The Blue Star Degree System
Why Do We Have a Degree System?
The Blue Star Degree system exists to establish a means for preserving and passing down the Tradition through the teaching of the liturgy, history, stories, experience, rituals, conferring rites of passage, and so on. It does not exist to establish individuals as dominant, all powerful, or all knowing.
In this tradition, those with the “highest” degrees carry the greatest level of responsibility, and are required to also possess a degree of humility so they can see the light that others carry as well as their own.
Degree of Dedication
Many people want to experience fellowship and family, to learn and experience the Tradition and take an active role within the rites – but cannot or do not wish to take on a greater mantle of responsibility. We believe, passionately, that Serving the Gods and the Community does not require more than showing dedication, reverence, and service to the Gods and through the love and care of one’s friends and family and the world we all share. For that reason, the degree of Dedicant exists.
Those who find a spiritual Home within Blue Star, or within a Grove, are welcome to seek this degree by showing their desire by being present for rituals and classes, as well as doing homework and self-study, and making a formal request to the High Priest or High Priestess* of the Grove. As Blue Star is a non-proselytizing religion, this is a request you must make of your own volition, no offer will be extended.
Initiation & Initiative
Individuals who wish to serve the Gods and the Community of Blue Star, to make promises and commitments to each, may seek the First Degree of Initiation. First Degree Initiates study of the Tradition more intimately, get “behind the wheel” of it and become keepers of sacred learning and take on active roles in ritual creation in service to the community and the Gods. At First Degree, an individual becomes part of the Inner Court of the Coven.
If such a time occurs that an individual desires to get “under the hood” of the Tradition and helping others to understand and grow in it, they may seek to become 3rd Degree Initiates. Initiates of the 3rd degree have the greatest responsibility to maintenance of the Tradition and Passing it down, and with great wisdom and restraint, at times helping it to evolve. Third Degree Initiates must display Proper Personhood and be good stewards of Tradition, as at 3rd Degree one is able to form their own Coven or Grove (or both) as autonomous clergy within the Tradition. Not all 3rd Degrees take this path in their ministry, but it is the most common path pursued.
One cannot undertake 1st Degree Initiation, or 3rd Degree Initiation without undergoing a time of study and personal growth and development, along with practice and experience. The degrees of Neophyte, and 2nd Degree are degrees of Transition. Neophyte lays between Dedication and Initiation, where one has a foot in the Grove and a foot in the Coven – this is where they become members of the Outer Court.
At 2nd Degree, Initiates begin refining their ministry, considering how they can best Serve the Gods, the Community and the Tradition. It is when they may begin taking on students, providing Rites of Passage, and also when the title of High or High Priestess is conferred. However, 2nd Degrees are not yet autonomous or independent actors from their Grove/Coven and/or High Priest or High Priestess.
All Journey’s Begin with a Single Step
It is important to note that no one may become an Initiate without first being a Dedicant. This simple truth serves as a reminder that no matter what degree one holds in the Tradition we all enter through the same first set of doors.