by Solinox Silverstar
As the High Priestess of Weavers of the Web, I’ve been saying for a while now that I am taking students. But what does that mean?
I’ve written before about what a church is, and what it does. Weavers of the Web is here to provide community for all Pagans, and the ability to come and participate without obligation. Our discussion groups and rituals are always open to the public. Anybody can come and learn the basics, and participate in rituals and meditations. This structure provides a place for anybody to observe the Wheel of the Year, to learn and grow, to make friends and find support, as well as the ability to participate in many Rites of Passage.
Becoming a student means taking the next step into learning about how Wicca and magick work, and putting that knowledge to use both in your own life and in the context of turning the Wheel and ministering to the community. Studentship is a path of learning and discovery, both internal and external. There are many steps along the path which must be taken in order, for each level builds upon the foundations of the previous. The first step is signing up!
I require enrollement in the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary as part of your studentship path. Here you will have the opportunity to study with the best and brightest minds in our tradition, some from around the world, with rigorous scholarship and many available electives. Classes and labs are held online, utilizing a variety of modalities including the Sacred Cauldron region on SecondLife. In four years, you can achieve a Bachelor’s of Wiccan Ministry, along with the majority of the requirements for the first several years of your initiatory path. The work is hard, but well worth the time and effort spent. Freshman can enter the school anytime during the year, with new terms starting quarterly.
Many prospective students have expressed concerns about enrolling in the seminary as they begin this path. While it is possible to complete your initiatory requirements through one-on-one teaching, this would not mean less work; in many ways, it is more work, for both teacher and student. The same requirements must be met. By studying locally only, you might have a more flexible timetable, but you would not have the academic degree at the end.
There are several levels along the initiatory path. New students begin at the beginning, studying the history of Wicca and British Traditional Witchcraft, along with the main elements of ritual, traditional writings that are used and revered by many modern traditions, and the basics of Wiccan theology and practice. Dedicants who have completed this work and been through their Dedication ritual can take on certain roles within Weavers, helping with portions of ritual presentation and community service. The knowledge gained brings confidence to both public and private workings, and aids in building a personal practice and relationship with Deity. Dedicants are committed to supporting Weavers of the Web in whatever way possible, and to working closely with their teacher in pursuing further knowledge.
Every level beyond Dedication requires further study and work, both personal and public. First-degree Initiates have spent a minimum of a year and a day studying Wicca and the Craft in greater detail, learning about effective ritual and spellcasting. They have become attuned to the Wheel of the Year and have studied myth, symbolism, astrology, chakras, stones, and much more. First-degree work includes personal rites of passage and honest evaluations of both self and community, and greatly deepens the relationship with Deity that was established as a Dedicant. Initiates will join a world-wide community in the WISE tradition, and will be able to take on more prominent positions in ritual and outreach.
Training beyond the first degree prepares the Initiate for service as clergy within Weavers of the Web. This includes intensive study of ritual construction, the Wheel of the Year, and healing and divination work. Second-degree Initiates are able to take on their own students, as well as both writing and leading rituals and workshops.
If you’ve ever wanted to walk the Path of the Priest, studentship is definitely for you. Contact me to get started!