Saturday, July 01, 2006

'Witch school' Opens

What struck me most about this article on Ed Hubbard's Witch School was not the culture-war angle ("Residents Petitioned and Prayed to Keep It Away"), but the sort-of positive response from Kirk White of Cherry Hill Seminary at the end.

One also could make comparisons with the Frosts' School of Wicca during its heydey of the 1970s-1980s. In both cases, I think that the "enrollment" figures were inflated, but in the case of the Frosts, the content was actually worthwhile.

In the pre-Internet era, however, they took an awful lot of flak over the "mail-order Witchcraft" from traditional Witches--or from people who wanted you think that they were traditional Witches.

When it camed to head counts, the number of people who inquired was huge. The number of people who completed a course was quite small, perhaps because the courses did require some work and self-discipline.

You see the same thing in conventional online higher education. Students think it is easier than going to class. It is not. Ed Hubbard's students are probably no different.

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Blogger Edlogic said...

I find a love-hate relationship with this news.

I love the idea and concept. Something I not only wished would happen, but to have or start on my own. I am constantly thinking of a "Witch University," if you will. Academic studies focused on aspects of Witchcraft, such as history, theory, practice, etc.

I am hesitant, though, since for some reason, I am getting a very "Apprentice Wizard" feel from this. It reminds me a lot of Oberon Zell-Ravenheart's "School" (Grey School of Wizardry).

Oberon really likes to blend fantasy with reality. But not necessarily in a healthy way, but almost a frightening way. "Brave New World," "Harry Potter" and "Babylon 5". I understand that one can gain inspiration with fiction, but I don't think it is 'good' to try to mimic the fiction. Also, Hagrid did not buy Cerebus from Heracles.

I don't know much of Mr. Hubbard, but I hope it isn't the same. I will look into it on my own, but I pray it is better. Or at least paves the way for something better.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Cosette said...

I joined Witch School just to see how it worked. The First Degree material is free so I though, what the heck. I think it's very easy (but I've been a practicing Wiccan for about ten years and I'm not sure beginners would agree with me), but it does take commitment especially if one wants to apply for their clergy. Witch School has a lot of registered students, but I don't think most of them get too far.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Edlogic said...

Would you recommend it, cosette? How would you rate it as an actual "institute" of learning? What impression did it have on you?

9:18 PM  
Blogger Cosette said...

I have mixed feelings about it, edlogic. I might recommend it to certain people that are bright and dedicated and who want some kind of training, but are unable to find a teacher or commit to the intense demands of a traditional coven. On the other hand, there are many things that bother me about it. I don't want to monopolize this space, so I invite you to read more about this on my blog.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Ed Hubbard said...

Actually I am quite a fan of this blog.

to answer the question, 1024 people have completed the courses over the last 4 years. We have also seated 13 Temple Heads last year.

It's not perfect, and yes, it looks like Harry Potter...It's deceptive in this, because serious Pagans hate us out of hand. I am always surprised at that.

But there is something I beleive in, and this is the core of it. Wicca is good for everyone, it's important, and it's freeing. So it's something I want to make available.

The world is hungry for something new, probably for entertainment and grist of the culture wars, but I do fight them.

Luckily, I do not judge myself or the community I am creating by the Standards of the community that claims I am not part of them. It's that simple.

But yes the number who complete the course is quite small, and I am working constantly to improve it.

But we are no Frosts, as we intend to eventually create a entire system. You should see the plans on the Board. We plan to be a real research unit, and that my friend takes more money than one can imagine. Way beyond just my life savings.

Thank you for your comments. I do enjoy them.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...


Thanks for dropping by. I'm not sure how "creating an entire system" is different from what the Frosts did in the 1970s, when the "Church of Wicca" and the "School of Wicca" were, for a time, different wings of the same organization.

But, anyway, I hope that you will make my book a required text. ;-)

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article by an unbiased reporter is very telling. Everyone I know who has actually been there, has said that this reporter went easy on them. What does it say about Witch School that their temple is a total mess?

It is very easy to paint a picture on the internet of people sharing "free" education. But these folks are looking for hand outs all the time. They even used this article as the excuse for looking for more money on ebay and in appeals to their students.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a school that is based on Academic studies focused on aspects of Witchcraft, such as history, theory, practice,They don't sell a Tradition but instead they help the students research all traditions, So that the students can make their own choises of paths to follow .It is called , I give them a thumbs up , About time somebody thought about the history!
Instead of something somebody decided to make up.

11:42 AM  

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