First Degree Syllabus
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 five elements, their aspects and manifestations. A guided meditation to experience their mysteries.
The One Law of the Craft, and discussion of its implications. Case studies.
Her many names and faces. Making a Goddess statue of your own.
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.
The origins of modern Wicca. Gardner, Sanders, Anderson, Budapest, and the tangled web they and others wove, down to the present day.
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.
A few common courtesies in dealing with Elders, or members of other Traditions.
The Greek gods and goddesses, and their Roman counterparts. Creation myths, the Titans, and the Olympians, and some of the major myths surrounding them.
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.
A brief history of the cradle of civilization. The gods and goddesses of Sumeria and Babylon. The Epic of Gilgamesh.
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.
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.
Verbal spells, talismans, knot magic, flame magic, candle magic, physical spells, cones of power. Ethical considerations.
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.
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.
Breathing, mantras, mandalas, mudras, mindful action, labyrinths.
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.
We touch on some of the broad musical heritage of the Craft. Chants for circle casting, elemental chants, goddess and god chants.
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.
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.
One final exercise to gauge how the Elements are balanced in you.
For information regarding costs please see our Ethics section