NOTE: The writing below is the result of a project done on the Pagan Clergy list ( in which founders and clergy of various traditions were requested to write a precis of the things an "investigator" (i.e. a non-member of the tradition) would need/want to know when attending a public ritual presented by the tradition. It is important to realize that this is the way our tradition would present a Wiccan-style public ritual. We no longer practice in this fashion and the information here is not at all informative of the ritual style of the Dream Range Dynamic as practiced within our current covens and learning circles. Should you be interested in more specific information about the tradition the HPS will answer questions (as permitted by oaths taken) at
WychWood WiseCraft
The Mother Tradition of the DreamRange Dynamic

I.  History and Beliefs

Founded 1998 by Rowyn MoonSong. Influenced by Old (Familial) Witchcraft, Irish Traditional WitchCraft, Welsh Traditional Wicca, Druidry and American and Celtic Shamanism.  Primary philosophy is self-realization resulting in discovery of the True Path for each individual (NOT a single True Path that everyone needs to follow!) and  recognizing the True Will; thereby achieving the measure of one's own harmonious existence in company with the Great Mother Gaia and one's fellow- beings, human and other. Religious belief centers around the Goddess and God in  triple form: Maiden, Mother, Crone and Son/Lover, Father/Warrior, Sage/Priest:  and the FOURTH face of Divinity, the One, ineffable and unknowable but  approachable archetypally. Practice of Magic, webworking, shamanistic and  divinatory practice, earth stewardship, personal creativity, Celtic ideals and understanding of the Celtic Soul, and association  with the Realms of Faery are required of initiates. We are a Mystery Tradition  with all the various oddities that implies. Mystical experiences are encouraged, as is diversity of belief, questioning and philosophical thought.

II. The basic service

When: Formal Ritual is conducted for Initiations, Elevations, Full Moons and  Rites of Passage. New Moon workings are private (initiates only) and vary  greatly depending on the Moon (we use the Celtic Lunar Calendar) with only three unchangeable elements, (unfortunately not to be shared) whereas Sabbat Rituals, and personal ritual occasions prepared and hosted by members, can be  almost limitless in their variety. We do ritual when we feel it would be appropriate; often we have someone say they want to "ritualize" a particular  situation or working in their lives, so we do that. And sometimes by consensus we choose to honor a particular festival by doing something other than ritual. We also do "teaching Circles" which are rituals conducted for the purpose of teaching or demonstrating a truth or an element of ritual.

Where: Covenstead, in the Temple, or outdoors in someone's personal Sanctuary Space (finding, identifying and sacreing one is a requirement in pre-dedicatory work) depending on the nature of the service. Sabbat rites and personal workings may be scheduled as the P/PS desires, but lunar workings must be done at night under the Moon, during one of the three "days of the moon."

What: Informational meeting about a half-hour before rite is scheduled, to greet and socialize and have an orientation concerning the work, where we give lore, teach chants that will be used, etc. At this time people may also be assigned roles in the Circle. We do spontaneous Ritual, very rarely scripted and always encouraging of personal creativity.

Ritual space is made sacred by all participants, not made sacred and then people are admitted. If we have guests they are told they may join us in Circle for this or be cut into the circle when it has been erected (their choice depending on comfort level.) We use, in Full Moon and most other workings,  a traditional Circle form except that the altar and the starting direction are  variable depending on the focus of the work (Mabon rites, for example, begin at  sunset, and the circle is oriented to the West, which is the direction where quarter calls begin.. And we sometimes cast our Samhain Circle Widdershins to open the portal to the Underworld.) After Sacred Space is established, Deity is invited, after which the business of the rite proceeds. Libation follows the working, and there is often a "talking circle" (if we have no guests) if we have not done that as part of orientation, during which coven business and personal issues may be discussed. We close with the Great Prayer,  then the Circle is opened in reverse order to the way it was cast. Ritual feast, to which guests are welcomed even if they have not been invited to the Rite, always follows.

