We honor the Lord and Lady
The Lord and Lady encompass all things. They are the twin manifestations of the ultimate, unknowable Divine, split in two so that between their polar opposites, the universe could be born. They are more than male and female--they are projecting and receiving, darkness and light, summer and winter, growth and decay, addition and subtraction. They are the twin poles on the battery that make electricity possible. They are heaven and earth, flesh and spirit, death and birth.
Within them, all exists. Many gods of many names exist within them, all across the world. Spirits, angels, demons, faeries, devas, and other such beings of pure spirit, all exist within them. Beings of matter and spirit--people, animals, plants, rocks, clouds, rivers, mountains, robots, cars, and computers--they, too, all exist within them. And all carry a part of their divine spirits, the polarities within that drive our creative endeavors.
We emphasize ritual work in a small group setting
We keep our coven small enough to fit in a living room. This is partially due to space restrictions, such as the size of our living room, but mostly it is due to interpersonal dynamics. Within a small group, we have the space to deeply explore the mysteries in a group that feels safe and comfortable with one another.
We emphasize the use of ritual, such as our full moon ceremonies and our Feast of the Dead at Samhain. No matter if we are standing around the altar, or sitting at the dinner table with our beloved dead, we use specific, repeated rituals in order to create a known and familiar spiritual space for all involved.
Our path is one toward priesthood
We expect you to be working to the the best that you can be, both in the circle and out, so that you may ascend through the degrees, attain priesthood, and share this Craft we love with others. Traditions only survive if there are those out there to pass them along. That means you, seeker!
What is the Blackthorn Tradition?
The Blackthorn Tradition was founded in the mid 1990s by two Gardnerian initiates who wanted to create a working system based in BTW roots but with flexibility beyond the coven-based model, one that could empower individual witches and partnerships of any sex or orientation. It is an initiatory, oathbound tradition, purposefully small and close-knit, focused always on quality over quantity. After remaining nameless for some time, Blackthorn was agreed upon by a council of initiates who felt it to be both appropriate and evocative.
We emphasize the use of magic, and finding one's own understanding of it
Magic, science, religion--all facets of the same jewel. Magic is the side of it where we integrate the rigor of science with the mystery of religion. Magic is making spiritual power manifest. We emphasize being effective on all planes of reality, including this one, and using all of the tools at your disposal to do so. While we use traditional rituals and lore in our coven, tradition is a foundation, not a cage. We encourage, and expect you to explore magic and spirituality in your own way both within and beyond the circle. Study and study well, seeker. There will be pop quizzes.
We welcome those of all races, genders, and cultures. The only thing we don't tolerate is bullshit.
While we worship the Lord and Lady as the ultimate binary, I cannot stress enough that the binary only exists as a metaphysical construct. No matter how we define ourselves on this plane, we all have access to the God and Goddess within ourselves. Therefore, we allow any two people, so long as they share a polarity, to lead a circle. Inclusiveness to all orientations and identities is important to us.
Our religion, while rooted in the British Isles, is not one that requires any genetic or racial connections. The Lord and Lady are for all people of all colors. We are all a part of them. We kick racists the fuck out of our circle.