The Tradition of Lothloriën is neo-Alexandrian Wiccan, originally modeled after the tradition of Rev. Paul Beyerl’s Priest and Priestess which has been created and shaped for over 40 years. It consists of a complex and challenging educational program within a formal Pathworking structure under the guidance of our Clergy.
What we see emerging from their years of study within secrecy as they learn how to reach and embrace the Mysteries are individuals who embody wisdom. Within the Mysteries of our Tradition of Lothloriën we also learn how to prepare and be prepared for our own transition through death and rebirth.
About the Mystery School
Within the larger structure of The Rowan Tree Church, behind a veil of secrecy, is The Mystery School. Providing Initiatory training for students, The Mystery School follows the traditions of the classical mystery schools which existed during the Changing Times when we moved into the Age of Pisces and those of the Himalayas, in which training was serious and only for those with dedication.
The Mystery School is our Church’s very foundation. Our work is religious education: we train clergy to serve our Church’s future needs. Created in 1980 to provide the medium through which the Tradition of Lothloriën would be passed on to future generations, the next decade was spent developing the Pathworking, culminating in the publication of A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited. In some aspects it is a way of life, not unlike some Buddhist traditions.
The Mystery School is not a building. It is the Pathworking; it is both its students and teachers. An inner Circle of Initiates provides a core of dedicated workers who are dedicated to preserving the Tradition for future generations and sustaining its spiritual energy. Those working within The Mystery School today are those who hold the future of our Church.
Students are taught the intricacies of The Tradition of Lothloriën, taught to work within the astral. They learn the skills it takes to bring our Church together in unity during simultaneous ritual. Training is individualized. Each student works with a Mentor. The Mystery School is ideal for the self-motivated student enjoying solitary investigation combined with the advantages of peer contact, interaction, and expert guidance. Within The Mystery School each student gains both the wisdom of the solitary and the joys of group experience.
“I joined The Rowan Tree Church and entered The Mystery School in 1993. I have learned much, grown, found new perspectives on life. As an Initiated Priestess I can safely and with certainty say that I would not change any of this. Not only have I found a home but a also a beautiful, caring and loving family.” – Ravenhawke, Initiated Priestess [Oct. 1948 – June 2010]
Study within The Mystery School is not for everyone. Students must be self-motivated, accepting a Mystery Tradition style of training. To enter The Mystery School is to acknowledge a religious vocation, a desire to shape one’s life and to offer one’s self as a tool in service to the Earth and to all Her peoples. Students might note the following penned by The Mystery School’s founder:
“Do not come to The Mystery School if you seek to be nurtured and sheltered. You will find no comfort, for each who becomes a Priest/ess is like unto a tree: offering protection for others from the ravages of the world, providing healing from pain caused by the lessons of life. Enter The Mystery School only if you are willing to be made strong, with full knowledge that such as these Mysteries are not without pain. You must be taken through storms and shown that, to endure strong is to become a bulwark for others. To stand brave in the face of lightning is to become a source of courage and inspiration for others. To shelter the newborn lives and future generations is to be a source of nurturing and protection. The Mystery School teaches that balance between mercy and severity. The Mystery School is the future of Lothloriën.”
Pathworking in The Mystery School
A student begins working the Path to become Dedicated as a Novice. Secrecy is observed by all students, a classical discipline observed since ancient times by the mystery schools of many cultures. Secrecy is a tool for the student, teaching the conservation and use of one’s inner power; providing the student with safe space to develop a relationship with both the Tradition and their emerging Priest/esshood. Secrecy teaches many of the Mysteries essential in communicating the larger Mysteries of Magic and of Wicca. Pathworking is personal and a process through which you learn to explore your own Mysteries.
The curriculum includes creating your personal copy of The Book of Shadows of Lothloriën and the completion of study guides (for comprehension and communication). The Book of Shadows of Lothloriën provides the written Tradition, but there are other works, such as A Wiccan Reader. Materials within the Book of Shadows of Lothloriën is oath-bound and copyrighted by the Mystery School of Lothloriën, and is not shared with those outside our inner Circle.
There are many resources available to Mystery School students, including the extensive Church library (fees included in the tuition) and limited use of the periodical library. Active members of the Mystery School gather each month at the New Moon via Zoom to conduct ritual and engage in discussion on a variety of spiritual topics. Students learn creative skills, contributing original work to the Church publications. Students are expected to develop knowledge in a variety of occult sciences including astrology, tarot, herbal healing, plant magic, divination, etc. The quality of students and their research coupled with stimulating dialogue within The Mystery School creates an exciting environment. But this joy is found only when the student turns the key and opens the door.
