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How to Teach Yourself


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#21 Whiterose

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:03 PM

While this is all great advice and I applaud the OP for the in depth explantions and advice, I want to thank all those peers who inspired this thread from the foundational basics thread, especially Shadow Touch, as she has lended the "Gathered Thorns" from her own tradition. Thanks again Shadow Touch, the "Gathered Thorns" are really a great way for the newbie to start.
:beerchug:

http://www.tradition...dational-basics

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#22 sarasuperid

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:50 AM

Thanks, WR. And thanks for reminding us where the points are from, actually I first learnt them from a book by Gramissi. :red_witch: I forgot where I'd found it. I wish I'd used something else now :pumpkin_rolleyes:
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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#23 Abhainn

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:30 AM

Excellent advice!!
:clap:


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#24 Whiterose

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:43 AM

Thanks, WR. And thanks for reminding us where the points are from, actually I first learnt them from a book by Gramissi. :red_witch: I forgot where I'd found it. I wish I'd used something else now :pumpkin_rolleyes:



Hey no problem. If it works use it. I kind of had a feeling Grimassi was involved. :thumbsup: Overall though, I thought it was great post and it will surely help tons of people get started.

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#25 Michele

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:39 AM

Thanks, WR. And thanks for reminding us where the points are from, actually I first learnt them from a book by Gramissi. :red_witch: I forgot where I'd found it. I wish I'd used something else now :pumpkin_rolleyes:


Inspiration needs to be taken from where it is found, anything and anyone can be a trigger. A butterfly is beautiful but fleeting, a cockroach is ugly but will survive a necular holocaust. To not accept iinspiration because one didn't like the source would be as blind as (or worse) never being inspired in the first place :-)

M

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#26 Anara

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:22 PM

These 2 threads were both interesting to read through and I think I learned a lot from them. I know I will come back to them more than once (for the first thread, I already have read it a few times)

I am curious now though, as is my way. I think I'd like to research a bit more on the gathering of thorns 5 points.

I wonder if ShadowTouch would be willing to share more, or if perhaps anyone else might want to comment further too. It does seem to me that it's a workable, general type 5 points that could fit itself nicely in any tradition, doesn't it? I don't know, from reading it, it kinda looks that way.

The reason why I comment here and why I am not just doing a silent search on my own, is because I think both threads are great and full of good info, but also because a lot of new people will be reading it & because its a popular thread. Just my opinion, but I think it would be prudent to ask.

Are these 5 points coming from just one tradition or are these 5 points existing in any tradition, but being given a name and organization within this tradition? I don't know, I am asking.

At any rate, I'd say I do use all five points listed in one way or another, yes and I see a lot of value in it as I am someone who feels the need to organize & label everything in my life ...lol. I'd also say it is a good way to organize learning for a new person wondering about traditional witchcraft. I'd also say I don't follow a particular tradition. But then again, I have always been a bit eclectic anyway in my practice.

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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

#27 sarasuperid

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

Inspiration needs to be taken from where it is found, anything and anyone can be a trigger. A butterfly is beautiful but fleeting, a cockroach is ugly but will survive a necular holocaust. To not accept iinspiration because one didn't like the source would be as blind as (or worse) never being inspired in the first place :-)

M


I totally disagree. I would have rather used my own structure rather than one from a popular book.

And just to clarify, the only aspect I got from RG and ST was the names of the points, which are pretty universally what is taught in any tradition. The rest of the information was my own.

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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#28 sarasuperid

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:44 PM

These 2 threads were both interesting to read through and I think I learned a lot from them. I know I will come back to them more than once (for the first thread, I already have read it a few times)

I am curious now though, as is my way. I think I'd like to research a bit more on the gathering of thorns 5 points.

I wonder if ShadowTouch would be willing to share more, or if perhaps anyone else might want to comment further too. It does seem to me that it's a workable, general type 5 points that could fit itself nicely in any tradition, doesn't it? I don't know, from reading it, it kinda looks that way.

The reason why I comment here and why I am not just doing a silent search on my own, is because I think both threads are great and full of good info, but also because a lot of new people will be reading it & because its a popular thread. Just my opinion, but I think it would be prudent to ask.

