I'll start this by telling you that use of the large words does not come easy for me. Nor does it impress me. I do not choose to type them or use them because I do not talk like that in person. I can, but I don't. This is not to say and never underestimate how much I know and read. My spelling skills "suck butter milk through a straw" due to a learning disability from grade school. The friends who have met me in person are often left at aww by my quick response and word skills. So people often see me online as...not smart, to put it bluntly.
On the internet I find a lot of the "Witchy Folk" brand themselves with high titles. For some I'm sure these titles are fitting for various reasons but others are not. I find it hard to deal with a know it all 20 year old that tells me how to work my spells or do my rituals. When in fact I have been at this sinse the age of 13, with a 98% accurate rate when it comes to spell work. I do the math, I can and do read, and I'm not afraid to try just about anything when it comes to spell work.
My question here is this, do you consider book smart to be best or do you consider hands on trial and error to be best?
Also, how do you give yourself a powerful "Rev or High Priestess" name without being in a coven or propper schooling for this? Enquirring minds want to know.
I personally think a nice mix of BOTH is the best way to go and I will also go on to say, unless you have done these things for years, I find it rude to correct your elders in spell work matters.
I bet this one opens up a can of worms but I really don't care. I'm a curious person and am very sincere with wanting to know these things. Thank you for your response ahead of time.
I was in a coven, and earned my second degree, granting me the title of lady...I would never in any lifetime have the brass balls to even consider correcting an elder, even if they do make a mistake...I have done a lot of reading, but I prefer hands on...
I agree with you wholeheartedly! While I trained with a Wiccan coven in my late 20's-early 30's, I wound up leaving the whole 'Wiccan thing' behind (in my late 40's) because as time progressed, it morphed into something I was really not happy with anymore. Because of my own experience-- and I mean practical Working experience here-- I have discovered that there are indeed certain ways to do certain things, and a 'flavor of the month' attitude about magick will get one nowhere fast.
I also am seeing a large number of people who claim to be Wiccan/Pagan/whatever but who are still living entirely within what I would term the 'Xtian-Mind-Box' and have merely put up pentacle wallpaper inside of it. To be Wiccan/Pagan is not to be pro-christian or anti-christian, it is to be pre-christian. Speaking for myself, I want to be shot of anything that smacks of Judeo-Christian influence, and when I first stepped into Wicca, it was just that. When I became formally Wiccan, I left christianity behind, and I did so because I realized I did not need it at all in order to be a spiritual person. Plus, I discovered that I could indeed Work magick, which was and is something that the various Judeo-Christian sects around today reserve for their all-male hierarchies, and I have a big problem with that, as well.
Now I have had to distance myself from Wicca because of people who are dragging christianity into it wholesale. My feeling is, if you have the need to keep running everything you do through the 'Jesus-filter' or a Gnostic perspective, then go be a Christian or a Gnostic! Please do not shoehorn all sorts of disparate (and in some cases, outright conflicting) beliefs into Wicca, just because you are scared to give up your previous belief-system but you don't want to feel guilty about getting laid. Wicca and other forms of pagan spirituality are not 'Christianity Lite'! They come from an earlier time, mindset and ethical background.
A parting few semi-related things--
1) I see a lot of folks here and elsewhere who call themselves a variety of pagan names but who do not seem to be Working much magick. They endlessly talk about all sorts of problems they have, and then when someone says, "Well, why don't you do ritual to fix this?' they respond, 'Oh, I can't because of the Threefold Law-- I'd be interfering', etc. To these people, I say, 'I don't care what you call yourself. You are not Pagan because you do not have the proper mindset or sense of self-empowerment that is the hallmark of Wicca/Asatru/Druidism/Shamanism, etc.
2) While some different magickal traditions can get away with cross-over rituals and sharing of concepts, there are some things that just don't blend very well. For example, invoking a Semitic Goddess like Lillith with Nordic runes won't work! Magick is a skill that requires study/training--both with good teachers and in the library. It also requires personal diligence, and a willingness to limit oneself to a particular tradition in order to learn the basic mechanics of magickal Work. Expertise is not going to happen to one via general osmosis or a fancy name, and a personal history of magic-based videogaming (while a lot of fun) is not a proper Working background.
