Anon Asked: I know this isn't even your most recent post, but it felt too "off topic" to post this there. I would have hunted down your email, but I figured if you were open to that direct of contact it would have been front and center somewhere.Well, Anon... you're right - Direct Contact is not one of my strong suits. I do have this blog and my tumblr, though. My Tumblr (same name as this blog) has questions enabled as well, and I get some interestin' ones from time to time! To get forward with it... Mentors, covens... hmmm...
I've been wondering just how does one find a mentor. I've tried to obtain one through the means of internet and real life connections. I've had nothing but bad luck on both ends. Maybe my standards are just too high. Any tips (that go beyond "find a local coven = profit")?
Wherein I Tell You What A Dick I Used To Be.
Once upon a time I was a young pagan. I had a demonic entity driving me mad, and then I ate it. And that sort of dietary change does things to a person - in short, I got in a massive heap of fucking trouble because I had a massive heap of fucking power coursing through me. And I found some folks that "jived" with me. I pestered them. A lot. And they said "No, you're too young, and too crazy."
I knew I was fucking up. I knew I was doing dangerous work - I was desperate. I crossed their fucking conditions, I jammed my fingers up their asses and yelled "1,000 years of pain!" (metaphorically), I hassled them endlessly - illustrating my knowledge of them, their system, and shit I should not have known. Until the Elder finally said "Alright, someone needs to train her, because she won't leave us alone, and she's one of us, and she's an asshole." I was initiated into that system, and into another one of it's members was a part of - both places were squarely "Family".
So, my technique was "batter the gate until it falls" - that was stupid, and wrong, and assholish. Don't do that.
Wherein I Offer Advice Completely Not What I Did.
So, what do you do? Find the things that are important to you, and find parallels with others and their paths. Find someone you trust or admire who is a little further along the road you feel that you're on.
If they blog, or do classes... read/attend. Build a rapport, comment frequently. Never doubt the value of Internet Occultists - I've known Jack Flash since the late ninties or early naughts on various journal and blogging sites. I'd probably jump in front of a knife-wielding madman to ensure his safety.
Ask them one or two REAL important questions (to you). See what the answers are. If the answers jive - if you feel like "AH! THIS!" then ask them what Trad they are part of, if their Trad trains, if -they- train (if they are non-trad), ask them about their sources of inspiration and Work. Ask them about avenues you might find proffitable - of course, that assumes they're personable and will answer.
And The Real Core Of It All.The BIGGEST thing is to find someone/someones with whom you feel a connection - and that connection ought to be mutual. It may not be everything you asked for, but it may be more than you ever dreamed. Be flexible - be willing to accept a mentor who occasionally rips ass in front of you, or looks different than you expected. Be willing to travel, or at least jump through weird and seemingly nonsensical hoops to provide -them- with information on who you are magickally. Be willing to accept a No, or a Yes, or a "Yes, but not now." or a "The Gods are saying yes, but I say no. Because XYZ" But be willing to accept a "Yes. And not only yes, but come over here and give me a fucking hug, bro!"
Set firm boundaries,but don't consider your boundaries to be an immoveable force. You may never be called for the things that squick you, so never behave as though the demand is currently present (unless it is).
Wherein I Bitch And Moan About Being Lonely.I get the want, and the need for Family. My "Family" is no longer with me in the flesh - when I touch my feet to the Sabbat Hill I find fewer of them each year - some old, some hateful toward rogue upstarts like myself, some dead and gone. Where there was once a great, big, united coven... now it's splintered. Some have simply gone to other hills, and other ways - their blood a bond, but Family may not always meet for Thanksgiving. I sought it with CUUPs - and I did not find it. I sought it with Pagan Pride and Psychic Fairs - and I did not find it. I sought it with online communities - I did not find it. But between them, in the cracks and little places, I found a few people with whom I can converse openly - and honestly? Not in the places I looked!
Sometimes we ask for something, and we get something a little different. Eventually, longer than we'd like, we get something amazing. Keep your chin up - Witchpower does things, you don't step on the path without garnering notice.