The key beliefs of the Brotherhood
We are an evolving tradition with roots in the neo-pagan religious movement. We seek to respond with spiritual guidance to the present day needs of the individuals and the communities we serve. We use symbols and structures, both ancient and modern in their synthesis, that seek to unite the diverse membership of our community as we walk the path together.
Each individual possesses keys to unlocking profound mysteries. The Divine works though each individual and therefore requires personal expression in order to manifest fully. Therefore, we value spiritual and intellectual freedom, creativity, personal responsibility and integrity in our interactions with each other.
Our spiritual path manifests through experiential revelation. The cycles of nature, the earth, stars and planets guide and teach us. We are sustained by the physical and philosophical elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. We honor connections to our personal and collective past naming these forces ancestors.
We believe that when we are united in our intent and efforts, we can facilitate the healing and transformation of our community, the Sacred Earth, and ourselves. Through a collective and personal commitment to Activism, Outreach, and Education we enrich our lives and the communities in which we live.
How we view Divinity
We believe that relationship with the Divine is deeply personal and unique in expression. The Divine is ultimately a Mystery that reveals itself in myriad forms, at all times, and places. Within the Brotherhood we primarily focus our awareness upon the Divine as immanent in manifestation, or present within the world itself, and not necessarily separate from the physical realm in transcendence. We believe that acknowledging the Divine in ourselves, and each other, allows us to connect deeply with one another and this belief, by extension, connects us to our entire community.
Our liturgical year
During our ritual year we focus on eight archetypes of the Divine that correspond to the human life cycle and the cycle of the seasons: the Divine youth (birth-childhood and early Spring), Explorer (late childhood-adolescence and Spring), Lover (late adolescence-young adulthood and early Summer), Healer (adulthood and Summer), Warrior (mature adulthood and early Autumn), Androgyne (middle age and Autumn), Shaman (retirement and aging, early Winter), and Elder (old age-death and Winter). The cycle repeats and yet, is not the same as the previous cycle which might imply reincarnation, transformation, or myriad other possibilities.
Activism, Outreach, and Education
We view the three principles of Activism, Outreach, and Education as being linked to one another in a cycle. Activism is manifested by a personal desire to shape the world in a constructive manner that is beneficial to all. Outreach is manifested by a desire to care for others and to accept a personal responsibility for the community where we live. Education is the desire to seek knowledge and apply understanding to our life circumstances; one might then choose to share these experiences with others who may benefit from such wisdom. A continued desire for further learning and education focuses our activism, which, in turn, allows our outreach efforts to become more focused, connected, and transforming. The cycle continues to refine itself as it continues in a loop that creates respect, trust, and concern, leading to commitment, care, and affection.
Embodying our Philosophy
Our form of worship is experienced though a combination of rituals, workshops, and personal devotions. Our events take a variety of formats that range from simple devotional rituals performed by one or a handful of members to large gatherings attended by members of the entire community. These events always incorporate one or more of the three principles of Activism, Outreach, and Education mentioned above.
Our standard liturgical service may begin with an educational event, the chance to get to know members of the community at a coffee social, or any number of other introductions to community space. We continue the event with a ritual that honors the season we are experiencing, the four elements, the Divine, nature, ancestors, and our community. The ritual is presided over by members of the Clergy and/or a team of Celebrants trained to conduct our liturgy.
Many members also perform daily devotions and attend lectures and workshops designed only for the membership. In addition, our membership engages itself through special interest groups to explore specific areas of study or experience, such as HIV, Dreams, Healing, and Seership.