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  • Has anyone attended Sacred Mists?

    Okay, I was wondering if anyone has ever attending this online school.

    The College of The Sacred Mists

    If anyone out there has attending this school, tell me: was it any good? Is it worth the money? Is there a better school out there?

    I have just finished university, and I am now trying to enlighten my spiritual side which has been neglected for my whole school career. However, I am having trouble with this Wiccan Way of self education. I guess I have spent too many years in a structured learning environment. I need to be assigned homework, which will be graded, to know if I am on the right track, and not just making stuff up!

    I'm really good at research, I have a real knack for it, I've had to develop over the years for school. But I can't search if I don't know what I am looking for!! There is so much good information out there, and then a LOT of bad. I am not interested in being a fluff bunny. And even if in the end I am just full of useless information, I'd rather that than be full of empty information.

    I like this message board. A LOT the people here have really helped me, and I have found plenty of good links. However, this is too slow going for me, sorting through links.

    I need to start Wicca 101, my leanings are Pagan: Norse and Celtic.

    If anyone can help me get started, advice, links, reading lists, person experience stories, THEY WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!
    :hearthear :heyalove: :smoochypo

    There is so much info out there, and I can't seem to find it. I'm starting to feel a bit lost, and very frustrated.
    Last edited by Swifthollow_Poe; July 10th, 2004, 02:59 AM.
    *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,-:*


    ¤?"?¨¨¯¯¨¨?"?¤ Thanks Ashenputtle! ¤?"?¨¨¯¯¨¨?"?¤

  • #2
    "College of the Sacred Mist Online School of Wicca" is not a site I had seen before, so thank you for sharing it.

    This site set off several alarm bells:

    First thing on the site is the attractive "earn your HP/HPS Status!"

    *NO* information explaining the tradition. Just that you can become a priest/ess.

    Classes seem to cover the basics, but again, the list itself diesn't seem to present a coherent tradition. Of course, this can be hard to tell without the actual text.

    After reviewing the site, there are some things that bother me: enrollment fee of $25 and a monthly fee of $20.

    How is this college run? Is it incorporated, with tax exempt status? Is this organization open so you can see the books and know that indeed the funds do go to cover their expenses? (In other words, is this college a scam to gain money from unsuspecting students?)

    Is there a ruling council that makes decisions on initiations/elevations or are these left up to the sole decision of the instructor? What about a process for filing grievances?

    *Who* are the instructors? Lady Raven Moonshadow is the only instructor mentioned. What are *her* credentials to teach? What is her background? Has she been studying under someone else or is she self taught? (No problem either way -- it's just good to know.) If she has been properly initiated, which tradition did she study under and can you verify her credentials? If she refuses to provide verification of initiation (if she is lineaged, only) then be very wary.

    The FAQ has three questions about payment, but nothing about the college's faculty.

    Class topics: First degree course is a little light. Here are two sites that list different training requirements for first degree: Intertradition Guidelines (http://northwind.faithweb.com/guides.htm). Also (as a means for comparision) here are the First Degree classes from my tradition: http://northwind.faithweb.com/firstd...classlist.html (please note that this list does not include additional assignment, homework, and required chats/rituals).

    Does the college offer ordination as part of the priest/ess path of study? If so, how are they offering that ordination? Through Universal Life Chruch? Or do they have Church status?

    My gut reaction would be to stay away from this site. It is obvious that a lot of time and planning has gone into the site. If you are really curious, see if you can audit an online chat or two to get a flavor for class size and the teaching style.

    More responses after a bit...

    Ceffyl
    Last edited by Ceffyl; July 10th, 2004, 07:39 AM.
    "Here cold water babbles through apple branches, and roses keep the whole place in shadow, and from the quivering leaves a trance of slumber falls; here a meadow, where horses pasture, blooms with flowers of spring, and the breezes gently blow." ~Sappho
    "The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." ~ Arabian proverb
    ~EPONA.net~ A Scholarly Resource: Archaeology and History of Epona
    Peoples Against Bad History

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    • #3
      Getting started with Wicca 101...

      Have you considered Mystic Wick's Teaching Circle? There are plenty of excellent teachers, a great community, plus it is *free*!

      It might be a good place to start your studies, learn more, and maybe after that consider looking for a formal teacher.

