Join us for a
hosted by Inner Circle Sanctuary
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017
Starting at 6pm
The New Moon marks the beginning of the moons cycle.
It is the perfect time to set your intentions in motion.
The New Moon marks the beginning of the waxing phase.
It is the perfect time to grow the abundance you deserve.
The New Moon is the darkest night of the moons cycle.
It is the perfect time to draw into you that which you desire.
This event is RSVP only.
Please email us at email@example.com
or message us here for location details.
or bring what you can afford.
Our 'About Page' starts with this statement.
For a quarter of a century, we have practiced our brand of Wicca and taught it to the public regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, political orientation, health, and class. We see more similarities than separation among people, and transform our differences into strength.
Inner Circle, in all it's incarnations, has always been inclusive and we maintain that stance even more so today.
The High Priest of our group, Lord Mordred, (whom we affectionately called the Dark Lord) had many sayings we loved dearly... including this one: "Everyone has a right to the Goddess."
Anyone who wishes to join us will have to accept that we may have a gay couple leading our ring... we may have a trans-gendered person paired with a partner leading our ring... and they will kiss one another, as is the way of our rituals. We already have plenty of priests and priestesses who have no issue with performing these rituals so it is not required, but if you wish to join us, you have to be accepting of this. The "it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" has NO place in our Wiccan coven.
There is a Wiccan chant that seems like it's been around forever that says:
We All Come From The Goddess
We believe that 'We All Come From the Goddess' and since We are a part of Nature and We hold all things in Nature in reverence, We ourselves hold each other in reverence. This is a core belief of Wicca and anything else is completely incongruent with that belief.
Board of Elders,
Inner Circle Sanctuary
The Elders of Inner Circle Sanctuary (ICS) are made up of second and third degree initiates of the ICS, or previous TOTIC, program. The job of the Elders, as administrators, is to resolve issues, plan extracurricular events, review the teaching programs, discuss the advancements and well-being of our members, and plan, assign, and execute the sabbat holidays. When needed or desired, an Elder will step in and perform the sabbat ritual.
Being a student of ICS means you never stop learning. Our 1st year students learn the basic sabbat ring and perform as High Priestess or High Priest when they want to and are able. It is the only ring we ask our students to use whenever they do any work. It is chock full of every basic ritual a new and burgeoning witch needs.
Our second year students learn a whole new ring to add to their repertoire; a different way of creating sacred space. Just as in the first year, it is a ring they must commit to memory while maintaining the first year sabbat ring.
Third year students learn several rings. The rings for the third year program cover the gamut of priesthood duties: Wiccanings, Handfastings, Requiems, Initiations, and more involved sabbat rings, or as we call them: Greater Ritual Rings.
When an ICS Elder fulfills the role of a High Priestess or High Priest of a sabbat, they can institute something we call "Elder Options." An Elder Option is when an Elder adds particular parts of a Greater Ritual Ring to the first year sabbat ring. It is a change-up and quite the treat (or scare tactic) for those students looking to attain their second degree initiation. On rare occasion, both roles of High Priestess and High Priest are filled with an elder and when this happens, those elders can decide to blow the socks off their younger, up & coming, brethren. This was the occasion at our Bealtaine sabbat.
Lady Sistterwolf, 2nd degree initiate, Elder, & Guardian was the High Priestess and Lord Tanys, 3rd degree initiate, Guardian, and High Priest of ICS led our coven in the Bealtaine sabbat and fully populated it with Elder Options. The younger members of the coven were able to see the entirety of the opening ritual from a wholly different viewpoint.
Because we wanted it to be a surprise, there was a bit of discombobulation when they realized none of them had been assigned to call quarters, sprinkle, or cense. When the huge bag of salt was uncovered by a first year student, their thought was, "Holy Cow, was it really necessary to bring this gargantuan bag [of salt] to fill up the little bowl for the altar!?” And then there was more "hubbub and confusion" when the members were asked to line up their chairs outside the ring in a spot where that is not normally done. Thankfully, our group is a curious bunch so the irregularities were more in wonderment that chaos, as if the fun and endearing Lord of Misrule had come to share the night.
