In Blue Star and Serenity there are 8 Paths of Power and 7 Tenets of Faith, learning to embrace and utilize these to fuel personal development and ritual practice is a large part of spiritual growth. Students often express desire to grow in certain Paths of Power, to become adept in at least one or two areas of Craft practice, for example: Divination and Herbology.
We often say that our rituals are the Container – they are the sacred space where the learning is put in practice to share and hone them. In Serenity we have a set of standard curricula required in order to ensure the Tradition is understood and the container is built correctly. There are many reasons for this, but the most fundamental is because it provides focus and is the bedrock of our traditional practice.
Beyond the standard curriculum, there are also individual learning plans which are developed based on what students express an interest and skill in. When a student desires to become an Initiate the work becomes a lot more internal and personal. We endeavor to provide a positive learning environment where each member of the Grove and Coven feels empowered and confident, not just in their ability to grow, but in their value and skills that they came to us with.
We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us. — Neil deGrasse Tyson
Serenity believes that it takes a village and that no one person or group could ever hope to hold every answer. For that reason, in Serenity we do not embrace a cloistering model or a fully hierarchical learning model. We invite other Blue Star Teachers to share their knowledge and our students to seek alternative perspectives and learning experience. We also encourage our students to share what they have learned and to be resources to us and each other.
Spiritual Mentoring, Student Teacher Relationships.
Much as one would not seek an apprenticeship if they did not have an interest and fundamental understanding in the work the professional does; the need to choose a particular teacher does not really begin until a student begins to seek Initiation because of the earlier stated “village” model.
At the point the student expresses a desire to become an Initiate, the Coven will discuss the perceived needs, limitations, and strengths of the Seeker to determine what works beyond the standard curriculum will be required of them to do to best prepare for the responsibilities of the degree they are seeking. This is a Serenity Specific model. Those who perform the Rites of Passage will always be the final arbiters of whether or not a student is ready to undertake that Rite of Passage. The student has the right to know what the specific goal posts are, and/or why they are being denied.
Serenity Clergy believe that a strong student-teacher relationship is critical to student advancement, and encourage students to not seek their spiritual mentors out of convenience. Students maintain the right to seek other teachers who may perceive them to be ready, or Groves/Covens that better suit them spiritually. Most teachers will ask former teachers for an understanding of a students history, conduct, etc. We seek to be fair and objective and acknowledge that sometimes people grow better in a different place in the garden.
The Coven is happy to facilitate and support long distance student-teacher relationships through collaboration with non-Serenity clergy, to give the student their “best chance”. We welcome the opportunity to work with distant clergy to be of service to each other, and invite them to bring and share their gifts with us whensoever they are in the neighborhood.