What is Modern Witchcraft?
Modern Witchcraft, as I teach it through The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions, is a path of wisdom, reason, empowerment and responsibility that stands proudly on the historical and religious foundations of our ancestors. Yet, we look to the future and strive to create a healthy way of life in a modern world. We blend scientific knowledge with ancient mysticism to evolve beyond “religion” and superstition into a spirituality that brings healing, peace, and balance to the seeker. The path of the Witch is a dance to the rhythm of nature. This dance transforms and strengthens us, while giving us a framework for processing the lessons of this life with grace. To seek the path of the Witch is to seek enlightenment. All that we do here is for the highest good of all involved, harming none. We strive for a state of “perfect” or unconditional love and trust, at one with the Divine Spirit of the Universe.
Classes are open during the Imbolc session which begins in January, where new students are welcomed as “seekers.” This is a facilitated study and support group for anyone who would like to learn in a formal setting, do more, go deeply, and journey with friends of like mind. All adults with an open heart and mind are welcome to join us in class.
How is the Sojourner Tradition of Modern Witchcraft organized?
The Sojo Tribe: All members in good standing, past and present, of The Sojourner Tradition of Modern Witchcraft.
The Sojo Circle Coven
Previous graduates of the class, who’ve chosen to self-initiate as a Witch, formed a coven here in Greenville in February of 2016 that we call The Sojo Circle Coven. We work together to celebrate, to build the community, and to mentor new students. The circle is a loving spiritual family of very unique people, walking diverse paths, and so we are evolving into a very eclectic coven of Witches. You will find a wide diversity folks, philosophies and interests in our circle.
What happens in class?
Create Sacred Space: Like a support group check-in, we go around the circle deosil, clockwise, to introduce ourselves and share something about our current life, or spiritual journey. We smudge ourselves with a sage bundle, and light our class candle to begin.
Class: We then have the formal class with discussion, going through the material, followed by a short break.
Spiritual application: We then apply what we’ve learned through either an exercise, guided meditation, ritual, spell-crafting, etc.
Closing Sacred Space: We then talk about the experience a little before the circle takes hands in prayer, healing and thanksgiving. We then open the circle.
How do I become a Witch?
Through a long process we call Initiation.
Modern Eclectic Witchcraft is a mystery tradition with many layers of depth and meaning, like the unlocking of a series of doors within your consciousness, as you grow in enlightenment and intimate connection with The Divine. Witchcraft is in the blood–the genetic memory–of humanity. Initiation is a process of awakening this slumbering awareness and connection within you and that process will be unique to you alone. Yet for all seekers within our group, the process requires hard work, scholarship, meditation, celebration and mentorship for at least a year and a day before you make the choice to take on the responsibilities of a Witch for this lifetime.
Milestones on the path to initiation:
Seeker: We are all seekers of wisdom here. Attend the Imbolc session as a Seeker and get to know us before you take the plunge and commit to your “year and a day.”
Dedicant: If you choose to dedicate yourself to this training program, at the Imbolc Sabbat celebration you may ritually dedicate to this path. With this dedication, you are considered an outer-court member of The Sojo Circle, your progress will be guided more directly.
Neophyte: After all 8 sessions (48 lessons) have been completed, you may declare your intent to initiate into the Craft as a Witch.. At this time you will receive 6 additional in-depth lessons, and preparatory activities to help you consider and prepare for your self-initiation. This phase of training may take as long as you need, and is guided with mentorship from initiates within the group.
First Degree Initiate: Once you feel confident in your study, and integration and personal practice, and that the inner initiations have occurred, the circle will hold for you an outer Initiation ritual. This is our equivalent of first degree initiation, though our program includes much training that is typically offered as second degree work.
Membership in The Sojo Circle: All those who have initiated may then choose to become members of The Sojo Circle, if all parties choose it. Once part of the circle, opportunities are available for continued training.
Second Degree Initiate/Ordination: Second degree training takes us into a deeper mastery of the skills of the Witch, leading to vows of service as a priest or priestess.
Third Degree Initiate: Recognizes a High Priest or Priestess as having the wisdom, leadership skills, experience, aptitude and willingness to hive off and lead an independent training coven within our tradition.
Rules and Requirements to join us:
No prior knowledge or experience are necessary to join us. Just bring an open heart and mind.
Must be an adult over 18, or a teen in the company of their parent.
Please be sober and clear-headed when in class and ritual. This includes any prescription or over the counter medication that would make it inadvisable for you to drive yourself home afterwards. Stay home and take your medications safely!
All discussions are open for respectful debate. No flaming, name-calling or otherwise rude behavior will be allowed at any time. While the outer court is open to all seekers, The Sojo Circle reserves the right to suspend that invitation at our discretion.
We build in our circle an atmosphere of love, trust, respect, safety, discretion, harmony, and acceptance. Do not threaten that atmosphere. We can be unique, walk diverse paths, and have diverse opinions in safety here.
Modern Witchcraft 366:
The Art, Science and Psychology of Nature-Based Spirituality
Heron Michelle, owner of The Sojourner, and the witches of The Sojo Circle Coven teach an intensive training program 48 weeks of the year, in Greenville, North Carolina
How is the course organized and what does it cost?
Classes begin in December/January and are held Thursday nights from 6:00-9:00 pm, for 48 classes (with 4 weeks of break for holidays throughout the year) divided by topic into 8 sessions. Each session is named for the solar holiday, or Sabbat, we’ll celebrate on the last night of the session. After class we have a tradition of walking to a local restaurant for a meal and socializing.
A 6 week session costs $90, with 10% discount on books and additional materials pertaining to the coursework. Individually, the classes are $20. These costs cover the printed color handouts provided at each class (which form the class Book of Shadows candles, incense and other spell and altar supplies, and the rent of the physical meeting space.
Imbolc Session: The Foundations of Witchcraft. Paradigm, foundations, thealogy, principles, ethics, afterlife, etc.
Ostara session: The Elements of Witchcraft is an introduction to energy work, the magickal mind, and an introduction to Spirit as Goddess and God in their many aspects/archetypes, and the four classical elements of air, fire, water and earth.
Beltane session: The Religion of Witchcraft, covers the praxis and outer temple techniques of this religious practice: altars, creating sacred space, raising and directing power, ritual design.
Litha session: The Science of Magick, covers the underlying metaphysical principles of the Universe, Hermetics, laws and mechanics of magick.
Lammas session: The Art of Magick, covers spell crafting techniques to create a “multi-sensorial prayer to create change in accordance with the Will.”
Mabon session: The Witch as Healer. Energy body, light, color, herbalism, etc.
Samhain session: The Witch as Diviner. Tarot, Runes, Pendulum, Scrying, Tasseomancy, Natal Astrology, etc.
Yule session: The Witch as Shaman, or Walker between the Worlds. Shielding, astral travel, Spirit Communication, animal and angelic guides, past-life regression, etc.