We remind our members every single sabbat to dress in layers because here in the high desert of the Mohave, it gets quite cold at night... no matter how hot it gets during the day. The relief from the cold of being outside the ring was collectively felt when they were finally allowed to enter. Immediately, the Witches' Rune helped to bring the temperature higher so that the cold was all but forgotten. The ritual for Bealtaine itself was filled with mirth and rejoicing. The Great Rite was a beautiful and poignant display of our reverence for all life, and the closing ritual was filled with toasts and love. The sabbat was incredible for elders and younger members alike.
But the after party though... So. Much. Food. So. Much. Our beloved guests entertained us with stories and the members themselves provided us with poems and songs and jokes to delight.
Last word concerning this sabbat for all of us at ICS: Unforgettable.
Elder & Guardian
Inner Circle Sanctuary
Did you know that the observance of the 'New Year' was once dictated by the outbreak of Spring which 'seemingly' happened to coincide with the moment the Sun crossed the celestial equator from south to north? For many cultures, the Spring Equinox is the start of a new year; a fresh start; a new beginning.
The advent of two new members joining our small congregation allowed us to experience the newness of a sabbat again. The nervousness, the ceaseless smiles, the frenzied excitation... it hearkened us back to our own first times with this new group. Sometimes the emotional tension is not displayed so readily, which is why we love being able to read the journal experiences our members are required to write after every sabbat.
The newness of the season, the new students, the sightings of new gorgeous growth and the abundance of fauna in our desert gladdened our many hearts. Our ring was set up quickly and deftly and the members were able to relax and commune before the ritual began. Many explored the sights, nooks, and crannies of our sabbat site. Some napped, some were swept up with family and friend fellowships, and others enjoyed the quietness of the escape from the Las Vegas urban landscape.
As the sun set, the announcement of the approach of our High Priestess Lady Joyanna and High Priest Lord Tanys rang through the air starting the ceremony. Lady Ravenfeather swept the ring and Lady Nashoba and Lord Tanys took their places as the leaders of the ritual. Everyone gave their blessings for the potted seeds and a new, fresh poem from Lady Sistterwolf debuted. After the magical ring was taken down, we crowned Lady Ravenfeather as the Spring Queen and were delighted with all the attending males giving her the five-fold kiss to honor her. We ate the decorated eggs and drank the wondrous mead in celebration. After ring festivities graced us with a haunting song, a fire dance, poetry, stories, and jokes lending to another exceptional sabbat celebrated.
A note about sacrifice...
The High Priestess for our sabbat spent a few weeks creating a wheel of the year for her sabbat altar. It was remarkable and everyone took their time in admiring it.
At sabbat's end, Lady Nashoba placed the piece into the holy fire and gave it to the Gods. There was a bit of shock from some of our younger (and older) members.
The concept of sacrifice is something we cover during our sabbat chapters for there are many. The Bridhe's Bed at Imbolg, the Maypole and flower crown at Bealtaine, the best (first) fruits at harvest, etc.
On a personal note, this kind of offering is my favorite: a hand wrought gift with the deities in mind as they are being made.
An Introduction to Inner Circle Sanctuary Wicca
SATURDAY, June 10, 2017 at 6pm
This event is RSVP only.
Please email us at
for location details.
Donations for UUCLV Social Justice Projects will be accepted
In years past, when we were an open and public Temple, we held introduction classes before the start of a new class. The interested public was invited to come and sit and learn about who we are and how we do things.
On Saturday, April 29th from 6pm to 9pm, we return to our roots. If you're interested in joining our Wicca group and classes, or are curious about who we are and how we operate, you are welcome to join us.
Subjects we will cover:
The history of Inner Circle Sanctuary
How ICS has evolved over the years
What is Wicca
What we teach
The magical name
The magical tools needed to start classes
How to become a member/student
What we offer as a group
What we expect from a member/student
What to expect if you are acccepted as a member/student
And as an added bonus, we will demonstrate our basic ritual ring.
