Introduction to Inner Temple of Witchcraft (ITOW), Week 1

Welcome to the ITOW Study Group!

Please feel free to jump in and join us at any time! I'm so glad to have you here!

Getting Started

First, let me share my expectations about this group -- basically, I have none! Ha! You should feel free to participate in any way that you feel comfortable. I'll provide discussion and journaling prompts that go along with each chapter of the ITOW book, but I know that we're all leading busy lives. So, do what you can. There will be no grading, and no shaming from me or others if your participation wavers. This should be guilt-free fun time for all of us, where we can learn about and discuss paganism.

Oh, so that reminds me of one very real, serious expectation that I do have: that we will all be respectful and kind to each other.

I reserve the right to block any user from the group who is not being respectful.

You Will Need

  • A Copy of the Book. The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.
  • A Link to Us. Make sure, if you want to follow along with each new Study Group update, that you have signed up for our ITOW email updates (subscribe button at right), are following us on Facebook (and/or Instagram), and/or that you check the site each Friday for new updates. I typically post them by 8am EST Friday.
  • Discussion Page Access. You can sign up here.
  • An Open Mind. You most likely will not agree with every practice or idea in this book. It covers many different ideologies surrounding paganism. I just ask that you respect everyone's ideas and simply skip over any content or exercise that doesn't feel comfortable to you.
  • A Notebook. Many exercises in the ITOW book involve writing, no pressure to share. :-)

A Brief Overview of the Book

I'm still relatively new to the pagan community, but I've heard many seasoned pagans and practicing wiccans rave about this book. I read about half of it before I decided I didn't want to proceed further without a study group and some more dedicated reading and journaling time.

Of what I read, I was thrilled to find an author who took a very objective view to paganism, who described the history, as best he could with what we know presently, in a way that made sense to me, that really solidified my spiritual views and actually connected them to other world religions. I am also a practicing Christian, so I was surprised to find that, in having a better understanding of pagan views, the text also helped me to understand how early Christians tried to incorporate pagan practices into this (then) new religion.

The book is also filled with energy-work exercises, simple spells and rituals, etc. Again, feel free to participate in the activities you feel comfortable with, and if you need any help working through rituals or substituting parts of rituals, just let me know. I'm a busy working mama, and this is my second job, so I want to make this easy for all of us, while still dedicating myself to working through this book in its entirety.

Reading

  • This week, please read: Introduction.
  • Going forward, I'd like to do about one chapter per week, though I may group chapters if appropriate or spread them out if needed. I'll let you know each week the topic we're discussing.

Discussion

  • Why did you want to learn more about paganism and witchcraft?
  • What do you want to get out of this study group?
  • Introduce yourself, please!
  • Answer these prompts in our Discussion group, here.

Writing Prompts

  1. Penczak refers to 3 types of people who tend to use this book: 1) those interested in witchcraft and wanting to seek training on their path; 2) those who come with an open minded but may not yet know how they'll connect with the material; and 3) those interested in building a spiritual, meditative, or psychic practice without ultimately pursuing witchcraft. How about you? What are your expectations as we get started?
  2. What do you hope to achieve in this ITOW Study Group?

If you'd like to share journaling pages with us, you can use #willowsitow!

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