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                                What is a First Degree? 
           Many  persons feel that the first degree initiation is  something  
           that  a person receives simply because this group or that  wishes  
           to accept a person into their circle (Gardenarian, Alexandrian,  
           In the my tradition, as a first degree, you ARE a priest/ess, and  
           as  such  you carry responsibilities.  In  some  traditions,  the  
           knowledge  you have gained during your first degree studies  will  
           qualify you for a third degree in that tradition.  But let's look  
           at it a minute. 
           As I have stated, as a first degree, you ARE a priest/ess.   What  
           does this mean?  In other faiths, you must go to seminary or  its  
           equivalent for a period of at least 5 years to obtain this  goal.  
           When  you  leave  there, you are knowledgeable in  not  only  the  
           beliefs  of  your  faith,  but  also  it's  history,  sects,  and  
           doctrines.  You have been trained to be a counselor, helper,  and  
           friend  to your parishioners.  You have had training  in  dealing  
           with  problems  within  your church,  your  community,  and  "the  
           enemy".  Basically, you have been given the trust of your  church  
           to be knowledgeable, loving, caring, and trustworthy.   
           Should a Priest/ess in the craft be expected to be any less?   As  
           an Isian, the answer is a resounding NO!   
           During  your first degree studies, you are the equivalent  of  an  
           Associate  Pastor/Minister/Whatever.  You are now in training  to  
           eventually  have your own coven, or if you wish to  be  solitary,  
           you  are  in training to be able to defend your religion  to  the  
           outside world if the need arises. 
           What are the responsibilities of a First Degree in my tradition? 
           As always, in the this tradition, you are required to  constantly  
           be learning and growing.  This does not mean that you have to  be  
           constantly be learning about the craft, but about yourself,  your  
           community, Mother Earth, etc.  This responsibility does not cease  
           even   when   you  receive  your  third  degree.    This   is   a  
           responsibility to yourself. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
           Some of your responsibilities to the coven are listed below: 
           1.) To grow within the craft.  
           2.)  Observe  and  participate in all circle  functions  of  your  
           degree or lower. 
           3.)  To  assist in preparation for all circle functions  of  your  
           degree or lower. 
           4.)  To assist any student of a lessor grade in  his/her  studies  
           when asked by this student for assistance. 
           5.)  To contribute at least one research paper of 10 pages (5  if  
           single spaced) or more on the craft subject of your choice. 
           6.) Contribute in some manner to each sabbat or public  gathering  
           either  by  time, monies for supplies, or bringing  something  to  
           share  either during or after event.  Time could be  by  arriving  
           early to help set up, staying a little later and helping to clean  
           up  after, preparing and sharing a workshop (if open workshop  is  
           scheduled),  making  phone calls to remind people of  the  event,  
           7.)  Contribute  to ideas for coven gatherings and  help  arrange  
           same. (Remember, all things do not happen at Covenstead!)  
           8.)  Be aware of any conflicts within Circle, and bring  this  to  
           the  attention of the HP/HPS (even if that's where  the  conflict  
           9.)  Be  prepared  to accept the responsibility of  a  circle  or  
           ritual should something happen to your HP/S. 
           To  some  people, this may seem like a lot of  expectations,  but  
           keep  in mind.  We are not are not training  "week-end  witches."  
           You are in training to be a Priest/ess of Wicca.   
           Your  first degree is something to be proud of.  You have  worked  
           hard  and long to receive it, and your HP/S has found you  worthy  
           of same.   
           May the Lord and Lady smile on your efforts. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 

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