The Circle of the Mountain Fire

A Correllian study group for Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Three Degrees

As appears to be the social norm or tradition within the majority of Wiccan Traditions, the Correllian Nativist Tradition makes use a Three Degree system. The three degrees in the Correllian are, simply and obviously enough, the First, Second, and Third Degrees. All three degrees are part of the Inner Court. There are certain differences between each of the degrees in terms of expectations, responsibilities, and training.

The First Degree implies that the holder is a priest or priestess unto himself/herself. They have some background in Wiccan practices and philosophy. While they may not be able to answer some of the more theologically-oriented questions about Wicca and Correllian practices, the theology underlying these practices, they can answer the questions about the more practical application of the same. They can perform most of the roles within a ritual (calling the Quarters, for example), but they are not the leaders of the ritual. The First Degree holder, from the Correllian perspective, is still a Novice within the Tradition. They are filled with the Spirit of the Goddess and are embarked on a course of spiritual study, but they are not yet coven or Temple leaders. Their role is primarily focused on study, learning, and practice. First Degree Clergy are the lowest degree of initiated clergy.

The holder of the Second Degree is more like a leader within their home coven or Temple. The holder of the Second Degree has had more training and practice and, as such, is better able to answer more questions about the practical applications of Correllian Wicca and philosophical and theological questions about Correllian Wicca. They are expected to take the spiritual knowledge that they have gained through their education and put it into practical application. Their work can now have a more philosophical and theological basis than it had in the First Degree. They are expected to be able to manipulate energy in a ritual setting and be able to perform ritual practices and techniques without direct guidance. The Second Degree Clergy handles much of the running of the Temple or Shrine. It is at the Second Degree level that the person may start to decide what spiritual area they will specialize in.

The holder of the Third Degree is able to act as a “face” for Correllian Wicca to the outside world. In this sense, they are a spiritual leader to the world at large for Correllian Wicca. The holder of the Third Degree is expected, through trance, to be able to unite the Divine and to bring forth momentarily Divine energy and guidance. This unity of Divine energies is accomplished through the Drawing Down of the Moon.

The Three Degrees are symbolic of the spiritual journey which we all undertake. We begin with the Goddess descending to the world as the world is created. Through the Goddess uniting with the God (the Four Elements), Matter is reunited with Spirit. The Union of Deity is a perfect union of God and Goddess! Life comes full cycle: Death (the Descent of the Goddess), Birth (the Goddess rises to be reunited with the God, Growth (the God and Goddess are reunited and Sprit and Matter are joined), and Rebirth (the process begins all over again as a part of the Spiral Dance).