Magic needs a curious mind – the learning dilemma for magical students

As my work is becoming more known in general, I now tend to get a lot more correspondence than I used to, and the incoming tides of emails highlights to me a major issue that is developing on the horizon of magic. And that issue is minds, curiosity and how they work. I am sure the issue how been out in the world for longer than I realize, and I am only just seeing it as I connect more and more with people. But it is an issue that worries me for the future of magic: many in the younger generation do not seem to know how to learn. And I am sure by the length of this blog entry, many will glaze over as ‘it has a lot of words’ in it.In the west, mainly the USA and the UK, there have been series of shifts in educational practice, along with societal and economic changes. All of these changes have affected how young people learn, how they discover and how far they are willing to stretch themselves in order to satisfy their curiosity. In the age of bullet points, wiki info bites, google and internet click bait, coupled with education systems that work through swift testing, multiple choice questions and battery farm training, it seems the end result is a generation with strong thumbs and a very short attention mouths But the biggest result is a generation that does not know how to learn. Yes I am generalizing, and as in each generation there is good and bad, but after thirty years of teaching various subjects, this is the first time I have seen it displayed so strongly – and it bothers me. It bothers me as a mother and is really bothers me as a magician.

There are many jokes on social media that express this issue with comments like: “let me google that for you” as a witty come back to someone asking a simple question that they should be able to answer for themselves with a little time and research. It would seem that the system has molded a generation to expect something to come to them, to be chewed and predigested for them, and that if it is not instant, then it is not worth bothering with. Add to this the fact that few education systems in the west these days look into any subject in any real depth, if at all. Young boy looking at plant through magnifying glassI am continually astounded by people not knowing where world cities are, or which cultures developed in which country, and with comments like, “wait… Egypt still exists? Like with Pharaohs and stuff?” Sigh.

What is happening is that for the only time in the history of our species, the total collective knowledge of the world is available at our fingertips, while at the same time we have millions of young people who do not know how to access it. Yes they can access the web and websites a lot faster and more efficiently than my generation can, but they cannot find the information nor can they absorb it. The innate curiosity in a young adult is hobbled by the inability to know how to learn. Self-education is a skill within itself, and was a major component in education systems until recently. If you burned with a question, your teacher would tell you to go away and look it up. The interior of the Library at Felbrigg Hall, NorfolkThat would mean endless days buried away in libraries browsing from book to book, finding ones to add to an already oversized reading pile, pen and notebook clutched in anticipation of finding a gem of knowledge. Such activity forms the basis of research skills, which in turn is teaching the young person how to teach themselves.

When I was growing up, and also in my twenties, it was common to hear people say, ‘oh I taught myself how to….’ People would teach themselves new languages, new skills, new subjects that were not available in school or college. It was also the post war parent generation of ‘fix it yourself and make do’: I grew up learning that attitude from my parents and in turn, learned how to fix my own appliances, my own truck, my own wiring and other aspects of house building. I learned how to learn under my own steam.

What has all that got to do with magic? Everything. Particularly in today’s world. When I was twenty, finding texts on magic was like trying to find a four leafed clover. And when you did find something, you devoured it, loved it, tended it and re read it until it fell apart. And then you tried really hard to understand what the hell it was about, what the fancy words meant, what it referred to when you came across a mention of something that you did not recognize. The only option then was to haul ones ass down to the central library in a city, and spend days trying to find the missing links mentioned in a book. me browsing in bookstoreWith any luck, and if you kept our eyes peeled, you might find someone else hovering furtively around the ‘other’ section in the religions and beliefs area. If you were really brave, you might even ask them, in stammering tones.

Now everything is out there. And I mean everything. From the sublime to the psychotic, from intelligent to sheer fantasy, from silly to critically important. There is no filter, there is no guide, and most importantly, there is no discernment. Why? Because there is no learning, there is no reference point beyond Hollywood and fantasy games. And even the fantasy has slipped and let the young down. crossing the abyssThere was a time that fantasy and fiction writers would research their work in great depth, so that the fantasy was born out of old mythology, ancient history and magical mysteries. This was one of the doorways into magic for young people. First something would catch their imagination, and then they would want to know more and begin to dig.

