Teen Witches

August 19, 2011

Last week A while back Albiana reposted an article she wrote about a teen witch she happened upon. If you’re not familiar with her blog, Albiana is a long time Pagan who has more recently joined up with a Garderian BTW sect. Her online persona is that of a wise and experienced, yet sassy, Wiccan. In her blog posts she often times uses this persona to poke fun at the stupidity, ignorance, or absurdity she finds within the Pagan community. It’s a fun blog to read, mainly due to her bitching.

It’s difficult to take issue with Albiana’s post. Her online persona is critical of every minor infraction against intelligence and common sense, and that’s why she’s fun. It’s only supposed to be taken seriously to a point, and beyond that it’s just entertainment. But this post in particular resonated with me, because we adults in the community do treat teens pretty shitty, and we often times don’t give them the proper respect they deserve. These teens then grow up without guidance, and being resentful towards us, and they’ll become the immature and stupid middle-aged people we all complain about having to deal with.

The phrase that Albiana overheard, which set-off the post was this:

“Yeah, so I’ve decided to be vegan now. Oh, and I finally told my parents I was bi, which made them completely freak, but then what can they do, right? I’m almost 16 and in a few years when I’m 18 they won’t have a say at all anyway. Besides, they got more pissed off when I told them I wanted to practice vampire wicca, but its my life not theirs so they can just deal.”

My first impression is complete awe. This teen has such a strong command of the English language that she’s able to express herself in a grammatically correct way, and she can do it without using profanity. However I’m assuming Albiana was paraphrasing from memory, and so this wasn’t the teen vampire-Wiccan talking, but Albiana herself. In that case I have to point out that I’m pretty sure ‘vampire wicca’ is hyphenated, but I’m not positive on that point.

My second impression is that this is a typical teenage girl. I really don’t expect much from them. Even the most intelligent teenager is still going to be largely immature, because maturity is derived from life experience, which teenagers lack. Their spiritual experiences are, at best, still minimal and their spiritual understanding is almost entirely speculation, and they typically have accumulated very little theoretical information, and next to no practical information, to develop that speculation. It’s largely a matter of time. I’ve lived twice as long as a teenager, and the older I’ve gotten the better I’ve gotten at reading. As far as life experiences go, as far as accumulated information goes, age is a huge advantage.

Teenagers are also rebellious and experimental. They do things just to piss their parents off. They also try out new things, sexually, spiritually, and dietary.

Albiana also talks about how these teens never do any real magic because they’re scared of what might happen. It’s probably true, but it’s also normal. They’re still children, and children are scared of things. I don’t mock a three year old for being scared of the dark, and I’m not about to mock a teen for being scared of a demon, or even a simple ghostie.

I’m not scared of these things, but I can easily deal with a ghostie and I can hold my own against a Goetic spirit. But I can see why someone would be afraid of a ghost or a demon. I know how to hurt a spirit, and I know how to kill one, and I’ve tested myself against some pretty nasty things and survived. There’s empowerment in all of that, and that empowerment helps with not being afraid. If I had never fought a spirit, if I didn’t know what I know, a simple ghostie would seem invulnerable. I would see myself as powerless against it. That can be a very scary place to be.

When people get so bent out of shape over something stupid a teenager did or said, I immediately assume one of two things about them. Either they live their lives terrified that someone who knew them back in high school will one day expose them for what they were as a teenager, or they’ve managed to romanticize their teenage years. Sure they may have done kid stuff, but they were intelligent and mature, and even cool about it, and nothing like these kids today.

Fortunately I didn’t really find my spiritual path until after my teen years. It wasn’t something that seemed all that important to me. So there is no goth-vampire-Wicca phase in my past. Still I’ll admit I was just as much of an embarrassment as a teenager, I just found things other than spirituality to focus myself on. Remembering the way I was, it’s hard for me to be critical of the teens I meet today.

There are adults that act like this. When a thirty, or forty, or fifty year old, or an even older person acts like this, they’re a lost cause. There’s nothing that can be done to help them if they’re that spiritually inept and generally immature at such an old age. They’re also going to be looking for things like power, control, and respect, all meaningless things that will prevent them from ever finding spiritual truth.

Teenagers though are awesome. Teenagers are just being teens when they do these things, and they all still have potential to grow up into really powerful magicians. Teenagers have an excuse for being ignorant, immature, and spiritually inept. Sometimes they come into the community to be rebellious and piss off their parents, but even when they do they’re drawn into rebelling in this direction because they have an interest in spirituality. It’s very rare to see one who wants a place of power and respect in the community or control over other people. Usually their motives are more or less pure, and they’re genuinely seeking spiritual truth.

