Recently, someone with whom I'd been conversing on Google+ for a few weeks was surprised to realize I was an author and she owned one of my books.
It might seem odd that her surprise surprised me. I asked why she was surprised. I don't know if my question seemed ingenuous and pretentious. She kindly responded that she does not run into authors. Ah, of course! I understand.
The thing is: I get out of touch with stupid consensus realities, so forgot it is unusual for a best selling author to be available, acting just like a community member. That's why I didn't initially understand her surprise.
But as long as big name Pagan authors are hard to be in contact with, they help create a class system in our community.
The techniques for finding a teacher—at least initially—are similar to those for finding other Pagans or Wiccans in your area. Check out my post on finding other Pagans to begin your search. But before you try to actually connect with a teacher, it helps to answer some or all of the following questions for yourself.
Questions to Ask Before Your Search
What do you want to learn? Are you interested in learning about Wicca or Paganism in general or a specific tradition or path? It’s helpful to do a little research to see what traditions appeal to you, or, putting the egg before the chicken, to see if any of the traditions taught in your area resonate with you. Or are you interested in studying a specific deity or pantheon, a magical system, or a skill, such as herbalism?
What is your goal in taking the class or working with the teacher? Are you hoping just to gain some knowledge, or do you want to train toward membership in a specific path?
Are you looking to join a coven or circle, or do you want to practice solitary? Are you willing to practice solitary for a while if you can’t find the right group, or practice with a group for a while if you can’t learn what you need to while practicing solo?
How far are you willing to travel and how often? If you don’t have your own transportation, is there public transportation available?
What are the qualities you’d like the teacher to have? Are you willing to work with a teacher who doesn’t fit your preferred profile if he or she is the only one available or is the only one teaching what you want to learn?
How much can you afford to pay for classes if the teacher charges? Many people charge for classes, but some traditions forbid charging for teaching.
How much time can you devote to your learning? Can you meet the requirements of the particular classes or teachers you’re considering?
Are you willing to take online courses if you can’t find a teacher in your area? If so, does online coursework suit your learning style?