NOTE: This class is taken from the Order of the Gecko. IF you would like your answers to the questions reviewed or graded, sign up at the Order of the Gecko (its free!) to take the class for real.
Part 4: The Different Paths and Historical Knowledge
One of the great things about Wiccans is that often, they have expertise on a particular subject. All Wiccans are encouraged to explore their intuitive side – and this often involves work in tarot, i ching, runes, herbalism, and even dream interpretation. This lesson runs you through different paths a Wiccan may take – although these are notexclusive to the religion, they are frequently found hand in hand.
[[NOTE: You can often find additional resources on this blog about these various topics, just do a search and see what pops up!]]
Walking the Path. By S. Davis.
There are many different paths you can take to gain mastery over the world around you. Tarot, I-Ching, Astrology, Runes, and communion with such natural elements as stones, herbs, animals and birds.
Divination deals expressly with the idea that time is mutable and travels in cycles. We spend much of our own time contemplating past or future, and when we try to contemplate present, we begin to realize that as we recognize the moment, it is gone.
Divination is the attempt to try to see, through symbols or signs, either the past or future, and the energies associated with them. I-Ching, Tarot, Astrology, and Runes are all ways in which this objective can be achieved.
I-Ching is an ancient Chinese method in which, through throwing coins and studying their layout as well as symbols, conclusions can be reached regarding questions asked.
Tarot is a not so ancient divination method, originally a card game that evolved into something more. Consistent of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards, Tarot is a way for people of all ages to discover what grew up around them in the past and what lies in wait for them in the future.
Runes is a Nordic method of divination, in which the runes (24 of them) are carved or otherwise represented on stones and thrown. The positioning of the throw determines the answer to the question.
Astrology is a method which usually determines what your birth or natal chart signifies about your life, but the current positions of the stars and planets can also be read to indicate what energies are at play and what to do.
The Natural Element
Stones – Working with stones and gems can often offer the user with a way to ease pain or ills, increase abilities, or otherwise be worked into powerful charms, amulets and talismans.
Animals and Birds – Learning to observe the behavior, coloring, positioning, number and environment of various animals and birds can help predict the future or learn about the past. Learning to watch can also yield benefits in the daily life – omens are often, and lessons can often be learned from the hawk who so carefully watches his prey or the squirrel, who is in a constant state of vigilance for predators from all directions.
Plants and Herbology – The study of plants for medicinal and spiritual uses is a long standing practice found across cultures and time. Learning your local flora is often a way to find a cure for a headache or a way to, in the very least, make your home a happier smelling place.
Exercise 5: Pick one, learn more.
Choose one divination method and one “natural” method of observation from those listed in the resource in this lesson. For the divination method, choose some aspect – the way it is done, what each symbol means, the history behind it – and describe it here. For the ‘natural’ observation and uses, pick one and do the same – choose a few of the specimens and describe them, or cite an interesting aspect of the practice.
Cite all sources used.
Links To Learn More (some are off-site):
Exercise 6: History vs. Application
Much of what is in the Gardnerian Book of Shadows is not necessarily as well connected today as it was in the past. Of these four documents – which, if any, do you think should be followed to be considered Wiccan? How much of each document is Universal knowledge? How much of each document is time-oriented knowledge – comments on the culture that was present at the time it was written?