(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
in 2001, The Circle of the Dragon's Crystal-Unfolding (more commonly
called just "the Unfolding Path") is based on the Draconian Path of
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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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".
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?
In the Unfolding philosophy, Life is itself a test. The purpose is not to "ace it" but to grow and evolve.
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 and Trust are not merely the watchwords of the circle, but should ultimately become a way of life.
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
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.
In the Unfolding Path we have two courses of study.
Priest (Initiations) :
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.
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.
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
Contact info and forums are accessible on the contact page.