The main thing that the Seminary Master of Wiccan studies program has given me is that it has instilled a sense of independence about being a Wiccan. It’s given me an emotional Rod to lean against to summon up the bravery to say: ‘I can follow my own Wiccan path and that’s okay”. That might sound unusual but the Wiccan community is unfortunately not immune to its own dogmatic enforcers and what you could call fundamentalist Wiccans. Devon and Lord Starwalker have shared a complete vision of a practice that goes back centuries. There are some who say you can only be Wiccan if you are initiated but the course gives instructions of how to self-dedicate and self-initiate. I can’t imagine anyone having a strong spiritual life without a solid solitary practical basis. This course can teach you the tools and knowledge you need to be a Wiccan.
In a recent BBC documentary by Professor Ronald Hutton called ‘A very British Witchcraft’ I am reminded that the origins of what we call Wicca today is British. I think this is important to realise, as English speaking people we all have a connection to the British Isles and the folklore and magick therein. As an Australian I am in a country that is influenced both by the United Kingdom and now the United States. In fact one criticism of Australia used to be that we are too ‘American’. As the English version of Wicca was very ceremonial and relied on apostolic succession through initiation, when it arrived on the American shores it developed in a different way, mirroring the ‘freedom of religion’ that many protestant versions of Christianity did. Openness was created, especially with self-initiations.
The ULC is a pinnacle organisation that reflects this freedom, and what American culture did for Wicca in a wider sense was invaluable. Even though the ethics of the Wiccan Rede and the ethos of harming none are very important, it wasn’t a hard transition for me in becoming Wiccan to adopt this, as that was my ethic before being Wiccan. What was important to me is understanding the concept of divinity, spiritual energies, and the use of my own will. A think at the heart of Wicca is a soft polytheistic understanding of the universe using the Lord and Lady as archetypes for all the Gods and Goddess in the Universe. Both metaphor and real spiritual forces. A witch much be able to use ‘energy’ in a spiritual way, and be able to sense it. This takes practice and is at the heart of ritual. The way that a witch commands energy starts in their own mind, and instructions go out into the world. Willing something into existence, through ritual and magick is a combination of energy and the mind, overseen by the Lord and Lady, and other Gods evoked.
This course was an excellent introduction to Wicca and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about the faith.