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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

               by Virginia Stewart, M. Ed., TP.

     Our tradition is a moderate branch of Dianic Wicca, with
an emphasis on equality, ecology and wo/men's mysteries. The
tradition is open to women and men, over the age of 18, who
have previously identified Wicca as their path.  Someone
under legal age must be accompanied by a parent and will not
be initiated until they are of legal age.
     (Yes, there is a catch: few people under 21 will have
studied other religions enough to have narrowed it down this
much; therefore, a person without this study must spend at
least a year pursuing comparative religions before they will
be accepted for training.)
     The subject matter that each student must master prior
to initiation is wide-ranging and intended to strengthen
knowledge and interest in a number of areas, as well as
increase the student's desire to "get involved" in the
ecological/political issues which are important to them as
individuals.  This is not an exclusive tradition; one can be
an initiate of other traditions and still participate.  We
have closed rituals only when the participating members
desire it.  Our initiation is open to initiates of other
traditions (who would be asked to assist, no one gets to
stand around.)
     Sybillynes do not have degrees, unlike Gardnerians; we
have three stages.  The Novice (or WIT, coined by one student
-- it means "Witch in Training") is one who is actively
studying, but has not yet been initiated.  A Sister or
Brother has been initiated and holds the title of Priestess
or Priest (there is no High Priestess or High Priest.)  The
Chronicler is the one in the Coven or Circle who assumes the
responsibility for making phone calls and keeping the Book of
Shadows, but the position carries no authority.
     All decisions are reached by consensus, and the rituals
are written and performed by various members of the group on
a voluntary basis (it works, it really does).  After a long
period of study, in which one might specialize in a

particular area, one is Ordained as a Priestess or Priest in
that area; for example, one might be a Teaching Priest/ess,
or a Healing Priest/ess.
     To become a Novice, one must ask to be taught, then show
a sincere interest in the Craft and a willingness to study
and learn about the various areas presented.  One must also
exhibit a willingness to do independent study in areas of
personal interest.
     The Course of study is presented in two parts.  The
first is lecture/discussion/reading -- after which the novice
must demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following
I.   Feminism and politics of Dianic craft
     A.   Gaia and green magic
     B.   balance of Male/female energies
     C.   power over vs. power from within
II.  Feminist herstory/facts and theory
     A.   Origins of the Goddess
          1.   prehistoric evidence
          2.   early myth (China, Sumer, Ur, India,
               Mesopotania, Egypt, Crete)
          3.   The patriarchal shift --
               a.   Theories on how it happened
               b.   How to read around it
                    i.   Greek Myth
                    ii.  Mesopotamia/Sumer
                    iii. Egypt
               c.   Modern Approaches -- overcoming
                    patriarchal repression
               d.   The God in Dianic Wicca
                    i.   prehistory evidence/belief
                    ii.  Modern approaches
III. Feminist interpretations on the origins of people
     A.   creation Myths -- world samples
     B.   "star" myth
     C.   birth/genetic engineering myth
     D.   the principles of myth writing
IV.  Goddess and Gods in Every Person
     A.   Manifesting the God/dess in Everyday Life -- theory
     B.   Archetypal Theory and how it relates to everyday
V.   Magic and Physics -- Why Everything is Related To
     A.   Holographic Universe
     B.   Gaia as a Living Being
VI.  The Goddess and Sexuality
     A.   Living in our bodies is healthy
     B.   how patriarchy/Christianity perverted sex
     C.   healing the wounds of sexual oppression
     D.   exercises
VII. Beginning Meditation
     A.   purpose
     B.   some eventual goals
     C.   visualization
     D.   exercises
IX.  Psychic gifts
     A.   How they have been suppressed
     B.   What they are

     C.   How to develop them
     D.   Exercises
X.   Festivals
     A.   The wheel of the Year
     B.   Women's festivals/men's festivals
     C.   Creating celebration for everyday life
XI.  Ritual tools and aspects
     A.   Tools
     B.   Symbols

XII. Creating Ritual
     A.   The Structure of a ritual
     B.   Creating Sacred space -- theory
     C.   Elements of ritual -- possibilities
XIII. Drawing a circle -- demonstration & practice
     A.   How to form a circle
     B.   What to do if something goes wrong
     C.   Group dynamics

     Our actual reading list is two double-columned pages,
and takes about a year to get through.  This is the short
list, with which one must show a working knowledge.

