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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Merchants (Online)
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The Firefly Academy, a nature-based online school
Owned by: Iris Firemoon
Crafted From: Arlington, Virginia
Vox Acct.: 172572
Link ID: 30817
Website Profile: We offer 20 courses in various pagan and metaphysical studies, including Wicca, tarot, astrology, qabala, runes, meditation, scrying, stones/crystals, ritual, tools, spells, and others.
The mission of the Firefly Academy:
1. To offer online classes, workshop, and information on religion and personal growth, focusing on Wicca, Witchcraft, Paganism, and related topics, but open to all religions.
2. To offer an online clergy program with requirements for ordination.
3. To plan and promote online social activities for the community, including chats, rituals, forums, etc.
4. To provide online community resources, including, but not limited to databases, calendar of events, publications, etc.
On October 15, 2006, the Academy will open its doors to new students for the first time.
The purpose of The Firefly Academy is to promote the exploration of one's individual path through spiritual empowerment, creative spiritual expression, and inidivual magickal experiences.
The practice and beliefs presented are Firefly Eclectic Wicca, which is meant to be a base of study. Each person is encouraged to explore his or her own ideology and adapt this paradigm as he or she sees fit, whether it be nature-based, a meld of several traditions, a blend of more than one religion or belief system, or other. Members of The Firefly Academy are not required to have any specific religious or spiritual affiliation. Respect for all paths is required, and learning about different interfaith and intrafaith paths is encouraged.
The Firefly core is the TFA Administration Board and Priests/Priestsesses and Ministers. Surrounding that, members of TFA included students, self-dedicants, and self-initiates.
Any person who is enrolled in a class, workshop, or intensive is considered a student.
Any student who completes Wicca 1 and performs a self-dedication ritual, making a promise to study their individual path and the path of the Goddess until the point in which they decide to or to not initiate is a Dedicant. In parenthesis are the specifics of Firefly Eclectic Wicca. Dedicants should understand:
* A basic structure to his/her individual beliefs (Paganism and Wicca) .
* A concept of Deity and how to communicate with the Divine, or the basic theology behind one's practice (God and Goddess) .
* One's personal ethics (Wiccan Rede) .
* The lunar cycle.
* The solar cycle and major days of the year (Sabbats)
* The four elements.
* Cleansing, purifying, gounding, centering, meditating, and visualization.
Any Dedicant who completes the requirements for Firefly Priesthood and performs a self-initiation ritual under the direction of Iris Firemoon is considered an Initiate. Initiates should understand:
* The basic elements of ritual and how to perform them.
* Basic tools and how to use them.
* Basic symbols and what they stand for.
* The Witch's Pyramid
* The theory and practice of using magick.
* How to write and cast spells.
* Basic divination techniques.
This school is founded on the premise that we give students tools to be all that they can be. Some people come looking for a class or two, then others want a place to take their spiritual journey. So, for those looking for something more, we offer a curriculum designed to bring you into the Firefly inner family. In Iris' journeys, she has found that she learns so much by teaching others. She has grown in ways that she would have never imagined. So, teaching is apart of the curriculum at The Firefly Academy. Our program increases one's awareness of the self by reaching out to others. Below are the requirements to become a Spiral Priest or Spiral Priestess with The Firefly Academy:
* Required Curriculum
+ Wicca 1
+ Wicca 2
+ Wicca 3
+ Independent Study in Wicca
+ Tools (1, 2 or 3)
o Two Courses on Divination
o One Course in Advanced Divination (i.e. has a prerequisite)
o Three Elective Courses
* Dedication: Perform self-dedication at the end of Wicca 1.
* Divination: Over your course of study, you must choose at least one divination technique to master. Whether it be Tarot, Astrology, Runes, Scrying, or other divination technique, a short paper will be required on your experiences. Specifics given later.
* Independent Study: The Independent Study in Wicca is a one-on-one course that can be repeated multiple times. This study can focus not only on advanced study, but building a class outline, lessons, as well as how to present information and work with students.
* Teaching: You must teach one course or workshop, whether it be Wicca 1, a course based on your divination focus, or other course. It does not have to be a course that we currently offer.
Personal Initiatory Experience
Though Wicca is most typically a religion of initiation, the path to understanding the Mysteries of the Universe is personal. We will not all take the same path, but there is a point where we have an experience of divine realization. We may understand our place on the ladder of the stars at the moment, and we may be able to turn around to gaze upon the quilt we weaved on our way up. It could even be signified by a realized personal relationship with a deity. Initiation does not always occur at the moment we perform an initiation ritual. In fact, it does not technically require a ritual at all. Initiation, or reaching a specific personal level of understanding of the universe, may occur weeks or months before your initiation ritual, during your initiation ritual, or even weeks or months after your initiation ritual. There are many experiences that can encourage a deeper understanding, such as sweat lodges, vision quests, the Hunt, vigils, or other ritual experiences.