Are these 5 points coming from just one tradition or are these 5 points existing in any tradition, but being given a name and organization within this tradition? I don't know, I am asking.

At any rate, I'd say I do use all five points listed in one way or another, yes and I see a lot of value in it as I am someone who feels the need to organize & label everything in my life ...lol. I'd also say it is a good way to organize learning for a new person wondering about traditional witchcraft. I'd also say I don't follow a particular tradition. But then again, I have always been a bit eclectic anyway in my practice.


You can train in their tradition, they teach classes online: http://www.fellowshi...hepentacle.com/ . Enjoy!

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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#29 Marabet

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:48 PM

I am curious now though, as is my way. I think I'd like to research a bit more on the gathering of thorns 5 points.

I wonder if ShadowTouch would be willing to share more, or if perhaps anyone else might want to comment further too. It does seem to me that it's a workable, general type 5 points that could fit itself nicely in any tradition, doesn't it? I don't know, from reading it, it kinda looks that way.


Are these 5 points coming from just one tradition or are these 5 points existing in any tradition, but being given a name and organization within this tradition? I don't know, I am asking.


I didn't get this from Shadow Touch or Grimassi but I came to very similar conclusions right before she posted what she did on the other thread (how synchronistic!) so all I can comment on is how I came to this thought process. Basically it occurred to me after writing down some notes that in the Craft in general these are the 5 base elements talked about and utilized the most and that everything else seems to fall into these categories. So to me it is universal within the Craft and does work within all traditions but I am very limited in my understanding of each tradition, so I could very much be wrong. But anyhoo, that I have seen this talked about in one way or another before (I know I was also inspired by Sarah Lawless) makes me think that it is more universal then tied to any particular tradition though some traditions utilize it more readily than others (like ST's which I believe is a branch of Grimassi's?).

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I ran to a tower where the church bells chime
I hoped that they would clear my mind
They left a ringing in my ear
But that drum's still beating loud and clear

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#30 sarasuperid

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:22 PM

Okay sorry that got off topic, my bad.

Lets see, I really like Sarah's five divisions too. Those seem a tad more advanced than just beginner, but something to work towards:

Divine Chief:
Well this is like the head of a tribe or coven. There are some people who fall naturally into these roles. In my group I usually fall into the second in command position, I do not like leading things alone, at this point in my life at least. However, leadership might be a good direction to work towards if you like working with others its a vital skill. In some traditions there are Magisters, Maids and Grandmasters. Its not a role to covet, but if you are cut out for leadership, you might want to cultivate those skills while balancing it with a little humbleness so you don't get too full of yourself.

Healer:
This is another specialty. Most witches can heal. But its not everyone's cup o tea. But if you do find that making healing teas is your bag. Then awesome! Do it, apprentice under an herbalist, take herbalist courses, or learn reiki, etc. This is a vast area to specialize in and an admirable one.

Lorekeeper:
This one is me. I learn stories, I learn concepts, I develop theories and interpretations about these. I have been studying the myths and legends since I just started on this path. I love it. I learn the symbols, their meaning and such. It helps the others a lot. It helps as a guide to the otherworlds. It is a good way of teaching and learning. If you love the stories and have a knack for remembering them. If you are good at remembering the events and happenings of your group, family or tribe, then this might be the direction you want to specialize.

Necromancer/Medium:
Some people are empathic, psychic, or just more sensative than others. They are the ones who speak to the dead. I don't know if it can be learned, or if its in born or initiated into. Either way this is a serious road to go down! If you can do this its both a blessing and a curse. And you will probably need to learn a lot to control it.

Seer:
These people really really connect with tarot, or scrying, or are sent dreams and visions. Either of the future or of other knowledge. This is both a basic skill and an area one can specialize in if it really calls to you.

Its exciting to learn about what comes next, and why all that self teaching and practice is worth it. If you really get it, then you will probably specialize and grow especially into one area. And really it is not required to do all five of those areas, although its recommended to at least try a few areas before going hole hog into one, because they do feed and support each other.

