Our History

The NROOGD tradition of the Craft originated with a group of friends who were students at San Francisco State College in 1967. e.l.f. Silverlocke was taking a class which gave her the assignment of creating and performing a ritual. She came up with the idea of recreating a Witches' sabbath, using the printed sources available at the time; primarily Robert Graves, Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardner. After doing the ritual several times, they began to feel the effects of it, and decided to create a group and train others in its performance.

The name they chose for themselves, New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn (tongue firmly in cheek) is a play on the attitudes they had toward what they were doing and, upon their spiritual antecedents. The "mother" circle of NROOGD hived off daughter and granddaughter covens, which trace an unbroken line of initiation and share a common liturgy. Covens are autonomous and recognize one another's initiates. The tradition worships a triply-aspected Goddess and various forms of the God derived from ancient Greek and British mythology. Coven esbats are usually held skyclad, and focus on the working of ethical magic and the celebration of the divinity of each participant.

The core NROOGD ritual, written by Aidan Kelly, Glenn Turner and others, is made up of poetry and charms. It begins with a line dance in the form of a spiral inwards and then outwards, representing death and rebirth, and the leaving of mundane space and entering into sacred space. The ritual is sometimes led by three priestesses and a priest. NROOGD covens in the Bay Area of California cooperate to present public (clothed) ritual celebration on most of the Sabbats, for the benefit of the greater Pagan Community. Every fall, NROOGD enacts a ritual at the seaside inspired by and commemorating the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries of the Hellenic world.

Because of the individualism of each coven, ritual may vary slightly from group to group, but all are generally agreed that the poetic conjuration, spiral dance, invocation of the Lord and Lady and specific closing and grounding are a basic part of what makes NROOGD unique among traditions.