I thought I would add a post with a little more personal flair to it since I have a few minutes before I have to go take a shower and get ready for work.
I am very excited right now. During most of my study and training, we did not have an active coven. A couple of us would get together for study and for rituals, but a number of factors kept us from getting truly organized. The bulk of the problem was that people had very disparate schedules and we would be lucky if more than one person could attend. We also did not have many students, or many inquiries. I was trying to figure out why it felt like we had stalled out, and when my High Priest passed away, I felt the loneliness and the mantle of responsibility weigh very heavily on me. We had often spoken of how he felt it was his duty to pass on the tradition to the next generation, but he was frustrated by a lack of interest and then a lack of dedication by many people who he did accept. He was picky about who he taught, and understandably so as it was part of his duty to protect the integrity of our path and Goddess knows he ran into plenty of dishonest or just downright nutty people.
But when he passed, I knew we had to grow or perish. I started going through all the materials and organizing it. I’ve gotten the bulk of it done, enough now that I feel ready to begin teaching neophytes and dedicants again. As I filed, sorted, read, and edited lesson after lesson, ritual after ritual, I began thinking–where am I going to find prospective students? It was ever our policy to let seekers come to us, let initiates ask for initiation, and not to proselytize or push people. Plant the seeds and let them grow, if you will. To that extent, I’ve had listings on Witchvox for years. I’ve had a few inquiries, but not many. Honestly I found more prospects when I used to spend a lot of time on message boards. I think that people are more likely to ask for teaching when there is a conversation already going on and they can evaluate your knowledge for themselves first. It’s like the American university system–we apply en masse to large well-accredited schools with programs that are recognized for their quality. People don’t just apply willy-nilly to schools they’ve never heard before just because they can get a degree from it (at least not usually, not if they are worth their mettle as a student and aren’t in a tenuous position to be able to get into school and subsequently graduate for whatever reason). Why would I expect a stranger to read a post declaring I’m a qualified teacher when they have no reason to believe this or to necessarily be interested in what I have to offer?
So this got me to thinking. Witchvox has been around for a while, but then so has MySpace–I checked, it still exists. But no one uses it. Where are people going to connect? Where are they sharing ideas?
I had been a moderator on a page for Wiccans and Pagans many years ago. It was exhausting work and eventually I had to leave it altogether. The ego problems, the trolls, the in-fighting all got to be overwhelming. Most of us were early 20’s and eager to assert ourselves as leaders, progressives, and experts, and being challenged wasn’t easy. And being barely grown kids, these things didn’t always go well, either.
Despite this, I decided to search for a Wiccan page, hoping to find based locally. And I did! And immediately, in less than a week, I got messages from people who were eager for teaching or just celebrating together. I shared this with a couple of friends–and they asked how a person joins a coven. I told them just ask, lol, and go from there. It turned out they were interested but had had no idea how to ask me so this fortuitous conversation came up and now they will be starting on their path to joining.
My circle is finally growing. I have friends and family joining me on this adventure. I am pleased, and I have high hopes for the survival of my tradition in the United States. It may have taken three supermoons in a row, but the Goddess has blessed us–and we’re ready.