(sighted from http://www.galdraheim.kirion.net/degrees.htm)
In a broad sense, initiation to the first degree is open to all Witches, governed by what is expressed below. However the second and third degree criteria are quite demanding, and essentially anyone who seeks and becomes 2nd or 3rd degree is responding to a deep inner calling. Higher degrees aren’t about levels of magickal prowess, power or learning: That is involved, but 2nd and 3rd degree Witches have people skills, management skills, communication and teaching skills as well as magickal skills. Those who aren’t well balanced emotionally, psychologically and socially; and who don’t have the appropriate skills; wouldn’t be able to successfully lead a Coven, nor would they be able to fulfill all the requirements that would be needed of them.
One of the greatest problems that some Covens suffer from is that of having inexperienced or ‘unqualified’ people in leading positions- knowing all the rituals off by heart and having a dominant or charismatic personality does not alone make for a good High Priestess or High Priest.
Because of this we work within a strong but flexible training, development and assessment structure, and which then ensures that we do not unleash imbalanced, power hungry, exploitive or unstable people on to the community, who appear to have credibility because of their Initiatory degree status.
See the information at the end of this section on how the Alexandrian initiatory ‘tree’ works- who is qualified to initiate to each degree within the Craft.
Let’s first of all take a look at the basics of this in a simple way:
First degree: Is for those newly coming into the Craft. As you will see elsewhere in the information about Initiation, this brings the new Witch into the Coven, connects them with the Coven group-mind, connects them to the Inner Plane power sources which that Coven and Tradition works with, and Initiates- starts them on their path in a powerful and guided way.
Second degree: Marks the beginning of a deeper path within the Craft, and acknowledges the commitment, work and effort that the 2nd degree candidate has made following their first degree initiation.
Third degree: Is granted to those of sufficient experience and knowledge who are either in a working partnership together and are going to leave their parent Coven to form a new one, or for a small number of individuals who do not have a working Craft partner to form a new Coven with, and who have been Initiates for sufficiently long that they are becoming Elders of the Craft and of their Coven.