New Moon workings are done in a Witche's Compass rather than a circle. Guests are not admitted to these workings which are far more intense and arcane. Feasting and libation are differently done,  and may not take place at all. 

Normal Sabbat and Full Moon workings are from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours counting libation time. New Moon workings may be as short as an hour or may go very much  longer depending on the work. Rites of Passage generally last one to two hours.

III. Appropriate Attire

    Both men and women wear ritual robes and cords designating their degree of  advancement. Robes are of personal choice but must be of appropriate colour (no  black for Beltaine or weddings, for example).  And no shoes, watches or bound hair, nor any electronic devices such as pagers or cell phones, may be worn in circle.  All metal worn in circle must be consecrated, and no iron is permitted as we regularly have the Sidhe in our Circles. We do skyclad initiations and elevations, to which only those of like or higher degree are invited.

IV. The Sanctuary

    We do not admit anyone not of the Coven into our Temple. (When guests are invited to a rite at covenstead, the rite takes place in the Assembly Hall or outside in the back yard.) As far as format of altars, they are entirely at the disposal of the P/PS of the given rite, except that the Coven tools are usually used in preference to personal tools. We have one set of tools that belongs to the Coven which is used in all workings, but anyone who wishes to have a certain personal thing on the altar for a given ritual is encouraged to do this. We encourage less reliance on "stuff" and more use of natural and "found" objects in creating altar space, especially out-of-doors.

V. The Service

   When should guests arrive and where should they sit (stand)? 
Guests are always someone's "guest" so they will arrive with that covener. They will be welcome anywhere in Circle they choose to stand except at the altar.

   If  arriving late, are there times when a guest should not enter the service?
No one, whether guest or member,  who arrives so late that we have begun ritual, is admitted until we are finished. If we know someone is going to be there but is delayed we will wait for them.

   Are there times a guest should not leave the service?
During quarter calls, Deity invocations, DDM, libation, or circle casting or opening. During other times one may ask to be cut out and the Guardian will do so.

   Who are the major officiants, leaders or participants and what do they do?
There is always a Ritual Leader, either HPS, HP or both (or several). There is a Guardian and also a Maiden in most circles. The HP/HPS conducts the rite, the Maiden assists, and the Guardian looks after the participants (places chair or provides water if someone seems faint, cuts people out, deals with disruption, etc.)  Since we do nonscripted, spontaneous ritual, many times people calling quarters or cleansing or charging, etc, will be standing in the Circle until called upon. 

  What are the major ritual objects in the service?
Varies depending on the purpose of the rite. The coven candle and shield and representations of Deity, directions and elements  are always present.

   What books are used (in the service)?
None. We do not read ritual parts. They are either memorized or spontaneously created.

    How is the order of the service announced? (program, pre-ritual meeting, none)
Either in orientation if it is complex, or as we go along by the HP/HPS  ("Amaranth will now charge the space with air and fire.")

VI. Guest behaviour during the service

    Will a guest who is not a member of the tradition be expected to do anything other than sit?
Yes. We expect that guests are there because they are interested, and so mere looky-loos are actively discouraged. If you are in Circle with us you are expected to listen, partake of libation, attend to the working and assist as you may. If you are made uncomfortable by anything you are seeing or doing you are welcome to ask to be cut out of Circle. You then go into the Assembly Hall, and when we are done we will be happy to join you for feasting. 

  Are their parts of the service in which a guest who is not of that tradition should NOT participate?
No. It is expected that if guests have been invited they are to be fully participatory. If there are going to be Mysteries explored, guests are not invited to that ritual.

    If not disruptive to the service, is it OK to:

  •          take pictures? flash?
  •          use a video camera?
  •          use a tape recorder?
No, and No, and No. No more so than it would be at Mass or a Protestant Worship service. Exceptions are made for weddings and baby blessings, but never while Circle is going on--before or after.

    Will contributions to the church be collected at the service?
No. We do not ask money of members, especially not on ritual occasions, and would never expect contributions from guests. The Covens are run on a mutually supported basis...when something that costs money is planned people contribute as they will or can.

