These are no longer in effect (see the Bylaws).
Approved Structure for Morningstar as of 6/15/16
The Steering Committee will consist of a minimum of six (6) members and may expand to a maximum of ten (10) members, to include the following:
- Thorn: As founder of the school, Thorn will maintain a seat on the Steering Committee for as long as she and the Committee deem appropriate.
- Solar Cross: A representative of Solar Cross shall have a seat on the Steering Committee and shall act as liaison between Solar Cross and Morningstar. The Solar Cross representative may simultaneously hold Thorn’s or one or more pillars’ seat.
- Pillars: A representative from each pillar will have a seat on the Steering Committee. This representative may, but need not, be the pillar anchor. A single individual may represent more than one pillar.
- At Large: A minimum of two members of the Steering Committee will be “at large” members. These members will be selected from volunteers from the student body and shall not simultaneously represent any of the pillars or Solar Cross.
Selection and Term
Excepting the transitional Steering Committee, Steering Committee members will serve for a term of two years. Terms will officially begin on November 1 and end on October 31. Each year a selection period will be held for any seats open for renewal.
Representative Seats (Solar Cross & Pillars): Represented bodies will select their representatives during the selection period. Represented bodies will be responsible for their own selection process. Representative seats will be open for renewal every two years from the date of the selection period during which the represented body presents their representative. Should an opening occur outside of the normal selection period, the represented body will be responsible for selecting an interim representative.
At Large Seats: A minimum of one at large seat will be made available for renewal in each selection period. If it should coincide that there are only two at large seats occupied in the Steering Committee, and neither is up for renewal, a third at large seat will be made available to be filled during the selection period. If such an opening increases the number of Steering Committee members beyond ten (10), then only one of the two at large seats which would have been open for renewal in the proceeding selection period will be made available. Should an at large member become unable or unwilling to continue to serve on the Steering Committee, that seat shall become available for renewal at the next selection period unless the opening of that seat leaves no at large membership in the Steering Committee. In the event that a mid- term resignation leaves no at large members, an immediate call for volunteers will issue to fulfill the remainder of the resigning at large member’s term.
Selection of the Steering Committee shall be made on a volunteer basis. Represented bodies shall be responsible to institute their own selection process. At large seats will be made available to all members of the Morningstar student body and active alumni who do not occupy one or more of the representative seats. The selection process for at large seat will occur during a selection period each year which may begin as early as May 1 and must be complete by October 31. The selection period will include a call for volunteers who do not already and wish to sit on the Steering Committee. Should the number of volunteers be less than the total number of available seats, current at large members will be given the option of remaining on the Steering Committee. Should the number of volunteers for the at large seats cause the total membership of the Steering Committee to exceed ten (10) members, a school-wide election shall be held. All members of the current student body (i.e., all enrolled students in good standing) and active alumni shall be eligible to vote in such an election. The logistics and particularities of such an election will be determined by the then existent Steering Committee, subject to approval by the general student body.
There is no limit to the number of two year terms an individual may serve pursuant to the selection process. Any Steering Committee member may resign their seat at any time for any reason. If they occupy a seat for a represented body, the represented body will be responsible for filling the remainder of the resigning member’s term. If the resigning member is at large, their seat will become available to be filled at the next selection period, unless their resignation leaves the Steering Committee with no at large members. In such an event, an immediate call for volunteers will issue to fulfill the remainder of the open term.
Members of the Steering Committee are considered leaders of Morningstar Mystery School and shall be held to the same ethical standards as teachers of Morningstar Mystery School. Should a member of the Steering Committee breach the Morningstar Teachers ethics, that member shall immediately forfeit their seat. Further action against such a member shall be considered by the Conflict Resolution Committee.
Should a removal on ethical grounds cause there to be no at large members in the Steering Committee, an immediate call for volunteers will issue to fulfill the remainder of the open term. Membership in the Steering Committee is a commitment to the school. If a member of the Steering Committee is unable or unwilling to attend a minimum of two-thirds (2/3) of the steering committee meetings in a calendar year, that member’s seat will become available for renewal at the next selection period. If the seat is a representative seat, the represented body will be expected to provide an alternate member. If the seat is at large, then it will be subject to the same selection criteria and process as any open at large seat.
