Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions and answers about Black Forest Clan, Clan of the American Eagle and its covens. Please contact us at the bottom of the page if you have any further questions or would like to discuss a future with Black Forest.
About Our Clan and Covens
A clan is a group of covens in the Black Forest organizational structure. Under specific circumstances, a coven becomes elevated to clan status, and as its members found their own Black Forest covens, the new covens remain members of the original clan.
Black Forest Clan is the umbrella clan founded by Silver RavenWolf that encompasses all other clans in Black Forest. A founding clan is referred to as a tradition only after the founder passes through the veil. Since Lady Silver is still with us, we are not yet referred to as a tradition. Because Black Forest has 42 clans and hundreds of members, it is often referred to as a tradition, but that is not traditionally accurate.
Clan of the American Eagle operates as a whole in almost every capacity, which is to say that we all join together for all classes, holiday celebrations, life-event services, travel, etc. There is some variation from clan to clan in Black Forest; for example some clans only gather once or twice a year and classes, holidays, etc. take place within its covens.
Yes, if you consider a family oriented Tradition stuffy. We work robed. We do not serve alcoholic beverages during ritual. We do not perform the physical Great Rite. We do not advocate drugs within a ritual circle or while you work magick. What you do on your own time is your business, but don't bring it to circle. We are very PR conscious. We have to be. The whole magickal community is looking at you and your behavior.
Lady Silver is a nationally recognized leader and elder of Wicca, and via her writing has been instrumental in guiding the future of one of the fastest-growing faiths in America today. The author of 17 books, she has been interviewed by The New York Times, Newsweek Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal among others.
About Our Services
We fully support the spiritual paths of all individuals and will gladly cooperate with clergy of other faiths to make any life-event ceremony a positive and beautiful experience. Ceremonies for families of mixed faiths may entail special considerations and planning, so please let us know about this and any other special considerations as soon as possible to ensure a seamless spiritual experience for everyone.
Like all life-event ceremonies, the altar and quarters setup will be provided, if you don't have ritual items that you want used, and the clergy alone will cast the sacred space and circle. Then guests enter and are seated outside the circle, followed by the participants, who enter through a "doorway" opened and then closed by clergy. The baby is blessed, officially named, and dedicated to the Goddess and God (or Divinity within our Celtic and Germanic pantheon of your choosing). Participant and guests then exit, and clergy will close the quarters, circle and properly store ritual items.
Life-event service entails a $150 hearthstone fee for non-Black Forest clients. This fee covers the High Priestess and Priest, other clergy as required, and the use of ritual items, if not provided by the clients. The fee may vary depending on any special circumstances. Any travel expense would also be the clients' responsibility, and should be arranged and paid for in advance.
First, we will schedule a meeting in a restaurant or similar public place to discuss your interest and that Black Forest is a good match for your goals. Then you may be invited to attend open circle holiday celebrations, and open classes to help you decide if Clan of the American Eagle is right for you. After a few visits, you may decide to "dedicate" to Black Forest, which is a life-long dedication to our Wiccan tradition; or, you may decide that you haven't found the right fit, and we part ways in love and light. If you dedicate to Black Forest, you will become a member of one of our covens and begin seminary training.
We have a Skype option for those who do not have access to a BFC Facilitator in their region. BFC also has cyber covens. However, the student must be prepared to travel on occasion. Dedication and Initiations must be performed in person. The Grand Coven Meeting and other possible Coven gatherings also require the physical attendance of a student.
Yes, we have several. Partly due to the fact that we are less constrictive on your personal time and energies than other Traditions, and partly because... well... who knows? These individuals must serve a two year probationary period before their next elevation in the BFC and must complete the required lessons.
Usually, you become a member of the coven that you first make contact with. Since the entire clan carries out all functions together as a whole group, considerations such as location are immaterial.
Yes. Black Forest and its clans and covens were founded to train clergy. We can point you to resources that might help you find a non-teaching coven if that's your preference, just ask us.
Even if we wanted to, Black Forest could not be for everyone because everyone is different, seeking various levels of information, training, and socialization. Black Forest is what each of us puts into it, representing years of hard work by everyone.
Yes. Many of our members now communicate with each other on-line, as well as more conventional methods of communication. Silver encourages communication between covens, clans and individuals. Every four years the Grand Coven convenes just outside Harrisburg, PA. This is a gathering of all the BFC members from around the world. Yes, the world. We have covens in multiple countries. There is a facilitators' website for all facilitators to share information, lessons, and discussions.
About Our Study Program
This is truly a working/learning organization. It is a clergy seminary training program. There are ten written lessons that must be turned in routinely, usually within three months, over a three + year time period. The biggest reason people are "former BFC" members is that they did not want to complete the work. You don't get something for nothing - the lessons are for a reason. You will learn a tremendous amount of information. This is not an easy program but it will teach you more than any program out there. We have resources from 400+ people, and about a third of them are third degree witches with a minimum of four years study behind them. Read Silver Ravenwolf's many books to see our level of dedication. This program includes a lot of memorization and a lot of oral recitation for altar dedications, quarter calls, circle cast, rituals, etc.
Yes. We urge Facilitators to try to bring in as much extra-curricular training as they can. American Eagle holds training classes twice a month in Deer Park or by Skype. We also offer training in altar tool cleansing and dedication, quarter calls, circle cast, and altar dedications before every meeting. Our website contains the handouts from lessons and rituals as well as various magickal postings since 2007. This is only available to BFC members.
At completion of the program you are eligible for licensed clergy status in Texas. BFC is the only pagan licensed clergy in Texas, and you will have, at the minimum, a working knowledge of Wiccan theology, clan and coven organization and administration, the knowledge and legal license to perform handfastings, wiccanings, and funerals, over ten magickal disciplines, including high magick specialties, and practical application of all of these in a coven setting.
Our costs are $25 per year dues payable in October for the following year until June 30. After that we forego dues until October. There is a $20 per lesson fee for nine lessons (payable on receipt of each lesson, not all at once) and $35 for lesson ten which is much larger (astrology). We used the dues to offset travel expenses for annual out-of-state meetings, supplies, and other expenses that benefit the Clan.
No. At one time it was expected that the Coven give initiates their tools, however, times have changed. We feel that part of your training involves collecting your own tools. You will need your tools by your second initiation. You will need a black robe during your dedication year.