      Blessings,

      Ceffyl
      "Here cold water babbles through apple branches, and roses keep the whole place in shadow, and from the quivering leaves a trance of slumber falls; here a meadow, where horses pasture, blooms with flowers of spring, and the breezes gently blow." ~Sappho
      "The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." ~ Arabian proverb
      ~EPONA.net~ A Scholarly Resource: Archaeology and History of Epona
      Peoples Against Bad History

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ceffyl
        Classes seem to cover the basics, but again, the list itself doesn’t seem to present a coherent tradition. Of course, this can be hard to tell without the actual text.
        Class topics: First degree course is a little light. Here are two sites that list different training requirements for first degree: Intertradition Guidelines (http://northwind.faithweb.com/guides.htm). Also (as a means for comparison) here are the First Degree classes from my tradition: http://northwind.faithweb.com/firstd...classlist.html (please note that this list does not include additional assignment, homework, and required chats/rituals).
        My gut reaction would be to stay away from this site. It is obvious that a lot of time and planning has gone into the site. If you are really curious, see if you can audit an online chat or two to get a flavour for class size and the teaching style.
        Its hard to tell, I agree. But I'm so new at this, I have no idea WHAT to look for, what is a full curriculum? What is one lacking. So any help in knowing what is expected of me to learn is very helpful. Thanks for you opinion, it really means a lot to me

        Originally posted by Ceffyl
        After reviewing the site, there are some things that bother me: enrolment fee of $25 and a monthly fee of $20.

        How is this college run? Is it incorporated, with tax exempt status? Is this organization open so you can see the books and know that indeed the funds do go to cover their expenses? (In other words, is this college a scam to gain money from unsuspecting students?)
        Money wouldn't be a problem. If paying for my studies meant I would be able to get a more intense study, it wouldn't matter. At the same time, I don't want to get scammed. I could use that money on books instead.

        Originally posted by Ceffyl
        Is there a ruling council that makes decisions on initiations/elevations or are these left up to the sole decision of the instructor? What about a process for filing grievances?

        *Who* are the instructors? Lady Raven Moonshadow is the only instructor mentioned. What are *her* credentials to teach? What is her background? Has she been studying under someone else or is she self taught? (No problem either way -- it's just good to know.) If she has been properly initiated, which tradition did she study under and can you verify her credentials? If she refuses to provide verification of initiation (if she is lineage, only) then be very wary.
        Good question, I hadn't noticed that before. I think I will write her, just because I am curious to know what her explanation will be.

        Originally posted by Ceffyl
        First thing on the site is the attractive "earn your HP/HPS Status!"

        *NO* information explaining the tradition. Just that you can become a priest/ess.
        ….

        Does the college offer ordination as part of the priest/ess path of study? If so, how are they offering that ordination? Through Universal Life Church? Or do they have Church status?
        When I first saw the site, and read you could become a priest or priestess, I couldn't help but giggle. I had a university teacher of religious studies who claimed to be a Wiccan (or pagan, I can't remember) High Priestess. I found her to be ridiculous, both in her general knowledge of the class she taught (I have no idea how she got the job) and the way she presented herself. I just can't take that term seriously. Besides I think it degrades the title if it could just be handed out for a years study at an online course. It sort of spits in the face of all those who have studied long at their covens, or even on a different level with the same word, to Christians, who's priests have gone through years of dedicated study.
        I'm not interested in being a 'priestess' I would just like to stay away from that word altogether. I understand and like the concept of being able to communicate with your gods, standing before them level. But anyone and their familiar can call themselves a Priestess, so what does the word mean anymore? It just seems too much to be a word used to elevate oneself. If you are able to communicate to your god(s) at the same level, why would you need a fancy-smancy title?
        Sorry, rant over : )

        Originally posted by Ceffyl
        Getting started with Wicca 101...

        Have you considered Mystic Wick's Teaching Circle? There are plenty of excellent teachers, a great community, plus it is *free*!

        It might be a good place to start your studies, learn more, and maybe after that consider looking for a formal teacher.
        I have considered it. Browsed through. There is so much combined information there, I’ve very impressed. The problem I have this it is that it is on a message board. Things are constantly moving about, and I am finding it extremely difficult to navigate through the threads and boards for an education.


        Thank you so much, you have been very helpful!
        *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,.-:* ` *:-.,_,-:*


        ¤?"?¨¨¯¯¨¨?"?¤ Thanks Ashenputtle! ¤?"?¨¨¯¯¨¨?"?¤

        Comment


        • #5
          I am a former student at Sacred Mists and all I can say is "Run Forest Run!"

