Becoming part of a witchcraft tradition can be a long process. It takes time to get to know you, and for you to get to know us. It takes time to see how we celebrate different seasons or deal with different things that come up in our lives.
The process from an initial contact to considering initiation looks like this:
Letter of interest:
So we can start with a more meaningful conversation, start by sending the letter of introduction described below.
(There’s a lot of background about me and my practice up on my Seeking website, so this is your chance to let me know a little about you, your interests, and your hopes.)
Once I get your letter, I’ll take time to read it. (Usually at least a day or two.)
If I think there’s a possible fit with the group, I’ll get in touch to figure out a time we can get together and talk more. This is usually at a coffee shop near my apartment, so you can get a sense of how long it takes for you to get to the covenstead.
If your letter makes me think you’re interested in things that Phoenix Song doesn’t do or can’t offer, I’ll let you know that too. If I know of other options that might work better, I’ll let you know about them.
If our initial discussion goes well, we’ll find time for five introductory Seeker classes. These cover some basic topics like terminology, etiquette, and ethics, basics of ritual, as well as more about what our Dedicant classes involve. These are a no-commitment way to get to know each other better.
We’ll make sure you have a chance to attend at least one ritual before considering Dedication.
At the end of Seeker classes, you’ll have a chance to request Dedication. At this point we’ll want to know some more specifics about your background and interests (in many cases, some of these things will have come up already.)
As a Dedicant, you’d take classes over the course of the next year on a wide range of topics, designed to help you decide if you want to request initiation in the coven and tradition. These classes cover a lot of core skills (with feedback and resources) to build your own practice, whether or not you initiate in our tradition.
At the end of Dedicant classes, we’ll talk about what requesting initiation means, the commitments involved, and what the next steps are.
Even if everything goes smoothly, I expect the first three parts of this process to take at least 3 months, and longer is quite common (depending on everyone’s schedules.)
The commitments involved will be explained at each stage. To start with, we just ask for common courtesy – if you can’t make it to something, let us know in advance, respect the house rules, etc.
As someone comes to the point of considering becoming a Dedicant or requesting initiation, we talk about the relevant commitments with time to think about it. (You’re also welcome to ask about this at any time.)
Letter of Introduction
If you would like to take the next step, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org as a plain text email with no attachments that answers the questions below.
Length is up to you. 1 to 2 paragraphs per numbered question is usually plenty (if you have a lot of experience in witchy or Pagan groups, you might have more for questions 2 and 3.)
I don’t need identifying details. I do want to know what to call you (both in email and if we meet), but that can be a nickname, a public Craft name, or anything else you choose. You don’t need to share details about where you work, live, or other identifying information about yourself in this letter. I do appreciate having an idea how you spend your time, but a brief phrase is fine. (i.e. “I am a librarian” is fine, rather than “I work at This Library, doing A Particular Job.”)
Your letter is a chance to share any practical needs or concerns. This might be scheduling, accessibility, or other similar questions, (Question 6 asks for these in specific, but feel free to share anything else that you think is relevant.)
1) Tell me about you
- What name should I call you (and how is that pronounced?)
- How do you spend your time? This might include work, school, hobbies and interests, family and children, or anything else.
- Do you live with anyone else? If you have a spouse or partner, do they know about your interest in the coven? (And if so, are they supportive?) Do you have children? If so, what are their ages?
- If you’re comfortable sharing it, I would love to take a look at your astrological chart. (Let me know your date, time, and place of birth, as accurately as you can.) Otherwise, please give me a general idea of your age.
2) Your path
- Briefly, what is your religious or spiritual background?
- How do you describe your desired religious path? How have you learned about this path so far? (Books, online, classes, teachers, groups, etc.)
- Please tell me briefly about a few specific sources you found helpful, and a few you didn’t. (These can be books, websites, experiences – whatever makes sense for you.)
3) Groups and community:
- Why are you seeking a group at this time?
- What do you hope for from group work?
- Have you worked with any Wiccan, Pagan, magical, or esoteric groups in the past? If so, please describe your involvement briefly.
- Are you currently working with or applying to/considering any other group at this time? Studying with a teacher or mentor?
- Are you part of any online Pagan, witchy, or magical communities? (If so, please describe them briefly.)
4) Phoenix Song
- How did you find out about Phoenix Song?
- Given what you know so far, what particularly interests you about the group or tradition?
- How do your current skills and experiences fit with that interest? How do you hope the coven might help you develop them?
- Do you have any questions for us that are not discussed on this site?
5) Practical details:
- We use email for general group communication. Please let me know your preferred email address and about how often you check it (multiple times a day, daily, every few days, etc.) If email is not good for you, what’s the best way to contact you?
- Is there anything I should know that might significantly limit or affect participation in the group as described? (Scheduling, specific needs, other commitments, etc.)
- When are generally good days/times you might be available to meet for an initial conversation?
6) Anything else?
Is there anything I haven’t asked about that is important to you to share right now?
The next step
I like to think about these letters, since that helps me figure out if I have any immediate questions.
Expect to hear back from me within 2-3 days, but it might be a little longer if I am very busy, travelling, etc. If you don’t hear anything after 2 weeks, please check – it’s possible your email went missing in a spam filter somewhere.
(Last updated on March 30, 2021)