Like any official Wiccan tradition, the NEW-YORK WICA TRADITION has a three-tiered degree system.
The 1st degree makes you a Priest and Witch, the 2nd degree makes you a High Priest and the 3rd degree makes you an Elder and High Priest.
This degree system has been an integral part of the Wiccan Witchcraft cult since its inception.
When you join the Coven, you will spend a year and a day studying Wicca and the Tradition with your Sponsor, a High Priest of the Tradition who is appointed by the Coven. He will teach the basics of the Tradition and the rites of the outer court. The future initiate will have to prove his desire and his value, show that he wants to be initiated for the right reasons. He must be a good person, properly prepared.
After one year and one day, you will be ready to take your first degree. When you have proven your worth to the Gods, you will have reached the first degree of initiation in a secret rite. The High Priest and High Priestess of the Coven, will appoint you as Priest (sse) and Witch of the 1st degree. You will be presented to the Goddess and the God, as well as to all the spirits of magic and Wicca so that they can recognize you during your rites.
This initiation will officially mark your entry into the Tradition, into Wicca and into the Coven. The mysteries will be revealed to you.
During this initiation you become one of our brothers/sisters. You will then have the task of copying the Book of Shadows by hand and to participate fully in the Sabbats and Esbats of the Coven.
Following the first degree, you will then have the opportunity with practice and years to pass your second degree. By the Second Degree, you become High Priest and Witch of the tradition. You will then have the ability to lead the Coven.
In some cases, a Second Degree can initiate others. But beware, the function of a 2nd degree is painful, a lot of work will have to be done. Becoming a second degree and being present all the time is not a right but a duty. It is a role that is not taken lightly. This is why the choice to become a second degree witch must be made with thought and it can take months. The 2nd degree Witch must prove that she will be able to lead a Coven with stability and this decision must be made with the consent of all Elders and the Coven founder initiator.
Not everyone can be a 2nd degree. It is the degree of the teaching, the council, the High Priest who knows how to lead with love, full of knowledge at the theoretical level but also practical ... etc.
The Rite of Elevation to the 2nd degree must absolutely be seen as a definitive commitment to the Gods. Becoming a High Priest is not a matter of ego but of love and humility for the GODS, ART and TRADITION.
Then follows the 3rd Degree, which makes you an Elder.
The 3rd Degree is the highest level of elevation one can achieve in Traditional Wicca. The witch becomes an Elder in order to spread the tradition elsewhere. There is even a ritual that is performed for this.
An Elder must be wise and thoughtful, possessing as much information and knowledge about their Tradition and the history of Wicca as possible. An Elder is the spokesperson for the Coven. This degree is offered to those who deserve it, to those who have proven their worth, to those who have shown deep wisdom. The Witch of the 3rd degree is powerful but she uses this power wisely. Many volunteers, but few Chosen.