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Witches Flying into Salem, Mass. for Major Conference on Global Action March 20, 2009

Posted by witchschool in Daily Report, Salem Witch School Project.
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Witches from all over the globe are coming to Salem, Mass. aka “The Witch City” to discuss the future of the Witch School community. Rituals, Celebrations and serious business blend together for this conference. In homage to the Bewitched television series, this event will be hosted at the haunted Hawthorne hotel.

Salem, Mass.  March 19, 2009 — Witch School, the leading public educator of Wiccans, Witches, and Magick is bringing their international conference to Salem, Mass., AKA “The Witch City” on April 17th-19th, 2009. The Conference title “Pagans taking Global Action” will cover discussion of the Pagan Economy, the upcoming Parliament of World Religions, and involvement in Pagan Pride Days. There will be fun events as well, including ritual, handfastings (Pagan Weddings), and initiations. All together this conference will be about Witches, Wiccans, and their ideas about the world. While hosted in a city known for its Witch past, it will also be the city that helps Witch School explore their future.
In an homage to the Bewitched television series, where in June 1970 Witch Samantha Stephens was summoned to a Witches Council in Salem, using the Hawthorne Hotel as primary location, the Witch School Conference will also be hosted at the Hawthorne Hotel, allowing life to imitate art. While the conference deals with the serious issues facing the Wiccan community, this conference will also be filled with fun images that show the good things about Witches and with self-reflecting good humor.
Witch School will bring together Witches and Pagans from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, along with terrific speakers including Salem’s own Christian Day of the Festival of the Dead, M. Rev. Donald Lewis-Highcorrell, Chancellor and First Priest of the Correllian Nativist Tradition, Angie Buchanan of Gaia’s Womb, Member of the Executive Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions, and Dagonet Dewr, Founder and Executive Director of Pagan Pride Project International, which is responsible for over 150 local events worldwide. In addition, Rev. Stephanie Neal will be presenting the Witch School International Volunteer Guild’s first annual meeting and an update on their projects. Many more presenters will help make this conference not just entertaining and useful, but a historic turning point for the Witch School Community.
A crucial discussion at Witch School Conference will be “Opening a Real-time Campus in Salem.” Leading members of Witch School will be deciding whether to move their International Headquarters to Salem from Rossville, Illinois where they are currently located. This would include Internet Operations, which runs the Witch School family of sites and Magick TV Studios, as well as live classes and conferences. This would mean adding positions to Witch School staff and jobs for the local economy.
This conference offers something for the simplest beginner or curious seeker, to new community members and seasoned veterans alike, to the leading elders focused on building the Pagan future. Salem, Mass. once again is living up to its name as “The Witch City”, and this gathering of Witches will call on Salem to help bring extra magick to this amazing event.
For more information, visit http://www.witchschool.com/salem.asp or call Witch School at 217-748-4078

Witch School International, is the premiere public educator of Wicca and Magick worldwide. WitchSchool.com, their flagship, has over 200,000 members in 74 countries studying online, with all the cutting edge tools of a modern university. They also operate Magick TV, an Internet television station, TarotCollege.com, and The Daily Spell ePaper.
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Why Salem? March 16, 2009

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Why Salem?

Salem, Mass. has the unique characteristic of being a town that is at once deeply bound in Christian Roots, as many of the churches will tell you, and at the same time, have one of the most famous aspects of Christian intolerance in the world. The Salem Witch Trials were such an atrocity that they continue to resonate to this day. By the scale of atrocities, it should have been a insignificant footnote in history, but the truth is that Christians kept it going as an example of inherent threat (we kill Witches) as well as what can happen when religion triumphs over the law. Today, this has become an important legacy in Salem, and as such it has helped to breed a Witch community in Salem. Sounds nutty to many people, but it is based on the theory lightning never strikes the same place twice.  In this case the lightning is that the Salem government will never again persecute people as Witches, even if they are self-identified and confessed as Witches. This grants the most amount of protection to Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans of any city anywhere in the world. This gives a foundation unlike any other to Salem, self-proclaimed Witch City.

 

This foundation of Witchery has been built up as a Halloween Festival, as well as Spring to Summer Tourism business. This does not inherently have anything directly to do with Witchcraft and magic but it seems those elements have blended deeply to create a “The Halloween Capital of the World”. This has allowed local Witches to take a liability and a stereotype, and rework it into a position of strength, to earn income form the world’s fascination with the Witch Story. It has allowed a local community to form and provide more for their own. They have created a stable Pagan community, focused around Witch power.

So this means that people who are open and out of the closet are able to function on a much higher level here than in other places in the world. They can find they can do business without general fear of being rejected as a Witch. Witches are in fact good people to business with in Salem. This means Pagan Businesses such as Witch School could find staff and help desperately needed for it’s growth.

