Blue Star was essentially founded by the Pagan folk musician, Tzipora (with a
number of other people), and brought around the country by her and her
then-husband, Kenny (a/k/a "Kenny and Tzipora") in the 80s. It is a very
balanced tradition, recognizing the equal importance of both Male & Female,
and Dark/Light. It is also "mainstream Wicca" in the sense that Blue Star clergy
have lineage going back via the Alexandrian & Gardnerian initiatory traditions.
Blue Star stands out amongst many Wiccan traditions for a few reasons. First and foremost, we are centered on our relationship with the Gods -- so it's not a tradition for someone who is looking for some quick magic spells.
Second, we have a long and rich path that someone can follow (or not) to Initiation and beyond:
- Student -- a "student" is someone who is studying or circling with us, but is not yet a "member" of Sea Star.
- Dedicant -- in the Dedication ritual, the candidate states to the Gods that s/he believes that s/he is Pagan (and will remain Pagan), and that they think that they mesh well with Sea Star, and want to be a member of the Grove. A person could stay a Dedicant (or lay member) for the rest of this life if s/he so desired.
- Neophyte -- if a person feels a calling, s/he/ might ask for Initiation. Neophyte is a transitive stage, lasting at least a year and a day, in which the candidate prepares him/herself for Initiation. Note that Initiation is not guaranteed -- there have been cases when people have moved back to Dedicant from Neophyte.
- 1st degree Initiate -- another stable stage, which someone might choose to stay in for the rest of this life. Initiates are the clergy of the tradition, and may become part of the Coven, or Inner Court, a smaller group which facilitates the running of all events and helps determine the path of the Grove).
- 2nd degree Initiate -- those who feel a calling to become more deeply involved and give more of their lives to serving the Gods and the community might ask for and receive 2nd degree. It is a transitory stage, of variable length (but usually longer than Neophyte), in which the candidate prepares for third degree. It focuses on, among other things, learning to teach the tradition to others.
- 3rd degree Initiate - third degrees have completed their training, and are teachers of the tradition. They are entitled to "hive off" and form their own covens and groves if they so desire (but are not required to).
- Ordination -- the Ordination rite is the final step in the Tradition. It is a Community ritual, in which the authority to elevate to any level on his/her own decision and responsibility is bestowed on a 3rd degree Initiate.
The path, to any level, can be taught in a local-participatory fashion, or, as it was during the "Tour Years", when Kenny & Tzipora were traveling, it can be taught long-distance. The shortest time for those who are interested in becoming Initiates is about 3-3 1/2 years for local students. Long-distance can easily take twice as long, with occasional in-person contacts to learn things that can only be taught in-person, and for the elevation rituals, which are always done in-person.
There are two annual tradition-wide Gatherings, one in the Spring, for Initiates-only, and one in the Fall, the "Blue Star Family Gathering", open to all members. Long distance students, especially, are expected to attend the Family Gathering. It is held in a different part of the country each year to spread out travel costs.