Light is the grief which can take counsel and hide itself; great ills lie not in hiding. ’Tis pleasing to face the foe. – Medea (Seneca’s Tragedies)
Too often than not, I hear witches ask and plead to me for answers to a great problem they face, “why is my craft meaningless?”
It is not so much that they openly state the question like the above, but rather say it in subtle ways “How can I become more involved in my craft? How can I prevent myself from falling out? How can I motivate myself to do more than what I already am? How can I become more than just a beginner?”
“How to I go beyond the 101 stuff?” Is one of the most common of these. Why do people feel stuck in this infamous starting state? What even is the 101 of witchcraft?
I believe one the biggest pitfalls of this thought is equating witchcraft to a class to be taught in school. And why should they think of it as anything different? We grow, learn, and earn our careers from attending school. Things are structured, things are in order, things come and are answered when we simply raise our hands. We expect goals and receive them from our betters. You want this career? You must learn this, know this person, do this thing, follow these exact steps in this exact order, and you will, though hard work, good luck, and usually a bit of money, succeed in becoming what you want. And, you will know exactly what you are without a doubt.
Witchcraft does not have such a structure. There are no beginning, middle, or ending parts to it. You simply start or end to your own decision. What is old news to a /beginner/ may be completely unknown and new to someone who has been practicing for years. You cannot judge your growth based on the perspective of what others are doing. You only have yourself as reference.
Of course, this does not mean there are no teachers of witchcraft. There are many. Teachers of many different shades, colors, and backgrounds. However, you will find they are far different from the teachers and professors you had in school. The teachers of witchcraft have no set lesson plan. When you raise your hand, they do not provide the answers for you. Instead, they will say “Go look,” or if they are generous they might point you in the right direction. These teachers are not here to answer your questions, to guide you, or even lend a helping hand. They are here to make you question, to act, and to learn from your own independent thought and desire. You are the lone fire burning in the pit, and they are the child that add kindle to the flame. They whisper “grow, spread, burn.” They are merely the small push needed for you to set fire to the world.
I think of witches that try to become cosmic gurus, whom try to abandon this world to obtain self enlightenment. They distance themselves from the troubles of the world and of our society and put on a false air of wisdom, but in doing so they dim their own flames. These individuals are not experienced elders, but rather they are youths seeking salvation or freedom from the pains of their lives. I have nothing against their desires for more, but witchcraft is tied to the very world. It is a part of society. Its about the power of releasing your desire and self pleasure. I find myself asking these individuals a question “how can you want to become enlightened, yet have no experiences in this world?”
Witchcraft is the interaction of the physical self and the spiritual other. The hand that heals and the hand that kills, all with the same poison. We are the phoenix that dies in the fire of its own being, yet is born again from the ashes of its own body.
To all those that dread the thought of losing the meaning, to encounter the dead end of their craft, to be nothing more than a beginner in their own eyes: Grow, become luminescent, dance in your warmth, and burn yourself in the very flames you created. Better to destroy yourself in your own passion’s fire, than to let it flicker and fade.
Take pleasure in your own chaotic selfishness.