What is Wicca? Just another name for Witchcraft. Many people try to give it some
new age meaning - but it was the Witches in the middle of the 20th century that started
using the term for another name for Witchcraft. Today we have people who claim to
be the “REAL” Witches, not the Wiccan kind .... A lot of these same people think
Witchcraft is another role playing game and not a religion. Most of them don’t understand
why most Witches of the Wiccan kind don’t really think much of them.
The Degree System? You will hear people say “I am a first degree Witch or a second
or third degree Witch. What does this mean. Depends upon the tradition or Coven
they belong to. Some even have a forth degree. There are various things that must
be learned to become a certain degree. As an eclectic Coven, we at Dragon Palm Circle,
have set up these definitions:
Novice: A person doing their year and a day - they are learning the basics. (We also
have used the term Witchling for a novice.
First Degree - They know the basic and are learning how to use them. (They are also
learning in depth some of those basics)
Second Degree: They are using what they have learned. The second degree can be a
High Priestess or High Priest. They are learning how to open up to the Goddess and
the God. They can teach Wicca 101. They should know how to right spell and rituals.
Third Degree: They are learning to hear the Goddess. They are the High Priestess,
High Priest, Elders, and Teachers. They have reached the point where they know that
learning never ends.
Outside of the Novice there is no time limit on the degrees - it’s when they happen.
With some it is very quick, with others they will stay or first or second degree
Within a Coven the first, second and third degree Witches are equal with running
the Coven. A novice should have no voice in the running of a Coven. (This may sound
harsh, but Covens that give voting rights and decision making rights to a Novice
soon fall). There are many that would not agree with these definitions and feel that
the only good Witch is one who has memorized all sorts poems and information form
the Book of Shadows. Now within our Coven we have other things that must be done
before the person gains a degree - and they must prove they are ready.
Year and A Day? Why must a person study a year and a day to become a Witch? Why
can’t they just say I want to be a Witch and the Witch Priest say OK, you are a Witch.
First and foremost many want to be a Witch for all the wrong reasons. And when they
find out that they are going to have to work at becoming a Witch they go away (and
become “REAL” witches who are not Wiccan :-) ) Second there is a lot of information
that a Witch needs to know before they can do Rituals and make Spells. They also
need to know about history, beliefs and other parts of the craft. Some may take
longer than a year and a day, but none should take less. (It also gives the novice
a chance to celebrate all the Sabbats).
The Craft on Line? This is the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Internet is a great
place to meet people and it’s a great place to find information. It’s a very bad
place to use to become a Witch.
WICCA 101 ON LINE: On this very site we have a Wicca 101 class and I put it together
and I don’t like on line teaching of the Craft. FOR THE STUDENT: 1. They have no
idea who their teacher is ( are they Wiccan or a role player) 2. If you don’t understand
how to do something, there is no one to show you how. 3. Feed back takes time (the
teacher has a life and it may be a while before they get back to you) 4.You can call
yourself a Witch or even a first degree Witch after doing an online course, but there
may be a good chance you will be the only one. FOR THE TEACHER: 1. Has no idea who
he is teaching. 2. Can’t tell if the student did a project. 3. Student could be more
than one person. 4. When it’s over, there is no good way of telling if the person
learned anything or not.
If you take an online course make sure it uses outside books also. If the books
are good and the course gives you good information, it can be very helpful for when
you find a “live” teacher. (And you will if this is truly your path) it can be helpful.
LIST: Now these can be a nice discussion platforms like the Dragon Palm lists at
YahooGroups. It can be informational like an E-Zine. It can also be full of BS like
a lot are. They can be made up of self proclaimed witches who have a lot of misinformation
that they are glad to share with others. Then there are the Spell trading list -
stay away form these - don’t even get close to them - IF you are a Witch, you can
write your own spells, if you are not a Witch, leave the spells to the Witches. (And
please don’t fill up you Book of Shadows with spells written by others on the Internet
- this is not what the BOS is for.) Don’t take what you hear on the lists as Truth.
There is a lot of Truth, but there is also a lot of false.
CHAT ROOM: BEWARE OF CHAT ROOMS -chat rooms that are always open have weird people
lurking in them, 50 year old men who say they are 15 year old girls and so on. Don’t
give out person information on a chat room. Don’t give our phone numbers and addresses.
(even if you know the person you are giving it to, you are also giving it to the
everyone else in the chat room.) Chat rooms can be fun also. Classes can be taught
on them. Lady Sky has done some workshops on Tarot in chat rooms.
FACEBOOK: Facebook can be a good tool if used right. We have a Dragon Palm Circle
page, A Dragon Palm Events group and a Witch in Progress group. And events are a
great thing. You can use them for things open to all, or just to select groups.
Now when you are on Facebook if there are people you do not want to know you are
a Witch you really have to watch what you say and post. I’m fairly open that I’m
a Witch on Facebook, but not really in your face about it. I have old friends that
I am sure either thinks I’m weird (and if they were my friends they know that is
true) or figured out that I’m a Witch.