FB Event Notice
We, as American witches and Wiccans, while thoroughly moved by the rituals we perform or are performed by our brethren, are never more impressed when someone gets to 'Draw Down the Sun' or declaim 'The Charge' with a foreign accent. And while a British accent, that of our Wiccan fore-mothers and forefathers, is no doubt pretty impressive, there is nothing, NOTHING like hearing Drawing Down the Sun when performed by a thickly accented, Puerto Rican High Priestess. Every. Single. Attendee. Had. Goosebumps.
The night was definitely warmer than it was at Yule. Someone had remarked last sabbat that the only blessing about doing their sabbat outdoors at Yule would be that there would be no bugs. LOL. The bugs must have been out during the dusk hour approaching ritual because we were visited by a few low sweeping bats. Yep... spring would soon be on its way.
Lady Diamondsage's besom was a gorgeous beast, an appearance of "I'm a little teapot" delighted us, and one brand new member said taking part in the ritual was like being in a movie. I sure do hope it wasn't one of those creepy, horror movies where the witches win in the end (The Wicker Man, Spellbinder.... who am I kidding. Yes I do. We win!)
The Inner Circle, in whatever incarnation, has always, always, always, celebrated it's sabbats outside and in nature. We look for places that are somewhat remote (yet accessible by vehicle for those physically disabled) in the wonder of Nature, herself. If that place can show the changes in the season, the better suited. I can count on one set of hands how many times our sabbat rituals had to be taken indoors because of rain.
Here in the Mohave desert, it gets c-c-c-cold at night in the winter. But what gladdens my heart every winter sabbat is the commentary on how no one notices the cold until after the magical ring is picked up by the High Priestess. Not that this is a new phenomenon, however anecdotal. The observation serves to remind me that we're doing things right. When a young witchling can break their focus from the trials and tribulations of the week and the bitter, bitter cold of a desert winter to spotlight on the joy, ritual, reverie, and comradery in a sabbat ring.... it suffuses me with warmth.
Of course, while in the ring, there are reminders at how cold it is: the water to sprinkle the ring growing a layer of ice that needs to be physically cracked to perform that aspect to the sight of half frozen propane bottles on the lanterns at each quarter; small reminders and usually quickly forgotten.
After the ring, we exchanged gifts and the consideration, ingenuity, and craftsmanship was nothing short of marvelous. We had a visitor to our ring and she was regaled with stories with how we all found our way to our coven family by our Lady Joyanna's direction. (We're not quite sure if she wanted to hear the stories, but she was kind, stayed, and listened.)
We retired indoors where there were songs, stories, jokes, and a marvelous amount of delicious food. It was reflected upon that for quite a few people, 2016 was pretty bad. Losses and major life changes seemed to have affected everyone, but everyone also had a bright and shining center to keep their focus... our coven family. Yeah... we're doing it right.
Inner Circle Sanctuary - Samhain 2016
High Priestess - Lady Nashoba
High Priest - Lord Rand
Maiden - Lady Gwendolyn
Summoner - Lord Sissterwolf
It's November in Vegas, and even here in the Mohave Desert the temperatures usually cool during daylight hours.... usually; but not this day. It was unseemingly hot, however, we were grateful it was not as unbearable as Vegas summer days are wont to get. The majority of us arrived nice and early to help set-up the area.
We always include a lot of photos of set-up. It is during this time that we joke, laugh, and build bonds between us. The building of the ring allows for a flawless ritual to follow. The in-depth preparation prevents mishaps later when you want the focus to be on the magic and ritual of the sabbat. Meticulously, using an actual compass, we find the four quarters and hammer in the beautifully hand-forged quarter markers that Lord Rdhawk made for us. For Samhain, our quarters are also marked by the carved pumpkins whose 'noses' reflected their guardianship. The building of the firepit (which almost always turns into a class) ensures that when the High Priest is ready to light it for ritual, it is immediately aflame. The circle is drawn using the tools we bring to rake and shovel the rocks and then the rope is laid with an entrance in the northeast. Once the rope is planted, and even though there isn't any energy commited yet, the doorway to the ring is the marker by which we enter. The ring space is sacred once the rope is down. There is no stepping over the rope to retrieve a item from the altar or to take an item there. All that is left is for the maiden to clear the province with her besom, the High Priestess / Goddess incarnate to cast the ring, and for it to be consecrated with the elements; all parts of the ritual itself. There are many levels and layers to constructing a magical sabbat ring which means many hands. It is this working together for the festivities ahead that help to build our comradery and closeness. You can see the reflection of this bonding in the friendships that are forged.
