People Who Claim To Be Witches & Teachers
So many Seekers ask us for referrals that we must warn that many people who bill themselves as Witches and teachers of Wicca are to be avoided. If someone you meet claims to be a High Priestess or Priest, but sets off your inner alarm bells, proceed with extreme caution -- they may be a Pellar.
No matter where you live, the rising popularity of Witchcraft inevitably brings with it some posers -- "wanna-blessed-bes" who proclaim themselves Witches, but act so contrary to the most basic Craft ethics that they end up personally threatening the very continuance of the Craft in your area. The phenomenon of scoundrels profiting by pretending to be Witches is so old, there's a Traditional Craft name for them -- Pellars
Luckily, you can easily identify Pellars by their actions, as we and other Priestesses and Priests have learned through experience:
Pellars try to make names for themselves by slandering honest Witches. They thrive on sowing Community discord, spreading lies and vicious rumors about other, more experienced covens. They may plagiarize a well-known coven's name (2) or publish stolen teaching materials in an effort to appropriate respectable covens' notoriety for themselves.
Pellars are unscrupulous -- whereas true Witches refuse to charge money for teaching magick (it's a violation of our ethics), Pellars usually charge substantial fees for their classes on divination, spellcraft, etc.
Yet you'll find their teachings to be shallow and unsatisfying, and frequently plagiarized from their own brief exposure to authentic teachers, or popular books.
Pellars can't be trusted. Some of them are thieves, taking what they can from your town before moving on to another. Many are psychologically unstable.
Pellars prey on vulnerable Seekers -- encouraging them to distrust more ethical Elders in their area. They mislead the public about standard Wiccan practices such as ritual nudity, or practicing divination. Such vehemence "against their own" repulses the public -- who thought Witches were supposedly tolerant.
In Wicca, talk is cheap, but deeds are dear. Wise Ones learn to avoid people who claim to be Witches, but expend their precious energy by needlessly, baselessly bashing others. For all their black clothes and boasting about their own magickal prowess, such ilk are nowhere to be found when the rest of us are battling on the front lines to defend our -- and their -- religious freedoms.
Look to the source, for that's how you'll know them. If they say they are a Priest/ess, who initiated them? Into what Tradition? If they say they are a teacher, then who taught them? It bodes most ill if you find out that their own parent coven has reculed (3) them.
Please understand that we alert all in this public medium with natural reluctance. We do so only from a protective stance towards the Craft, and with the desire to warn others about the harm such people leave in their wake. I for one do not consider them to be a Witch or anything concerning our Religion, So Be It.