Modern Witchcraft 366:
The Art, Science and Psychology of Nature-Based Spirituality
I teach an intensive training program 48 weeks of the year, in Greenville, North Carolina. The year is divided into 8 sessions that each culminate in the celebration of the Sabbat for which the session is named:
Imbolc session: The Foundations of Witchcraft. Paradigm, foundations, thealogy, principles, ethics, afterlife, etc.
Ostara session: The Elements of Witchcraft is an introduction to energy work, the magickal mind, and an introduction to Spirit as Goddess and God in their many aspects/archetypes, and the four classical elements of air, fire, water and earth.
Beltane session: The Religion of Witchcraft, covers the praxis and outer temple techniques of this religious practice: altars, creating sacred space, raising and directing power, ritual design.
Litha session: The Science of Magick, covers the underlying metaphysical principles of the Universe, Hermetics, laws and mechanics of magick.
Lammas session: The Art of Magick, covers spell crafting techniques to create a “multi-sensorial prayer to create change in accordance with the Will.”
Mabon session: The Witch as Healer. Energy body, light, color, herbalism, etc.
Samhain session: The Witch as Diviner. Tarot, Runes, Pendulum, Scrying, Tasseomancy, Natal Astrology, etc.
Yule session: The Witch as Shaman, or Walker between the Worlds. Shielding, astral travel, Spirit Communication, animal and angelic guides, past-life regression, etc.
I am also available to travel on weekends so that I may offer anything from an hour long lecture, to intensive workshops, to weekend retreats in other communities. I’ve spoken at pagan festivals, Universities and Interfaith programs in all sorts of sacred and public places.
This is just a sampling of the beginner through advanced programming I can facilitate:
- The Philosophy and Occult foundations of Neo-paganism and Modern Witchcraft (Three forms are possible: Academic with Power Point presentation; Interfaith community discussions, and then specifically to the neo-pagan community.
- Paradigm Shift: The Modern Witchcraft journey from Battlefield to Bedchamber. This is basically a compare/contrast between the Abrahamic Paradigm and the Neopagan/panentheistic paradigm and what that “good news” would mean thealogically for the individual and their relationship to the Divine.
- Heron’s four Rules of Modern Witchcraft for Personal Sovereignty: A comedic approach to ethical considerations for a modern witch in the modern world.
- Sacred Texts of Witchcraft: The Wiccan Rede, The Charge of the Goddess? Where did they come from, what can they teach us, and why does it matter? We will look deeply at these and other sacred poetry that inspires modern witchcraft.
- Witches’ Pyramid of Power, Yin and Yang: Laying the foundation stones for balance and empowerment with Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit by digging down to the inherent Principles of Correspondence and Gender within all things.
- Ritual Crafting for Group Practice: Advanced techniques for facilitating shared, empowered, ecstatic experiences within the coven setting, or open community circles.
- You are HERE: Microcosm to Macrocosm. Introductory mapping of correspondences, from our human place within our patch of the Universe. As above, so below.
- The Great Work: Elements, Sun, Moon and Stars for Magickal Advancement This workshop offers an approach for spiritual and magickal work by integrating the tides of Elemental, Solar, Lunar and Astrological cycles, thus laying out a year-long map of energetic tides, and planning magickal workings within the Wheel of the Year to experience a deep spiritual exploration, with balance, for the advancement of your personal evolution.
- Thealogy of Perfection: Four Rules of Modern Witchcraft for Sovereignty A comedic, yet memorable, approach to the thealogy of “Perfect love and perfect trust,” and the explorations of what it means to be a sovereign Witch, co-existing beneficially in a world of Divine Love. These “Four Rules” form the cornerstones of my teaching, weaving together answers to questions like: What do we mean by Divine Love? What is “harm” and how can I do no harm, but take no sh!t? How can I evolve my power and ability, while regaining healthy balance, in alignment with my highest Divine Will? How can a group of sovereign witches work together as a coven without Witch-splosions? These guidelines offer a beneficial perspective to any magickal/spiritual practice, drawing inspiration from the sacred poetry of Wicca, Hermetic principles, and direct revelation from the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite/Venus.
What is Modern Witchcraft?
Modern Witchcraft, as I teach it through The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions, is a path of wisdom, reason, empowerment and responsibility that stands proudly on the historical and religious foundations of our ancestors. Yet, we look to the future and strive to create a healthy way of life in a modern world. We blend scientific knowledge with ancient mysticism to evolve beyond “religion” and superstition into a spirituality that brings healing, peace, and balance to the seeker. The path of the Witch is a dance to the rhythm of nature. This dance transforms and strengthens us, while giving us a framework for processing the lessons of this life with grace. To seek the path of the Witch is to seek enlightenment. All that we do here is for the highest good of all involved, harming none. We strive for a state of “perfect” or unconditional love and trust, at one with the Divine Spirit of the Universe.
How is the group organized?
The Sojo Tribe: All members in good standing, past and present, of The Sojourner Tradition of Modern Witchcraft.
