YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Bite-sized lessons to introduce Pagan history, sacred days, working with nature's energies, spellcrafting, paired with exercises to help you grow on your own personal path.
Meet The Teacher
Brittany is a Teacher of the Tree of Knowledge Coven, mother of one wild child, and a homeschool parent. For 15 years, she has been an active member of the Pagan community, including organizing group rituals, hosting workshops, holiday celebrations, and community projects.
These lessons are set up so that they fit YOUR schedule and path. Complete them at your own pace and do what you are comfortable with. If there's a lesson that you don't vibe with, skip it. These are not required lessons, but rather tools and structure for those who would like to learn without feeling overwhelmed. Classes are planned so that any materials needed can be easily found in most stores.
Lesson 1: Humble Beginnings
The roots of Paganism and witchcraft run deep in us all. Long before there were crystal shops and herbal catalogs, before candles were invented, before any religion or holy books, there was witchcraft. This may sound ridiculous if you imagine witchcraft to be a modern practice that relies on candles, books of power, and crystals. The truth is that witchcraft at its core… isnt really that glamorous.
The Earth provides everything that we need to survive, but also has its share of dangers to offer. Our earliest ancestors learned that survival is more likely if you know the Earth well and work with its cycles and energies. We learned how and when to plant crops and knew the importance of the harvest season. Women knew the ways of the moon, of healing, and childbirth. Men studied the movement of herd animals, and worked closely with other animals to domesticate them and keep them safe. For our Pagan ancestors, the Divine (or Gods) weren't somewhere watching us from afar. They were right here, in the daily struggles and triumphs, in the soil that provided our food and life source, and in the water that could either nourish our crops or destroy them. They were by our side to share comfort and wisdom as the women ushered new lives into the world, and prepared the dead for their last journey. They guided the men while hunting, with the hope that no one would go without food. The Gods were always there in every aspect of life, and they still are. We simply dont live as close to the Earth and its mysteries as we used to, but you can still hear their call and feel the stirring of the Earth around you. In this journey through our year of studies, we will be answering that call and learning to work with those energies.
These are the ancient roots of the Paganism and witchcraft that we know today. It's easy to lose that connection to the Earth when staying inside in the air conditioning or warmth of a heated home is very tempting. Many of us dont have to worry about agricultural cycles because we have really convenient grocery stores. You dont have to pack your things and go live in a hut in the woods, it just means that if you want to work with the Earths energies, you have to make the choice to go out and forge that connection with the Earth. Today, I invite you to get to know the Earth a little better.
Let's get down and dirty, shall we? Go outside. Find a green patch of grass, a dark, rich, root-buckled swath of Earth, a stone formation, or a tree, and touch it. Rub your hands across it. Sit down and feel the weight of your body on the land. Breathe deeply and allow the Earth to hold you. This is where you belong. Welcome home.
Practice: Connect to the Earth
Sit somewhere in a natural setting on a beach, in a forest, a field, or even your own backyard. Breathe deeply and close your eyes. As you sit, imagine that you have roots that extend from the base of your spine. These roots reach not only down into the Earth, but out to everything on it. Imagine that this vast network of routes connects you to humans, animals, plants, objects. Take a moment to feel the pulse of your connection to the great all. Notice for your connection to things and people might be weak and where it feel strong. Spend 10 minutes (or longer, if you can) simply feeling your connection.
Lesson 2: Questioning Your Path
In this first cycle of studies, we will not just be taking a deeper look at the history and practices of paganism and witchcraft, but also taking a look at ourselves and how our beliefs shape our experiences. In witchcraft, questioning beliefs, practices, and worldviews is not only acceptable, but encouraged. Blind faith and unwavering obedience are major factors in many religions and spiritual paths, but not the path of the Witch. We seek to understand not only life, nature, and the universe, but also ourselves. Through persistent spiritual questioning, you can maintain a heightened perspective about your personal growth. The ability to make honest, powerful life choices comes with clear perspective.
Practice: Journey Inward
Be honest with yourself now. Explore the following questions list below and commit your feelings to paper. You might facilitate your writing process by first discussing the responses to these questions with a friend. If you don't already have a journal or mirror book (a book for recording your reflections on your path), now would be a good time to start one.
Why am I exploring the Pagan path?
What were my previous spiritual practices?
Did any of these practices lead me to investigate witchcraft? How?
What are my hopes for starting this path?
What are my fears in starting this path?
How will I handle family and friends that might not approve of this research?
Aside from transitioning to a new spiritual path, are there any major events that might impact my life at this time (for example, deaths, births, divorce, job loss, etc)?
If I have major life events happening right now, is this the best time to explore a new spiritual path? Why or why not?
After you have committed these answers to paper, spend some time contemplating them.
Lesson 3: Exploring Natural Energies
Connecting with nature is an important part of witchcraft, not simply because its it's an Earth based religion, but because learning to feel and connect with the spiritual energy that flows through all things is a key part of deity worship, spellwork, and many other skills that we will be learning through the year. The living energy that resides in plants, animals, rocks, yourselves, even distant stars, is the same energy: it is The Divine.
We will focus more on Divinity and how we perceive the Gods and Goddess in later weeks. Unlike other religions with holy books telling you what to believe about Divinity, in witchcraft, you write your own holy book based on your experiences, rather than prescribed beliefs. Witchcraft is not based on beleifs, but rather based on experiences.
For now, we will just focus on connecting to that Divine energy in ourselves, because once you get used to feeling it in yourself, it's easy to identify it in other sources. You can do this exercise anywhere that you feel comfortable, and its beneficial to do it a few times each day for 5-10 minutes until you can easily sense your bodies energies.
Practice: Sensing Your Energy
Find a comfortable sitting location and close your eyes. Take several deep breaths as you relax your body. With each exhale, feel your body soften as you release all tension. Try to become mentally quiet, letting go of any thoughts. If a passing thought pops up, let it go with each exhale, blowing it away like a dandelion.
When your mind is calm, bring your attention to your solar plexus (near your navel) and feel your life force that resides there. It may feel like a buzzing, a hum, or a warm sensation. Expand your focus to your chest and hips. Open your mind and sense the energy as it rests in those areas. How does that energy feel in your arms and legs? Your hands and feet may tingle as you feel for those energies. Lastly, sense the life force in your neck and face.
You should now be fully aware of your inner life energy from head to toes. This is normally a very pleasant, blissful feeling, and you can stay in this awakened state as long as you wish. When you're ready, wiggle your toes and fingers, slowly open your eyes, and rejoin your surroundings.
Lesson 4: Sacred Symbols
In witchcraft, a symbol is much more than an image. A symbol can represent a multitude of different meanings. For example, the caduceus can represent medical care, hospitals, bring to mind a relative who works in the
medical field, and stir up memories of Hermes and
myths related to him, all in a few seconds.
Symbols can also trigger an emotional response (for example: a swastika, a cross, or the logo of a store that you hated working for). Symbols are used in witchcraft because they help you access your unconscious mind, which governs dreams, magick, your shadow self, etc. Its important to understand what ideas, emotions, and connections are stirred up for you personally when working with symbols. The pentacle is a common symbol for witches to use and has many interpretations. For some, it represents balance or the elements. For others, its a symbol of rebellion, worn to shock and scare others. Perhaps, you were raised by parents who survived the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980’s and were taught that it's a symbol of evil. If you have a negative association with a symbol, you can always retrain your mind to associate it with more pleasant things… or simply, don't use it.
So what do these symbols DO for us? They act as psychological shortcuts to help us recall deeper meanings, emotions that we wish to stir up, or connect to certain energies. But in order for you to have this mental link to the symbol, you need to forge that connection.