To better understand who Dragonstone Family Coven is, it must be very clear what the structure of Willow Dragonstone is. Willow Dragonstone is an Inner Outer Structure where Willow Dragonstone is governed by a combination of both an Outer Council and the Inner Family Coven called Dragonstone Family Coven. Willow Dragonstone (often referred to as WDSC or Willow) has a Council of seven that runs the day to day operations of a not for profit and community. This Council is created by seven people: Scribe, Treasurer, Maiden, Summoner, Kitchen Witch, Chalice Officer and one representative from Dragonstone Family Coven. These seven people will run the group and check back with General Members seeking votes on changes to the By-Laws or fundamental changes in policy. These votes of general members are by simple majority, meaning, of those members who bother to vote, majority carries the motion.
Dragonstone Family Coven creates a stable inner structure and energetic construct upon which Willow is based. Should Willow ever chose to disband, Dragonstone Family Coven will continue because it existed BEFORE Willow did and it’s governance is outside the confines of Willow. Dragonstone Family Coven provides the energetic construct that helps keep this pagan community together. Further Dragonstone Family Coven also provides:
These advantageous provided by Willow’s association with Dragonstone Family Coven, should foster the idea that Willow is, at its core, structured much like a constitutional monarchy. Willow runs itself with the support of DSFC and its members but the running of DSFC is outside the purview of Willow. In the monarchy of DSFC, Dia is the High Priestess and Tony is the High Priest, and although they try and always seek consensus in Willow and in the Inner Circle regarding changes and policies, when it comes to the Inner Circle, the opinion of Dia and Tony rises above that of the Inner Circle members or Willites. Within the Inner Circle, Dia and Tony have the final say in all matters. Currently the By-Laws make no mention of limitations to the rights retained by Dia and Tony. Previous incarnations of the By-Laws allowed Dia and Tony the right to step in and direct both Willow and DSFC should things disintegrate into chaos or persons are being injured. (Article 5.4.5 Spirit Sub Committee: Dragonstone Family Coven) This means, they can ask Willites and DSFCers to leave. There is a mediation process [link forthcoming], that tries to keep this option from being needed. It is not always successful.
As an author Dia had set out via a website and legal 5019(c)(3) – Family Wiccan Traditions International⚐ – to present a radical idea that circumvented traditional coven hierarchy. In her theory based upon her study of magic, her degrees in organizational psychology and nearly four years of intensive magical study under the High Priest, Richard “Dick” Sells (Lord Manawyddan), Dia suggested that if you were married and have active intercourse with your partner, then you are a Priest/ess to your family. She would define Family Coven as a group of people who share resources for survival and spiritual communion with each other in order to thrive. She would further suggest in her ground-breaking work, Family Coven: Birthing Hereditary Witchcraft published by Immanion Press, that traditional coven hierarchical models were dogmatic and could be dangerous. She empowered family units to find a way to be spiritual inclusive. Allowing for pagans and non-pagans in a family to worship together.
Dia also deliberately tried to move away from gender bias and to normalize and represent familial make-ups of all types. Lesbian, Gay, and Poly Families found a voice through her work. The Feminine Divine only needed a vessel focused on feminine energy. Dia refused to use gender assumptions like wife, husband and, even, spouse. She chose instead to put forth partner(s) as the correct adjective, insisting upon the (s) to indicate the inclusion of poly families. She also was the first pagan author to put forth an actual parenting plan that eliminated a focus on The Ten Commandments. She encourages Family Covens to create virtues and parent to the virtue and the laws of man. She further insists that all members of the Family Coven be held to the same standard.
Originally picked up by Lewellyn Publishing, she was released from her contract when her genetic disorder debilitated her. She was in and out of hospitals for nearly two years. Eventually, doctors would diagnose her with Neurocardiogenic Syncope with Dysautonomia and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.
Before her illness was prevalent, Dia was active in touring the country teaching about Family Coven, Sacred Geometry (a passion of hers) and divination. She wrote for various online groups and magazines and was featured in CIRCLE Magazine, Modern Witch Magazine, and Spirit1 Ezine (is no longer available online). She was also active through Family Wiccan Traditions International in training many witches around the country.
Crystal Blanton was one of those students. Blanton became a huge pagan success all on her own. She brought forth the microaggressions of racism and privilege within the pagan community and began to encourage healing while raising her grandchildren and securing her master’s degree in social work. Her political activism and writings helped minorities find a place and a voice in paganism that had not been available before. Blanton also published her books with Immanion Press and would casually mention to her editor Taylor Ellwood that her mentor, Dia, had a book completed and sitting on a shelf at her home. Ellwood would contact Dia, read the first three chapters and sign her immediately. Dia would go on to be part of many anthologies put out by Immanion Press on everything from racism, consent culture and disabilities all from a pagan perspective. An overview is available on her website.
As carefully explained on the page Who is WDSC? Dragonstone Family Coven has been the Inner Circle of Willow since the beginning.
What Dia has learned since the publishing of Family Coven is that, as the laws of magic teaches, one thing can be true and something else can be equally as true. Family Coven as a concept and book was a reaction to the view that only other Priests or Priestesses could create new Priests and Priestesses. Dia feels confident that she provides a counter argument and alternative to this view. However, when it comes to training new clergy the mechanism to accomplish this necessarily changes.
Therefore, DSFC today is run very closely to a traditional coven with Dia and Tony acting as High Priest and High Priestess. The only way to get into DSFC is:
All members of DSFC agree to try to hold themselves to the virtues of tolerance, charity, humility, devotion, patience, integrity, sincerity, courage, precision, efficiency, seeking our fore-bears, utilizing discernment and seeking wisdom.
Even though the traditional structure of coven exists in DSFC, Dia strives to include all members in the decision-making process and foster a feeling of family. DSFC members are greeted at Dia’s Covenstead with, “Welcome Home.” She genuinely sees each of the DSFC members as a part of her family.
This allows for Inner Circle members who meet to face challenges of spiritual growth and development together with a clear understanding that Dia and Tony is and will always be the High Priestess and High Priest of Dragonstone Family Coven, the mother and father of Willow Dragonstone Community & Coven, Inc.
⚐ Family Wiccan Traditions International once had the website FamilyWicca.org. Family Coven is still retained by the author and is not currently in use. There are other families using the term Family Coven now and they do not necessary agree with Dia’s writings.