Posted 17 September 2011 - 11:00 PM
My personal opinion at this point in time (which is given to change without notice - one of the perogatives of being born female, bwahahaha...):
I was not born "witchy." I didn't try to cast spells when I was six as a teenager I was quite put off by anything having to do with spells or possession. What I was born with was questions, deep introspection, and a leaning toward what most refer to as the mystical. So was I born with inherent "witch knowledge?" Who knows. But knowledge isn't necessarily what is in the cognizant part of our brain. Some things are in there but need to be prodded into "re-remembering." I've had fantasies that were damn weird even for me and were I a more inhibited person I would have been upset by them but they were weird enough that I wrote them down only to find out much later that it was actually a ritual used to "awaken the blood." Where did that come from? Was it in me already, or in that deep state of fantasy (which can be trance-like) was something introduced from somewhere else? I have pathworked to places and asked for information and been given it. Sometimes I had no clue what it meant and other times it was obvious. Is the pathworking to inner worlds a part of me that already "knew" this info or was it to an outerworld where something "else" gave me the info? Who knows - and does it have to be one or the other? Perhaps (and very possibly) one goes through the inner world to break out of the restraining (physical) realm. I've done intense ritual where not a damn thing happened, then in the days that follow I get sudden impulses and intense moments of knowing to the point where I'm writing things down at traffic lights. I've had dreams that are just "dreams" and dreams that tell me things and have interactions in them.
All of the above are examples of being "taught." Whether the teaching comes from something has inherent inside of me or from outside sources is up to definition. The more complex an energy becomes the denser it becomes, and thereby physical (that's how we got here in the first place). Perhaps to pass into the other reams we have to go "inner" first to break down and/or away from logical complexity to where worlds exist that are not of the physical-material realm. Becuase we are physical we exist in physical duality. This is me and if something is not me than it is other than me - it is "other." Therefore, impulse, dreams, gnostic moments - all things that come from the self people assume are not "real" are not from a teacher, are not contact. Everything is connected within the web - if it wasn't magic wouldn't work. So one's guides, teachers, etc., have accesss to the witch through the threads that connect all energies. One does not have to have a tangible being appear before their eyes to have a real "other world" teacher. That can happen, but in today's world where technology and logic have taken over it is highly unusual due to the hold of the logical mind. Mystical experiences are trained out of us very early - even in witch families (unless the child has no contact with the outside world) they will be exposed to a logic-based culture very early in life through friends and school. Even religion has become logic-based - chants are no longer in Latin or any language of the gods where the unknown words washed over one catapulting one into a trance-like escatsy - the words are in English where the logical mind takes over and closes doors by fixing the devotee in the physical/logical realm of trying to understand and define the meaning of the sentences.
So to me, one of the first things to do to gain understanding of "other world teachers" is to try and "unlearn" cultural duality. In the compass (and I know many aren't into that but...) it is the first and last "round thing" (got forbid I should say cirular thing, lol) ever made. So all witches past, present, and future exist within the compass. Stepping into it transpports one to the realm of the ancestors, including witch ancestors (not physical ancestors but beings who were "witches"). The compass exists out of time. It's not necessarily about "sacred space" or ceremonial protections. It is tapping into memories of the others who have walked the path before you yet whose memories still exist within that "round thing". These can also be your teachers.
There is also the lore of the Fallen - this is mystical and symbolic - it is not angels created by the Xtian god who had a fight with him and got the boot; that is merely the xtianization of older myths. It is evolved entities/energies who descended to the physical realm to impart knowledge into the floundering race of man and raise them up above the animal level. Soome people believe the witches are actually of that race (anlthough not pure that race). Some believe all peoples have that spark within them. Some believe this race faded from this world as the logical mind took over and the mystical became dusty fantasy books on shelves and that they became what is now regarded as the Fae. Some believe they went into the land. Maybe all are right, maybe none of them are.
Plants can also be teachers. Plants have an awareness but no logical mind. The spirits of plants live by day in the sun and concentrate on the more physical aspect of growth and survival, but by night as that aspect of the plant "sleeps" the spirit of the plant is highly connective and can be contacted. I bought a wand from a man (or woman, I never did find out which, lol) who, per emails I had with him/her, I believe has much greater knowledge than I did of how to charm plants and make a tool which holds the actual spirit of the living plant within it. I have had conversations with this wood and been shown and told things of great interest and to date, great truths. Most people would laugh at that and say it's neo-pagan claptrap to go about having conversations with wands. It may be if it's a dead wand with no spirit and no connection is made. But if the wand is proplery made/charmed and the witch is receptive to it then contact can be made. One can also do the same with any living plant but the plant's "knowledge" is much greater in wild plants that have limited contact with humans - the plant's "spirit" tends to withdraw itself with a lot of human contact, especially contact with humans who have no clue how to interact with it - it becomes "domesticated". But you have to still the logical mind, and you have to keep it still afterwards and not let it poo-poo the information and/or experience. And one can feel quite foolish doing it until one starts to make contact. It takes dedication and repitition and a willingness to be foolish or insightful and fuck what others think. But in that respect, the plant is also an "other world " teacher.
Familiars - in the word-usage of the witch trials, they can be teachers. In the usage of thought forms made by the witch they are help-mates, but can also teach as they will often have access to things the witch does not (at least I have found that). The Shadow, as I personally define it (the mirror self that exists beyond the veil) is also a teacher and contact with that self is to me a very impportant part of growing as a witch.
That's my current take on things.