Choosing a Teacher
You and Your Teacher: What Can You Expect?
Choosing your Craft teacher may be the single most important
decision you will ever make. More important even than choosing a mate,
or a medical doctor. Those choices apply to one lifetime (usually) and
you may form bonds with your teacher that will last for eternity. This
is the person to whom you will entrust your spiritual growth, and who
will be your friend and guide upon the path. Wherever it may lead you
When you meet a person whom you believe may be your chosen
teacher you should think about several things. From your own point of
view, do you feel comfortable with this person? Did you feel that "instant
rapport" that usually comes upon meeting someone who will become
a very good friend? Do you feel you can trust this person? Does he or
she seem honest and sincere? Do you like this person? In any of these
questions can be answered "no", then you will want to consider
the matter very carefully before making any commitment. You will spend
a lot of time with this person from now on, and it is essential that
you can like and trust him or her
If you meet a teacher that you really like and feel comfortable
with, the next step is to ask questions! Be sure you know everything
about what will be expected of you, before you enter into a student-teacher
relationship. Find out about the teachers training and background, and
the system that is being used by the group. Find our if there is to
be any financial contribution expected of you. Talk to other members
of the group about the temperament of the teacher. Find out how they
feel about things, after having been with the group for a while. Try
to get as complete a picture as possible of the situation you may be
placing yourself into. If the teacher is reliable, you will find willingness,
even a desire, to answer any and all of your questions. Any sign of
reluctance on the part of the group members or the teacher may be a
sign that something is not quite as it appears. Take care, this is an
important decision! Be sure to ask the following questions:
How long have you been teaching a structured Wicca class?
How long have you been in the Craft?
Are you initiated? And if so, by whom and in what tradition?
Has that tradition been in existence a long time, or did it just start
What training has the teacher had? Was it from a Craft
tradition, or just from books and life experience?
Has the teacher had any actual training AS a teacher?
Ask to see the materials used in your training. Are they
complete and professional? Are they non-existent? Does the teacher use
photocopied materials from books and other fly by the seat of the pants
materials? Where did the teaching materials come from?
Can the teacher take you to initiation? And if so, are
they a high enough degree to actually initiate you?
How long has the group been in existence?
Is the group lineaged? That is, is the group from an established
tradition that can trace its initiations back. Or is the group a start-up
with no lineaged members?
Who is the priesthood of the group? Have they been trained
to the priesthood? Are they initiated, and if so to what degree?
If you find that all questions have been answered to your
satisfaction, and that this is a person you really want to work with,
the next step is to attend a ritual, or more than one to get a feeling
of the group as a whole and the type of work they are doing. If this
is also comfortable for you, you are probably in the right place at
the right time. Now you can begin.
What can you expect from an Ecclasian Teacher?
What can you expect once your choice has been made? What
will your teacher expect from you? Well, for one thing, you can expect
to begin to work very hard. Your teacher will work at least as hard,
if not harder, so you won't be alone! You will attend classes on everything
from healing to self-improvement. You will learn ritual methods, upon
which your teacher will probably drill you over and over until your
patience is exhausted. You will discuss personal feelings and reactions,
and will learn to deal with your emotions. You will take yourself apart
and put yourself back together in a form of self-analysis that can be
grueling. Sometime along the way, you will probably decide that your
teacher is a tyrant and an ogre, and wonder what you ever saw to like!
It's a difficult path, your teacher is the one leading you there, and
it can produce something akin to hostility.
What should you do about this when it happens? First,
remember that the teacher is your friend, and is on your side. Remember
that you chose this path and asked that your teacher help you upon it!
If you feel upset at any time bring it up, talk about it. Don't be argumentative
and defensive. Remember that this is a person who cares about you and
your growth. And that he or she is only doing the job you asked them
to do. You will usually find that your teacher has a reason for everything,
and is perfectly willing to explain; to take as much time as necessary
to see that you understand that the system cannot change to suit you,
you must grow into it. But your teacher will be patient, as long as
you are willing to cooperate, and discuss your problem. If you don't
discuss it, it can never be worked out!
You will have a regular schedule of classes and rituals
to attend, and you may feel undue demands are being made on your time.
Remember that you agreed to those things at the outset, and that they
are a part of the work you have chosen to do. Also remember that every
moment you spend in class, your teacher is spending too. Your teacher
is a human being, as well as a priest or priestess, and enjoys spending
time with family, or on hobbies, or on entertainment as much as you
do. They are setting this time aside for you because you asked them
to, not to inflict their whim or will upon you. Think how you would
feel, if you set time aside in your life to spend with someone who then
resented being with you. Someone who proved unreliable and failed to
appear on time without being courteous enough to let you know so you
might make other plans. You would be hurt and upset. Your teacher is
human and would react the same way. So be considerate and show appreciation
not resentment for the time spent freely and willingly upon your training.
Remember the teacher has already had these classes, and he or she doesn't
need them. They are for your benefit. Make the most of this time that
it may lead you to your goal.
You can expect your teacher to be available to help you
with a problem at any hour of the day or night. It is up to you to be
certain that this problem really needs attention at 3 AM and that it
can't wait until morning. If it is urgent, (or probably if it isn't)
you will find your teacher reassuring and helpful, and uncomplaining
about being awakened. You must exercise your judgment to be certain
you don't take advantage of your teacher's willingness to help.
Basically, what are needed here are common courtesy and
an attitude of cooperation. The old Christian "Do unto others"
is truly applicable here. Your teacher will be friend to you and offer
his or her support and strength. Your teacher is a priest or priestess
and will always put your needs ahead of their own. If you remember this,
you will be certain you are in need before you avail yourself of their
willingness to help. If you are kind and considerate toward this person
who will treat you in the same manner, everything will be just fine.
Remember too that your teacher chose to enter the priesthood.
That they are doing this because they have been called to do so and
they are giving this time of their own free will. Never decide not to
let your teacher know you have a problem, so you won't be a bother.
It will be much more of a bother in the long run if you remain silent.
The important words to keep in mind here are "perfect
love and perfect trust!" Love and trust your teacher, and be lovable
and trustworthy, for that is what will be offered to you by your teacher.
This can be one of the most rewarding relationships in your life, or
one of the most difficult. The choice is up to you. You choose your
teacher, and you choose the sort of relationship you will have.
Some people seek for lifetimes before they find their
chosen teacher. If you feel that you have found yours, blessed be, and
if you decide to go on seeking our blessings go with you. Be Blessed
and Blessed Be.