We follow an ancient mystery tradition that helps people become more aware of exactly who and what we all really are. And who or what is that, you may ask? The Ancient Wisdom reveals, through 3 stages and 3 mysteries that we are all precious, divine, immortal beings who have forgotten ourselves. The purpose for the whole thing is to Remember what it’s like to be a divine being and everything that implies.
The Isis Ma’at Coven is a training coven as opposed to a working coven.
A working coven is a group of people who have completed their training, and meets to perform magical work, helping people in need. An example of this kind of work is the Goddess Healing Meditation described here: https://ancient-goddess.com/
A training coven like ours offers an extensive curriculum of study, training, and 3 successive initiations over the span of 3 to 4 years. What one learns and becomes is called a magician or initiated witch as opposed to a self-styled witch.
As mentioned above, the purpose for the whole training is to Remember what it’s like to be a divine being and everything that implies. For example, we are all constantly and subconsciously casting spells in our normal every-day lives. As traditional witches we learn to make this spell casting conscious and deliberate. We Remember that we are all immortal, changing lives at death and rebirth like putting on new clothes and living different acts in an enormous on-going illusory play we call life.
The nature of the 3 mysteries is defined by a Goddess and a God that we follow as examples. The Goddess is said to have been immortal among mortals. Having her heart broken each and every time her loved ones suffered and died (as we all do), she eventually embarked on a Great Work, learning magic, to try to thwart the inevitability of suffering and death. She became great and powerful in her magic, but her failure to thwart death eventually brought her to meet the cause, the ruler and lord of death himself. But upon her meeting this God, she Remembered who and what she and we really all are. She remembered that we are all ultimately immortal, and all-powerful, changing lives like changing clothes, and casting spells the whole time. When the Goddess remembered this, she was begged by the God to stay with him in the underworld, but she instead insisted that she return to our world to teach her secret children the mysteries of who and what we all really are. This Goddess was the first witch, and her secret children the first coven, and those are the examples we follow to this day.
So the training and 3 successive initiations involve becoming a great magician as the Goddess became. It involves learning to explore the underworld (the sub-conscious Mind) as the Goddess did. It means finding in our own hearts, the God of death and learning from him Remembrance, as the Goddess did. For some, it involves teaching others what we have learned about ourselves, in the hopes that people no longer suffer from the great amnesia we all normally suffer from.
So training involves both the study and the practice of magic, as well as the exploration of the underworld: the world of magic and magical creatures. We explore our role in such a magical universe as we constantly cast spells, consciously, or subconsciously. As the Secret Children of the Goddess, we meet 21 times per year to celebrate 13 Full Moons (sacred to the Goddess) and 8 Sabbats (sacred to the God – one every 6 weeks or so). We also meet weekly for training (on those weeks where there was no ritual meeting).
These 21 meetings per year are ritual meetings in which we commune with the Goddess and the God. We cast a magic circle and invoke the Goddess, the God, and their children, the Mighty Ones. At Full Moons we cast spells to help people we may know or have contact with who need help. During the Sabbats we celebrate the Path to Remembrance through small partial enactments of what the Goddess went through in her seeking power against death and suffering, and her eventual Remembrance of the answer to all of it.
In the Isis Ma’at Coven, we meet in our home in the Yonge and Eglinton area of Toronto, Canada, the home of a family who have been introduced to the above training before. For the 21 yearly ritual meetings, we move furniture out of the way to make room for the magic circle. For the weekly study classes, we pass out papers and notes (more than 1000 pages of them) and discuss them together, forming the study part of the training.
There is memorization work to be done, and practice work to be done at home. The memorization work involves what a person should know as a practicing magician or initiated witch. The practice work involves meditation (which is one of the ways to the underworld), and home ritual work that involves what a magician or initiated witch does in their home. The exact nature of the magical knowledge, meditation and ritual work changes based on how many of the 3 initiations you have been through (or in other words, which of the 3 mysteries has been revealed to you). There is usually a period of about a year before the first initiation, and between each of the three initiations. At the stage of the third initiation, one is said to have completed one’s training, and glimpsed true Remembrance. It is then up to life-long practice of what one has learned to explore that Remembrance and to live like that.