DYNION MWYN COVENS, GROVES, ON-LINE STUDY GROUPS AND APPLICATIONS
TRADITIONS OF WELSH WITCHCRAFT (GWYDDON CYMRY)
Celtic Witchcraft and Wicca. There are at least nine traditions that we know of which call themselves Gwyddon, and/or describe themselves as a Welsh Tradition of Witchcraft.
From Wales we have 1) Dynion Mwyn, from which we have derived our tradition; and 2) Gwyddon Cymry: a very private group practicing on the Isle of Agelsey. There are several Wicca groups which have recently established themselves within the last ten years and call themselves Welsh Witches.
In the United states we have 3) A group founded by Rhuddlwm Gawr in the late 60s and derived from tradition of Dynion Mwyn 4) Y Dynion Mwyn founded by Welsh Witches in the 1300s - 1500s 5) The Welsh Rite Gwyddonaid, a Welsh/Celtic offshoot tradition of the New York Welsh Traditionalist Wicca (NYWTW) originally founded by Herman Slater and Hermes and derived from Gwen Thompson 5) WTW an offshoot of The New York Welsh Tradition located near Boston. 6) Y Tylwyth Tylluan in Cincinnati, Ohio 7) Trefn Gwyddoniad 8) Gwyddonic Order and last but by no means least 9) Nemeton founded by Gwyddion Penderwen in the late sixties and derived from a family tradition in South Wales. In our opinion, all of these groups are valid practitioners of the Craft and ALL entitled to describe their religion as A Welsh tradition, with their essence and roots derived from the Land, the Language and the Culture of the Welsh Nation.
Year of the Goddess - 2002
Disglair Bendithion! Ymofynnydd Annwyl: (Bright Blessings) (Dear Seeker)
Croeso I Paganiaeth Cymreig. Welcome seeker. I am a member of the tradition of Dynion Mwyn. This article is in response to your obvious search for a spiritual home in a Witchcraft coven or grove..
What will you get out of the study of Welsh Witchcraft? You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are serving an ancient creed which you believe to be true...to some there is the fun of belonging to a secret society. If you have any power, you are among people who will teach you how to use it. One of our elders said: "My life holds infinite possibilities, and is entirely satisfying to me on all planes of consciousness. I have power to move in other dimensions and realms of being. I have communication with entities of different life forms, and by the development of new and magic gifts within myself I have certain powers of ESP. I have knowledge and the ability to bring about anything I really want in my own life: I experience forms of pleasures whose very existence is unknown to the majority of people. I have conquered fear. I have learned of the ordered pattern behind apparently unrelated things."
You may also receive the knowledge necessary to become a Priest or Priestess...legal Pagan Clergy.
I would like to explain the process we use to select those seekers we believe are truly interested in the craft as a spiritual "way". This process is a necessary step in weeding out those who are just curious and not serious. We have covens in almost every country of the World. Most of them have long waiting lists. So, you have limited choices: 1) you can wait for an opening, 2) you can join an on-line study group, or 3) you can join or start a Study Group in your area with our support. The local study group could gradually become a Y Dynion Mwyn coven. If you start a local study group, we would refer other seekers to this group if they also reside in your area. If you have little interest in becoming an initiated Witch but are very interested in Welsh Witchcraft, you might want to join the General Study Group - tylwythteg.com/contact
The craft is a way of life, not just a hobby to fill up the spare hours of your day. By taking our time and looking at each applicant as if we would be spending the rest of our lives with them, we have time to sift through all the e-mail notes and letters we receive, to find the ones we feel are truly serious. Hopefully this delay will also give you time to decide if the craft is something you really wish to become involved in, or if you just want to satisfy your curiosity. By giving you the time to reflect, hopefully we can both find a good match.
Over time, as we find out more about you and you find out more about us, we can come to know if your path is compatible with our ways. If you are not, we will then be able to direct you to a path which better allows for your personal and spiritual growth. If your path is to join with us, then we can grow and learn together.
It may seem like this letter is more of a questionnaire than an Introduction to Welsh Craft and an answer to your note, but we don't know you and you do not know us except for what you have read of our Web Pages.
Now a little about Y Dynion Mwyn. Dynion Mwyn is a Welsh Coven founded near Betws-y-coed, Cymru (Wales) in the 1300s. We apply the word cenedl as meaning as a type of Grove or Coven of the Welsh Tradition of Y Dynion Mwyn focus's on the teaching of the ancient Welsh mysteries with a healthy dose of information from other sources as well.
We are a Pre-Gardnerian Traditional Witchcraft Religion of Wales. We claim a mystical lineage from the Bards of the last true Prince of Wales, Llywelyn Y Llyw Olaf, who died in 1282. We are descended from Cenedls in Wales. A North Wales Coven was established in the fifties from the remnants of what was called the Wynne tradition or Dynion Mwyn. Two Wentworth covens were established in the sixties; one near Cardiff and the other outside London England. A Coven and Grove was also established in Central Wales.
