Hello My Name is Esta, also Known as Starwind
I am a 30+ year practitioner of the Craft
And by popular Request have begun this series
I call , for want of a better term, Witch Lessons

( if you can think of a better thing to call it.. let me know..)

I will be publishing a book on the subjects
covered here, in fact, from the whole site ,
in more detail, at a later date but in the meantime..

A few things think about....before we get into lessons

May they serve you well

First off.. things I believe
or don't believe in as the case may be:

I do not believe in overtly ritualizing and codifying
the " faith " any faith, for the simple reason
once you codify something you tend to kill off all thought.
Ritual often becomes something you do by rote, with no meaning or understanding,
It can become just people, going through the motions, 
as has happened in every faith, throughout time
including ours, unless great care is taken.

Therefore I will not start off with rite and ritual,
although I have lots of them you can browse through.

Ritual anyone can learn , if they can read
but best of all, is to learn to write them yourself,
if you really feel the need to have a pre prepared one at all,
for whatever occasion the working your doing calls for.
As this self investment empowers the work you do.

Nor will I start off with a list of rules and regulations
and traditional things. I will make no attempt
to mold a body into any given path. Most traditions
I.E. the known, again anyone who can read, can learn.
As most such things are currently written down
in any number of good books.

Ok then what the heck am I going to start with then...?

Basics:

Basics.. in order to fly one must first learn to stand up,
then walk, then run, then get off the ground.
That order cannot be rushed or changed.
So how does one learn to stand on the Path?

First off
by learning the ways that others found worked for them.
By understanding how , we as a people, think.
And most importantly, how you, as an individual think.

Then you will have enough information,
to make a choice as to which path, if any,
you will use, to walk the self into enlightenment.
The way of the Craft is but one way.

This web site is full of just such information, IMHO :)
so I will put in links where needed to Information already in place.

I will however, outline for you, what for me,
the traditional year and day of teaching,
as it's said on the pagan path , means.

It means, in one sentence, learning a new way to learn.
This is a process that will take ones life to do,
that will never see an end , if one is wise.

Each and everyone of us will walk that Path
a little differently, and that's as it should be.
My goal here, is to give you an outline of where to start,
and in the Case of students of mine, be available
to explain further if you get stuck somewhere.

The Self:

The study of the Craft, requires the most detailed
self exploration you will ever make.
As to know the self, warts and all, is vital
to the success of any attempt to walk
a path to self enlightenment. The Self in all its forms,
the good, the bad and when it gets ugly.
Know thyself where the words over Delphi
and it still rings true

Hand in hand with that goes, how we, as a people,
come to think what we think.
What are the philosophies, and histories?
All the " great minds " that have ever lived
are available to us a the touch of a button.

Does all this mean I expect you to become a scholar..?
In a word.. yes. :)

That's exactly what I am asking and it's what you need to do
in order to really understand the way In my Opinion

And most important of all,
is to know when to stop listening
to those same great minds, and think outside the rituals,
outside the expert opinion, outside the known, and think for yourself.
It's a back and forth process that is continuous.

Ok.. Why ?

Self declaration :

I have spoken, in other pages on the site,
of the need to NOT attempt to codify
our religion, that there is No one book, nor should there be.
Here is the why.

What say, someone where to write a book,
that had start to finish, every step of
of a path, any path.. what do you think would happen ?

Think on that one carefully
before you answer it

Now what if you thought, the book contained
everything you would ever need to know, would you look any further ?

Would you test the why of what it said ?

Would you question it in any way ?

Would you understand what you were
doing as you followed what it said to do ?

Would you grow as a person doing it by rote ?

My thought on this, is the answer to all of the above
is No you would not.

Why do I say this..? Human nature,
if all the answers of what to do, think, say , believe, are laid out in black and white ,
no human being, who is not motivated otherwise, will look beyond those directions.
And if the directions ring with any kind of sincerity, nor will they tend to question them.

