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To the Great
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The following questions and answers are my humble attempt at an
FAQ. I'm trying to answer these questions the way I understand
them. They do not necessarily reflect the views of everyone in the
staffroom or in the group. They are my attempt to give some advice
to new students. Comments, suggestions and criticism welcome.
Headmistress Charlie, Slytherin
|How do I
||As soon as
term starts, there will be an electronic registration poll at the
forum. You have to be a member of the group to register.
courses should I register for?
students must register for at least one course per term. Up to two
sabbaticals are possible (contact me about it first), but you
cannot start your HH career with a sabbatical and you cannot take
two sabbaticals in a row.
expected in the assignments?
vary, depending on the class you are taking. You get a lesson
every week (10 per term) and submit assignments, which are graded
with up to 100 points. Extra credit questions will be asked as
well, which are not obligatory, but can get you extra house points.
If you cannot meet a deadline, please contact your teacher and ask
for an extension, otherwise you'll lose points.
|What is the
Order of Merlin?
of Merlin is Hogsmeade High's Student of the Month award. Every
month, teachers vote for one student whose work has been
extraordinary that month. But you can also get an Order of Merlin
by accomplishing something special for the school.
all, magick by itself is free of any religion or ideology. In this
context, magick is to be viewed as "all practices with which
a person tries to shape their surroundings according to their will
in a way which is regarded as irrational by a scientific approach.
It can be said about these practices that their effect is brought
about by a connection or causality that is assumed between the
subject of a magickal practice and its object. Religion and magick
are theoretically two very different things which are unrelated.
In practice, however, virtually all religions use magickal
practices, even when they are forbidden by official religious
institutions or if they are not interpreted as magick. A
practitioner of magick tries to keep harmful influences at bay. He
or she tries to influence life and death, health and disease,
fertility and barrenness." Religions use magick, knowingly
and unknowingly. The concept of miracles is close to the idea of
magick. A miracle is an extraordinary event that causes
astonishment and surprise. The miracle is the active intervention
of the divine that transcends nature, thus the term "supernatural".
Like magick, a miracle cannot be explained scientifically and does
not result from any visible natural causes.
the same as Wicca?
is a religion. This group comprises followers of many different
paths. This works because we all have a fundamental respect of
each other's beliefs. You don't have to agree with everything and
everyone (life would be so boring!), but please treat others'
beliefs with the same respect you want to be treated with.
|Are most of
the group members Wiccans?
group comprises followers of many different paths. This works
because we all have a fundamental respect of each other's beliefs.
You don't have to agree with everything and everyone (life would
be so boring!), but please treat others' beliefs with the same
respect you want to be treated with.
contradict my faith?
This is definitely an answer you
have to find for yourself. You are not the first person to ask
and you won't be the last one.
When I got first interested in
witchcraft, I asked the same question. Then I started reading
books. A lot of books. What I found is that I have been
practicing witchcraft all my life without knowing it: I have a
green tree with candles on it and exchange gifts on December
25th (Winter solstice), I send season's greetings with reindeers
on them, I paint Easter eggs (Ostara), I visit my grandparents'
graves the day after Halloween (Samhaim), I wear a cross (the
cross used to be a Pagan symbol, though it was equal-armed there),
I pray and light candles for those in need. Frankincense entered
the church through Pagan tradition. Exchanging rings at a
wedding is Pagan. Those traditions all were taken over by
Christians from Pagans.
There is a lot of magic in the Christian religion as well,
although it is not called "magic" but "miracle".
Pagan practitioners of wicca and witchcraft believe in the
Divine Mind or Spirit, which is divided into a male and female
aspect. Some Christians think witches contradict Christianity
because of breaking the first commandment (that there is just
one god); in fact, they are overlooking the female aspect in
their own faith (such as the Mother Mary and the Magdalen, or
the numerous saints in Catholicism).
Spells are a form of prayer. The
main difference I see between spellcraft and prayer is that you
usually prepare for a spell, buy ingredients, get into a
meditative state, so witches are usually more focused when they
do spells than most people are when they speak their Lord's
Prayer in the church on Sunday. But both address a higher
power and ask the divine mind to shape reality according to
their needs and hopes. If you pray, you perform spells all the
"Magic comes from life, and
especially from emotions. They're a source of the same
intangible energy that everyone can feel when an autumn moon
rises and fills you with a sudden sense of bone-deep excitement,
or when the first warm breeze of spring rushes past your face,
full of the scents of life, and drowns you in a sudden flood of
unreasoning joy. The passion of mighty music that brings tears
to your eyes, and the raw, bubbling, infectious laughter of
small children at play, the bellowing power of a stadium full of
football fans shouting 'hey!' in time to that damned song -
they're all charged with magic." (Jim
As I said, this is my personal
view. I don't ask you to agree with it.
not to do any real spells.
Just take a close look at the course list before you register.
Please make sure you only register for classes that have a
"no" under "Spellwork". None of our professors
are getting paid for what they do, and it is simply a nuisance if
you have people leaving classes in the middle of term for issues
they have with spellwork.
|Can I be a
attendency is not normally an option because you have to submit
assignments to get house points. However, the last word on this
has your course convenor.
|Can I do
||No. We're a
school, so you must register for at least one class per term.