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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

Witch School and Pagan Leadership, Part 2 February 26, 2009

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Witch School when it began was a concept that was shocking to most people, and was one that was highly derided and openly criticized. It was berated and even attacked as a idea that was not workable. I even lost a good friend and ally who promised everyone that Witch School would fail within a year as it was a unsustainable model and did not respect the leadership of the Pagan community. After all, Wicca could not be taught over the web. Now more than seven years later Witch School stands, not just as a school but also as the leader among a plethora of online Pagan and Wiccan schools that followed.

Among the reason Witch School was seen as something undesirable was that if offered a open access to an education. This many felt cut at the central authority of what was the primary source of leadership in the community. This allowed people who wanted to learn to be Wiccan, Witches, and even Clergy without having to be judged by a High Priestess or Priest to see who was worthy or who was not. It made the concept of learning Wicca at home, anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. The second concept was that you could earn clergy status without the rigors of dealing with the personalities of local leadership. In this Witch School has worked and worked well.

What was not obvious and even discussable at the time was the principles by which we would structure the Witch School community, and by association the Correllian Tradition. This is the first time that I have ever written down those concepts for the world to see, and share. It is important as these principles must be taken to a higher level as Witch School is going global at a quickening pace.

The first principle is virtualization, or simply that we would be virtual. Virtualization means that we would no longer require everyone to be in the same place at the same time in order to teach or to learn. A virtual organization is one that that you do not see, certainly not all together in one place but nevertheless delivers required services.

In such a organization you would have distributed leadership. In this I believe nature is not hierarchal. Wisdom is distributed through out the system. All the cells of the body is needed to repel the invading disease, all the fish in a school swerve as one, all the geese in formation takes turns at the point and then drop back to recuperate in the airstream of the wings of their fellows. This is how one can reach people and share in their knowledge.

At the top of a distributed leadership organization is a personalized leadership style, because the task at this level is to provide the glue that holds this virtual community together. The glue is made up of a sense of common identity, linked to a common purpose and fed by an infectious energy and sense of urgency. As a leader, my job is to inform and educate our mentors and provide the tools they need to do their jobs without the continuous need for instruction and permissions from above.

In this case, you can not simply assign positions and have people respect the people in that position simply because of their place in the hierarchy. In this type of organization you have earned authority. Being involved with Witch School is not simply a ladder of roles you climb, but instead where you lead by growing a reputation for getting things done and making things happen. Influence, not authority, is what drives true leadership in the Witch School community.

In this type of virtualized community, leadership means managing people you cannot see and cannot control in any detail. In fact, many of the people you are involved with you may not have ever met or may never meet physically ever. Only through distributed leadership and earned authority can you build the flow of trust in both directions to make this work.

This brings us to the next and final concept of this exploration of leadership and that is the principle of subsidiarity. This is a very old principle that holds a higher body should not assume the authority that could or should be exercised by a lower body. In this aspect a company should not tell a employee how to run their family. In Witch School terms, we believe that mentors are allowed to run their groups with guidance, not by authoritarian structures. Further that the Correllian tradition can not be run by a central authority but by the local temples. We cannot allow the hierarchy to steal responsibilities that belong to the lower levels of authority, as this will cause our mentors and students as well as future clergy members to be unskilled. Every time we have gotten away from this principle, we have tremendous fights, and every time we stick to this principle we have amazing results.

By this principle of subsidiarity, we are able to form really good teams. In this concept a true team both defines it’s objectives and finds ways to meet them. In our case, it is teaching students, and the mentors and members decide what they really want to learn and how they will learn. Further they are able to integrate the tools we have into there styles. They are also free to use any information that comes their way to refine their methods and skills as needed.

This has allowed us to understanding the universe works and encompasses a vision of life as one great-interconnected web. As we have come to recognize the dynamic connectedness of the various parts within a whole educational ecosystem and the world beyond our school.

Witch School with these principles, has avoided having the form of top-down leadership that control groups by withholding power from their ranks, deprive them of the ability to use their expertise and information vested in them to respond directly and with speed the needs of their students. With these principles we unlocked the power of Wicca unto the world with good people, who are dedicated and focused on other people as well as their own spiritual growth. With these principles we have been able to unlock people from their limitations and gave them hope for a better world today and in the coming future. We have awakened the leader within, and that is the greatest feeling in the world.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

Witch School and Pagan Leadership February 24, 2009

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Hi everyone,

Today, I am dealing with the concept of leadership within the Pagan community. In the Pagan movement today there is surprisingly small amount of real grass roots leadership. Of course, Paganism as a whole has very independent people, who live by a personal vision. Straightforward hierarchal leadership simply has limited appeal to a faith that believes each individual has a personal relationship with deity and act as their own priestess or priest.  Therefore, leadership is not granted or given by any form of central authority that is widely recognized. Instead leadership is earned and gained through actions and activities. Authority comes from respect of your peers and member so fhte community.

Witch School is in the education business and that makes us in the leadership creation business as well. Witch School and it’s predecessor, The Daily Spell has been focused on developing leaders, which includes Mentors and Clergy, on behalf of the Correllian Tradition and the community as a whole for the last decade. Further Witch School is working to develop leadership for the next century. It is important that we have quality leadership in order to meet the demands of our dynamic and growing community.

What is a leader?  For me, leadership is about taking effective action and improving the overall quality of life for a family, group, and/or a community. Leaders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, gender, and images. You cannot pigeonhole a leader by simply by their exterior, but by their internal character and qualities. Leaders simply have the guts to lead and the qualities that allow them to act.

The most basic ingredients of a leader is to have a guiding vision, passion and integrity.

A guiding vision allows a leader to know where they are going, what they are to do to get there, and to have the strength to persist in the face of setbacks and even failures. They have the ability to communicate the vision and make clear the benefits of their vision. They know that they can make a difference, and that difference is summed up in their personal guiding vision.

Passion is a love of what you do and love of doing it. You need passion for the people who you are leading and for whom the people who will receive the benefits of success. Passion is communicating hope and inspiration to people and having them believe and act on the guiding vision. Without passion, there is no hope, no inspiration and no vision.

Integrity is the one quality of leadership that is less learned but more of a byproduct. It represents a consistent behavior between the guiding vision and the actions of the leader. They must walk their talk, and show through actions that they believe what they are saying. Integrity is what creates trust.

Integrity requires self-knowledge, candor and maturity. All of this requires honesty of thought and actions, a steadfast devotion to core principles, and a fundamental soundness as a whole.

The traits are not inborn but are qualities that are learned and acquired. Very few people are born leaders, and the vast majority of leaders are self-made. In this way leadership is about personal transformation, and it is about what is in a person’s heart and soul.

Witch School with its core principle of offering an anyone, anyplace, anywhere, anytime education, seeks to thread these principles through out our system. It is only by strictly adhering to this guiding vision have we succeeded so far. It is our hope that by teaching and acting according to our guiding vision of a better world that we will generate a new generation of leadership. Witch School expects its members to become part of the leadership that guides the Pagan community in the 21st century.

I part 2, I will discuss the way Witch School has programs to generate leadership and how it is transforming the community.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

Witch School Offering to Merchants February 19, 2009

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Hi everyone,

Today I am adding a letter I am sending out to merchants, looking to kindle a stronger interest in our products. After all, we work because we love it, but also to create jobs for people. With the recession we have got to do our best to help people.  So I decided to share this with all of you.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

Greetings and Blessings,

With all the news of the economy and the difficult time many people are facing, this is probably one of the worst times to discuss new products for your store. But in times like this, a little magick can go a long way, and we are offering magick for the everyday person. Witch School, the leading name in Wiccan and Magickal Education, has products that help people learn and feel better in their lives. It can also help your bottom line as well.

Witch School is the leading provider of Public Pagan Education in the world today. Our products have a recognition that is very rare in the Metaphysical community, and Witch School is becoming a more recognizable brand, even to mainstream audiences. It is our hope that you will consider our products for your own shelves.

