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The Mohsian Tradition

by Season

It is important to note that 'traditions', as we now know them, did not exist at the time our 'tradition' began. The Elders knew, worked and  shared with each other. The  strong boundaries of separate 'traditions' did not come about until later.

The Mohs were running a coven in 1965. They began using a "tradition" name around 1969: American Tradition or  Eclectic American Tradition. In 1973-1974 the  term "Mohsian" began being used in Corax Coven; the term stuck and has been in use ever since. Our American Tradition is not the same as the Scott Cunningham American  Tradition and bears no resemblance to his.

The Mohsian  Tradition began in the Los Angeles area. It has particular roots in the European Mystery Traditions and consists of a combination of three main traditions: 1734, The Plant Bran and Gardnerian.  Mohsian has also been influenced by the Boread tradition through Thomas Giles. This combination of traditions into one harmonious  whole gives our tradition its distinct flavor.

We practice the Old Religion of Wicca. We take the role of  Priest or Priestess and service to our Gods seriously, and we value our personal relationships and experiences with  them. We practice the Mysteries of the Art and the Craft of the Witch. We observe the Sabbats, which are drawn from the beliefs  and practices of European cultures, and we observe the 13 Esbats of the year.

The influence of  The Plant Bran brings a great depth of beauty to our tradition. The influence of 1734 adds a strong connection with European Shamanism and vision  work. Most working Mohsian covens at this time are working with the Celtic  pantheon and Celtic Patron Deities. We work in balance with both the Goddess and the God.

Our Gardnerian lineage came into the tradition in around 1969. Initiation  is usually preceded by an Outer Court rite of dedication  at which dedicants take a pledge of silence and make vows to the Gods. Our three degree initiations are Gardnerian based and cross-gendered. Our initiates are oathbound; self-initiation  is not practiced -- nor, do I believe,  would it be recognized as valid without direct confirmation from the Gods. We are not a political organization.

Third Degree Elders and their covens are wholly autonomous. Second degree initiates may  hive off and form  their own coven at the discretion of their High Priestess and under her authority. Money is never charged for teaching, initiations, or magical work.

Much of this sounds rather staid, but, for the most part, Mohsians are a   fun-loving family -- we have a rather well-deserved reputation for being the worse of punsters. We do laugh (a lot!), but we also know when to roll up our sleeves and do the work! There is a strong feeling of family that runs  through the  tradition, as well as 'A driving thirst for knowledge' - we all seem to be strong supporters of the local bookstores in our respective areas...

Caveat: Insofar as all 3rd Degree Elders and their covens are autonomous in our tradition, none of us may speak for all of us. The foregoing thoughts are my own opinions concerning the nature of the Mohsian Tradition for which I hold a great deal of love and respect. Grateful thanks are offered to Mevlannen for her generous permission to adapt this caveat for the purpose of this article.

written by Season, HPS, Keepers of the Flame Coven, Sacramento, California
updated: January 14, 1998
document MOHSTRAD © 1998 Season

  For further information about the Mohsian tradition, look at:

Contact information, for Mohsian study groups and covens in North America.

 You may also return to:

The index of English Traditions of the Craft.
The Beaufort House home page.