Reeding, Riting & Rithmatic

On Finding a Teacher

Reeding, Riting & Rithmatic

On Finding a Teacher

Dawn R. Jackson

We Teach Best What We Most Need to Learn…

The original essay that I had posted on this page has been lost to the ravages of time and tide and better for all of us I say as my views have changed somewhat — not anything too dramatically per se, but enough changes have taken place within me and around me to somewhat negate my original thoughts and ideas shared via the old essay.

When I wrote the earlier essay I was then ‘prenticed to a particular group and to a particular person on the net and had worked through half a year of my traditional year and a day studies. That endeavor has ended abruptly and not in the way I originally planned as I formally withdrew on a voluntary basis from my studies one month before my initiation. Suffice it to say that what I anticipated learning and what I actually learned were very far apart in theme and content… 😏

My original thoughts on how to find a teacher still hold quite fast which include seeking out local contacts in your own community through a variety of ways from bulletin boards at metaphysical stores and shops to frequenting places that that sort of crowd of folks tend to congregate at, be it a coffee shop or health food store. I do feel that learning and discovering what you will is an extremely interactive step (how could it not be?) born of many processes which include; book learning, actual experiences, personal interpretation of the lore and myth from a variety of sources, as well as public and personal discussions and conversations with teachers etc. However, one of the most difficult things that I have had to do was separate the actual transmission of the knowledge or gnosis from the vehicle it was derived from.

Originally I wrote that one had the option of forming a true and lasting bond with a group (Magister, Magistra, coven, cuveen etc.) due to the nature of the exchanges, from the sharing and utilizing of the specific stream of symbols, myth, prose and poetry in an online environment. I no longer feel that is a valid step in one’s personal growth due to the nefarious actions of many who prey upon the personal vulnerabilities that may be exposed in such an association online. There are simply far too many variables that will continually allow untruths and deceptions to pass for truth. Even R.J. Stewart writes that when first taking on this type of spiritual quest one will often find a human teacher who has real abilities but often is a corrupting presence, although this presence is needed at that time to provide a corrective balancing force.

In my own personal truth, I say that you should be on the constant lookout for those teachers who continually dangle those invisible carrots in front of you be they tidbits of lore and myth, spiritual exercises, or more. While I fully understand the need for discretion or of keeping some things under the rose — there are no secrets, all you wish to know is already on the wind before you, as Magister Cochrane once said, and you only have to breathe deeply and look inside yourself — Nosce te Ipsum — quite literally, Know Thyself, and that can and possibly will take your entire life span to do so. Anything else is just an ego stroke for some so-called teacher. Let those who have the ears to hear — hear and those who have the eyes to see — see.

Be wary of those who profess to have all the answers, no one does, hel, most of us are still working out the questions let alone the answers. All anyone can do is share what works for them, embrace you in a set of beliefs that appeals to them, talk with you about what they have discovered while walking their own crooked path. Anyone who professes to have the one right and true way to personal gnosis or enlightenment should be avoided at all costs in my opinion. When you have those inner bell moments that speak to you and whisper that maybe this isn’t the proper or right way for you to experience or learn something, pay close attention and do not muffle the internal words of wisdom that come from within. Those voices that whisper to us from deep inside ourselves are born of the truest parts of ourselves, the eternal, everlasting parts of our souls and should not be denied their voice.

Even Robert Cochran wrote in a letter to Joe Wilson — “To describe the Faith is like teaching, but if you teach then eventually the pupil must turn on the teacher, since wisdom is only found in freedom, and teacher and pupil alike are not truly free, since the teacher is bound by dogma in order to explain — and therefore forgoes inspiration. The pupil has to follow the dogma in order to understand the teacher. Wisdom is not dogmatic — and when the pupil becomes wise he must necessarily break from the teacher, and interpret dogma and the promptings of his soul as he sees fit.”

Be fearful of those who will lie about the little things and mask the truth so that you don’t even recognize it for what it is. Chances are great that if they will lie about such mundane matters they will also lie about the larger spiritual issues as well. Without implicit trust in the one you choose to teach you all is lost. I am quite aware of the irony portrayed here in that these are rather humorous words coming from someone who was recently outed to be a teller of tales out of school on a public forum, but that is what comes of allowing emotions unchecked and better left in the mud to rule one. As someone wise once told me, when teacher and student both wrestle in that said mud, both are bound to wind up dirty and disheveled.

In closing, I want to take the time to thank my former teacher for leading me to the edge of the abyss and back again, albeit in a rather convoluted way. Were it not for what I experienced throughout my ‘prenticeship, I would not have a firmer grasp of my own personal morals and ethics as far as teaching and learning are concerned. I now know in a much stronger and permanent fashion what I will allow in a voluntary capacity to happen to me on a physical, emotional and spiritual level and what I will in good conscience voluntarily subject another to — very valuable lessons indeed.

I am a Fire’s Ember,
I am the Spiral of Smoke above the Coal.
I am a Drop from the Dark Cauldron,
I am the Argentine Celestial Dew.
I am a Rising Menhir,
I am the Faceted Jewel hidden in the Earth.
I am a Song sung by the North Wind,
I am the Bellows contents.
I am the Dancer and the Dance…

© Dawn R. Jackson

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