 

As our products have inherent recognition this will allow them to move quickly off your shelves. We also provide a great deal of support online, by phone, on the web, and wherever it is needed. We believe that small and medium size businesses such as yours are vital to a community’s health, and are the best way to reach people on a local level. While we have a global level of members, ultimately they are searching for local stores to buy from, and together we can help them. I hope that you will consider this.

We recognize this is a hard time to make a decision, but you still need products to sell. We are so confident that our products will do well for you, that we are offering thirty-day terms to first time customers, with a full return policy on all products. We are sure that our products are among the most recognized of new products on the market today.

As a merchant, we will support you not just with exceptional products, we will add free listings as a Participating Merchant on WitchSchool.com.  This includes an onsite listing, listings inside regional eGroups (email based), and other promotions. We also will provide literature and brochures that help explain our products to your staff and customers alike. After all, knowledge is power and we give you the information you need to answer questions.

Why do we believe our products will sell for you? We simply believe that people want to be involved with other people, and Witch School Members are a friendly and supportive community. They want to help and be part of their local communities as much as they do the Global Internet community we share. They also want products and places that fill a need with their lifestyles, at reasonable prices, with exceptional quality. Witch School combines both of these with every product and service we offer, and we believe that people want more than just the Internet. They want to have places to go and meet people as well as buy products and services, and Witch School, through its participating merchant program helps drive that traffic.

You can take advantage of this offer by placing an order by phone, fax, or email. We can help you with any questions.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard
CEO, Witch School International

Phone: 217-748-4078
Fax:     217-748-4086
Email: Virginia@witchschool.com
Website: WitchSchoolStore.com

Witch School Regional eGroups Launched February 16, 2009

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Hi everyone,

Wow, 45 days have passed this year already, and that’s how many days I have been working everyone really hard. The Board, many of the mentors, and the staff have been worked, building many different projects to improve communication.

The regional groups, for people to find people in their area was launched over the weekend, and it has had a amazing early response. Basically, we are using a mature Internet technology that we have been involved with for more than a decade. We are using Yahoo Groups as a base for a network that we all understand, and that can get very local, and yet be operated global. Witch School was born of Onelist.com, the predecessor of Yahoo Groups, and we have been using this technology since very close to it’s birth as mass communication. We are now using this technology in a new way to reach globally and locally, simultaneously.

Now this isn’t very glamorous and cutting edge. I mean Twitter is hot (twitter.com/Witchschool), MySpace is cool (Myspace.com/WitchSchool), Facebook is amazing (we have one of those too.) The latest and best is Ning for creating Social Networks, (http://witchschoolinternational.ning.com/) Did you see the online trading cards, called PopCardz.com? Don is planning creating Witch School Celebrity Cards on that site. We have all sorts of the modern stuff and we are using it to reach out. Witch School staff and especially myself love to watch the net for the best and fun. We love to be using all these resources to reach global audiences. (If you like this stuff too, consider joining our Social Network Team.)

But for all their outreach, none of them has the very personal and stable way to create a network that must allow Global to local communications, local to local communication, and across lines of cities, states and provinces, countries, languages, continents, and even ideas and hobbies. Only Yahoo Groups gives us the tools, for free, and will be hear a year from now, and we have every expectation a decade ago.

We are using regional egroups  to create a way to reach into smaller communities and help. It allows us to organize electronically, in a way we are denied physically. Now after ten years of extensive online education, we are able to begin reaching back to physicality. Live classes and Video classes bring more of us together. So we have begun this wonderful and amazing expansion.

What are we doing with these regional lists? The vision of Witch School system is an anyone, anytime, anyplace, anywhere education. We provide the best possible education for a new age, for a world that is potentially in crisis. We are focused on the future of our community and these lists help us begin putting our trained mentors, teachers, and community builders to work. It is that simple.

