First Degree Syllabus

 

Introduction

What is Wicca? The local Wiccan community. About Evergreen. Ground rules.

 

Ethics: The Oath of Secrecy

Confidentiality of Identities. Confidentiality of the Circle. The Mysteries. Practical exercises.

 

Circles, Watchtowers, and Altars

Ritual tools, including the most important one. The athame vs. wand debate. What is a Circle, and how do we cast it?

 

The Wheel of the Year

The Sabbats and their meanings. The Esbats and their meanings.

 

The Elements

The five elements, their aspects and manifestations. A guided meditation to experience their mysteries.

 

The Rede

The One Law of the Craft, and discussion of its implications. Case studies.

 

The Goddess

Her many names and faces. Making a Goddess statue of your own.

 

The God

His many names and faces, and why we need Him. The Masculine and the Feminine, and the spectrum between them. A meditation to meet the Horned God.

 

Craft History

The origins of modern Wicca. Gardner, Sanders, Anderson, Budapest, and the tangled web they and others wove, down to the present day.

 

Movie Night

The Occult Experience (1987) gives life to some of the names we’ve been talking about. We may also show Between the Worlds (1990), a look at Norse paganism in Northern California, or The Wicker Man, the ‘70s classic Beltane horror flick with Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, and Britt Ekland.

 

Traditions of Wicca

A discussion/comparison of some of the major and not-so-major Traditions of Wicca.

 

Craft Etiquette

A few common courtesies in dealing with Elders, or members of other Traditions.

 

Classical Pantheons

The Greek gods and goddesses, and their Roman counterparts. Creation myths, the Titans, and the Olympians, and some of the major myths surrounding them.

 

Egyptian Pantheons

A brief history of Egypt. The Gods of Heliopolis, including Isis, Osiris, Horus, and their kin. The Gods of Hermopolis, Thebes, and Memphis. The Book of Going Forth By Day.

 

Mesopotamian Pantheons

A brief history of the cradle of civilization. The gods and goddesses of Sumeria and Babylon. The Epic of Gilgamesh.

 

Celtic Pantheons

A brief history of the Celts. The Irish invasion myths. The Tuatha de Danaan, and tales of Cu Chulainn. The Mabinogion, and major characters of Welsh mythology.

 

Norse Pantheons

A brief history of Norse culture. The tree Yggdrasill. The Nine Worlds, and their inhabitants. The Aesir and Vanir, and the myths surrounding them. Ragnarok.

 

Spellcrafting

Verbal spells, talismans, knot magic, flame magic, candle magic, physical spells, cones of power. Ethical considerations.

 

Magical Alphabets

Why all alphabets are magical. Their uses in ritual. Practice writing and deciphering Theban, Runes, Rose Cross, and several other scripts.

 

Air I: Systems of Belief

The aspects of Air. The Triangle, and its application to concepts of deity, death, and magic.

 

Air II: Incense Making

Of resins and woods and herbs, their properties and magical associations. We blend incenses based on published recipes, appropriately adapting as necessary.

 

Magical Herbalism

The significance of herbs. Some cautions, and some thoughts for witches. Parts of the plant, and their handling. Kitchen witchery! Decoctions, infusions, extracts, capsules, pills, ointments, syrups, poultices, and other applications.

 

Meditation Techniques

Breathing, mantras, mandalas, mudras, mindful action, labyrinths.

 

Guided Meditation

Writing and leading meditations for others, or for yourself. The “flower pot” model. Practice writing and leading others on a magical journey.

 

Wicca and Sex

Just in time for Beltane! Pagan attitudes towards sexuality, and related topics. Not a hands-on class!

Fire I: Raising Energy

Aspects of Fire. Pyrotechniques. Energy work. Cones of Power.

 

Fire II: Dance and Drumming

The various types of drums. Jam session, practice in leading. Wheel dances. Free dances. How to lead a spiral dance.

 

Chants

We touch on some of the broad musical heritage of the Craft. Chants for circle casting, elemental chants, goddess and god chants.

 

Divination Systems

The why and what of divination systems. An introduction to runes, qabala, tarot, astrology, with samples from our collection.

 

Water I: Field Trip

With the coming of autumn, we enter into the realm of Water with an evening expedition (weather permitting). Early start time. Alternatively, a guided meditation to explore Water’s aspects.

 

Water II: Scrying

Determining our preferred modes of perceiving. Bright, dark, and textured focus. Creating visual, aural, and tactile “noise”, and finding what signals may emerge. We practice scrying in the dark.

 

Death and Dying

In time for Samhain, a look at pagan perspectives on death and dying.

 

Earth I: Talismans

The aspects of Earth. What talismans are, and what goes into them. Practical experience in making one for your own use. Homework for the next week.

 

Earth II: Practical Paganism

Chas Clifton’s “Touch the Earth” exercise. Understanding where we live, the resources we consume, and the waste we generate. How to live in tune with the Earth, in the big city.

 

About Initiation

What initiation is, and isn’t. Everything you need to think about and know (almost) before taking the plunge.

 

Ritual Leadership Workshop

Intensive workshops - these are held over four (6hour) sessions through out the year. Discussion and practice in creating ritual for small groups or community circles.

 

Book of Shadows Nights

Twice during the year, we’ll borrow the sharable portion of your BoS, and spend some “quality time” with you the following week.

 

Centre Exercise

One final exercise to gauge how the Elements are balanced in you.

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