For a lot of them, it’s going to be a phase. Right now I’d say only one and ten will still be involved with some sort of minority faith at thirty years old. But can you blame them? They’re mocked by the more respectable adult members of the community, they’re offered little in terms of guidance, and the only people willing to teach them are usually emotionally unbalanced adults that want to have power over them and possibly take advantage of them. Sadly, the most intelligent among them will see the community for exactly what it is and run away from it. The ten percent that stay are going to be so spiritually adept they don’t really need the community, or so stupid and easily manipulated that they’ll never amount to anything.

It’s the way we approach teenagers. Most teenagers need spiritual guidance when they’re first starting out. Just like most adults need spiritual guidance when they’re first starting out. Responsible adults also need to guard them within the community. There’s a lot of people who would take advantage of them, and there are quite a few more that set a bad example. Teenagers can be taken advantage of more easily. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid or gullible, and it isn’t their fault. They lack the life-experience to see things from the perspective of the adult that is victimizing them, and they often don’t understand why what’s being done to them is wrong.

They also don’t have much experience dealing with spiritual issues. They may be afraid of a lot of things. That’s normal, and a psychologically healthy response. They don’t have the spiritual tools to defend themselves, and they don’t yet have confidence in their magical abilities. That can make them feel very powerless, and make spiritual threats seem invulnerable and unstoppable. What they need is an experienced magician or magicians to take them by the hand and back them up. It’s a safety net for them, so they know that if they get in over their heads there’s someone powerful there who can fix it.

At the same time they need to be regarded as people. They deserve to be treated with the same respect as everyone else. They should be listened to, and they shouldn’t be mocked for having an opinion, being wrong about something, or exploring things. We should also keep in mind that we aren’t their parents. It isn’t our place to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do, or what they should or shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t hold it against them because they disagree with us, or because they make a life choice that seems silly to us.

We have to allow them to explore things, to do things, to make mistakes, and discover knowledge for themselves, even if they’re going to get hurt in the process. None of us were content to listen to the advice of our elders, and the same is true of the teenagers of today and tomorrow. We’ve all chosen a spiritual path that is dependent on personal growth and evolution through spiritual experiences. Children need to have those same spiritual experiences in order to evolve and grow. It’s not a type of knowledge that can be imparted to them.

When To Teach

August 8, 2010

A few months ago Mr Miller put up a post on his blog about when to teach magic. And I agree with what he said in his post, a twenty year old is probably not ready to teach magic. The question has been stuck in my mind all of this time though because I’ve seen so many horrible teachers and classes over the years. I’ve seen people teach classes on subjects they have no experience with using material they printed off the Internet earlier in the day and hadn’t even bothered to read prior to the class. I’ve seen people attend a weekly class for the sole purpose of reteaching the information to their own students while they were still attending the class.

In magic there are actually two different definitions of the word teacher. There is a spiritual mentor. This is a person that has a very close bond and relationship with a student for a period of time, and they specifically guide the student through their current issues and problems in order to get them to the next stage of their spiritual development. Although this type of teacher doesn’t typically remain in the student’s life for very long, the amount of time the teaching takes is indefinite. The teacher remains and teaches the student until the teaching is done. Likewise they don’t follow specific lesson plans. The teacher teaches the student exactly what they need to know. It should be noted that this type of teacher, if they are real, will never charge for their services or expect anything in return from the student.

The second definition is more akin to the type of teacher we see in school or college. It is a person who is teaching a particular subject, technique, or spiritual system to another individual or group of people. Sometimes these classes are taught in a few hours time. Other times they consist of multiple classes over a period of months or even years. Sometimes they are done online as correspondent courses. These classes are sometimes taught to members of a particular group, such as a coven leader teaching other members of the coven. Usually these classes follow a lesson plan or at least some sort of structured system. Sometimes the teacher charges students to take the class.

In the first instance it isn’t too hard to tell when you’re ready to teach. When a student is brought to you, and you instinctively know they are your student, and they instinctively know you are their teacher, and you instinctively know it’s the right time to teach them, that’s when you’re ready to be a teacher. The universe is going to do all of the work and bring to you the students who will get the most out of being taught by you when they need you the most.

It’s the second definition that people have trouble with. Personally I blame a failing system of lower education. Too many people graduate high school without any idea of what a real teacher is or what they’re supposed to do. In high school we see teachers as people who are rarely experts in their field that parrot information they learned in college and rely on special books filled with all of the answers to teach their class.

