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Another Final Essay As the Topic says

#1 User is offline   *~ Justice Rivermyst ~* 

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

To: Amy Long
From: Ashley Andrus
Master of Wiccan Studies
10/27/2012
Final Essay


Upon reading the course description before subscribing, I thought this class would be a breeze. Even though there wasn't really anything difficult about the class, I found myself somewhat challenged when reading the things I wasn't aware of. Also, the lessons helped me be able to verbalize and actually practice the things I'd learned. The difficulty wasn't in the knowing; I already knew most of the stuff presented. It was actually practicing those things and having a sense of confidence in my abilities that made this course worthwhile.

A short list of the things learned would look like this: Ethics, Responsibility, Altar Tools/Symbolism/Consecration, History of the Religion, History of the Gods and what their archetypes mean to use today, Meditation, Divination, Reincarnation, Sabbats and Esbats, Herbology and Medicine, Rituals, Spells, Kabbalistic Cross/Banishing Pentagram, and lastly, the Initiation Ritual.

Being raised the family I was, I learned a lot about ethics. Responsibility was something that took me a while in life to figure out but once I did I reaped the benefits. I liked that the instructor had me make a list of things that need to be done and the consequences of doing or not doing these things. Although, I'd already known a lot of the answers to this assignment and what my judgment would lead me to do, it certainly helped put things into perspective. These little things I hadn't paid much mind to made me see that everything that we do ripples through not only our personal lives but also that of the Universe on whole. Who knew that something so small could affect something so big?

From what I understood in the lesson, regarding tools, there is the Athame which is a masculine symbol also represented by air(which in its own right is masculine, too), the Chalice which is feminine and represented by water(which in its own right is feminine), the Wand that represents fire(both are male) and the Pentacle that represents earth(both are female). A lot of what I understood about these symbols was not because I had practiced rituals a lot but because of the symbolism in Tarot and the God/Goddess aspect in Wicca. Things were starting to make sense as they blended together in this lesson.

Both the Wand and Athame are phallic symbols, which is why they are seen as masculine in ritual, Tarot and the God. The Pentacle and Chalice are both symbols of the womb and seen as a feminine figure in ritual, Tarot and the Goddess.

Also later on in the study there is a description of how to consecrate these tools before use in spell-work. I believe this is a very important thing before using them during ritual. Otherwise there would be energy left over from the last person who handled it to whatever is floating in the air. To make it your own is to infuse it with your own energy and to place a protective barrier around it.

During these lessons it is also taught on how to cast a circle around your ritual space so that unwanted spiritual nasties will not interfere in your rituals/spell-work.

I quite appreciated that Lord Starwalker had added a piece about the Gods and their significance not only to the life of a Wiccan but everyone else. He added that whether the events of their lives were true or not was not important. It was what we could learn from their choices that made all the difference and I can't emphasize more on how much I agree with this.

There was a few pieces that I did find a bit difficult. I've studied the topic of meditation from many books but somehow have not been successful with it yet. I suppose it's because I feel like I'm doing it wrong when really there is nothing mistaken in the practice. It's probably the same problem I've always had with these kinds of things. It's all intellectual instead of experiential. I bet if I'd practiced it a bit more, just as I'd said at the beginning of this essay, I'd get the hang of it and be confident in my abilities.

Lord Starwalker had also went over a brief explanation of beliefs regarding reincarnation. Although I do believe that there is such a thing as this, and I do call myself Wiccan, I do not completely believe the Wiccan belief of going to the Summerland. I'm not saying that there isn't such a place(which there probably is), I just don't feel comfortable calling it that. Also, I believe, regarding reincarnation, is that the reason we come here is because of a contract we make with the Elders and our Spirit Guides so that we may incarnate here on earth(or elsewhere) to learn lessons for our spiritual development and when we die we go over our bucket list to see what was successful, what was not, and whether we need to do it again. And around and around we go . . .

Now regarding ritual, is it basically an act done to help us nudge destiny along in the direction we want. However, sometimes that doesn't work(and that's not a bad thing!) and we get something better or something that is more attune to our true path(s). Certain rituals can be done, depending on the phase of the moon. The new moon(or sometimes referred to the dark moon) rituals are done to end things like leaving a relationship, moving out of your house, ect. The waxing moon is used to do spells that require some building up to, like looking for a new job, a new relationship, a new place to live, ect. The Esbats – or full moons – are for bigger spells. Again, with the waning moon, magick is generally used to kick bad habits or banishing.

Another part of the lesson that I thought was difficult(other than meditation) was about Herbology. Being a city dweller, I'd never taken an interest in plants, especially after planting a few gardens and watching them never grow(I bet if I plant them at the right time, say, the full moon they'd grow!).

My favorite use of herbs is generally in cooking. They make things taste great and they're so good for your body! There are so many medicines that can be made out of herbs and plants.

What was hard about this lesson and not about knowing what herbs are for but rather the headache of trying to memorize what herb is good for what and which can be lethally toxic. I suppose if I get an itch to learn more about this topic I'll buy a book on herbology.

The history of using plants as medicines is undeniable. Shamans, medicine men and witch doctors have been using them since the beginning of time and a lot of our modern medicine(like aspirin) is made from herbs.

The last couple of things I'll be mentioning in this essay are about the tools of divination, the Kabbalistic Cross and the self-initiation ritual.

Lord Starwalker went over Tarot, dowsing, tea leaves and a few others. Like I'd said earlier in the essay, a lot of the magickal tools and rituals used in Wicca are reflected in Tarot. I also love that Tarot is simply a book of every possible human experience here on earth and that the Major Arcana represent the spiritual growth while the Minor Arcana represent earthly matters.

It's also amazing how one can use a pendulum to be able to find people using a map. He taught simple dowsing using the pendulum and then how to dowse with sticks and other such objects.

At the end of the course I was taught how to do a few simple spells and also how to perform the Kabbalistic Cross/Banishing Pentagram. I've been practicing the latter and I can definitely feel a change in my energy. Soon, I'll be performing the self-initiation ritual when I feel ready.

Overall, a lot of what was in the class I had already known but it was a first to actually be able to perform the things I'd learned. This was a great class and I would definitely suggest it to anyone who wants to grasp the basics of Wicca.

~*~*~*~

This post has been edited by *~ Justice Rivermyst ~*: 27 October 2012 - 06:09 PM

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#2 User is offline   Leah Coleman-Bellucci 

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:49 AM

Wow!!! I thoroughly enjoyed your final essay on the Wiccan Studies Program!! It was well written, thoroughly thought out, great details, awesome insight of self reflection. Thanks for sharing it was a very nice read!!
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