Witch School International: An Institution Offering a Well-Rounded Magical Education
Magical Milestone: Finding a Reliable Witchcraft Education
I would have to say the most difficult part of becoming a solitary witch was finding reliable resources, and I'm sure many would agree with me about that! There are thousands of books out there, and even more websites. However, there are a few problems with relying solely on books and the internet.
The biggest problem with books? Money—they can be pretty expensive! I know that libraries usually have a new age section, but my local library doesn't. And what's more, I barely have enough money to cover my bills, so buying twenty dollar books is really not a wise financial choice. Now, Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program does give access to several witchcraft resources for free. All you have to pay for is the Unlimited membership. But that doesn't resolve the other major problem Solitaires face.
How do you know if what you are reading is right? Which way is the Witch way? I would deduce that if i read the same fact in more than one book or website, then it was probably right. What I relied on most, however, was my intuition. Good ole gut reaction. If I read something and thought, "oh yes, I could do this!" then I wrote it in my magic journal. And on the other end of the spectrum, if I read something that made me cringe, I would make a mental note that this author/resource was probably not the best resource.
There came a point in my 'witchcraft journey' that I reached a sort of educational impasse. I couldn't afford to buy any more books, and even if I could, most witchcraft books were introductory guides. My local bookstore didn't have any books just about herbalism, or just about working with the Sun's energies. Finding online articles about specific magical workings was even more difficult.
Also, I had no way of making sure that everything I had been doing until this point was right, and if I was going to consider myself a novice, I wanted the opinion of a seasoned witch. The problem: I don't know any witches
I knew that the chances of getting into Ilvermorny were slim to none (even though J.K. Rowling's books are considered fiction, and I knew that real life magic worked nothing like it did in the Harry Potter series, my inner child still hoped that maybe, possibly, Hogwarts and the American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Ilvermorny really existed). I opened my browser to Google and typed in 'real life witch schools'. I honestly thought I would get links to Harry Potter fan sites, but I learned then and there: never to underestimate the power of Google ever again.
Google had generated a long list of links to the websites: witchcraft/magical education schools; articles about magical education, and, (most useful) a link to an article rating the most popular witch schools.
I skimmed through the article looking at a wide array of schools for witches. I mentally crossed off all of the schools that had a physical location, since the closest one was more than 50 miles away and the tuition was way more than I could afford. Next, I crossed off any schools that didn't offer at least a free trial membership - as I've said before, I have limited income, and I couldn't afford to put more money into my magical education unless it was exactly what I was looking for.
I found three different schools that met my criteria. I tried one school, and the website was just way too confusing and buggy. Then I tried the second school and flat out hated how it was set up. I'm sorry folks, but I will not be divulging which schools I tried. I don't want to discourage anyone else from trying them, because even though I wasn't satisfied does not no one will be. What I will share, ladies and gents, is the school I tried, LOVED, and signed up for the paid membership with.
Schools of Witchcraft
Nonprofit educational organization established in the state of New Mexico. We are an alternative learning center and seminary. Areas of Study: Magick and Witchcraft; Pagan Leadership; Pagan Spirituality; Sacred Living; Shamanic Studies
Cherry Hill Seminary
Providing an extensive education in diverse aspects of Pagan philosophy, practice, and skilled ministry; Supplementing existing ritual and magical skills with training for professional ministry and pastoral counseling; Serving as an ongoing resource for individual continuing education; and providing a forum for scholarship and community
Church and School of Wicca
The belief system of the Church and School is based not on one tradition but on a composite system of spiritual and magical beliefs resting firmly on five supports. The system has Celtic undertones just because of our personal heritage, but other ethnic flavors are apparent as well.
Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic
The aim of the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic is to help people create permanent, positive change in their lives through the study of esoteric magical and shamanic knowledge. It doesn’t matter what your esoteric background is, you are welcomed.
Temple of Witchcraft
Spirit, Community, Education in Salem, NH and online; an organization based on traditions of modern magic, Witchcraft, and neopaganism.
Witch School International is the first truly online school dedicated to Wiccan, Pagan, and magical thought! Was founded because many people who wanted to learn about wicca were unable to find reliable information or training, either because they were geographically isolated or could not find teachers. Witch School is committed to teaching all who want to learn at little to no cost.
School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Poland
Witch School International
The school from which you will receive a well-rounded magical education is: Witch School International. After only two days of registering for classes, I upgraded to a paid membership—I was just so impressed! Witch School was founded by Rev. Donald Lewis Highcorrell, and over time grew to Witch School International, which currently has almost 280,000 registered students. They offer classes on just about everything that has to do with Wicca and witchcraft. There are two types of membership - basic and paid, which I will describe in more detail below. I think the best part of the school is the Degree program. The school is run by the Correllian Nativist Tradition (which was a surprise to find out because there was no mention of any religious preferences in any of the classes I had taken so far). If you wanted to become a clergy member of the Tradition, you could enroll in the degree program. Once you complete the required courses, you send in an application to get a clergy license. The Correllian Tradition is a federally recognized church, so you could perform marriages, oversee End-Of-Life celebrations, and anything else a priest or pastor could do.
As I aforementioned, there are different levels of membership to Witch School.
- Basic Membership: This is the free tier. You have access to over 35 classes, and when you register you receive a free 3-day access pass to paid membership features.