This is not what a teacher is. Teaching is not about giving someone information. Teaching is about explaining something to someone else and helping them understand it. There is a big difference between these two things. It is not enough to be taught the information and even have it memorized. It’s not enough to just have the information to give to a student.

To be a teacher you really need four things. You must have an intimate and expert understanding of the subject matter. You must be able to explain things well. You need to have proper understanding and respect for your students. And you need to project the proper image.

An intimate and expert understanding of the subject matter:

Notice how I said understanding and not knowledge. It’s not enough to know the material. You have to understand it. You have to completely understand it. You have to understand how everything works and operates and be able to develop the information on your own.

No matter how much you learn and study, no matter how much of an expert you are, you’ll never know everything there is to know about a subject. There’s always going to be something else there to learn. So what happens when a student asks you a question and you don’t know the answer? You figure out what the correct answer is. You don’t have to know everything to teach a subject, but you need to know the subject well enough to find the correct answer.

For instance I maybe know the correspondences for about twenty to thirty different herbs. Those are the herbs that either I use a lot, or ones like Belladonna that are so unique that they’ve stuck in my head. Now I don’t do much herbalism and I don’t consider myself qualified to teach more than an introductory course on herbalism, but if someone asked me the properties of a particular plant and gave me a day, I could figure it out. And I don’t mean I would look it up in Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and tell them what he wrote. Yes I would look at what Cunningham wrote. I’d also look up the mythologies and folklore of the herb. I’d look up medicinal and biological information about the herb. I’d look up what it’s used for. I’d channel, I’d work with a bit of the herb if I could find some, and I’d meditate on it. And after less than an hour’s worth of work I’d find the answer. It’s not a big deal.

You have to remember too that eventually you’ll get a student that is smarter than you. And they’ll come up with ideas and questions that you would never even imagine. You will not be able to teach that person anything unless you understand the subject matter.

And to be honest, most teacher’s are stumped by the intellect of a five year old. The most common question that I’ve seen stump teachers is “why?” They tell the student something, and the student asks why, and they don’t have an answer.

You’re teaching a class on herbalism. A student asks you what are the herbal properties of Raspberries. You tell the student that they are used for protecting your house, to induce love, and to alleviate the pains of pregnancy (these are the uses given in Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs pg 186). The student then asks you why raspberries have those metaphysical properties. “Because Cunningham says so” is not a proper answer for a teacher. In order to teach a class on herbalism you need to be able to understand why certain herbs have certain properties.

The second most common question that stumps a teacher is when the student figures out a contradiction. If you are teaching something from a text that you got from a book, that you got online, or someone else’s lesson plan, I can almost guarantee that there are contradictions within that one work. If you are combining more than one work by different authors together, I can positively guarantee you that there are contradictions. A lot of older students may be too stupid, bored, or scared to point it out, but if there is a twelve year old taking your class, I can also guarantee you that they will notice the contradiction and point it out to you and want you to explain it. This is the thing that twelve year olds do.

If it’s someone else’s information that you don’t understand, you won’t be able to figure out the contradiction. You won’t be able to figure out which part of the information is correct or incorrect, or be able to see that both are actually correct because there is some third piece of information that isn’t being considered.

And also, if you’re just telling your students the correct answer you’re a bad teacher. A good teacher doesn’t just give their students the correct answers. A good teacher teaches their students how to find the correct answers. Teaching someone how to go about finding the correct answers to any question they may ever have is infinitely more valuable than telling them the answer to a single question. The only way you can teach someone that though is if you actually know how to find the correct answers.

Be able to explain things well:

It’s not enough to just give people the information. After all, anybody can open up a book or read a page off the Internet. If you have your own personal information you’ve developed yourself, that might be worth something if you really are the only source of the information. But more than likely, even if you have developed your own information, someone else has already put the same ideas into a book, or on a webpage, or someone else is teaching it. There really isn’t a point to teaching someone if all you’re doing is giving them information. Unless they’re illiterate, they can get it themselves.

Good teachers are able to explain subjects to their students in a way they can understand it. Imagine you’re teaching a class on spellwork. You’ve been casting spells for twenty years. All of your friends that you talk to have also been doing it for a decade or more. You’re an expert at it. You understand every part of it. And so you go into the class and explain everything they need to know in a way that you, and the people you normally talk to, would understand. And your students go, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

As a teacher you need to be able to explain the subject to someone who doesn’t have a background in it, who doesn’t yet understand it. The best teachers are the people who can remember what it was like before they knew anything about the subject, and so they explain it in a way they would have understood it.

