Shadow Moon Tradition

History of the Shadow Moon Tradition

The genesis of the Shadow Moon tradition was the Pagan Study Group, founded in 1998. For many years the group followed a loosely Gardnerian/Wiccan path and celebrated the Wheel of the Year. As the group evolved, a core group of five members sought something deeper and more personally immersive and the decision was made to formalize the Pagan Study Group into The Coven of the Midnight Circle. 

The group quickly faced issues of geographical distance, life changing events and for a period of three years the Coven languished. In 2004 River Song launched another study group and in 2006 the decision was made, again, to formalize into a Coven. The group had evolved to a deeper understanding of the importance of finding personal authenticity in our spiritual practices and this began the process of identifying our own specific Pagan path. 

Rather than adhere to conventional Wiccan tenets, we have, from the first, sought to work with all forms of energy and magic. On June 15, 2007 the Coven of the Shadow Moon was formally initiated with its three founding members. It has remained an active Coven with decided slant toward building and refining our tradition ever since.

Core Beliefs
  • We are a polytheistic initiatory path that worships the Gods of Northern Europe and the Celtic Isles
  • We embrace no singular sacred text
  • We embrace all forms of energy and magic, believing that the light cannot function without the darkness
  • We proactively seek out and work with the light, the darkness, and what lies between
  • We acknowledge that all deity is inherently neutral and we take personal responsibility for the magic we work and the energy we raise
  • Sabbats are celebratory in nature and are held on the equinoxes and solstices
  • Esbats include all formal ritual and magical workings outside of the four Sabbats
  • We believe that learning is an ongoing activity and take personal responsibility for furthering our knowledge and skills.

Role of Clergy

  • The leader of the Coven holds the title of High Priestess and is responsible for setting the focus and guiding the energy during rituals.
  • All initiated members of the Coven are eligible to pursue the title of Priest/Priestess
  • Title is not required in order to participate in ritual leadership, all initiated members may lead and/or participate in ritual in conjunction with the High Priestess
  • The High Priestess and initiated members fulfill roles of teacher, leader, counselor and mentor Dedicants upon the path

Organization of Group(s)
The Coven of the Shadow Moon consists of a three member Council, non-Council initiated members, Dedicants and Outer Court guests and good folk. There is no system in place to establish hived groups nor will there be until such time as the number of initiated members is thirteen or greater.

  • Sabbats (celebratory)
  • Mabon/Ostara
  • Yule/Midsummer
  • Esbats (magical working):
  • Samhain: new year/ancestral magic/earth
  • February: fire
  • May: air
  • August: water
  • Energy Working (attuning):
  • All Full Moons
  • All New Moons

Standards of Conduct
  • We believe in the need to follow the credo of “praise in public, criticize in private”.
  • We believe in the necessity of attending all rituals and workings in a sober and clear state of mind
  • We believe that we are, each of us, responsible for our words, actions and energy.
  • We believe in the power of open and honest communication at all times.
  • We believe in having an open mind and a willing spirit when working with the Coven.
  • We believe in promoting growth in our tradition via continued classes and workshops.
  • We believe in accepting all respectful guests, seekers and good folk regardless of race, sexual orientation, physical handicaps or inexperience.

Ways of Worship
Shadow Moon tradition believes in utilizing the following steps of ritual:
  • circle casting
  • calling the elements
  • statement of purpose/intention
  • evocation of deity
  • working
  • cakes & ale
  • dismissal of deity
  • thanking the elements
  • closing circle

This specific Pagan path believes that elements such as location, time of day or night, altar set up and directional spaces are and must remain fluid to the purpose and intention of the ritual.

  • Facebook: COTSM group (closed to Initiated members only)
  • Facebook: COTSM Outreach (open group, moderated)

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Welcome to the web site for the Coven of the Shadow Moon.  We are a teaching coven located in Northern New Jersey and we primarily worship t...