Firefly Clergy Track
Priests and Priestesses focus on the inner workings of a group, and may offer some services to the community. However, a clergy person dedicates life to reaching out to those in need and providing services to the community. Comprised of 24 lessons intending to take one to two weeks, our clergy trainees have one year and a day to complete their training. Topics include, rites of passage, specialty ministry, interfaith outreach, non-violent communication, community service, counseling, teaching, public speaking, event planning, group formation, and more. On the completion of this program, Firefly students will be ordained as legal clergy.
Each person that comes to TFA has a different need or path. Our goal is to provide a means to a personal path. Many Fireflies will take on leadership roles in the school and within the community. One or more of the following vocations my resonate with you, and that is okay. We often work within several vocations, but one is the strongest within our paths.
* Seekers: Not a leadership vocation, but these people come to the school in order to gain knowledge and seek to benefit in some form from teachers, shamans, diviners, pastors, and/or organizers. Within Firefly, seekers are students, members of the community, and others who wish to gain knowledge or understanding from their explorations.
* Teachers: These people inspire others by passing on the knowledge that they have learned, including any important revelations or insights that they have picked up. Inquisitiveness and authenticity are key aspects in their work. Within Firefly, teachers often write course materials, host classes, workshops, and mini-lectures. They seek to share what they have learned with others, even through conversation and resources.
* Shamans: Whether in themselves or in others, these guides promote healthy change through influencing the physical experience. Courage and integrity are key aspects in their work. Within Firefly, shamans will encourage others to take part in awakening experiences, as well as facilitate or participate in such experiences at gatherings. This includes, but is not limited to, shamanic journeying, meditation, transformative ritual, astral travel, and trance, etc.
* Diviners: These people are the messengers. They open channels between the seeker and the Divine. Commitment and reverence are key aspects in their work. Within Firefly, diviners often participate in divination chats, are willing to read or divine for seekers, and are sometimes willing to share their techniques or craft with others.
* Pastors: These people seek to meet the community's psychological and social needs through counseling and ceremony. Pastors open themselves up to complex issues, often times within boundaries. They may even facilitate spiritual and physical healing. Listening and compassion are key aspects in their work. Within Firefly, pastors give their time to listen to others and possibly offer wisdom on the situation. They may send healing/positive thoughts and energy, light candles, cast spells, or perform rituals for those in need.
* Organizers: These are the servants and stewards. These people are the creators, committed to building and maintaining religious community spaces, organizations, and opportunities, etc. They are also the janitors, being the first person to arrive to clean and set up, and often the last person to leave. They are there to fill in the gaps and do what is needed to be done. Foresight and wisdom are key aspects in their work. Within Firefly, organizers create opportunities for other students, which may include serving as an administrator, delegate, chat room moderator, or meetup coordinator, etc.
These vocations were adapted to apply to TFA from a lecture on the Five Vocational Pathways of Pagan Priesthood by Jonathan Davide White.
Paganism is a loosely structured belief system that is built upon the earth, the community…and the underlying connection that all things share. To build a successful community, a good majority of the people in that community must work to benefit the whole. Nowadays, our community is a lot bigger than in the past. Volunteering is not only about helping others, but it is about laying down the foundations of a great community…no matter how big or small. The Firefly community is dedicated to contributing to the global community. For more information on ways to get involved: http://firefly.mrooms.org/mod/book/view.php?id=77&chapterid=181
Solar and Lunar Celebrations
It is in the Firefly spirit that any sabbat or esbat be appropriately commemorated when possible. This could be a ritual, divination, gathering, meeting, meditation, or other activity (such as walking in the woods, singing, etc.) . Full moons and new moons are significant dates. Though the names and spellings of various sabbats may differ, these are the names and spellings that TFA will use:
Samhain - October 31st
Yule - December 21st (approximate)
Imbolc - February 2nd
Ostara - March 21st (approximate)
Beltane - April 30th
Midsummer - June 21st (approximate)
Lughnassadh - August 1st
Mabon - September 21st (approximate)
Firefly Eclectic Wicca does not have deities with which to work more specific than the God and the Goddess. It is up to the individual practitioner to determine what deities to work with. During any Firefly group rituals (online or in person) , the writer of the ritual can determine deities with which to work that are appropriate to the purpose of the ritual.
Firefly Eclectic Wicca was written with help from several core members of the Coven of Celestial Tides. We thank you for sharing your experience.
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