- Supporting Membership: As a Supporting Member, you have access to all of the online classes (there is over 100!), a student record & transcript, auxiliary library materials, Certificates of Completion (which you may print), the option to retake courses if you aren't happy with the grade you receive the first time, and you may register for up to 8 classes at once. There is an extensive social network, Witch School is on Facebook, Twitter, and has their own social network where you can connect with other Witch School students and mentors. For various class topics, such as Divination, or the First Degree Lesson Course, you can request a mentor.
There are multiple Supporting Member options:
- Monthly Supporting Membership
- Six Months Supporting Membership
- Yearly Supporting Membership
- Four Year Supporting Membership
- Charter Life Time Membership
Witch School Classes
Witch School offers over 100 classes to its supporting members. They are organized into course subjects, making course registration easy and efficient. Here are just a few course subjects:
- Correllian Studies
- Wiccan Studies
- Psychic Development
There are many more, and I urge you to check it out for yourself. I was not asked by the school to write this, and I receive no compensation for new registrations. I am passionate about learning and about helping my fellow Witches, which is why I am sharing this information.
Witch School Degree Program
Witch School trains First, Second and Third Degree Clergy members for the Correllian Nativist Tradition. I am currently enrolled in the First Degree Lesson class. There are 12 lessons for the First Degree class. Each lesson comes with the written content, a video of Rev. Donald Lewis explaining the information, and a study guide to refer to when studying for the quiz. There is one quiz at the end of each lesson, then a final exam. If you are like me and prefer to have a physical book to study from, then you can order Lessons for the First Degree from Amazon for a rather reasonable price. I plan to open a cyber-ministry one day, and I believe having the lesson book on hand may be useful. (Fun fact: there is a class about cyber-ministries offered by Witch School!)
For each major section of study, such as the First Degree Lessons, or Divination, there are mentors you can request to work with. There is a social site for Witch School called The Daily Spell, and that is where your mentor will upload any extra credit work or special study group information. You can contact your mentor via email. It is wonderful!
Witch School International is the first truly online school dedicated to Wiccan, Pagan, and magical thought! We founded Witch School because we found that many people who wanted to learn about Wicca were unable to find good information or training, either because they were geographically isolated or because they simply could not find real-time teachers...We made a commitment teach all who wanted to learn and to do so at little or no cost.— http://www.classes.witchschool.com/main.asp
The Correllian Nativist Tradition
The Correllian Tradition, or Correllianism, is a Wiccan tradition and federally recognized church. They focus on the major philosophical and spiritual Wiccan aspects, with an emphasis on Pagan development. They firmly hold that there should be increased communication and cooperation between Pagan peoples worldwide.
The Correllian Tradition has over 147,000 members in over 114 countries worldwide. They have an extensive structure, which you can learn more about on their website. As a student, the key membership information to know is the difference between Outer Court and Inner Court. Currently, I am an Outer Court member which means I am not a member of the Priesthood. Outer Court members are welcome to public ceremonies, can take part in many Temple activities, and belong to any Temple Order. The majority of the Correllians are Outer Court members.
The Inner Court is comprised of the priesthood. It is divided into various levels, below are the most relevant to prospective students:
- Dedicant: A person who has dedicated a period of one year and a day towards study and training toward Priesthood. During this period, the Dedicant is considered an Inner Court member. At the end of the time period, the person may apply for/request First Degree Priesthood initiation or return to Outer Court status.
- First Degree Priest/ess: Once their application has been approved, the student will become a First Degree member of Clergy. They are expected to be familiar with the details of the Wiccan faith, with a solid knowledge of Wiccan philosophy and traditions. They should be able to take any role in ritual with reasonable confidence if the ritual leader is not present or able to carry out the ritual.
Which Way Is the Witch Way?
I would have to say that one of the most redeeming qualities of witchcraft is there really is no wrong way to be a witch. You could be a Green witch or an Eclectic witch or a Faery witch; the list goes on. And the way you become a witch is totally up to you. You could enroll in a school like I did, or you could find a mentor, or you could continue reading books and articles online. You can learn from meditating or journeying as well. There is no wrong way.
I take that back...the only thing that you could do that I would say would be wrong is to do anything that you are not comfortable with, or do anything without researching it first. Magic is not for the meek. It can be dangerous. Anything you do affects not only you but those around you. It could even affect people that are halfway across the world—you never know. So, if you feel compelled, check out Witch School or one of the schools I listed above. If you don't, then that is perfectly fine too! All I urge any witch to do is to live up to the name—be Wise with your craft. Think carefully before any spell or working, and never do anything your gut tells you not to do.
About Us. (2011). Esoteric School - Shamanism School. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from https://shamanschool.com/about-us/
Online Witch Schools. (2014). x LIKE A BOS x. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from https://xlikeabosx.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/online-witch-schools/
Pagan Education – A List of Witch Schools. (2016). A Real Witch of Orange County. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from https://mistressprime.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/pagan-education-list-of-witch-schools/
The Correllian Tradition. (n.d). www.correllian.com. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from http://www.correllian.com/
Wicca.org | The Church and School of Wicca Welcomes You!. (2018). The Church and School of Wicca. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from https://wicca.org/
WitchSchool.com - Your Online Wicca and Magickal Education.(2018). Classes.witchschool.com. Retrieved 3 May 2018, from http://www.classes.witchschool.com/default.asp
© 2018 Amanda Wilson