Put a Knight in Your Day!
The Order of Scáthach is a Wiccan order of Knighthood founded by Wiccan author Kerr Cuhulain in November 2007. Scáthach has evolved into a Wiccan tradition embracing the Warrior philosophies as outlined in Kerr’s books Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick and Magickal Self Defense. The Order of Scáthach embraces the concept of chivalry and focuses on empowerment, creative expression and effective magick. The Order of Scáthach is a study group for people interested in Wiccan magick, energy work and rituals related to the Warrior path. We are constantly developing new rituals, and magick and studying our philosophy. All members are expected to participate and contribute.
The Order of Scáthach is a member of the Surrey Interfaith Council (one of the founding organizations) and is the organization responsible for the Vancouver Pagan Pride festival since 2011 (http://vancouverpaganpride.wordpress.com/). We support worthy charities such as Kiva (http://www.kiva.org) Since July 2012 we've provided Pagan chaplaincy services for hospitalized Pagans in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
The Order of Scáthach has several preceptories in the Lower Mainland of BC:
• Surrey Motherhouse
• Bifrost Preceptory (North Surrey)
• Tri Cities Preceptory (Port Coquitlam)
Other preceptories are in the process of forming elsewhere in North America.
The Order of Scáthach is named for Scáthach nUanaind, the daughter of Ard-Greimne of Lethra. Scáthach (“shadow” – pronounced “skya”), also known as Scáthach Buanand (“victorious shadow”) is the most famous of female Warriors in Celtic mythology. Living on the Isle of Skye (which is named for her), Scáthach ran a martial training academy at which all of the principal heroes of Celtic myth were trained. Her most famous pupil was Cúchulainn, who is the warrior hero that influenced Kerr Cuhulain’s choice of magickal name.
Members of the Order of Scáthach must honor and uphold the Wiccan Rede in all its aspects.
Members of the Order of Scáthach must follow our 13 Warrior precepts:
1. Know thyself.
2. Nurture the ability to perceive the truth in all matters.
3. You create your own reality.
4. Develop a sense of Right Action.
5. Do not be negligent, even in trifling matters.
6. Your body is your temple: Care for it!
7. Minimal appearance, maximum content.
8. Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.
9. Power with.
10. Who dares wins.
11. The Gods cannot help those who will not help themselves.
12. Be creative!
13. Do not engage in useless activity.
Members of the Order of Scáthach must also follow our Code of Chivalry as outlined in the Scáthach Oath of Knighthood, which includes the following principles: Sincerity, Courtesy, Compassion, Perseverance, Industriousness, Justice, Loyalty, Courage, Self-Discipline, Humility, Largesse, Truth, and Honor.
Notes about the Scáthach Training:
Annual dues for the Order are $5 per year to cover administration costs.
All lessons and lists of mentors can be found on our training blog: http://dunscathach.wordpress.com/
In the first phase of Order of Scáthach training the Novice is welcomed into the Order with an Acceptance ritual. The Novice studies energy through both mental and psychical exercises, learns and practices psychic skills and develops their magickal skills. At the end of this first phase the Novice becomes a Squire at an Armoring ceremony. The second level of training has to do with studying ritual and magickal weapons: We take our Magickal Weapons seriously and train with them. At the end of this second phase the Squire becomes a Knight at an Arming ceremony. The third phase of training is about teaching and leadership. At the end of the third phase the Knight becomes a Master at a Mastering ceremony. While our Sabbat rituals are constantly changing to reflect the creativity of our members, these initiations are fixed, tying us together with tradition.
No liquor is permitted in Order of Scáthach Circles or rituals. We respect Pagan traditions that use wine, mead, or whiskey in Circle or ritual as the “water of life.” This “prohibition” isn’t intended as a criticism of their practices. Some of us were formerly involved in relationships with alcoholic partners and their families. Liquor is too easily abused. We’ve been to too many Circles or gatherings where people came drunk or got drunk and were a disruptive influence and/or a drain on the magickal energy of the group. This will not happen here. The Order of Scáthach may have social events outside of Circle where such beverages are available, but they will not be used in ritual.
The Order of Scáthach is a drug free tradition. No drugs will be tolerated, period. Members of the Order of Scáthach will obey the laws and uphold them. We do not waste our time in altered states of consciousness, whether drug induced or not. Being Warriors, we teach ourselves to use flow states, enhancing our awareness. Our position on this subject is well documented in Wiccan Warrior, Full Contact Magick, and Magickal Self Defense. We will support anyone committed to recovery efforts.
We are not opposed to the use of incense but will seldom use it in Circle, as several Scáthach members have allergies. We tend to use incense in outdoor Circles and rituals, if at all.
The Order of Scáthach is a family tradition and children are entirely welcome in Circle and out. The rules are the same for kids as for adults: People in Circle are expected to behave with courtesy towards others.
