The Moonlit Path: A Discussion on Pathways and Traditions

North American Eclectic Wicca

As practioners, or those interested in alternative spiritual paths, we are often left on our own to learn and discover the options available to us.  As with any journey it begins with a willingness to take the first step.  It’s my hope that this article will help some of you start your own journeys and give you an idea of the options available to you.

When I started my own path over 11 years ago I had no idea what was out there.  I didn’t realize that there were so many different Traditions and Paths. I will cover both the well known and those that are more obscure.  I have always had a great desire to help those new to their paths.  My hope is that this column will be able to provide illumination for all.

A tradition that is dear to my heart is North American Eclectic Wicca, referred here unto as, NAEW.  NAEW is a tradition that has been around since the inception of Yarrow Coven in 1989.  It is one of the longest standing traditions in the Midwest.

The NAEW draws its inspiration from European Traditions, but sees the need to modify and adapt practices for the world in which we live.  It’s a modern approach and has a distinctly North American flavor.

North American Eclectic Wicca does seek to recreate a pure form of the practices of the past.  It is not a reclaiming or recreationist tradition.   Rather, it draws inspiration from the past and brings the old gods to a new land.

Though NAEW draws its basic ritual structure from more traditional Wiccan practices, there are some inherent differences.  There is a very practical nature to the approach that NAEW takes toward its spirituality.  NAEW keeps what works and rejects what does not.  For example NAEW does not recognize the Rule of Three, holding that it defies logic and explanation.

There is no hierarchy within NAEW.  There are no inner or outer courts associated with it.  All the members are given equal standing within the coven and act as its own governing body with no more authority given to one individual over another. Though there is a designated High Priest and High Priestess, all members are expected to be able to fill this role.

As such, there is no formal degree system for NAEW.  Each member of the Tradition is afforded the luxury of learning and following any personal path that they choose.  The Tradition has provided common ground to all its members and given them a structured way to celebrate as a group.

North American Eclectic Wicca is a tradition that honors the past and the wheel of the year.  It is a tradition that adapts and changes and in doing so it morphs symbolism and practices into relevant concepts to its members.  As such it has withstood 20 years and promises many more.

What is North American Eclectic Wicca? (2009). Retrieved September 15, 2009, form Yarrow Coven Web site: http://www.yarrowcoven.org