In January, 2000, after an extended illness, Taliesin Wynne, one of two surviving elders of the Dynion Mwyn Welsh Family Gwyddon (Witchcraft) tradition, died quietly in his sleep.
Taliesin was born in the forests of North Wales in 1927. During his first thirteen years, because of his father's government position, the family traveled throughout Europe. They returned to England in 1938, and the children were sent to live with relatives in Wales. In September, 1940, their father and mother were killed in the Blitz bombing of London during the Battle of Britain. He and his sister were taken in and raised by an uncle and auntie in a small village in the North of Wales. It was here they learned of his families heritage of Druidism and Witchcraft as they met Y Tylwyth Teg (welsh fairies) at Fairy Ring near Betws y Coed, and swam with the water sprites in the local river. He says in his journal this was the happiest time of his life.
In 1965, an American, Rhuddlwm Gawr, met Sarah Wentworth while on holiday in Majorca. She invited him to visit her in London and meet members of the "Elder Faith"; those who practiced the Welsh tradition of Witchcraft, as she called it. Intrigued, he decided to take her up on her offer and met her in August of 1965.
After a day of discussion, they drove to Wales where he was introduced to Taliesin and other family members. Rhuddlwm stayed in Wales and studied The Old Ways with the Wynne family until he returned to the U.S. in 1966. Rhuddlwm later established the Coven and Church of Y Tylwyth Teg in Landover Maryland. (See http://www.tylwythteg.com/history.html )
Taliesin taught the Old Ways until 1992 when he turned over the leadership of Dynion Mwyn to his sister who became chief elder until she died in 1999. In that year, Lord Rhuddlwm Gawr and Lady Cerridwen Gawr, of the United States, inherited the leadership of Dynion Mwyn. Lord Rhuddlwm is Welsh by blood. Taliesin was responsible for opening up the Welsh tradition to outsiders. His dying wish was that the basic philosophy of the Welsh tradition be available to all through the Internet, and that seekers be given a "Taste of Wales" through home study classes. Y Dynion Mwyn sponsors the Dynion Mwyn Welsh page on the net at http://www.tylwythteg.com/dynionmwyn/dynionmwyn23.html
If you are primarily interested in the Welsh craft as found on the Web at the above web site or at http://www.tylwythteg.com then read on and you may become part of a study group in your area, but as I said before, our groups have a long waiting list. Ordinarily the wait could be several months, but we sympathize with your situation and offer an alternative. We have organized several Welsh Witchcraft on-line study groups under the direction of our elders. If you choose to take the correspondence course you will become part of a DM Study Group.
ARE you really interested in studying witchcraft? Have you read the Mabinogion and the Story of Taliesin?
Why do you wish to follow the path of the Wise Ones? If you wish to determine if our tradition of Witchcraft is what you are looking for, read on! If you are interested in Witchcraft because you've just seen the film "The Craft", and want to have control over the person who's just ditched you; or you have seen "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and want to be able to change your dress in an instant; or you've seen "Charmed" and want to win the lottery; or you just watched "Practical Magick" and wanted Sandra Bullock's powers; or you saw "Blair Witch" and are now excited that "Blair Witch II, a Book of Shadows" has been released; or you were watching reruns of "Bewitched" and got excited about the prospects of twitching your Nose; you've come to the right place; there is Power in Witchcraft, but it must be used responsibly!
Welsh Witchcraft is about Spiritual Enlightenment, Religion, Healing, Magick, Knowledge, and yes - Power, but it is also about your Spiritual Growth. If you are not interested in your own Spiritual Growth, and not interested in doing all the hard work involved in becoming a Witch, put this letter down, and read it when you are.
Once you start on this path, it will become an important part of your life. Being a Witch is a vocation, just as being a Doctor, Nurse, Architect, Engineer, or for that matter, the Priest of any other religion is, because that is what you are going to be: a Priest or a Priestess, who will be legally authorized to perform marriages, or minister to a congregation. In Christianity, a minister or Priest must work very hard to become the leader of a congregation. A Witch Priest or Priestess must work just as hard and just as long or even longer. We teach seekers to become Pagan clergy.
Once you are a Witch, it will be with you for the rest of your life. You will always "know" things and understand things others won't. You will feel things more. You will be able heal others. You will be able to perform magickal rituals. You will truly walk in the other persons shoes.