Classes at the Sojourner are open to everyone during the Imbolc session, where new students are welcomed as “seekers.” This is a facilitated study and support group for anyone who would like to learn in a formal setting, do more, go deeply, and journey with friends of like mind. This is *eclectic Modern Witchcraft* for individuals forging their own path and offers an alternative to traditional Wiccan training within the coven setting. All adults with an open heart and mind are welcome to join us in class. Classes are primarily prepared and led by Heron Michelle and the ministers of The Sojo Circle Coven. Guest teachers are brought in whenever possible so that we can experience many different viewpoints.
The Sojo Circle. Previous graduates of the class, who’ve chosen to self-initiate as a Witch, formed a coven that we call The Sojo Circle. We work together to celebrate, to build the community, to lead and to mentor new students. The circle is a loving spiritual family of very unique people, walking diverse paths, and so we are evolving into a very eclectic coven of Witches. You will find a wide diversity folks, philosophies and interests in our circle.
What happens in class?
Create Sacred Space: Like a support group check-in, we go around the circle deosil, clockwise, to introduce ourselves and share something about our current life, or spiritual journey. We smudge ourselves with a sage bundle, and light our class candle to begin.
Class: We then have the formal class with discussion, going through the material, followed by a short break.
Spiritual application: We then apply what we’ve learned through either an exercise, guided meditation, ritual, spell-crafting, etc.
Closing Sacred Space: We then talk about the experience a little before the circle takes hands in prayer, healing and thanksgiving. We then open the circle by wishing each person in turn, Namaste, and drop hands one by one going widdershins, or counterclockwise around the circle. Namaste means, “The Spirit in me, honors the Spirit in you.”
How do I become a Witch?
Through a long process we call Initiation.
Modern Eclectic Witchcraft is a mystery tradition with many layers of depth and meaning, like the unlocking of a series of doors within your consciousness, as you grow in enlightenment and intimate connection with The Divine. Witchcraft is in the blood–the genetic memory–of humanity. Initiation is a process of awakening this slumbering awareness and connection within you and that process will be unique to you alone. Yet for all seekers within our group, the process requires hard work, scholarship, meditation, celebration and mentorship for at least a year and a day before you make the choice to take on the responsibilities of a Witch for this lifetime.
Milestones on the path to initiation:
Seeker: We are all seekers of wisdom here. Attend the Imbolc session as a Seeker and get to know us before you take the plunge and commit to your “year and a day.”
Dedicant: If you choose to dedicate yourself to this training program, at the Imbolc Sabbat celebration you may ritually dedicate to this path. With this dedication, you are considered an outer-court member of The Sojo Circle, your progress will be guided more directly.
Neophyte: After all 8 sessions (48 lessons) have been completed, you may declare your intent to initiate into the Craft as a Witch.. At this time you will receive 6 additional in-depth lessons, and preparatory activities to help you consider and prepare for your self-initiation. This phase of training may take as long as you need, and is guided with mentorship from initiates within the group.
Initiate: Once you feel confident in your study, and integration and personal practice, and that the inner initiations have occurred, the circle will hold for you an outer Initiation ritual. This is our equivalent of first degree initiation, though our program includes much training that is typically offered as second degree work.
Membership in The Sojo Circle: All those who have initiated may then choose to become members of The Sojo Circle, if all parties choose it. Once part of the circle, opportunities are available for continued training through our version of second and third degree work of a deeper mastery of the skills of the Witch, leading to vows of service as a priest or priestess.
What topics will be covered during the year?
This course will include topics on neo-paganism, Wiccan religion, occult lore, modern science, psychology, ritual forms, techniques and tools, magick and spell craft, divination, healing arts, meditation, herbalism, metaphysics, psychic development, and many types of inner journey work and spirit communication.
How is the course organized and what does it cost?
Classes begin in December/January and are held Thursday nights from 6:00-9:00 pm, for 48 classes (with 4 weeks of break for holidays throughout the year) divided by topic into 8 sessions. Each session is named for the solar holiday, or Sabbat, we’ll celebrate on the last night of the session. After class we have a tradition of walking to a local restaurant for a meal and socializing.
A 6 week session costs $90, with 10% discount on books and additional materials pertaining to the coursework. Individually, the classes are $20. These costs cover the printed color handouts provided at each class (which form the class Book of Shadows,) candles, incense and other spell and altar supplies, and the rent of the physical meeting space.
Rules and Requirements to join us:
- No prior knowledge or experience are necessary to join us. Just bring an open heart and mind.
- Must be an adult over 18, or a teen in the company of their parent.
- Please be sober and clear-headed when in class and ritual. This includes any prescription or over the counter medication that would make it inadvisable for you to drive yourself home afterwards. Stay home and take your medications safely!
- All discussions are open for respectful debate. No flaming, name-calling or otherwise rude behavior will be allowed at any time. While the outer court is open to all seekers, The Sojo Circle reserves the right to suspend that invitation at our discretion.
- We build in our circle an atmosphere of love, trust, respect, safety, discretion, harmony, and acceptance. Do not threaten that atmosphere. We can be unique, walk diverse paths, and have diverse opinions in safety here.