Mentor Needed?

serious discussion on magick and energy usages in the world and affects.
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underlilith
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Mentor Needed?

Post by underlilith » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:37 am

I guess there are a few questions... here they are...

1 - Do you think that a mentor is needed to learn "the craft"?

2 - Is there majick out there that is kept "secret", basically, not printed/published or accessable by someone just trying to search for it without a teacher?

3 - Why do so many spells seem so complex, whereas others are painfully simple?

4 - Are you expected to memorize the complex spells you plan to cast?

OK, now let me give you background. I now have my morals/values in place. I have somewhat of an understanding of the fundamentals of majick (the elements of the pentagram/pentacle, etc.). I was just wanting to take it a step further, when i noticed "the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram" mentioned in a post, which made me think that i know absolutely nothing compared to those who could cast this! I was just so overwhelmed... Anyway, comments, answers, and faqs are welcome. If you need more info from me, just ask.
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Post by Kystar » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:00 pm

Personally, as I do not believe in organized Religion of ANY sort, I don't think ANY of that is needed.

There are those who insist that their Craft is a secret society...yadda, yadda.

Personally, what I believe is that you need to find your OWN way to touch the Divine...you need to walk your OWN path. You don't need a Priest or Priestess telling you "Now you're worthy". Who are they to judge that? They are just as human as you are! Why do they get to decide if you can or cannot pursue something? Who gives them the authority to tell you how to touch the divine, how to observe the holiday, how to cast your circle to talk to your guides? Yes, I know they would say that the Divine gives them the Authority...but really, isn't that the same thing the priests in the middle ages said as they murdered people?

I admit that I'm fully a solitaire. I've only worked once or twice in a circle with others and that was my sisters...so I don't think that really counts.

Now, if you're looking for somewhere to connect to people who follow the same paths and histories as you do...it might be worth the time. If you know you are firmly in the same belief structure, then you're fine. Do you NEED that affirmation that you're doing it right? I don't think so...your guides and your connection to the Divine will usually tell you when you're about to botch something.

As for the "Lesser banishing blah" thing...I honestly think that was meant as a joke. At least that's how I read it...I could be wrong.

Rituals don't HAVE to be as structured as some groups make them out to be...things don't HAVE to be that complicated. Yes, you need to separate mundane reality from yourself when you work energy, but you don't need to call on ancient names that have no personal meaning, you don't have to do everything according to someone else's idea of right to get results. I admit, I have a full Altar set...and I've never used it except for storage for my little things. I have a full set of props, and never felt the need to use them all. And I know I don't order my Circle the way most people do. (I posted about that a while ago, actually.) I spoke to someone at a Pagan Pride Day celebration who insisted that you HAD to lay out the circle the way they did in this one village in England or else it wouldn't work...b/c they have the history, and know what works. That you HAD to follow the Ancient Rules...which I'd never even heard of, honestly.

I've never been in a formal group, and I don't want to be because my opinions aren't what one would call popular with the groups that think you NEED religious structure. That's one of the things that sent me out of Christianity, actually...the idea that a fallible human was standing there telling me what was wrong and what was right...how I was supposed to live my life. Trying to give me an Absolute, regardless of my instincts or opinions.

Urgh...I think I just got off onto a rant! Sorry.

The bottom line is that if you feel that you cannot find your path without that kind of guidance, look for it...but don't let them smother you.

As for some spells being complex and some not...I think it's really based on if you're going to be working in a group or by yourself.

Some people get caught up in the glamor of the Ritual, the pageantry, and feel that it needs to be this big elaborate thing to be seen as valid. (Think how churches make big deals out of ceremonies). That, or they feel that you have to act more formally when you're dealing with the Divine than you would in regular life.

I've done things as simple as meditating, focusing my desire/need and casting a handful of sawdust over the fire!

Complex rituals, like a play or performance, go better and LOOK better if everyone has memorized what they need to say/do and when. I don't think it's needed. When my husband and I did our Blessing Rite and reaffirmation of our vows, we didn't memorize anything...we had what we wanted to say in a book we both held...and our helpers had theirs on little scraps of paper. It looked a little awkward at times, but we made it through with the important things being said. Would I have preferred to have memorized things? Yes, but I didn't think it was that necessary. If I was planning a Solstice rite for a Coven of like forty+ people with guests, would I want it planned and memorized so we didn't look like schmucks when we did the Rite? Yes. Would I care if someone botched a line a little? No...b/c I've done live theatre. Pick up your thought and run with an ad-lib. Just don't cuss in the circle. LOL.