The Spiral Dance
Dreaming the Dark
Truth or Dare /  Starhawk
Holy Book of Women's Mysteries / Z. Budapest
The Holographic Universe / Michael Talbot
The New Inquisition / Robert Anton Wilson
Real Magic / Issac Bonewits
When God Was A Woman
Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood / Merlin Stone
Priestesses / Norma Goodrich
Women's Encyclopedia of Sacred Symbols and
Objects / Barbara Walker
Drawing Down the Moon / Margot Adler
Iron John / Robert Bly
The Hero with A Thousand Faces / Joseph Campbell

     The second part of training focuses on ritual and
practice, as no one will be initiated until s/he can write,
perform and understand ritual; work with energy in a SAFE
way, and guide meditations for the others.  The following are
the requirements for this level of training, in which one
must demonstrate proficiency.

1.   Circle Drawing
2.   Healing (different types)
3.   Energy Work

4.   Journey to Lower World (working with totems)
5.   Astral Realms (working with place of power and spirit
6.   9 Inner Planes
7.   Past Life Regression
8.   Elements, Tools, and Aspects

9.   Women's Mysteries/Men's Mysteries (5 Mysteries)
10.  Blessing of Tools
11.  Personal Belief Systems
12.  Spells and Spellwork
13.  Full Ritual (writing and performing without assistance)

Written assignments

1. A 4-10 page paper explaining and analyzing the Wiccan Rede
and how it applies to one's personal life (Ethics are vital)

2. A 5-10 page paper explaining one's personal belief system
(it does not conform to any particular standard, but an
initiate must have one; this is a spiritual tradition).

3. A 5-10 page paper explaining and analyzing the 5 Mysteries
of Wicca with particular attention paid to Wo/man's
mysteries, Chalice and the Descent.

4. A 2-5 page paper explaining the Three-Fold Goddess and Her
Relationship to the Three-Fold God.

5. A 5-10 page paper describing one's personal ethics

6. A Book of Shadows (to be reviewed by Teaching Priestess)
that includes major rituals, meditations, observations and
results of spell work and energy work.

     The final requirement for initiation includes the
demonstration of Ritual functions of Maiden/Mother/Crone or
Priest without written assistance; the demonstration of
ritual writing and participation in/ directing the energy in
a circle.  Finally, the demonstration through daily life of a
sincere commitment to the Way of the God/dess.
     The training period lasts anywhere from twenty-six weeks
to over a year and is dependent on the completion of
requirements, not number of months in training.
     A Novice (WIT) will be told that they may request
Initiation when they have completed all requirements to the
satisfaction of the Teaching Priestess.  They will be told
once, after that they must ask.  Sybillynes do NOT recruit
     After Initiation, a Priest/ess may form a Circle (a
loosely organized group that performs ritual together) or a
Coven (a close-knit group with bonds of perfect love and
trust).  It is suggested that Circles be formed and allowed
to evolve into Covens.
     All Initiates are encouraged to become politically/
ecologically active to whatever degree that they are able.
Each group exists as an independent organization -- the job
of a Teaching Priestess is to make herself unnecessary.
Those who desire control over a coven or absolute authority
within a coven are discouraged from attempting it within this
tradition -- the labrys, our symbol, is sharp for a reason...
     We are also interested in tradition sharing, and can be
found in the Hunter's Moon camp at CMA.  Inquires can be made
by leaving a message at Celebration! in Austin, or at the
Magic Cauldron in Houston, for Virginia Stewart or Howard

Gerber (sysop of THE WHEEL BBS in Houston).
     Merry Meet and Bright Blessings.

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