Armonia Seminary

by Alethea Thompson

It’s hard to place when this idea began, honestly. As far back as 2008 I’ve been working on creating a program that could help the Jedi Community strive to the next phase of it’s exploration. Something that could re-inspire knights and masters to want to explore the Jedi Path from a new angle.

 Along the way I met some fantastic people that shared the same vision. We worked together on projects that got the community talking. We shared concerns, ideas and poked at each other to see if anything would push the membership at various orders to come up with something that brought the Jedi Path back into its “glory days”—when people were first trying to figure out what in the fiction was useful and what needed to be tossed out the door.

 It’s been a ride; learning that there was a lot happening where I thought there wasn’t: Training, Learning, Inspiration, and even some negative things like drama and pain (sorry, the Jedi are not devoid of our problems—we are human after all). I met great and wonderful people that had a lot to offer the community. But a lot of them were bogged down by time constraints and often taught patience to their students by explaining they were volunteers. I watched students leave behind their passion to become a Jedi simply because the instructors couldn’t be present to help them. I watched orders that had a lot of potential shut down because life took hold of the founders and they just couldn’t keep up. And I’ve seen a lot of people calling for offline groups they could meet up with and train with.

 That’s probably where this idea got started. Kind of. Originally, the seminary was suppose to be a project for Coalescere Enclave (set up around 2009-2010). But the founder’s offline life took a turn into chaos and he wasn’t able to upkeep the religious non-profit organization. Then it moved to a new project that has become known as Jedi Federation. But we’ve run into some logistical problems of putting a school into the setup that we are looking to create in that organization. It was actually at Force Academy that the Head of the Light Aspect, Keith “Sotunus” Williams, started inquiring about what the next stage of the Light Aspect should be. Keith and I held a long conversation about using college-styled software to teach the Jedi Path in a more academic way. But I also pointed out the problems Gabriel Calderon (the “father” of the Jedi Mystic tradition) and I had when we taught the first group of Jedi Mystics.

 In this talk, we also got to the subject of UK Jedi Gatherings… or rather the lack thereof. We spoke on logistics that it takes to get a US Gathering running, and the funding that we often struggle to meet in the beginning just to secure a location. And finally, we spoke on the subject of building inter-community relations. Everything above is what brought about this school. A combination of efforts from people that wanted to see to it that Jediism had something to make it stand out. Something that combined our love for spiritual studies and could provide a more academic look at the Jedi Path so our students could pass it along in a meaningful way.

 We wanted Jedi to be able to create their own offline groups with all the necessary tools to make it move forward. And finally, to get funds to help build that offline connection when you can only plan for one or two events a year. 2018 is a Beta launch, and we hope to have enough money to fund a UK Jedi Gathering in 2019 (one where we will invite different orders that can come to deliver a workshop of their own). This year we are only teaching the basic Jedi Studies (which would get you to what is effectively an “Associates Degree”) for $25 each class on Open Learning. These classes are built from the foundation of the document “The Jedi Compass”, which was written by the Jedi Community in 2013.

 To learn more about us and the classes we have to offer, please visit us at ArmoniaSeminary.com

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