Okay...I'm going to shut up now before I dominate the thread!
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Post by daibanjo » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:19 pm

There are some principles that are universal;
1) We do not proselytize. We don't go looking for "Converts."
People are drawn to the pagan paths and settle into the way that is most comfortable for each of us. Sure, there are those who get involved out of curiosity or for reasons less than honorable but they soon move on. So, we can say that we do not choose our path. In some mystical way our path has chosen us.
2) "When the student is ready the teacher appears" This seems to be true in everything. When you are ready tp learn a new principle a way will be found for you. That may be a person, a group or an experience. Frequently your teacher can become a lifelong friend, rarely a lifelong mentor. When you have learned one lesson you are preparing for the next. Who knows who that teacher may be?
3) This is a quote from Phillip Carr-Gom, chosen chief of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids;
"Magic, by it's very nature is mysterious. By living our lives in a certain way it unfolds to us."
My path involves celebrating the eight festivals of the Wheel of the year, of honoring the Earth and communicating with the Divine. But even after almost 60 years of mystical experiences I can still be awed beyond measure by the new lessons that come my way.
For example; recently a friend of mine who follows a Norse path invited me to join his group in an Elven Mill. The main part of the ritual involved forming two circles, one inside the other. The outer circle turned sunwise, and the inner turned the opposite direction. All while chanting. The experience was profound beyond my ability to describe.

So, if you are willing, you can expect a lifetime of learning and experiences and feel a joy that you cannot contain. All delivered from many sources. It only requires that you be ready and paying attention to the coincidences that will come your way.
Many Bright Blessings on your Path.
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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Post by Lotus » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:35 pm

First and foremost, I must state something!
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or LBRP is no joke.
Do not be fooled by its quirky name. This ritual has strong roots in Ceremonial magick. Essentially, this ritual is a method of balancing. Contrary to what many may write, the LBRP is not a very effective way to "banish" anything. The whole purpose is to flare your aura like a beacon and to balance all aspects of the magician. This ritual has a great deal of history and tradition behind it.

There are different magical styles because there are different types of people. I personally enjoy the structure of Ceremonial magick. For me, power is added when you sit down and piece together the elaborate rituals. This is because I pour my intent into all aspects of the ritual process. Even though I am perfectly proficient in performing simple styles of magick I still like being elaborate.
One can be solitary and be elaborate at the same time.

The purpose of the “elaborate” style is to be a learning tool. Eventually you will not need all of the tools or the pomp and circumstance. When I was a member of the Golden Dawn it was clear that the structure and elaborateness was not to make things look better than what they were but, to make things understandable. Anyone can do magick but, not very many people understand the how and why of magick. There is no one here watching my rituals that I need to impress (not including divine).
I had a creative writing Professor who said it best, “Do not try to break way from the conventions until you completely understand the conventions and the purposes behind them.”

I handle rituals that need memorization like I handle public speaking. I know my speech and how it should be presented and I let my knowledge take over.

Although I am solitary, I do enjoy the camaraderie of group workings. It is interesting to see how everyone’s energies blend into one. IMO the call of a group is more potent than the call of one.
For Sabbats or holidays, I prefer group workings because it is a time of celebration.

As for mentors, there are quite of few people to be careful of. The mentor position attracts a good many undesirables. Many of these people are more interested in the glory and the kudos of the position than the actual purpose of the postion. Many people become mentors for the purpose of finding new victims to manipulate or use. Many people like to pretend that they are something more than what they are.
Be wary of these people. A good mentor however, is a wonderful thing.
A good mentor, who is willing, is rare.
Do not listen to the 12th level Wiccan warrior who can meditate twice per round.

Let the style be up to you. We are all unique and learn in different ways.

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Post by Kystar » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:09 pm

Lotus wrote:First and foremost, I must state something!
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or LBRP is no joke.
Do not be fooled by its quirky name. This ritual has strong roots in Ceremonial magick. Essentially, this ritual is a method of balancing. Contrary to what many may write, the LBRP is not a very effective way to "banish" anything. The whole purpose is to flare your aura like a beacon and to balance all aspects of the magician. This ritual has a great deal of history and tradition behind it.
My apologies for my ignorance, then. The name just sounded so...Charmed that I couldn't imagine it being anything serious.

If you don't mind, could you toss a few references my way on this? As I rarely felt a pull towards what would be termed Cermonial Magick, I haven't done the research I should, it appears. However, I believe in learning all aspects of things that are possible to learn...so I would like to expand my knowledge.
Thanks in advance!
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Post by Kitsune » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:18 pm

I must admit, I have an awful lot of trouble believing the whole "When the student is ready..." thing... And I've had it happen... a total on once.

All I wanted from when I was very young, was a proper teacher/friend who would teach me, befriend me, and guide me until I felt confident in my choice.

I have never found that person... The most I have found (including my Reiki teacher that I was guided to) are teachers who do not stay around long enough to truely teach me. Grimwell is the closest thing to a long lasting teacher I've ever had, and I really don't consider him a teacher. More a friend to discuss our abilites with than anything else.

As for my "craft" skill, I am solitary, and pretty much always have been. Me and Grimwell have our Solstice and Equinox rituals, and those are the only times that I have worked with anyone else for the last 10 years. My workings are done with nothing more than energy and thought. I have crystals, I've had knives, I'd had cauldrons, and I've found that you can learn what you need without a teacher... and as you learn your craft better, you will understand how your are meant to practice your craft, whether it is elaborate or simple, taught or learned from your own skill and sweat.
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Post by Lotus » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:28 pm

Kystar wrote:
Lotus wrote:First and foremost, I must state something!
The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or LBRP is no joke.
Do not be fooled by its quirky name. This ritual has strong roots in Ceremonial magick. Essentially, this ritual is a method of balancing. Contrary to what many may write, the LBRP is not a very effective way to "banish" anything. The whole purpose is to flare your aura like a beacon and to balance all aspects of the magician. This ritual has a great deal of history and tradition behind it.
My apologies for my ignorance, then. The name just sounded so...Charmed that I couldn't imagine it being anything serious.