Some people make statements like: "Witches are born not made", and others claim that "Witches are made, not born". Neither is totally true. Yes, psychic ability does come easier to some people, but the majority of Witches learn the Knowledge of the Craft through hard work. If you can't work hard, you can't be a Witch. If you become a student, you will acquire knowledge through hard work, study, and the practice of the Art through an ongoing craft structure preserved, modified, and continued in various forms and folkways from the days of our Pictish and Druidic ancestors, and before. What, you say? Haven't true Witchcraft Rituals and Spells continued unchanged since the time of the Romans and ancient Druids?
Think about it!!! There are two phrases you will hear as time goes on. "If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!" And "If it doesn't work, find out why and make it work or change it." You will learn that rituals and spells are personal. Some work for you and some work for others, but not every spell is for everyone. You must learn the basic rites and rituals that work for everyone and then create those special rituals and spells that work only for you. How do you do that? Through work and more work and study!!! You never stop learning that there is always more to learn, particularly about yourself.
Discipline and responsibility are cornerstones of our expectations. We require them no less from our students than we do from ourselves. That is why we screen all who come to us looking for initiation into the Welsh Gwyddon. We will do a psychometric reading of your photo and your handwriting. If you are not honest with us, you will never hear from us again.
Always keep in mind every true Witchcraft tradition strives to promote certain behavior from you. In Wicca, which is a distant cousin of Witchcraft, they have a saying that perfect love and perfect trust are promoted among its members. WE, on the other hand, will also expect you to be totally HONORABLE and RELIABLE.
If you can convince us you are sincere, and ready to work, we will give you the opportunity to begin introductory training. This instruction will introduce you to the basic philosophy, magickal rites, rituals and practices of our religion. It will also give you a great deal of BASIC occult and metaphysical knowledge.
For our part, we will devote as much time and effort as it takes to help you become a Witch, High Priestess and a Representative of Y Dynion Mwyn if we see there is potential within you; but we will also expect certain things from you: we will expect you to complete your lessons in a reasonable length of time. If we ask you to return an exam in a month, we don't mean two.
Why do we teach by home study? Because either you are not close to one of our covens, there is a long waiting list, or you wish to begin your studies as soon as possible. Besides, certain information is more easily taught by home study and we have just so many teachers. We will not have to devote much needed resources to attempt to train those basic seekers who find it difficult to retain new knowledge. After we have evaluated your capability and sincerity over the course of time, by reading your answers to our questions and evaluating your exam results, THEN we will talk about personal instruction.
When it comes time to be taught in person by an individual teacher, we will expect you to give him or her your complete attention as well as the courtesy and respect due an elder of the Craft. Therefore we will expect loyalty and honor to our Tradition to be your first mottoes. These two words are part of the Twenty-Three Tenets (or Virtues) which you will taught in your first year. (see http://www.tylwythteg.com/tenets.html)
Our tradition has initiated thousands of Witches, trained hundreds of Elders, High Priests and High Priestesses, and started many Covens. But even though Witchcraft is a popular religion, this knowledge is not for everyone's eyes. Some people cannot handle the truth, or the power of Magick. You don't share a loaded machine gun with a five-year-old child. That is why you will take an oath of secrecy before you are initiated. With that said, there are many impostors claiming to be Witches. And several claiming to teach a Welsh tradition with an unbroken lineage.
Be very careful of anyone who boasts that they teach witchcraft unchanged for two thousand years, and they have wondrous abilities and they are a third or fourth degree mucky muck. They are almost certainly just I.R.A.B.s (I read a book).
Welsh Witches don't boast of their abilities. They don't have to. Do not take the word of anyone just because they may sound reasonable or knowledgeable. Investigate any Magickal group you are involved with. Ask about their qualifications. Ask who their teacher was. Ask for a way to contact that teacher and confirm their claims. Caveat Emptor - "Let the Buyer Beware!!!
Legend says our tradition includes the Welsh Mysteries that were passed down to Y Dynion Mwyn from an ancient priesthood. This legend also concerns the search for the Mystical Grail of Immortality. For this reason, we believe Welsh Witchcraft, is one of the world's oldest Mystery traditions. Although the principal legends and secrets containing the language, symbols and philosophy of the tradition, have changed little over the centuries, they have changed. This legacy embodies our customs, history and religious sacraments. It has changed by making its precepts more understandable to you in this modern age, and we are always experimenting to see if there are better ways of doing things.
Ancient Pictish Witches and Welsh Druids passed on their spiritual, mystical and magickal knowledge of the mysteries and beauty of Nature to our forefathers over a thousand years ago, and until this day it has existed in Wales. In 1967 it was also brought to the U.S. by a craft elder, and we have dozens of groups throughout the States..
Our Elders have developed a study program available to selected candidates for initiation. During your participation in these studies, you will be given tools to understand Nature and all its myriad aspects. As you learn these mysteries of Nature you will begin to understand the ways of Natural Magick. We regard Magick as an integral part of our workings because Magick and psychic development are the tools we use to understand the Universe and all living things, and to change the conditions of our life. We believe that Magick is the essence of creativity, that it is the energy of the God/dess and the nature spirits.
