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.
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.
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
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.
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:
and accept the Tradition's bylaws and the bylaws of the coven with which they are
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"
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.
Complete the lesson on modern Craft and neo-Pagan history - "Myth vs. Reality."
Complete the lesson on Craft customs and Circle etiquette
9. Complete the
lesson on basics of Wiccan/Pagan theology
the lesson on basics of Wiccan ritual
a. What we do.
b. How we do it.
Why we do it that way.
11. Complete the lessons in ethics (will involve multiple
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.
Complete the two column "What Do You Want / What Do You Bring" exercise
Demonstrate a basic understanding of the wheel of the year, and an awareness of the
earth's seasonal cycles and the associated natural rhythms
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,
b. Practical Paganism, Eilers
c. The Complete Idiot's Guide
to Wicca and Witchcraft, Zimmerman and Gleason
d. Full-Contact Wicca, Cuchulain
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.