When people ask what makes our Tradition so different from all the other ones out there, they are expecting a liturgical answer, some special beliefs or ritual forms that are unique to Us. In truth we stress the same concepts as any other group, unity, belonging, a need to better one self, growth etc, but we also have a strong and firm believe that one should not loose ones identity in the quest to Spiritual fulfillment. Be as close to Deity as what you possibly can be but while remaining true to your own self. We also stress that no one is more spiritual than the other. We are all equally spiritual in our many different ways. One of our main focus points is to bring various Pagan groups, Covens, Shrines, Clans, Temples, Churches, Traditions as well as Solitary Practitioners together for the celebration of Pagan Spirituality. We do accept and acknowledge that not all people will always get along but we would like to see more bodies form civil relationships. It is for this reason that we form affiliations with as many as possible other traditions. We encourage our members to build bridges between traditions and to get the Phoenix involved with as many traditions as possible, world wide so that we may broaden our community.
It is our close bond as a Spiritual Family and that we stick together through thick and thin that makes us stand out.
Our word is our Honour and in a sense we can be linked to the musketeers of France. “All for one and one for all”
Another point that sets our Tradition aside from most other Traditions is that we are not limiting members to their actual gender. Therefore a Masculine female, for instance, has every right to call herself a Priest instead of Priestess if this is more true to the internal gender of that member. Such a person will then fulfill all the rights of a Priest and not a Priestess.
In 2011 Notrenlim Phoenix has also decided that It should take on a broader spectrum of spiritualities. Even though we will still consider the core of the Tradition as Pagan, we welcome members of all spiritualities to join our Spiritual Family
Paganism is not an exclusive path and no one can claim any right of papacy on it. Because we believe all paths lead to Deity, we do not believe that one must belong to any given faith or tradition to be a good person or to grow spiritually. Nor is it necessary to belong to only one. Being an initiate of our Tradition does not mean you can not also be a Shamanic, Druidic, or Dianic initiate as well, or any other tradition you might wish to study or join. You must however respect our Tradition as a member and follow our practices when in our Temples, but what you do any other place is your own business. Your private beliefs and conscience are your own business and we have no desire to dictate them to you. Paganism is about learning to make your own choices and the various denominations and traditions exist to provide a framework in which to learn and grow. We seek to open your mind and expand your thinking, not to limit it. Always question everything. Blind faith is the basis of destruction to any path, spirituality or way of life.
The Phoenix has three levels of involvement to cater for all people, from the serious practitioner to the curious outsider. These three levels are
These are people that wish to attend Sabbats/workshops/socials but they want no involvement in any way with the tradition. They wish to come and go as they please and they will never be asked to fulfill a role in our ceremonies.
2. Outer Court Members:
The outer court is build up of two sets of people.
2.1. Correspondence Students:
The first would be students that are studying the degrees, but due to personal reasons are unwilling or unable to join one of the Temples, Shrines, Covens or Groves.
2.2. Non Studying
These are members of a specific Temple, Shrine, Coven or Grove within the tradition but for which ever reason they do not wish to study our Degrees. They are in every right and way exactly the same as every other Inner Court member with all the privileges and responsibilities involved.
3. Inner Court Members:
These are people that are currently studying with our tradition and belong to one of the Tradition Temples, Shrines, Covens or Groves. These people take active roles in all of our celebrations and they understand that theirs is an important part. These members attend all celebrations and are foundation stones to the above mentioned.
The tradition as it is known today is the result of the progression in thought and accumulative development of a Spiritual study-group setup in 2004 and was founded by Martin ‘Zeo’ Frost under the guidance of his late mother, High Priestess Rae ‘Mhab’ Neethling and with the help, tutelage and writings of many other Pagan Leaders including High Priestess Claudette ‘Mourgaine’ Steenkamp, ArchPriestess Donna ‘Darkwolf’ Vos (Circle Of The African Moon), Rt.Reverend Lucille Reed (Witches Unite), High Priestess Gail Inkersole (Witches Unite), Rt.Reverend Andi Fisher (Correllian Nativist Church International), Rt.Reverend Don Lewis High-Correl (Correllian Nativist Tradition) and Rt.Reverend Davron Michaels (Correllian Nativist Church International) to mention only a few.
Our tradition has undergone many facelifts and transitions, we have faced many obstacles and it is our sense of family that has allowed us to grow and evolve to this point.
Paganism is composed of many traditions most (but not all) of which recognize each others initiations. If you choose to study our Degrees and take our initiations (and you are not obligated to) you will become a member of the Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition. Ours is a highly eclectic Tradition based on the teachings of many various traditions and individuals and leaning strongly on the hereditary teachings of its Arch-Priest. Notrenlim Phoenix has always and will always be an eclectic Tradition where we welcome the input of every individual and member to help us to evolve and grow. We believe that Deity is in all things; therefore all paths can and will lead to Deity.
Traditionally it takes a minimum of a year and a day to achieve and complete each of the Degrees. Sometimes it takes much longer. These lessons have been formulated with this dictum in mind. Each Degree consists of twelve lessons following a month apart, requiring at least a year to complete. This allows the student plenty of time to digest the information, which is quite wide-ranging in nature. A structure of the Degrees follows underneath. Keep in mind that we are not a traditional Tradition and we try to conclude first degree in 9 months.
