Q. Can I just join online, or do I have to be local?
A. No. To be a member of a grove requires that you be present for rituals, classes, and elevations. If you are interested in the Blue Star tradition but are not local to us, please visit the Blue Star Foundation site to get in touch with someone from your area.
Q. Do you teach spellwork and/or could your coven please do a spell for me?
A. Birch & Maple Coven and Grove only does spellwork for its members as needed. Additionally, spellwork is not our main focus. The core of our work is the worship of the Gods. We do however teach foundational skills which are vital to spellcraft should you have an interest in it.
Q. What is your coven’s take on love spells?
A. Love spells are a form of magical coercion and as such we find them to be highly unethical. We cover this topic in depth and many more like it in our seeker’s class on magical ethics.
Q. What deities does your coven worship/work with?
A. Aside from the Lord and Lady, we typically honor Greek, Norse, Irish, and Welsh deities in our Circles. However, there are no restrictions on personal practices or beliefs, and if you are called to honor particular deities that’s totally fine. The Lord and Lady are the patron deities of the Craft. Whether or not you see all gods as being one or both of them and/or both part of a singular deity, are a total polytheist, believe in them as archetypes only, or are an atheist is not something that our tradition dictates to people. Beyond teaching their mythological cycle in our tradition and how that relates to the Wheel of the Year, however you personally see them is up to you.
Q. Does it matter what I believe or what gods I worship, or how I even see the gods in general?
A. No, it does not. Our tradition is orthopraxic. It is about the practice and what we do, and does not dictate belief or beliefs. While we have “hard” polytheists in our coven and grove, we welcome all philosophies and beliefs about the gods.
Q. I’ve already studied Wicca on my own, how similar or different is it from Blue Star Wicca?
A. Beyond working in Circles and honoring the Wheel of the Year, it is extremely different. While there are essential concepts which can be learned elsewhere (ie., what are sabbats and esbats, the elements, moon phases, etc.), we are not teaching eclectic solitary Wicca. What we teach is Blue Star Traditional Wicca and that is not the same as simply getting basic eclectic Wicca skills and knowledge. And even if you come from another British Traditional Wiccan background such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Algard, etc., you would still have to start at the beginning even if you are a Third Degree initiate.
Q. No really, I don’t get it, please help me out. What is traditional initiatory Wicca or British Traditional Wicca and how do I know what traditions are a part of that?
A. We feel you. It’s very confusing and sometimes the internet isn’t always clear on this, especially when there are is so much misinformation out there put out by people who don’t even know that there are two clear and radically different types of Wicca. Traditional Wicca is one of those types. Simply put, what the two types have in common for the most part is that we do work in Circles and honor the Wheel of the Year, but that’s pretty much it.
While this Wiki entry gets into a fair amount of the history and structure, this one lists traditions under that umbrella and has a very good summary on what makes them a part of the umbrella term of British Traditional Wicca. Only one caveat: the term “British Traditional Wicca” is a very American one. Nonetheless, these places online are good to begin as far as looking into traditional Wicca and where one would start.
Q. I’m not yet 18 but I’m really interested in your tradition, can I still join?
A. Unfortunately we only will accept students who are 18 years of age or older. If you still have an interest, please come see us then! In the meantime, we can happily give you reading lists and resources that will help you. We really love supporting enthusiastic learners.
Q. What is your position on the rule of three/threefold law or the Wiccan Rede?
A. Our position as a coven and grove is “Do no harm, but take no shit.” Birch & Maple however does not dictate beliefs, nor does the Blue Star tradition. There is no “pope” or “grand adept” of Blue Star Wicca. Our tradition is orthopraxic and we have reasonable standards of proper conduct. Everything you do has an impact, and we teach mindfulness about the potentials of our actions. As such, we believe in helping to create responsible witches and teach a seeker class on magical ethics. However what you choose to believe, what deities you work with/worship, and what your philosophy is, is entirely up to you. As a result you will find a variety of opinions and beliefs about the threefold law and similar ideas within the Blue Star tradition.
Q. What sorts of topics do you cover in your classes for seekers?
A. We cover subjects such as the history of the Blue Star Wiccan tradition as well as the history of our coven, how we celebrate the Wheel of the Year as a tradition, the comparisons and contrasts between our tradition and that of other traditions, the basics on the elements and their history, magical ethics as well as many others.
The classes are structured in a way so that beginners and experienced students alike can learn from them, and we take into account learning styles as well as various types of neurodivergence which can impact learning. As always, if you have any feedback for us on how we can improve our classes’ accessibility as a seeker during the process, please let us know.
Q. How does one go from a seeker to becoming a Dedicant?
A. After attending classes and rituals with us for usually about a six to nine month period or so, those who have an interest in becoming a Dedicant can submit an essay to us on why they wish to seek Dedication. We do our best during this process to be as open and transparent as possible about what that entails so you can determine for yourself whether or not this is the path for you. People can stay at the Dedicant level indefinitely should they not wish to pursue initiation and become a part of our clergy. You can read more about what these levels mean and how the Outer Court vs Inner Court works here.