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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long distance learning - some rambling thoughts...

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written an actual blog.  It seems that my little updates on Facebook have taken the place of regularly writing a blog.  Just so much easier to send a few quick thoughts to Facebook rather than to sit down and come up with a couple paragraphs of something that I think people might find interest.

One of the things that Mike pointed out is that if I want to regularly do a blog isthat I really should be focused on writing topics that are of interest to me.  After all, if I’m not interested in what I’m writing going to be much harder to sit down and write a blog.

I’ve been particularly interested in the topics that have been coming up recently in a lot of different discussion as to whether or not someone can effectively learn/teach Wicca, Stregheria, or magic “long distance”.  I think it’s possible to do long distance learning/teaching OF Wicca, Stregheria, or magic but that’s different from actually teaching/learning it.

There are wonderful academic and folk lore resources About Wicca, Stregheria, and magic that will give readers a good background or basis of these topics.  There’s a wealth of resources about the historic and modern practices but these are all intellectual descriptions of things that really have more to do with the subconscious, spirituality, and sharred experience.

Most traditions of Traditional Wicca define their tradition based on praxis (or correct practice for their Tradition) and the shared experiences that comes from following that praxis in a group or coven setting.  In a way, praxis is the framework that hold the oral teachings of the particular tradition and it is a combination of praxis an oral teachings that leads to the shared experience of a particular tradition of Wicca.  Since Wicca is based around group work, shared experience, and specific practices, that would seem to make it very difficult to teach someone longest distance.

Stregheria, or the Strega Tradition, is also a tradition of the Craft. Where Wicca is based on specific praxis, Stregheria is based on a balance of Old Traditions and living family Traditions, personal gnosis, hospitality, respect, and honor and living the Tradition.  To learn Stregheria, you need to live Stregheria and the best way to do that is by example.  I’m not sure how you would do that without being physically present.
Mind you, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn about theset things from books and articles or from forums, networking sites, or discussions.  Learning about these things will let a person develop their own spirituality and way of connecting with the divine.

On the other hand, I know of a few very dedicated individuals who have combined both distance learning WITH regular visits to their teachers.  They are very motivated individuals who do the work that their teachers give them, practice what they can on their own, AND  also go to great lengths to meet as often as possible (in person) with their teachers.  That way, they get the passing of knowledge and shared experience that is crucial to the passing on of a Tradition.

If someone wants to learn about Paganism or modern “eclectic Wicca”, the framework of knowledge is out there and it can be turned into a valid and powerful personal practice.  If someone practices on their own, does the Work, records their experiences, discusses them in places such as forums and meetups, and learns and shares, then they are just as much a Witch - even if it isn’t “formal training” or Traditional Wicca that they are practicing.

Benedizioni,

---Vincenzo

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