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The Braided Wheel 1st Degree Syllabus

The First degree is the easiest to obtain. It is basic religious competence. The First degree training program is designed to make the student a competent Priest/ess and so focuses on ritual form and practice.

Required Books


I. Intro

  1. Study Guide Focus:Introduction to the Braided Wheel Training Program.
    Intro to the Study Guide
    study habits
    Neopagan Etiquette
    Introduction to the Book of Shadows
    Overview of Braided Wheel Degree System
    "Spiral Dance" Chapter 10
  2. Focus: Historical Background and Origin Myths
    "Spiral Dance" Chapter 1.
    "Drawing Down the Moon" Chapter 4
    Charley Murphy "The Burning Times"
  3. Focus: Historical background
    "Drawing Down the Moon" Chapter 5
    History of Braided Wheel and Blue Star
  4. Study GuideFocus: Other Options in the Neopagan Movement
    "Drawing Down the Moon" Chapter 9 and Appendix III

II. Religious Theory

  1. Focus: Reasons why people become Neopagans
    "Drawing Down the Moon" Section I Chapters 1,2 & 3.
  2. Focus: The World View of Witchcraft
    "Spiral Dance" Chapter 2
  3. Focus: The Implications of Inherent Deity.
    "Drawing down the Moon" Chapter 8
  4. Focus: Creating religion.
    "Spiral Dance" Chapter 13

III. Ritual

  1. Focus: General ritual forms
    "Real Magic" Chapter 7.
    Our ritual form.
    Sex and ritual, liturgical design, big group, little group and all alone
  2. Focus: Esbats and Sabbats.
    "Spiral Dance" Chapters 11-12
  3. Focus: Group Bonding and Preparation-to write or not to write. Socializing in the group, sharing the expense - contributing, bring food to the ritual. Group consensus know what the ritual is about before you begin.
    "Spiral Dance" Chapter 3
  4. Focus: Altar set up.
    Altar set up
    candle magic
    color symbolism

IV. Beginning the ritual

  1. Focus: Duties of clergy. What are you getting your self into. Personal rituals, rituals for daily living, prayer
    "Wheels of life" Chapter 11.
  2. Light the center candle, how to enter ritual space, ways of preparing. Why do we do this, what does it mean to be spiritual. "Spiral Dance" Chapter 4.
  3. Grounding meditation how to meditate how to raise energy how to ground. "Spiral dance"-Chapter 9
  4. Using energy to purify the space and self, Casting the Circle, sacred space spiral dance, vortex "Wheels of Life" Chapter 1


Read about Quarter calls and use the information to do the weekly assignments.
  1. Spend a week just focusing on the East-wands, staffs, quill pens, etc. Write your own Invocation to the East.
  2. Spend a week just focusing on the South-metal smithing, knives, Athames, etc. Write your own Invocation to the South
  3. Spend a week just focusing on the West- Wooden? bowls, Chalaces etc. Write your own Invocation to the West
  4. Spend a week just focusing on the North-Pottery, Penticles, Cauldrens etc. Write your own Invocation to the North.

VI. Deities

  1. Mono-duo-poly-pan-a-theism and the nature of divinity. How to call a deity
  2. The cycle of the year Holy Days, the moon cycle "Spiral Dance" Chapters 11 & 12.
  3. Types of Goddesses; Maiden, Mother and Crone; white, red and black. The Goddess "Spiral Dance" chapter 5
  4. Types of dying Gods; Green God, Horned God, and Sun God; green, blue and gold. The God "Spiral Dance" chapter 6. "Drawing down the Moon" Chapter 12

VII. The Goddess

  1. Read about The Maiden cycle Kore's story (and Demeter's) (Persephone and Adonis)
  2. Read about The Mother cycle Carridwen, Gaia
  3. Read about The Crone Cycle Hecate, Kali wisdom and the dark destroyer, passage Goddesses, Goddesses of the crossroads, the Dark Mother who destroys Her children. The sow who eats her piglets
  4. Find your own Goddess. Research a Goddess and write out Her story. What type of Goddess is she? is She one of the three or not?

VIII. The God

  1. Read about The Youth, Adonis, Osiris and Christ as grain gods the cycle of burial and growth.
  2. Read about The Horned god. Animal gods, Hern and Pan, suffering gods, bringers of wisdom, Christ and Odin, passage gods Mercury and Hermes, Ganesh, gods of the cross roads. Lords of the dead.
  3. Read about Sky gods, The Sun god, the Gods of thunder and lightening. Law givers. Conquers "Truth or Dare".
  4. Find your own God. Research a God and write His story. What sort of God is He?

IX. Magic

  1. "Drawing Down the Moon" Chapter 7 Study guide - Personal ritual
  2. Neopagan ethics. The three fold law, what goes around comes around, Neopagan karma
  3. The laws of Magic "Real magic" Chapters 1 & 2. Student handbook
  4. The principles of spell casting. "Spiral Dance" Chapter 7.

X. Energy Raising, Grounding, Great Rite and Sacred Feast

  1. Drumming, oming, singing scheduled pagan mayhem "Spiral Dance" chapter 8
  2. Trance and Meditation "Spiral Dance" Chapter 9
  3. "The Great Rite", sex in ritual symbolic and otherwise "Sacred feast"
  4. Pick up and say goodbye. The importance of humor "Drawing Down the Moon" Chapter 11

XI. Divination

  1. Tarot
  2. Runes
  3. I Ching, pendulums
  4. Totem animals Indian and European, spirit guides and angels.

XII. The Chacras 1-4

Read the relivant chapters in "Wheels of Life"
  1. 1st Grounding
  2. 2nd Sex
  3. 3rd Will
  4. 4th Heart

XIII. The Chacras 5-7 +8

"Wheels of life" Student handbook
  1. 5th Voice
  2. 6th Third Eye
  3. 7TH Consciousness
  4. 8th Manifestation
1998-99 Sheherazahde, last updated 04/04/01
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