We are European Witches who come from Gaelic, Germanic and Slavic cultures. We are Initiates of the Minoan Brotherhood and our Grove is located in Ireland.

Our Craft tradition is a stream within the Western Mystery Tradition and has spiritual roots reaching back to the New Forest Coven.

We welcome contact from sincere Seekers of diverse backgrounds. You can find information about our Craft tradition in the above menu or by scrolling further down.

While we are open to respectful curiosity from the media we generally decline requests from artists or academics to participate in projects.

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INITIATORY QUEER TRADITION

The Minoan Brotherhood is a tradition of Pagan Witchcraft exclusively for Men who love Men. Although our tradition has Craft roots reaching back to the New Forest Coven, it is not to be confused with Wicca. While the latter is defined by heterocentric praxis other Witchcraft paths are not.

The Minoan Brotherhood is a distinct initiatory, lineaged and oathbound tradition which explores the Male Mysteries and is dedicated to Queer spirituality. The Minoan Brotherhood provides a safe and sacred space, for gay and bisexual men to nourish their spiritual well-being, where their nature is centrally placed and celebrated as equally divine. Though ours is a Male Mysteries tradition, it is primarily a path of Witchcraft. It is a path for Men who identify as Pagan and as Witches, who devote themselves to the Gods.

The core beliefs of the Minoan Brotherhood centre on the worship of the ancient Cretan Snake Goddess, the Great Mother of the Aegean civilisations, and Her Divine Son, the Starry One, or Bull of Heaven. A traditional aspect of our path is skyclad practice (ritual nudity) as is custom in other paths of Traditional Witchcraft. Our rites can be sexually charged and are spaces where magic is woven within a highly homoerotic context.

Covens of the Minoan Brotherhood are referred to as Groves which are led by a Minos, a 3° High Priest. Our Groves gather for the Full Moons, which are dedicated to the working of magic and spiritual development, as well as Eight Festivals throughout our ritual year which is rooted in Aegean cycles and myths. All Groves descend from Knossos Grove which was established by Craft Elder, Eddie M. Buczynski, in 1975.

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EDDIE BUCZYNSKI

Eddie Buczynski

The Minoan Brotherhood was founded by Craft Elder, Edmund (Eddie) M. Buczynski. Eddie and his former partner ran The Warlock Shoppe in New York and founded a company called Earth Religion Supplies Inc. The couple established a group named Friends of the Craft and became members of the Council of Earth Religions (COER). They also assisted with organising the “Occult” exhibition held at the Museum of American Folk Art and published a Pagan newsletter titled “Earth Religion News” as well as a book authored by Eddie titled “Witchcraft Fact Book.” Left: Eddie Buczynski, New York, 1978.

Eddie was an Initiate of four Pagan traditions and founded another four Craft traditions. Eddie was ordained as a priest in the Church of the Eternal Source (CEW), a Kemetic Pagan group. He was a High Priest within in the New England Covens of Traditionalist Witches (NECTW) and went on to create the New York Welsh Tradition (Traditionalist Gwyddoniaid). Eddie also became a 3° High Priest of the Gardnerian Tradition of Wicca and the Strega Tradition and later founded the New York WICA Tradition.

Eddie’s egalitarian values saw him push boundaries and challenge social norms of the day. He welcomed LGBT people and people of colour into his traditions at a time when they were denied entry by most other Wiccan covens. Eddie later formed dedicated spaces of Queer spirituality through the Minoan Brotherhood and the Minoan Sisterhood, the latter being co-created with High Priestesses Rhea Rivera and Carol Bulzone.

Eddie was for a time employed by the Classics Office at Manhattan’s Hunter College, of the City University of New York, where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Classics and Ancient History. He received a scholarship to attend Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, where he completed his M.A. degree through the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology. Eddie’s dissertation examined the role of marine objects within the Minoan cult.

During the early eighties, Eddie explored Mediterranean landscapes including those of Italy, Greece, and Crete where he deepened his connection to the Gods and spirits of place. He also participated in archaeological excavations in Greece and Egypt run by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Above right: Eddie Buczynski, New York, 1972.

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TEMENOS TA CARMÁN

The term coven is used to describe a closed group of Witches. While this term is used in other traditions of Witchcraft, the Minoan Brotherhood refers to its covens as groves.

Our Grove belongs to the Eleutheria / Louisiana Line of covens and reflects a healthy balance between received wisdom and the guidance of our Gods to maintain a living experience of this spiritual and magical tradition. It is named in honour of our Matron deity, Carmán, an Athenian Goddess who came to Ireland with her sons and was “othered” as an outsider.

Temenos ta Carmán was the first Grove established in a country outside North America where English is the primary language and was the first to be established in the West European Isles.

Our Grove is located in Dublin and gathers for each of the thirteen Full Moons and to celebrate our Eight Festivals. It is currently open to Seekers who may be suitable candidates for Outer Court training.

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FIRST STEPS

If you are quite new to exploring Witchcraft and Paganism you may find the following helpful as first steps in your journey.

1. Please read our FAQ page. We also urge Seekers to inform themselves by reading as much as possible about Witchcraft and Paganism. There are many good books available to start with although there are also many more nonsense titles being marketed. Because it is often not easy for beginners to discern which to start with, we have a suggested reading list here.

2. We encourage Seekers to also explore various Pagan paths before committing to formal training in the first tradition they come across. Seekers can learn more from people of various paths who they will meet by attending open Pagan celebrations and local Pagan pub moots. Explore accessible gatherings in your area.