Anyone have favorite structures for categories of the craft?

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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#31 Anara

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:13 PM

I didn't get this from Shadow Touch or Grimassi but I came to very similar conclusions right before she posted what she did on the other thread (how synchronistic!) so all I can comment on is how I came to this thought process. Basically it occurred to me after writing down some notes that in the Craft in general these are the 5 base elements talked about and utilized the most and that everything else seems to fall into these categories. So to me it is universal within the Craft and does work within all traditions but I am very limited in my understanding of each tradition, so I could very much be wrong. But anyhoo, that I have seen this talked about in one way or another before (I know I was also inspired by Sarah Lawless) makes me think that it is more universal then tied to any particular tradition though some traditions utilize it more readily than others (like ST's which I believe is a branch of Grimassi's?).


Ok, this jogged my memory a bit. Thank you, Marabet. I remember reading some of the Grimassi books.

Well, then I'd say that if something is universal, then it can be <and probably would be> incorporated into different individual traditions as well. It wouldn't be logical to me that it wouldn't, if it is something that is universal. I hope that makes sense-and I tend to agree with you, Marabet. I don't know, it just makes sense to think of it in more of a "universal way" IMO.

So at any rate, on one hand, the information is valuable and I'm glad to have read the post and everyone's thoughts. On the other hand, I don't know that I'd agree that a single tradition could claim those 5 points as only theirs, though I'm sure they would certainly utilize them <and I am not saying any one tradition is claiming this-just sayin' is all>. Also, I think it makes sense to organize them into points, just for organizations sake. <Without organization I'd be a hot mess, so I would think that way, not to say everyone would LOL!> Anyway, I liked reading ShadowTouch's original post as well as Sara's post because I saw that bit of universal element come through in both posts, which is fun for me to look for...."universal ideas" that is. For some reason, it's fun for me to see universal type things creep up into our awareness in different places.

I also agree with Michele that inspiration can come from anywhere. I am an artist and find the most inspiring things in the oddest of places at times, so that is not a concept that is new to me-and it is one I embrace-without inspiration, I stagnate; I don't like stagnating. As an example, <since we are on the subject of this particular author>, I remember the first Grimassi book I came across. It was hidden in a clearance section of a "self-help" section in a bookstore, way far away from the witchy books. Well, long story short, whatever force is out there guiding me at times, saw fit for me to have that book at that time. I didn't keep it long, but it helped me figure something out that I needed to figure out during that time. It was a step in a direction that I needed to go in, on my little crooked path. I accept it because it happened. Maybe I called out to the book, who knows. I have a habit of calling things to me, that I need. The fun part is waiting and watching for the unusual ways they show up.

So anyway, I'm rambling and getting OT. Bottom line? It looks like these 5 points are definitely popular, judging from this thread, the fact that they readily show up in a tradition(s) >?< and a book or books?, and that even I find myself nodding in agreement, as a solitary practitioner.

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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

#32 Anara

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:21 PM

You can train in their tradition, they teach classes online: http://www.fellowshi...hepentacle.com/ . Enjoy!


Thank you for the link. The more I learn about my path, the more I know it is not one that can fit into a single tradition, and I do not find it necessary to pay someone to teach me lessons <although I do spend a considerable amount of money on books ironically..pffffttt...LOL!> Maybe someday that will be different, but right now it feels like I have more teachers than I can listen too, already!

However, if something has a purpose, I think it's useful to someone somewhere and everyone is different..but not any better or any less...just different. I'm sure there are folks that are glad for the ability to be trained in that tradition. As always, just my opinion...guess I am more of a "whatever floats yer boat" type of gal.

Have a good one, Sara :)

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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always long to return." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

#33 Michele

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

I totally disagree. I would have rather used my own structure rather than one from a popular book.

And just to clarify, the only aspect I got from RG and ST was the names of the points, which are pretty universally what is taught in any tradition. The rest of the information was my own.


