What a long way Inner Circle Sanctuary has come in six years. Our Coven has grown, even in the time of Covid, as have our activities, both private and public. Our Sabbat practices and Sabbat Rituals continue to be excellent, magical, and communal. We hold six classes a week, and in between these classes, the Elders interview potential new students, plan our activities, and continually edit our materials. Our planning also includes planning for the long term, as we try to leave as little to chance as possible.
Over the past few years, our people, and friends who have attended our events have donated several thousands of dollars to charitable organizations, demonstrating Inner Circle Sanctuary’s commitment to the greater community.
Our public lectures and other outreach have been beneficial to the public’s understanding of Witchcraft/Wicca. Inner Circle Sanctuary has been on TV and one of our most talented Elders, Lady Sisterwolf was interviewed for the piece. We are very thankful the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, Fox 5, and Henderson International School have given us the opportunity to edify the public regarding our religion and practices.
Now that the “State of the Sanctuary” has been addressed, please bear with me as I describe how we got here.
Six years ago, a half dozen or so Elders sat with Lady Morgana (founder of Temple of the Inner Circle) after the Initiation of two students, and proposed several different names for the successor organization of TOTIC (Temple of the Inner Circle). Inner Circle Sanctuary was the one she chose, and we consider this the date of birth for ICS.
We had no Witchlings (as Lady Morgana called our first year students), three Initiated Witches, and a handful of Elders to carry on Lady Morgana’s Tradition. I am happy to say in the last year of Lady Morgana’s life, she was able to see her Tradition being carried forward, and growing. What had been a very gloomy time following the death of her husband (and our High Priest) Lord Mordred had become a time of hope, and of very hard work.
The way our teachings were delivered had to change. There was no Temple anymore (at least not in regards to real estate) as there had been since the early 90s. The open public Temple model had stopped working years ago, as had the noble ideal of progressing as a class. To rectify this three of us worked feverishly for well over a year to create quizzes on paper, the way our Midterm and Final exams had always been, from our four textbooks. This allows us to teach in our various Covensteads, and hearkens back to Lady Raven Brightwing’s (Lady Morgana’s Lady) “one room schoolhouse” type of classes.
We also moved around quite a bit for our Sabbat practices, Sabbat outmeets, and public events. We from the beginning searched out potential sites, backups, and backups for them. As Lord Mordred used to paraphrase from the movie Heartbreak Ridge, “improvise, adapt, overcome.” After all, Lady Morgana always called us “The Marine Corps of Wicca.”
We examined everything we had done as Temple of the Inner Circle. What worked? What didn’t work? What could be adapted for the time? How could we improve? With Effectiveness and Professionalism as the standard, TOTIC practices were brought into the 21st century, and on a practical level, this really means the curriculum is more demanding, which only serves to make better Witches, and expectations for all degrees were set higher, which serves to make a better Coven. Fortunately, Lady Morgana and Lord Mordred had left us a very workable system, and very little had to be discarded; most was actually expanded.
We have continued our Founders’ dedication to inclusivity, and even expanded on it. We take Lord Mordred’s motto of “Everyone Has A Right To The Goddess” very seriously. We now have the title of Liege for our Coveners who don’t identify as a Lady or Lord. All of the roles in our Sabbats can be filled by anyone (and have been), no matter how they identify. It has made our Sabbats so much better. Freedom and Equality are like that.
All of this took hours and hours of work, discussion, debate, planning and execution on the part of the Elders. They have, and continue to work tirelessly to provide the best Coven training we can to our students, as well as working our own Magick, in Circle and on our own. Many times our personal practice takes a back seat to what we have to do for our Coven. That comes with the territory. Our Students also work very hard at their studies, their memorizations, their assigned Magical practices, journaling, and attending our functions well prepared. They lead our Sabbats, learn Lady Morgana’s Tradition, and help to not only keep it alive, but make it thrive.
On the personal side, helping lead Inner Circle Sanctuary these six years has been an incredibly gratifying experience. The good has outweighed any drama, our progress definitely has overcome any setbacks, and all we sacrificed along the way has been more than worth it.
I am so proud of our Elders. They are some of the best people I know. I am constantly impressed by their dedication, their ingenuity, willingness to jump in and help, and their love of our Art. ICS would not be the Coven I love so much without the blood, sweat , and tears they have shed for our sake.
I am very proud of our Students. In many ways, watching them progress through our curriculum has been like watching the Coven itself progress. Someday, some of them will lead Inner Circle Sanctuary, and I look forward to seeing them continue our Tradition into the future, and make it even better. Some of them will be “that guy”.
We are meeting online for everything now, and for the foreseeable future. I am not willing to risk the health of our people, especially when they take so many risks already with work, family care, and necessary travel. It is astounding how well everyone has adapted to this, of course after a lot more effort on the part of the Elders making it all happen; but also on the part of our Students who now have to dig deep and bring the Magick without the Ring being cast for them, the feel of holding hands during the Witches Rune, being surrounded by Mother Nature, etc. They are learning to “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome” in ways we never had to consider before.
One of our many Coven mottoes is “Wicca To Be Proud Of”, and we continue to keep this as a guide for what we do. It has always been the point of this Tradition Lady Morgana put together. It is why we teach every week, why we have such a rigorous curriculum, and why we are so exacting in our Ritual Practice.
I am very proud of Inner Circle Sanctuary. And as it says in our Ritual: “May the God and Goddess be with us;” may They be with you too.
High Priest, Inner Circle Sanctuary
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Inner Circle Sanctuary
Inner Circle Sanctuary is a school for traditional style Wicca and holds eight sabbat festivals every year.