As we look up to the sky and see the bright shining moon, we see the same moon that our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Yet, the moon seems different for each person. For many of our ancient ancestors, the moon was the Goddess and her smile warmed their hearts, and made them feel a part of the universe. The sun was the God and his bright glow and warmth kept them from the cold. For others still, the sky was the God and the earth was the Goddess or the God was the stag in the woods and the Goddess was the bird in the sky.
These are some of the many ways we have looked at our gods and goddesses. Over the last thousand years or so, many have turned away from the Goddess to embrace only the God. Beyond that, even his relationship to nature has been stripped away with nature taking a less important role. The natural living world became exploited, unloved and untreasured. Today, many of us seek the union of deity and nature, the combining of our creators with our own existence. One nature, part Goddess and part God, distinct, indivisible and sacred.
We are Neo-pagans, the people who see the world as our temple. Pagans are those of the many faiths that are not Jewish, Christian or Islamic. Neo-pagans are those who have the belief that our ancestors of years ago may still teach us the lessons of life and death and that we are all interconnected with nature. All men and women, humankind, animals, plants and the stars are one.
We are Wiccans. We have a faith in Goddess and God and the sanctity of all
living things. We are our own priests and priestesses, for we believe that each
of us has Goddess and God within us and each of us may make our own communion
and bond with deity. Since we are pagans, we neither believe in, nor do we worship
satan since satan exists only in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Nor, for that
matter, do other pagan religions such as Hinduism and Native American. We see
the universe governed by cause and effect and we are a part of that universe,
not to own it or control it, but to respect it and sanctify it. We Wiccans also
believe in magic, the power of faith.
Wiccan rituals are highly ceremonial and often include meditation and chants that raise the spirit of deep faith us. Often our rituals are attended by people of other faiths. In the Handfasting, a marriage or bonding ritual, there is a beautiful focus on the bond made between two people. It includes the 'handfasting', a symbolic tying of hands to represent the union of people. At the end of the ceremony, guests are often invited to step forward to make a wish and tie a knot in the cords used as a way of binding the magical wish to the couple.
Wiccans are of many traditions and denominations, not one being the 'one true path', but each having a rich and beautiful way of celebrating our union with the Goddess and the God. We draw from what we learn from others and from what we learn from the inner bell within us. If you consider yourself part of this beautiful relationship between deity and humankind, then come and join us!
The Church of Iron Oak, ATC is a Wiccan/Pagan church located in the Melbourne, Florida area. It is composed of several covens and groves under one administrative High Priest and High Priestess. Iron Oak was formed in 1992 and became affiliated with the Aquarian Tabernacle Church in Index, Washington.
Iron Oak is English Traditional Wicca. We believe that each person can reach their goals by their attitude and their work. The Iron in the name 'Iron Oak' refers to the sacred metal of the ancient ironsmiths. These smiths became accepted as shamans or miracle workers because they used the metal from the sky god in the form of meteoric iron. The old name for iron was anbar, or God's metal. Because of the respect shown to the smiths by their countrymen, they were transformed themselves. They began to look at their work as sacred and the care and devotion to quality became part of their spiritual connection to deity.
The Oak relates to the tree of the Druids, a tree that we love the most. It is a tree of strength, not by rigidity, but by the flexibility of bending in the wind without breaking. Together, the iron and the oak represent strength through flexibility and the union of the sacred work with respect for nature.
Iron Oak has many programs for community outreach and for training. We are
regular supporters of Project Response, a local AIDS victim support group. We
ask those who attend our workshops and our rituals to bring non-perishable food
for Project Response.
Nature and humankind are part of the whole fabric of divinity. All living things share the divine spark of life. For that reason, we ask all to do the common sense things of conserving our resources and avoiding polluting our lands and waters.
We have a number of training programs. One is the Outer Court, an class to introduce interested people to Iron Oak and to Wicca. It is composed of a series of meetings held on the first and third Thursday of the month. This format gives an opportunity for those to both meet Iron Oak priests and priestesses and provide each with a comprehensive study of Wicca and its practices. To join this class, just call (321) 722-0291.
Once a person graduates the series of seminars, they may Affirm to the church and attend workshops and other special events.
They may also join one of the Iron Oak covens for more advanced training. The advanced training is part of a clergy program can lead to full ordination in the internationally known Aquarian Tabernacle Church. This program is now being implemented at a number of ATC churches in the United States, Canada and elsewhere. Ordination at Iron Oak is accepted by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church and at ATC churches throughout the world.
More in-depth training for the Wiccan student is found in the Iron Oak covens and groves. Through the covens, Iron Oak students can continue their training through initiation and elevations depending upon the coven. There are several Iron Oak covens. Entrance is mutual acceptance between the seeker and the coven members.
The Coven of Black Candle provides training in the ancient ways of Wicca including work with herbs, spell making, incense making and English Traditional liturgy.
Broceliande ('Wood between the Worlds') seeks to increase spiritual growth through shamanistic pathworking. It draws primarily upon ancient Celtic lore and practice.
The Guild of Govannan is a special training group for those who are interested
in the Smith Path and wish to help in the Iron Oak workshops. Members learn
how to use the many tools and processes that are needed to make ritual tools
For more information, please feel free to give us a call or write us at:
The Church of Iron Oak, ATC
PO Box 060672
Palm Bay, FL 32906-0672
Phone: (321) 722-0291
FAX: (321) 724-9693