Ak.. I've been banging my head on the keyboard for a while now and I thought for a change, I'd post here and see if anyone has any suggestions.
I'm looking for suggestions on a good online school that you can take Wiccan Degree classes. I've got a few bookmarked (some free, some not) but I'd really like to hear if anyone has any suggestions or places that they work with. It doesn't matter if they are free or not, just *worthwhile* to participate in.
There are a few of us up here in the North (we live in rural country here) who are looking to do this and I'd like to at least get some opinions of the classes that are out there before I bring this up at our next gathering.
If anyone has an suggestions, could you please let me know?
You cannot take Wiccan Degrees through online courses. Wiccan Degrees are not the same as university diplomas. They are not certificates or some kind of educational milestone. They mark your progress within a coven, yes, but they denote acquired skills and duties that simply cannot be conveyed solely through cources (especially online ones). They are the formal/official recognition of an initiation and/or elevation within a coven/Tradition and have no bearing outside of that coven/Tradition.
Furthermore, Wicca cannot be taught through the Internet. You might be able to do a big portion of a coven's training system in correspondence work form but you still have to show up occasionally and *practice* (not to mention that not all covens have this option). One of the major reasons for this is that is an experiential spiritual system, it's a system of practice and action. There are tons of things that you have to experience first-hand; they cannot be learnt through reading or writing. That's why most covens have a triune training program comprised of oral material, written material and demonstrative work.
I'm not Wiccan so any Initiates that respond to this will be able to explain things better.
I suggest you might seek out our dear Lark I think she might be able to help you in the answers that you are looking for.
Most of what you find in Wiccan online classes, you can get in books, and often in better form.
Look around on this site, there's an entry on recommended books - and those to avoid. You'll get a much better grounding with that than with any online class. :)
Good thoughts to chew on indeed! Thank you Daniel, Elise and Alorer...
I'm totally agree that lessons should be learned first hand and experienced.
It would be better to study from a non-specific center to learn the foundations/basics of Witchcraft. This will then give you a broader knowledge and a better sense of yourself and that which is your true beliefs & practices. Learning the basics from a "neutral" teacher rather than a Trad specific one will give you a much more open as well as diverse Pagan education. Midnight Blue Pagan Study Center does just this.
Their main page states: "We are not a school, we prefer the more open venue of a study center, such as those found in libraries, book stores, networking groups, etc.. Everyone is welcome to come, visit, look around, join in, share, and learn. Our mission is to provide a strong foundation for your Pagan Path, but not the Path itself. It is much easier to traverse a paved road than an uncut path, and our goal is to help you begin to pave your own road."
She only works with a select few students, is very thorough in her lessons, and enjoys working via Skype (video chat) as well. I suggest you at least take a look.
I must agree with Geckko --
in fact, like most High Priest/esses i know, i look with concern at online "schools" that offer Wiccan Degrees. Wicca is not an orthodox ("right-belief") religion, so it's not about "beliefs", it's about practice and experience. Any school or system that offers a First Degree (let alone Second or Third) should be looked upon with suspicion, and examined very closely, imo.
Here are some good discussions that elaborate on this point and explain why:
Blessed Be ~ GaiaDianne
I apologize for the quick reply but life is going a tad crazy at the moment. But I wanted to say thank you for all your replies and links.. Will be checking them all out when I can sit with a cup of tea and put my feet up and absorb.
I'd like to add a thought:
As several of us have said previously, Wicca is a religion of experience and practice.
Let me give you an example: The most basic and essential, elementary, "beginning" practices like Meditation, Centering, Grounding, Cleansing and Shielding -- are very difficult if not impossible to learn at long distance or just from reading material describing them. A teacher has to be there, in the room with you, watching your aura and your energy change, to give you appropriate feedback. And they are the most "beginning" practices. How much more difficult then is it, to teach the more advanced skills, over distance or through written materials?
Blessed Be - GaiaDianne