Friday, April 25, 2008
Having been a practicing pagan, and at one point a devout wiccan, for several years I decided to take this course for three reasons, none of which were to actually learn anything new. I took it to see what kind of courses and what quality of courses ULC Seminary offered, to reaffirm the ideals and beliefs that I had already had and ultimately as a step towards completing the ULC Seminary Program. Having taken the course I can honestly say I learned some new things that I had not originally thought I would.
After practicing for almost ten years and doing a fair amount of research on my own I thought I knew a fair amount. However, I discovered through the course that there are different ideologies within Wiccan than those that I personally was taught and followed. In fact some of those ideologies and practices are quite different from my training and practices. I attribute part of this to my specific group following a Celtic Wiccan path and part of it to the differences between Gardnerian, traditionalists and modern eclectic Wiccans see and do things. A good example of this is the different grounding rituals. This course taught a grounding and banishing ritual based on Jewish tradition and my personal grounding and banishing ritual is based on the tree of life.
The course also brought about some new thinking and contemplation on my part. Lessons 6 and 7 on Dowsing and Lessons 8, 23 and 24 on Magic, for example gave me new ideas on spell craft and implementation. Some of the things mentioned are things I already did while others were things I had never even thought off. The magic lesson covering morality was nice to read as I know a lot of my fellow pagans do not have a strong moral compass with regard to magic use and will now have guidance on proper use and disuse.
In short, while I went into this course feeling that I wouldn’t truly learn anything and that is was just a simple step on the way toward my goal; I discovered a wealth of knowledge and view points I hadn’t seen before, which caused me to open my mind a little further and refreshed my thirst for knowledge.
by Justin M. Oles