After all, Witches love knowledge in all its forms, and we have the strong interest in protecting it. Witch School International means we are going to be involved in communities around the world. We already are strong in the UK, South Africa, Canada, Denmark, and a lot more countries are developing strong communities as well. So we are reaching people and we have a lot of amazing talent locked up in our community. Our duty is to unlock that talent and have it used on behalf of improving individuals’ lives and our community through their own improvement. By sharing in personal growth, we grow as a whole community. By sharing knowledge we evolve as a society. So we are taking our next steps, and regional egroups are really part of that next step.

So I am really glad to see it begin working. We have a long way to go, a lifetimes worth of work, and this is one more step along that path. Actually several steps I think, and I thank everyone who is making this journey, this global and local manifestation of Witch School and her family and community.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

Witch School Coming to a Location Near You February 13, 2009

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This is one of my regular emails sent to everyone on the Witch School Site.

Hi everyone,  

Blessings and hoping everything is well with you. Last month I put out a questionnaire, and more than 300 people responded to it, and I thank all who did. In that questionnaire were a couple of things about being able to find classes and people in your area. We listened and have begun a process to help with both.

Witch School Live!  is our first step by offering live classes in different locations. So far we are having daily classes at Rossville, IL, if you want to join us at the HQ. We already have dates for Chicago and Salem Massachusetts. We will be adding more as we find locations where enough students are interested. The best thing about this is that we are going to offer these live classes for $5.00 each, wherever and whenever we can. We are anticipating that this will be announced quickly as we add more dates.

Further tickets will be good for classes through Dec. 21st, 2012. This means if you buy tickets for a class and miss it, you can use the tickets for a later class. We know how frustrating it is to forget or have circumstances where you cannot attend and lose the value of the ticket. In this case, you can buy a ticket and use it at anytime. We want this to be a service to all our friends and members. Check out the entire Witch School Live! Events site at http://www.witchschool.biz/wslive.html

The second outreach we are developing is ways to find people in local areas. We have started a set of Regional eGroups that allow people to find friends, members, and other Wiccans and Pagans in their local area. We hope our members such as you may be interested in joining them. We have over two hundred cities, provinces, regions and countries with groups. You can see them all at http://www.witchschool.biz/yahooegroups.html

If you are in a city or region not covered, just let me know and I will create a list for your area. My email is  Ed@witchschool.com  and just tell me the city you want me to add to our list. It can be anywhere in the world, wherever you live.

As part of this outreach, we are also developing WitchSchoolInternational.com, WitchSchoolEurope.com, and Witchschool.co.za, for working with these regions. These are all Witch School Sites, and one membership covers them all. This is part of our continued outreach globally, and working towards building an even higher quality of education.

For those who are interested, Salem Mass. will be the site of this year’s Spring Lustration and Witch School Live Events. It will be a chance to meet Rev. Don Lewis, the Members of the Witan council, Angie Buchanan of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and Pagan Pride Founder Dagonet Dewr. This will be a particularly powerful event, and we will have amazing news coming from it. It will be full of classes, rituals, initiations, and planning on a global scale. We will also have a lot of fun including not one, but two planned handfastings. You can find out more at: http://witchschool.com/salem.asp

For those who want to know:  WitchSchoolStore.com has been upgraded and added to by Virginia, Reanna, and Tony. Reanna and Virginia even did a little show on Magick TV called the “Witches Home Shopping Cauldron“. Don also did “How to make a Crystal Web Access Point” video and “Adventures of a Student Witch- Love” cartoon. So they are just moving to improve our services, and our desire to entertain and educate.

Last but not least, Virginia, Reanna and Maryann are making a Crystal Web Access Kit that is free to anyone who buys a lifetime Witch School Membership. If you are already a lifetime member, we will send you a Crystal Web Access Kit for only the $6.00 postage and handling fee in the United States. The Kit Contains one crystal, eight stones, spell cards, and a 16 page booklet about the Crystal Web. If you are a lifetime member and want one, just email Virginia@witchschool.com and she will take care of it. If you are not, become a lifetime member and we will send you one automatically.  Click here.

Thank You for your continued support, and we are hoping to see you soon.

Blessings
Ed Hubbard

CEO, Witch School International

PS: Looking to earn extra income for your group, check out the Witch School Membership Referral Program at Witchschool.biz