O, let not the flame die out,
Cherished age after age in its dark caverns,
in its temples cherished.
Fed by pure ministers of love -
let not the flame die out.
~ EDWARD CARPENTER
“When the ears of the student are ready to hear,
then cometh the lips to fill them with Wisdom.”
- The Kybalion
During the first Year and a Day, the Oakmist student is trained in all the basics of the Craft. General information is given on many topics, most of which could be found in variations of material published under scores of titles, in what we consider to be a logical order. It’s basically “What Every Baby Witch Should Know.” The lessons are given along with time-tested exercises, with the expectation that the student will use every resource available to expand their understanding of lesson. In that first year and a day, they are introduced to Hermetics and Alchemy in the form of a Tarot course.
The Year and a Day is traditional. It has many reasons, magical and mundane. It is the time it usually takes for us to get to know the student. Who are they? What are their motives? What are their true colors? Are they loyal? Are they serious students or are they dabblers? Can we trust them? Do they have the necessary patience and endurance required by a person who truly wishes to advance?
If not, they are released to go their own way,
armed with a better toolbox for life.
If so, they are elevated and brought into the inner Circle. Once accepted, each student is expected to write their Second Year course of study based on their own interests. This could be any number of subjects.
Once the student completes their Second Year (and a "year" could turn into many years in reality), the student is again elevated. Their next course of study is in learning to lead their own group, as the primary goal for an Oakmist student is to hive and form their own coven.
One of the texts that is required reading during the First Year is the Kybalion. This little text is a study of Hermetic Philosophy. It is easy to read and will give the student “a Master-Key with which s/he may open the many inner doors in the Temple of Mystery through the main portals s/he has already entered.”
The authors of the Kybalion say
“If you are a true student,
you will be able to work out
and apply these Principles –
if not, then you must develop yourself into one,
for otherwise the Hermetic Teachings
will be as
“words, words, words” to you.”
I know this statement to be true, because when I was first introduced to Hermetics and Alchemy, I tossed it aside as “words, words, words.” It would be more than 10 years before I had advanced far enough to gain at least a glimmer of understanding.
Here is an excerpt from The Kybalion:
The Seven Hermetic Principles:
The Principle of Mentalism:
“THE ALL IS MIND; The Universe is Mental”
The Principle of Correspondence:
“As above, so below; as below, so above.”
The Principle of Vibration
“Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.”
The Principle of Polarity
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.”
The Principle of Rhythm
“Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.”
The Principle of Cause and Effect
“Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.”
The Principle of Gender
“Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes”