As some of you know, I come in and out of Blogger and YouTube. I’ll post a lot for a while, then disappear, and sometimes delete my accounts altogether – only to start over a few months later. The root of this behavior is a personal discomfort with making a private matter like spirituality open to discussion on a public forum. Sure, we’re all here to learn and meet others, but there’s also a certain degree of vanity involved. You have to be at least a little narcissistic to keep a public blog or vlog. If you weren’t, you’d be content to share in more private ways, or not share at all.
But there’s something gratifying about putting our ideas and experiences on the internet and getting input from others, perhaps even garnering some sort of following, be in through subscribers, questions from newbs in your inbox, or whatever. Increasingly on YouTube, I’m seeing people who are setting themselves up as teachers of Wicca. I don’t mean the people who post the occasional book recommendation or incense recipe. I’m talking about the folks who consistently post “how to” videos on working spells, conducting ritual, or long “educational” videos on things like traditions, correspondences, etc. It’s not the genre itself that I have a problem with. While I admit to finding the whole thing unpalatable myself, I get that some people’s only resource is the internet and these videos may fill a specific need.
What I have a problem with is that most of the people making such videos have no qualifications whatsoever. A lot of them are themselves beginners. This isn’t me going, “Hey! These people are new and aren’t teaching Wicca the One Right Way!” Rather, I’m saying that there seems to be a stigma attached to being a beginner. People get into Wicca, set up a YouTube channel, and immediately start putting out information from whatever book they’ve just read. They try to set themselves up as authorities right away.
Why can’t we all just be okay with where we are on our own paths? Why do so many people insist on declaring themselves “teachers”? This to me is the ultimate vanity in the Community, both online and off. It happens at open rituals and festivals too, but it’s all over the internet. It’s like everyone wants to be a Witch (and a High Priest/ess, no less), but no one wants to do the real work that that entails, or even figure out what that means. Everyone wants adoring students, but no one wants to take the responsibilities that having real students entails or do the personal work required to even be qualified.
So I just wanted to make this post to say that it’s okay to be where you are. /rant