Everywhere I go, I see people posting requests for teachers, and I get e-mails
and messages for the same. Now, I would like all of you to sit down a moment and
consider some things.
First of all, do you have any idea what you are asking for? If you donít even know what Wicca is, how do you know you want me to teach you about it? Did you know that there are people out there who will respond to your request with, ďOf course Iíll teach you all of the magic of the Universe, just hop up here on my magical bed.Ē? Do you stop to think about what the personís background, training, and level of knowledge is before you latch onto them as a teacher? If you wanted to learn American history instead of Wicca/Witchcraft, youíd certainly want to be sure your teacher knew what they were talking about. Where is the difference?
Iím not intending to put anyone down. Believe me, I remember what it was like taking my first stumbling steps along this path and wishing I had someone to help me. It is much easier today with all of the information available on the Web. What becomes frustrating is the number of people who arrive on a site wanting to be handed all the knowledge and power of the Universe without having to make any effort on their part to work at learning it. Well, I have a surprise for you...it doesnít work that way. We are a religion with a core belief of personal responsibility. If you arenít willing to work at the learning process, you are going to go nowhere. I donít spoon feed my real world students, why should I do so to those clamoring at me on-line. Donít just come up to someone and say ďteach me all about WiccaĒ. Browse the sites and find information. If something doesnít make sense to you, THEN ask a specific question and anyone will be willing to help you out.
Before you take someone as a teacher, find out a bit about their background. How old are they? How many years have they been practicing? What Tradition did they train in? How do they see the relationship between the two of you. While age is not a promise of wisdom, I would really look hard at someone in their teens who told me they knew ďALLĒ about the Craft. Yet I see these people advertising for students all the time.
Something else to consider. Wicca is an EXPERIENTIAL religion. That means that it is different for everyone because everyone sees and feels something in a slightly different manner. It is difficult enough sitting with a student face to face and having both of you understand and agree on what is happening, but really difficult on-line. For instance, if I am teaching how to Ground and Center to my real-world student, I can feel when he is Grounded by the changes in his aura and energy...but try doing that over a computer. Not that it canít be done, only that it is difficult.
Those who want to be Witches also need to know if they approach a Wiccan, they are asking to learn both a religion and a way of life, not just a bunch of spells and certainly not curses. Along the way you are going to be asked to learn ethics, moral behavior, comparative religions, counseling skills, and many other things which have litte to do with the standard image of the Witch. If this isnít what you are interested in, donít waste your time or your teacherís.
Another point to consider, although this is my personal stance and not that of every teacher, in this country it is ILLEGAL for anyone to interfere in the religious upbringing of a minor without the parentís consent. That means that I, or any other teacher, could go to jail for teaching the Craft to anyone under the age of consent without the knowledge and permission of the parents. At best it might mean a nasty trip to court and lawyerís fees. At worst it could mean loss of a job, a professional license, or jail time. Do you think it fair to ask that of someone?
The relationship between a teacher and student is similar to that between parent and child, for these are our Witch children. We as teachers raise them up in our image. We rejoice with them as they find their true path, and we feel the guilt of failure when they falter along the way. It is not a bond to be entered into lightly or treated without respect.
One of the biggest problems for teachers is learning when enough is enough. Many of us were called by the Gods to teach the Craft, and there is a desire to answer every call for help, but you soon find yourself overwhelmed with the demands of your students to the point you begin backing away and not giving them what you agreed to provide. It is better to take a few students and teach them well and fully than to take everyone who asks and not keep up your side of the bargain.
And finally, to those of you with experience, I ask that you be patient with our young, for they are our future. Put down that annoyance at the umpteenth request for a love spell. Either respond or donít, but donít take it out on the asker. Your response may make the difference between someone who finds the true path and one who goes off in disgust with Wiccans
Main Index / Lark's Nest
Last updated July 17, 1998