BFFs Lady Nashoba and Lord Rand were ecstatic for finally being able to work together. Their love, care, and devotion to one another was emulated by all who attended. Sometimes though, in the excitement of it all, and in the nervousness and stress that comes with being the leaders of a celebration, the meticulous preparations of SELF are forgotten. Self preparation for ritual is just as important. One must take care to eat and drink and rest, especially on an abnormally hot November day. During the ritual, directly after casting the ring, Lady Nashoba grew lightheaded and in a display of proper coven etiquette, the maiden, Lady Gwendolyn stepped in as the assistant to the High Priestess. (In my 19 years with Inner Circle Temple and with Inner Circle Sanctuary, it was the very first time we have ever had to do this that I had witnessed. It was unsettling in the most wonderful way. ~Atheona) Lady Nashoba was able to recover quickly and reclaim her leadership role to finish the night.
Everyone wore masks and some dressed in beautiful regalia. From paying respects to the honoring of the Lord of Misrule, the remainer of the sabbat was delightful. There was giggling as the members did the Dance of Going and Returnings and shrieks of delight as they spun back into life. There were of course, sad moments. The reading of the names of those who have made our coven what it is today brought scattered tears and the toasts to our loved ones choked up more than a few of us. After the circle there was birthday cake for our lovely Lady Joyanna, leader of our crew, along with some delicious wassail, punny pagan jokes, songs, stories, and dancing. The Sanderson Sisters even honored us with a visit and a wonderful performance.
As we move into the winter season (hopefully the days here in Vegas cool quickly), we will huddle even closer to one another for the warmth and love that comes from being a family. We will plan and prepare; we will eat and drink; and we will work and celebrate each other. In the dead season, LIFE is always appreciated much, much more.
That Which Is Remembered Lives
DINING WITH THE DEAD
In our tradition, the word 'tradition', means so much. Whence we camest is very important.... both the positive and the negative. From the positive we are emboldened to be the best, and from the negative we learn and change, which is why we often add the word "living" with tradition. What we have is a living tradition.
In our tradition for Samhain we honor those who have passed who were a part of us. Our members are encouraged to bring a 'Dumb Supper' for their loved ones; purchase or cook the favorite meal of your loved one(s) to set upon the 'Dumb Supper ' altar just outside our ritual area. When the ritual is done and we gather, the food is moved to around the fire with us and we exchange stories of those loved ones, if wished.
During the ritual for the coven, we incorporate the names of those who have passed amongst us, lest we ever forget. The single peal of the summoner's bell emphasizes the pointed and poignant effect their lives and deaths have upon us.
Personal remembrances at this time are varied and just as effective. Personal anecdote: a few years ago, my very young niece asked about Halloween and why it was a holiday. "Many people believe that at this time, the curtain between the world of the dead and the world of the living stands open. So many people welcome home all those people they loved with food and drink and fires and love."
Some people will make a photo display on a table, burn some candles, and put a plate of food for the deceased on it, like an altar.
Others will set places at the table and serve their loved ones food that they will take out into the yard afterwards as an offering or feed to the dogs.
Some will set the table with just an empty plate and a photo of the loved one.
Others will adorn the dinner table with photographs and serve and eat dinner in silence - hence the term 'Dumb Supper.'
Some will visit a temple, shrine, or the graveyard and spend the day eating and talking around their loved ones graves.
If you do decide to serve your deceased love ones food, don't let anyone else eat it.
Try to serve foods they liked... when I pass, if someone pours some beer for me, just imagine the wrinkly face I will make from it.... coffee, on the other hand, well...
Many cultures honor their ancestors / loved ones throughout the year... not just at Samhain. Big holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's, and their birthdays are great days to have your passed love ones rejoin you for the day!
Whatever you do, however you honor your loved ones and/or ancestors, just remember them.
Say their names.
Tell their stories.
As our Lord Tanys likes to say, "That Which Is Remembered; lives."
~ Lady Atheona
The Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.