This has been a saying for the Pagan way, for as far back as I can recall
Which is getting to be just a few decades :) and it's proved to be right over and over
I am what is commonly called an Elder
the heck is an Elder..?
A teacher ? Maybe .. Ok
What is a teacher supposed to do ?
Read on :) For my opinion on that
first thing that comes
when you say Elder
is an old person, for starters right ..?
that counts me in I guess hehehehe :)
as the next decade I see will be the big 6 0
Elder in anything
one who counts their experience in decades, not years
wit, if they have learned
anything at all from those years,
they can be a good resource for learning from, at least you hope so anyway :)
one on one, apprenticeship we all the "Year and a day " is how most of the Pagan
and almost all of the Craft is handed down..
was before the mass production of books,
the Internet and a whole raff of other things
even the best of books etc. leave holes, gaps in knowledge and moreover in understanding
which is where the Elder/teacher comes in
All teachers are not created Equal
know as much as one can know in one life
Some don't .. for all they have tried
Some are working on it, which is most of us
Some never did and don't plan on it !
The best of all ..
Are the ones that do Know a good deal .. but also Know that they don't know it all !
And are not afraid to say so. At least in My NSHO :)
a discussion I heard
the subject of Elders
and the gist of what was bandied about was,
that Most Elders are stuck up old biddies
Biddies by the way, as applied to both genders
Who play the" holier than thou" game and are on a power trip
kiss their feet
for their gray hairs
( to put it politely.. :)
sad to say there
that ARE like this..
and if you meet one like
Run. Do not walk to the nearest exit
But the conversation went on and a few people said
Elder should be kind and
not challenge what the student has to say,
or words to that effect
To which I say.. hold the press a second..
challenge..? So sorry,
but the whole thing
of teaching students
is about challenge, you challenge
their self image, which very often needs work, you challenge their current knowledge,
which may be incorrect, you challenge them to learn, to grow, to have what it takes
walk the walk
not just talk the talk
was that the Elder must have patience
an infinite amount apparently :) to hear them talk
there should be understanding
Yes, there should be a fair amount of patience
one in their right
mind takes on a student
without expecting a great
deal of two steps
forward, three steps back. This dance goes on for however long it must go on, as long as
progress is being made, and it's enough to make anyone pull out their hair from time to time.
( Now I know why my first teachers hair was so thin.. hehheheheehe )
teacher nit pick every thing they have to say to death,
making the mistaken assumption that they, the student, have nothing to say
they do. lots :)
Elder who does not
learn as much
or more than their student is
B: A fool whose not listening
But soft.. gentle ..all the time.. ?
be real here, the job of teaching the
Path can be a rocky one
It's all about the students self evaluation, and self re-creation, as it is about lore and ritual
and most ritual in
our age of books,
anyone who can read, can
by rote, learning the doing is why you have a teacher.
Not to mention 1/3 rd of the time.. the "student" fights you tooth and toenail
As very often, you are challenging their favorite preconceptions. :)
Particularly regarding the self and self justifications for actions and beliefs
to give those up
As it means you have re-evaluate all the self, and horrors,
what if you where mistaken ? ? ? ? And based it all on a falsehood..
! ACK !
anyone want to admit
To walk the path well does one have to?
Is this easy for the student ?
Is this easy for the teacher ?
Can you say NOT !
thing brought up was
Where ? Are all the Elders ?
a few words to that..
One, back in the day, ( read over 30 years ago ) any group of Pagans had a lot of Elders.. as most
self proclaimed Pagans were 30 ish.. when they came out of the broom closet, who in turn became the Elders
News .. these folks are in their 60s or more right now.
Elders, that were
are for the most part, gone on .. Blessed Be their passing
Pagan force of today is huge
compared to before and growing daily
Before, a "gathering" meant at most 50 people, a third of which, were Elders
that same gathering
is over 500 !
And is mostly the young
The ratio of Elders however is like a 10th now
Look at the ratio people, from every other one, to one out of every 10
also adds to the
burden of teaching
to the current day Elders
to a level
that means for most of us, it will take the rest of our lives to do that duty
You can see why some might be tempted to take on a dozen or so students at a time
I personally think is nothing short of insane,
not to mention unjust to the student and the teacher
But with the current odds, is it any wonder that one is tempted to try ?
in our 40 to 60 range
are the Elders now
and there are not as many of US, as there are the young on the paths today
A lot of them have just flat given up
current day student
lots of it , to be honest, before they ever get to a teacher
A lot of it .. incorrect
rush to get on the
Pagan bandwagon of book
writing, once the trail blazers had marked the way
Is immense .. and many of them..?
Let's be nice .. are full of mis-information
often has the job
of convincing the student to Unlearn a great many things,
which needless to say, they often don't want to do
:Fluff Bunny Pagans:
no insult to anyone, ! ! !
just using a term that will be understood by almost everybody
that to mean anyone
who is trying to follow the path
with everything on one side of the fence
sweetness and light
.. yeah right, ever hear of Kali ?
