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.

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

~Copying the Book of Shadows 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.

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 that go along with this.

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


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.

Lady Zara and Lord Azaradel (both High Priests of the Alexandrian Tradition) wrote the following in a 1987 text entitled “The Alexandrian Tradition – an Initiatory Way” :

It is expected that an Alexandrian Initiate can demonstrate magical proficiency and competence in the use of psychic abilities and a complete knowledge of the inner and outer works of ritual practice. This allows a High Priestess or High Priest in the role of Initiator to pass information, ritual protection and power, certain that in this way , the training will not be used in an erroneous or inconsistent manner. It is an integral part of the philosophy of the Alexandrian Tradition that our initiator assumes karmic responsibility for the actions of the initiate after initiation. Therefore, to obtain the degrees of High Priest or High Priestess requires many years of training, dedication, and loyalty. ”

Training in the Alexandrian Tradition of Witchcraft may take several years and depends on the dedication, loyalty 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