As of this past week, I have formally submitted my final homework for Witchcraft One (The Inner Temple), the formal year-long intensive course done by the Mystery School of the Temple of Witchcraft in Salem, NH for their first degree.
It’s hard to believe that the year is finally over. So much has happened, both in my physical world and my spiritual world. I began the course in October of 2016, I was in New Zealand at the time and remained there until January. I moved back to Maine, cared for and then buried my grandmother, spent the summer in France, and re-matriculated as a full-time university student. All of this time, there has been one constant, my work with the Temple of Witchcraft.
The first month was completely overwhelming…how was I going to find the time for the homework? It was much more intense than anticipated. I even considered withdrawing. But something in my head told me to stick it out. I read, and I studied, and I read some more. I meditated a lot. I doubted myself. I couldn’t visualize what I was supposed to be visualizing… I couldn’t see things physically, I couldn’t feel ‘energy’. I was frustrated but I continued.
In February, I attended Pantheacon and had the privilege of attending a ritual led by Christopher Penczak and the Temple. I also was lucky enough to be able to meet my mentor (the school assigns each student a higher level mentor who helps guide you along the way), who ended up being wonderful and has been a blessing to me.
The following May, I attended Beltane in New Hampshire with the Temple and was able to get to know the leadership team of the Temple a little better. I spent the summer with my in-laws in France, I continued my studies. Progress felt slow. I had to work so hard just to be able to see any improvements.
And then I went to Templefest, the weekend festival hosted by the Temple of Witchcraft in New Hampshire. I had been on the fence about going, it was very soon after I returned from my trip abroad but I impulsively bought a ticket and decided to just roll with it. I had been in communication with several of my online classmates and we had decided to bunk together.
Check out this post by my good friend Glitterwitch for her wonderful perspective on the weekend: Journeying between worlds at Templefest
The rituals I attended unlocked something inside of me. I underwent a transformation. It was raw. It was brutal. And by the end of the weekend, I was a new witch. I could see things more clearly. Meditating no longer seemed like an impossible chore. It coincided perfectly with the current lesson I was studying in the course.
I am so glad that I chose to overlook the things I had heard. Taking this course was one of the best things I have ever done for my spiritual path. Christopher Penczak and the entire leadership team at Temple of Witchcraft are extraordinary. They have managed to create a fully functional school while still maintaining personal relationships with the student. I never felt like just a ‘paycheck’. I have always been treated with the utmost respect, kindness, and warmth from everyone on staff.
Although, I don’t identify as a Wiccan and don’t think my spiritual goals align with becoming a priestess in this specific tradition (At this time anyway), I plan on continuing my studies with them because honestly, it is one of the best schools out there.
If you are looking for way to deepen your practice, to learn self-discipline within your craft, and to open your spiritual understanding, I recommend the Temple of Witchcraft with my whole heart.
*All thoughts are my own and in no way reflect the Temple of Witchcraft on any official capacity