EarthPath, an Overview

About the Study Program

EarthPath is a spirituality that blends traditions of Wicca and Shaminism into a unified philosophy. Shamanism is primarily a singular path (though there are occassions where work is done in conjunction with other shammans), which utilizes tools such as drumming, chanting, deep meditation (journeying) and spirit guides for the work done. Sacred space is built primarily through cleansing a given area, which may be a circle, but may be just the room in which the shaman works.

Wicca can be either solitary or group-based and uses such things as an altar, altar tools, candles, swords, staffs, etc. Wiccan sacred space is a designated circle built with the energy and sanctification of the person(s) conducting any given ritual, whether group or solitary. Some of the commonalities between the philosopyies are recognition of quarter energies and/or spirits, use of altered states to do healing or magickal work, contacting entities on other planes for assistance and guidance.

In order to prepare yourself work in either of these paths, you need to learn the basics of energy and magick, including personal preparations and the ethics involved. This is not an overnight study. It takes time and patience to master the practices which will enrich you spiritually, protect you in your workings and place you in the position to help others along the path. Since EarthPath utilizes both Wiccan and Shamanistic philosophies, you can expect to need more time to assimilate all of the lessons and experiences.

Take your time with the studies. Do not rush through them. The rewards will be tenfold and you will learn more from your experiences. Start a journal to record your experiences and be trusting of what you see, hear and sense in any way, during your coursework, meditations, journeys, etc. This journaling will enable you to see the signposts of your progress. Find a friend with whom you can talk about very personal experiences who will be supportive, or request a mentor with whom to share your experiences. This is important in the process of assimilating your experiences and making them part of your everyday life.

The Goals

The main goal of the EarthPath study program is to assist students in making their own connections with Nature and the other People of Spirit,to help the student to find and follow their personal spiritual path, and to guide them through this process. The pourpose of an EarthPath student is to gather the tools and skills to enable her to walk between the Worlds, as well as to the Otherworlds in search of the tools and guidance for governing her life and for assisting others in their quest for these connections.

The first things that will be covered are the basic premises of the EarthPath spirituality. Although these are the foundation of this training, keep in mind that everyone interprets reality and spirituality differently. There is no right or wrong way to experience or express spirituality. It is a personal thing. If your concept of spirituality is different, yet you feel a resonance to the EarthPath philosophy, you will find it worth your time to continue your studies, then explore your personal path as your studies lead you to your personal path. Throughout this study, the pronouns "he" and "she" will be interchanged to include all who walk this path.

Vision of Deity

Each of us has his/er own idea of what Deity is, how we relate to that image and how we as individuals fit into the picture. Pagans view Deity in several ways, depending on the tradition. The great majority of Pagans identify both masculine and feminine within Deity. This is described either as a God and a Goddess or as a single Deity entity with masculine and feminine aspects. In addition to this, many Pagans also recognize other deities, sometimes called “the Old Gods” or “pantheon deities.” The most well known pantheons are Celtic, Norse, Greek, Egyptian and Sumerian. Many modern groups utilize deities from various pantheons simultaneously, others focus on a specific pantheon and others still will focus on and work with different pantheons at different times.

In the EarthPath Tradition, Deity is understood as being manifested as both masculine and feminine and as being integral to, or present in all things. This is called animism and is used to describe a philosophy that believes all things have Spirit. The EarthPath philosophy sees Spirit/Diety as all-inclusive and inseparable from self. In other words, all things, animals, people, etc. come from the same Spirit, therefore, all things are Spirit. The EarthPath Tradition teaches that, though we have individual identities, there is no separation between "entities," whether these be animal, vegetable or mineral. Al things are part of a connected whole. Therefore, there is communication with, connection to, and emotion between all things. The EarthPath training is designed to enhance these connections and encourage the individuals to draw them from the unconscious into the conscious.

Vision of Self

In the EarthPath philosophy, self is seen as part of the Whole Spirit. The individual, while retaining her individuality, does not simply contain a "spark of the Spirit," but is of the Spirit. An analogy would be that of the human body. Each individual cell can be separately identified, yet it is an integral part of the whole body. Each part can communicate - through the different parts of the body - with the controlling force of the body. In return, the controlling force of the body has communication with each individual cell, however subtle. So it is with each human individual. Each individual is an integral and vital part of Spirit and is able to both communication to and receive communication from Spirit through the various parts of Spirit. These different parts of Spirit are variously known as teachers, guides, angels, totems, deities, stones, your friend down the street, etc.

