What is Blue Star Wicca?
Blue Star is a Wiccan tradition with ties to both the Gardenerian and Alexandrian traditions as well as American Welsh and “Fam Trad” via our earliest high priests and priestesses. We are considered a BTW (British Traditional Wicca) traditions. The other BTW groups (Gardenerian and Alexandrian) consider us eclectic, while non BTW groups most likely consider us boring. We tend to focus on worship of the Gods rather than an emphasis on magic and spellwork.
The original Coven of the Blue Star was the 39th coven system admitted to the Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), an umbrella organization of Wiccan Traditions, and were sponsored by Margo Adler, Selena Fox and Starhawk. When we applied to CoG, we weren’t a tradition yet, but because CoG required that all covens belong to a tradition, we listed ours as “Great American Nontraditional Collectic Eclectic Wicca” (GANTCEW). A common Blue Star reaction when hearing anyone refer to us that way was “Gesundheit”
If you ask many of us how long Blue Star has been around, you will probably hear something similar to: “We are a centuries old tradition, founded in the 1970’s.” That’s us, tongue in cheek, comfortable both in being serious about what we do and having the ability to laugh. Mirth and reverence.
Blue Star has an emphasis on community. In many ways, we consider ourselves family, not just our individual groves and covens, but the tradition as a whole. We place an emphasis on community and our feasts. Many have said that “Blue Star isn’t just a tradition, it’s a meal plan.”.
We count over 200 initiates in our tradition with over 22 covens and groves, based throughout the United States, Canada and other countries. Our largest areas of practice include the New England (Boston, NH), Mid-Atlantic (NJ/PA/DC/VA) and Minneapolis areas.
What Makes Blue Star Similar to Other Wiccan Traditions
Blue Star is mainly based on an Outer/Inner Court system. People who are not initiated are welcomed into our Groves and Outer Court with Initiates also being a part of Covens and the Inner Court.
We work in Circles for our rituals, with a Priestess and Priest officiating. Our circles in many ways are similar to other traditions with a Call to Quarters, and Circle Casting. Our tools are also pretty similar to those used in other traditions as well.
Wheel of the Year
As with many Wiccan and Pagan groups, we follow the Wheel of the Year. This is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals we call Sabbats.
The Wheel of the Year observes the 4 solstices and equinoxes of the sun as well as what are considered the 4 cross-quarter Sabbats. There is a Sabbat approximately every 6 weeks. Each has a focus on the particular time of year with lore, foods, and activities specific to each one.
Samhain – October 31st – Celebrates the cycle of death and rebirth –a time to reconnect with our ancestors. The last of the harvest festivals
Yule – Winter Solstice – December 20-22 – Focuses on rebirth of the Sun God, and the longest night.
Imbolc – Feb 2nd – Winter is coming to an end and the days are getting longer, focus on rebirth.
Ostara – Vernal Equinox – March 20-22 – Spring is finally starting. Watch the world start to awaken.
Beltane – May 1st – A time to celebrate fertility in all its forms.
Litha – Summer Solstice – June 20-22 – The longest day, celebrating the powers of the sun.
Lammas/Lughnasa – August 2nd (First harvest festival). Harvesting the grains. Sacrifice of the seven-year king.
Mabon – Autumn Equinox – Sept 20-22 – Second of the Harvest Festivals. Also, sometimes known as Pagan Thanksgiving.
What Makes Blue Star Unique to other Wiccan Traditions
Unlike other pagan and Wiccan traditions, our altar is round and in the center of our circle. Like everything else within Blue Star, there are reasons. We also have everything out in the open, we might not tell you everything right away, but those with eyes to see can see all. (as you progress, we bring those aspects to your attention).
We also use song as a part of our liturgy. Most Blue Star circles will incorporate singing. Some of our earliest Priests and Priestesses traveled the Ren Faire circuit as musical performers. So it’s not a surprise that music and singing are part of many of our circles.
Blue Star also has Initiatory tattoos, a Septagram (seven–pointed star). Tattoos are not required but are considered a working tool connecting us as a tradition.
We have a degree system unlike most other wiccan traditions. We have two grove degrees and 3 coven. Unlike most other Wiccan traditions, we don’t start training you after you are initiated.
Dedication – A Dedicant is one who has dedicated themselves to the pagan path. Being dedicated makes you a member of our grove and gives you the opportunity to learn more. This is a laity position. You can stay there forever as a member of the Blue Star tradition. It’s considered one of the three stable positions. Not everyone can or should be on the path towards Priesthood and we in Blue Star recognize this and have created a place in our family for those people.
Neophyte – A transitional degree that puts you on the path towards clergy. Neophyte is not something you stay in. It is an outer court position that requires more responsibility and more work. Neophytes are expected to work on themselves as much as on other aspects to bring themselves up towards the responsibility of clergy.
1st Degree Initiate – Another of our stable degrees. Achievement of a first-degree initiation announces you as Priest/ess and Witch. Unlike most other traditions, we don’t start our training at first degree. At this point, a first degree initiate is not only a member of the grove/outer court, but also a member of the coven/inner court. More responsibility is expected at this time.
2nd Degree Initiate – Again a transitory degree for one who is working towards their third degree. Achievement of the second degree confers the title of High Priest/ess. More responsibilities in both Grove and Coven are expected as well as taking on students and rituals.
3rd Degree Initiate – a stable degree – At this point, a third-degree initiate may hive (form their own grove/coven). More teaching, more responsibility. A third degree is considered able to pass on the Blue Star Tradition.
In Blue Star, we don’t worship our higher degrees. While the title of Lord/Lady may be conferred on a third, most don’t use it except in the most formal of occasions. The higher the degree, the more responsibility and work is expected. It’s common to see our second and third degrees taking on the most work and responsibilities.
Tenets of Faith
Blue Star practices the Tenets of Faith, seven tenets that are meant to guide our lives. They are the Tenets of Balance, Trust, Tolerance, Reincarnation, Harmony, Humility and Learning. These can be mapped on the Septagram, the symbol of a Blue Star Initiate.
Paths of Power
Alongside the Wheel of the Year, Blue Star also maps the Paths of Power, with a focus on 8 different paths that we work with to achieve our fullest potential as Priest/ess and Witch. Many of our strengths come from our paths of power. While you don’t have to be an expert in all the paths, we expect you to have knowledge and experience in all of them and expertise in a few.
Paths of Power (in the order of the Wheel of the Year) include:
Music and Dance
Psychic Development/Energy Work
─“What is Blue Star Wicca?” Blue Star Foundation, 2018, http://bluestarfoundation.org/what-is-blue-star-wicca/a-brief-history-of-blue-star/about-blue-star/