History of the Order

NOTE: THIS PAGE IS STILL A DRAFT.

The history of the Order goes back really to the Knights Templar and other religious orders of chivalry. During the Crusades, the Catholic church organized, or allowed to be organized, several religious orders of Knights. These were warrior-monks who served pilgrims to the Holy Lands in various ways. One of the Orders which has a lot of romantic idealism surrounding it is the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, or the Knights Templar.

The story of the Knights Templar is well known, so we will just summarize it here. The Templar Order was founded in 1119 to protect pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. In the nearly 200 years of their (official) existence, the fees and gifts it received made the Order very wealthy. In 1307, many of the leaders were arrested, tortured, and executed. They were charged with numerous heresies, most of which were probably untrue. Nonetheless, many Templars were executed, and the Order was officially disbanded in 1312. Generally, it’s accepted that this was at the instigation of King Philip IV of France, who was deeply in debt to the Order, and saw the suspicion of the Templars regarding things like their secret initiations as an opportunity to rid himself of an inconvenience (and possibly snag some of their money and land at the same time).

Over the centuries, much speculation has surrounded the Knights Templar- did they really disband or just go underground? Were they secretly pagans, needing to keep their initiations secret? Did they worship a Crystal Skull? Do they have the Holy Grail?

It’s all just speculation, but there are documents that indicate that the Templars were absolved of heresy in 1308. Regardless, they remain a subject of mystery, and it was to the Templars that many have turned in attempting to recreate Knighthood in a modern age.

In 2007, Kerr Cuhulain founded the Order of Scàthach, a modern order of Knighthood, based on principles he had begun to lay out in his books Wiccan Warrior (2000), Full Contact Magick (2002) and Magickal Self Defense (2008). The Order of Scathach was based on a Code of Chivalry, including thirteen principles and thirteen precepts that are the core of Modern Knighthood from a Wiccan perspective. The Order was popular, with an online training program that allowed students from across the continent to train in Magick and Chivalry. For more information, read Modern Knighthood: Unleashing Your Inner Power to Master Yourself and the World (2nd Ed., 2014), Kerr’s book that outlines the actual code to which Knights of the Order of Paladins dedicate themselves. The Knights Avalonian have adopted the same Code.

In 2013, the Order of Scàthach faced some differences of opinion regarding the direction of the Order. Kerr Cuhulain and several others left OS to form a new Order, the Order of Paladins. The Order of Scàthach reorganized as an academic and training center with a focus on a general warrior path, much in the tradition of Scàthach herself. While there is less of an emphasis on martial practice, the Order of Scàthach still sees itself as training magickal Warriors.

One of the Knights of the Order of Paladins, Sir Seosaidh Blackwolf, developed the idea that perhaps a approach focusing on the Arthurian mysteries, but the same Code of Chivalry and warrior ethic, would be useful. The original rituals of initiation were created with the Legend of Cu Chulainn as a framework for the lesson cycles. This is a great approach, but the idea of the quintessential stories of Knighthood appealed to Seosaidh. Along with Lady Muirghein Dhaire, of the Henge of Keltria, and Sir Roland Phoenix, Seosaidh founded the Order of the Hallows of Avalon — the Knights Avalonian.

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