But if a book made you think of something, then it was worth the read :-)

M

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#34 Stacey

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 03:16 AM

Your list is great, I think it gives people a starting point to test where their abilities best lie. I would say mine lay in the area of herbalism but I suck at spirit work, being a mystic but I'm improving in the areas of magic user and seer. I think that the hardest lesson learned is to not do everything right out the gate, trying to master everything in one hit generally gets a person nowhere. It's certainly something that could be considered a foundational basic and I hope it gets pinned because it would be interesting for those new to the path.
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"The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing." Severus Snape - HP and the Order of the Phoenix

#35 Jevne

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:07 AM

Now, there is no doubt a bunch of threads pretty much on this topic. But often those are in kinda of convoluted ways, teacher vs teaching yourself etc.

But really there are simple strategies for teaching oneself.


As has been stated and proven by other posts of similar nature, this information has been presented in many different ways on this Forum (and apparently on others). All of the topics and their sub-topics have threads, both in the public and private viewing areas, and have been discussed in some cases at length. So, I do not quite understand why putting these things in a list suddenly gives them more credence and makes them more appealing to those new to the Craft, than those other threads, which say the same things and some. Not to take away from Sara or whoever else uses something similar on their path. I like nice, neat little packages as much as the next unorganized person, but . . . (shrugs).

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#36 Wych Elm

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

Inspiration needs to be taken from where it is found, anything and anyone can be a trigger. A butterfly is beautiful but fleeting, a cockroach is ugly but will survive a necular holocaust. To not accept iinspiration because one didn't like the source would be as blind as (or worse) never being inspired in the first place :-)

M


I really like this. I guess people get different meanings from it. I was out the other day & saw 2 crows absolutely hammering a buzzard. They followed it into its territory, kept swooping on it, drove it away from its nest. I just sat horrified and thinking 'oh my god are the buzzard chicks going to die'. I love crows but at that point I hated them. Then it dawned on me. I've been reading about hexing. The crows felt threatened by the buzzard going too near their nesting areas. So the lesson there was: if something threatens you, you attack back hard and then you attack back some more. So it was an ugly thing to witness but really confirmed for me that this whole 'harm none' nonsense is about as unnatural as you can get. Go forth & hex if ya gotta. So inspiration doesn't always come from watching baby lambs frollicking with mummy sheep (who will be off to the slaughter house quite soon), it comes from quite brutal sources that will fight for their survival and live a damn site longer for it.

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Dance me through to the stillness, to the point where the motion begins. Dance me through to the silence, to the edge where the world begins. - Kathryn Price NicDhana

#37 sarasuperid

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:07 PM

But if a book made you think of something, then it was worth the read :-)

M


I know you are trying to be encouraging, and I know this is off topic. But I don't like being told how to feel about something. I don't agree, I feel that some books are a waste of time if they are completely repetitive information that I already knew, if they are false information, or useless information because of the way its presented. Furthermore, if I read such a book and write a polite, but less than positive review of it on a book review website so that others can be warned of the quality its contents and it leads to the author's family and close friends being sent out to harass me with rude comments against my intelligence, because of course only an idiot wouldn't love their illustrious leader's books. Then it was more than a waste of my time, it led to me being needlessly attacked by an egomaniac and their minions. If I could erase such people from ever having crossed my path by the accident of reading their book thinking it might be good, I would, including the wasted time here that I am explaining myself and my emotions to my friends and peers, when I could have been talking about a more interesting and illuminating topic. For example, something about teaching one self magic.

I think, teaching oneself magic, to me includes, avoiding useless and unhelpful material. Because one wants to advance on their path not stagnate most of the time. If I read for ten hours and only two minutes of that time was minorly helpful, and there were other books out there that had that two minutes of useful material already in them, plus another 8 hours of useful material too, well I would love to be reading the better stuff. How do you do that?

Well at first its hard, you can't really without already having a foundation of some sort to start from. But a good way to do so, if you are a member of this site, is if you often like a particular person's comments (like I often love your's Michele) then find out what they are reading and loving. For example, Michele was reading some books by Andrew Chumbley. Well, I got a few of those books and read them. Because I admired Michele and how she was doing witchcraft, I was grateful to find that those books also were helping me on my path. That's not the best example, because those books are a pretty difficult reading level, on the other hand, I hate to miss a challenge and if I can see the goal post is where I want to be, well I was willing to work on raising my reading level, which frankly I had to do to understand some of the things I was interested in. And I am still doing.

