My Feelings on Pagan Education and Training

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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

 

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People value something more if they have to pay for it

 

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For years now, I have been reflecting on why people assume because you provide a service (reading, healing, teaching etc) that you’ll happily spend your time and energy giving them a service when they aren’t prepared to give any form of exchange for said service?

As a financial advisor are you expected to give free financial advice?  As an administrator are you expected to manage people’s personal affairs for free?  As a natural therapist are you expected to treat people for free?

I can tell you from my own perspective that the answer is a resounding NO!

I understand completely why my Great Aunt Irene refused to do anything for free and there was always an exchange of some kind if the person couldn’t pay with money or goods.  She would also never put herself out to help a client of hers if it was to her own detriment and would be rather blunt about it if people persisted. Great Aunt Irene was always busy in her practice as the local healer/magician and one of the few people in her village who never wanted for anything and its because of her strict personal boundaries and demand of equal energy exchange for her services.

Over the years I have taught classes, workshops, held lectures and taught one on one students in professional venues and in my own space utilising immense quantities of my own time and never charged a cent and I did this to further educate and help people.  What I have found was with the exception of the lectures, this was mostly taken for granted by the majority in attendance as they didn’t value it, due to it being offered free of charge.  I found I was being used up like a magickal compendium or magick 8 ball with little respect unless I charged something for it.  By charging I attracted more appreciative and hard working students who were willing to do the work and deviated those who wanted something for nothing.

In the end its absolutely true what my partner said to me once years ago “People value something more if they have to pay for it.”

That is one of the biggest spiritual growth lessons I have learned – to value myself and the knowledge I have worked hard to achieve through education, hard work and practice.