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Welcome to the Rowan Tree Church

The Rowan Tree Church is an Earth-focused network of Communities and solitary practitioners dedicated to the study and practice of the Wiccan Tradition we call Lothloriën. We encourage spiritual growth through support, resources and educational opportunities for our Members. We also offer formal pathworking leading to an understanding of the Inner Mysteries. [our mission statement]

What is LothloriËn?

Lothloriën is an Earth-based religion, with our roots in mystery religions of the world. As an Earth-based religion, we celebrate the seasons and the cycles of life. We recognize that Truth is found in many cultures around the world and draw our archetypes from many paths. What makes Lothloriën unique is our acceptance of all people regardless of their culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion or sexual orientation.

Through the archetypes of Unicorns and other universal symbols we extend our beliefs into an inclusive view of reality. We seek to transcend gender-limiting expressions of the Divine and embrace all peoples and cultures upon our planet. Lothloriën strives to be inclusive in all ways.

Our humble origins were formalized in 1977, when Rev. Paul Beyerl (trained and initiated into a neo-Alexandrian Tradition), began teaching the Craft to a small group of people on Oak Grove in Minneapolis on Sunday mornings. Out of those early rituals, The Tradition of Lothloriën came into manifestation. It was in 1979 ce that Rev. Paul and the group of students sharing the emerging Wiccan Tradition he was teaching and creating made a commitment to the name The Rowan Tree Church. The Rowan Tree Church was centered on Oak Grove in Minneapolis when it received legal recognition as a Church February 4, 1980 ce.

As The Rowan Tree Church turned fifteen and Rev. Paul joined with his partner gerry, we relocated our publishing and administrative office to Kirkland, Washington. The Rowan Tree Church has its ‘home office’ in the Beyerls’ cottage on Rose Hill in the Puget Sound area of western Washington. The 45,000 square feet of garden and paths, ritual and sacred spaces are home to many species of medicinal and magickal herbes, fruits and sacred trees. In 1997 ce, the acre of land which gerry purchased originally in 1983 ce was given as a gift to The Rowan Tree Church toward securing the future of The Tradition of Lothloriën. This land plus the cottage and classroom which are the Beyerls’ home on the front lot are often known as ‘The Hermit’s Grove.’ You can see the gardens by visiting www.thehermitsgrove.org and using the 'tour the gardens' link at the upper right.

Since that time, we have evolved and made many changes. Today, we exist as solitaires and as Communities scattered throughout North America. A variety of personal preferences based upon affection or sexual orientation are accepted. One need not be Wiccan to seek Membership in our Church: Lothloriën encompasses Members of a variety of beliefs. We have Members who, in addition to Lothloriën, practice other Wiccan Traditions and other faiths (including Christian).

Our goal is not quantity in membership but quality. Our Members are found in both the United States and in Canada. We are a collective dedicated to our Mother Earth and to The Tradition of Lothloriën.

We are not a building: we are our Members...

The Tradition of Lothloriën is described in detail in the book A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited by Rev. Paul V. Beyerl. Anyone interested in participating in our Church is advised to read this book to learn more about our Tradition. We work with archetypes and symbols which are compatible with most Wiccan, Buddhist and Native Traditions. We do not derive our beliefs from any specific culture but seek a more universal approach to our views of Nature.

From the first time Rev. Paul read the Hobbit books (beginning in the early 1960s), the name Lothloriën spoke to him strongly. It resonated in a way he could not explain. When the time came to select a name to identify our Wiccan Tradition, there was but one name he felt appropriate. By adding the umlaut we wish to indicate that, although derived from Tolkien, Lothloriën is not part of Tolkien’s realm. In our context Lothloriën remains a land which is a tree of life, one about which we sing the joys of our Mother and Father of Nature. Those who seek the deeper mysteries of our Tradition must, like the elves, be raised into the tree blindfolded as they enter Initiation. While we respectfully acknowledge Tolkien for his creation of the word, the philosophies, mythologies and customs practiced within The Rowan Tree Church are not based upon Tolkien’s writings. Our Land of Lothloriën is the Rowan Tree, not Tolkien’s mallorn.

As an Earth Religion, we perceive our Mother Earth as being sacred. We observe the evolution of Nature and view it as a role model. We take a non-violent approach to life, both of body and of mind. We practice tolerance and seek the good in all religions. Whether gathering with a Community in Circle or doing ritual as a solitary, we use tools such as communication, timing, and herbal magick in our rituals to be connected with other Members. We do not require Members to remove themselves from other religions or traditions, but Members must be comfortable in their acceptance of The Tradition of Lothloriën and it must play a role in their lives.

Membership in The Rowan Tree Church provides the monthly RTNews, our monthly newsletter, a copy of the Annual Report and invitations to participate in rituals and gatherings, whether as a solitary or with a local Community. All Members are offered access to our central library and, for a modest subscription fee to cover shipping, may check out books for research and pleasurable reading. An archive of past tapes is kept in our archives and is used for research by Mystery School students and other Members seeking information about our Church’s history.

If you are considering joining The Rowan Tree Church, we ask you to read A Wiccan Bardo, Revisited. If you want this Tradition in your life and you want to join the church, send us a note with your thoughts. Membership is open to any person age of 18 and over. We require parental permission for minors. Individuals who have been incarcerated may be asked to participate in our Transitional Membership program prior to attaining Full Membership.

What our Members say:

" The Rowan Tree Church is for people who have tried to fit in with the ‘normal’ way of life and found that they do not. They seem to need more than the mundane: they need magick (not the flash and glitz but the real kind). They need to be able to talk with those who feel the same and not worry about being judged. The Rowan Tree has done this for me." - Amaris

"I must say that I am surprised and excited about the close-knit and enthusiastic group of people I have joined. Never did I imagine to find such a wonderfully motivated and creative group of leaders in an organization that is predominately tied together through correspondence! It is obvious the Rowan Tree Church leaders are busy bees all of the time! I appreciate your energy and hard work. It is a joy to feel a part of this unique community." - S. C. Rowan

Communities

We do not follow a coven model but see the growth of groups as Communities. The goals of a Community include one or more Sunday Circles per month and gathering for Full Moon and Sabbat Rituals following The Tradition of Lothloriën. Communities also work on Church projects and promote supportive activities for The Rowan Tree Church.

Sunday Circles are informative and fun, casual discussions. Many are recorded and sent by duplication to Members living elsewhere. Through Sunday Circles, we share ideas, explore our Tradition of Lothloriën, and share news.

Our primary Community and offices are located in the Beyerls’ home at The Hermit’s Grove. For more information about the work at the grove, please visit http://www.thehermitsgrove.org/.

Permanent Communities may evolve where we have lay ministers, clergy or bards and two or more Church Members who are able to make the commitment to the larger Rowan Tree, having the time and training to sustain a group and its work.