The Great Initiator: Death, Necromancy, and the Witch

From $36.50 USD every two weeks for 14 weeks

Course Enrollment is Closed. Message us on the Contact Form if interested in the next offering.

An online course taught by Lee Morgan, author of A Deed without A Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft, Standing and Not Falling: A Sorcerous Primer in Thirteen Moons, and Sounds of Infinity. In this course we will explore the deep mystery of death, midwifing others through their transition (including from a distance), anchoring this work within the home where so many of us find ourselves, and how to work with the spirits of the dead for mutual benefit. Here we will seek sorcerous aid, and also a deepening understanding of the post death state, one that can help to loosen the binds of anxiety and fear and thus allow us to guide others.

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Description

Why You Should Take this Course

Right now the awareness of death is stalking our world, drawing us all to consider the finite nature of things, people, institutions, and old ways of doing things. For the witch, initiation and death have an intimate relationship where the death of the old persona is required to clear the way for the birth of the magical practitioner. As those who cross the hedge and touch that which is taboo, to the uninitiated it is our place to step forward during times of great upheaval. In this course we will explore the deep mystery of death, midwifing others through their transition (including from a distance), anchoring this work within the home where so many of us find ourselves, and how to work with the spirits of the dead for mutual benefit. Here we will seek sorcerous aid, and also a deepening understanding of the post death state; one that can help to loosen the binds of anxiety and fear and thus allow us to guide others.

Course Information

The course will take place over six weeks and include video presentations and detailed text documents.  In addition, students will receive private consultations with Lee Morgan through FaceBook, and will have the option of customizing course assignments to their specific path in order to gain a lasting, personal experience.

After registering for the course, we will add you to a private FaceBook group along with the other students in this course.  We’ve found this is a great way to share your journey in this course together. 

Course Outline
Week 1: The Great Mystery

Here we explore the meaning and profundity of Death, the West’s relationship with the Underworld, and what witchcraft can teach us about facing what I call ‘the great deepening.’ Since the beginning of its persecution, witchcraft has been associated with Death, with plagues, poisoned wells, dry cows and failed crops, so it only makes sense that as the scapegoat for mankind’s fears witchcraft will have some things to teach us about this great mystery. This week’s meditations will include an exercise conveyed via video entitled “Still as the Grave” where we will work on releasing anxiety when confronting Death.

Week 2: Death Midwifery

This lesson is very practical and aims at helping practitioners to adjust to the possibility of deaths occurring where one is unable to attend the bedside. In this time where pestilence is stalking the land, we face situations where the natural support practices of folklore, or even modern interpretations like death doulas, are unable to do their work from fear of contagion. In these situations how can we reach out to help those confused and alone to pass over smoothly? Here we will look at the practices of our forebears and how we can adjust them to deal with uncertain times.

Week 3: In the Home at the Hearthside

This is where a lot of you are right now. We sometimes use language like ‘stuck at home’ in quarantine, but what better opportunity to explore the magical aspect of the home? So in accordance with the principle of starting where you are and using what you have, we will take the opportunity to lean in to what we cannot resist. Many people talk about going stir crazy. I like to imagine this being like a great big cauldron inside us being stirred by Old Fate, kicking up sediment, muddying the waters, and allowing us a look at our own darkness, at our culture’s collective darkness, at the forgotten dead in our own ancestral line. And if we look long enough we will see it is our society’s rejection of that darkness, not the dark itself that is to blame for much of our current predicament. This week will contain a short video of offering to the forgotten and displaced dead.

Week 4: The Return of the Absent One

Here we will explore some of the history and context of necromancy in folklore and practice. In what circumstances do the dead reappear and when is it beneficial for them and you? How does this differ for a witch than for non-practitioners? This week will contain a practice based on folklore to invite a member of the beloved dead to hold communion with you, and an option for those who wish to ‘adopt’ a member of the outcast dead.

Week 5: By Sheep Scapula and Apple Peel at Midnight

Corpse candles, grave winds, omens, portents, liftings, and blessings brought about by the influence of the dead. Here we will bring together lore on these topics and discuss the fundamental ambiguity of the dead as potentially positive or negative influences depending on how they are integrated with community. There will be a practice in video form, in addition to the textual material, on how to seek specific information from the dead via divination.

Week 6: The Familiar

When people think of witches with familiars who identify themselves as members of the cohort of the human dead, we tend to imagine people like the faerie witch Bessie Dunlop whose helper identified as a man who died in a battle. Familiars of this sort can be helpful in achieving magical goals, but there is also so much more we can learn from them. In this final week I will speak about some of my own deep experiences and ongoing connections with the dead and how they can show us more about the condition they find themselves in, and thus prepare us to face that deepened state with less fear and appreciate life more keenly.

Course Prerequisites

We ask that students have at minimum an intermediate level of experience in witchcraft, sorcery, or ceremonial magic. Please contact us if you have questions as to the appropriateness of fit of the course for you.

In addition, you will need a Facebook account to be added to the private Facebook group.

Instructor Bio

Lee Morgan lives on a woodland property with a homesteading community in the mountains in Tasmania where he is learning and applying permaculture principles and moving towards greater self-sufficiency. Living in a cabin with no electricity and garnering all his hot water from solar and wood from his own property is only the beginning but is all a deep part of where this course is coming from. This undertaking to walk his talk, intertwined with his twenty years of practice in Traditional Witchcraft places Lee in a position to speak to this topic both in a practical and esoteric level. No matter where you are on the long journey home to belonging amid the web of life, whether your situation is close to or far from the natural world, this course will take your hand and lead you deeper. Lee is the author of a number of books on Traditional Witchcraft including: A Deed Without A Name: Unearthing the Legacy of Traditional Witchcraft, Standing and Not Falling: A Sorcerous Primer in Thirteen Moons, and Sounds of Infinity.

What Former Students Have Said About Lee’s Teaching

I took Lee Morgan’s “Riddle of Place” course in fall 2019, and it had an immense, transformative effect on my craft. It was the medicine I needed at that time and I continue to work through the material because, as with all of Lee’s work, it is dense and rich. This was not a barrier, though, as Lee makes the course material approachable and breaks it down into actionable steps. If you are looking for support in more deeply connecting with the spirit of place, with the forces and allies of your bioregion, this course is for you.” -Orion Evenstar

“In the fields of sorcery and witchcraft, one can become easily overwhelmed with all the options of study and direction. I’ve taken numerous courses, read many books, but few have had the impact that Lee Morgan’s “The Riddle of Place” course has had on me. With a focus on animism and interrelation, I would suggest this course for any practitioner, whether they’re just starting out on the Crooked Path, or have had years of experience. This class gave me the tools and techniques to dive into a much deeper relationship with the bioregion of which I’m a part and that has only strengthened my spiritual and magical practices. Lee’s years of experience shine through in each week’s lessons and the corresponding assignments helped to open my eyes and my senses to the great web in which I live and work and how that helps to strengthen my sorcerous pursuits. Lee is an attentive tutor, with the innate motivation to help you not only learn from experience but to take that experience and wisdom to help you build a stronger relationship with the land of which you’re a part. Through this course, you will find the Riddle of Place not only provides answers and solutions to pertinent questions of our broken, modern time…it will help you find Home.” -Josh Simonds, www.JoshSimonds.com