          1. There are no "classes" per se. There are lessons that you read and are expected to do additional research through books (which can be conveniently purchased at the Sacred Mists Shoppe for a premium!) Lady Raven does not even grade the homework herself, nor does she present anything at the bi-monthly study circles. Instead, other students and members of the Student Council grade "homework".

          I completed the First Degree with them, and if you can stand the typos and grammatical errors, more power to you.

          2. It's expensive - when you consider that 95% of the school information is archived on MSN Groups - a free service. Save your money and buy a book - at least its been properly edited.

          3. The place is chock full of fluffy bunnies with emotional problems. Do you really want to be initiated into a coven with people who really have no business practicing magick?

          4. If you read the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame in the context of this "school", every red flag and warning siren goes off.

          5. If you do a search for a post to a blog entitled "Unscrupulous Pagans" by a guy named Juvenall, you will note that several people have some legitimate questions that go unanswered by Lady Raven and others who claim allegiance to the school. Furthermore, there is some proof that the schools' lesson plan is free information - copied, repackaged and sold to the naive for a great deal of money.

          Please, do yourself a favor, don't end up like me - out hundreds of dollars - and stay away.

          Zerynthia

          Comment


          • #6
            you said you were leaning pagan and celtic, are you sure it's even wicca your after, they do have priestess titles when earned.

            I would start more with whats free and available untill you know what you want.

            There is the Wiccan Church in Toronto, if wiccan is what your looking for. Also if a coven is near you I would think studies with a person might prove benficial, so you can not only read but see what they do aand what their dynamics are like ?

            There is a Wiccan priestess who is quite reputable who Teaches through the carelton University in Ottawa. She does not teach wicca but religious studies. I hope you don't mean her, because she's very educated, smart and experienced. Crazy humour but very very smart.
            Last edited by Tullip Troll; September 17th, 2007, 04:33 PM.

            sigpic"
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            I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.
            Gerry Spence

            Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Lewis Carroll

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            • #7
              I realize this is an old thread but I wanted to put in my two cents worth. I was a Sacred Mysts student for the better part of a year, four years ago. I was there primarily in support of a friend. I agree with the assessment that the "lessons" were nothing that you couldn't find anywhere on the web or in existing publications. I was also given the understanding that some of it was plagerized. The lessons consisted of several pages of reading, again, stuff you could have gotten out of any good book on the subjest, then a handful of questions about what you read. Really pretty useless.

              But here's the real bee in my bonnet: At the time I was a student there I was told there were roughly one thousand students of the school. The tuition for Sacred Mysts at the time was $20.00 per month; do the math! For twenty thousand dollars a month you would think they could have come up with a really first rate program. As soon as I did the math I dropped that program in utter disgust.

              - Owen

              Comment


              • #8
                Well hey there Owen.

                Welcome to Mw.

                Dont be once bitten twice shy. The teachings here are free and also some great discussions to be had.

                hope you stay around and see for yourself.
                Kickass dragon ---->


                I <3 obs

                Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear. - Baron Humbert von Gikkingen

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the welcome. I'll stay around and check it out!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sacred Mists

                    I attended Sacred Mists when it was under the old name...I was a student there for about three months, and it did not feel right to me...so left. Since then I have seen on the web, that it does not have a good reputation at all...and there were rumors that most of what was being taught was plagerised from other sources.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was a member of Sacred Mists for a little over two years, where I earned first and second degrees (I am also Pathworker and co-founder of the Book of Spirals coven, which is where most of my real magical education comes from). I conducted many rituals and classes at the Mists; I was also a board facilitator and psychic reader with that program. I loved the people and many aspects of that community.

                      However, roughly a year-and-a-half after I started there, I met with Lorien Carrillo (who calls herself Lady Raven Moonshadow - the director and "arch-priestess" of the school). From the first time I called her, I could see she and I weren't going to get along.