3) With regard to the whole 'book-learning' question, I will simply quote Sa'adi, a Sufi mystic: 'No matter how much thou art read in theory, if thou hast no practice, thou art ignorant.'
4) I have been very unhappy about the dilution of Wicca for quite some time, and I thank you, Dar, for bringing up the topic, can of worms though it may be. I also have to say it makes me bloody mad that what we are talking about here is reclaiming Wicca yet again, and this time it is from people who, by calling themselves Wiccan/Pagan, only want to jump on the bandwagon just so long as they can change what we hold dear back into the Judeo-Christian theology they do not really want to give up.
Extremely well put Athena Meteor. Though I really am into what 95% of you have said, this one really hit an understanding in my brain. Thanks for the post back, you really have a nack for writing, and I understood everything you were saying.
I'm going to say one more thing that will probably get me "hollered at", but the bible is a really good book. Thats just what it is folks, a really good book. If you bother to read it and read it right, you will get everything out of it that you get from any scifi novel. My main problem stems from.."God of her chooseing rest her soul".. my bible thumping grandma, who put the fear of "the unseen God" in my soul. As a young child I was scared to death every time I saw that woman holding that black book in her lap when I came home from school. As a young teen, I got with the program and KNEW the world had to be different. I was more like my Indian great grand mother than any of my thumpin family members. Back then with no computer, no information, no answers, and no people to bring me up to date, I had mental issues and tons of questions. I know the book, I can quote the majority of it word for word, because every time I got into trouble I had to read it out loud. Trust me, I was never not into something, but I'm anything but Christian.
Christians can be cruel...dont tell anyone but I kinda like to think I'm a nice person even if I am a Hillbilly. he he he
I think people should read about different trads, paths, and religions. Book learning is that, hands on is how you use it. But there are sheeple who follow the path somebody else tells them to follow. Tried to do the coven thing, to many people throwing around titles like babies get changed for poohing. I don't have a title or want one. Be true to yourself and do what feels good to you. I do magic all the time, everyday regularly. Been learning my path 27 years. As for questioning an elder, yes go right ahead and do it, but use respect. I learn everyday as I follow the trail I blaze. I treat people as they treat me, if I have to the kids gloves come off and the fireworks begin. If this bothers somebody then welcome to the real world, or have you escaped for the flock and the shepherd is looking for you.
do you consider book smart to be best or do you consider hands on trial and error to be best?
Also, how do you give yourself a powerful "Rev or High Priestess" name without being in a coven or propper schooling for this?
Hmmm, I see books as a "tool" for teaching, but "hands on" is by far the best way to learn. Now many may not agree with me, however that is the point, onless you have been there, you dont know the place you speak of.
As to the many "titles" the folks use here an elseware, whats in a name, they seem to want a bit of adoration, that they simply do not have in life..
thats my view, altho it may seem a bit screwed, thats life....
I find that personal experience out weighs book knowledge. I think books are a nice launching point but you need to actually get out and get your hands dirty if you really want to progress. Personally, I've got about 10 years of book knowledge about magic under my belt but only four years of hands on training. I know that by practicing I've gained soo much more than I ever did by reading things in a book. But i don't think I'd change the way I learn things, lol. I prefer to read something and learn about it first. I like to read a book and tear it apart to get to the nitty gritty parts. When I'm finished with a book it's got pages falling half-way out of it, notes all over the place, and soo much information underlined it's a little ridiculous. Then after I'm done with my research I test things out.
So, I'd have to say that both book knowledge and personal experience are key.
As far as titles go, I don't give myself a title. I try not to come off as a know it all, which I think causes people to think that I don't really know what I'm talking about...which is lame. If I see someone doing something haphazardly I might put in a suggestion and leave my two cents. ^_^