Thursday, April 5, 2012

Circle of the Dragon's Crystal Unfolding

 (Happily our tradition information was posted on Witchvox in March!  I am sharing the article, which can also be found on Witchvox at http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usfl&c=trads&id=14913)


We strike a spark,
Against the dark,
Tween the shadows and the stars,
That we may see the way.

~Opening of the Unfolding Circle Casting

Founded in 2001, The Circle of the Dragon's Crystal-Unfolding (more commonly called just "the Unfolding Path") is based on the Draconian Path of Wicca/Wysardn.

The Draconian Path is itself an amalgam of Welsh Celtic, Celtic Traditional Wicca and Wysardn Colleges, founded in 1986 by progenitor Lord Ash who brought Wysardn teachings from Europe and melded it with the workings of his Floridian coven. Wysardry is a survival of the druids of Britain who fled the Isle of Mona and spread throughout Europe during the three Burning Times.

Incidentally, there are more than a few groups who also use the name Draconian. The one from which we come is neither the Salem one, the one founded from a Japanese book, nor the one related to Voudou. While they are no doubt valid paths, they are not those from which we descend.

The major difference between Unfolding and Draconian is that we have dispensed with the requirement to climb both ladders of Witchcraft and Wysadry...somewhat. The original reason for that requirement was that Lord Ash felt that there were many wysards who were not balanced with the tempering of religious/moral teachings, and many witches who couldn't magick themselves out of a paper bag. Thus the Draconian path was required to stay in balance with their elevations as wysards and their initiations as witches/priests.

Unfortunately, wysardry is not for everyone. The path is scholarly and highly challenging. While a lofty goal, we found that the result was that certain excellent priests and teachers were held back. Therefore, in the Unfolding path wysards are still required to study as priests and keep their elevations in balance with their initiations, but those who do not feel the call to wysardry may climb the ladder solely as priests. (Though they are still highly encouraged to study the wysardly arts and sciences.)

Core Beliefs:

At the essence of our path is belief in the Dragon, an ancient Celtic term for the All-That-Is. We do not see this as an actual dragon, nor do we worship "dragon gods" but instead as the living, breathing, sentient Power of the Universal All, which is both contained in us and of which we are a part. The Dragon is the grass on which you trod, the computer screen before you, a star shining light on planets far beyond your grasp, the heartbeat of our own living Earth and a child crying in Somalia. All is one and one is a shard of the All, ever merging and evolving within Itself.

Perhaps the seed of the idea of calling the All "Dragon" is that dragons are mystical, larger than life beings of power, which guard hidden secrets - the treasures of our inner selves.

Although our roots are in the main, Welsh/Celtic, "Unfoldings" are not required to worship any particular pantheon. Our main facets of deity, below the Dragon Itself are seen as Goddess and God, with those faceted into four main faces of each: Maiden/Mother/Matron/Crone and Lover/Father/Warrior/Hunter.

We follow the Rede, however with such a large base in wysardn teachings, most Unfoldings consider themselves "witches" rather than "Wiccan", and as with our progenitor tradition, we find we are evolving toward something that is not strictly "Wiccan" in nature.

Personal responsibility is seen as essential. Responsibility being defined as "the ability to respond". Keep in mind, however that to maintain balance (and sanity) as a person, one can only respond to a limited number of situations at a time. Self-responsibility also includes the student’s need to direct the course of his or her own learning, asking for what is needed.

Balance is seen as an imperative as well. While we have grown from the Draconian insistence on balancing the ladder of study, our ideal is to be neither White nor Black, Light or Dark, but the Grey of understanding, equality and the ability to see both sides of a matter. Light is an aspiration, an ideal to reach for, while Darkness is that inside which if brought to balance can become one's greatest strength. In staying to the Grey, we allow ourselves to nurture the Rainbow of possibility that shines from our growing facets of perfect becoming.

While our worship tends to be more Apollonian than Dionysian, there is room for both forms of expressions. Our magic has much that is ceremonial at its core and our teaching focus has a strong scholarly bent.

Standards

Self-Responsibility and Self-Motivation

Ultimately each of us is responsible for our own speed of growth and learning. Everyone learns at his/her own pace and may find certain lessons challenging while others are easy. Because of this, your teacher may not know if you are having trouble, or if your interests lie in a direction that is not being fulfilled. Ask.

The answer might not always be what you'll like. Sometimes it will be, "not yet" sometimes "no and this is why" and sometimes it will be the "yes" or "yes...and". Remember, "the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked".

The Unfolding Path is one of self-direction. Dedications, initiations and elevations come only when the recipient asks for them (assuming they are prepared) and not on any specified timetable.

Is It A Test?

Yes.

In the Unfolding philosophy, Life is itself a test. The purpose is not to "ace it" but to grow and evolve.

Be aware that as part of the Unfolding teaching method, your teacher may at any time be setting a test for you. You may not even realize it is a test. The Universe, the Dragon itself, will also set tests for you.

When in doubt, the answer is probably, "yes."

Perfect Love/Trust

Perfect Love and Trust are not merely the watchwords of the circle, but should ultimately become a way of life.

Perfect Love means caring about your fellow coveners/seekers even when your relationship with them is challenging. Remember that they are a spark of the Dragon just as you are, and that you are part of them and they part of you.

Perfect Trust requires honesty with both yourself and others, and remembering that none of us are perfect, but we are all perfect for the lessons we are experiencing right now.

Initiation/Elevation

In the Unfolding Path we have two courses of study.

Priest (Initiations) :

We define the word "priest" as servant. This is the religious/spiritual side of the path, where we place ourselves in service to the gods, our own growth and each other.

Seeker - The base learning stage, this is where you find out if the Unfolding Path feels right for you.
Dedicant/Novitiate - dedication in service to the Gods and your own growth, but not yet committed to the Unfolding Path.
1st Degree - Priest to Self: a time of solidifying your own growth and preparing for leadership.
2nd Degree - Priest to the Circle: a time of leading your own circle and preparing for greater stretching.
3rd Degree - Priest to the Community: pretty much says it.
4th Degree (Honorific) - Priest to the Dragon: attained by parenting a daughter-coven.

 Wysard (Elevations) :

Wysardry is the magickal side of our studies. Although we are magickal in our approach to spirituality and spiritual in our magickal workings, it is this side of our path that is founded in Druidry, ceremonial magick and the Court Magicians of Europe going back many centuries.

1st through 4th: Each elevation requires mastery of 5 of the 20 arts and sciences. The first 5 are set, after which you may study them in any order you and your teacher choose.

In the Unfolding Path, a Priest (or witch) may rise to any level. If they choose to study wysardry, they may not be elevated to a level higher than their degree, and first degree must come before first elevation.

As with most things in Unfolding, you must ask for initiation and elevation. There is no set timetable though a year (at least) between each initiation is standard.

The Unfolding Path may or may not be for you. Initiation is not guaranteed. Wysardry is doubly not guaranteed. However you may find that this path is the one for you, and if so, well come.

The Unfolding Path is based in Orlando, Florida and southern Colorado. Currently the group is private open only to those members and seekers of the Tradition. We do offer seekers classes on occasion, if you are interested in knowing more about us, or possibly attending a circle check our official website located


http://www.wix.com/tordenstorm/cdcu

Contact info and forums are accessible on the contact page.

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