This is the outline for a collection of four semi-formal training sessions 
for people interested in starting out in "The Craft" or Neopaganism.  It is 
intended to give enough grounding to effectively participate in ritual, 
with the expectation that those that are really dedicated, skilled, and/or 
interested will undertake further study.
Since this is for beginners, there are no textbooks, no required reading, 
and the course only deals with such material as can be taught in four 1-1/2 
to 2 hour informal sessions.

I.  DAY ONE: Neopagan Traditions

    The first day's material is a basic overview of Neopagan history and 
    tradition, intended to make people more comfortable with the subject.  

    A.   History of The Craft

         Examine two topics to show how they influence the modern witch: 
         how Neopagan witchcraft grew out of and borrows from the 
         Gardnerian Reformation, and how our Craft Law developed from a 
         variety of traditions and needs.  

         1.   Origins, Ancient (?) and Modern

              Fact before theory: discuss the evolution of witchcraft
              from Gardner onwards, then overview the evidences that
              witchcraft is a pre-Christian and (possibly) pre-historic

              a.   The Gardnerian Reformation

                   Discussion of Gerald Gardner and both the original and 
                   modern versions of Gardnerian Witchcraft (with a quick 
                   side-line into its off-shoot and competitor, Alexandrian 

              b.   The Church of All Worlds and Neopaganism

                   History of the Church of All Worlds and its contri- 
                   butions, including the word "neopagan" and "Green Egg", 
                   the journal in which the framework of modern, Neopagan 
                   witchcraft was developed from the framework of 
                   Gardnerianism crossed with Greco/Roman and Egyptian 
                   pagan traditions.  

              c.   The Non-Pagan Branches of the Craft

                   Other types of witches: Feminist Wicca, Church of Wicca,
                   the Masonic Druids of England, and the Family Tradition-

              d.   Evidences of Stone-Age Witchcraft

                   Discuss some of the evidence that witchcraft carries on
                   a tradition with stone-age origins and a 10,000 year
                   history, both pro and con.  Emphasize that there is no
                   conclusive evidence one way or the other.

         2.   Craft Law, Ancient and Modern

              a.   The Reasons for Craft Law

                   Discuss how the in-bred fear of of the Powers of Evil, 
                   combined with the need to trust each other against the 
                   Inquisition, gave birth to the concept of Craft Law.  

              b.   The Wiccan Rede

                   "An it harm none, do what thou will."  Stress both the
                   libertine and the disciplinarian interpretations of that
                   law.  Discuss the Law of Karma, and how the Wiccan Rede
                   (interpreted properly) becomes more of a safety rule 
                   than a Commandment.

              c.   The Rule of Secrecy

                   Gloss quickly over the Inquisition (everybody knows 
                   enough), and examine some of the evidence that a "witch-
                   hunt" is being begun.  Encourage the students to 
                   recognize that the decision to be public or secretive 
                   has to be made by each individual, and they have the 
                   right to expect others to respect their privacy on this 

         3.   Magick in Theory and Practice

              Magick is the unifying force in all of the Neopagan 
              Traditions.  To lay the groundwork for Day Two, explain the 
              basic theories of magick, and how they influence the design 
              and practice of Neopagan ritual.  

              a.   The Basic Rules of Magick

                   Explain that the central theory of magick is that
                   reality can be altered by a sufficiently strong will,
                   focused by the proper ritual. For comparison and 
                   contrast, mention Bell's Hypothesis, from quantum
                   physics.  Discuss seriously the possibility that all
                   that the magician alters is his own mind and awareness
                   of how the world works.

              b.   Magick and Neopagan Ritual

                   Define the two classic types of ritual: religious and 
                   magickal, or (better terms) theurgical and thauma- 
                   turgical.  Show how magick is used in both, and where 
                   the rituals diverge.  

    B.   The Magick Circle

         Even more than the pentacle, the Magick Circle is the central
         symbol of Neopagan Witchcraft.  The final topic for Day One is
         the purpose, symbolism, and protocols of a pagan Circle.

         1.   Purpose and Symbolism

              a.   Ceremonial Magic and Qabbalism versus the Pagan Circle

                   Most people get their idea of what a circle is for from 
                   the Ceremonial magicians and kaballists, who use it for 
                   protection from outside magick.  Emphasize that the 
                   quantum leap that Gardner made was to think of using the 
                   circle INSTEAD to keep beneficial magick WITHIN the 
                   ritual area until it is fully built-up, focused, and 

              b.   The Power of the Circle: The Five Elements

                   Discuss how the classic Four Elements of Greek science
                   are the symbols for four types of power, four states of
                   matter, four types of personality, and so forth, showing
                   correspondences.  Highlight the difference between
                   elemental power, psychic power, and divine power - and
                   the similarities.  Explain how the elements are used
                   in casting the circle.

              c.   Ritual Tools

                   Discuss one-by-one the tools that a witch uses to focus 
                   her mind - the athame, the elemental symbols (salt or a 
                   pentacle for earth, a candle or lamp for fire, the 
                   incense and the wand for air, the chalice for water), 
                   the magic mirror, the sword, candles, herbs, and the use 
                   of images.  

         2.   Conduct within the Circle

              Two final bits of information needed inside the circle: the
              directions of casting and the integrity of the circle.

              a.   Widdershins and Deosil

                   Define the terms (deosil = clockwise, widdershins = 
                   counter-clockwise).  Explain that widdershins is often 
                   mistaken for evil, but show that the difference is more 
                   accurately raising or bannishing power.  Stress that, in 
                   order to get along, when in doubt, go deosil.  

              b.   The Integrity of the Circle

                   Remind people that, since no evil magick is involved, 
                   there is no RISK involved in leaving a circle. However, 
                   stress that since a circle is supposed to CONTAIN energy 
                   it should not be punctured hastily or unnecessarily.  
                   Teach how to open and close gateways in the circle, and 
                   when to and not to do so.