Training in The Derby Coven

The following is a piece written on training specifically within the Derby Coven.

Training within the Derby Coven follows along the same concepts, practices and philosophies as that of the London Coven and the later Temple of the Mother in London, United Kingdom, which were headed by Alex and Maxine Sanders.

An initiate is expected to master amongst other things, the following after the First degree initiation:

~Copying the Book of Shadows by hand ,which is traditionally only allowed for an hour at a time;

~Developing and using the Golden Cross of Equilibrium (not to be confused with the ‘gold cross’ as that term is used in other traditions and orders);

~Making contact with the Altar;

~Working in unison with the other witches in the circle;

~Casting the circle;

~Invoking the Quarter Lords;



~Drawing, sensing and feeling energy;

~Various methods of raising and directing power;

~Ritual movement and the meaning of each and every movement;


~Ritual voice;

~Group Mind;

~ Acts of Worship;

~Acts of Magic.

These are the basics on which the rest of the training is built

After considerable experience and training, the Witch may then decide to embark on the preparation for the Higher Degrees and the subsequent inner workings and deeper knowledge and gnosis.

Training within the First degree takes -usually a minimum of 2 years.

As a training coven, we meet weekly for training and working circles, as well as the eight Seasonal Sabbats, connecting us with the rhythm and forces of the cosmos, and the inner mystery aspects of the Craft of the Wise. We also focus on aspects of Hermetic pathworking, the Ceremonial Magical Arts, Qabalah and the Pauline Art of Angelic Magic.


The Alexandrian Tradition is composed of men and women who have dedicated their lives to the Priesthood and service of the Ancient Gods. Every coven is completely autonomous and there is no central authority within the tradition.

The structure of the Priesthood of the Tradition is the same as that observed in the Gardnerian Tradition, being First, second and Third degree,but there are a couple of notable differences between practices .

The degrees indicate the spiritual progression of the individual. Each degree contains its own mysteries to be experienced and the Mysteries are both revealed and discovered, as the Craft is a initiatory and experiential tradition. This implies that the mysteries will have to be experienced by the individual to be understood and internalized.

One of the fundamental characteristics of the Priesthood is the fact that they should be aspiring to the quality of ‘beauty’. ‘Beauty’ here means ‘a greater  beauty’ applied to everything; The way they speak, the way they compose themselves.The initiates who undergo Alexandrian training, should act and behave in a dignified and priestly manner, since they are representatives of the Goddess and God and as such, every step they take should always take this into account.

“Magic itself is simple and direct, it is the rituals that lead us to acts of magic that require years of student practice and discipline.” – Maxine Sanders

In order to work a Circle of power effectively, takes years of practice and discipline. There are several components in the creation of a circle that have to be taken into account and each moment in this process has to be mastered in a concrete and efficient way. The Magic Circle is one of the most important components of a rite. Without the Circle, none of the work can be done and the Witch who has not been properly trained to do so, will fail. How to create and work an effective Circle of power and all that this entails, is the work of the first degree. To master this Circle, is the work of subsequent

At higher grades, there are no profound  “revelations” or “secrets” that make 2 or 3 special grades. At these levels, there is only a clearer perception, and accumulation of techniques and responsibilities that are developed and exercised. Philosophically and hermetically, there are levels that are reached,  but evolution never stops and in the end, degrees are only representative of levels of development. The Work is more important than any degree that has been obtained.

Training in the Alexandrian Tradition of Witchcraft may take several years and depends on the dedication, vocation and consistency of the work of the Initiate, and whether there is progress or not in his training. Alex Sanders writes in the book “The Alex Sanders Lectures” in Chapter IV titled “The First Degree of Initiation in Wicca”:

 “Why does anyone want to be a witch? It is a question that most people ask. Do they seek sensation or home from home or do they really want  or spiritual progression? The answer is that people come for all these reasons. Neither does the reason matter, for one gets out of the Wicca as much as one puts into it. “- Alex Sanders

The High Priesthood should be like “strings on a harp, which produces a clear note, and when played together, sympathy shall form a beautiful symphony” (Alex Sanders, The Alex Sanders Lectures, 1970).

Book Excerpt, “The Chalice and the Blade – On the Alexandrian tradition of Wicca” of Karagan Griffith

All Rights Reserved (c) 2016


Translated from

Requesting initiation Into the Derby Coven.


Please note that the following is the process for requesting initiation into the Derby Coven of the Alexandrian Tradition of Witchcraft only. This is the only lineage of valid Alexandrian initiation in South Africa at present.

By the time an individual requests initiation and subsequent training in the Alexandrian Tradition, contact with a prospective coven and teacher would have been made, either through one of the Soirees held regularly, or through whatever means. (Email contact ect)

Please forward any enquiries to

Once you decide to formally request initiation and subsequent training you will have to send a letter to the prospective coven, containing the history of your own path up to the time of the application. This letter must include which groups you attended, if any, and of what tradition, if any. It needs to include what your experiences have been within paganism or witchcraft or Wicca, including any teachers or mentors who assisted you in your training, if any.

Please also state why you wish to be part of The Alexandrian Tradition – given that there are other forms of witchcraft, paganism and wicca available in South Africa. The letter will also have to include what it is you think that the Craft can give you, and also what you think you can bring to the Craft

Finally, it has to clearly state in the letter that you wish to be initiated and trained within the Alexandrian Tradition of Witchcraft.

**Also note that if you are accepted for the pre-initiatory preparation sessions, you will have to cease any and all magickal or religious practices and activities including participation in other Traditions, Orders and groups, Open or closed rituals, or any other type of occult or witchcraft-related training, with the exception of certain personal devotional practices. **

Once the request is made, the candidate must be aware that he or she will have to devote themselves exclusively to training within the Alexandrian Tradition for the period of training within the First Degree.

Any candidate who is accepted for Initiation will have to travel to the coven at least 4 times per month, unless in a different province, in which case there will be different protocols. As such, please consider travel plans and the feasibility of them before applying for initiation.

The Derby Coven will not consider to initiate any individual whose profession puts them into contact with death regularly, such as grave diggers, abattoir workers and butchers, and morticians. This regulation does not include medical Doctors. We do not initiate the severely disabled, either inflicted by accident or by birth.

Brightest Blessings


Adapted from an Original article by Karagan Griffith on