide by our bylaws and our core  beliefs. We are also constantly working on our own personal growth while staying focused on the religious aspect of the Wiccan faith. The most important thing is that we follow our heart and intuition.

Cheryl – 2014

 

 December 2000 it begins….

It begain a few months before with concepts and ideas, but in December, we took a deep breath in and exhaled out the Intent for Spiral Tree Grove.

In December of 2000  we had our first “official Meeting”  and our first official Yule celebration with 5 people. Our first new members meeting was in January and from that day on Spiral Tree was creating a Tradition.

It was an interesting time as we were still learning how to run a large group ourselves. As we grew our Grove grew too.

Imbolc altar2002

Imbolc Altar 2002

2002

Around 2002 we realized that we had over 15 members for all rituals consistently, and that meant that our ritual space was shrinking. AT that time we built the Grovestead where our rituals would be held for the next 10 years.

We got incorporated too!

For us this made sure we were recognized as a ” church” within the community. There were numerous covens/groups in the area but most focused on the magical aspect of the craft. Many were closed to new members as well.  We wanted an atmosphere where people had the option of being an Outer Grove member. They could join in the festivities, feel at home without having the obligation to train.

Around this time we also started our Root Member program and this has continues ever since.

Over the years we had some Outer Grove & Root members who stayed with us for YEARS!  Some left and came back, some we never saw again. During our busiest times, we held full moons outside in our backyards with upwards 27 people with many new people joining us at every event.

The one thing we loved at STG were our New Members Meetings. These were our meeting that were held that the Warwick Public library to greet potential member and talk about our Tradition.

STG was becoming known for our large events including our Visions of Spring Celebration which was open to the public. We also took  part in PPD and community events in the years to come.

2003-Visions of Spring, many moons ago!

2003-Visions of Spring, many moons ago!

stg logostg logo

2003-4 or so….

Our group had some growing pains and went through a few difficult times. Extremely difficult to the point where it really shook our tree and rattled our foundation.

When this happens you learn that one must remain silent, reflect and retreat into the loving arms of the Gods for support and to regain clarity. We realized as the spiral expands, there are times it must contract too. It is what a spiral does.

We loved the large events, but we decided to hunker down and focus on our own growing Spiral Tree Grove community. This decision at the time was important not only to our Grove but to all our individual members as well.

IMG_2674

Mabon 2004

So, we closed many of our open moons keeping them for our members only, plus we held less New member meeting during that time as well. STG always had new people spiral in and out, just not as many.

2005 or so..give our take a year

Soon enough our Inner Grove Students started running many of our events and we started to open up our Grove again. Since our training program is LONG and demanding of time and dedication it took a while. We always said that will stand firm on the quality not quantity of Winter Spirits when it comes to training. We wanted our Trained Winter Spirits to go out with confidence that they can run a ritual/event.

All to often I have seen rituals being run by default. NO blame here, just different training or none at all. Our high level of expectations is seen filtered down through all of our hives to this day.

Visions of Spring Beltane 2006

Visions of Spring Beltane 2006 (Cheryl in the blue)

 

Over the years we had trainee’s come and go. Some spiraled for a few years, others started out and realized it wasn’t for them. That is ok, it was how it was meant to be and we learned as much from them as they did from us.  Some aspects of our training we changed, other aspects we did not.

As the Grove continued on, we held Full Moons and Sabbats, discussion groups, workshops, campouts and we continued to teach our Root Members and Inner Grove Clergy members.

 

PPD Harvest Ritual

PPD Harvest Ritual 09

Many Moons later our students became the teachers….

As you read this, keep in mind that all of our Clergy started their Hives before completion of their training  program as this was an “option” in their training.

 2009…

 

ordination scroll

Ordination of Winter Spirits

.

Please see Hives of STG page for individual contact info.

 

Nora

Ordained October 4, 2009

She started Berkana grove on Mothers Night (December) 2008, as small group that main focus was on deities and cultures of Northern Europe, but in a Wiccan format. Over time, she felt that working with the Northern Pantheons were really her “solitary” path. She dissolved Berkana in December of 2012.

She then began a new…

Facets of the Divine, Church of the Earth  was open in January 2013 . This coven weaves many mythologies and different cultures into ritual. They are our smallest coven by choice as they like the small group atmosphere. They only take in members when space is available.

 

Gail

Ordained on January 23, 2010

Horn & Cauldron, Church of the Earth was started in September of 2009 as a small discussion group. She had her first full moon ritual in November 2009.

Horn & Cauldron is the largest of our hives, holding open ceremonies, Sabbats walks and large Beltane celebrations. Large celebratory rituals are held in either the TePee Temple or at the Life In Balance Center which is located on the same property.

Horn & Cauldron is still going strong with students who have completed their training within the Tradition.

 

Lori

Ordained in December 7, 2013

 Sacred Crystal Coven, Church of the Earth was formed in April of 2013 with a small discussion group. The first official ritual was the Sacred Crystal Coven group-forming ritual held in May of 2013 where she had 6 members present. This coven is focused on integrating crystal and stone use with ritual as a guide for spiritual growth. This is a small coven that is only open when space is available as they do not have an Outer Grove. they like consistency in membership.

2012

STG, COTE, the main grove closed, no longer holding rituals/celebrations.

2015

Cheryl started Key,Candle & Crossroads.

 

See Cofounders of STG for more info.

 

Tidbits about STG and our Tradition 

  • One of the longest “open” traditions in the state of RI that is still active.
  • We are very creative and somewhat eclectic. We teach our students the art of writing  ceremony, rituals, and meditations.
  •  The Giggle Goddess shows up at most rituals.
  • The Winter Spirits are very friendly, funny and down to earth. You won’t find a soap box in any corner of the hives.
  • Our  Visions of Spring Celebrations were held for 6 years. ( got rained out for two) We had  between 60-110 people and at one point we had 3 maypoles ( 2 adults and 1 child)
  • STG went through 4 different website, this being our 4th one.
  • We had a “yule” candle that every one who ever joined our Yule events over the past 12 years signed.(see yellow picture below)

 

Winter Solstice 2012 with "Yule Candle"

Last Sabbat at STG, COTE-Winter Solstice 2012 with “Yule Candle”

 

Reflections in the beginning