Ranks and Membership

Ranks and Membership
[color=white]……..[color=blue]It should be noted that this is a proposal to revise the By-Laws of the covenant, not the charter. The actual original charter is considered sacrosanct and unalterable. However, it is that very charter that gives the elders of Andorra (the Pontifici) the authority to govern the covenant as they see fit. An earlier generation of elders created the system of By-Laws that we operate under, and limited their power to make arbitrary alterations. Changes to the By-Laws must be approved by a unanimous vote of the Council of Masters.
[color=white]……..[color=blue]The Revised Membership rules may make reference to other laws or rulings (such as Trial procedure), but those are not covered here. These are codified elsewhere, and any changes to those procedures require separate legislature.
[color=white]……..[color=blue]The current membership rules are easier yet more strict. You simply ask the council, and it requires a unanimous vote to be accepted (automatically receiving the rank of Master/Flamen). A Pontifex has the power to designate someone a Guest Member, and any magus apprenticed at the covenant is automatically a member. There are many caveats and exceptions, as this system was never formally codified. Rather, it developed from a long series of rulings as the New By-Laws started replacing the Old Laws bit by bit. In fact, this proposed revision is yet another example of that. You guys are part of history :smiley:

[u]Proposal for the Revision of the Rules for Membership and Member Rankings[/u]
[color=white]……..The Covenant of Andorra proposes that it shall henceforth have a three-tiered hierarchy of rank and privilege of its membership. These shall be Journeyman, Master, and Elder.

[color=white]……..The first rank shall be that of Sacerdos (Journeyman), the initial rank of a new member.
[color=white]……..To be accepted as a Journeyman, a magus must first Petition the General Council for membership. To be eligible to Petition, one must first be a Magus of the Order of Hermes in good standing with their House, and they must have a Sponsor amongst the current membership who will read their Petition before the General Council. The Petition is to be accepted unless challenged, which then requires a majority vote for acceptance. The Petition may not be challenged if the Sponsor is a Pontifex, or if the Petition is Sponsored by three Masters. Once accepted, the Petitioner, now called a Pledge, is required to wait for a period of up to one-year in residence as a Guest. During this time, they are to be investigated by the members of the covenant to determine the character of the Pledge and to decide if they will add a value to this covenant. Each member may test a pledge once, and the forms permissible for this inspection are as determined by the Council of Masters. Once the General Council has been satisfied or the waiting period has elapsed, that council shall vote to approve or reject the Petition. Acceptance requires an affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority vote in a quorate council, upon which they are immediately made a Journeyman member.
[color=white]……..A Petitioner who was an apprentice of this covenant is considered to have fulfilled the tests required of a Pledge, and if their parens sponsors them then their acceptance is automatic unless challenged by another member who is a peer of their parens.. In such a situation, the matter is decided by a council of other peers of that rank.
[color=white]……..A Journeyman shall have all of the privileges and duties due a Hermetic Magus sworn to the Oath of Covenant. They shall be given space to establish a lab and a sanctum and provided with the materials needed to conduct their research, and they shall be afforded security and protection of the covenant. They shall have their living expenses lifestyle paid for as befitting their status, and equipped as necessary in the pursuit of their duties. They shall have access to the equipment and resources of the covenant through the services and discretion of the covenant’s Steward, and to servants and specialists as needed through the services and discretion of the covenant’s Chamberlain. They shall have access to the General Library as they will, and they may borrow a number of tomes as permitted by the covenant’s Head Librarian. They shall also have access to the Exclusive Library through the services and discretion of the covenant’s Head Librarian. They are not permitted to remove any books from there, and must remain in the common study area when using them.
[color=white]……..A Journeyman is entitled to an annual Vis Salary of 4 pawns vis forma, in payment for the duties and services they are obligated to perform for the covenant. The expected value of their service shall be equivalent to a season of labor on the covenant’s behalf or something of comparable merit. The salary may be varied by the Masters for greater or lesser service provided, and expenses incurred fulfilling one’s obligation shall be paid for by the covenant. Services accepted are as determined or approved by the Masters. With permission, a Journeyman may be excused from their obligation of service, in which case they must forgo any salary and must instead pay Vis Dues that year of a value equal to 2 pawns vis forma.
[color=white]……..A Journeyman is to be given a full and equal vote at all meetings of the General Council. The General Council, which consists of the entirety of the membership present, shall meet to decide matters of all the regular business and governance of the covenant. They shall have regular powers in all matters except those specifically reserved for a higher council. This shall include Trials, changes and amendments to the By-Laws, and the affairs of the Pontifici.
[color=white]……..A Journeyman has the right to a lawful Trial to redress grievances, settle disputes, and defend themselves against accusations of breeching the laws of this covenant or violating their Oath. Trial procedures are as codified (elsewhere).