3. You may find it useful to create a private dream journal, keeping it beside your bed to record your dreams as soon as you wake, noting the detail within them; emotions, thoughts, fragrances, sights, sounds, sensations etc. You may depict this through art as well as writing. If you record the date, month, Moon phase and season etc, you may notice patterns emerging over time.

4. Try to spend time in nature, observing the stars, the Moon, wildlife and the changing landscape over the course of the seasonal cycle. Observe the external rhythms and your own within. It would be beneficial to start and end your day with a simple meditation technique and you may wish to light a candle on the night of the Full Moon or create a more elaborate ceremony.

If you have been exploring Witchcraft for some time, and feel ready to move forward to traditional training, please consider the following before making a formal approach to a Craft Teacher.

CRAFT TRAINING

I – SELF ASSESSMENT:

If you have a passing curiosity, please refrain from contacting us. We wish to engage only with Seekers who can demonstrate a serious interest in moving forward on their path. Only those with a thirst for learning and a true devotion to the Gods of the Witches are suited for this life-long commitment.

We have no interest in those seeking a social outlet or those simply seeking somewhere to belong because they do not fit in elsewhere. If you are sincerely seeking a Witchcraft Tradition, to experience the Mysteries of the Minoan Brotherhood, then a conversation may begin.

Do not contact us if you have not undertaken some research and developed a good general knowledge of contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft. A suitable candidate is expected to have already read at least three books on contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft.

Do not make contact if you experience anxiety about your body image or have an issue with being naked in the company of others. We observe traditional skyclad practice (ritual nudity) which is non-negotiable.

Do not make any contact if your life is currently in chaos. Your first priority is self-care by way of reaching out to professionals who are best placed to assist you in managing your addiction or emotional / mental health issues.

II – MAKING THE CONNECTION:

The following is some advice on how Seekers should conduct themselves if they wish to develop a connection with a Craft Teacher. Remember, the number of covens offering training are few and we all know each other. It is in the Seeker’s interest to make a good first impression.

If you are seriously seeking a Craft path the onus is on you as a Seeker to introduce yourself to the Teacher you wish to connect with. Present yourself in an open, honest and reasonable manner.

Your introduction must include each of the following:

  • Your full legal name, age and the town or city you reside in. Those who conceal their identity will not receive a response.
  • A recent photograph or link to an online profile.
  • An indication of your sexual orientation.
  • An outline of your research into Witchcraft and Paganism. Please list the books you have read.
  • Which open Pagan gatherings or local moots you have attended.
  • An outline of your spiritual journey to date and any personal practice you may have.
  • Which spiritual or magical paths you may have prior experience in.
  • Why you are interested in this particular tradition over others.

Your introduction should be a lengthy and considered expression of interest. E-mails will go unanswered if they are one liners, lack personal introductions, or are of a demanding nature.

If a Teacher takes the time to respond to a query, the Seeker should have the courtesy to reply swiftly and maintain consistency in their communications with the Teacher. If the Seeker fails to do so the Teacher may decline future requests for contact.

Seekers will be asked questions by Teachers to help understand where Seekers are on their journey. Seekers should answer these directly; minimalist and vague responses will likely result in the Teacher disengaging.

It is very important that Seekers have begun the internal work of letting go of the baggage of Christian (or other cultural) conditioning, and are fully aware of what they may be stepping into; an experiential path which includes a process of acculturation. This is why Seekers are expected to have undertaken some research and have a good general knowledge of contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft.

A Seeker must SEEK! The onus is on the Seeker to progress their journey. Teachers do not spoon-feed.

III – FIRST STEPS TOWARDS TRAINING:

Depending on how correspondence progresses, a Teacher may be open to a meeting requested by the Seeker. This may be the first of many meetings in what can be a lengthy meet-and-greet process before a decision is made on acceptance for training. This may take weeks, months or more than a year depending on the individual and where they are in life. This time allows for a Teacher and Seeker to get to know each other first, so that the Teacher can be assured of the suitability and sincerity of the individual seeking the tradition, and whether the Seeker would be a suitable addition to the Grove.

A Seeker should be able to demonstrate self-care, personal integrity and commitment. Seekers are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft at length during the meet-and-greet process. The Seeker will discuss the particular books they have read, their understanding of various Pagan paths, different Witchcraft traditions and well known Elders. For a suggested reading list please see our other site here which also links to our helpful cultural media archive.

Teachers of the Craft are not obliged to accept anyone for training. If deemed a suitable candidate and accepted for training, a Seeker will undergo a Neophyte training phase in preparation for initiation into the Craft. The Seeker will attend Full Moon and other rituals throughout the annual cycle. All training comes by way of instruction and skyclad (ritual nudity) practice in a coven setting. Seekers residing in other countries must be able to commit to very regular travel on a long-term basis or consider relocation.

The Neophyte phase will last for a minimum of twelve months during which the candidate will be required to follow instruction, read at least three more books on Occult matters, and complete all assigned tasks. Candidates are assessed for suitability throughout this process after which there is absolutely no guarantee of initiation. There is no entitlement to the privilege of initiation. Those accepted are chosen by Elders whose wisdom is guided by our Gods. An Initiate will continue to progress through their training over a number of years before the 3° is attained.

Seekers who meet the above criteria are welcome to submit a considered expression of interest to temenostacarman@gmail.com Please note Section II above. Only direct requests for Craft training will be considered for response.