There are no courses or activities that are required prior to becoming a Dedicant, although Self-Dedication and Basic Meditation are recommended.
Even though dedication does confer membership in The Druidcraft Fellowship, it does not confer initiated status. Dedication should be understood to be a “trial membership,” during which period the Coven/Grove and the Dedicant are getting to know each other. Either may elect to end this association for any reason, in which case the Dedicant is released from their vows and takes no status with them outside of the Coven.
An initiate, on the other hand, has achieved permanent recognition as a priest/ess (or elder) in the path, which status cannot be undone. While an initiate may, in extraordinary circumstances, have their membership in the Coven revoked, their status as an initiated Witch / Druid can never be taken away.
First Degree = Undergraduate, Associate Degree level
First Degree level studies, which are the studies prescribed at the associate degree level, should be undertaken after dedication and before conferral of the First Degree. However, conferral of the First Degree is not contingent upon completion of these studies. First Degree / Associate level studies must be completed, however, before conferral of the Second Degree.
Second Degree = Undergraduate, Bachelor’s Degree level
This is the second level of initiation. Second Degree level studies, which are the studies prescribed at the bachelor’s degree level, are generally undertaken after conferral of the First Degree (but may be undertaken earlier) and must be completed before conferral of the Second Degree. In addition, the student must obtain a general mastery in at least one field of study, called a “concentration.” Concentrations are divided into two categories: Bardic and Ovatic arts. When they come to this point in their studies, the student together with their advisor will develop a course of study specific to the student’s chosen concentration.
Third Degree = Graduate, Master’s Degree level
This is the highest level of initiation and includes sacred ordination. Third Degree level studies, which are the studies prescribed at the master’s degree level, are generally undertaken after conferral of the Second Degree (but may be undertaken earlier), and must be completed before graduation from the seminary and conferral of the Third Degree.
Third Degree initiation and ordination studies are relegated to the graduate level because ordination is a higher level of priest/ess-hood than First- and Second-Degree initiation confers. First and Second-Degree initiates are priests and priestesses unto themselves; capable to define their own individual spiritual practice and administer solitary rites. Second Degree initiates are traditionally considered qualified to lead a Coven/Grove under the supervision of an ordained Third-Degree priest/ess. Whereas a Third Degree priest/ess is fully empowered to lead a Coven/Grove in their right, represent the faith and their Coven/Grove in the community, and to perform all aspects of the ministry of the faith, including the solemnization of marriages, the performance of funerals, interment rites, baby naming, and all other rites of passage.