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Is this Teacher or Priesthood right for me?

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

What do you look for in a teacher or priesthood? This is a difficult question but it is one you need to take seriously. There are brilliant, talented teachers to be found, there are competent, able ones, there are incompetent teachers and there are outright frauds out to take your money, your energy, your life for their own schemes and self-aggrandization. So how do you do it?

The first thing to remember is:


Read that again. No one is the right teacher for everyone. So you might find a good teacher that simply doesn’t work for you. That’s OK.

All right, the basics of finding a teacher.

1. Make sure that what they have to teach is what you want to learn. There are a lot of paths out there and no one knows them all. In fact, very few people really know more than one path in real depth. Someone who claims to know “All Paths” or can teach you anything is a liar or self-deluded.

Either way, you need to move on. Many good teachers have experience in several paths and often have found a way that blends elements of them into their own personal way. But if you want to learn an Egyptian High Magic art and you’re prospective teacher is earth magic, kitchen witch, you won’t get what you’re looking for. Sounds simple but it’s often overlooked.

2. Talk to them enough so that you have an idea of how they teach, their temperament and approach, expectations and demands that they will make on you. Make sure that this is something you can handle. Many teachers are demanding, in time and effort on your part.

My teacher, the first one, demanded very detailed written work in the form of reports, ritual write-ups, correspondence research and other such work. She was very demanding in energy work as to the quality, amount, level and refinement of energy used in a working. She came from a very formal tradition and it was the way she taught. What will the teacher you are looking into demand from you. Ask them and be specific.

3. I probably should have mentioned this first. Money. A reputable able teacher WILL charge you for lessons or classes. They will not charge you exorbitant amounts. If someone wants hundreds of dollars, or more, for teaching you, get out of there. Particularly if they what it up front. Prices will vary but no good teacher is making bank on their classes. Speaking for myself, at present I charge $15 for a class per student, the classes being about 1-2 hours in length.

There will be variance in costs but it should never be large sums. We’ll leave that to other institutions, thank you. You’ll probably have to cover costs of materials used in ritual work, tools, robes and such. I don’t know of anyone who covers those costs but they might be out there. But since the costs of a ritual can be as little as a few candles and some incense, it doesn’t have to cost much at all.

To repeat, if the teacher wants more money than seems reasonable, they are not for you. Most teachers charge to make sure you pay attention and to compensate for their time and effort. And yes, if they are really teaching you, THEY ARE WORKING! (Can’t wait till you get up in front of 25 or so eager little faces determined to ruin your life cause they already know everything!)

4. Ask others about them. If they’ve been teaching for a while, others will know them. What’s their rep? Do people speak well of them? Not everyone will teach out of a shop but if they do, ask about their previous students. Better yet, if you can, ask their previous students about them.

5. Do they insist on some sort of binding or allegiance to them? Bad sign. Do they want authority over other parts of your life? Real bad sign. Run away. I require that for the time you are in my class that you accept training from no other person and that you stick to what we are doing. After you have finished the class, or left the class, I have no authority over you. And I don’t want any, thank the gods!

I’ll always be willing to talk about whatever with you, but it’s on you. Your life, your choices. Anyone who wants to make you a permanent part of his or her group with control over you is crafting a cult. Do not drink the Kool-Aid!

6. Again with the money. Does the teacher want money for an initiation or admittance to a select group? Not good. A teacher who owns or works in a shop may suggest products available at the shop but should never pressure anyone into buying them. If money is the focus of the teacher (your money going into their pocket) then you have found a huckster. Walk away.

7. Realize that the training may be difficult for you. It should be. Let me quickly explain what classes in magic do, by design. They open your mind, break down the walls that you built to feel safe and ignore uncomfortable truths, question your moral standards and assumptions, force you to look at a clearer truth then you have done to date and, in many paths, introduce you to deity in a very focused way.

Magic is said to be a full on, face first, unconditional confrontation with a stark reality. If you think this is going to be like hanging with bubbly pretty people watching “Charmed” DVD’s, you’re in for a big shock. Done properly, a path to imitation will shake and reform the foundations of your life. Worth it? Yes! Fun to do? Hell no!

8. Sex. No teacher should demand it as part of your training. No teacher should demand it period. Sex magic is powerful and emotionally destructive for anyone not ready for it. Please trust me when I say you are not.

So there you have it. Be careful, ask questions, be willing to wait. Be willing to leave if it doesn’t work for you. Don’t accept unreasonable controls on you and your life. Being required to fast and do other preparations for a ritual is fine. If it starts to look more like a frat hazing, you may want to leave. Share your experiences with others that you trust. Consider their opinions. Interested in becoming a teacher or even becoming priesthood yourself? Here's some information on that you might appreciate!

I hope this helps you find a good teacher. I’d love to hear some feedback and suggestions for improving this guide. Leave your comments and such in the comments section. I’d love to hear of your experiences looking for a teacher.

If you’ve got questions or suggestions for further posts or subjects you’d like to see covered, let me know in the comments. I certainly don’t know everything but I’ll see what I can do, maybe even convince a friend that DOES know a subject to write on it.

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Blessings Bright and Dark,

Sterling Knight

Looking for a Book of Shadows to record your spells, rituals, recipes and experiences? Raven's Beak has just what you need. An 8.25 x 11" book, 212 pages plus Tables of Correspondences, instructions on performing the Kabbalistic Cross and the Strokes of the Pentagram.


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