EXAMINATION OF MATERIAL: "THE SPIRAL DANCE"
The following questions are based upon Starhawk’s "The Spiral Dance"; however, they represent an excellent avenue for assessing your own understanding of the Wiccan religion. Please don’t approach this as a scavenger hunt. Take the time to answer the questions in your own words... to demonstrate to yourself a grasp of the basic concepts Starhawk presented. Take all the time you need to complete the questions and feel free to re-read the material as much as necessary. Good Luck!
1.Name the three mysteries of the Triple Goddess.
2.Name the cultural sisters which are close in spirit to the Old Religion.
3.Where do the teachings of the Craft come from?
What inspires the teachings?
4.What is Witchcraft NOT based on?
5.Why did male shamans dress in skins and horns?
6.Describe the burial rites / customs of the early tribes.
Explain the significance.
7.When and why were the first covens formed?
8.What major development in civilization changed the God from Hunter to
Lord of the Grain and the Goddess from Lady of the Wild Things to the
9.Explain the concept of the Divine Child.
10.Why were the menhirs and dolmen erected?
What changed and amplified their power?
11.What is a passage grave (barrow)?
12.What does the Great Wheel represent?
Why is it divided into eight parts? Name the parts.
13.Explain the origins of the Faery Myths.
14.Who were the repositories of the old knowledge in ancient Ireland and
Describe their profession.
15.When did the various Hereditary Witchcraft Traditions develop?
Why did they develop?
Are they any better than current traditions practiced in the United States?
Why or why not?
16.Is Witchcraft a religion or poetry or thealogy?
17.Explain the meaning of the symbol that is the Goddess.
Why is She important for women?
18.Explain the difference between the Goddess and God-the-Father.
19.Why is the Goddess important for men in our society?
20.Explain the Craft views towards sex and sexuality.
21.What is the basic ethic of the Craft?
What does it mean?
What does it mean to you?
22.What is the true function of Craft rituals?
23.Explain the statement; "Honor is a guiding principle in the Craft."
24.Explain the symbolism of the Dance of the Double Spiral
25.Briefly describe the phases of a regular Craft ritual.
1.Describe the ordinary waking consciousness.
What is its value?
2.Describe the extraordinary consciousness.
What is its value?
3.What are the two main purposes of training regarding the magical and
psychic aspects of the Craft?
4.What is the "Price of Freedom" in Witchcraft?
5.What is Dion Fortune’s definition of magic?
6.What is the basic attitude that the Craft takes to the world?
How is it awakened?
7.What is the difference between magic and psychosis?
8.Why is unsupervised use of drugs to alter consciousness considered
dangerous and irresponsible?
9.Explain both sides of the paradox symbolized by the Mirror.
10.Explain the statement; "Ecstasy is at the heart of Witchcraft."
11.Explain the concept of the polarity between the Goddess and the God in
your own words.
12.What does the Female force manifest as?
13.What does the Male force manifest as?
14.Is there a need for balance between the Female and Male forces?
What happens when the Female dominates?
When the Male dominates?
15.Explain the Craft view towards death and rebirth.
16.Explain the Craft view towards aging and disease.
17.What are the threefold aspects of the Goddess?
18.Explain the duality of the God.
What examples in nature personify this duality?
19.Explain the concept of Divine Sacrifice.
Compare it to self-sacrifice.
20.What does Starhawk say about human sacrifice?
What are your feelings about this subject.
21.What sacrifices made by women make their bodies sacred and inviolate?
22.Explain the concept of, and personality manifested by, the Younger Self.
23.Explain the operation and limitation of Talking Self.
24.Explain the concept of the High Self.
25.Explain the statement; "Witchcraft does not demand poverty, chastity,
1.Describe and explain the functions of the Witch’s coven.
2.What structure is a coven founded upon?
How does it affect it’s members in their interactions with each other?
3.Explain the concept of the Raith as it applies to covens.
4.What are the usual steps a Witch takes in becoming a member of a
5.What was the original function of a coven?
What changed it?
How did the coven change?
6.Explain the typical organization of authority within covens.
By what authority does a coven exist?
7.Examine the concept of power-from-within, and relate it, and it’s
ramifications, in your own words.
8.What is the position of the Craft in regards to charging for initiation or
How does a coven pay for its supplies?
9.Should a coven be a retreat from the world?
Why or why not?
10.What group dynamics exist within a coven?
Are these the same as or different from the dynamics of other groups?
11.What is the purpose of magical training?
12.Name and define, in detail, the four basic abilities a Witch must develop.
13.Why is visualization an important capability for a Witch?
14.What three things does Starhawk recommend as a basic, daily discipline?
15.Have you started to keep a dream diary yet?
If not, now is a good time to start.
