Offered in cooperation with the Temple of Witchcraft’s Sagittarius ministry are classes and workshops for the education of clergy and practitioners of all types. The Temple’s Mystery School consists of five year-long classes (click the individual links for specific class information):
- Witchcraft I: The Inner Temple
- Witchcraft II: The Outer Temple
- Witchcraft III: The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft
- Witchcraft IV: The Temple of High Witchcraft
- Witchcraft V: The Living Temple
Applicants for the Mystery School must be eighteen years old or older. Special exception will only be made for those with full support from their parent or guardian, provided in writing, with the permission of the head of the Mystery School and the dean of students.
The degreed tradition classes in Temple of Witchcraft Mystery School offer three basic benefits beyond the teachings themselves, including the educational material and your experience with them. Different aspects of the class align with these three areas, and all three fit into our theology of the Three Rays of Will, Love, and Wisdom. When you take a degree course, the Temple offers you Accountability, Support, and Community.
Accountability: Unlike other courses, the degree courses of the Temple are not study at your own pace, with stops and starts, but a continual process designed to bring about psychic changes within the student, to craft oneself into a deeper practitioner of magick. It’s often easy to get out of practice, let things slip and have “life” take over to the detriment of living a magickal life. Having made a commitment, and having a system that asks you to be accountable, to keep the commitment, is a necessary part of the process. This is also known as Witnessing, as mentors, teachers and allies witness our process and acknowledge the work we have done on what often seems like a lonely road with few landmarks. Accountability also helps us build the necessary psychic momentum, what some refer to as a “cauldron” or alchemical “crucible” to sustain the necessary changes a magickal practice demands. The Dean of Students in the Temple is the overall ally for Accountability and Witnessing, making sure your assignments are complete. Those who are not accountable to the process in a timely manner will not continue to receive lessons. The focus is upon the experience of the actual teachings of the Craft as presented. While there is a lot of flexibility in personal practice we ask that the initial teaching be experienced as it is. Once accomplished, there can be personal exploration and creativity and in the upper levels, such exploration and creativity is required. Accountability aligns with the Red Ray of Will and Power.
Support: Beyond the accountability of actually setting a task and completing it to the best of your ability, support includes offering encouragement, feedback, and even critique. As with any skill, we don’t improve without counsel from those who have learned the art before us. With encouragement, we know we are not alone on the path. We walk the path others have walked, and then can venture out with support into uncharted territories to explore. Support is found through our Mentors, those who have completed the class before you, offering an encouraging perspective and the benefit of their own experience as you continue on the path. Teaching assistants and the Dean of Students can ask more specific questions requiring us to reach deeper, or offer stronger feedback and often critical information, encouraging us to do things over and look at things in new ways. The instructor will add the capstone of support with regular check-in, and availability as questions and concerns arising from student, mentor, teaching assistant or dean. The focus is on the support from one who is living the teachings of the Craft. Support aligns with the Yellow Ray of Wisdom and Knowledge.
Community: Community is the body of practitioners, of fellow Witches and magicians, who work similar patterns and mysteries in their own life. While the school is not primarily a social group or for social support, nor is it a forum for group therapy, the fellowship of other Witches can be a sustaining part of the path. The community itself is like a cauldron teacher. We learn much about ourselves from our own interactions and reactions with people in our class, and many find friendship and kinship among themas time goes on. The community holds space in many ways, for that exploration and our gaze into it can be like the still mirror surface of a lake, or the stirring of the pot of emotions and reactions. Eventually we join the body of magickal initiates, the magickal society, and find a common ground among us. The instructor can guide the group process of the community as part of class discussion and interaction through additional wisdom lecture information. The group dynamic helps us draw from and add to the overall egregore of the school and temple. The focus is upon what we learn in a group consciousness setting. Community aligns with the Blue Ray of Love and Trust.
With these three points in place, like the tripod of the cauldron, one has a stronger chance of deeper success upon the path of the Witch.
The Mystery School Team
In the spirit of Witnessing, Feedback, and Fellowship, we have created a team approach to these three areas of education. Rather than work solely one-on-one with a teacher or mentor, there is a group experience, especially for the online classes. While ideally we’d like everyone to enjoy every aspect of the teachings personally, the very nature of spiritual teachings indicates they are not personal, but drawn from the forces of nature and the subtle realms. Our personal responses and reactions to them, and to fellow walkers on the path, provide valuable personal teaching tailored to our own self development. With this in mind, having several areas of witnesses, feedback, and fellowship helps us make a variety of relationships and personal connections. Our education is not dependent upon any one individual or relationship within the Temple, including the instructor. It becomes a communal network.
