Thoughts on Sylvan Circle's 20th Anniversary

  • Lady Aurora, High Priestess of Sylvan Circle - August 5, 2018

On Lammas 1998, Aurora (HPS), her boyfriend Aldwyn (P), and their friend Psyche (PS), were joined by Aurora's best friend Sage (HP) who had returned to Maryland from New Mexico. We four decided to form a fully-functioning traditional yet egalitarian coven.

To our knowledge, a fusion of traditional Craft and egalitarianism had never been done before. According to a beloved Craft elder, Lady Morganna, it would not EVER work. "I give it 3 years, tops" is what she said. She believed hierarchy was needed in order to function, and she felt students would not grow without it.

It's 20 years later... and we're STILL HERE! Plus we have the anniversary cake to prove it! ;-)

SC 20th Anniversary Cake

There was a lot to consider at that time. Instead of duplicating what we had seen, we had to envision what we wanted to become. We had to decide how to avoid power-over dynamics, and decide what to strip and what to keep. There were at times lively debates. But always there was mutual respect and appreciation among friends who had a common vision of empowered witches who learn and grow, celebrate and work spelles together. Coven building was organic and fun. Our coven logo was chosen from competition among the students of our very first introductory class. The chosen logo was created by what would later be Sylvan Circle's first initiate. (Thank you, Tahzea!)

Looking back over 20 years, there were some tough times and challenges to the group. In March 1999, we performed a funeral rite for our second initiate of the coven, Maerinn. There were more than a few bumps along the way, but we endured and continued moving forward.

We have also enjoyed many highlights. We were visited by Lady Morganna who regaled us with stories of her life in Wicca. We were visited by Lord Starspawn who provided 2 days of workshops, readings and massage work. We honored and eldered Lord Starspawn. We have handfasted many couples. We adopted Maerinn's woods, and clean it every year, as well as a rotating group of other woods in Maryland. For three years, we adopted Dobbin Road and kept it clean. We have donated lots of food to food banks and many books to the public library. Our biggest boast is that our spellework helped capture the Beltway Snipers -- without bloodshed.

During these years, we have trained at least 100 students! We have initiated 14 witches, elevating 6 to second degree and 3 to third degree!

We have much to be proud of within Sylvan Circle, and many bright souls who have helped us along our way to thank for it. Through all these years, we have remained a humble friendly family, never wavering from the vision of empowered individuals, working together as equals, uplifting each other as we grow and deepen our understanding of ourselves, our world, and Wicca.

MANY THANKS to the gods, our spirit allies, and the members and friends of Sylvan Circle!

You can also see comments other folks had to make about Sylvan Circle's 20th anniverary (or add some of your own) on Sylvan Circle's Facebook!