1.Where does a Circle exist, when it is cast by a Witch?
2.Why does Starhawk define the casting of the Circle as an enacted
3.Contrast the function of a Circle in Witchcraft with the function of one in
4.Why is leaving the Circle during ritual discouraged?
Why do you suppose cats and very small children can cross the barrier of
a Circle without disturbing the force field?
5.What is the accepted procedure for leaving a circle before the ritual is
ended if you are not a cat or very small child?
6.What act marks the formal beginning of a ritual?
What purpose does it serve?
7.What is always done before attending a ritual?
What purpose does this serve?
8.Name two cleansing elements used in purification rites.
What are their attributes?
9.What are the five directions of the circle?
What groupings do each of the directions correspond to and resonate
10.What are the "Guardians of the Watchtowers"?
Why are they evoked?
11.What does the term Deosil mean?
When would you want to move in a Deosil direction?
12.What does the term Widdershins mean?
When might a Witch move in this direction within a circle?
13.What is the true function of the tools of the Craft?
What really works the magic?
14.Explain the different approaches taken towards working tools as
contrasted between Witches who lean toward Ceremonial Magic and
those who lean toward "kitchen" magic.
15.Name the correspondences to an element, a quality of self, a time of day
and year, symbolic animals, forms of personal power, and to the tools of
the Craft for each of the five directions of the circle.
16.What is the general rule regarding the handling of another witches tools?
17.What is the Cord a symbol of?
Why is it sometimes of different colors?
18.What purpose does the censer serve?
What quarter is it identified with?
19.What does the Necklace symbolize?
What materials can it be made of?
What symbols are appropriate to be worked on it?
20.What happens when an altar is used for regular meditation and magical
21.Generally, which way does the altar face in most Craft rituals?
1.Explain the concept of Manifest Deity.
2.Why does the Goddess bear the titles Earth Goddess, Queen of Heaven,
Star Goddess, Muse and Cosmic Lover?
What do each of these titles mean?
3.What are the three aspects of the Moon Goddess?
4.What Goddess of old do you personally associate with each of the
aspects in the previous question?
5.What does the pentad or five-fold star stand for?
6.What fruit contains a pentacle within itself?
Where else has this fruit played a part in contemporary religion?
7.Explain the concept of the Creatrix-Destoyer.
8.When are the tides of subtle power the strongest?
9.Is Witchcraft a belief system?
If not, what is it?
10.What is the Law of the Goddess?
11.What is the Mystery?
12.What is the Goddess the symbol of for women?
13.What happens when the Goddess is invoked?
What function does the invocation serve?
1.Why is the image of the Horned God in the Craft radically different from
any other image of masculinity in our culture?
2.Make a chart of the aspects of the Horned God.
On one side list what they mean in the Craft and on the other side, what
they were perverted into meaning by the medieval Church.
3.What positive male qualities would a man created in the Horned God’s
image be free to express, if he strove to emulate Him?
4.What relationship does the God bear to the Goddess?
5.What radically different role model does the God present for men in
6.If the Witches’ God is the God of Love, what form(s) does this love take?
How does it compare to the non-Craft view of love in modern society?
7.What are men in the Craft urged to do in order to meet their need for
Speculate on the type of relationship a Craft couple would have if the
male is connected with his inner Muse and the woman is connected with
the Mother Goddess.
8.If the God is Eros and Logos, what develops when the bodily desire for
union and the emotional desire for connection is joined together?
9.Explain the aspect of the God known as the Dying God.
How does this affect us psychologically?
10.Explain the concept of the Divine Hunter.
Does a male in the Craft, or a female for that matter, need to become a
hunter to experience this aspect of the God?
What other alternatives can you think of that would allow you to connect
with this aspect?
11.Contrast the celebrations of the Goddess with those of the God.
12.Explain each aspect of the God as you trace His progress around the
Wheel of the Year.
13.It would seem, at first glance, that the Craft has more to offer to women
than to men. What do men have to give up when they choose the Craft?
Explain the new relationship to the female body required.
What are some of the more subtle and not easily comprehended benefits
offered to the men in the Craft?
14.Explain the "Great Man" model of spirituality.
How does it relate to Witchcraft?
15.What happens when the cosmos is no longer modeled on external male
control as embodied in the "God the Father" concept of
16.What special benefits do men derive from being in the Craft and a
member of a Coven?
17.Which would be worse - a religion which elevates men to power at the
expense of women, or one that exalts women and refuses to acknowledge
the existence of men?
1.What is the "Craft" of Witchcraft?
How does Starhawk describe what it is like to perform magic?
3.What physiological process takes place when one learns to work magic?
4.What is the first requirement of magic?
What does it accomplish?
5.How is the language of magic expressed?
