Becoming a Better Student

Sometimes learning about Wicca feels an awful lot like being back in school.  There can lots of books to read, lessons to complete, and a whole lot of thinking is essential.  But, sometimes, just like back in school, we feel like we don’t have a lot of control over our learning experience.  We may feel like we don’t have time for all our studies, or that everything we are learning is just theory with no pratice, or that our fellow students are unmotivated, or, worst of all, our teachers really don’t care.

Getting an education of any kind can be difficult, there are problems in any system.  But there are steps that you can take to get the most out of your Wiccan, or any, training.

1. Be Prepared
This isn’t just the Boy Scout’s moto, but a good piece of advice.  Before you go to a class, lecture, or Circle try to do a little reading about the topic ahead of time.  And if there is an assigned reading, for goodness sakes, read it!  This way you will know what to expect, will be able to follow along, and be able to ask intelligent questions.

2. Listen
Pay attention to what both your teacher and your fellow students say.  You might find that one of your questions has been answered, or you may find that you need something clarifed further.

3. Establish Trust
“In perfect love and perfect trust” is a common Wiccan saying.  It is your responsibility to work at creating a trusting relationship with your teacher and fellow students.  If this isn’t possible, you need to explore why and discuss with your teacher what needs to change.

4. Take Risks and Deal with Your Anxieties
Learning about and practicing a new religion may bring up all sorts of anxious feelings.  You may be fearful of how others will react, or just of what will be required of you, or of how you may change.  It is important to be strong, to face these fears and to take risks.  A good teacher will be there to support you.  Do be aware, though, that sometimes things feel wrong for a good reason.  Never let anyone push you into doing something that makes you feel terribly uncomfortable, such as working skyclad.

5. Practise Outside of Your Class/Circle
As UEW’s Kat MacMorgan says “A coven is just a group of solitaries working together.”  Take what you have learned in your class/Circle and practise alone.  Perform solitary rituals, read Tarot for yourself, or whatever else it is that you may be learning.  But always remember to take any necessary safety precautions, and don’t do anything that is truly out of your league.  (Be honest with yourself!)

6. Self-Disclosure
In spiritual studies it is very important to check in with yourself once in a while.  Let your teacher know how you feel as well.  This isn’t an invitation to whinge, but rather a way to make sure that everyone in on the same track.  Think about how the classes you are taking are meeting your needs, and how you are doing walking down your spiritual path.
It is important for you to take a hand in your own studies.  Having a poor teacher (or no teacher) shouldn’t prevent you from learning.  Especially when you follow these six tips.

Inspired by Marianne Schnieder Corey and Gerald Corey’s Becoming a Helper 4th Edition