By Sarah Elisabeth Brenham
Some people are brave enough to explore a path that goes against everything they were taught. I am one of those people. I was born and raised Roman Catholic; however, the secrecy of witchcraft was interwoven throughout my childhood. I will always love God, but I believe that there is more out there than Him.
Growing up in the Catholic religion, one was taught that witchcraft and magic were synonymous with the devil. When I was a young girl, I was given my first spell book. At the time, I viewed the literature as a novelty. Little did I know that the book represented a door to another world. When I was an adult, someone my family knew entered the Wiccan religion. She was originally Catholic. I began to ponder the possibility of converting religions or living a dual spiritual life.
I live life a little differently from the average person; I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and a minor in psychology. I have a highly inquisitive mind. While my physical world is severely limited, I am also courageous and adventurous. I push the boundaries of my limitations, and do my best to grow beyond the restrictions of the reality I experience. The program “Second Life“, has been the key to the universe for me. I can travel the world, work like a normal person, form relationships, and do things that are otherwise unavailable to me in today’s world.
After losing a friend who told me becoming a witch was a bad idea, I decided to follow the promptings of my heart and begin the journey searching for Goddess.
officially started my journey by searching through the groups in Second Life. After trying many inquiries and not finding any that interested me, I started to get discouraged.
After receiving a tarot card reading from a highly recommended psychic in Second Life, I noticed several groups in her profile pertaining to Wicca. We began talking, and she invited me to Sacred Cauldron. It was the best invitation I have ever received.
At first glance, I did not know that Sacred Cauldron was part of WiccanSeminary.Edu. I went to my first ritual there and immediately felt welcomed. Upon learning that a real-world college was affiliated with Sacred Cauldron, I knew instantly I had to become a student and graduate with the knowledge to aid others.
Sacred Cauldron is a pagan-friendly, public “sim” that houses the WiccanSeminary.EDU’s online campus. WiccanSeminary.EDU is formally known as the Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. Under the direction of Dean Belladonna Laveau, WiccanSeminary.EDU is the first college to gain degree-granting rights for students to earn a degree in ministry for the Wiccan religion. Its home base is in Washington State, U.S.A.
It began with The Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary run by Pete Davis, who desired to help Wiccans gain legitimate employment as ministers and (gain) respect as equals in interfaith communities. In 2001 Belladonna Laveau began WISESeminary.com; a very similar school that relied heavily on the Internet to deliver the information to address the fact that Wiccans are scattered far and wide. In 2006, the two schools merged as one and WiccanSeminary.EDU has been going strong every since. With Belladonna Laveau as the Dean and Pete Davis as Head Regent, the school has merged traditional Wiccan training and new world innovation to give their students the best magical education available online, or otherwise.
Since bringing WiccanSeminary.EDU into Second Life, students have found the enriched virtual community an indispensable tool for learning magic and the school has flourished. Even experienced 3rd degrees are changing their minds about what is possible over the Internet, and are reconsidering their position on what is possible in an online, distance learning program
Classes can be taken outside of Second Life, through a normal web browser. Associate through Doctoral degrees are available for completion. Tuition can be paid per course, by the year, or one can become a Supporting Member with the option of donating as little as $30 a month to attend all classes inclusively. Work scholarships are available for those who are disabled, unemployed, or otherwise suffering a hardship that allows them to contribute time and energy rather than money in exchange for their training. The school administration works very hard to ensure that everyone who wants to go to school, is able to.
Like all college pupils, I worried that I would not be able to attend the school, for I had no feasible way to pay. I was told that I may qualify for a work scholarship. Being that this was the way I got through my first university, I jumped at the chance.
The staff at the school are not only your instructors, but they are also your champion, healer, confidant and friend. They want to see you succeed, not only scholastically but as a person as well. They will help you every step of the way, and that is very humbling. You are not just getting a education, you are expanding and evolving yourself as a person. Talk about food for thought!
The Sacred Cauldron “sim” is a private island estate, and looks like something you would find in a fairytale. Beautiful trees, animals, foliage, expertly made buildings and friendly people weave the magic of this Enchanted Realm come-to-life.
Courses, fun events, meditations, daily devotionals, and Friday evening rituals are routinely held at Sacred Cauldron. There is also a sister area, called “Magick Happens” where Native American studies take place.
As a college graduate, I am impressed with the quality of education and thrilled with the enriched experience the rituals, healings, and classes bring to my life. You see, I don’t have the luxury of studying Wicca from anywhere other than a computer. I am a quadriplegic. I need a nurse to do everything for me, except move a mouse. But as a witch and student of the Goddess on Sacred Cauldron and at WiccanSeminary.EDU, I am a whole and holy person. After I obtain my four year degree, I hope to help everybody on earth.
Sarah is a student at the Seminary. She studies hard and we are extremely proud of her. This is her first article published in Panygeria.