We will show you how to live in harmony with Nature and its forces. In our teachings, we emphasis the creative aspects of the God and Goddess, the Great Spirit, and stress the respect you must have for these forces. You will learn various techniques of obtaining Psychic Inner awareness, through such techniques as meditation and rituals. This process will help you attain a higher form of consciousness, eventually leading to Spiritual Enlightenment.
This training will enable you to discover a personal relationship with the Lord and Lady of Nature, unlike anything you have ever experienced. This worship of the God and Goddess, and the acknowledgment of their seasonal influences, is the heart and soul of our philosophy.
If you complete this training and become part of our Outer Circle, you will find an empathetic and supportive community, and you may then become a WITCH! A Witch has not only mastered the above studies but is also working to become a High Priest or High Priestess in the service and worship of The Great Spirit, which takes the form of the Mother Goddess and the Father God in all their many forms and names. You will eventually teach the knowledge of the Mighty Ones, and live by the philosophy of the Laws of the Craft.
Now are you someone we would want as a student? Burn a white candle just before you go to bed three nights. Ask yourself if you qualify three times. If your spiritual guide answers yes and you can convince us of your sincerity, you may then join our Outer Circle of students, and we will give you the opportunity to begin introductory training.
This instruction will introduce you to basic philosophy, magickal rites, healing rituals and religious practices of our Coven. When you complete the course of study, you may be invited to join a working coven near your area, if there are none; or if there is a waiting list, we will encourage you to join an on-line study group or form a study coven under our direction. If you continue with the study coven until you are initiated, you may then become a High Priest or High Priestess of the tradition of Dynion Mwyn.
When you become part of the Outer Circle, you will be apprenticed to an elder for any help you may need. Your study in this Outer Circle has no time limit, but it is up to you to complete the requirements for initiation at the suggested pace. You will not advance to the Inner Circle by cutting corners. Indeed you must realize the completion of the requirements will not mean an automatic and instant initiation into the Inner Circle. That will only come when your personal teacher has given us his or her approval.
As to coven hierarchy, our ranking officers are the High Priest and High Priestess. According to traditional Witch Laws, their word is law in the coven, since they have years of experience in these matters. They are assisted by other senior members of the coven or grove, whose rank will be explained to you at a later time.
These officers answer to a council of Elders made up of High Priests and High Priestesses of third level or higher of other Dynion Mwyn covens.
Ethics: we teach and practice the highest form of ethics. We have to. We are visible to both the pagan and mundane world. We expect our students and members to reflect the same concern for ethics we do.
Now the downside. A word of advice before we go any further - all Witchcraft and Wicca traditions have their enemies just as other spiritual groups may. Fundamental Christians represent one kind of enemy, but there are others. There are always those who would feign study the Craft, and cannot pass the written or oral requirements, or maintain the discipline and standards of learning that the Welsh Tradition demands. They sometimes try to destroy what they cannot have by slander and defamation.
Also beware of so called pagan groups which trash other groups. If they claim to be well known authors and leaders, they are lying because well known authors and leaders do not trash other groups. If they trash anyone else, they are not Witches or Wiccans. They are not honorable, and they are not Pagans. They are Jealous of a groups success, therefore they try to keep others from contacting them.
In Wales and England there are also some which call themselves Gwyddon and may teach a modified form of Satan Worship. Be careful of them. We had trouble with one such group last year we suspect of trying to harm some of our members.
How will you learn? The methods used in your training will be manifold: you will receive written lessons as well as oral teachings. You will experience hands-on training and trial by ordeal. All of these styles will serve to strengthen and educate you in different ways. You will find that as you ultimately reach higher levels of involvement, seekers will come to you for help and instruction, and you must be strong in the ways of the craft in order to assist them.
Another facet of your training will be when your teachers place you in situations to gauge your reactions. These are tests of character and of courage. You should see them as being as much a benefit for you as for us. The greatest power involves knowing yourself and your limitations, and then striving to exceed them.
These tests have proven difficult for many students in the past, but they will not harm you. Have you changed your mind? Have we discouraged you yet? Still with us? If you are and you still feel you would like to continue, then you should take the next step on your search.
Your instruction will initially take the form of a correspondence course and a Intermediate Course until such time as your elder feels you are ready for initiation. Most correspondence, until you are initiated, will be by e-mail. All right. You've read this letter, and you want to continue. What do you do now? If you are still interested in learning more about our way: Go to the following sites and read all information contained therein: First, try to read three books: "The Quest", "The Way" and "The Word," all by Rhuddlwm Gawr.