    How much is customary to contribute?

VII. After the service

   Is there usually a reception after the service?
Feast is part of all our meetings and workshops. Always potluck and guests are welcome to bring something but it certainly isn't required.

    Is there a traditional form of address for clergy whom a guest may meet?
When introduced we use our public "magical" names, without a title. "Hi, I'm Beaver." "This is our Priest, WolfSong".  While we are actually IN circle if someone needs to address the officiant it is "Lord or Lady" so-and-so. After ritual people often revert to mundane names. We never use Craft (coven) names in the presence of guests, and Lord and Lady are never used outside of ritual, except privately among coveners, since we believe these designations are marks of respect given where earned, not taken as a right.

VIII. General guidelines and advice
Other information is reserved for those who apprentice to our tradition. However, it is perfectly permissable to ask questions, even during the service.

IX. Special Vocabulary
Key words or phrases which might be helpful for a visitor to know.

  • Deosil--sunwise, move to your own left
  • Widdershins--counterclockwise, move to your own right
  • Esbat--a lunar ritual meeting
  • Sabbat--a solar festival
  • Merry Meet---ritual greeting
  • Blessed Be--"Amen" to a statement "I thank the Gods for my return to health" for example.
  • So Mote It Be--"Amen" to a petition, "Goddess grant I get the job" for example
  • Charge--to consecrate something, someone or someplace
  • Libate--sharing of "holy communion"
  • Cast--to create a Circle, make Sacred Space
  • Open--to release the Circle, make mundane space
  • Between the Worlds--ritual space, time outside of time. When the HP/HPS has said this, we need to be given permission and cut out of the Circle in order to leave.
  • Ley lines--marked clearly and pointed out in circles where they are used. DON'T step on them. If someone says "Mind the ley!" you STOP instantly and check where your feet are.
  • Aspect--DDM. When aspected, or "inhabited", the mundane person is not there. If this is your host (you are that person's guest) ask your question of someone else. DDM means "Drawing Down the Moon" which means aspecting the Goddess.
  • Ground--release energy, sometimes actually sit on, or touch, the ground and let yourself come back from astral space. Very important that guests and newbies understand this concept well enough to actually DO it. 
X. Dogma and Ideology

   Members of this Tradition believe:

  • In immanent rather than transcendent Deity
  • In personal transformation as the goal of earthly existence
  • In archetypal Deity (Jungian constructs) as well as living Beings and ancestral Spirits as God/dess
  • In reincarnation and communion with loved ones and friends in other lifetimes
  • In personal meaning to life, intended by the One and understood premortally, which may be discovered and aligned with in this or subsequent lifetimes.
  • In mysticism and the Mystical Experience
  • In other Realms which we can interact with and actually visit
  • In the actual existence of the Sidhe
  • In the sacredness of clan and family relationships
  • In Stewardship of Nature
  • In the Celtic Virtues
  • In personal responsibility
  • In Anarchy
  • In Honor
XI. Holy Days and Festivals

Eight Sabbats, twenty-six moons, feast of one's patron Deities, Anniversaries of the Trad.

XII. Life Cycle Events

birth, marriage (or commitment in samesex relationships), naming, thresholding (manhood or womanhood rites) rites of handparting,  lifechange (dedications, initiations, croning, saging, elevations within the trad) personal milestones. 

XIII. Home Celebrations.
Personal practice is a requirement for dedicants and initiates. Daily ritual and personal study and practice highly encouraged.

Some sources (brochures, books, URLs).
White Goddess, Spiral Dance, Myths to Live By, Practical Magic, Way of the Goddess, Ancient Ways, Secrets of a Witch's Coven, Call of the Horned Piper, Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense, Carmina Gaedelica, The Celtic Shaman, A Wiccan Bardo. None of these contains our tradition but all  contain pieces of it. Personal one-on-one teaching is necessary to "get it."

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