Authority and Responsibility
The Steering Committee provides guidance, facilitation and higher level coordination for the school.
The Steering Committee is not meant to dictate policy without input, but is mechanism for facilitating communication to ensure the school stays true to established principles and, when appropriate, for making changes to those principles consciously and openly.
The Steering Committee meets at least once a month via Zoom chat. The exact date and time of the Steering Committee meetings are agreed upon in advance by the members of the Steering Committee to facilitate the largest possible attendance at each meeting. The agenda for Steering Committee meetings will be made available for review by the entire student body and active alumni in advance of each meeting. Both members and non-members of the committee may suggest items to be added to the agenda, and no items will be withheld from consideration although some may be tabled for future discussion if the majority of the Steering Committee feels that such a delay is appropriate.
Minutes of Steering Committee meetings will be available upon request. Such a request will include as much detail as possible regarding the subject matter desired. Prior to publication of any such minutes, individual Steering Committee members may request redactions of material that is not relevant to the request. Such a redaction request will be subject to approval by the Conflict Resolution Committee.
Primary responsibility for Morningstar Mystery School’s accounting rests with the Steering Committee, which may appoint one or more members, volunteers, outside consultants, or any combination of these, to provide for any or all of the following provisions. Morningstar Mystery School should be economically self-sufficient. To that end, a full analysis of income and expenses should be prepared on an annual basis. Such accounting should be submitted to Solar Cross for review and advice. An annual budget should be prepared and submitted to Solar Cross for review and approval.
In coordination with Solar Cross, analysis will be made regarding the availability of funds to pay teachers and/or other support personnel other than Thorn.
A scholarship fund should be created from a percentage of the top levels of sliding scale donations and from independent donations to such a fund. The Teaching Pillar, in coordination with Thorn and the Steering Committee should devise the mechanism through which such funds would be made available to students.
The Steering Committee should appoint one or more members or volunteers to coordinate with Solar Cross regarding enrollment and student payment of tuition. After an initial analysis of current status of enrollment in the school, the person or committee so appointed should make a report to the Steering Committee. Thereafter, the Steering Committee and the Teaching and Research Pillars (or representatives of each) shall coordinate to draft a proposed policy for student enrollment.
It is the goal of the school that at least once per year there should be a school-wide retreat. Such retreats should be self-sufficient monetarily. Logistical coordination, including timing and location of such retreats, should be performed by a committee of volunteers from the school at large. The retreat committee should coordinate with the Teaching Pillar regarding the scope and goal of each retreat and submit a proposal to the Steering Committee for review and advice prior to school-wide announcement of the retreat. However, in the preparation of such proposal, the committee may elicit �information and suggestions from the entire school regarding preferred timing and/or desired themes to be addressed.
Conflict Resolution Board
A board of three individuals will be appointed as a Conflict Resolution Board. The Board will mediate conflicts, hear grievances, and propose remedies. The individuals appointed to the Board will agree to undergo training in conflict resolution as part of their service. The Board will be selected by the Steering Committee with approval from the student body. The selection process will be made explicit and transparent, and will include an opportunity for individuals to volunteer for service.
Code of Ethics
All members of Morningstar Mystery School, by virtue of their enrollment, agree to maintain a code of ethics consistent with the teachings of Morningstar. An environment of respect and tolerance will be encouraged and maintained in all aspects and endeavors of Morningstar. Due to the nature of the work engaged in by the students of Morningstar, it is likely that deeply personal and intimate information may be shared during the course of studies. Personal information shared within the confines of the school should not be shared outside the school. If personal information disclosed to you during the course of studies causes you concern for the safety of the person disclosing or for the safety of others, that concern should be raised with your teacher or mentor who will assist you to take any appropriate action whether within or outside of the structure of the school. If your teacher or mentor is either inappropriate or unavailable to assist you, you should contact a member of the Conflict Resolution Board or a member of the Steering Committee.
