Dedicant Program

Welcome to Tangled Moon Coven's basic course of instruction about Wicca. In this course, you will have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to become an active participant in our coven's observances. You will be exposed to information about the history of Wicca, about how Wicca relates to the rest of the modern Pagan revival movement, and about various customs within the Wiccan community. You will learn about the basic elements of Wiccan theology and philosophy; and you will be taught certain specific skills and knowledge that are necessary in order for you to be able to participate fully in our religious observances. You will be required to engage in several episodes of introspection and serious self-examination. Finally, you will participate in a series of discussions, and you will work through a workbook, which address ethics and ethical behavior in a Wiccan and Pagan context. This will include discussion of how an individual creates an ethical framework for his or her life in a Wiccan or Pagan setting. Once you have completed the course, you will have an opportunity to participate in a ritual wherein you will formally dedicate yourself to a Wiccan path.

It is not a course of instruction to be taken lightly. Presumably, you are participating in this course because you want to become Wiccan, or at the very least, because you wish to learn enough about Wicca to make a truly informed decision about whether you wish to become a Wiccan. In doing so you need to be completely clear in your own mind that what you will be learning about is not part of a role-playing game, it is not some kind of historical re-enactment society, and it is not a grown-up version of make-believe. Wicca is our religion, and the people who will be acting as your teachers take it very seriously. As elders of this coven and of our parent Tradition, we urge you to do so as well.

In addition to serving as an introductory course that prepares new members to participate fully in Tangled Moon's observances, completion of this course is required before one may ask to study for initiation in the Oak, Ash and Thorn Tradition of Wicca. Within the Oak, Ash and Thorn Tradition, we consider our initiates to be clergy: they are all priests and priestesses of the Old Gods, and we expect all of our initiates to be both willing and able to work actively in that role. The dedicant course was created, in part, to serve as a screening tool for our training program for initiation. An individual who is unable or unwilling to commit the time and effort needed to complete the dedicant course simply will not be able to complete the training necessary for initiation in this Tradition. Completion of the dedicant program, does not, of course, guarantee that any given individual is going to be able to successfully complete the training required for initiation. But completion of the dedicant program would suggest that a given individual at the very least has the potential to become an Oak, Ash and Thorn initiate.

Based on demand, the coven will look at beginning a new dedicant class once each quarter. Each class will be taught by a pair of initiates, working as a team. Classes will normally be limited to eight students. The coven will maintain a waiting list for seats in upcoming classes as demand requires. A given individual's initial position on the list will be determined by when he or she asked to be seated in the course.

Dedicant program classes will normally meet once every two weeks, generally on a weekday evening. Classes usually last for no more than two to three hours. The most convenient day for the class to meet will be worked out between the instructors and students as part of the process of forming a new class. On this schedule, completion of the program will normally take five to six months.
As a student in this program, there are certain rules to which you will be expected to adhere:

1. Once a class schedule has been established, students will be expected to show up for classes as scheduled. Make-up classes will be held at the sole discretion of the teachers, and will be the exception rather than the rule. Excessive absenteeism on the part of a student is grounds for being dropped from that class. Students whose absences were clearly due to a cause outside of the student's control may be returned to the top of the waiting list to start over with the next class. Students whose absences appear to be willful will be dropped from the class and their names will go to the bottom of the waiting list. In addition, at the discretion of the coven's Initiates' Council, persons dropped for willful absences may be required to wait for up to six months before their name can again be added to the waiting list.

2. Students are expected to actually do the work, perform the exercises, and carry out the assignments given to them by their teachers. A demonstrated unwillingness to do the work necessary to complete the program is grounds for being dropped from the class. Persons dropped for this reason will go to the bottom of the waiting list, and the Initiates' Council may, if it deems it necessary, impose a six-month waiting period in this situation as well.

3. Students are expected to accept and follow the instructions and guidance of their teachers, within the limitations and strictures imposed by the Bylaws and this syllabus.

