A local eco-friendly holistic shop is hosting workshops to educate those interested in learning about magic and seeking out the true witches of Greenville.
The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions shop was founded in March 2009 by owner Michelle Heron. Heron, who is a practicing witch and priestess of the Sojo Circle Coven, also hosts the weekly “Modern Witchcraft 366: The Art, Science and Psychology of Nature-Based Spirituality” classes.
The next class is on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the store, located at 414 Evans St. in Uptown Greenville.
Heron said she created the program in 2010, but in 2018, the program was facilitated by the Dean of Mystery School and incoming Priestess, who goes by the name Webweaver, and co-taught by several coven members, such as practicing witch and astrologer Jupiter Melchizedek.
“That first year, I did the best that I could to facilitate the study group, but then I put a little structure on things and presented topics in a reasonable order and it became overtime a much more structured, formalized, personal, not just what's out of the books, but our own experience and take on it,” Heron said.
According to Sojourner’s website, the six week course culminates in the solar celebration of the Grand Sabbat of Imbolc, making the dedication to achieve a personal goal over the coming year.
The first week of each year, the shop opens the Modern Witchcraft 366 training program to seekers who would like to learn about modern witchcraft in a formal setting.
For each member, the dedication would be to study witchcraft for the next “year and a day” with the Sojo circle. After dedications at Imbolc, the class is closed to newcomers for the remaining of the year.
Melchizedek said people come to the classes for all different reasons, but what he hopes seekers gain from the courses is a sense of community.
“I think what I would want people to get out of the course is the community aspect because a lot of people who are interested in magic or witchcraft, they might feel very alienated or feel like there is nobody around us that have the same interests,” Melchizedek said.
During the year, each of the 48 classes are divided into eight sessions named after the solar holiday, Sabbat, celebrated on the Saturday night following each session.
These sessions, such as the Ostara and Beltane sessions, include information on the elements of Magick and the religion of witchcraft. According to Heron, on completion of the eight sessions, seekers have the opportunity to join the Sojo Coven.
“At the end of the first year, I said, you know, for someone who comes to this class 48 times in a row, three hours a week, done all this work on the side and all this personal exploration work, it deserves a self initiation ritual,” Heron said. “We do not consider what we do to be wicca, we decided that we were a collective modern witches of the American variety and that we would hold the space and bear witness to each others self initiations.”
Aside from the Modern Witchcraft 366 class, The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions shop offers a number of goods and services to the public hoping to equipit the needs of the path less traveled. Inside, seekers can find divination tools, bulk organic herbs and spiritual supplies for earth based, pagan, occult, esoteric and Magickal traditions.
“In some point prior to opening the store, I would be moaning about the lack of spiritual options in our area and at the time we didn't know of any local groups who were teaching, training or offering services,” Heron said.
According to Sojourner’s website, services include tarot card readings using the thoth tarot deck, past-life retrievals, reiki energy healing by Michelle and astrology readings and hoodoo workings by Jupiter. Herbal consultations and instructions are provided by Courtney Varnadoe.
Edward Zula provides the use of psychometry, clairsentience and spirit communication to help resolve grief and loss. Zula said he doesn't know how he does what he does, but somehow people always find what they need after his sessions.
“After a session I want people to experience healing, and closure and a sense of validation, the word I would use would be relief, I want people to experience relief,” Zula said. “I want people to know when we leave this Earth, this physical form, there is no pain, no suffering, no resistment and the knowing just comes when you get over to the other side.”
More information on how to become a part of upcoming Modern Witchcraft 366 sessions or services offered by The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions shop can be found on their website, Facebook page and Twitter page.