There are two sides to all things .. dark and light
DOES NOT MEAN dark as in Evil,
which is how many tend to view anything not of love and light ..
does it deny life to admit that life can be a struggle ?
See my page on Into the Night for an example
it evil to say that
sometimes ya have to open a can of woo-pass
and go to town with it..?
are not passive,
just because we don't
pick a fight,
does not mean we can't or won't defend ourselves.
is all the darker aspects are,
the parts of the self that are able to handle these things
( which is putting VERY VERY basicly .. but you get the point )
this gets old after
a while if
Every time you bring up the less than sunny side
of Paganism ya get shot down for it.
By those who think you are trying to make
them into something evil, for trying to bring balance to the situation.
the paths of the Tree of life
without knowing this basic concept,
that light is defined by dark,
and each must have the other
Yin and Yang
Fight that War often enough and you stop talking
then people wonder
why the Elders
have nothing to say and the hew and cry is against them,
for "keeping the information" to themselves
you get the above attitude
just about every time
you try and speak, is it any wonder we are quiet ..?
is the job of Elder-teacher
who has been there done that, already and knows it for what it is,
and if the fates are kind can help the other party
to become what it is they seek.
Down a Rocky and sometimes long road
it's worth every rock
ya trip over
As the person becomes, strong, whole, able to walk the path
as their own person for the rest of their days,
who will look back on the times of self turmoil and laugh at themselves
As was done for us all
But Easy..? Not on a bet !
Do all really want this.. ?
of many students I
have had, two ( to date anyway )
dropped off the face of the planet, as far as having anything
to do with me, as they did not want to learn.. yet ..
no I'm not being self serving here, and hiding
that they ran off because I'm some domineering .. B***** well you get the point :)
I am, just ask anyone who knows me.. hehehehe..
not when it
comes to training .. they learn.. they don't
their choice.. Anyway, about these two
wanted this and that
and this over here, without any preliminaries
What they did NOT want, is what I had to give them, which was a lot of hard work
gave them Philosophy
books .. they didn't read them
then complained when I tried to use concepts, that they didn't understand..
showed them all the
that I know and said,
Take your pick
They were angry, because I had not chosen it for them
gave them homework and
things to study, and found them un-prepared
when we met next, all the while, complain complain complain..
about when are we gonna learn this, or that
wanted to fly..
When they had not yet learned to walk..
three people, did
not want a teacher, they wanted
someone to corroborate their own conceptions,
and hand them lore on a plate ready made, with a bow on it
this, they didn't
need me, or any other teacher,
as learning is not what they wanted
Does this mean I think... myself better than they..?
they were not ready to
what I had to teach..
mean consider this..
the typical "contract" between a teacher and student is a "year and a day"
myself I have found,
given modern day
time constraints, it's
a great deal more,
unless I am lucky enough to have them in the same household, which I have done
Which means one year, at least, of the teachers life.. is devoted to the student
think about it for
The Elder, is taking a whole year of their life, and devoting it to teaching a person
to waste time like that
with someone who will NOT learn ?
Not Can't, Won't !
I. Not when there are many others
who need and WANT to know
not that I lack understanding
It's not that I am lazy
I will work like a dog, for as long as it takes
that I will not waste time,
someone who will not let me in
to show them around the confines of their own mind ...
want me over there,
off where they feel safe
Not inside their personal space and I'M sorry but I can't work like that
and do the matter justice
student becomes a part
you are responsible for
what they learn
and I can't do that with someone who wont let me get to know them
just a simple matter
of incompatibility with whatever is the
Elders specialty and manner of teaching and the student
teacher does so in her/his own way
If the teacher belongs to one of
the Traditions there is even More
subject matter and rules to learn
has Many teachers
along the path
One to help you knock down the walls of self imposed limitation,
One perhaps who is skilled in the herbal arts. One who works Magick
if that's your wish. Or diviner of Tarot or Rune lore
they are like me and are all of the above,
to varying degrees of skill :) It depends on what you
need at that time, even if you don't know what it is you need
Along the way you will go through many hands..
There are many lessons to learn..
Bits to polish and refine the self..
A process that never Ends
Elders job is to help
a person, become a better ,
more whole person, help them, re create themselves,
into what they, the person, want to become
A fit servant of the God and Goddess
is the job of the
with rite, ritual, and lore tossed in
the person is on
they burn up the road blazing a trail,
with forays back once in a while for clarification.
a man to see with open eyes
and you have taught him everything
there is to know, as he will take it from there
for anything else he lacks
the tale of the
one learns many lessons
first one being that the
Great Mother tosses in a few
lessons of her own
... just to keep the teacher on her toes .. !
Bane of the Teacher
Header Art by Me.. :)..
care to see more ?
See.. The Gallery