What is the North Door?
The North Door has two parts:
- North Door Study & Exploration group (NDSE) is an open outreach of the North Door coven. Four times a year we hold events, workshops, or outings that are of interest to a wide variety of people. The NDSE is a great way to meet others in Arkansas and nearby states, and to have some fun!
- The North Door Coven is a more traditional coven in Arkansas. Member are like family. The coven is a three-degree initiatory group. Teachings have a foundation in Gardnerian, Alexandrian, and Dianic traditions however, we are very eclectic. The primary coven is normally closed to new participants, however this year we are offering classes and accepting initiates!
Over the years, members of the coven have moved to new areas of the country. Although they still visit for the larger NDSE gatherings, they are not able to attend every Sabbat or Esbat. Also, several long-standing members have passed into Summerland. We are ready for fresh faces and new ideas.
As a coven, we strive to learn and grow from each other and the world around us, support each other in times of need and in times of celebration, and contribute in a positive way to the world around us.
“Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices.”
Classes and events are held once or twice a month in areas in and around Hot Springs, Mount Ida, Glenwood and Mena. Rituals are held at the coven’s 10-acre sanctuary and teaching garden that adjoins the Ouachita National Forest in Montgomery County.
There are a few simple steps to take in order to join the coven:
Step 1: Dedicant
Contact Friday and let her know you are interested in becoming a Dedicant. You must be 19 or older. We will meet in a neutral, public place at your convenience to discuss what is expected from you, and what you expect or need from the coven.
Dedicants are expected to attend training classes, Esbats rituals, and Sabbat celebrations as often as possible. After a few meetings, you should decide if you are interested in full training and initiation. If you are, let Friday know and your application will be submitted to the coven. If you are not interested, you may continue to enjoy the NDSE outings and public events to meet other solitary Witches in the area, and other groups.
Step 2: First Degree Initiation
When a Dedicant’s application is accepted by the coven and local elders of nearby groups, you will receive a formal invitation. If you accept, your First Degree Initiation ritual is held and formal training begins.
If initiation is chosen, a first-degree initiation is held and you will begin your Year and a Day as an initiate. First Degree Initiates are expected to design and officiate at one Esbat while attending as many coven classes and other events as possible.
Step 3: Second Degree Initiation
After your first year and a day of study and practice, you are eligible to become a second-degree initiate and your Second Degree Initiation ritual is held. More advanced training begins and you will be asked to choose some areas of focus such as divination, environmentalism, counseling, kitchen witchery, healing, etc. You are expected to design and officiate at one major Sabbat celebration and one Esbat ritual, and are assigned community volunteer and outreach projects.
Step 4: Third Degree
A year and a day after you become a Second Degree Initiate, you are eligible to become a Third Degree. After Third Degree initiation, you are a full covener, may be entitled an “elder” at certain events, and have additional responsibilities. Sabbat and Esbat officiation is rotated among Third Degree coveners and you may select which rituals and celebrations you choose to organize. For this year of your experience, there is a stronger focus on clergy (ordination) and counseling training along with public service. You will also be given the option to establish a permanent cabin at the 10-acre sanctuary and teaching garden, home base for the coven. You can stay in this cabin at any time for events, workshops, and rituals, or rent it out through services like Airbnb when you aren’t occupying it. You may also be asked to join the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization.
What’s the Name About?
The name “North Door” came about because we are in a conservative area of the U.S. In old churches, a northern facing door was left in the church to allow local country folks (Pagans) to enter into the church (which was often built upon sacred Pagan sites). It has been theorized that the northern direction was the traditional entry point into sacred sites, and that Pagans at the time wished to enter the church discretely. This doorway came to be called the “North Door” or the “Devil’s Door” and although we aren’t bumpin it with the devil, we often feel like we are quietly going about our Witchy business among the otherwise Christian community in our area of Arkansas.