Bad teachers make subjects seem complicated, confusing, and difficult, because it makes them look smart because they understand it. Good teachers make the subject seem uncomplicated and easy to understand. They make it seem like you don’t even have to be very smart to get it, you just need to have a proper explanation.

This is what teaching is. It’s a skill and of course it can be developed. Some people are going to be very good at it and some people aren’t. If you aren’t very good at explaining complicated subjects in a way that other people can understand them, then you need to work on that before you start teaching. That is, essentially, what teaching is.

Have Proper Respect and Understanding of Your Students:

I’ve seen a lot of magicians who are very knowledgable yet will never be teachers. They don’t have the right personality to be teachers. They get annoyed when people don’t understand things right away. If a student isn’t picking up the information, they see it as a failure on the part of the student and not a failure on the part of the teacher. They’re often times mean to their students. They aren’t there to help their students with their needs.

If you want to be a teacher you need patience. You need to understand that some people will have a lot of difficulty learning certain subjects. You have to be able to change your teaching style and methods to meet the needs of the student. And you have to remember that not every student is going to be really smart or easily pick up the material. As a teacher you have to be able to teach all of your students, not just the ones that are easy to teach.

People who constantly complain about how stupid or ignorant everyone in the community is are not cut out to be teachers. Teachers don’t complain about that, they do something about it. It’s okay if most of the people in the community don’t understand anything about magic. Teachers don’t expect everyone to be able to figure this stuff out on their own. Teachers are there to figure out a way to help people understand magic and spirituality.

Be Able to Project the Proper Image:

Magic is a spiritual path. No matter how well you know the subject and how well you can explain it, if you cannot project an image of being a spiritual master, no one will want to be your student. At least no one worthwhile.

We have certain expectations of spiritual masters. And if you want to be a teacher you need to meet some of those expectations. It isn’t really that hard. First off you have to seem intelligent and like you know what you’re talking about. If you actually know and understand the subject matter though, you’ll seem like you’re intelligent and you know what you’re talking about.

The second part is you need to be professional. This is easy too. If you say you’re going to teach a class at a certain time, make sure you show up and you’re on time. If you say you’re going to do something, like pick up supplies for the class, do it. Treat your students with respect. Don’t be mean to them. The second part, acting professional, is once again easy. It’s amazing not many people can do it.

The third and final part is you have to be emotionally stable, at least while teaching your class. This means you can’t go into violent fits of rage, you can’t break out crying, you can throw temper tantrums, you can’t have nervous break downs, you can’t come to class expecting your students to talk you out of your current suicide attempt, ect. You’d be amazed at how many people who want to be teachers can’t manage to do this.

Books of Magic, Teachers, Systems, and Personal Magic

June 12, 2010

[Warning: Rant]

For some reason, magicians of all types have been tied to books. When we think of magicians, we usually associate them with images of books of magic, spell books, libraries, ancient tomes, and the like. And a lot of magicians seem to be applying this label to themselves. I’ve seen a magician called a liar because he claimed his book collection had been in storage for the past year (because no real magician could bare to be without his precious books). I’ve seen magicians claim they can’t cast a spell because they don’t have the proper book with them. I’ve seen magicians who have claimed to be powerful because they happen to own or have access to an extensive library of books. In fact, one of the signs of a weak magician is that he or she will brag about the books they own or the books they read as if it means anything magically.

I’m not going to say I’m innocent of this either. I have lots of books. I’ve read lots more. If I had the money, I’d have a very extensive occult library to reference and read at my leisure. This is a trait that many magicians share. But then I also have a very strong background in literature so my obsession with books isn’t surprising or limited to metaphysical topics.

But I don’t need my books (well my magical ones, I need my fiction, poetry, and comic books). They are in no way a representation of my power, and if I lost them all tomorrow, I’d be fine. Likewise I can develop spells from scratch without any reference material and I would be just fine leaving my books in storage for a long period of time if I felt I had to for some reason. To be honest, I’ve gotten very little out of most of the books I read. They’re nice as a reference and sometimes I find an idea or two I really like, but that’s about it.

I’ve said this before, and most people agree, magical power and understanding comes from practical work. No amount of book reading or knowledge of theory can substitute for it. But practical work can be a substitute for book reading and knowledge of theory.