4. As participation in and observation of ritual work is considered to be an important part of their training, students are expected to attend the Coven's rituals on a regular basis.

5. Students will not seek to become students of any other teacher while they are studying with Tangled Moon without the consent of their current teachers. Conversely, Tangled Moon will not knowingly accept as a student any individual who is currently studying with a teacher from outside the Coven, without the expressed consent of that other teacher.

6. As a courtesy, students should inform their teachers before attending ritual with another coven or group.

7. Students who have a disagreement or grievance with a teacher are expected to follow the grievance resolution procedure outlined in the Coven's Bylaws.

8. A student whose life situation has changed significantly since beginning the dedicant program, and who feels that his or her situation now makes it impossible to continue in the program under the rules outlined above may choose to voluntarily withdraw from the class. Such a withdrawal will be without prejudice: a student who withdraws from a class for this reason will be permitted to start over in the program once his or her life situation is stable enough to permit the student to have a reasonable expectation of being able to complete the program.

As a general policy, Tangled Moon Coven does not charge fees for providing instruction about Wicca. The only monetary cost to students enrolled in the dedicant program will be the purchase of a copy of the book When, Why, If…, by Robin Wood, which will be the principal text for the portion of the course dealing with ethics. The coven is, however, able to obtain a significant discount on the cover price by purchasing the book in quantity. The coven will engage to resell the book to students at the coven's actual delivered cost, the book thereafter being the student's book to keep. While we would prefer that students each have their own copy of this book, students who live in the same household and who have limited finances may elect to share a single copy.

If you have any questions about the dedicant program which have not been answered by this syllabus, please feel free to ask an initiate, or one of us.

Brock, High Priest Lark, High Priestess

Wicca 101 / Dedicant Course Requirements

In order to complete the program, students will be required to:

1. Read and accept the Tradition's bylaws and the bylaws of the coven with which they are working.

2. Acquire a blank book to be used as a Book of Shadows, or otherwise obtain or create a tool for that purpose.

3. Complete the lesson on the relationships of and differences between the terms "Wicca", "witchcraft", "Pagan" and "Paganism."

4. Complete the lesson on basics of visualization and guided meditation

5. Complete the lesson on and demonstrate the ability to center, ground, and shield.

6. Complete the lesson on basic energy work, including "The Fountain" meditation or some similar exercise.

7. Complete the lesson on modern Craft and neo-Pagan history - "Myth vs. Reality."

8. Complete the lesson on Craft customs and Circle etiquette

9. Complete the lesson on basics of Wiccan/Pagan theology

a. Duotheism
b. Polytheism
c. Pantheism
d. Panentheism
e. Henotheism
f. Immanence

10. Complete the lesson on basics of Wiccan ritual

a. What we do.
b. How we do it.
c. Why we do it that way.

11. Complete the lessons in ethics (will involve multiple sessions)

a. Wiccan ethics: students will read and work through the exercises in Robin Wood's When, Why, If…

b. Non-Wiccan neo-Pagan ethical systems: Asatru's Nine Noble Virtues, the concept of ma'at in Kemetic belief, and others.

12. Complete the two column "What Do You Want / What Do You Bring" exercise
13. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the wheel of the year, and an awareness of the earth's seasonal cycles and the associated natural rhythms
14. Experience demonstrations of several forms of divination.

15. Attend at least one High Holiday celebration and one Full Moon
16. Read and demonstrate a basic understanding of one of the following books:

a. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, Cunningham

b. Practical Paganism, Eilers
c. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, Zimmerman and Gleason
d. Full-Contact Wicca, Cuchulain

(The above requirements are not shown in any particular order. The actual order in which the various subjects will be presented is at the discretion of the instructors of any given class.)

Students who successfully complete the Wicca 101 / dedicant program will be afforded an opportunity to participate in a ritual of self-dedication to the Wiccan path.