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"Halifax" Alexandrianism

by Khaled

Named for the ancient city of Alexandria, rather than for our founder as many folks think,  Alexandrian  Wiccans have quite fairly been described as "Hermetic Gardnerians". Interestingly, Baast itself began as a Hermetic coven in the mid to late 60's, accepting a 1975 opportunity to join Alexandrianism by  unanimous vote of the then  existing coven. See my brief history of the Baast-derived covens for the gory details.

Celebrating the Wiccan Mysteries of the Great Mother and the Horned Lord,  Baast's daughter and grandaughter covens work 3  degrees of cross-gender initiations remarkably similar to those used by our Gardnerian cousins. We do not used the "Neophyte" degree nor can one self-initiate into our  branch of the Craft. Athough some Alexandrian lines follow Alex's  practice of granting Second and Third degree elevations in close succession, our branch of the Family prefers at least the customary year and a day between  initiatory experiences. Also, since in Alexandrian practice initiation can neither be  revoked nor overturned, the decision to initiate or elevate any candidate is made very carefully.

Typically Alexandrian covens meet on  Full Moons, New Moons and at Sabbat. Most of our covens will permit non-initiate or non-Alexandrian guests  to attend the occasional Circle, particularly at solstice and equinox, the "lesser" Sabbats. Those who show  an affinity for our style of Wicca, and who ask for training, may be invited to participate in one of our study groups. Since the core of our practice is development of the individual Witch's spiritual and magical skills, ...

Covens founded or headed by a 3rd degree Elder are wholly  autonomous, being ruled by their High Priestess in consultation with her High Priest and coven Elders. Since we hold 2nd to be sufficient to be properly installed  as HPS or HP, or to hive to found a new coven, we occasionally have covens  headed by a properly installed HPS who is not yet a 3rd. These covens remain under the technical authority of their High Priestess' own 3rd degree HPS  (called a queen) until they either attain 3rd, or enter into a working relationship with  some other sovereign 3rd. This is the only instance in which one of our queens has actual authority over any coven other than one she  personally leads.

In all matters, the decision of a properly installed High Priestess, once announced, is  final. While one could, in theory, challenge a 2nd degree HPS' decision to her queen, in practice our queens have so  far invariably supported the ruling HPS on the grounds that she knows, or ought to know, what her coven's needs as well as its  desires.

Money is never charged for teaching, initiation, or magical work. Some High Priestesses  set dues for the collective handling of coven expenses; most choose to rely on individual donations of such items as candles, wine and incense  as needed.

 For further information about our style of Alexandrianism, see:

A brief history of the Baast-derived covens,
Contact information for Baast-derived covens, or
the article on Alexandrian Witchcraft.

You may also return to:

The index of English Traditions of the Craft.
The Beaufort House home page.


Written by Khaled and
updated: May 31, 1998,
document HFX-TRAD is © 1998 Khaled (D.K. Springer)