I’ve also known magicians who will act like some literary detective reading older texts (such as the old grimoires or the Book of the Law). They spend countless hours looking for some minute secret that may or may not have been hidden in the text somewhere. It’s a huge waste of time. If they had spent the same amount of time developing their own magic they would have discovered much bigger secrets than anything written in the grimoire.

And if you cannot develop your own magic, you are a weak magician. A strong magician may be weak in a particular area (such as writing spells), but they are able to develop their own magic. In fact, a strong magician’s weak points are typically areas of magic they rarely or never practice, meaning its not really a part of their personal practice. The magic they practice they can make up, on their own, as they need it.

This is one of the reasons why magicians don’t need books. A magician can develop the magic they need as they need it. They can discover any secret they want by looking for it in the universe.

The other reason is that magicians have a wide variety of sources for information. Here is a short list of some of the sources available to magicians:

Divine Communion
Evocation and Spirit Communication
Channeling/Visions/Remote Viewing
Mental Planes Access/HGA Merging/Light Channeling
Spirit Guides and Spirit Animals
Practical Experience
Past Life Regression
Magical Groups

The list isn’t in any kind of order, but books are by far the worst source of information on the list. Magical groups and teachers aren’t much higher. Yet a lot of so called magicians cannot access most of the things on this list, and so books and teachers and magical groups become so important to them because it’s one of the few areas of information they can access.

Teachers are an issue to, and not a subject I want to go too in depth about in this article, but a lot of people, teachers included, don’t understand what a teacher is or what their role is. In the worst cases students may be taken advantage of financially or sexually or somehow abused because of the relationship. Most of the time though I just see a very poor relationship that isn’t very helpful to the student.

A lot of students come into the student-teacher relationship for the wrong reasons. Some are there for no other reason than to gain the lineage of being a teacher’s student. Some believe that a teacher will give them access to power. Some may need the structure of the relationship or be seeking approval of some kind. In any case, it is the teacher’s responsibility to tell the student no.

A teacher’s job, their entire job, is to guide a student through the current obstacles they are facing that they cannot get past on their own so that they can reach the next level of their spiritual attainment.

That is all a teacher does, and done right it usually doesn’t take very long. But I’ve seen students who have been students of a teacher for years. There’s no excuse for this. By that point either the student has achieved a level of competence where they should be set free from the relationship so they can pursue their personal spirituality, or the teacher is not able to help them get to that level.

I’ve also seen lots of students who are completely dependent on their teachers for their magic. In extreme cases the student may not be able to successfully perform even simple magics or rituals without their teacher’s help (typically this is due to a lack of psionic ability or not understanding how to raise energy). Many though simply need to consult their teacher constantly and need their teacher to develop their magic for them. For instance they can’t figure out the qualities of a specific wood or plant on their own and need to ask their teacher what it is, or they can’t write a spell and need to get spells from their teacher as needed. Many also use their teachers as a constant guide to answer questions and to tell them what is right and wrong rather than find the answer to these questions themselves.

And all of this leads right into systems. Their are systems that come with certain groups (such as the Golden Dawn and OTO systems of spiritual attainment). There are systems that come with certain magical religions. Some people get their systems directly from their teachers. Other people get their systems from books. It doesn’t matter where you get it from. If you are using someone elses methods of magic, you are a weak magician that is not reaching their full potential.

Magic is not like science. You cannot recreate an experiment under the same conditions and expect the same results. Magic is like an art, and like an artist a magician needs to infuse their magic with themselves.

Of course we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Many people mistakenly believe infusing themselves into their magic means concentrating on their strengths while compensating for their weaknesses, and this is where the power comes from. Actually its a lot more than just that.

In addition to our strengths and weaknesses, we also have personalities. We have likes and dislikes. We have anxieties and fears and insecurities. We have wants and needs and desires. All of this needs to be incorporated into our magic and our spirituality. When we incorporate all of ourself into our magic, our magic becomes much stronger and much more successful.

And the only way you can do this is if you are able to develop your own magic. You need to be able to come up with your own spells, and techniques, and rituals, and spiritual paths. These things need to be designed with your specific personality in mind, not someone elses, so that they are true to who you are.

It’s unfortunate, but a lot of the magic being done out there is nothing more than mimicry. It’s students doing exactly what their teachers taught them, and in many cases exactly what their teachers do. It’s people copying rituals and spells from books. It’s people following the laid out spiritual paths of systems under the belief that they’ll come to some eventual attainment.

