This is another card from the Joe Tarot, a card that has always had a special meaning for me, and I have been waiting a very long time to talk about it. A few weeks ago I posted a status update of Facebook about how after five years of dedication, commitment, blood sweat and a few tears I officially received my Third Degree.
I received over 45 responses to that statement congratulating me. Some assumed it was related to Freemasonry, but some Masonic brothers were confused because we are 32 degree officers in the Consistory of the Scottish Rite Temple together.
While a few other were confused because I am the founder of my Coven and our tradition. There has always been the assumption that I am a third degree, especially since I started my tradition, naturally I proclaimed myself Grand Poobah. Apparently that's just how it's done(?).
But like much of our tradition, that is not the case.
Our tradition has three degrees, and each one contains grade work, and I would think it incredibly hypocritical to require anyone to complete any task that I myself have not done, especially within my own system. Moreover I would strongly recommend avoiding interactions inherent in a Coven atmosphere with any would be Grand Poobah that does. It's a big red flag. So I placed myself accordingly within our system, as I still had a lot of grade work to do myself.
That being said, how does one lead a Coven in a Tradition one has created and developed ones self, without being the Grand Poobah? That's part of the work. For over five years I have been the "Prius." No, not like the car, more like the student leader who leads in the absence of a teacher.
But just before this past Samhain I completed the largest, longest and most difficult portion of my work. You know you're in a special Coven when the members seem more excited for you than you are for yourself. They met without my knowledge and agreed to cancel a long scheduled out of town group event in order to perform my Lorica, the obligation and ordination ceremony for my third degree. I was especially moved, because I knew how much everyone was looking forward to the scheduled event.
It could not have happen better if it was orchestrated by design. The Samhain season plays a significant role in the ambiance. I paused to gaze at the night sky before I entered the Zotheca and noticed the waxing crescent moon overhead, just like this card. I got goosebumps. Seated there with my arms crossed, my hands clutching those handles I was nervous for the first time in a very long time.
That night was incredibly fulfilling; not because I was being elevated, but because I saw the fruits of my labors being harvested by my Coven. I was not proud of me, I was proud of them, I was proud of us. Six years ago I started a small local tradition in southern California, two weeks ago we established a lineage. I can't wait to see what we do next.
Thank you Lord and Lady, thank you so much.