Monday, April 4, 2011

Gotta Change The Name of This Blog

     Seems the focus lately has been teaching and what-not. So what the hell, I'll go with it. Also, sorry about the rambling, but isn't that part of what folks do here on these things? Ramble their thoughts out?
     Over the years (ooh that sounds so pompous)   uhh, let's try again:

     damn, I had a good lead-in while I was outside smoking, now I've forgotten it.

     I want to quit wasting my time. That doesn't mean never farting around, or turning into a hard-core bootstrap-type; I just want more of what I do to be productive. I've learned a lot in my life, I think, even though I did not attend college, or have a career, or have a showplace home, umm, or stay married so far longer than seven years a pop. (don't ask. I mean it--don't ask. More than once, okay?) I now understand that you learn more from your mistakes and bad choices (when you recognize them as bad, lol) than you do from the actions or choices that turned out well. Pretty basic stuff, huh? In theory, yes. I think I would have turned into a pretty smug person if most things I ever did all turned out well.
     Point being I believe I'm reasonably qualified to spout off here, give the ideas and suggestions I'm giving, and so forth. I guess I had an unsure moment, wondering if I should be doing this. Who am I to give advice to anyone?
     Well, that may be a good jumping-off point. What qualifies any of us to give advice is being asked. Does that mean the answer is necessarily coming from a font of accurate knowledge? LOL--No. We were asked; we answer presumably in an honest manner based on our personal knowledge and life experience, and hopefully don't give in to the occasional impulse to satisfy an impish sense of humor.
     I've been asked certain things often enough to feel comfortable with setting down some standard answers to those standard questions. Most of those questions have come from aspiring witches and have little to do with the business of witchery, ie, spellcraft and workings.
     So I guess where I'm going here is I think there is a segment of magical training that is often ignored, either unintentionally or out of an understandable refusal on the part of the teacher to deal with it, and that segment is exactly what I've been talking about here so far: The Domestic Witch---Life-Skills 101.
     It IS necessary!! Without these skills, much of what new witches learn can take oh-so-much longer, and for no reason!

     Wow......has blogging just allowed a multitude of decades-long thoughts to coalesce into a cohesive new concept? I think maybe so, folks. Damn---I wonder if you can print this stuff out?

     I think I may be starting a new blog soon! Hooray! FINALLY!! Some damn direction for all this!!

     Well, I for one am very excited about this. More later. I need to do a little thinking.

More On Students

     7) Don't Go To Them.

     Are you rolling your eyes yet? Thinking I just don't have a generous bone in my body?
     I resent that---I do, too. If I didn't, I wouldn't have learned these things, lol.
     The reasons you don't go to them are that: One, if they aren't willing to find a way to get to you to learn, they don't want to learn that badly. You have to go out of your way to be Pagan, or a witch. The sooner they learn all this isn't necessarily easy the better off you'll both be. It weeds out the people who are serious from the ones who are bored and looking for a novel way to waste time. Yours.
     Two, it establishes that you are not at their beck and call, and politely sets a boundary that really needs to exist.
     How to do this? Well, remember when I suggested earlier that we need to set "the rules" from jump? Okay, that is the time to make this point. Heck, write a hand-out you give to all---and I do mean all---people who ask you about learning. You state or write down "I teach from my home." And that's it. When asked why, you can say "Because that's where I'm most comfortable teaching."

     But moving on, one of the things I've gotten in the habit of doing over the years and am now seeing doesn't work (the way I do it, I mean), is making sure the person has basics of life in order before we start on any magic or pagan learning. They approach this notion with all the enthusiasm of a French nobleman meeting Madame la Guillotine. What are those life basics? The students I've had have nearly all been women, so I'll just go with that.

        Bathe daily. By the time they get to me, mine are usually super depressed and overwhelmed by their domestic life-management, and a shower can just seem like a low priority. I can dig it, but it ain't happenin' here, so wash yore fanny. Wear some make-up if you're a make-up kind of gal. Do the laundry, dishes, keep the house sanitary, cook for your family, manage the money and household resources, etcetera.

     As stated, I typically encounter a great deal of resistance to this idea. Well, what is has to do with magic and being a witch is that I learned witches do not live in squalid, untidy surroundings; witches do not ignore the health or appearance of their own bodies; witches try not to waste their resources; and witches take care of the business of life---part of which is attending properly to their home and all within it. Letting things go does not make any "point" to the spouse/partner, except to make him or her puzzled and frustrated. Witches do these things because it is what we do; it isn't a duty, but a privelege. Many of my girls have felt, rightly so, that the things they do are not appreciated, and that they are not getting the respect as equals they deserve. My answer to this is the same. You do this first for YOU. If, after you have met your life responsibilities as an adult, you are still unsatisfied with your status in the relationship or household, then change your life situation.  
     Lack of knowledge has also been a barrier for many, the main reason I finally just started tackling this subject first. Stresses, depression, anxiety, and general upset over the home, how they look, and so on winds up interfering with learning anything magical, because who do they come to first? You. They are comfortable with you and they trust you, so you hear everything. Not to mention that when spells don't--literally--magically fix everything, they get disgusted and want to quit. Sure you can tell'em magic doesn't work that way, that witchcraft is as much a way of life as it is mysticism & spell craft; they don't believe it, though. So I just started getting through "life situation" first, and I physically helped. If you all only knew how many homes I have helped clean, provided cleaning supplies for, and much more..........
     Now, though, after this personal awakening, I see I am not really up for this anymore. Plus, they either get bored and quit, or are so happy with the results that they no longer care about learning witchcraft. Sigh. Okaaayyyyy. Did I waste my time? Not exactly. In the bigger picture it helped them, but was that what I'd offered to do in the first place? Quite a conundrum, because I feel strongly about people's success in life partially hinging on having good domestic skills.
     (We've drifted a little far from shore today, haven't we? Sorry about that.)

     I think what I'm going to do is get a little more formal: pull together a manual/handbook for people who ask to learn including all this information. Set weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks for them to accomplish. Come visit me on the days we've set, bring your handbook, and we'll see where you are with meeting those expectations.
     I've let myself get too personally involved, is the problem, in a sincere desire to help. Well, I helped, alright, and still didn't accomplish myself what I set out to do! I have kept banging my head against the same brick wall for years and years...tweaking here and there, but not taking a hard look at what I was doing wrong. I don't think I had the life experience before to see the mistakes, really.  ......aaaannd maybe I might possibly have been lazy about wanting to make a formal lesson plan & handbook? Maybe thought about it and didn't persevere? yeah, yeah, yeah.
     Crap. More on this later. Just remembered one of hubby's clients will be here this morning to drop off paperwork.