Have you had a teacher in the craft? Have you ever taken a course or classes to help you learn witchcraft? What were your experiences? If you haven’t, what are your thoughts and feelings on such courses?
To be quite honest I am in a constant war with myself on this issue; I know that there are lots of good, reputable teachers out there but it makes me feel very uncomfortable because I think witchcraft is something that is especially attractive to predators and vulnerable people. Because of that I want to discuss what I think of honest teachers and then address my issues with everything else.
There are plenty of wonderful, honest, real witches out there who teach the craft to equally wonderful, honest, good people.
Good teachers can spot students who are seeking to learn simply to manipulate or gain power over others. Good teachers are clear about what witchcraft is and what it isn’t. Good teachers encourage personal reflection and growth and encourage mundane measures alongside magick, depending on the situation.
Their courses and teachings are valuable and I would like to take some classes at some point myself. I’m specifically looking to learn as many ways as possible to bring my practice into my everyday life. I’m very much a “quick and dirty” witch so it’s kind of odd that the everyday, mundane style witching isn’t already a part of my practice but I have a tendency to keep various aspects of my life very separate. Classes on general everyday witching and also business witching are currently on my to do list!
Open to abuse
This is always my sticking point; witchcraft, because of the nature of it, attracts predators and vulnerable people. While I realise this is an issue in every area of life, I personally feel there are certain sectors where it is more common and the craft is one.
Predators looking to make a quick buck (at best) can set up shop teaching whatever they like with little to hold them to account. They can make bold promises which attract people who see witchcraft as more magic than magick or to draw in people who are struggling in one way or another.
Offers to connect with lost loved ones, make your true love love you back, get revenge or myriad of other emotionally loaded promises are designed to reach people in their moment of need, not to help them but to take advantage, and I find that truly awful.
It’s very easy to think you would never be desperate enough to fall for wild promises or go looking for magic beans but when you’re in that moment, going through that grief, fear, heartbreak, whatever, you want to believe that there’s a quick fix or a way to undo it.
Is there a solution?
Good teachers exist and, to be clear, all the teachers and witches I follow are amazing and I absolutely don’t believe they should suffer because of the bad apples.
For me, the solutions is to bring the common understanding of the craft more in line with the reality. I, personally, don’t believe the mystery would be lost in ensuring a basic understanding of witchcraft in the general population. I think more understanding of the complexities, nuances and shades of grey would enable more people to make more informed decisions and think more critically about any offer they’re seeing.