What does "Ninth Wave" mean?
In Celtic tradition, the boundaries of the mortal world are marked by the ninth wave. Beyond the ninth wave is the Otherworld, where magic happens, where the soul journeys. Avalon is beyond the ninth wave. Although this program is not specifically Celtic or Avalonian in nature, the mystical power of the number nine still weaves its spell. Nine is the number of magic and spellwork, where charms are cast with the power of three times three. It is the sacred number of the Goddess. In Tarot, nine is the number of the Hermit, the solitary wise one, who shines light on the path. Nine is also associated with the Moon (card 18), women's mysteries, and her root is the Empress (card 3), women's power. In the Celtic underworld, nine maidens tend the cauldron of rebirth, and they are the keepers of memory. (Similar to the nine Muses, whose mother is Memory.) There are eight holy days in the Wheel of the Year, and the ninth one completes the circle (the year and a day). The name "Ninth Wave" was chosen to symbolize the voyage of discovery through these and many other mysteries.
What is the Ninth Wave program?
The original Ninth Wave program was created in 1999 by Lunaea Weatherstone and MaryScarlett Amaris, both ordained and experienced priestesses. Envisioned originally as an in-person priestess training program, it quickly evolved into an online correspondence program for all women who love the Goddess, whether they hear the call of priestess vocation or not. After the first year, MaryScarlett moved on to pursue her many other tasks as priestess and teacher. Drawing from the experiences and feedback of the first sisters to journey the Nine Waves, Lunaea has since revised and rewritten the Ninth Wave material. The second year program, Farther Shore, was created by Lunaea.
Ninth Wave is a spiritual voyage that lasts the traditional mystical period of a year and a day. The commitment to a full turn of the Wheel of the Year is significant, for it is through steady practice that spiritual awareness and devotion come to life.
The first three months are Preparation for the Journey: a time of learning (and re-learning) spiritual basics, clarifying your spiritual values, starting a daily practice, getting in tune with natural and cosmic rhythms, and preparing for the second part of the program, the Nine Waves.
For the remaining nine months of the program, the skills and practices learned during the preparatory months will be strengthened. Each month, each Wave, will have a particular focus, a way of deepening, growing, expanding your spirit. These monthly themes are not revealed until it is time to begin each month's stage of the voyage, as they build upon each other and should not be anticipated (and besides, it's fun to be surprised!). Being in the moment is a vital part of the entire program. This involves a certain amount of trust, both in Lunaea and in the fact that you are in the right place at the right time. Many of the women who have taken the Ninth Wave voyage have been amazed at how perfectly each Wave's theme seems to magically fit with the events of their lives at the time. There are no coincidences!
Is this a priestess training program?
No! The year-long Ninth Wave program is for anyone who wishes to deepen her relationship with Goddess and self. It stands on its own, with no expectations other than living in the moment and practicing your spirituality in the everyday.
What does the program involve?
At the beginning of each month, you will be sent a link to a new set of web pages. These pages contain materials to study, tasks to undertake, resources to seek out, and guidance for the weeks ahead. The month is lunar, beginning at dark (new) moon. Lunaea will give you alternate ways to contact her, should you lose access to a computer for a period of time, but easy and regular computer time is a prerequisite, so please keep that in mind. Your spiritual work, of course, will be done away from the computer. The way in which you participate and receive feedback depends on the path you are on (see below).
What does it cost?
There are five different paths for the Ninth Wave program, and each has its own price. You can pay with a check each month, or you can use PayPal (which uses either cash transfers or a credit card). Here are the paths:
Supported Solitary: On this path, you will journey on your own, with feedback from Lunaea at the end of each month when you send in your report, and/or possibly from another Silver Branch priestess or priestess-dedicant. This is the best path choice for most women who want to work on their own with regular guidance, as it offers encouragement and support when you need it. It is also a good choice for those who want to work at their own speed or who anticipate a possible interruption during the year. The cost is $45 per month.
Solitary: On this path, you will journey completely on your own. We provide you with the Ninth Wave web pages, and the rest is between you and the Goddess. This is a good choice for self-directed women who don't feel the need for a guiding priestess. The cost is $25 per month for this path.
Local Circle: On this path, local groups may choose to circle together to do the Ninth Wave work. You must be able to meet in person with each other, not just online, and the minimum number for a group is three (optimal is five to nine women). Each member of your group must have access to the Web pages and be willing to make the year's commitment (it is probably best in most cases if you have been working together a while already). You choose a representative of your group to report to Lunaea or another priestess once a month, and we will reply to the group as a whole. (If you live in an area where there is a Silver Branch priestess, it is also possible to have her work with your circle in person.) The cost for this path is $25 a month per person. This can be a wonderful way for women to work together in a common spiritual framework. Put up a flyer, meet some new sisters!
Etheric Circle: On this path, groups of five to nine women will be "introduced" to each other via an online mailing list. Each woman will receive the Ninth Wave material each new moon (just like on the Solitary path) and it is up to your circle how you communicate and share with each other through the mailing list. Though the level of participation will be self-directed, it's important that you have the strong intention to give of yourself generously, not be a "lurker" who just reads what other people write. On the other hand, it's important not to live your spiritual life online! Finding a balance of supportive communication and earth-grounded daily Goddess devotion is key. The cost for this path is $25 a month per person, and groups form when there are at least five women who want to begin the journey at the same time and work in a circle. (If you have long distance friends, this can be a good chance for you to work together!)
Portland circle or mentoring (only in the Portland, Oregon, area): Private mentoring is available with Lunaea in the Portland area, and from time to time local circles are formed. The material used is the same Web pages the online sisters receive. The circle meets once (sometimes twice) a month, and each member of the circle must have access to the Web pages and be willing to make the year's commitment. The circle meetings will provide support and an opportunity for sharing, as well as suggestions for deepening practice and strengthening your connection to Goddess through online or telephone check-ins. The cost for this path is $50 a month per person. One-on-one in-person sessions are also available for local Ninth Wave sisters on any path, for an additional $60/session. Contact Lunaea via email for information on current circle openings.
How do I sign up?
If this program sounds right for you:
First, take a little time to search your soul and make sure you can make a year's commitment. You should be committed to continuing your spiritual work no matter what comes up for you in the year. Be assured that stuff WILL come up, and that this is part of your spiritual lessons and part of the gift from the Mother. Pray for guidance and clarity. Each month's work will involve time spent in ritual, journaling, creating artwork, and other tasks. The work will require not only commitment to your spiritual path, but also the ability to focus and dedicate yourself. Look within yourself and at your life, and honestly evaluate if you have energy to devote to this right now. This program isn't something extra to take on and get through. It's also not something to give an hour to here and there. It is a journey that will integrate into your daily life, as center and source. In particular, if you are a full-time student or involved in some other committed program of study, you will very likely find the Ninth Wave work to be more than you can reasonably accomplish. If you are planning a big move, a career shift, or a baby, it's best to wait until your time and energy open up a bit. And we'll still be here when you're ready.
If it all feels right to you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you an application.