what we are
Wild Thorn Hollow identifies as a Pagan spiritual community. Our purpose is to provide a spiritual home for our members, where they can get involved in community events, do work within the larger community that builds up the reputation of Paganism, and walk their path with pride, all with the support and fellowship of the other members of the Hollow. We are a place where there is room for a variety of Pagan paths to come together and coexist in harmony, and where members may contribute their unique perspective and practices to the mix. We foster individual learning, as well as a community where we can learn from one another. Collectively, we are committed to a shared set of values and a shared set of over-arching beliefs, which you can read more about on our Values of the Hollow page and our Beliefs & Practices page.
Because of the broad spectrum of individuals and styles that we embrace, our tradition’s style of practice can be a bit hard to define, as it is fluid and ever-evolving. We have a rich tapestry of influences, including a wide variety of ancient Pagan cultures and customs, threads of green, natural, and wild Witchery, pinches of chaos magic and philosophy, and elements of Stoicism. Our values are an adaptation of many of the same values embraced in the Hellenic path, as Hellenism plays a large part in the path our founder, but they have been chosen with the intention of serving as guideposts that can be relatable on a fairly universal level. The total package ends up being very rooted in Paganism, embracing the places where we find unity on our unique individual paths, a solid foundation of shared observances, a small amount of structure to lend a sense of spiritual “home,” and a wild and free-spirited approach.
what we are not
Wild Thorn Hollow is more of a community than it is a path, and we are not here to guide anyone down a particular path, but we are here to help ensure that our members are supported while they explore their own. We are not bound to any one particular Pagan label, pantheon, or set of practices. We are not Wiccan or ceremonial, and we state those things separately, because they seem to be the things falling outside of our common practice that are most often expected of us. This is not to say that people who follow these paths, or any particular Pagan path, would not be comfortable as member of Wild Thorn Hollow. We simply state this so that people know what not to expect of us. Those who seek us out should not necessarily expect us to do things like cast a circle at every gathering (if ever), stand upon rigid ceremony in our rituals, follow any specific group’s set of guidelines regarding the right way to do things, or follow anyone else’s rules in terms of ethics/magical practice, such as the Wiccan Rede. We have a tendency to make our own way, and create our own rules and guidelines, based again on the elements that unify us, not divide us.
Where we come from
Wild Thorn Hollow is the brain child of Coven of the Tangled Pines – a coven that has been operating in and contributing to the Middle TN Pagan community for over a decade, has been lead continuously by the same High Priestess, and has seen a number of awesome people come and go from its membership over the years. The coven has been the birthplace of other traditions in the past, and Wild Thorn Hollow is our current attempt to expand the community of our coven to a larger community of groups and individuals who are inspired to share our path.
The Hollow was founded in February of 2015, and our original plan was to approach the birth and growth of a tradition in a way that we had never seen done before. We held the doors to membership in our tradition open to anyone who came our way and saw value in what we were doing. We envisioned a community where people came of their own free will, and all members would contribute to the collective growth and pool of wisdom present in the Hollow. The open-door approach had its pros and cons. We were able to develop relationships that may never have existed otherwise, and the tradition grew very rapidly to include a number of covens/circles and solitary members. The downside, however, was that open-door membership lead to a high number of inactive members who did not actively engage in and contribute to the tradition, and ultimately proved to act counter to our goals.
In late 2017/early 2018, we made the choice to undergo a restructuring and rebirth. We stripped our membership down to a small group of core members to serve as a foundation for future growth. We have reevaluated our criteria for membership and are asking for more commitment from new members. We have also established a set of values and an over-arching ideology to guide the Hollow and provide a sense of unity, and we ask any new members to be willing and ready to commit to these guideposts.
where we are going
We are moving forward with our new framework in place, and we are refocusing on the primary reasons we set out to form Wild Thorn Hollow in the beginning. We are focused on the three main priorities of spirituality, community, and philanthropy. Our hope is to build a closely-connected and supportive place within the Pagan community where we can learn and grown together, and where our members can be supported and sustained in their individual spiritual journeys. We embrace a shared set of values, and a shared set of broad and over-arching views, that allow for a great deal of personal freedom and exploration, which is highly encouraged. As we continue to grow, we plan to develop an increasingly active presence in the local Pagan community.