Now this is not to say
that all the books that have been written are wrong,
far from it. I recommend reading them,
all of them
you can get your hands on.

Every faith, every religion, has things to say.

For one simple reason,
in reading them with an open mind, you will learn enough so that,
when YOU reach a point of where you are ready to go
off on your own path of enlightenment,
you will recognize it for what it is, when you get there.

At that point you become your own teacher,
and have no further need of the textbook.

This is the same thing that happens in any endeavor.
If you wanted to learn say, computer programing,
you would avail yourself of the best knowledge
on the subject you could get.

But there would come a point
where the books would become academic and
you walk out on your own, to new things.

Recall this.... the knowledge that is IN those books
you learned from, was gained by someone who had to think
up the understanding to start with.

Someone who had to have enough understanding
of the subject, to know there was more possible,
and proceed to create it. Someone no different than you.

Which is where new knowledge on any subject comes from.
Someone who did not allow, the text, to dominate their thinking.
Who thought outside the box, as it's said and created something new.

Beware becoming an " expert " in anything.
The moment you declare this, you have stopped learning and proceed
to become outdated from that moment on.

All things must change and grow,
appeal to authority on any given subject is fine,
to a point. But there comes a point where you throw the book away,
and start off on a path that is yours alone.

Religion is no different !

This is the year and a day.
The process of learning what our forebears knew,
of learning how to apply what they knew,
of learning how to understand what they knew, then
going beyond what they knew and 
learning something maybe they didn't know.

Study the life of any master, of any path,
like Buddha for example, and you will see this
over and over. Where they used all the resources
that were available to them, learned all they could, 
then took it beyond
the known, into something new.

This is what you must do, if you are to walk a Path,
your path, one that works for you and only you.
This is so, no matter what faith you believe in.
Even if it's None.

Each of us are individuals and therefore will see all things
from our own perspective. This is to be expected.

But for some reason, we tend to appeal to authority
in the matter of religion most strongly.

Why should this important aspect of our lives,
be dictated to us from any one source ?

We are the ultimate arbitrator of right or not right in our lives.
We do this, for literally everything we do.

Save this area.
For this, we seem to want to be told what to do,
how to behave, what to think.

Why ?

Do we feel we are dealing with a divine being
who may be offended if we don't do it this way
or we stand to be punished if we don't follow a proscribed way ?

Such has been a common enough thought in the past
and in fact in many faiths, still influence's
the faithful to do things in X manner. Fear of punishment,
From this Divine source.

Let me ask you this, have you ever heard, short of in tales,
of divine retribution on anyone, for anything?

Can't think of one can you ?
Of course not, for the simple reason the divine
does not force our choices upon us.
The divine does not interfere with our choices.

We choose how to relate to the divine.

We choose if we even WANT to relate to it.

If we believe that divine retribution is really possible
then everyone who professed themselves
as not believing in any kind of divine
would be vaporized on the spot would they not ?

They don't, so I feel that's bona fide evidence
that we are not going to " get in trouble "
with the divine if we fail to follow any
" given " way of relating to it.
More on this issue later.

Self worth:

Do we feel we are not worthy
of deciding for ourselves what is right ?
That we MUST appeal to some authority in this area ?

Think on that one carefully before you dismiss it

On most things we would say.. of course not,
I am an intelligent person, I can make choices for myself.
I don't need anyone to tell me what to do, what to think !

But for religion all of a sudden we don't feel
we have the right to make such a statement ?

Ok.. why not ?

Where do you think all the texts
you could possibly read came from ?
They came from the minds and hands
of other human beings, just like you.
NO matter where they got their inspiration from,
they were people, just like you.

If They had the right
to make such statements, that such and such,
is A way to relate to the divine.. what makes you think
you cannot do the same thing for yourself ?

It takes time and study to get to that point, yes
which is what this is all about. Me, trying to help you,
reach a point, where you make informed choices
for yourself.

A few things to ponder

Blessings

StarWind

Lesson One
Freeing the Mind and the tyranny of words

All the lesson links in one place

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