6.Define what a spell is, and what often gets mistaken for a spell?
7.What makes up a great body of magical lore?
8.What combined faculties are required in casting spells?
9.Explain the concept of the magical will.
How do you nurture it?
10.Why is it accurate to say spellcasting is a form of do it yourself
11.There are two basic ways in which spells work.
Explain each of them and the principles behind them.
12.Contrast the power of emotion and the directed energy of spell casting.
Explain the differences.
13.Why don’t spells work all the time, every time?
14.Of all the planets, which celestial body influences the subtle energies the
15.Name the four basic guidelines of spell casting, and explain each of them.
16.What must be established before a spell that influences another person
How does this effect you? What law governs this act?
17.Explain the differences between, and the uses for, a hex and a binding
Does the law of threefold return still hold true?
How might it effect the spell caster?
18.Might not a love spell directed against a specific person be construed as
How would a wise witch go about attracting love into her/his life?
What is the usual result of such spells?
19.Contrast the occurrence of an effective psychic attack with a physical
What state of mind is a far more pressing danger that psychic warfare?
20.What are some of the more subtle ways of attacking someone?
What can be done in defense?
Is it ethical in the first place?
1.What is the primary principle of magic?
How does it work?
2.Explain the statement; "To light a candle is to cast a shadow."
3.Is the equilibrium of the universe static, or dynamic?
How do the rituals, spells, and meditations of the craft aid this
4.What geometric shape does energy flow in?
Name some natural phenomena that display this form.
5.What are the implications of the Spiral Model?
6.How may we learn to understand the workings of the underlying physical
reality of nature?
Why would we want to?
7.What is the key principle to raising energy?
8.What demands must be met to practice magic as an art and as a
9.In what form is raised energy most often molded into in coven rituals?
What forms the base?
Name three things the apex can focus on.
10.There is a conceptual model which conceives of subtle energy as being of
three basic types. Name each of these types of energy.
11.Explain what "elemental" energy is and its relationship to the subtle
bodies that surround and interpenetrate the physical body.
Explain the energy of the consciousness and the energy of the Goddess
12.What must occur before the higher consciousness will awaken naturally?
13.What must you learn before you will be more sensitive to the forms and
levels of power in rituals?
1.What occurs when a witch trances?
2.Where have trance techniques been found in the past?
3.Name some of the more common forms of trance.
4.What are some of the effects that are possible in deeper trances?
5.Explain Starhawks’ statement that "Classifying consciousness also
encourages ‘higher than thou’ games of one-upsmanship."
What is the message here?
Have you been able to break free of this trap?
6.Are trance states subjective, objective, or both?
7.Describe the subjective part of trance.
Describe the objective part of trance.
8.Define astral projection.
What purpose does it serve?
9.Name two ways of protecting yourself while you are doing trance work.
10.Explain the parallel(s) between trance and hypnosis.
Are they the same thing?
Does it matter?
11.What happens to our suggestibility to others as we increase our
awareness of the functioning of suggestion and use it deliberately on
12.What can we use our own suggestibility for?
13.It has been said that trance can be dangerous.
14.What do the real dangers of magic stem from?
15.How are cults born and perpetuated?
What is the driving force behind them?
16.How does a cult reinforce its members’ defenses and stunt their personal
17.Name two other defense strategies and explain them.
18.What advice does Starhawk give for dealing with and helping projectors
19.Explain the role of drugs in a traditional society.
Why aren’t they used in our society within the same context?
20.What’s the best protection when learning to trance?
21.What does expanded awareness begin with?
22.What value do dreams have?
23.Name as many ways of ‘opening the door without a key’ as you can find
in the Spiral Dance.
24.Name the four related principles of trance induction. Explain.
25.Relate some ways of ‘going forth into the night’.
26.What blocks the trance state?
27.Which elements of trance induction are present in a good ritual?
28.What purpose is served when a ritual goes into the ‘cakes and wine’
Why is it necessary?
1.Briefly explain the significance of an initiation.
2.Why is the timing of an initiation important?
3.What conditions should be met before a dedicatee is probably ready for
4.Why must the leaders of a coven carefully consider who they will initiate,
and who they will not?
5.What makes up the theme of an initiation?
6.What is the true face of the Shadow?
7.Who is the Guardian of the Threshold?
What is His aspect?
8.What does an initiation traditionally begin with?
9.What is the purpose of the ritual bath?
10.Explain the meaning of the phrase "Feet neither bound nor free".
11.What is the perfect password for entering an initiatory circle?
12.What is the purpose of taking an initiates measure?
What circumstances dictate who keeps it?
13.What parallels can be drawn between the Witch’s initiation and the
Knighthood ritual under the code of Chivalry?