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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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