Greetings! My name is Dr. Michael Farrell and I am a Wiccan! I have been on this spiritual path since I was about 15, which makes that about 55 years now! I am co-founder of two Covens* (Fresno and Upland CA) and am a Grand High Priest (Fresno), High Priest (Upland), Elder and Teacher.
I enjoy teaching the most. It is a pleasure and joy to see the expressions of people, young and old, when they realize and understand a new concept or experience the results of a process, new or old, when it functions correctly. It is also a chance for me to give back what I have learned to those who are starving for knowledge that is often not readily available or if it is, perhaps lacking or inaccurate. Additionally, all of this helps in expanding the Wiccan and Pagan Communities.
As a result of creating the first coven (Fresno 2004), it became apparent that teaching Wicca to a moderate group of eight or ten students or more was difficult to keep organized since everyone learned at different paces. Beginning with the second fiscal year (2005), I founded St. Brigid’s Academy** (SBA) and later expanded it to include a Seminary!
Material to teach Wicca was plentiful in the mid-2000’s, but quite limited in scope. Most authors treated the various topics and concepts as something to present but not expand on very much. It was all quite basic and, while wording was different, the ideas presented did not change overmuch. Where do you find information on Keystones or Generation Stones (other than fictional items in online or computer games?) With my research background and the research notes from hundreds of old tomes found only in the basement storage of Universities in Great Britain and Europe, I had a broad base to work with and began writing lessons. Many of these were supplemented with various pieces of information found on the internet, in local libraries and also through interviews with other Wiccans, Pagans and New Agers, most of whom wanted to remain anonymous.
SBA began with two professors and one assistant professor, but has had additional professors as class sizes enlarged as well as contributing authors of class lectures. Over the years, we have had nearly 80 students, many of them distance students, come and go. About 36 of those are still with us in some capacity and still study more advanced subjects. Our distance students come from many different states across the nation and in May of 2014, SBA became an international school with the enrollment of a student residing in Canada!
While I was raised Catholic, I became aware early in high school that my religion was not providing me with what I needed spiritually. I felt much closer to nature and natural activities, could feel the energy emitted by trees and plants, and I could see auras around almost everything. I actually felt the presence of Deity all around me, but I did not know or understand at the time just what it was that I was experiencing.
Of course, being raised Catholic generated tremendous guilt when I tried to explore various other ways spirituality worked, so I put religious growth and development on the back burner for some time, until I overcame my guilt and fears and began to study and practice again.
I was re-introduced to an old High School classmate in the early ‘80s who helped put a name to what spirituality I was actually ‘practicing’ those previous years: Wicca! This was scary too. After all, wasn’t that witchcraft? Witchcraft was supposed to be evil, according to the church. But I could not detect anything evil in what I felt or believed, so, after a time of getting my thoughts arranged, I continued my studies with a mentor (who has now passed over) I met by accident, I developed and progressed in my spirituality far beyond what I ever thought possible.
I am classified as a Third Degree Priest but with the extensive studies and research beyond this level, I am also a Third Adept-First Level in Magickal and Spiritual Studies.
I am ordained as a minister, through St. Brigid’s Academy and Seminary, and have performed weddings, naming ceremonies, memorial services and pastoral counseling.
* The Temple of St. Brigid’s Moon, Fresno, CA. August 2004
The Temple of St. Brigid’s Well, Upland, CA. January 2011
** St. Brigid’s Academy and Seminary, (559) 355-2050 (both campuses)
Rev. Dr. Michael Farrell (NCHC Certified Medical Herbalist***)
Professor and Dean of Education, St. Brigid’s Academy and Seminary
***NOTICE: While I have a doctorate in Metaphysical Studies and Ontology as well as medical training, I am NOT a medical doctor! I have been certified for nearly 19 years as a Medical Herbalist, having studied Medical Herbology in Great Britain and the US. Please note that the formula presented here is proprietary and copyright protected. It cannot be published or used for production for sale without permission. Personal use is NOT restricted. Authorization for publishing in this article on Soulfully Connecting is granted.