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Topics of Study for a Wiccan

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  • Topics of Study for a Wiccan

    When I started studying Wicca, there was an enormous amount I was expected to learn. Student Wiccans were expected to study extensively on their own. In addition to developing cursory knowledge in many areas, we were expected to specialize in one or a few. As a teacher, I consider specialization something that should come a little later, just as you don’t choose a college major your freshman year.

    I thought I would try to compile a list of topic areas in which we were expected to develop some knowledge. See what you can add.

    Oh, btw, this is above and beyond knowledge of Wicca, basic ritual techniques, circle casting, elemental knowledge, the holidays, the rules, and the history of Wicca itself, history of medieval witchcraft and the Inquisition, etc.

    Magical Systems
    Any student would be expected to at least recognize everything on this list and have some intelligence about it, and to have read at least 2 or 3 books on topics in this area. Every Wiccan was expected to have read Dion Fortune.
    Goetia
    Enochian; knowledge of John Dee
    Ceremonial Lodge Magic, including Golden Dawn, Thelema
    Theosophy and related offshoots
    Knowledge of people such as Eliphas Levy, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley, Madame Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Franz Hartmann
    Dion Fortune’s work

    Divination
    Every Wiccan would be expected to have working, usable, useful knowledge of at least one divinatory system. Everyone would need at least passing familiarity with astrology and Tarot, even if they’re not the divinatory system actually used.
    Tarot
    Astrology
    Runes
    Scrying
    Tea Leaf Reading
    Palmistry
    Handwriting Analysis

    Myth and comparative religion
    Knowledge of mythology including Greek, Norse, Irish, Welsh, Sumerian/Babylonian, Polynesian, and more.
    Knowledge of comparative mythology such as Joseph Campbell’s work.
    Knowledge of Pagan systems such as Native American, Hindu, Yoruban Diaspora, Druid, etc.
    Knowledge of the history of monotheism and its relationship to Paganism, including, for example, Mary worship
    Knowledge of Jungian material on myth and its relation to the psyche; as found in the works of Carl Jung, Robert Johnson, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Christine Downing, etc.
    Knowledge of Goddess/Matriarchy theory. Today I would add knowledge of authors like Cynthia Eller who argue cogently against matriarchy theory.

    Occult skills and Handcraft skills
    Almost everyone developed some real expertise in at least one area, and knowledge of one or two more.
    Herbalism
    Healing, laying on of hands, energy work
    Stones; magical gemology
    Psychic arts
    Aromatherapy
    Incense making
    Tool making (in my original group, we had a knife maker, a fletcher, homemade incense, a homemade altar, etc.)
    More (I know I’m leaving a lot out here)

    Meditative and Mind skills
    Meditation, trance, visualization: These were required of everyone; anyone who couldn’t visualize couldn't make it as a Wiccan.
    Chakra work
    Silva Mind Control
    NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) added per Rain Gnosis

    That’s a start. I’ve a sneaking suspicion I’m leaving stuff out. Remember this list when us “old-timers” complain that young Wiccans lack knowledge!! And use it to guide your own studies, if you are so inclined.
    Last edited by DebLipp; May 20th, 2004, 05:14 PM.
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  • #2
    Deblipp,
    Absolutely awesome post!

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    • #3
      Wow.

      Deb, will you be my friend?
      Ben Trismegistus
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      • #4
        Yeah, me too.

        Thanks for that -- I am printing it out right now

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ben Trismegistus
          Wow.

          Deb, will you be my friend?
          You're killing me, here.

          You know, this started because I was feeling kind of bad about myself, like I just don't know enough. Writing books, you get challenged on the most minute details of research. So I started wondering what it was I should know and came up with this list.

          Lately, I'm re-reading Triumph of the Moon (too dense to take in all at once) and I am loving his chapter on "Finding a High Magic" which reviews the history of modern magic (I'm up to the Golden Dawn). I should re-read the chapter and take notes, it's wonderful.
          Please visit my blog!

          Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

          If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
          www.deborahlipp.com

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          • #6
            Briar Rose, your dancing teeth man scares the sh!t outa me.
            Please visit my blog!

            Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

            If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
            www.deborahlipp.com

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            • #7
              This is an excellent list even if you aren't Wiccan...I'm not, and I can't wait to delve into the topics. Thanks for such a terrific resource, Deb!
              :weirdsmil

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              • #8
                I'm not familiar with Silva Mind Control, but one newer topic I was thinking that is somewhat similar and might be added is Neurolinguistic Programming.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DebLipp
                  You know, this started because I was feeling kind of bad about myself, like I just don't know enough. Writing books, you get challenged on the most minute details of research. So I started wondering what it was I should know and came up with this list.
                  *grin* Well, if you just don't know enough, then the rest of us are a bunch of f***ing morons, pardon my french.

                  FYI, the "dancing teeth" is a character from a Japanese children's show called Domo Kun.
                  Ben Trismegistus
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                  R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me. Click here.


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                  • #10
                    Thank you for this list Deb!
                    *goes off to Google.com, all excited at the prospect of new reseach topics and brain food*
                    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rain Gnosis
                      I'm not familiar with Silva Mind Control, but one newer topic I was thinking that is somewhat similar and might be added is Neurolinguistic Programming.
                      Thanks. I actually meant to put that on.

                      Silva Mind Control was a "self-actualization" system that was popular in the 1970s along with a bunch of those other trendy therapeutic self-help things. It was extremely magical and oriented towards empowering the mind.
                      Please visit my blog!

                      Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

                      If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
                      www.deborahlipp.com

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                      • #12
                        *nods* I've found a couple sites about it. Anything in particular you'd recommend on the subject?
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rain Gnosis
                          *nods* I've found a couple sites about it. Anything in particular you'd recommend on the subject?
                          I honestly don't recall. We're talking musty old paperbacks that my dad had in the 70s. I worked in a group with someone who'd taken their courses and been "initiated" or whatever they term it, and he taught us some really interesting stuff.

                          If I were you, I'd look for older publication dates, so you're closer to source material.
                          Please visit my blog!

                          Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

                          If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
                          www.deborahlipp.com

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                          • #14
                            I thought of more stuff...

                            Spellwork
                            Grounding, centering
                            Shielding
                            Kabbalah
                            Yoga
                            Gnosticism

                            Crafts & Skills:
                            Sewing, embroidery, applique (robe making, altar cloths)
                            Weaving
                            Knotwork crafts
                            Spinning
                            Smithcraft
                            Bardry (song, dance, poetry, storytelling)
                            Beading

                            A note about handcrafts: What does sewing have to do with Wicca? Several things. Back in the day, you couldn't count on buying robes, tools, and supplies retail—the market wasn't there, the stores weren't there, the WEB WASN'T THERE. You made things yourself. In addition, handcrafts have long been considered sacred to various gods, especially smithcraft, weaving, and of course bardry. In addition, repetetive handcrafts such as spinning and weaving are incredibly useful for creating trance, and knotwork is famously a part of spellworking.
                            Last edited by DebLipp; May 20th, 2004, 05:51 PM.
                            Please visit my blog!

                            Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

                            If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
                            www.deborahlipp.com

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Deb!!!
                              One of the problems I have had as a Solitary,is that after you go through the 101 type stuff,you get a bit stuck.
                              I've been on my Path for 5 years now,and I never stop learning!
                              This list is a good one to help folks continue their magical educations.
                              Much appreciated
                              Peace and Love
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