6.09.2010

the Art of Teaching

As more and more people seek out spirituality in the pagan sector, there are many more people who have picked up paths generated in America as opposed to Traditional paths.

This is nothing new. This is nothing bad. To each their own. Spirituality is a very deeply personal thing, and any yahoo that would judge an individual over something so personal just needs to get a grip. There were just more people becoming interested in it than there were teachers, so they're not 'doing it wrong', they're just 'doing it differently'. (We'll skip the argument over what to call the 'modern wiccans' and just hang it up as western wicca, okay?)

However, when you are in spiritual starvation mode, it's kind of hard to keep from seeking in places that aren't the wisest of places. Particularly if you are caught up in that bright, shiny newness of a thing. We are blinded sometimes by our revelations and fail to realize in the seeking for peers and teachers, there are some fundamental things that we skip. Here's some thoughts to consider.

Not everyone can be a teacher. As skilled or as knowledgeable as a person is, this doesn't qualify them to teach. Some people have a hard idea communicating their thoughts. And yet some have no patience for it, skipping fundamentals as if you'd already know them, or not explaining a thing more than once. And that failing, some people just really don't know what they're doing, and it becomes the blind leading the blind.

Not every teacher teaches in the way you expect it. Just because you expect to pick up practical knowledge from someone doesn't mean it's going to happen. However, maybe this person has wandered into your life for other reasons. If they can't teach you directly, generally there is something about their lives, they way that they are going, which is going to teach you something. Sometimes we can't see past our noses. Maybe the lesson doesn't come directly from the person as opposed to a lesson through observation and interaction. This seems like a stretch, but it's true. In our haste to find what we are seeking, we may not evaluate closely enough the person we are seeking to be our teacher.

Be selective of your teachers. What method do they teach by? Do they lead by example, are they those that guide you through experience? Do they use paperwork, homework, and visual aids? - and that's just the 'teaching part'. What makes you think they will be a good teacher? Beyond their teaching skills, look at their life. Are they in a constant state of drama? Do those that fill their homes and circles seem unnecessarily needy? Is there an over-abundance of hero-worship among their peers or perhaps they seem to rule instead of lead?

As we move through the world, seeking to lean from people, we must be intimately aware that magic is a very visceral thing. It is something that moves us deeply, that connects us deeply, and changes ourselves and the world. With that in mind, this kind of evaluation will bring you to ask yourself questions. Do you want to be so closely entwined with someone who is less than scrupulous as a teacher of magic? Do you want to carry the baggage, the karma, of someone who's caught up in witch wars and epic drama? Do you want a charismatic leader, or a competent teacher?

Whether you are a new seeker or the seasoned initiate looking for a different path, it's just some food for thought.

6.08.2010

so easy (I had to post this here)

And so I'm in the vehicle, passenger on a meandering journey. And what should I see, but a in a little town, a little sign which I read aloud.

".... Primitive Baptist Church...."

And the passenger in front of me quietly spoke, answering my question.

"So easy....a cave man can do it."
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