How old must I be to apply for Church membership?
We require all our members to be at least 18 years old and prepared not just to study and practice, but also to live what they believe and participate group meetings on regular basis. New Coven or Parish members will generally begin by studying some basic practices from our Path, and will be guided by a personal Mentor.
Expectations of Membership
Becoming a member of the Church of Light and Shadow means becoming a part of a community, and a part of a spiritual family. On our end, we do our best to ensure that our members have opportunities to get involved, build bonds, seek spiritual growth, and build a thriving practice. However, these opportunities will only amount to what our members make of them, and the more active and passionate our membership is, the more that we will collectively be able to offer. Therefore, our expectation is that whether newcomers seek out membership individually as solitary members, or come to us as a part of one of our groups, each new member will take this commitment seriously, and will come prepared to take on an active role in the community we are building together.
Of course, active involvement is something that is expected to come and grow with time. In the beginning, the best way to demonstrate your commitment to being an active part of the Church is to show up, share your voice, and take part in the activities being planned. As you establish yourself and your presence, we will always have need of people who wish to help by volunteering their time to help plan events, coordinate with charities, mentor newer members, facilitate new groups within the Church, and so on. A true community is built by the efforts of those who are invested in it, and this is what we seek in new members.
After performing the Self-Dedication Rite (or undergoing the Rite with a local group), you’re a member of the Church and have taken your first steps upon the Path of Light and Shadow. This period, between the Dedication and your Baptism at First degree, is known as the “catechumenate.”
An organized time of formation and education in preparation for baptism, the catechumenate is a time for training in understandings about the Divine, our Way of the Craft, and the meaning of life. According to Hippolytus’s Apostolic Tradition, a third-century document, adult converts to the Early Christian faith were presented to teachers by those who could vouch for them, and entered into a three-year period of study and preparation in the catechumenate. In the Church of Light and Shadow, you may expect to spend approximately 9 to 12 months in the catechumenate.
After the catechumenate, the Church uses a traditional 3 Degree System for a way of gauging knowledge and experience.
At First Degree, with Baptism, we give you back to yourself.
At Second Degree, with Confirmation, we give you back to the community.
At Third Degree, with Ordination, we give you back to the Divine.
How do I go about joining?
The first step is to perform the Rite of Self-Dedication, and then contact us with your information (all of your personal contact and identifying information is kept strictly confidential). If there’s a Study Group, Cenacle, Coven, or Parish near you (you can check our “locations” page, though not all locations are listed), your information will be sent to them, and they’ll be in touch regarding an interview (usually a phone, video, or in-person and in a public location interview) to see if you might be a good fit for their group. If there’s no group near you, you might want to start up your own Luxumbrian study-group, and we’ll be happy to assist.
What if I meet with a local person and they (or I) decide it’s not a good fit?
Not to worry – it happens. In that case, there may be other groups near enough, or perhaps you’d like to start up your own group?
Can I attend a few services or something before I decide to join?
Sadly, given the state of our society and our dedication to our members privacy and safety, that is generally not possible. While certainly inconvenient, we hope that you will appreciate our dedication to your own safety and privacy, should you decide to join us. That said, after your Self-Dedication rite, and meeting with a local group representative, it’s possible they may invite you to an event or two (with the assent of all other group members) as a means of mutual-evaluation.
What if I belong to another magical group or church?
That’s perfectly fine – we don’t discourage members from having other memberships, nor do we require that you disclose those memberships to us.
I want to be a priest, how can I get ordained in your Church?
Ordination to the Luxumbrian priesthood is taken very seriously. The general process is that any 3rd Degree member of a local Coven may apply to our seminary program. Upon graduation – ordination is not guaranteed. Candidates for ordination to the priesthood come out of our local communities, so if you’re looking to be ordained, you:
- Become a member of the Church
- Join or start a local body
- When you’re a 3rd degree Coven or Parish member, contact your local bishop about the seminary program