Correllian Educational Ministries
Witchschool was formally taken under the Correllian Tradition as Correllian Educational Ministries on 1st October 2015
Witch School was initially founded on 4 September, 2001, with a goal of providing an “anyone, anytime, anyplace Magical education”. However the history of Witch School actually goes back well before it was founded, in the personal history of Ed Hubbard and Don Lewis and their experiences with many previous projects. It was these experiences that convinced Hubbard and Lewis that an “anyone, anytime, anyplace Magical education” was not only a good thing but something the Magical community really needed.
Ed and Don met in Chicago in 1990 at the J and M Psychic Fairs through the efforts of the famous Spiritualist medium Eleanor Royce. Ed and Don became friends and found that they shared both a similar vision for the future, and similar visions of the future which both had experienced since childhood.
They became involved in a number of ventures, notably Psychic Services Chicago which is just what it sounds like, The Church of Gaia (later Holy City Temple), and a number of media projects including Psychic Chicago Magazine, and Psychic Chicago Radio. Through these media projects, as well as many guest appearances on area programs such as the Mike Kurbin Show, Ed and Don came to meet and in many cases interview most of the local fixtures of Chicago’s psychic and Pagan communities. Ed and Don were joined in many of these projects by the dramatic and beautiful Traci Logan, then Chicago’s youngest professional psychic reader.
In 1993 the Parliament of the World’s Religions met in Chicago for the first time in one hundred years. Ed was very much involved in this as one of the event staff. At this event Ed met international leaders of the Pagan community such as Angie Buchanan and Selena Fox, as well as world leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Olivia Robertson of the FOI.
by Olivia Robertson to create an ambassadorial mission to help build
ties between the various Pagan Traditions, Ed founded the Pagan
Interfaith Embassy, which would transform the face of Pagan Chicago in
succeeding years. In 1994 the Pagan Interfaith Embassy sponsored the
first Chicago Pagan Leadership Conference, which brought together
almost all of the Chicago area groups with unexpected success. The
Pagan Interfaith Embassy would hold two more extremely successful Pagan
Leadership Conferences before allowing the Chicago Pagan Leadership
Conference to form up as a group in its own right. Sadly, once it
became a group free from the Pagan Interfaith Embassy the Pagan
Leadership Conference did not do so well, falling prey to internal
political squabbled. But the Chicago community had been re-energized by
the original PLC events and this energy would carry on for years to
come, promoting the birth of dozens of new groups and a variety of
Launched on 4 September, 2001, Witch School proved even more popular than Daily Spell had been and the student body expanded by thousands. The Mentoring system was refined and enlarged to accommodate these students –though the Mentoring system dealt only with the Priesthood classes. In addition there were dozens of additional classes that students could take, as well as books and other items offered for sale.
2003 the Witch School shipping department had outgrown Ed’s kitchen,
and it had become clear that we needed more help. But building a
shipping department in metropolitan Chicago was far beyond our means.
So Witch School began to look for a new headquarters in downstate
Illinois, where the Correllian Tradition had several groups and the
school expected it to be easy to recruit help. Ed and Don found a
lovely building in Hoopeston Illinois that met all of their needs –a
former school house. They set about the process of buying the building,
and announced the planned move little expecting what would follow.
Local conservative Christians were horrified and mounted and anti-Witch
School campaign: There were prayer meetings, petition drives,
door-to-door campaigns. Events culminated in a highly charged city
council meeting in which Ed, Don, and friends were confronted by
hundreds of angry Christians –many of whom had been bused in from other
areas for the occasion. As the meeting verged toward violence, Ed
finally said that if any of them felt strongly enough to write a check
for the amount of our down payment, we would not buy the building. We
then left Hoopeston intending never to return. In the fullness of time
we did in fact receive a check from a local church that would have
covered the down payment we had lost –but a stop payment had been
placed upon it even before it was mailed. It was only for show on the
Churches’ part. But by then the local Police Chief had contacted us and
asked us to consider moving forward. Chief Drollinger explained that
most of the people at the meeting were not even from Hoopeston, and
that the opposition was much more limited than it was trying to appear.
the close of 2003 the new Witch School headquarters was set up in the
Elephant Building, and ancient warehouse and office complex where it
would remain for the next four years. For the first couple of years Ed,
Don, Lisa, and Jason would live in the storeroom, being unable to find
an apartment –for local opposition was, if not as widespread as it
first appeared, still considerable. Eventually Don, Lisa, and Jason
would move into an apartment, but Ed would remain in the Elephant
Building for the duration.
these years the school grew and expanded. Magic TV was created and the
production of video classes began. However the local opposition was
still there, and growing more virulent. It was only a minority of
people, but they were influential people and it was becoming more and
more obvious that the school could not expand as it wished to in
Hoopeston. The Elephant Building was old and in poor repair. Attempts
at repair only made clear how serious the structural damage was. A new
building was needed –but it could not be found in Hoopeston.
After this the Church of Christ became a bit more circumspect, but continued to protest our presence with weekly anti-Pagan prayer circles and occasional anti-Pagan speakers, but their opposition has become much quieter.
Today Witch School is busily adapting to the changing technology of the internet with the creation of our new WitchSchoolInternational.ning site, which will serve as a single portal to all of the school’s many services including the main classes, the yahoo groups through which the Mentor system operates, the clubs, and of course Magick TV. We are, as we always have, actively building the future we desire –for after all, if we don’t, who will?
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