Shamanic/Wiccan Blend

The EarthPath Tradition is a blend of Wicca and Shaminism. Some of the tools used in Wicca are utilized as well as those common to Shamanism. Rituals range from the less formal, internal journey to group ritual practices of Wicca. In adidtion, Most of the shamanic journeying is done individually, though some shamanic practices, such as healing, meditations and prayers work are sometimes done in conjunction with others. In addition, much of the magickal work and sabbat celebrations are done more in the style of Wicca. Some pracrtices are found in both shamanism and Wicca and are practiced without emphasis on either system, such as seasonal cycles, spirit guides and divination. The goal in this blending of shamanism and Wicca is to remove the parameters which limit spiritual growth, so that the practitioner is open to spiritual learning experiences of all types.

Teaching System

EarthPath uses a student/mentor system of training. Since spiritual experiences are generally very personal, it is easier to confide in one person dedicated to the support of the student, than to relate these to a group of people. Experiences generated by completing lessons are recorded in the student's journal and discussed with the mentor. The student and mentor discuss books associated with a particular section, what the student has learned and what areas the student agrees or disagrees with and why. These personal discussions help the student assimilate the lessons and assist both the student and mentor monitor the student's progress. Since the EarthPath training is an online course as well as local, the student and mentor may live too far apart to allow face-to-face discussions and telephone conversations may prove too expensive. Therefore, email, telephone, and instant message formats are utilized to keep in contact with the long distance students.

System of Advancement

Steps of Progression

The EarthPath Tradition does not subscribe to "Initiations" per se. However, there are levels of progression completed which are based upon the difficulty of the completed course work as well as the spiritual development of the student. These levels of development are identified as Seeker, Walkabout Voyager, Voyager, Master Voyager, and Adept. The completion of all the coursework results in minister level abilities, whether or not the student wishes formal ordination. The choice to be ordained lies with the student. If the student does not wish to be ordained, she can still complete all the training and be qualified to fulfill a ministerial calling. The coursework can be completed through the website and ordination could then be accomplished through the student’s home circle or coven. Generally, the work and the student's spiritual advancement go hand-in-hand, though there are exceptions to this. Each student's progression is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


The Seeker is a person who wishes to evaluate the basic philosophy of EarthPath in order to determine whether or not it is beneficial to her to commence training. No requirements are made of a Seeker other than that she honestly evaluate her belief system to assess whether or not it resonates with the EarthPath philosophy. Although a Seeker may request a mentor, this is not a requirement. She may, instead, choose to discuss her feelings and attitudes with a close friend to help her evaluate her ideas and feelings about EarthPath. It is ultimately the Seeker's choice as to whether or not to commence or continue training in the EarthPath Tradition, regardless of how far along she is in the training program.


The Dedicant level applies to the student who has completed the Seeker research and study; has decided she and her personal philosophy resonate to the EarthPath philosophy; and she wishes to begin training in the EarthPath Tradition. At this time she will acquire a mentor. When the student decides to begin her training, she makes a commitment to complete the lessons, record her experiences in her journal and communicate regularly with her mentor. This can be accomplished by face-to-face or telephone discussions, letters, email or instant message discussions.

If the student has not studied nature-based spirituality in the past, this Dedicant level will last a full sun cycle (one year), perhaps longer. This is because, at this level, the student needs to familiarize herself with the many aspects of a nature-based spirituality. There are esbats, sabbats, and festivals that happen at given times of the months and throughout the year which are founded on cycles and on what is happening with and to the Earth at any given time. Each of these has its own meaning and influence, so it takes a year's time to assimilate their meanings, symbolisms and traditions. In addition, the student new to nature-based spirituality needs to learn the basics of elemental connections, the flow and use of energy, and what tools are used, why and how.

All this information requires a genuine commitment and patience on the part of the student to study and trust her mentor. There is a lot to learn and hurrying through it will only cost the student in lost experiences and and result in a poor foundation on which to build future experiences. If the student is not new to nature-based spirituality, but wishes to learn the EarthPath Tradition, the Dedication period may be shorter, depending on how well-founded the student is in her previous experiences and how well she demonstrates this knowledge to her mentor.

At this level, she will develop a basic understanding of Pagan spirituality, magickal ethics, proper use of magick; methods of divination, the elements of ritual; creating sacred space ;and how to divine the correctness of a ritual or magickal endeavor. In addition, she will begin to be aware of guides and totems.

Walkabout Voyager

Once a student has completed her Dedicant studies, should she decide to continue her training, she becomes a Walkabout Voyager. This stage of development should be of relatively shorte duration. It should not last more than a year and likely will be much shorter. During this time, the student will be evaluating and solidifying her spiritual path.


At the Voyager level, the student studies the more intense aspects of the EarthPath Tradition. At this level, she will expand her understanding of ethics, proper use of magick and how to choose her personal form of divination. The student at this level will be expected to be able to lead both Full Moon and New Moon rituals, create sacred space, and divine the correctness of a ritual or magickal endeavor. In addition, she will learn shamanic drumming and journeying; will actively seek out guides and totems; learn how to communicate with guides; develop and/or find her own tools; and discover her area(s) of specialization (herbology, divination, bardic, etc).

There is a tremendous amount of material to learn at this level and it may take considerable time to complete these studies. It is possible, however, for the especially dedicated student to "sandwich" advanced shamanic studies of the Voyager level into the Master Voyager level of study and vice versa.

Master Voyager

At the Master Voyager level of study, the student moves into the studies which will begin to prepare her for working with the community and individuals in a ministerial and/or teaching capacity. It does not follow that the student must become an ordained minister if she does now wish to be ordained. However, once these studies are completed, the student will be qualified to perform in a ministerial capacity.

The completion of the Master Voyager training will likely take at least two sun cycles. The studies include general aspects of ministry and what that means to the student. Pastoral counseling, including the repercussions to the minister as well as the responsibilities that go along with counseling will be covered. Alternative healing methods will be discussed and the student will be expected to discover and refine her own system of healing.


At the adept level, the student receives training for leading her own group, working with the public and media as well as learning interpersonal communication skills, writing articles, rituals, and lessons. The Adept will form a group for the purpose of learning the dynamics of leading and teaching others; will lead private and group rituals and will organize events. Additionally, at this level, the student will learn how to handle financial and statistical aspects of forming and managing a group or organization. At the completion of this level, the Intern will be deemed a Minister, whether or not she decides to be officially ordained.

It is important to know that some of the training in the higher levels overlaps. Some of the basics of Master level will be learned in the voyager level, just as Voyager level training will be expanded upon at the Master Voyager level. Additionally, the basics of the Adept level will be explored in the Voyager and Master Voyager levels, just as the training in the lower levels will be expanded upon at the Adept level. An individual’s training is a continuous, life long process.

Reading and Discussion

  1. To Ride a Silver Broomstick, Silver Ravenwolf

  2. Paganism: Introduction to Earth-Centered Spirituality, Joyce and River Higginboth

  3. Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, Tom Cowan

  4. Illusions, Richard Bach

  5. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawkins


Journal memorable passages from the reading material and indicate what they have taught you. Short notations can be put in the margins of the book. More detailed observations should be recorded in your journal. Should you decide to do the exercises in Shaminism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life, make entries in your journal regarding your experiences.

Put into your own words your vision of Deity, how you perceive you fit in with that vision, and what relationship you have with Diety. Take a stenographer's notebook and use the columns to list your spiritual interests and inclinations in one column. Give each of these a value from 1 to 5 according their importance to you (1 being low, 5 being high). In the second column, note which of these interests you find in the EarthPath Tradition. Evaluate the overall score and determine if there is a close enough match to your own spiritual understanding.

Examine the requirements for the different levels of training and evaluate your commitment toward continued training. Determine whether or not that commitment is strong enough to warrant the effort necessary to complete the required training.

If you find there is a true resonance in you to EarthPath principles, training and philosophies, make a request for a mentor at <http://> either by clicking on the email link or joining the EarthPath email list. If there is not enough resonance for you, you may still wish to complete the Apprentice work, then seek elsewhere for additional training, in a Tradition which is more to your liking. Whatever your decision, we wish you a good journey along your spiritual path.

EarthPath: Building a Web of Alternative Spirituality

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