The moodle environment shall be maintained as a safe space for the students of Morningstar to engage honestly and openly with the work and with each other. An atmosphere of respect and collegiality will be maintained in all discussions. Discussions on the Morningstar moodle are to be kept within the school and not generally shared outside the school. As with any other aspect of the school, a person may choose to share their own experience, but the experiences of others should not be discussed outside of the forum in which they are being shared.
Social Media/Public Forums
When posting about Morningstar in any public forum, whether online or otherwise, information posted should be limited to personal experience. Experiences of others should not be interpreted or conveyed. Information that is held as private for Morningstar only, such as the keys to the temple, should not be disclosed to anyone outside of the school. Similarly, any information or teaching which is requested to remain private to the school should not be disclosed outside of the school.
Procedures before the Conflict Resolution Board will be confidential. Only formal remedy proposals will be made known to the Steering Committee, at which time, a confidential disclosure of the facts of the conflict will be made to the Steering Committee, which will decide whether and how to implement the formal remedy. In the event that a member or members of the Steering Committee are party to the conflict, such member or members will be recused from the decision of whether to implement the suggested remedy. Upon the decision to implement a formal remedy, the Steering Committee will draft a disclosure to the student body. Such disclosure will strive to keep the personal information of the parties involved confidential while maintaining transparency regarding the decision making process.
Informal conflict resolution procedure
The Conflict Resolution Board will draft and post a procedure for informal conflict resolution in which the Board may serve as mediator and advisor, but will not perform any independent research and no formal record of the conflict will be maintained. If the parties are not able to reach accord through the informal process, they may be referred to the formal conflict resolution procedure.
Formal conflict resolution procedure
The Conflict Resolution Board will draft and post a procedure for formal conflict resolution. Formal conflict resolution may involve independent investigation on the part of the Board. In a matter submitted to formal conflict resolution, if the parties are not able to reach accord, the Board may render a proposed resolution which may include measures up to and including expulsion from the school and/or revocation of teaching credentials. The Board’s proposed resolution will then be submitted to the Steering Committee for ratification and execution. The Steering Committee shall act promptly upon receiving such recommendation from the Board, �calling a special meeting to address the recommendation rather than waiting for the next scheduled meeting to discuss the issues, unless the Board’s recommendation indicates otherwise. In such a special meeting of the Steering Committee, a quorum of at least two-thirds of the members of the Committee who are eligible to render a decision is required.
Determination of and remedies for ethical breach
The Conflict Resolution Board will also be responsible to hear any allegations of ethical breach on the part of students or faculty. The Board will draft and post a procedure for reporting and addressing alleged ethical breaches. Remedies for ethical breaches will be determined by the Board and may include expulsion from the school and revocation of teaching credentials. In any matter involving an allegation of ethical breach, the decision of the Conflict Resolution Board, including the decision not to pursue, will be submitted to the Steering Committee for ratification and execution. The Steering Committee may conduct its own investigation if it deems it necessary. However, the findings of the Board will be given deference whenever possible. The Steering Committee shall act promptly upon receiving a decision on ethical breach, calling special meetings to address the allegations and issues at hand and the Board’s recommendation rather than waiting for the next scheduled meeting to discuss the issues. In such a special meeting of the Steering Committee, a quorum of at least two-thirds of the members of the Committee who are eligible to render a decision is required.
