Sunday, May 11, 2008
This essay will be a three part essay. The first part will be about things that I have learned from the course. The second part will be about things I already knew. The third part will be about things I had hoped to learn but didn’t.
In the very first lesson, in the history of Wicca, I learned all about the significance of planting the crops to the point that men would take small portions of their blood to put in with each seed. If that is something I already knew, it has been buried deep within the archives of my brain, but I think it was a new insight for me.
I also learned a little more about Gardnerian Wicca versus Seax Wicca; particularly that Raymond Buckland had been in Gardner’s original coven and had branched out on his own, forming the Seax Wicca Trad.
Also, after learning about some of the practices of Gardnerian Wicca, such as the secrecy, Seax Wicca suddenly started making more sense to me. I’d already known a little about other Trads; Dianic Wicca, for example. Now, the more I know, the more closely I relate to Seax Wicca, rather than any other Trad.
I also learned about dowsing. I was unable to make any distinguishable differences in the definition of dowsing versus the definition of scrying. What the course instructor referred to as dowsing, some of those methods used, I had thought were scrying. I’m still confused as to whether there is a difference, or if it is one of those things in which it depends upon where you are coming from that determines how you name it. For example, one person in one part of the country may pronounce tomato completely different than a person in another part of the country. Could, in fact, some of Lord Starwalker’s dowsing techniques also be considered scrying?
As for things I already knew, I’ve cast many circles and many spells. I’ve actually gotten quite adept at the art of spell writing. I already understood the concept of not leaving your circle until you are done, or if you have to, you must cut a doorway.
I had also already become quite familiar with how to set up an altar and how to position things the way I liked them. I had to agree to disagree with the instructor’s ideas of how an altar should be set up. I follow the very traditional set-up of East = Air, South = Fire, West = Water, and North = Earth, with Akasha, the Spirit, and fifth element, somewhere in the middle, towards the north. My circles have followed this East to South to West to North to the altar many a time. In this, I am set in my ways.
Another thing about me is that I do not use, or even own, a wand. I use my athame for all circle and spell-casting purposes. I feel more as one with steel. I know that is somewhat of a controversy amongst witches and Wiccans. Many swear by their wooden wands. But I’d like to remind that steel also comes from within the Earth too. I don’t think it’s so much the tool that you use as the intent behind the spell and the Spirit that one is in when casting the spell.
One major thing that I did not learn that I had hoped to is how to perform handfastings and Wiccanings. I was directed, by a fellow minister, to a good website containing information on handfastings. I also found several websites with suggestions on Wiccaning ceremonies.
Perhaps not having all the answers was good in this course. It made a person think; to search out one’s own answers. If I didn’t know something, because the lesson wasn’t specific enough, it would lead me to do research on my own to get the answers.
Overall, I would rate this course positively but would caution that, if you’re taking it just to learn how to perform a handfasting, you should visit www.handfasting.info. The course was very well worth it and I will miss receiving the weekly emails. It is time to choose another course and move forward.
Special thanks to all who helped me along the way.
Rev. Jayne Morrison