Category: witchcraft and mental health
When I first found myself in Wicca Classes and stepping into this broad and controversial community, I had no idea what being Authentic meant in the grand scheme of society and as a human being. At the time I first stepped onto my path, I had never heard the term Shadow Work.
As a student of the Craft, I was overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar class content such as terminology, phrases, concepts, and mythology that gave power to the mystery. The mystery of the unknown. I was wide-eyed, excited, and confused most of the time. It probably took about the first few years maybe like the first five years to really catch my balance within my own practice.
Honestly, I feel I was lucky because I had a few really good examples of leadership in this community within my own personal little circle. That experience helped me to lay down the foundation for my craft that I was able to build on. Now, it can be true but not necessarily that the more money you have to pay to learn, the more skills you can develop because you can afford to pay for more classes.
Some of the classes can be used to make some cash and if you follow suit with the teachers who have value to teach, you can, in turn, do the same and charge for teaching once you become an expert. I've actually come across quite a few who teach Wicca for free or practically for free, some teach various traditions, some teach for free and some don't.
If you're lucky enough to have enough wealth, you can take all the best classes. If you are like me, You will learn from spirit guides, free resources everywhere and used books, the library, information sharing and the few free Wicca Classes one might find. Free takes a lot longer but in the learning process, as one develops without formal training, one can actually match personal growth with incoming information.
Yes, I paid for some of my training and yes I've had a lot of free training. I've also found that there are different reasons for people to teach Wicca and Witchcraft.
Some of these reasons that I see most often are:
- The teacher found something they believe saved their life and feel a calling to share with others. (I feel that these types have the most potential)
- The teacher is more interested in being a leader than they are interested in the very craft they teach. (IMHO, these are those to beware of).
- The teacher is well known, has a positive public reputation and has to charge a lot of money per class even online because they have created intrinsic value in what they offer. These are the ones many call "sell-outs" because they turned it into a business like the original Witches were.
- .The teacher who has a calling to do more than just teach the craft, These teachers see the needs of the general people and these teachers are called to do something about it and yes they will charge for what they offer and they will put it back into helping the people and will create more great things for the people instead of keeping all the money earned. These types are feared in many cases. They are usually burning with a fiery passion for their calling that is so bright and so hot that not everyone can tolerate the heat. These folks work hard and for the most part for themselves as well as others. These are the archetypes not to mess with because they have a full out agenda with a full-blown cause to fight for.
It is obviously not the only reasons people teach Witchcraft and Wicca and many other spiritual paths. Honestly, I believe that many spiritual teachers went into Life Coaching because it makes more money selling transformation than Witchcraft does. So, what makes Wicca and Witchcraft ... Cool, Desired, and highly sought path. Honestly, I don't believe that True Witchcraft or even True Wicca is being saught so abundantly because it's the right answer.
Before you get upset about that, listen to my Why. Although there are still a good many of authentic Witches out there who truly try to live the path they believe, there are still many who claim it for self serving reasons such as to boost their ego, make people afraid of them to allow for "control" over others feelings or minds or lives, or just that all their friends are Wiccan or Witches or Pagan or whatever and so they want to be a part of the accepted and of course to be perceived as Cool. It is a human trait to want to fit in and belong. Many humans struggle to figure out who they are and what that means and where do they fit into the world around them. I know, because I'm one of those humans.
I've spent the last 20 something years of my life trying to figure out who I really am as opposed to what "they" tell me I am. I have struggled to figure out my place in the world. Of course, not everyone will start from the same place I started but we all start somewhere. Once I learned what it all meant to me, I was able to start actually "doing the work" to change my life. It has been an ongoing struggle and it will continue to the day I die. As long as I have breath, I can and I will watch me.
One of the personal goals I strive to achieve every day from moment to moment is to be the most AUTHENTIC person I can be. Authentic seems to have been turned into a buzz word and lost its true value in its meaning. Many people don't really understand that Authenticity is even a real thing to strive for. The question I would ask if I was having a conversation with someone who was discussing wanting to be more authentic is to have them define what they mean by that.
What I mean by "being authentic" is one who is their true self. Their actions, words, and beliefs come from a place deep within. It is when one's behavior and words reflect one's own true beliefs and values. It is about being your TRUE SELF as opposed to being an imitation of what you're expected to be or told you should be.
Being Authentic doesn't mean that you're enlightened or that you're ultra spiritual, or that you have some great powers or anything like that. It just means you display to others your true self. The good and the bad. That doesn't mean that you have a license to be a freaking jerk but if you're a freaking jerk and you don't see anything wrong with being a jerk, at least you're an authentic jerk and people will know to stay clear of you unless they are jerks too or someone who just wants to learn how to be a jerk.
How does one become Authentic?
Here is the hard part. Being authentic requires one to become aware of their "shadow side". The Shadow side is the part of us that we don't usually see. We're not usually aware of that part of ourselves. Carl Jung speaks of the shadow side of our minds. To demystify it, what we're talking about when we're discussing the "shadow self" is simply our Subconscious Mind.
Shadow work is the practice of honest introspection. To do shadow work, one must look at the secret and hidden parts of the self that usually eludes us even when others can plainly see these parts of us but we ourselves may be blind to them. One can't "transform" what they can't See (understand).
How can one be their true authentic self when they don't really know who they truly are?
To know thyself is the beginning of Wisdom - Socrates.
I don't understand why so many Witches I know don't even know about shadow work.
When I started in Wicca 20 something years ago, I started out with learning how to do shadow work. Do you want to find your personal power? You'll find it within. Do you want to find the answers to life-changing questions? You'll find it within. Do you want your life to change? You'll find it within.
We can see this reflected in the Poem titled "The Charge of the Goddess".
"And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee."
Even in Christianity, we can see this reflected in the bible. Here is a quote from A King James Bible Translation in English.
Luke 17:21 King James Version (KJV)
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Here is another point of view of listening to yourself with Prem Rawat (Maharaji)
So, Who are you really? Who is the true you? Are you what you think you are? Are you what you display to others?
I hope that sharing this has helped you understand or helped you to help someone else on their path to authenticity.
Many blessings to you on your journey,