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Welcome to the website for "Coven of the Illuminated Shadow. We are an eclectic coven based in Cincinnati, Ohio. We where founded on August 15th, the full moon in Aquarius of 2000. The coven accepts new members once a year. If there is enough interest, the first degree process will begin again on August 15th 20001. The

Name: Coven of the Illuminated Shadow is meant to invoke thoughts or feelings of journeying through the darkness (unknown) to reach the light (knowledge). Through hard work, self-discipline and connection with deity we strive to enlighten ourselves by understanding and if necessary dispelling darkness. This is not to say that darkness as it is representing in the sigil is bad (see sigil description). We acknowledge that our shadow self is a powerful teacher, and we strive to make a connection with it. We believe that humans are both dark and light, neither outweighing the other.

The Sigil: The idea for the sigil was one of contrast and growth, as the name suggests. The Tao (yin and yang) is superimposed on the Pentacle. The Tao represents positive and negative, male and female, night and day, known and mysterious, etc. Without male there is no female, without day no night etc. We do not believe the dark to be evil. It is our philosophy that each human and deity contain both positive and negative, thus we are do not believe in ultimate "good" and "bad". Once can have a bad day, but was it all bad? This is also represented by the white and black dots in the middle of the yin and yang symbols. Therefore the darkness does contain light, and the light does contain darkness.

The Pentacle represents the 5 elements of human kind, earth, air, fire, water, and akasha (spirit).

The pentacle is a large part of our workings in this coven as a protection symbol, energy conductor, and tool. By marring these two symbols we have created what to us perfectly represents our teachings and aspirations.

Our Degree System

There are three degrees each can last up to a year and a day. First degree is given within the first three months of joining the coven. This degree is to show that you wish to learn more about spirituality, and are dedicated to the path you choose. At this stage you will become familiar with many religions, and spiritual practices. We will touch on divination, healing, herbalism, crafts, spell work, energy, and much more. Second degree is given up to a year and a day after joining the coven. At this stage one is dedicated to learning more about the history of ones chosen path, the Gods, and the practices philosophical meaning. We will re-visit some of the first degree knowledge and expand on those subjects. Also we will reach further in psychology, philosophy, ethics and "walking the walk" so to speak. Third Degree is for those who wish to be the teacher of a coven, grove or other kind of group. Not all will be interested in this undertaking. Those who choose to move forward will be given training necessary to take on these roles. The connection to deity is heavily stressed, as well as philosophy and psychology. Once third degree is completed they may move on to form their own group, known in the old school as "hiving off". They may at this time take the name of the coven and the coven sigil with them. A book of shadows, which they made during the learning process will help guide them in their new role. Coven of the Illuminated Shadow has adopted no dogma save for the Wiccan Rede. As we understand the Rede to say "Harm none, not even yourself".