IIntended only to train student in the basic arts that they might move on to established Traditions, the Order originally had no degrees or ranks. However, the strong bonds between students remained even after class work had completed. Many Sibylline initiates continued to work together in addition to pursuing their own personal practices. As a result, and in response to those members needs, a degree system was introduced early in year number three after the first five classes.
Unlike traditional degree systems, the Founders based Degrees within the Order on the amount of study, community service, and long-term spiritual dedication an initiate demonstrated. The key difference was that the area of study and pantheon were not defined, but rather, the diversity the Order fostered was encouraged to continue with the members as they continued their spiritual growth.
Based on contribution and not authority, the Sibylline Order does not confer titles such as “High Priest/ess.” Instead, members progress through three degrees of increasing service to the Order and level of proficiency within their chosen specialties.
Though membership records were not and are not maintained, the Order’s active membership has grown beyond anything imagined when the Founders first coalesced. The size of the active membership has fluctuated through needs, personal directions, and group activity. In recent years, the accessibility of the Internet has allowed initiates to stay connected and share ideas and experiences despite the inevitable dispersal of the membership’s core elements. The Sibylline Order strives to continue provide a place of learning and self exploration along with offering fraternal, unselfish, loving support to its members, regardless of their degree or level of experience. Every member is free to go or stay as they please. Numerous members have trained with us and then gone on to form their own covens, teach groups, write books, study other religions, and enact their individual wills.
To each that have come and gone, and to all that will come and go, we offer cheer and well-wishes to them in their adventures and spiritual paths.
First Degree may be granted upon completion of the full course of study. First Degree is intended to liberate a person from society’s influences and to guide them to their own higher power. A First Degree Sibylline Priest/ess is entitled to teach, to study other traditions or specialization, form covens or circles, and to do their will as it harms no others.
FIRST DEGREE (Priest/ess)
To be granted to any person who has successfully completed the Sibylline Course of Study as taught by a qualified teacher in good standing in the Order, and who meets the following requirements*:
- Must ask for initiation of their free will.
- Must be 18 years or older*. (Exceptions regarding minors asking for initiation may be considered only after a meeting between all legal guardians, the student’s teacher(s) and an Elder. Explicit verbal and written permission to initiate must be freely given by all legal guardians and the student. Be aware that even with this, initiation may not be granted.
- Do their will as it harms no others.
- To the best of their ability follow their own higher power and true will.
- Demonstrate, through their behavior and written class work, a fundamental compatibility with the Order.
- A student may be considered for initiation if they complete the course work to the satisfaction of their teacher. Initiation may not granted if a teacher feels that the student is not ready or does not meets the requirements. Candidates who are denied initiation may contact an Elder member of the Order to challenge the decision. Initiation cannot be denied based on any prejudice of race, gender, gender preference, lifestyle, nationality, profession, or other religious affiliations.
Responsibilities & Rights
First Degree conveys no responsibilities to the Order other than those the Initiate willingly takes on.
The Initiate may as is their Will:
- Follow their higher power and True Will.
- To do their Will as it harms no others.
- Act as Priest/ess for ceremonies and rituals.
- Study other traditions or specializations.
- Continue to interact, or not, within the Order as desired.
- Take part in Sibylline First Degree initiations.
- Teach an area of specialization or study.
- Teach the Sibylline Order Course of Study and initiate qualified individuals after attending a Teacher's workshop or working with an experienced Sibylline teacher.
- Use Sibylline materials if source is sited and author is credited. (Authors retain the rights over their documents and the right to refuse use.)
- Form covens or circles. These are considered the sole creation and under the guidance of the initiate. They are not considered to be an extension of the Sibylline Order and thus will not be addressed by or use the Sibylline name. The Sibylline Order has no say or responsibility in their structure or practice.
Definition of Completion of the Sibylline Course
- Having covered all class material and demonstrated a basic understanding of satisfaction of their teacher. (Students should coordinate with their teachers regarding missed classes. A teacher may determine how best to cover this material.)
- Has written the following papers:
- Personal Belief System: demonstrating a deep reflection and spiritual thought.
- Personal Ethical System: demonstrating a basic compatibility with the principles of the Sibylline Order.
- A Ritual: demonstrating the ability to perform as a Priest/ess in a private or public capacity.
Second Degree may be bestowed after a Sibylline has mastered a specialization and is using it to benefit the community, neopagan or otherwise. Titles such as "Healing Priestess" indicates a priest/ess of Second Degree or higher.
SECOND DEGREE (Priest/ess + Area of Specialization)
To be granted to a Sibylline First Degree in good standing who, in the agreement of at least two members of the Order of Third Degree or higher, has met the following qualifications:
- Minimum of one year after First Degree.
- Minimum of one area of specialization that is used to benefit the community/society.
- Members desiring Second Degree must be able to verify their work before attaining the degree.
