Dedicant and Initiate Training

Sunday, November 01, 2009
Dedicant Training

Dedicant training takes place in a series of weekly beginning Wicca classes, casually referred to as Wicca 101. These classes may be open to other women who aren't dedicants, and these classes are a requirement for initiation. These classes teach Wicca from our perspective, and include homework. Even if you have taken Wicca 101 before, you must take our classes.

Regarding W101 and Homework

I wrote the following after a student complained about having homework.

You might know most of what we are learning in Wicca 101 already. But its very important that you keep an open mind and be ready to try new things. Part of being in a coven is learning the tradition, even though it probably differs from your personal tradition. From altar set-up, to ritual outline, to who you honor in your personal practice, our rituals will not mirror them exactly. This doesn't mean that you can't practice your personal tradition. It simply means that while in group, you'll be practicing our tradition. You'll be expected to learn how we do things in our Twilight Tradition... from casting and sealing the circle, to calling quarters, to evoking the gods... you will be learning our traditions. This also doesn't mean that your input means nothing... our tradition is alive, and is ever-changing and building. As an initiate, we all contribute to the creation of rituals, classes, etc.

Part of being a witch is facing challenges. It might be difficult or even uncomfortable for you at times to learn some of the things that we are teaching, or even to perform part of the ritual. Just like it may have been difficult to get up in front of everyone and do the consecration, it might be difficult to practice casting and sealing circles in front of your coven sisters.

It's going to be tough to switch from doing things YOUR way to doing things OUR way. But its important that you face those challenges. Even the small changes can take getting used to. For example, in my personal practice, my altar faces east. In the coven tradition, the altar faces north. Just that small change took a while for me to get used to. Here's another example: say that you might have problems visualizing details, and instead see vague colors or shapes. Well, if we were doing a working ritual that depended on a detailed group visualization, it would be important that we all visualized the same thing. Therefore, it would be very important for you to be able to visualize details.

Another challenge that you may face (especially in Wicca 101) is becoming bored. As a student/dedicant of the group, you may already know a lot of what's being taught. You are only as bored as you let yourself be. And if you let yourself become bored, then you may miss something that you don't know. I'm constantly learning new ways to look at things as I teach the Wicca 101 class. Its not boring, it's all important.

The homework given in W101 is a chance for you to challenge yourself. We don't assign homework so that you can spend a couple distracted minutes writing down the least amount of stuff you can to float by. You choose to be here, and we expect you to be challenged- if you already know a good deal of what we are teaching in Wicca 101, then its your responsibility to challenge yourself with the homework. For example, let's take the homework where you must research a specific tool, for example. If you already know everything there is to know about the cauldron, then choose a lesser known tool, like the boline. Or, research the lore and myths that involve the tool. We try to make the homework as open-ended as possible, to suit all knowledge levels. This is a chance for you to become more knowledgeable, a chance to be motivated to dig deeper into the basics of Wicca.

One of our main focuses is education, especially spiritual education. We believe that we are always students. Even while rehashing the basics, there is always an opportunity to learn. We should always be reading a book on the craft, even in our busy lives there is always time to read. Put it in the bathroom. Everyone spends some time in the bathroom... may as well read. :) If you are initiated into our coven, you will find that our degree system is a self-paced program, where you are expected to read, write, practice, learn and do challenging work in order to progress. We are all about constant learning.

Initiate Training

Initiate training is self-paced, in addition to classes taught by sister coveners. We have a 3 degree system, and it is self paced. It should take a year from 1st degree to 2nd degree (every sister is expected to get to 2nd degree), and then it can take anywhere from a year to several years to reach 3rd degree.