Now, a lot (not all) of fantasy is based on, well, pure fantasy, with no roots in anything. But it is still treated as having its roots in the Mysteries and myths. When you pair that with a young person who has no understanding of history, of mythology, or archaeology, or religions, and also does not know how to research for themselves, then you have a problem.

And that problem is making itself known in magic (and out on social media). When a young person comes across something on a click bait website, they have no way of discerning if what they are looking at it based in fact or fiction. The fact that they do not know how to learn and research for themselves, leaves them in the position where they just believe everything they see. That transfers into the magical area when the younger generation becomes interested in magic.

Over the last twelve months I have spent a good two hours a day of my down time answering emails that I cannot believe people have actually written.laptop-on-fire2 The issues with these emails fall into two categories; one of not being able to discern, and the other of not being able to learn. With it comes a dynamic of entitlement. ‘I am entitled to know, therefore you should drop everything and teach me’.

Not only is that sense of entitlement rude and irritating, it reveals a deep underlying problem: the unwillingness and inability to learn for oneself. That should alarm every magical teacher around the world. The magical knowledge we have today, the real knowledge, not the crap that is churned out en masse for the commercial market, is scattered, fragmented and often hidden in plain sight. There is only so much that a teacher can point out to a student, and then the student must be able to garner the rest of the knowledge for themselves.

Rosalind Frankin

Rosalind Frankin

That process of research, experimentation and curiosity is one whereby the student learns the knowledge in a holism, with practical understanding and context. That moves them up a step on the magical ladder.

Facts alone, like recipe rituals, have no place in magic. The Mysteries cannot be accessed like fast food, they are powerful, deep and ancient dynamics that take a lifetime to grow within an individual. There will always be those who simply wish a spell for this or that, or a glittery pedestal to stand upon, or a magical fashion accessory. There will always be the casually curious. Such people have always been on the periphery of magic and always will be. What concerns me is the young person who has a deep burning desire to ‘know’, who feels magic is in their bones, yet they do not have the self-learning skill that is so necessary in magic.

I feel that this is something that teachers and lodges need to address and be acutely aware of. Yes there are still young ones who have been raised and educated in a way where they have the skills necessary for self-learning, research and discovery, but they are becoming far fewer than they should be. And one of the ways to address this is to include training in the skill of how to learn, how to research, how to question, how to discern: such skills should be an integral part of early magical training. shushing nunAlong with a solid dose of ‘you are not that important’ – the amount of times people have emailed me, total strangers, with no introduction, no background info, not even a name, just a text speak sentence like: ‘tell me about eastern magic’, or ‘can you explain what magic is’, ‘can you tell me about Kabbalah but only in a few sentences as I am really busy and I don’t like to read a lot (yes, really….)’. The best one was, ‘I want to know what is in one of your books, but it has a lot of pages, so can you just bullet point it for me’ (I shit you not).

These and other sad but hilarious emails highlight this sense of entitlement (you don’t know me, but I want you to spend your whole day explaining something to me), along with the inability to learn for themselves. For instance, one question, ‘is there magic in India, if so what is it and how does it work”. Apart from the fact that you cannot truly answer such a question without writing a whole book, there is a thing called the internet, with amazing things called ‘search engines’ that one can use. all_seeing_eyeStarting with a couple of words like, ‘magic’, ‘India’, and then maybe adding in, ‘mythology’, ‘mystics’, you can spend months reading various texts and books available on line. And the absolute joy of this is that you can focus in on one aspect that catches your eye, and search that, which opens up another vista of information. And on and on it goes. It’s called research.

Only then will a person slowly start to build discernment, and be able to separate the bullshit from the gems. It’s a process. And that process starts with curiosity, the willingness to read, digest, discover, ponder, look further, check facts, and check sources (and recognize the total bollocks): those steps slowly edge the person in to the subject matter. It’s called learning. It is very useful at times.