Responsibilities & Rights
Second Degree conveys no additional responsibilities to the Order, other than those the member is willing to take on. In addition to their First Degree responsibilities and rights may:
- Take part in Sibylline First and Second Degree initiation rituals.
- Pursue a second specialization with the intent of working toward a Third Degree within the Sibylline Order.
Third Degree may be bestowed after a Sibylline masters two or more areas of specialization, is using them to benefit the community, and is teaching within the Craft.
THIRD DEGREE (Master + Area of Specialization)
To be granted to a Second Degree Sibylline in good standing who has met the requirements and is sponsored by at least one Third Degree or higher member in good standing. The sponsor(s) may present the candidate's case to the Council who by majority decision will grant a Third Degree title.
- Minimum of two years after Second Degree.
- Two or more specializations attained.
- Using one or more specializations to benefit the community/society by: Teaching or maintaining a practice in one of the specializations (e.g. astrology, healing). Teaching or having a practice in another area (e.g. the specialization may be “teaching” and the member may also make her living reading tarot.)
- Demonstrated a devotion and high level of proficiency in their chosen specialization.
- Demonstrated an unselfish and passionate commitment to benefit or nurture others without a personal agenda or self aggrandizement.
- Expressed a long term commitment to their spiritual path and activities that benefit the community.
- Communicated with least one Elder to verify that they have met these requirements.
- Expressed a desire to continue to meet these requirements.
Responsibilities & Rights
Third Degree conveys no additional responsibilities to the Order, other than those the member is willing to take on. In addition to their Second Degree responsibilities and rights may:
- Take part in Sibylline First, Second and Third Degree initiations.* (Attending a Third Degree initiation is by invitation of the Initiate.)
- Sponsor Second or Third Degree candidates from among the membership in good standing.
- Be eligible for Eldership within the Order.
Elders are Third Degree initiates who have been selected by the membership or Council of Elders. They represent the voice of the Order when called upon to do so and teach or aid in teaching the Sibylline course of study.
ELDER (Elder + Third Degree Specialization)
Elders are chosen by the majority agreement of the Council of Elders. A Third Degree Sibylline may be recommended for consideration by any member or members of the Order.
- Is a Third Degree in good standing.
- Fulfills the responsibilities of an Elder.
- Understands that Elders have NO authority over individual members of the Sibylline Order beyond outlined responsibilities.
May Be Called Upon To: (Upon Request)
- Represent the Order to the public, inquiring parties, and the press or media.
- Mediate disputes between and on behalf of members of the Sibylline Order.
- Mediate disputes between and regarding the Order and other Traditions or Religions.
Responsibilities & Rights
Elder conveys additional responsibilities to the Order. In addition to their Third Degree responsibilities and rights they:
- Unselfishly represent the Order to maintain the Order's good name and relations with other Traditions.
- Avoid maligning the Order or its members to others within and outside the Order via gossip, self aggrandizement, inflammatory commentary, or slander.
- Ability and willingness to speak publicly regarding the Order, the Order’s ideals and purpose.
- Raise concerns over the use of the name of the Sibylline Order.
- Availability to members for spiritual counseling, teaching and listening to the concerns of the membership and/or students of the Order.
- Maintain confidentiality, including the names of members, legal issues, and where applicable the discussions of the Council of Elders and other internal Order business.
- Use discretion and best judgment to preserve the integrity and safety of the Order and all its members. This may include addressing issues of physical safety in cases where legally verifiable actions have been committed (e.g. spousal abuse, physical assault, rape, child molestation).
- Teach, mentor, and/or supervise a Sibylline Class at least once every three years.
- Maintain archives of current teaching materials.
- Assist in updating and refining curriculum.
- Work to promote and build community and understanding between our members as well as the greater community.
Responsibilities to the Council
- Keeps members the Council informed of their activities (bi-yearly).
- It is the obligation of each Elder to contact and include all other Elders regarding decisions and/or situations affecting the Order or the Council.
- Is available to other Elders for Council and Order business via email, phone, or in person. If internet communication channels are unavailable the Elder mus establish a communication channel (written/phone) with another Elder and stay abreast of Order events, issues, and business.
- The Council may act under majority decision if there is a quorum in cases where immediate action is required – e.g. slander or physical attack. Due effort must be made to contact each Elder. A quorum is defined as ¾ of the members of the Council.
Retirement from the Council
- Elders may decline an appointment or step down at any time and retain Third Degree.
- Elders who have stepped down may resume their place on the Council as they are able to resume the responsibilities, as long as there are no legitimate objections or challenges from the Council or membership either individually or as a whole.
- An Elder who is unable to fulfill these responsibilities may be asked to retire as Elder only by unanimous decision of the Council.
Council members previous to this codification held and still hold a Third Degree and remain an Elder according to their Will.