If you don't mind, could you toss a few references my way on this? As I rarely felt a pull towards what would be termed Cermonial Magick, I haven't done the research I should, it appears. However, I believe in learning all aspects of things that are possible to learn...so I would like to expand my knowledge.
Thanks in advance!
*shrugs* Its all cool. Questioning led most of us here on various paths.
Off the top of my head:
Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig (or Krag?) is a decent once over of Ceremonial Magick style with a modern touch. To warn you it is a little dry if you are not completly interested in the topic. It is a pretty decent overview. According to my notes, take quite a few years ago when I read the book, around pg 37 starts talking about the LBRP.

On line you might want to try:
http://www.kheper.net/topics/Hermeticism/LBR.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_rit ... _pentagram

I'll get back with more when I have time.
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Post by underlilith » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:44 am

Alot of varying answers, but thank you to all.

This gives me my general idea/direction on this... thanks again.

When i get more time, I'll pursue this further (majick), but right now it's going on the back-burner (busy schedule).

Thank you for all your help! :-D
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Post by Kystar » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:33 am

Thank you for the information, Lotus. I now realize why I never pursued that particular rite...or even researched it beyond the basics of reading it in a library book.

Like I mentioned in the other post, I have no interest in using formulas which include invoking gods or spirits that have no personal meaning. The two internet sources you supplied mentioned Hebrew as the language used, and the Archangels as part of the summoning.

As I have no knowledge of Hebrew (or roots to lead me to investigate the language/culture) and no desire to call upon beings that I was introduced to in my Byzantine Catholic church, I am certain that I simply skimmed that section in whatever source material I was investigating.

Thank you for the information, though...so at least I know it is a valid rite used by those that follow the path of the golden dawn and other ceremonial magick (And therefore, I won't embarrass myself or irritate someone by laughing at the name!)
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Post by Scathach » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:13 pm

I think that this thread basically points to the fact that different people need different things. We all have different makeups, different patterns of energy, different backgrounds. To me, the most important thing is whether a person's practice touches their spirit, generates enthusiasm, and just generally "feels" right. Whether a person works in a group or not really depends on whether they feel that this is what they need. There have been times in my life that I've enjoyed working with others, and other times when it's felt right to be on my lonesome.

One thing that is true, though, is that there really are shady people out there. The best way to choose a mentor is to pick someone that you know, face to face. An individiual that you have known for some time personally, are impressed with their skill, and that you trust, not just as a person with a reputation, but as someone you have known for some time. That's why it's best to get involved in the magickal community, (not necessarily in a working group), for some time before choosing a teacher. Get to know people, make friends. That way, when a person chooses a teacher, they are not flying blind.
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Post by Willow » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:52 am

Yeah,
for a while there was a woman who was constantly trying to get me to accept her as a teacher, i started feeling really creepy about it. Like the witch trying to get Gretel ino the house.

Anyway, i eventlly just cut off contact. I can learn on my own and I have a sense of humour. So when I really mess up, the universe will let me know and I will hopefully laugh it off and keep learning.
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Post by davisherm » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:18 am

daibanjo's already said what I came to say, and looks like he did a better job of it than I would have.

It has always been my experience that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

I've had a number of teachers throughout the years and spent a fair share of my own time teaching various students those things that I know. Some of them have later turned out to be my teacher for a certain technique. The key there is that you never stop learning.



I also am mostly Solitary. I was briefly involved with some groups but would rather work alone or with one or two other people.

I've often found that it's easier and far more effective to merge a small number of energies toward a common purpose than it is to merge a large number. Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the soup and all that, I guess.
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Post by white_harmony » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:28 am

Completely off topic ... But ...

DAVISH! where have you been!! lol Long time no see! I've missed you :(
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Re: Mentor Needed?

Post by Sìle » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:32 pm

underlilith wrote:1 - Do you think that a mentor is needed to learn "the craft"?
Not necessary, but extremely helpful, especially if you get stuck on something.
underlilith wrote:2 - Is there majick out there that is kept "secret", basically, not printed/published or accessable by someone just trying to search for it without a teacher?
Magic - no. Techniques - yes. There is secretative materials out there, mostly relating to techniques specific to particular traditions of magic.
underlilith wrote:3 - Why do so many spells seem so complex, whereas others are painfully simple?
I guess some people need more complex techniques to obtain the results they need, whilst more practised people know that often simple is best. After a while, the basics are in place so a spell can be executed with a minimum of paraphernelia.
underlilith wrote:4 - Are you expected to memorize the complex spells you plan to cast?
Not always necessary. Sometimes a good idea, sometimes it takes away from the real work you need to do: raising energy, manipulating it and sending it.
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