Students submit homework first to a mentor (often a student in an upper level class), providing a level of support closer to peer support, while offering the upper-level student an invaluable experience as a mentor. The mentor offers feedback, sending it to the student and a Teaching Assistant, usually a graduate of the program serving the education ministry and often getting experience and practice prior to becoming an instructor. The view of the experienced graduate can offer further insight or confirmation, and often a differing experience. The Teaching Assistant sends materials back to the Mentor, Student, and the Dean of Students, who notates the assignment is done, and offers final feedback. The instructor guides group discussion of the class, along with a List Moderator, and offers personal check-ins, answers questions, and addresses concerns as the course progresses. Students are not required to sign in online at any particular time for group discussion or to receive class information. Lessons are emailed out directly. Discussion and questions occur on the Yahoo Groups list. Homework is emailed back to the staff for evaluation. While participation in the discussion forums is not required in the earlier levels it is encouraged, and subscription to the forums to receive updates is mandatory. This pattern of team feedback creates a web of guidance in our model of Accountability, Support and Community.
For those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere of online learning, the Temple of Witchcraft offers, from time to time, other, non-degree courses that have a more socially supportive nature, but without the levels of accountability in the degree classes, such as courses on The Wheel of the Year, Path of the Moon, Astrology, and Tarot.
We also highly recommend that those interested in the Temple of Witchcraft as a tradition review the Membership and Ministerial Handbooks found on this website, as well as the book The Foundations of the Temple by Christopher Penczak, as an overview on the mission and ethos of the Temple as a tradition and community.
In-person Instructors (See Mystery School Teachers) work from this ethos, but may vary the application due to the size and circumstances of their in-person classes.
Students registered for any class in the Mystery School agree, at least while in class, to the principles outlined in the Membership and Ministerial Handbooks, including the principle of mediation during conflict. Students experiencing conflict with other students and/or staff within the school should be open to mediation as facilitated through the Temple’s Libra Ministry. Administrative decisions regarding class matters are decided upon by the school staff. Any challenges to the administration’s decisions can be brought before the Temple’s Board of Directors for final arbitration.
While it is possible for experienced Witches to obtain advanced placement in the Mystery School, entering into the Third Year, it is generally not advised. Much like a martial arts school, when a black belt seeks to enter into training in a new dojo, or a new style, even the most experienced student starts at the beginning to truly learn and master the system. As advanced students are required to mentor others, it is important to have had the experiences from all the prior courses. Specific rituals, lore, tips and wisdom lectures not found in the textbooks are offered in the classes and complement the knowledge as it is applied in the Temple’s Mystery School.
If an applicant truly feels called for advanced placement, tests are available that include written and psychic portions. Applicants should have worked through the textbook for the degree(s) they are testing out of in detail at their own pace, reading all lessons and experiencing the exercises and rituals. To request an advanced placement test for the Mystery School, please email email@example.com.
Many teachers of magick are thrown into the situation because of necessity or calling but don’t always get much guidance and training on working with others. Our mentorship program is the first step in gaining experience in helping the development of other magickal students in a supported environment.
All advanced students are required to be open to mentoring at least one student in the previous levels. The process of offering feedback and witnessing process is invaluable, for often the student’s fresh perspective can teach the mentor many things about both the material and themselves. Advanced students take on a greater degree of accountability in the community and educational process, giving back in the same way in which they were helped.
We don’t require anyone studying, or initiating, in the Temple to renounce any other traditions, religions, or practices while pursuing work in the Temple. Students and graduates can continue with whatever practices, community work, and traditions they desire, as long as your commitments to our course are kept. If other work is a distraction to your coursework, we will ask you to make a commitment to the class, but do not require you to leave anything to do so. You must manage your own time, effort, and energy in these matters and make appropriate decisions. Many initiates of the Temple are also active initiates in other traditions and this poses no conflict for us. We often see the double meaning in the idea of a “degree” within a tradition, and look at it akin to degrees within other educational institutions. You can have multiple undergraduate degrees from different institutions, along with Masters and PhDs from even more academic institutions, and still maintain the integrity and use of your earlier degrees. If you, or elders of other traditions, feel there is an energetic, spiritual, or personal conflict from maintaining more than one, that is up to you to resolve and make the appropriate decision for you and your path. We will never require you to resign or renounce any other work you are called to do, even if it’s not within the scope and mission of the Temple.
