The teachers and mentors I have had on my journey I have always been respectful towards (even if I wasn’t shown the same courtesy) and worked hard to learn and prosper with.
Unfortunately these days I find seekers out there don’t have that attitude and are in fact quite demanding, sometimes coming across like spoilt children if they don’t get what they want, when they want – when it comes to education and training.
You cannot demand someone educate and train you in the esoteric arts or pagan path-workings as having a mentor is a privileged honor and not a demanded right. There is so much information online right now which can be accessed with a few clicks that I have noticed many just expect to be spoon fed without actually doing any of the work.
When I started my foray into the public pagan scene in the mid 90’s the internet was only just coming into fruition with email and only a limited number of websites. This was the day before social media and the only way to find a teacher was to find them in real life, usually through an occult store or through a pagancentric hard-copy magazine. Study via correspondence was usually hand written through snail mail or through email in some cases where the teacher or school had access to it. To find like-minded individuals it was important to network in real life and attend events in real time. You learned who you resonated with and who you didn’t and what teachers or groups were around who offered a course of study and/or practical working group.
To say I am thankful that I learned this way from real people is just the beginning of the benefits I found as now I find the pagan scene diluted with unqualified mentors/teachers, know it all armchair pagans and substance-less conversations in online forums.
I am also finding that the older I get, the more I am disillusioned with the public pagan community in general and the more I remove myself from any of its negativity. I tend to shy away from egocentric and aggressively demanding people who believe its their right to be served and unfortunately the scene is rife with these types.
Personally I prefer positive interaction where people speak to each other in a respectful manner and you learn by engaging proactively and getting together and doing things whether it be online or in real life. These to me are real connections and ones which I only foster these days because they are valued.
(c) T. Georgitsis 2016