The Order of Scáthach does not do skyclad rituals. We respect Wiccan traditions that practice skyclad rituals. The Order of Scáthach conducts most rituals at the Motherhouse or member’s homes in casual wear. The Order of Scáthach does have ritual wear for Sabbats and Esbats, but if a coven member shows up in street clothes due to limited funds or a tight work schedule that's perfectly alright. You don’t need ritual and robes to do magick and you don’t need robes to do ritual: We don’t want our members to get too hung up on ritual paraphernalia. For public events our uniform is a black Gi (karate jacket) with the Scáthach logo on the back in white.
You can check out our training at our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/goibhniu13?feature=mhsn
You can also check out our training program at our training blog: http://dunscathach.wordpress.com/
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Wannabes and Warriors
There seems to be two groups of people out there. There are those who want to be Knights and there are those who want to tell people that they are Knights. Those in the first category dedicate themselves to the precepts and code of chivalry and through hard work and discipline become Knights. I recognized these two groups when I wrote the “Challenge” at the beginning of our Armoring ritual. The Challenge reads:
“I can see in some of your eyes that haunted look that tells me that you’ve been victims. You’ve been set upon, bruised, harassed, suffered setbacks. That’s a terrible thing. But if you came to this place to claim the title “Victim” and expect to have us feel sorry for you, then you’ve come to the wrong place. You may as well turn around and leave. Yet if you came here to empower yourself, to take charge of your life, to say “Never Again!”, then you are very welcome. We Warriors are here to show you how.
“And some of you have that inward look which tells me that you don’t like what you see when you look in the mirror. You consider yourself weak or flawed or insignificant. That’s a difficult thing to deal with, to be sure. But if you came here to rub shoulders with us Warriors, hoping that you’d gain some respect or honor by association only, then I suggest you get lost. We’ve no time for that. But if you’ve come here to reinvent yourself, to rise from your own ashes like the
“And some of you have fear in your eyes. You’ve found the world to be a chaotic and dangerous place. But if you came here hoping that we Warriors will stand between you and that scary world, then think again. Yet if you came here to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, face your fears and not back down, then you’ll find yourself amongst friends. We Warriors are here to stand with you and watch your back.
“...There are no passwords that will get you through life. What you need to enter here is not a secret. To enter this Circle you need to bring seven things: Loyalty, Justice, Sincerity, Courtesy, Compassion, Courage and Honor. If you have these, then enter and take your places around the Circle.”
The reason that I wrote that Challenge was because of people in the second category: People who wish to call themselves Knights but aren’t willing to make any effort to earn that title. The Order of Scáthach is not a place for “victims” to seek sympathy and feel sorry for themselves. The Order of Scáthach will not be used by people who want to sit around on their ass and wave a membership card around to impress others. The Order of Scáthach is sworn to defend but has little patience for members who won’t make an effort to defend themselves.
The Order of Scáthach isn’t a club, it is an order of Wiccan knighthood. It isn’t for wannabes, its for Warriors.
What People Are Saying About The Order of Scáthach Site:
Wiccan Author Barbara Ardinger: “That's a terrific site! It's very clear who and what a warrior really is.”
Wiccan Author Christopher Penczak: “Very cool Kerr. I wish you many blessing with your work in Scathach!”
Sunny: “Hurray for modern magicians and folks who aren’t afraid to realize our connection to the Divine doesn’t have to be shrouded in dust and obscured by anachronistic trappings! I look forward to continuing to hear more about what you’re doing up there!”
Laura: “Congratulations. The site is well-organized and informative, a refreshing change amongst Craft groups!”
Troy: “I am glad to see this, too many of our brothers and sisters only see the fluffy side of things. This will mean a lot to those of us that server our countries and people through the military and law enforcement.”
Casey: "Wow! I love your website! You have done a great job. It's very, very informative. I have just started to learn Chi Gong and will try to incorporate it into my rituals. I believe it will make a big difference. Thank you so much for sharing this with me."
Windwalker (Preceptor General, Officers of Avalon): You are definitely answering a call to service and filling a strong need in the community.
Ray Sweeney, National Co-ordinator, Pagan Federation Ireland (8th Dan Instructor- Bujinkan Niji Dojo Ireland):
As I was researching a talk on Celtic mythology, I happened upon the Order of Scathach's website. Very interesting stuff, and coming from a good place. I've long thought the martial arts and physical self defence should be taught alongside more traditional Pagan practices,if only for historical accuracy.
I live in Co. Kildare, Ireland, a short distance from the Hill of Allen, hunting home of Na Fianna, where the Warrior Spirit is still strong.
Asking a Deity for protection without having bothered to learn the basics oneself is an abdication of personal responsibility,
in my opinion, and is a prime example of "couch potato Paganism".
I teach self defence in my associated Pagan groupings, and I teach Pagan ethics in my martial arts classes :-)
Keep up the good work
Ray Sweeney, National Co-ordinator, Pagan Federation Ireland (8th Dan Instructor- Bujinkan Niji Dojo Ireland):