[color=white]……..The second rank shall be that of Master/Mistress (or Flamen). In order for a Journeyman to be elevated to the status of a Master, they must again Petition to the Council of Masters. To qualify, they must have been a Hermetic Magus for at least 7 years and a member of this covenant for at least 3 years. They must then obtain the sponsorship of three Masters or that of a Pontifex, who shall read the petition before the Council of Masters. Once a petition has been read, the Masters have one full turn of seasons in which to make their decision. During that time, they are permitted to try the candidate as they see fit, administering tests and challenges designed to challenge both their mind and their magic. Each Master may test a candidate once, and the forms permissible are as determined by the rules of the Pontifici. Once the year of testing has passed, the Council of Masters is to make their decision, requiring a unanimous vote for a candidate to be accepted as a fellow Master/Mistress. The Journeyman suffers no loss of status, and after their firt rejection they are allowed to petition again after a year. If again rejected they must wait two years, then three & etceteras.
[color=white]……..A Master retains all the rights they had as a Journeyman, plus additional privileges and duties as befitting their rank and status. They shall have an increased stipend for the expenses of their research and equipment, plus an increased allowance for their lifestyle and living expenses. They shall have access to the services of the Steward and Chamberlain for all of their needs pertaining to mundane resources, servants, specialists, and so forth. They may also act upon their own will and discretion in these matters. They shall have full access to both the General and Exclusive Libraries. They may add or remove books as they choose to the general library, they may add books to the exclusive library, and through the services and discretion of the Head Librarian they may borrow books from the exclusive library.
[color=white]……..A Master is entitled to an annual Vis Grant of 6 pawns vis forma. These are the wages they are due for their status, not for specific service. The obligations of a Master are more serious than labor. The way they direct their time and energy shall be as they choose, but they are expected to sacrifice all that it takes for the life and prosperity of the covenant. A Master may choose to take on additional responsibilities and the burden of labor to fulfill a specific need of the covenant. If approved by the Council of Masters, they may take on the office of a Bishop (meaning “one who oversees”), and shall be afforded the authority and resources to fulfill their duties as well as compensation for their extraordinary efforts.
[color=white]……..A Master shall have a full and equal at all meetings of the General Council. They shall also have the right to meet in exclusive council with their peers, a Council of Masters. A Council of Masters has certain superior and specific authority in many matters. The Council of Masters can make changes and amendments to the By-Laws, set the standards for testing pledges and candidates, create or dissolve bishoprics, establish lawful procedures, and conduct trials. They may not question or interfere with the affairs of the Pontifici though.
[color=white]……..A Master has the right to a lawful Trial to redress grievances, settle disputes, and defend themselves against accusations of breeching the laws of this covenant or violating their Oath. Trial procedures are as codified (elsewhere). However, in accordance with the wording of the original charter, a Master has the right to demand three specific forms of Trial, and the Council of Masters must oblige him. A Master may demand a Trial Jury of Peers (the default form of trial), Trial by Combat (Certamen or actual Melee), or Trial by Ordeal (a vaguely defined option seldom ever used).

[color=white]……..[color=blue](This section still needs revision.).
[color=white]……..[color=blue] The highest rank is that of Pontifex, which carries broad power and authority. Antonio and Rodrigo hold this rank according to the laws of the original charter, and not much of anything is changed about this rank. They also hold the Rank of Master and participate in the council of Masters. They also hold a private council amongst themselves, and operate according to the code set forth in the charter and old laws. The preferred Parlance for members of this rank is Elder, but they have the right to call themselves Pontifex (meaning “point” or “head”) and Cardinal (meaning “important”). They may draw upon the resources of the covenant as they will according to their own discretion. The only way to become a Pontifex is to be invited and elevated by the council of the Pontifici.

What was wrong with the old membership rules? I'm getting lost.