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Copyright © 2022 Dragon Palm Circle    Knoxville TN

Week 1

Introduction To Witchcraft

In the next 51 weeks we will be following the guideline of study very simular to the one set up in “Bucklands Complete Book fo Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland.  To sumpplement the course we will also use “To Ride A Silver Broomstick” by Silver RavenWolf, “A Witches Bible” by Janet and Stewart Farrar and “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner” by Scott Cunningham, online booklets that can be downloaded in PDF format, class lectures, and four more books that you chose. We will also from time to time mention other books that will give you information on the topic we will be studying at the time.

We will try to show you that there are many ways of doing things.  We wil not be teaching the Dragon Palm Circle way of doing things, although we will be telling you how we do many things. We want you to find the way that is right for you.


First of all Wicca means Witchcraft and Wiccan means Witch.  Wicca is a religion, which means so is Witchcraft. (Today you will note that there are many who claim they are not the same thing … At this time time I don’t want to go inot this debate - for the class they are the same - but you will find some who prefer Witch and others who prefer Wiccan and others who use them both interchangeably.)

Modern Wicca is both old and new.  Parts of the religion can be traced back to the early days of mankind and other parts can be traced to Garner, Crowley and others in the 20th century.  What tradition of Wicca you follow will depend on how old or new some of your ideas are.

Wicca is a nature based religion that believes in both male and female deities.  They also believe that there is one all powerful entity that created or gave birth to the universe.  This entity is neither male or female and at the same time is both. With deities, they can be different from tradition to tradition.  Some feel that the entity shows intself as both male and female as the God and Goddess, others feel that it created or gave birth to the Gods and Goddess (much like the Titan Gaea), and others feel that there are many Gods and Goddess all coming from the entity and staying alive by the people who worship them.  Much of this is personal and can be different form Wiccan to Wiccan.


Dragon Palm Circle is an eclectic Coven. Before we go very far, we need to talk about what is an eclectic Wiccan.  If you check with some of the sites on the Internet you would get the impression that its a Witch that can do anything she/he wants as long as the follow the REDE.... FALSE!!!You will find that there are many different ways of doing things in Wicca.  Some cast circle starting in the North other start in the East and then it gets more complex with many different ways of doing things.  Being eclectic is like going to a smorgasbord and picking just what you want.  The main thing to look at is, if it works you can use it.  Now many will bring ideas form other Pagan paths, this is OK to a degree.  You can be an eclectic Wicca using Shamanic (Native American) principles, but you can not be a (Native American) Shamanic Wiccan..  There are many beliefs that are shared between Pagan paths and can be used by all - but there are area that they are different.  These are what truly mark the path you are on. There are people who like the term WITCH who are truly following another path - you should be true to yourself as well to others.  (As a side note - there are also eclectic Pagans who do combine several different paths, many will be in an eclectic Coven, but they let the other members know that there path is different and usually their own  if more start following it, it becomes a new Pagan path and should be named to honor it. In this case you could have following a Shamanic Wiccan path -but they would be neither, but something new)

A few things about Dragon Palm’s “Tradition”: We start in the East, we have as Guardians: East: Gabriel, South: Raphael, West: Michael, and North: Urial. You will find in the books we read and from other traditions, this is not uniform.  I have seen each Guardian at a different quarter.  And they are called Guardians, Angels, Archangels, and Watchers (and I am sure there are other names) Also there can be dragons, elementals, fae, and many others at the quarters. (and many time we will have someone in circle that will call a Guardian that they feel safe with and wants.  The main thing is, if you pick our way or one of the others, stay true to it, if it feels right.  There is nothing wrong with change and growth, in fact if very important.  But don’t change every time you read or hear a different way of doing something. (Do change when you find something that will add to your rituals or sounds right to you - if it doesn’t work, don’t have to use it again)

Other Traditions - To be taught a tradition in most cases you must join a Coven of that tradition.  Most non-eclectic witches belong to a single tradition.  There are a few who are degreed in several.  To learn outside the Coven, you will find that you are taught only parts of the traditions.  The reason for this is that Covens have oaths of secrecy.  These are very strong within Traditional Covens.  The secrets can only be taught to someone who is joining the coven and tradition.  If someone says they have learned on their own to be a Gardnerian Strega Witch, you can be sure they know little of Wicca. Both can only be learned through a Coven - yes there are books on both and they skim the surface of both.  Members of both Trads would consider this person a fake. (Don’t mix this up with some one who says “I am a third degree Strega High Priestess, and I have also earned a Gardnerian second degree”.  This is a person who has done a lot of studying). Also don’t mix it up with someone who says they are an eclectic Witch leaning towards Gardnerian or Strega - which just means that they like the way that Trad does certain things that are public knowledge. Today more and more elders in some of the Traditions are allowing more and more information to be released - and there are Warlocks who have used secret information to write books. (Note: a Warlock is not a Male Witch, but an oath breaker - and shunned by other Witches when they find out)


We will study the BOS in more detail latter on, but we feel we need to touch it today.  This is your bible, and you write it, putting in what you think you need.  As you follow your path you may have several BOS and they may take many different forms.  Today it can be anything from a hand printed, leather bound book to space on your hard drive. I’ve even seen people use a file folder, just placing information they want to keep in it.  With this, your first Book of Shadows, you may want to include the questions from this course with your answers to them.  You many also want to put in spells you have done or written,and rituals you have been in or also have written. (PLEASE NOTE: The BOS is not for collecting spells off the Internet, if you have not done the spell or written it, don’t put it in the Book.) The following questions and your answers should appear in your BOS and you can change the answers as you grow.

Why do I want to be a Witch?

What is a Witch?

What do I want from Wicca 101?

Keep these answers to yourself and your BOS.  Also unless invited, you do not read someone else’s Book of Shadows.

DISCUSSION: Book of Shadows, what is it to me and why I should keep one.

TO DO: Watch the video “Witchcraft Yesterday and Today” by Raymond Buckland. We have a link to it here.

It is an interesting introduction to Witchcraft.

If you have not done so download the Class Outline for your next week assignments.

We also have a nice glossary here to download.