Currently, I am heart sick that I cannot complete moving most of my operations to Salem at this time. The fact is, that we have seen a heavy downturn in membership fees, and can not risk a all out do-or-die project. Without sufficient backing, we are having a difficult time seeing our ability to expand, or move to Salem. We can not risk losing our core, reaching for a natural dream. This is a thorn in me, and one that I will continue to work to complete.

Why do I want Salem for Witch School?

Access to Personnel, the ability to hire people that can actually work for you and not have to hide the fact you work for Witch School. With Salem State College, and 18 miles to Boston, we have access to young and experienced talent for computers, websites, and other aspects of the business. This would help in so many different ways, and the most important is site growth and integration.

Access to Talent, Magick TV is ready to go on the air seven days a week. We have the understanding of using webcasting to better effect, and we have shows we want to develop. Having a stable studio with a deep talent pool of actors, actresses, journalists, and similar skills would allow us to expand on our growing site. Doing more online classes, live lectures, and having virtually every Pagan leader pass through would be a huge boon to the community and to us personally. I want Pagan Nightly News back.

Access to Product Manufacturers, by being in Salem we will have direct access to the market place, and product creation for the Pagan community. We can tap into talent and sales people from across the board. This will allows us to share with the community more products, and through an integrated program, sell these products year round through our participating merchants program and through our site. We want to expand our “Witches Home Shopping Cauldron Show” with live interviews with all types of manufacturers, sales people, and others who want their product seen globally.

Access to a Market, by being in Salem we can be part of a local market place that is global, and of course, we are already going global as a matter of mission. This allows us to market test products to people most likely willing to buy them. The concept of lifestyle products (from makeup, personal hygiene, scents, clothing as examples) has a distinct possibility of working within the Salem market. It works in both products coming into Salem as well as products moving out of Salem. There is no question that Salem could be the hub city of a Pagan World Market. With our contacts with Europe and South Africa, we could actually organize towards a higher and more profitable marketplace within the Pagan community.

Access to Space, is one of the local primary concerns in Salem. There is not a lot of rental space for conferences and classes, and this has limited growth locally. By us opening a center we would give access to local and national groups. Already I have offers for conferences from The Witches and Wizards Festival in July, The Correllian Lustration in April, The World Congress of Tarot in 2010, and dozens more have said they are interested. I can get them to sign agreements and sell tickets once I get clear on the space, and I have had a difficult time committing to the space without more signed agreements. I love circular problems because everyone loves to offer advice that feeds even further in to circular problem.

Access to Tourist Location, is very attractive as individuals will want to come to Witch School and other Wiccan based events and properties while offering a wider tourist vacation for family members who have less interest. Even if everyone is interested in Wiccan and Witch based events, by having access to a tourist-based community it expands the number of things to do exponentially. This makes it far more comfortable to attend events. The tourist business window is much larger than just October, and can be expanded to year round offerings. Certainly the natural April through October Window offers a lot of fun and enjoyment, while assuring a solid center for year round operation.

In closing, I believe Salem would make a perfect place to have Witch School International Headquarters. I also believe that Salem offers a lot to the Pagan community overall, not just in Salem but in their local community as well. Salem being a global name offers benefits to many groups, local, national, and internationally. That we would have the place to grow substantially in both quality and quantity of offerings on the web and off the web. We would get a lot better overall.

What keeps me is a simple gap of $25,000. It does not matter if it is a loan, line of credit, purchase of services, sales of memberships, etc. My gap is to have the rent, fees, and utilities through October 2009. It’s really simple, and if I had the account to draw on, I would do this in a heartbeat. I am working everyday to make up this gap, and get this done. I am open to discussing ways to accomplish this. I am even open in taking on direct partners on a Salem Campus project. Like I said, I have a gap of $25,000., which is the difference between success and assured failure.

I believe this still can be done, and will be done. It is a matter of when, and more if then I like. Certainly, Salem will continue to mature with or without Witch School. Witch School will also develop with or without Salem, The question is do they go together?

Blessings
Ed Hubbard
CEO, Witch School International

 

Future of Pagan Leadership, Part 2 March 10, 2009

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In part 2, we examine what is the Pagan community is today and current leadership models.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1529753/future_of_pagan_leadership_part_2.html

The Future of Pagan Leadership, Part 3 March 10, 2009

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Pagan leadership is rooted in education. What level of importance does education have to the overall future of the pagan community movement?