Teaching & Curriculum Pillar
The Teaching Pillar shall consist of three to four active Morningstar members, one of which will be Thorn for as long as she and the Steering Committee deem desirable. The open positions will be filled by willing volunteers who are committed to the future of Morningstar, who will be approved by the Steering Committee. This Pillar will be responsible for ensuring that Morningstar teachers are keeping accountability with the School’s values and core, and will work with teaching candidates to ensure they provide instruction that brings value and minimizes potential harm to students. The Pillar will also manage and modify core curricula, or oversee the processes involved in managing and modifying curricula. This Pillar will work with the teaching candidates to determine appropriateness of curriculum and teaching methodology as well as to make agreements about what financial contribution the School will receive from a workshop or class. The Pillar will provide teaching candidates with a self-evaluation process to help the candidate assess whether they meet the Criteria and Qualifications for teaching, as well as identifying strengths and areas of potential development as a teacher. The Pillar and the candidate will identify any concerns or areas of needed growth and approve the candidate’s work as appropriate.
Criteria and Qualifications for a Morningstar Mystery School Teacher
- Completion of at least one round of Morningstar’s Core Curriculum.
- Embodiment of Morningstar’s Core Practices.
- Agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics for Morningstar Teachers.
Teacher Training Practices, Expectations, Accountability and Oversight
Teachers and Mentors who offer their services in the name of Morningstar Mystery School (teaching and mentoring either face-to-face or online) will be expected to:
- Have completed the Morningstar Core Curriculum at least once.
- Maintain a personal spiritual practice that is validated by participation in the monthly check-in process of the Mystery School. A minimum of one check in every three months is expected.
- Possess certain skills as outlined in qualifications for role.
- Consider the suggestions of possible growth related to those skills made by the Teaching Pillar when the individual was approved for the role.
- Establish intentions related to their skills in teaching and mentoring in addition to their knowledge of subject matter to be taught.
- Using those intentions, submit an annual report to the Teaching Pillar indicating their progress on their stated intentions.
If teaching, follow an accepted syllabus for the class to be taught or submit a syllabus to the Teaching Pillar for review and suggestions.
If mentoring, submit a report to the Teaching Pillar at least once per semester describing contact with mentorees.
Be periodically evaluated by those they serve. The evaluation should be as simple as possible. Perhaps merely: Strengths, challenges and suggestions. These evaluations will be the property of the teachers and mentors to be shared with the Teaching Pillar as the teachers and mentors see fit. Reluctance to share will be noted by the Teaching Pillar and taken into consideration as ongoing opportunities to teach or mentor are considered.
Code of Ethics
Morningstar teachers offer practices and guidance to facilitate students’ connection with Sex and Spirit, that all may move toward Self-Possession and the Work of This God. Morningstar teachers do not begin sexual relationships with students.
Morningstar teachers deliver value to their students, and support students in developing their own sense of pride, will, and autonomy. Morningstar teachers do not encourage dependency or submission of life force from their students to teachers or the School.
Morningstar teachers accept responsibility for the results of their actions. Morningstar teachers encourage students to step into power, and do not engage in coercive or disempowering relationships with students. Morningstar teachers may accept compensation for their time and teaching, yet also strive to make the teachings accessible to all regardless of income.
Morningstar teachers actively engage in their own spiritual work, and practice the tools that they offer to students. Morningstar teachers value the goal of Self-possession over rigidity of practice and belief.
Process of Becoming a Teacher
Anyone involved in Morningstar is free to organize classes and teach from their own work, tradition, perspective, etc., and can acknowledge Morningstar as an influence. Anyone can organize local in-person study groups, practice groups, devotionals, and so forth. Advanced students who have completed a core curriculum module and are interested in revisiting it may volunteer to mentor or offer to organize a study group in the Moodle. An Advanced Student who has completed and mentored a core curriculum semester module a number of times may petition the Teaching Council to teach the core curriculum outside the Moodle environment (in-person, in local community, etc.). Any Advanced Student wishing to offer a non-core/elective curriculum class of their own design to the central hub of Morningstar Mystery School may state their intention to the group, gather interested parties, and coordinate with any necessary resources to execute the course. Those wishing to teach Morningstar curricula or propose their own work to be taught under the Morningstar Mystery School name may present themselves and their proposed coursework to the Teaching Pillar, who will work with the candidate to engage in self- assessment and development as needed. If the Teaching Pillar does not approve a teaching candidate, the Pillar will provide a written explanation as to why their proposal was not approved. Approved teaching candidates will be matched with a peer who will collaborate with and support the teaching candidate. The Moodle and other Internet teaching technology will be available to the teachers to organize and execute their classes. Teachers who are doing local work will utilize the Moodle as well as in-person pedagogy, and may be supervised by a senior teacher per the Teaching Pillar’s recommendations. Teachers will engage in reflective practice and peer support (See Practices, Expectations, Accountability and Oversight), and will stay in conversation with the Teaching Pillar to determine appropriate levels of closeness or autonomy.