Thoughts on Teachers

September 3, 2009

ben stein ferris bueller's day off
In the terms of our magickal practices, the most important and strongest relationships we develop are with our teachers. And by teacher I’m referring to a traditional one on one spiritual mentorship. There is also the more modern usage which would refer to someone running a class or seminar on a metaphysical topic. That is an entirely different situation with different rules and boundaries, and nothing said here is in regards to that situation.

Often times our teachers will push on in new directions of thought and practice beyond our normal boundaries and press us to think and do things which may make us uncomfortable. They are people who are above us, who we deem as more powerful and more knowledgeable, who guide and instruct us, and who many of us will naturally seek the approval of. And they typically come to us when we’re still new to the community, and before we know any better. They demand us to trust and have faith in them. And that trust and faith demands a great deal of responsibility on the teacher’s part. It’s very easy for the student to be taken advantage of in a student-teacher relationship. It’s also common enough for the student to be seeking a teacher for all the wrong reasons. In any instance, the teacher is considered the superior person in this relationship, and no matter what the circumstances they should know better. Below are some thoughts and facts on the student-teacher relationship and what it should ideally be, which I’m providing as a guide for students and prospective students. I would hope that anyone engaging in the teaching side of a student teacher relationship would already know all this.

1. Most importantly, and the cardinal rule of the student teacher relationship, is that our teachers come to use when we need them, and we instinctively know that they are our teachers and we need to follow them. Every part of our being tells us that the relationship is true and right. If there is doubt that a person is really your teacher, if you don’t feel instinctively drawn to the person and their teachings, then they are not your teacher.

2. A lot of people in the community actively seek teachers, either because they want to possess their power or they want the prestige that comes with being a student of a particular teacher. These are the wrong reasons to be taught by someone, and a person should be wary of anyone willing to teach them under these circumstances. Besides, power comes from yourself, not your teacher, and your prestige, if you are a worthwhile practitioner, should be because of your acts and your ability, not because of your lineage.

3. Your teacher should be teaching you because it is their role and their place in the relationship, the same as it is the student’s role and place to learn. Just as a student feels a compulsion to be taught by the teacher, the teacher feels a compulsion to teach the student. That being said, teaching is not a career or a service rendered. The student shouldn’t have to earn their teaching in any way. This means paying money of course, but it also means buying gifts for their teacher (including paying for meals or going out with them), driving their teacher places, doing chores for their teacher, or working for free or at a reduced wage for their teacher (such as in a metaphysical store). Not all teachers will have money though, and it is acceptable for the student to be expected to pay their own way, ie buying their own books and magickal tools and supplies for spellwork, paying for their meal when they go out to eat, and even bringing something to a pot luck gathering they attend with their teacher.

4. Sex –> it’s inappropriate for a student to have sex or engage in any other type of romantic act with their teacher. There is no reason for it, and a teacher should never even ask. A student should never feel as if they have to, or that there’s something to be gained by it. It is appropriate for a teacher to instruct and give advice concerning sex magick or sex in general, however a boundary is crossed when telling turns into showing or doing. Sexual magick is something that is ideally done between equal partners. Sex magick is something that sexual partners explore together. The teacher-student relationship is not a partnership of equals, but one of a superior and inferior person.

5. Your teacher is not your friend or your romantic partner. These are relationships that are based, at least in part, on an equality and mutual respect. They are also relationships that move outside the boundaries a teacher should keep. It’s perfectly natural for a student and teacher to develop a very close and intimate relationship with one-another, however this relationship will still remain in the boundaries of the student-teacher relationship. It can only develop into something else after the student has completed the teaching and has had time to develop themselves so as to be a peer to their teacher. And it very rarely ever develops into a relationship that breaks the boundaries of the student-teacher relationship.

6. Teaching shouldn’t last forever. It’d be rare for it to last much longer than a year. Whatever the case, eventually the teacher will have fulfilled their purpose and at that point they should release the student from their bond so both can move on with their spiritual paths. There are those in the community who attempt to get students and then try to keep them forever beneath them and forever their students, which leads directly into number seven.

7. The ultimate goal and dream of every teacher should be that their students exceed them. In this way every successive generation becomes more powerful than the last. This isn’t always the case, some students will never reach the level of their teacher, but it should be the goal.

8. A student is not their teacher. Every spiritual path is different, and a student’s path may not match their teacher’s. While the relationship persists, the student may be very much in line with their teacher’s thinking and methodologies. However at some point the student should break away and craft their understanding, magick, and spirituality to fit their needs and personality.