Your journey will start with a minimum 3 months of serving as a POSTULANT. During this time you will be assigned to a mentor that will be responsible for your growth in the Tradition and within yourself. During this period you will familiarize yourself with our Tradition and the members of our Temple or Shrine and they will familiarize themselves with you. During your Postulancy you will be given a series of tasks, assignments and courses to complete. If at the end of your Postulancy you enter the Tradition, you will undergo a Dedication Ritual. Your status within the Tradition will then be DEDICANT.
1st Degree - Earth
This is the introduction level for the Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition. First Degree students will have very little, if any responsibility within the Tradition as we believe that in this time it is more important to focus on forming a strong Spiritual foundation. However should the student wish to be more involved it will be discussed with the assigned mentor and if the student seems fit then this will be granted. First Degree consists of course material (which will act as the foundation of your spiritual growth) Introduction to Deity and visualization exercises as well as 12 path-workings that will help you on your spiritual journey. You will also have to complete 12 assignments and do 4 book reports on books that will be handed to you from the Temple or Shrine library. In order for you to pass your First Degree you have to receive a total of 70% in your year end mark. When you are done with your study of this degree you shall be referred to as a Neophyte. You may now continue your studies or end them.
2nd Degree - Water
When you decide to undergo the Second degree training and you have been initiated in a Notrenlim Phoenix Temple it shall be deemed that you are now ready to start assuming a position in which Temple responsibilities will be handed to you. Second Degree concists of course course material, 12 God and Goddess explanations that you will teach, spells and 12 energy exercises. You will also have to complete 12 assignments and do 4 book reports on books that will be handed to you from the Temple or Shrine library. In order for you to pass your Second Degree you have to receive a total of 80% in your year end mark. When you are done with your study of this degree you shall be referred to as a Priest/ess. You may now continue your studies or end them.
3rd Degree - Fire
When you decide to undergo the Third Degree training and you have been initiated in a Notrenlim Phoenix Temple as a Second Degree it shall be deemed that should now be showing signs of great leadership qualities within the structure of the Tradition. Varying from leading rituals to organizational skills as well as problem solving skills, responsibilities within your Temple will of course increase. At the end of this degree you need to be able to runa coven successfully even if you do not wish to hive-off. Third Degree consists of the course material, spells and energy exercises and sicussion of your Deitiesin your chosen pantheon. You will also have to complete 12 assignments and do 4 book reports on books that will be handed to you from the Temple or Shrine library. In order for you to pass your Third Degree you have to receive a total of 90% in your year end mark. When you are done with your study of this degree you shall be referred to as a High Priest/ess. You may now continue your studies or end them. Should you wish to continue with your studies into the fourth degree you have to start a great work. This a work that benefit your Pagan community.
4th Degree - Air
When you decide to undergo the Fourth Degree training and you have been initiated in an Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition Temple as a Third Degree it shall be deemed fit that you are now ready to lead a Temple of your own, successfully. You will of course always have the guidance of the Elders but you are required to be able to stand on your own two feet within a group structure , even if you do not wish to lead a group. Fourth degree consists mainly of practicals and various thesis's that the stdent will have to hand in. At this level we (the council and your teacher) will be honing the individual's skills that they have built on in the previous three years. the exams, whether practical or written or will be marked by the above mentioned parties to ensure that the teacher does not pass the student based on a good relationship of previous years of study. Initiation in the Fourth Degree is a very serious and strict one and not meant for everyone. This is truly meant for those members that feels a calling and need to serve not only the path of the Gods but also the community. In order for you to pass your Fourth degree you have to receive a total of 95% in your year end mark and the great work that you started at the end of your Third Degree should now have taken effect. Successful completeion of the Fourth Degree will grant the student the position of High Priest/ess and Elder of the Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition. Should you not be of the required age for Eldership you will then hold the title of Gaurdian until you are of a fit age to bear the title of Elder.
We do have another position but it does not constitute as a Degree. Notrenlim Phoenix Tradition only has four degrees. the 5th position is as follows
This position will only be given upon the recommendation of the current Arch-Priest and or Arch-Priestess but a vote from the council of Elders will still have to be taken into account. Never will there be more than two people within the Tradition that holds this position. These initiates are the ones that shall take full responsibility for every member of the Tradition in a spiritual capacity, as well as responsibility for the flow and movement of the Tradition itself. We need to stress the point that this is not a Degree. It is merely a position to distinguish between our High Priesthood and the people that take responsibility for the Tradition and all of its hive-offs as a whole. They are considered the Tradition Parents and over arch everything that happens in the Tradition.
Each of the Degrees will require you to start a Book of Shadows designed for the purpose of that Degree. The course will also include various tasks designed for the individual. This is not a dogmatic school where you will only be improve your knowledge but also build practical daily life as a Pagan experience that we try to cater for the individuals needs. therefor we will try for every easy or task to be tailored for the individual. You will be required to supply your own writing impliments. the course material will be handed to you at the start of every class. Failure to complete a degree will not grant you entry to the next degree. Failing of tests will also not grant you entry to the next degree. This is in keeping with international standard and to ensure a high level of esoteric education