An initial application includes the following:
- A cover letter stating your interest in teaching, your agreement to abide by the Code of Ethics, and an overview of how you see yourself embodying Morningstar’s Core Practices.
- A Curriculum Vitae with relevant teaching experience.
- Completion of an Application Questionnaire 
- The class(es), location(s), and date(s) you would like to teach. Location and date may be approximate.
- The Teaching and Curriculum Pillar and Steering Committee will review all applications and provide approval or appropriate feedback if you are not approved. Please allow for one month for the initial approval process. All application materials will be held in confidence.
Process of Becoming a Mentor to Advanced Students
When new Advanced Students complete Elements and are recommended to enter Morningstar Mystery School, a call will go out requesting volunteers to be a mentor for the new students. That mentor may establish a more direct, supportive relationship with the new Advanced Student to help them acclimate to the wider container. Mentors might provide 1:1 support and instruction as appropriate.
Basic Core Curriculum
Morningstar’s Basic Core Curriculum consists of the Elements course.
Advanced Core Curriculum
Advanced Curriculum will be organized into semesters and offered for new advanced students and those who wish to reprise the curriculum. Prerequisite: Completion of Elemental Series and invitation by teachers of that series to Morningstar Mystery School.
Advanced Core Curriculum Semester Modules:
- Iron Pentacle
- Pearl Pentacle
- Planes of Stability
- Preparation for Demon Work
- Demon Work
- Self Possession
- Non-Core Curriculum Modules:
- Intellectual Study (Peer-Led)
- Independent Study
- Desire and Manifestation
- Teaching and Mentoring
- Seen and Unseen
- Modules proposed and led by teacher/students
Research & Alumni Pillar
In recognizing that not all who advance through Morningstar mystery school desire to be teachers of the curriculum, the research pillar would offer an alternative way for advanced students to specialize in personal spiritual work and the work of the school. This work would be self-determined and guided by a mentor. Research projects could be creative projects (dance/writing/visual), teaching/developing curriculum, ritual work/development of magical tech, astral temple work, devotional work, service and community building work, or any project that would further the students goals of self-possession and the Work of their god. Research projects would be“right-sized” – offering personal challenges to the student that are not too easy to complete (make my bed everyday) or completely unattainable (world peace). Researchers would:
- Have completed at least one round of advanced work or be currently enrolled in those modules.
- Submit project proposal to the mentor group
- Project proposal should include:
- What the project is
- The purpose – what do you think this will achieve
- what challenges do you anticipate around this work?
- what do you anticipate will come easily with this work?
- how will this support your spiritual practice and the arcs of your life?
- How will this work benefit Morningstar mystery school?
- how will your spiritual practice support this work? What tools and practices do you see as being helpful in completing this project?
- Estimated timeline of completion, with deadlines.
- During the course of the project there would be bi-weekly check-ins with the mentor.
- Final submission to mentor for review should include
- Evidence of completion – a paper, a video, etc
- a statement of how the project intersected with your work
Upon completion, research students would receive some sort of recognition from the school.
Mentors would be alumni and current students who have completed advanced curriculum and wish to be mentor. All mentors in the research pillar would meet the same qualifications of the teaching pillar and be held to the same code of ethics. Mentors could choose projects and people to mentor based on interest/mastery of subjects and may mentor 1-3 research projects at one time, as interest and time permit. They would be available for bi-weekly check-ins with research students, and get support of their own through a monthly check in with other mentors within the school.