On September 4th, 2001, Witch School officially opened its doors. On that historic day, 2,000 students joined, and since then, it has been a beacon of learning, accepting students from all walks of life.
Prior to this, Witch School had been an integral part of The Daily Spell since 1998. During that time, we utilized emails, mentors, and essay questions to facilitate learning. Our six original mentors, just before the doors swung wide open, had valiantly tackled over 26,000 essays, each containing answers to 13 thought-provoking questions. It quickly became apparent that this approach was unsustainable. Thus, Witch School was born, equipped with early automation. This technological leap was a game-changer, liberating mentors from the daunting task of correcting tests, maintaining records, and transcripts. Instead, it allowed them to focus on teaching and advising, while students, from anywhere with an internet connection, could embark on their magickal journey. Witch School welcomed all individuals aged 13 and above.
One of Witch School's unique strengths lies in its departure from the localized and often elusive groups that typically offered magickal training. My own journey had involved apprenticeships and navigating the labyrinthine path of Gardnerian training, which, to be honest, could be quite messy and chaotic. However, with the advent of Witch School, students gained access to structured classes, the opportunity to connect with mentors, and the ability to find or create local temples and groups. This transformation, back in 2001, was a groundbreaking shift that not only spread the wisdom of Wicca and Witchcraft but, more importantly, fostered a sense of community.
In 2001, Witch School was akin to a prototype of the social media platforms that would soon follow. It offered mentors and friends a space to communicate through chatrooms, forums, and email groups. In fact, we conducted some of the first-ever online rituals in these virtual spaces. For a decade, Witch School was the epicenter of activity for many practitioners and students, serving as a hub for sharing knowledge and experiences.
Today, Witch School operates under the Correllian Education Ministry, led by graduates who initially enrolled as students. The leadership of Witch School is truly global, continuing to provide education and guidance. It's a phenomenon in its own right. In 2023, Witch School remains committed to offering both free and fee-based education, creating an inclusive environment for learning, teaching, and active participation. While it has produced more than 5,000 clergy graduates, it also continues to nurture Witches of every conceivable background.
Witch School has laid the foundation for countless solitaries and has been the spark that ignited numerous traditions, including the Correllian Nativist Tradition, the Ouroboros Tradition, Heritage Tradition, Correllian Nativist Church International, New Wave Tradition, and just this year, independent groups within the Correllian Nativist Tradition have emerged. Witch School, in its essence, teaches not just magick but also leadership, group dynamics, and even the creation of new traditions. This has been a driving force that fills me with passion.
As we celebrate 22 years of Witch School, its mission remains clear: to provide "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere Magickal Education." What an incredible journey it has been—a true blessing in the realm of magickal education.
Ed Hubbard, August 21, 2023