One of the most exciting things about writing about the Wiccan religion is that there is so much potential material to cover. Between the complementary topics of Wicca, Witchcraft,ecospirituality and responsible living, there is a lot of material for the new Wiccan to uncover.But it also means that designing a six-month course that covers all the basics adequately can bequite a challenge. This textbook does not in any way attempt to teach the necessary aspects of Wicca in depth, nor is this textbook an adequate substitute for in depth study or in personteaching. The Blessedways course is designed to teach what we feel are the fundamental lessonsand values required to enter into this religion. This textbook was written specifically for studentsand teachers as a
to the material that you will be covering in class. Rather than present here a complete discourse on each subject and merely rehash the same material in class,we have provided you with reading that introduces you to the material that will be covered muchmore thoroughly in class. The chapter for each class in the 101 section is generally related to thelecture and discussion you will have in class, but might explore a different tangent or provide youwith food for thought. (For example: The reading for week 5, the chapter entitled “ReclaimingWorship”, explores the nature of Wiccan worship, while in class you will be exploring the manyways in which to increase your awareness of Deity and therefore build a stronger relationshipwith it). This way, you will be acquainted with the material before entering class and can come prepared with questions, comments, and challenges without having to listen to the teacher merelyregurgitate the material. This also allows the teacher to spend the two hour long class discussingthe material more in depth, leaving the very basics for you to study on your own time. Thechapters for the 102 class are divided by element. Each chapter contains reading that relatesdirectly to what you will be doing and discussing in class, with additional reading intended toflesh our your understanding of the element and how it relates to Wiccan theology.Most of the chapters presented here are written from the author’s unique point of view. The studyof religion is deeply and intensely personal, and the relationships that you have and will havewith your gods are your own—no one can tell you what those will be like, and no two people willtherefore share identical philosophies. While the chapters in this textbook certainly representvalid points of view with the Wiccan tradition, they are not the only ways to approach thematerial. You are encouraged to read each chapter with an open mind and open heart, and decidefor yourself what applies to your life and practice and what doesn’t. Similarly, you areencouraged to make note of anything in the reading that particularly moves you or that you particularly disagree with, and bring those notes to class to discuss with your classmates andteacher. The material presented in the textbook should be considered a starting point for in depthexploration and discussion, but should always be weighed against your own thoughts, ideas, andexperiences. (And that goes for
religious material that you read. Wicca is not a “leave your brain at the door” religion.)The first section of this textbook contains standard pieces of Wiccan liturgy, poetry, and prose.These are some of the seminal works of Wicca, and in reading and taking these writings to heart,you will gain a deeper and more robust appreciation for what it is to be Wiccan. These readingsare not required for the course, though your teacher may recommend that you read them assupplemental material for a specific class. As always, what you get out of this class will bedetermined by how much you put into it. The liturgy section is included to help you form your own ideas about our theology, philosophy, and values.