The Church of the Knotted Ash entered into it's legal existence on June 1, 2009, by filing our Certificate of Incorporation with the Erie County Clerk in the State of New York. As a church we are automatically granted exempt status by the IRS, however, we have decided to file for the documentation that shows our exempt status. That process is currently underway.
The church believes in the privilege of all to seek and follow that which is right in their own belief. The church holds faith in the following:
- The Nine Noble Virtues
- The Sixfold Goal
- The Wiccan Rede
- The Principles of Belief
- The Hermetic Principles
The governing body of the Church of the Knotted Ash is called the Magisterium. The Magisterium is an elected body of church members that are responsible for the government of our church. The Magisterium will consist of two (2) Elders, of which one or both shall be Clan Heads, two (2) Third Degree Clan Members, one (1) Second Degree Clan Member, and (1) First Degree Clan Member. The First Degree will be limited as a non-voting director of the Magisterium.
Directors will hold their term based on their degree. Elders for four (4) years, Third Degrees for three (3) years, Second Degrees for two (2) years, and First Degrees for one (1) year. Elections are held at our annual retreat.
Our Degree System
The degree system of the Church of the Knotted Ash is based on a traditional five tier system. The levels are Dedicant, First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree, and Elder. All members enter as Dedicants and can choose from three training options: Forever Firsts, High Priest/High Priestess, or Ordained Clergy.
Within our system Third Degree Members may also choose to take additional training to become legally Ordained Clergy. Ordained Clergy are legally able to sign certificates of marriage, birth, and death as allowed within their state. In addition to further training, our Clergy applicants are required to complete 75 hours of community service, complete a written thesis, and pass an examination before ordination.
Lineage is a term often heard in the traditional circles of Wicca and Witchcraft. Lineage refers to the direct linear descent of initiation down from Gerald Gardner and as such would only pertain to Gardnerian groups.
We are not a Gardnerian group; therefore, our lineage does not follow the traditional Gardnerian line since many of our forbearers have changed paths in the course of their spiritual growth. Traditional or not, spiritually and physically we can link ourselves back to the birth of modern Witchcraft and Gerald Gardner through initiations and elevations bestowed on those who have guided us. Each of our Clan Heads have a direct and distinct link that ties us to the path we walk.
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As our Church and Clan continue to grow, new covens are born. When a member of the Church of the Knotted Ash has reached his or her Third Degree they may choose to form a Coven. Coven membership is by invitation only.
Currently, the Clan of the Knotted Ash is home to four Covens.
- Coven of the Albino Bat, Tonawanda, NY
- Coven of the Black Vulture, Alexandria, VA
- Coven of the White Wolf, North Tonawanda, NY
- Coven of the Grey Lynx, Albany, NY
Our Annual Retreat
The Church of the Knotted Ash holds an annual retreat each summer. All members of the Church are expected to attend the retreat as this is where we hold our annual meeting and share in a weekend of magick, ritual, learning, and community.
In early 2003 Lady Ivy and Lord Eldraun were married. They had met within a spiritual group that they both called Home. Later that year, after a turn of events that led them both to reconsider where they were spiritually, they decided to part ways with this spiritual group and move on. While they were coming to this decision, they were teaching out of their home and enjoying an active outreach in the community by offering various classes and holding public holiday rituals in Buffalo, New York. When they looked toward the future, they realized that they had a wonderful group of people surrounding them. After many late evenings filled with discussion, Lord Eldraun and Lady Ivy came to the conclusion that they needed to create their own system… A system that would not only inspire their own personal growth but would also be inspiring to others. They wanted to include in their system the training to teach, heal, console, reach out to those within the community, and to offer their services in a respectful manner.
Lord Eldraun and Lady Ivy searched through papers, books, and the endless amounts of information they had available to them and created something that they felt met their goal. The blend of Celtic Wicca and Teutonic beliefs created the base. As it was being written, they approached their prospective students and explained their plans and goals. They asked for patience while they created the foundation of their new system. If the students were willing to wait, Lord Eldraun and Lady Ivy expressed that they’d love to have their company on this new journey. Every prospective student that was approached agreed. And so the prospective students and Lady Ivy and Lord Eldraun spent 2004 getting to know each other through holiday rituals and full moon gatherings at the homestead. In January of 2005, with the official Dedication of these students, the “Coven of the Albino Bat” was born. Later that year, the name “Clan of the Knotted Ash” was introduced as the official name of the system allowing room for the growth of other covens.
Through the next two years, the group grew at an unexpected rate. Lady Ivy and Lord Eldraun saw great growth in their students and the coven kept getting bigger. Sometime in 2007/08 a split in philosophies occurred with some of the students and many members walked away. It was a time of reflection within the group and for Eldraun and Ivy as its leaders. This was the catalyst which led to a revamping of the system. The lesson structure was streamlined and reorganized. They tweaked what needed tweaking, and got rid of whatever wasn’t working within the system.
In the Spring of 2008 the Clan elevated its first Third Degree, and the second followed in the Fall. With this great evolution, the Magisterium took the time to look ahead to the future of the Clan and decided to add a bit of legality to the system. Work began toward making the Clan a legal Church in the state of New York. Lady Ivy, Lord Eldraun, Lord Rathnorian and Lady Bellirosa spent many evenings putting together the paperwork, and on June 1, 2009, the Clan officially became a Church. Over the years, Lady Ivy and Lord Eldraun have conducted wedding and funeral ceremonies, working individually with each couple or family to make their experience the best it can be. They take on these opportunities with great respect and honor. They believe it is their responsibility to serve those in the community in need through times of happiness and great sadness.
The newly elevated Thirds of the Clan of the Knotted Ash didn’t waste any time in getting started with their own covens. They both worked hard at getting potential students together, and by August of 2009, the Coven of the Black Vulture and the Coven of the Crimson Dragon were officially formed. In October of that same year, Lord Eldraun attended the first Dedications into the Coven of the Black Vulture. Lady Ivy then attended the first Dedications into the Coven of the Crimson Dragon in early 2010. All three covens, run by well respected leaders, have seen a fluctuation in membership.
As a clan and church, we have members who are not enrolled in the study structure but who come to our holidays and other functions held in their local area. We have solitary students that do the lessons on their own, guided by an HP or HPS of the coven they are associated with. All solitaries are welcome at holiday functions but do not participate in coven functions. The Clan of the Knotted Ash is set up so that a person can study with us however they need to. The HP and HPS are their guides along this path, and their goal is to be able to help aid the students’ personal spiritual growth.
History is what makes us. Lord Eldraun and Lady Ivy have traveled through many paths, as have many of the students of the Clan of the Knotted Ash, to get where they are. With the wisdom and experience of these lessons, their primary motivation is to elevate not only themselves but others spiritually and help them to find a connection with the Universe. It is their hope that this family will continue to reach outward and inward to better themselves and all who join the Clan of the Knotted Ash.