Tuesday, May 22, 2012


In the Contemporary Pagan community, there are two common themes when it comes to the importance of having teachers. Usually, there is either a lot of emphasis on wanting/seeking/finding someone to teach or the individual is emphatically against needing a teacher; the truth of the matter falls somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.

A teacher is not needed to be spiritual. As humans we do this already, it is just a part of our nature. Even atheists, though they would use much different wording. The core truth of the matter is that a teacher is not needed to embark on a spiritual journey; it is going to happen regardless. The point in a teacher is not so as to be able to take the first step.

The point is to have someone lay before you their experiences and to teach the particular praxis of a Tradition. The spiritual rabbit hole can go very deep alone, but with the momentum gained from working with a teacher and group, the bottom of that hole drops even deeper. This truth is something that cannot be explained in full to someone that has never experienced the shift in energy from working solo to working with guidance.

In the BTW and TIW communities, there is a proverb used. Let there be no doubt that this proverb originates in Buddhism,

but as with many things of spiritual truth, we have claimed it and made it our own. It goes like this, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” A teacher may be desired and even sought after, but until the Gods deem it right, that pathway will remain blocked, even if it takes decades. Sadly, this can cause many to become dissuaded and discouraged.

Be wary and be discriminate when approaching someone as a teacher. Likewise, don’t settle on just anyone, just because they are the only local person found. Verify that your prospective teacher is trained themselves and vouched for. A vouch means two things, which is often only thought of as only meaning one. It means, that someone has the lineage claimed, and that the person vouching (make sure the vouch comes from a reliable source) is giving their word that the person is reputable. On rare occasion I have been asked for a vouch, but the best I could do was say, “Yes, they have that lineage.” I was not able to, in good conscious, to give a vouch for their being a reputable teacher. Remember, it is the job of the teacher to bring you to their level, and nothing else.

A good teacher strives to help you down the path, not to walk it for you.

It is their goal to have the student surpass them, to eventually take flight and leave the nest.

Just as a teacher will not appear until ready, sometimes they appear when not expected. Recognize when this happens and embrace it or the opportunity will pass by. Cease the moment and allow the experience to broaden the spiritual horizons.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

awesome! thank you!!!