To undertake the mantle of being a witch is to make yourself a student of the Universe and how it works. And whether you practice as a solitary or as part of a coven or other group, you will have many teachers. And no matter how much you know, or how badass a witch you become, you will always be learning from someone or something in your life.
Some of those teachers will be actual human individuals that you make a formal agreement to learn from, and may or may not involve the taking of oaths. Some teachers may be more transient — people that you take a workshop from at a pagan gathering, or who you talk to once in a while when you have a particular question about a particular thing. Some teachers you will never meet, but will influence you through a book you read or a podcast. Often, though you may be in the role of teacher, your student may wind up teaching you a thing or three.
Sometimes the teacher the universe presents you with teaches by negative example, showing you the way by demonstrating the behavior you DON’T want to emulate. Sometimes you will teach yourself with bitter experience. (This is why I often say that anything that passes for wisdom with me is likely the product of surviving my own stupidity.)
To undertake the role of teacher in the Craft is no small thing. It is to place yourself at the Crossroads in someone’s Path. And Crossroads are sacred places, where sacred purpose is accomplished, where lives inexorably change. Sacrifices are made as one way forward is chosen and another set aside. Our gods honor sacrifices as holy things. The Crossroads are the places where the veil is thin, and those beings beyond it may be reached, and reach for you.
There are a number of great blog posts and articles out there aimed at prospective students of the Craft that talk about selecting a teacher, and what students should look for and avoid in that process. There is also material that deals extensively with what it means to take up the responsibility of teaching the Craft, and the fact that teachers have a responsibility to their students because of the trust they are being given.
I actually want to hone in on the Intersection between teaching and correction. Correction, the act of identifying things that are wrong or may be improved, is often part of teaching…