Standard fee for Witchcraft I–IV is $300 for the year-long class. Standard fee for the Witchcraft V Seminary program is $600 for the seven-week intensive plus a year-long class. To reserve your space for a Mystery School class, a $75 deposit is required with your application. Those not accepted to the program will receive their deposit back with such notice. Accepted students who withdraw from registration prior to the start of the class but fifty days or more after payment of deposit, are subject to a $5.00 administrative fee deducted from their deposit refund.
The balance of the fee for the entire course is due by the start date of the first class. This fee covers all online written and audio materials, usually sent in PDF and MP3 formats. This does not include the required textbook or CD companion (required for the online course) both of which can be ordered at fine local metaphysical stores or online, including at www.christopherpenczak.com. The class fee also does not include any suggested reading or supplies, such as incense, candles, herbs, stones, or jewelry. You will be notified of suggested materials in each of the appropriate lessons.
A payment link is included in the confirmation message when you complete the online form, which you may use to submit the deposit, balance of your payment, or to pay for the class in full; you may also mail a check or money order. Please do not send cash. All checks and money orders can be made directly to “Temple of Witchcraft” and mailed to:
Temple of Witchcraft
Attn: Mystery School Financial Dept.
49 North Policy Street
Salem, NH 03079
Please be sure to include your legal name, class, and class start date with your payment to ensure proper processing of your payment.
Students may choose to withdraw from a Temple Mystery School course prior to when the course begins for a full refund by notifying the Mystery School Dean of Students and the Temple Treasurer. There is a $5 processing fee deducted from refunds made more than 60 days after the date of payment.
Students who fully participate in a course for up to three months and decide the course is not for them, can withdraw for a pro-rated (total course fee minus the cost of three lessons) refund by written request to the Dean of Students prior to the fourth lesson being due. Withdrawals after the three month “try out” period are non-refundable.
Refunds offered under withdrawal circumstances such as illness, family emergency, or major life change will be offered pro-rated on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Treasurer and Dean of Students to inquire.
Payment plans are available solely on a case-by-case basis by petitioning the treasurer’s office explaining circumstances, and the financial department can offer an appropriate payment plan, if possible. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about a possible payment plan.
Students who fully participate in the course for up to three months and decide the course is not for them, can withdraw for a pro-rated (total minus the cost of three lessons) refund by request prior to the fourth lesson being due. Withdrawals after the three month period are non-refundable. Refunds offered under withdrawal circumstances such as illness, family emergency, or major life change will be offered pro-rated on a case-by-case basis.
A limited number of scholarships for Mystery School classes are available, due to the generous donations of our Temple community. If the fee for a Mystery School course would constitute a financial hardship for you, you may apply for one of the available scholarships, which are assigned by the Mystery School administration and the Temple’s Sagittarius Ministry based on need, merit, and evaluation of all received applications. Submitting a scholarship application does not ensure receipt of a scholarship, and some scholarships are only offered for partial tuition rather than full class tuition.
A scholarship must request must be submitted along with a class registration in order to be considered. Scholarship submissions without an associated class registration will not be considered.
To inquire about scholarship, please email email@example.com with the subject line “Mystery School Scholarship”.
Mystery School Payment Frequently Asked Questions
How much does my class cost?
The base cost for Witchcraft levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 is $300, which includes the $75 deposit. The base cost for Witchcraft 5 is $600, which includes the $75 deposit. This applies if you have submitted your registration application and registration deposit a minimum of one month prior to the month in which the class begins. Please see individual course pages for dates.
What if I register late?
If you register in the last month before the course start month, the total cost of the course is $350 ($650 for Witchcraft 5).
When do I pay for the course?
Payment in full is due before the start of the course. We recommend that you pay the balance of your course fee upon receipt of your acceptance letter. Those students with an unpaid balance when the course begins will not receive course materials.
Will you send a bill?
No. The Temple will not send out a bill or invoice for payment. It is the responsibility of the student make the necessary payments on time. However, if payment is not received in a timely manner, a reminder will be sent. Payments not received before the end of the 3rd month of the course will be subject to an additional $25 late fee.