Additionally, there are some authors here, of books and articles. If you like their comments, then get their books. I liked OwlBlink's comments, and although her book was partially wiccan in nature, I adored her book, really good material that helped me in my path. I haven't yet gotten Mountain Witch's book, but its next on my list. Because she consistently says helpful things to my path and I bet her book will be a huge help to me as someone who is working on herbalism. Some of our members and seekers here have blogs, every time I learn of one, I add it to my blog reader, they consistently add something to my path by their book reviews, articles and generous notes on their personal experiences.

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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard

#38 Marabet

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:12 PM

I feel that some books are a waste of time if they are completely repetitive information that I already knew, if they are false information, or useless information because of the way its presented. Furthermore, if I read such a book and write a polite, but less than positive review of it on a book review website so that others can be warned of the quality its contents and it leads to the author's family and close friends being sent out to harass me with rude comments against my intelligence, because of course only an idiot wouldn't love their illustrious leader's books. Then it was more than a waste of my time, it led to me being needlessly attacked by an egomaniac and their minions. If I could erase such people from ever having crossed my path by the accident of reading their book thinking it might be good, I would, including the wasted time here that I am explaining myself and my emotions to my friends and peers, when I could have been talking about a more interesting and illuminating topic. For example, something about teaching one self magic.


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I ran to a tower where the church bells chime
I hoped that they would clear my mind
They left a ringing in my ear
But that drum's still beating loud and clear

{Florence + The Machine 'Drumming Song'}

#39 Marabet

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:19 PM

Getting back to the topic at hand- I understand that there are elements of the craft, what interests me is when one element sort of rules for a person. Say you are more of a Seer than a Necromancer, for example. It seems reasonable to me that for some people their practice is going to revolve over one aspect. For example, Sarah Lawless revolves around Necromancy (as far as I can tell).

I'm curious as to how others feel about this in their own practice. Do you have one aspect your practice revolves around? Do you still attempt to incorporate other aspects or do you not see the need? Do you feel newbs should focus on what suits them or seek a "well rounded" education in the craft by touching on different aspects, whatever those may be?

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I ran to a tower where the church bells chime
I hoped that they would clear my mind
They left a ringing in my ear
But that drum's still beating loud and clear

{Florence + The Machine 'Drumming Song'}

#40 sarasuperid

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:21 PM

As has been stated and proven by other posts of similar nature, this information has been presented in many different ways on this Forum (and apparently on others). All of the topics and their sub-topics have threads, both in the public and private viewing areas, and have been discussed in some cases at length. So, I do not quite understand why putting these things in a list suddenly gives them more credence and makes them more appealing to those new to the Craft, than those other threads, which say the same things and some. Not to take away from Sara or whoever else uses something similar on their path. I like nice, neat little packages as much as the next unorganized person, but . . . (shrugs).


Actually, I agree Jevne. This has been said so many different places. But I still saw seekers still bemoaning the impossiblity of teaching themselves. This site is chock full of information on how to teach oneself. Its bleeding out of damned near every thread :D

Whatever silly structure one uses, it all comes down to just doing it, living it, and practicing. I don't actually use a formal structure of self education. I just seek my passions. And my passion is art and witchcraft. And therefore most everything I do is infused with both. I taught myself without a formal structure. But it kinda boils down to alternating between different interests. Lore, plants, art, potions, ogham, tarot, spells, tools, otherworld, familiars, etc. I just spend time with each and then go to another and then eventually come back and deepen a topic I already worked on with the knowledge and experience from the others.

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"A Craft, a calling, a set of Keys to unlock a particular cosmology that is borne, and born, in the blood of the practitioner, and sets the Work to be done with which one may commune with those who hold the patterns and keys of the life of the practitioner and hir stream. The Work is to be done, and we are to do it." --Aiseling the Bard