The CoS Arcanum foundation course was specially structured by Bob and Meriem Clay-Egerton to give an idea of all the subjects that should be familiar to a traditional British Old Craft witch and to offer the opportunity for further discussion during each stage of the course. It should also be understood that although they firmly held the philosophy and opinion that all faiths were One and all Paths led to the same Goal, they did not advocate what is now referred to as ‘eclectic paganism’. What they did teach was the desire for knowledge and experience, regardless of source. Each new experience was, however, studied within the confines of that particular religion, path or tradition. Each new discipline was kept completely separate from each other. It was only when the student had a thorough understanding of the tenets of each discipline were they encouraged to formulate them into their own individual system.
As with the majority of Old Craft groups, we are a closed Order, which means that any potential member must complete the prescribed course of study before being formally invited to join the Coven. Newly ascribed members are given the chance to state the direction they wish their future studies to take and the opportunity to discuss these with like-minded souls on the members-only Moonraker forum. As one of our more senior members points out, however, ‘this is only a stepping stone - a place to find your evidence and that evidence, although subjective, should be used to alter one’s perspective of the world, preparing the mind to ask the bigger questions. The gateways of perception are opened by questions not answers’.
It may also explain why some give differing, if not conflicting answers to certain questions – often because there’s a beginner’s answer and one that will alter depending on the level of learning when one’s perceptions can drastically change. For example: answers that are pertinent at Moonraker level may not necessarily be valid at an Inner Court (EoS) level. This has nothing to do with being elitist or superior but is generally governed by an individual’s progress within Craft.
The whole of the CoS teaching programme is based on this system of asking questions and opening up discussions – either group or one-to-one with a tutor. It is why we are always disappointed when potentially good students drop out after only a few lessons. And then there are those who actually complete the course but decide not to go further … and discover the shadow world of sabbatic Craft, which is kept in a separate box!
This is the fascinating world of traditional British Old Craft and the ‘rules’ for teaching it were set down many years ago by those who lived and died as witches and why we won’t be bullied or cajoled into cutting corners in an individual’s course of study. Finish each part first … and then, and only then, will we lead you on to the next stage of the journey. Don’t forget that some have walked other Paths before this one and they have brought this wisdom and learning with them, even if it isn’t always evident in their postings …