Gather a group of witches and ask them where our religion is going and, within minutes, you'll hear the longing for material -- books, blogs, YouTubes, DVDs -- that goes beyond what's come to be called "Wicca 101." Not too many cradle Pagans among us -- yet -- and, so, many of us "came to Wicca" via some form of Wicca 101: A book by Llewellyn. A course at the local Unitarian church. A feminist studies course that sent us to a feminist bookstore where we saw a three-by-five card on the bulletin board that led us to an occult bookstore where we overheard a conversation and screwed our courage to the sticking point in order to introduce ourselves . . . .
It's not that there's a lack of serious literature. Christ writes it, Eisler writes it, Starhawk writes it, Sylvan tries to write it; hell, a bunch of the blogs linked right here write it. But there is a lack of information/direction/description of where you go once you've "got" the basics. (Not that any of us every really "gets" the basics. I maintain that, if you find a good teacher, you could take Reclaiming's Elements of Magic class (the true Wicca 101) over and over for a lifetime. But ,you know what I mean.) Growing up Catholic -- with several centuries of writing about how to meditate, how to pray, how to approach liturgy, how to integrate liturgy into a personal practice, how to spend each hour in worship, how to process mystical experience, how to grow within a spiritual tradition -- being an avid reader, and, named, as I am, for a Doctor of the Church, I've long felt this lack quite deeply.
T. Thorn Coyle has started a series of podcasts, available for free on iTunes, that help to address this gap. I'd link, but iTunes makes that fucking difficult, esp. if you don't want to reveal your name. If you go to iTunes, go to podcasts, and search under Thorn Coyle, you'll find them easily. She's basing the discussions around each of the elements and the discussions, so far, have been quite good. Her discussion of Air, with a ceremonial magician, was particularly good, IMHO. It's not an introduction to Pagan practice, but even someone w only a good basic understanding should get something out of it. She also discusses water and dream work with Anne Hill in an understandable and yet advanced way that would profit any witch no matter how experienced. I woke up this morning going, hmmmm. Dreams are so much richer when you go to sleep expecting them to be rich.
I'd love to see this same material up on YouTube, even if accompanied by no more than pictures of Thorn and her interviewee or by Powerpoint slides. Not everyone goes to iTunes for this sort of search.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."