[Lady Sheherazahde's Wiccan Ways : The Braided Wheel Tradition]
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A History of the Braided Wheel Tradition

The European heritage of Witchcraft.

Witchcraft has been described as European Shamanism as well as the Pre-Christian religion of Europe. While these claims are hotly contested there is no denying that we are the sum of all that has come before us.

People who claim that western culture is impoverished are simply ignoring the vast treasure of culture that are available. Fairy tales, Folk customs, Mythology and Legend are just the tip of the iceberg. We also have the history of western mysticism and hundreds of years of alchemical research. You cannot understand the great joy it is to uncover the ancient symbols of your people until you begin. We must remember the wisdom of our ancestors. "Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent." (Monique Wittig, "Les Guerilleres" trans. David Le Vay. (New York: Avon, 1973) p.89)

The Blue Star Tradition.

Blue Star has a strong history as a teaching tradition and its American proponents Kenny and Tzipora Klein led many study groups and founded many covens in their travels around the North America. (Although Kenny was not one of the original founders of Blue Star he was instrumental in making it available to larger numbers of people.) Blue Star clergy have dominated the festival rituals in the north eastern United States for most of the Neopagan revival, heavily influencing the ritual practices on this coast.

Tzipora Klein claimed that her practice was derived from New Forest in England much like Gerald Gardener. As in most cases of such claims this is impossible to verify. New Forest has developed Quite a magical reputation.

For more information about the Blue Star Tradition read "The Flowering Rod" by Kenny Klein.

Or check out Home Again: Introduction To Blue Star Wicca hosted by Beaufort House a collection of resources for the working Coven Leader

The Morning Star Coven.

Morning Star was a Blue Star Coven Founded by Jill and Fred Buck. Jill and Fred Buck received their training from Kenny and Tzipora and founded Morning Star Coven in Binghamton, New York. For many years most Neopagans in the Southern Tier of New York could be traced back to Fred's Pagan studies group on the State University campus and MorningStar's open rituals. MorningStar was also influential at the national level through their manufacture of religious jewelry as well as their ecclesiastical services at festivals and in the local community.

It is legend in the Neopagan community the Jill founded the Cult of Caffeina when she was awakened one morning at Panthea and told that it was her turn to do the morning attunement ritual. She is not a morning person and the Caffeina Ritual was born.

Braided Wheel Coven

Sheherazahde was initiated both Grove and Neophyte in the Morning Star Coven, but not to first degree. When Fred and Jill got a divorce Sheherazahde continued to study on her own and practice ritual with her friends, the first Braided Wheel Coven.

Sheherazahde was the driving force in developing Braided Wheel philosophy and practice. Her admittedly limited BlueStar training, but extensive reading in Neopagan practice and European folklore as well as her network of contacts in the local and national community put her far ahead of most Neopagans in training and experience at that time in that area. The development of the tradition was also influenced by her work toward a Bachelors degree in religion and social change and the influences of her father's work in Norse magic and mythology.

The original Braided Wheel Coven consisted of Sheherazahde, Calliope, Buddha Buck (Fred and Jill's son), Kevin Severson, R. W. "Bob" Buck, Dee Bauza, and Michelle Greenmun. Together they practiced ritual and published the "Generic Pagan Newsletter".

Membership in the Braided Wheel Coven changed over the years as some people moved away and others moved in. Sheherazahde began teaching classes and developing the Braided Wheel training program as an organized way of orienting newcomers.

In 1994 the active members of the Braided Wheel Coven joined with some previous members of Morning Star Coven to form Star Wheel Coven.

Braided Wheel Tradition.

The Braided Wheel Tradition in 1995 included Star Wheel Coven, Braided Spiral Coven, and all students of the Tradition not affiliated with groups.

The Braided Wheel Tradition still shows many Blue Star influences in our strong emphasis on training, community service and the degree system as well as the cyclical motif of the altar which is unique in the craft.

From Jill Braided Wheel Tradition has inherited a high standard of Priest/ess craft. It is the highest skill for a priest/ess to achieve a state of "Jill consciousness", the ability to be awakened from a sound sleep and not only extemporize an entire ritual but found a new cult as well.

The Chakra System has become the frame of the Braided Wheel Tradition. Anodea Judith's book "Wheels of life" has greatly influenced both the name of the tradition and the underlying structure of the tradition, which is based on Chakras instead of the Cabala which most Wiccan traditions use. It was while training in the MorningStar coven that Sheherazahde first met Anodea Judith and began to study the Chakra system.

It was also through Morning Star that Sheherazahde first met Isaac Bonewits. The tradition has benefited from Sheherazahde's work in the science of both magic and liturgical design. Both of which owe a great deal to Isaac Bonewits' research and lectures.

Everyone who participates in our rituals adds to the tradition. Inspection and reflection are the basis of our cosmology. The work of countless magicians and alchemists throughout history is a constant inspiration in our ritual practice. Fairy tales, folklore, science fiction and fantasy inform our mythology. The Braided Wheel Tradition continues to grow and to change as new students add to lore of our practice.

© 1999 Sheherazahde, Braided Wheel Tradition, updated 2004
For more information contact: sheherazahde@yahoo.com

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