                      It was at that point that Ms. Carrillo began to ridicule me for several things. She made fun of me for being poor (she makes beaucoup bucks and can't stand those who don't agree that capitalism is the best path for economic systems). She also told me that I had to hide my intelligence so other people wouldn't be intimidated and that I was never allowed to question the curriculum - I just had to learn it by rote. She said that questioning my education was "learning by the rub" and that she wouldn't stand for it. She also ridiculed me for being self-initiated in my home coven - apparently she doesn't believe only the gods can initiate someone, but that another human has to officiate). Then she wanted to hire me to teach professional classes at Sacred Mists (but didn't want to draw up a contract, so I'm not sure if I would ever have been paid). Then I started having doubts about her leadership abilities (as well as my own in that climate) and withdrew from the third degree entrance exam. That really set her off. As my punishment, she told me I wasn't allowed to teach there for pay any more (she was still more than willing to have my services for free - actually at cost to me since I was paying tuition almost the whole time I was there). Then we moved to a new home, and I couldn't afford the tuition for a brief period. From the moment I went on "scholarship", I started getting harassing letters and Ms. Carrillo started using my lack of funds to manipulate me - trying to get me to follow her orders and join the censorship network that runs throughout Sacred Mists. I got sick of being treated this way and left. It's unfortunate because I feel I could have really been a benefit to even more people at the Mists, but Ms. Carrillo didn't seem to care about that.

                      In short, I found the community to contain a number of wonderful people, but I found Ms. Carrillo to be both charismatic and manipulative - which I feel is a dangerous combination. This was affirmed shortly after I left when someone at the Mists volunteered on another website that she was the coven's secret administrator and that she was privy to all our confidential information (including addresses, paypal information, etc.). I highly recommend that you avoid this school, which is sad because there are so many nice people there. But it only takes one person's power trip to ruin a whole community, and Ms. Carrillo - in my opinion - is always ready to stamp down those who would question her methods.

                      More recently, I've noticed that Ms. Carrillo is trying to put out a statement about her credentials - something she refused to do for many years. I just have a few questions about this statement (it's the same, and you'll find it many places about the net). Ms. Carrillo admits she was ordained by someone not fit to meet the responsibilities of leadership, so I don't even have to ask about that. But I would like to know: Why did Ms. Carrillo only post this statement in forums where it can't be questioned? Why does Ms. Carrillo say she's an arch-priestess who has started five separate covens when there seens to be no trace of these other covens? Was this just window-dressing for her website? And why is Ms. Carrillo so close-mouthed about her education (finally giving a pseudonym for the person who allegedly ordained her, but no other method of contact)? Could it be that the person who allegedly ordained her is now embarrassed of Ms. Carrillo and won't acknowledge her? This statement of Ms. Carrillo's refuses to answer many more questions than it answers.

                      I'd also like to finally know the truth about Ms. Carrillo's funds. She told me she only makes $34,000 a year from the Mists and that her husband "only" makes $100,000 a year. But she also told me that she pays at least $120,000 a year for Sacred Mists advertising. Ms. Carrillo was very adamant to me that she would never lead a life without luxuries - and I know she lives in a very posh area of California - so where is her other money coming from? Is she still working for Microsoft Business Solutions, Boeing, AltaVista, Wells Fargo banks or one of the other multi-million dollar corporations listed on her resume? Unless Lorien Carrillo decides to start being honest with people, we may never know.

                      Sorry to be on the soap box so long, but I really want people to know what type of "leadership" is going on a Sacred Mists. To anyone who bothers to read this statement, I thank you for your time.

                      Blessings,
                      Scott H.
                      Blessings,
                      P. Rex

                      My website: http://www.bookofspirals.com
                      My blog: http://www.bookofspirals.com/blog
                      An ezine I co-founded: http://spiraltree.weebly.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Woops - I wanted to mention one last thing because I see that an earlier responder wanted to know about the shop at Sacred Mists. I, and numerous others that I know, tried to buy things there. The customer service was non-existent (I never once got an answer, even as a member of the school). The selection looks good, but many, many items are constantly out of stock. Also, I looked up some of the items in a Kheops wholesale catalog at one point. I just did a random sample of eight items, but the minimum mark-up was 300% (and that's the price before shipping). I recommend you shop elsewhere.

                        -S.H.
                        Blessings,
                        P. Rex

                        My website: http://www.bookofspirals.com
                        My blog: http://www.bookofspirals.com/blog
                        An ezine I co-founded: http://spiraltree.weebly.com

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                        • #13
                          Here is a website where some of the members of Sacred Mists leadership incriminate themselves:

                          http://www.juvenall.com/?s=sacred+mists

                          I'm glad to see the truth is being spoken about the Sacred Mists "coven".
                          Blessings,
                          P. Rex

                          My website: http://www.bookofspirals.com
                          My blog: http://www.bookofspirals.com/blog
                          An ezine I co-founded: http://spiraltree.weebly.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have seen this blog and I know Sacred Mists, as well as other teaching sites available. I will say again that you get what you put into such places. I know people who have blossomed there (and I know people who have blossomed at other sites as well), and I know people who have decided to move on.