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1532523/the_future_of_pagan_leadership_part.html

Heading into Salem…. A Journey March 8, 2009

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In 40 days, I will be in Salem Mass., Witch City hosting the Correllian Lustration and Witch School. This will be a great event, filled with hope and activity. This will also be a time of meeting of friends, family, and a sense of wonder. I am excited that we will have the some of the best people of Witch School. I am also excited that Dagonet Dewr, founder of Pagan Pride International, will be attending and speaking on this project. Angie Buchanan will also be there to discuss the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Christian Day will be speaking on the Magic of Salem.

This will be an international event, with people coming in from three countries confirmed. We will have Canada and United Kingdom representation, as well as from across the United States. This will also be a event about how we will be pursue local and global goals.  After all Witch School is a global phenomenon.

For me it is another step in a long journey, that through the Pagan community itself. It will be a time we are looking at our future as a community, and as a movement. It brings me to think about my brother Ken, who would have been 44 years old today, March 7th. He was murdered in Chicago, shortly before his 22nd Birthday. His crime was being gay, and for that he was tossed in front of a Chicago “L” Train. He would have died, if not murdered, as he was one of the early cases of the AIDS virus. He would have been surprised at how far I have come, as he was one of the big influencers on me about Paganism and viewing the gay community. He would have loved this event and what we have created. He would have loved the world had changed so much.

One aspect of this event, is the idea that the world has changed, and still changing. What we plan in Salem will change what we do again, and in a big way. The biggest way will be recognition of the global mission, as well as recognizing the Witch School has local solutions and commitments as well. This event will discuss the very nature of leadership of Witch School and what it seeks to do, to further impact the world. This is the reason to have source leaders of Pagan Pride and the Parliament of World’s Religions.

The Journey to Salem continues….

The Future of Pagan Leadership March 3, 2009

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Wicca is about living life and leadership is difficult to define in a community of independent thinkers.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1518793/the_future_of_pagan_leadership.html

Charter Memberships in Witch School, What do they mean? March 2, 2009

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Witch School began with exactly two classes, on September 4th, 2001. The First Degree Course and The Five Mystic Secrets. We began as a subscription site, with a large free basic membership area, and a more private supporting area. Shortly thereafter we started Charter also known as Lifetime Memberships. The concept was that if we had 10,000 lifetime memberships, we could build this site without taking big loans or risk venture capitalists taking it away. If we could convince ten thousand people to back us, we would be able to build a world-class site. In exchange, they would get unlimited access to the site for as long as the site exists. Our goal is simply a lifetime, we want it to last a lifetime, and then some.

The reason ten thousand was chosen was that it was a big round number, but also that it was a number that the UN says is the minimum number of people to create a cultural change that has a chance of being generational. So ten thousand offered a clean number, and it would have been enough to totally fund the construction of the Witch School site. So it began at $29.99, and then raised to $99.99, where it has remained.

The agreement, which makes our Charter Lifetime Members stakeholders in Witch School’s Future, was that they would give us the payment and we would provide access to classes and all major services we offered from the site. That a large portion of the membership money is focused on building the site and creating a project that would last a lifetime. This was our promise, and one that has continued now for over 7 years. It is one we plan to honor for all the time we promised, a true lifetime.

Now on March 2nd, 2009 we are beginning to see the truth of the promise. We are here and providing over 100 classes, and adding classes all the time. We will soon be launching WitchSchoolEurope.com and WitchSchool.Co.za, with Spanish, Canadian, and other language and regional based sites. We provide twenty five free courses, that help people learn, and 95% of our members never become more than basic members. We have Clubs, Guilds, and all types of interactions. Overall, the plan I laid out in 2001 succeeded, and now we have a global site that provides a anyone, anytime, anyplace, anywhere education in Wicca and Magick.

We have 9246 Lifetime members, gained over ninety-three months. That means we have only 754 total memberships left for sale. After that, we will discuss what future members will pay, and what way we will make services available for them. But for Charter Lifetime Members, that will never be a question. Because they believed and invested in education, they will benefit for the rest of their life. People have even bought them for children and infants. For me, this is something terrific and is definitely a responsibility on my part.

After we sell this, we will likely go to monthly, yearly and program based subscriptions for future members. We may have a form of lifetime membership, but they will not have the same unlimited access. Simply put, we are rewarding those who believed when they had no reason, and now we need to run for the long term. That means less investment and more operating expenses. So we can do upgrades from our income, and keep us operating as the public educator of Wicca.

We do have one more major upgrade we planned as part of the original Charter Plan and that is International Languages. We are moving quickly, and we will have these begun by April 1st, 2009. The income created by the sale of lifetimes will be used will be to help with this final upgrade.

In the years to come, as we continue to grow, and as we continue to become better teachers, it will be because at the dawn of the 21st Century, ten thousand people agreed to build Witch School for the future, for education, and for themselves. This is a great feeling.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

For members: Go to http://www.witchschool.com/main.asp