The Path of Lothloriën
The Tradition of Lothloriën has been created to extend beyond this incarnation. We provide ritual forms which carry you through the passages of life. We see the major rituals of your life as forms of initiation. In A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited both marriage and death are described as ways in which your astral self can be assisted along the spiritual path through the ritual forms.
The mystery schools of Himalayan and Mediterranean cultures shared important similarities. Students were trained in a variety of disciplines and cultures. We believe that our Wiccan clergy, those entrusted with our spiritual lives, should be trained as carefully as are the clergy of mainstream religions. Our religious community, which includes all Members of The Rowan Tree Church, deserves no less. Our Priest/ess training includes the skills of counseling, teaching, divination, healing and many other skills. The temples, stone Circles, and ancient sites of Europe are considered part of our heritage, and religious history is part of the student’s research. There have been Wise Ones in many cultures and many ages and through studying how they expressed the greatest of Mysteries do we grow in our own wisdom.
Students in the Mystery School are taught how to make changes in their lives and to flow with the natural cycles of the Earth and the Universe. The Universe exists through its manifest nature of constant change. The Mystery School guides the student in learning to work both “above and below,” coming to understand the astral and its interrelationship with the manifest world. Through ritual, meditation, visualization, and astral work, the student learns to become one with the Earth, the Moon, and Sun as they dance their Circles. Students are trained in a variety of ritual forms, learning to craft their own rituals and balancing freedom with form. They learn to unfold their own creativity, opening it as the bud of a flower and bringing it to bloom. And above all, they are trained to facilitate, support, and conduct the Mysteries of Initiation, of Handfasting, of life and death.
An ordained Priestess or Priest is one who maintains individuality yet is able to keep our Tradition intact and instill it in future generations. There is no mold other than your Highest Ideals. The amount of time leading to Ordination can be as little as five years for a devoted student who consistently spends two to five hours a week, yet many take years longer for the ‘part-time’ student. (Our most recently ordained Priestess of Lothloriën spent 18 years on Pathworking before passing through the portal of Second Degree Initiation.)
Upon completion of the Second Degree Initiation, the newly-ordained Priest/ess receives credentials which may be filed in their state or province of residence. They are now an ordained minister, a representative of The Rowan Tree Church, working with the community in turning the Wheel of the Year, and serving as a Mentor within The Mystery School. More extensive information on the training of our clergy may be found in Rev. Paul’s book A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited.
We are a unique Tradition, one which is not linked nor bound to a specific geographical culture. Through our work with the images of Lothloriën, we work through the astral and seek unity with all religions giving honour to the Earth.
Who may apply for study in The Mystery School?
You must have been an active Voting Member of our Church for at least six months, reading The Unicorn & Lantern newsletter, maintaining your Church membership through regular communication with our Membership Secretary, and attending online rituals and discussions. Candidates must have read Rev. Paul’s books A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited and The Holy Books of the Devas. In addition you are asked to study the Church publication of The Ritual of Lothloriën and to have begun performing this ritual as a solitary. Prospective students must have invested a substantial amount of time into their own personal and spiritual growth and development. The Mystery School is not a place to begin your spiritual studies and work; it is for dedicated practitioners who wish to deepen their relationship with the Mysteries through formal Pathworking.
If this appeals to you, you have begun to undertake the steps described above, and you wish to submit a formal inquiry about Mystery School training, please contact Yoked Initiate of Lothloriën Isaiah Dearborne (email@example.com). Isaiah and Rev. Charly McCreary were entrusted with the management of the Mystery School in May of 2021 and are the sole points of contact for prospective and current students. Pathworking is not easy, but the personal growth and satisfaction brings one to embrace the Highest of Ideals.
“Then you shall be taught to be wise, so in the fullness of time you shall count yourself among those who serve the Ancients…
And you shall grow to love the music of the Woodlands, to dance to the sound of His pipes, in step with cloven hooves and the forest song…
And you shall learn the Mystery of Rebirth, filling your heart with Her Moonlight, growing in harmony with the Earth, as Her child, protective of your Mother…“
-From The Charge of Lothloriën