                            If there are things going on there that are illegal, I don't think that Sacred Mists would still be there. And I certainly can vouch for the amount of time that I put into the furtherance of my own path and the few posts that I put out there on the internet. I can't imagine what the pressures must be on someone who is the "go to" person for a website focusing on Wicca, which is one of the most rapidly growing spiritual paths in the world. If I was running that website, or any teaching website for that matter, I would need to quit my job in order to keep it up and running. I would need to charge for my services as well, at least to cover the funds that I would have to lay out.

                            I admit, I am playing devil's advocate here. And Scott, you obviously were not happy with your experiences there;I read your posts on the blog. I am sure that there are those who are not happy with their experiences here at MysticWicks, although this seems to me to be a great place where each of us can feel free to post our thoughts. I have not been here long enough to know for sure, but I would guess that MW is still here because of that, because even though some have unhappy experiences, overall something positive is being offered. Maybe Sacred Mists is the same?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Sparkles,

                              Actually, I appreciate your input. I'm not asking for wholesale condemnation of Sacred Mists; I'm asking for people to realistically investigate it and see what they think. That means one of the best things I can do is bring the debate to public posts. There are some great people at Sacred Mists. And one of the reasons I am so adamant about telling the truth about this "coven" is that I don't want those people to be hurt.

                              You assume that Sacred Mists wouldn't still be around if it were doing something illegal. Why is that? Many people in positions of power the world over abuse the laws and no one does anything. Just look at Hitler, George W. Bush, Rex Tillerson, Martha Stewart.... I could type all day. Do they care what the law says? Do law enforcers always catch the criminals, even when the crimes are blatant?

                              Yes, there are enormous pressures on Lorien Carrillo - your "go to" person for Sacred Mists. Perhaps that's why she told me just over a year ago that she couldn't go on with the college without further hospitalization for mental illness. So, you see, Ms. Carrillo is actually one of the people I'm concerned about when I post about Sacred Mists. Now, there's nothing wrong with this in and of itself; I have also had problems with mental illness in the past. That's why I made sure to ameliorate those problems before I began down a path that involved teaching others. But Ms. Carrillo seems to see money and social power as an "arch-priestess" as so important that she will even neglect herself and those closest to her. That can't be good for anyone involved with her program.

                              Yes, I'm sure some people aren't happy with their Mystic Wicks experience. However, there are some major differences between Mystic Wicks and Sacred Mists that affect the status of people who are disgruntled.

                              First, Sacred Mists' leadership try to keep you from knowing anything about the program until you are already hooked. Or they lie about the program as student council member Shauni did to me when I first was interested in the college. I asked her if I was allowed to question the program I would be working in, and she falsely assured me I would. Later, Lorien Carrillo told me that I wasn't allowed to question anything about "her" curriculum. Contrarily, Mystic Wicks' posts - and other kinds of information - are available to non-subscribers.

                              Second, Ms. Carrillo charges for Sacred Mists services while Mystic Wicks only asks for donations. Yes, Mystic Wicks does have an area where you can buy merchandise, too, but there is a difference. At Sacred Mists, the lessons and the community pressure you into using their Shoppe. I've never encountered such pressure at Mystic Wicks.

                              Third, Mystic Wicks presents a clear set of guidelines explaining what posts may be censored. Ironically, they are still less likely to censor posts than Sacred Mists; at the same time, Sacred Mists has a much stricter censorship policy, but it's not available to its students (unless there has been radical change since I was there).

                              Fourth, Sacred Mists has leaked my personal information - and the personal information of others - through various websites, IMs, phone conversations, etc. I believe Mystic Wicks has never done so. I'm the one who chose to call myself "Scott Hill" here at MW because I was so frustrated with pseudonyms at Sacred Mists. One of the ways Lorien Carrillo escaped scrutiny was to hide behind a false appellation. This would possibly be acceptable if these Sacred Mists names were actually magical names, but they are used for EVERYTHING - including the most mundane activities - at the Mists. They're just masks.

                              To me, these points present some of the biggest and most important differences between the two communities.

                              Again, I so appreciate your willingness to debate this topic. If Sacred Mists allowed debates like these, it would be a much better community.
                              Blessings,
                              P. Rex

                              My website: http://www.bookofspirals.com
                              My blog: http://www.bookofspirals.com/blog
                              An ezine I co-founded: http://spiraltree.weebly.com

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