Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
The Rewards and Hazards of Teaching the Craft to Others
Article ID: 11115
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,319
Times Read: 2,803
RSS Views: 85,990
Author: Morgan Ravenwood
Posted: January 14th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,803
Some budding Wiccans seem to feel that one cannot be a TRUE Wiccan unless a “master” priestess or priest schools them. Since there aren’t always a lot of available resources by which to find such a teacher, the choices are considerably limited.
My having been listed on the Witches’ Voice networking site for many years has often resulted in an occasional plea for instruction in Wiccan practice from people in my area. One day I thought, well, why not? At the time, there wasn’t an operating coven or even study group within 150 miles of my city. Since there seemed to be so much interest, I decided to try and at least get a study group going.
At first, it actually went pretty well. We began with six fairly dedicated ladies who all expressed how glad they were to have found others of like mind to study with and learn from. Most of them had never conducted or even participated in a full moon or Sabbat ritual, and when my husband and I decided to teach them some basic ritual construction, they all enjoyed the experience immensely. In no time, I was writing and assigning lessons and beginning to consider officially creating a tradition based upon some basic beliefs that we all shared.
I cannot express enough how rewarding this work was. Having always worked either solitarily or with my husband and daughter, the dynamics of practicing with others from many different backgrounds was awesome. The satisfaction of conducting a meeting or ritual that went well is almost beyond description. For the first time I truly felt “in tune” with myself, my friends and relatives, and my gods.
On a more personal level, I felt that I had finally found the perfect way to honor deity and the religion of Wicca---to promulgate it through education. This is a task that I still take very seriously today, though in somewhat a different form than group practice. Instead, I’m concentrating on (hopefully) inspiring others through my writing.
Unfortunately, there are very good reasons why I ultimately abandoned the idea of trying to teach others or even practicing with a group. Just as our group was becoming closer and stronger, our most experienced member began having problems with her spouse, who was dead-set against her practicing Wicca.
When she became pregnant, she regretfully explained that she was going to have to quit the group. The loss of her seemed to start a downward trend that ultimately decimated the group and left me with nothing to show for the time, energy and yes, money I had invested in it. Needless to say, this was personally devastating for me and is certainly not the kind of experience I would have wanted to repeat.
However, fairly soon after we disbanded, I began receiving pleas to resume the group from some newcomers to town as well as a couple of our recalcitrant “ex-members.” Reluctantly, I knuckled under the pressure and arranged a “Pagan Picnic in the Park” day.
I rented a ramada at the park, hung signs and purchased most of the food and beverages for everyone. I was rewarded with a complete no-show from all except our most loyal member, who never missed a meeting, and a couple of—shall we say, interesting—folks from the next town who I had never met before.
At that point, I swore to permanently disband the group and never resume it again. But just before last Samhain, I began to feel sentimental and missed the good times we had when the group was first formed. I had recently spoken with a couple of the former members and both begged to at least get together for a ritual. I emailed all the former members and asked them if they’d like to participate in a Samhain ritual at my home.
When they all expressed interest, I set it for the Saturday before Samhain. Again, I purchased refreshments and went to a great deal of trouble to set up the ritual. One of the members had even promised to bring a bottle of Mead for us all to share.
I am sure you can guess what happened—or rather, what DIDN’T happen. Yep, all were a no-show but for the one reliable lady, bless her!
Since that time, I have received emails from several local Pagans expressing interest in doing group practice. This time, however, I’m going to keep my vow to myself and not be lured into re-forming the group. If anyone else decides to try forming one in the future, I just may attend some meetings, but that would be all. When I explain this to these seekers, they then beg me for some one-on-one instruction.
I think that these budding Wiccans who desire basic instruction are overlooking a few possibilities other than this. There are quite a few online schools available (I won’t list them here since it might be construed as endorsing them, but try an online search) and some offer degree programs and charge very reasonable fees. Some are even free; check out Yahoo groups to find email lists for online schools.
An overwhelming majority of Wiccans owes their accumulated knowledge to the many books, magazines, articles, etc. that they love to read. In fact, many have become accomplished adepts without ever practicing with a group or benefiting from a master’s tutelage and the late author Scott Cunningham went to great lengths to reassure us that this was completely acceptable. That old saw “when the student is ready, the master appears” doesn’t always hold true.
It should also be mentioned that in these days of increasingly frequent occurrences of sexual predators and other assorted rough characters targeting young, naïve and trusting young people and even adults, it definitely pays to be very discriminating about who you choose to arrange a personal meeting with and where. I have always personally made a practice of making first-time meetings public.
If you decide to seek personal instruction, be alert to any attempts at coercion (either physical or mental) or charging exorbitant fees by the teacher. If you are fortunate enough to live where there are working covens or groves, chances are that they can offer much more in the way of instruction than a solitary teacher can. Never abandon personal study, however, as it is still the best way to learn.
If you choose to teach or try to lead a coven or study group, be aware of the potential pitfalls of doing so, but also be equally aware that there can be many rewards. Best of luck with either pursuit!
Copyright: Previously published on-line at The Wiccan-Pagan Times
Location: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Author's Profile: To learn more about Morgan Ravenwood - Click HERE
Bio: Morgan Ravenwood has been an Eclectic Wiccan and writer for over 30 years and was the facilitator of the first Pagan group in her area, Desert Moon Circle. She is also a dedicated equal-rights activist and has conducted extensive research on hate crimes and persecution against Pagans.
Other Articles: Morgan Ravenwood has posted 7 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Morgan Ravenwood... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
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