As I am sure you can now guess from this entry, which is half rant and half appeal to the magical education world, the launch of Quareia has brought numerable people to my ‘virtual doorstep’, people who have both depressed me and inspired me. QUAREIA_triangle largeWhat has saddened me is I can immediately tell the age and location of the person simply by how appropriate or not their communication is.

This, I suspect, is going to become more and more of an issue for magical schools in general. And if the school is heavily dependent on student fees for its survival, there is a real risk that they young ones will not be pulled up, will not be told it is not ok, and most important of all, will not be shown how to develop the skills that they need. Just as many universities in the UK and USA now have to have a semester of English and math to bring them up to literate and numerate levels suitable for undergraduate education, so too magical schools are going to find themselves having to teach their students how to learn before they can really teach them anything of worth.

The one thing I have learned from decades of teaching is that you never ever go down to the student level to make them feel comfortable; to do so may make the student feel better, but they will never gain a high level of skill. You bring the student, often kicking and screaming, up to your level. vagonava3_russianimperialballetschoolIt will not make you popular, but if they hang in there with you, and you are willing to get up behind them and push them, then they will gain not only solid magical skills and knowledge, you have given them the greatest gift you possibly could have: the ability to learn and to know that they can learn and achieve to the highest levels if they apply themselves.

So if you are reading this and you are one of the people who expect or want learning to drop into your inbox readily packaged with a nice bow, think again. That is a habit you need to break.

It will be tough going, as learning such a foundational skill as ‘how to teach oneself something’ is harder the older you get. But trust me, if you really want to climb such a ladder as magic, then it is a skill you cannot do without. And if you are trying to develop such a skill, you will find that teachers of magic are far more likely to be patient with you, and will try to help you without hobbling you.

And if you are a magical teacher, don’t give up on these young ones, but realize that before you can teach them anything of magical value, first you are going to have to teach them how to learn. It is like potty training – its messy, frustrating, infuriating at times, but they have to learn and not ‘doing for them’ is a part of the teaching mechanism.Cat-smiling Let them struggle a bit.

Its good for them.

About Josephine McCarthy

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20 Responses to Magic needs a curious mind – the learning dilemma for magical students

  1. fannyfae says:

    Reblogged this on Fanny Fae and commented:

    Josephine McCarthy puts into word what is wrong not only in our magical communities and those who come to us for instruction, but also for students in general. How often have I heard my professors bemoan the same things that Josephine so eloquently expressed.

    As someone who has had students in the past and because of these very reasons she cites, I gave up instruction for a very long time. I honestly have deep misgivings about ever taking it back up again.

    One thing is for certain: Something has to change.


  2. Alexandra says:

    This is a big part of why I’m not a university lecturer anymore. Students have been taught to see teachers as nothing more than service staff–‘content providers’ or ‘knowledge delivery solutions’ in the words of the corporatized university administrations. Now Google is talking about ranking their search results according to accuracy. GOD FORBID anyone learn to discern for themselves, and God forbid we use the internet for subversive activities like exploring alternatives to consensus reality.

    The world is getting weirder and in some ways more dangerous by the day, and only people who are canny, scrappy, independent, and adaptable are going to thrive (or maybe even survive). I worry for these young people. But I am glad that magic has a built-in safety, in that if you don’t work, it don’t work.


    • Taokua says:

      This reminds me of the strange-looks I’d get when I mentioned my “studies” in to XYZ (are you taking a class on that? -working towards a certification for your job? no.. then why? -the fall back, “is it a religious thing?” even “hobby” wanted interpreted to make-sense of such (even hinted at in “TV show”-pop culture as “obsessive-compulsives” .. why else would one spend hours all tied up with.. XYZ..) so a strange- socio-cultural-trend perhaps?

      in terms of the "Magic has a built-in safety"  -brings to mind the "talent" aspect (and the leverage of having a particular bodily-config/energetic-mental.. and "enviro-contacts".. such that one with those quals can fumble and "the lights-come-on".. while others, not so much, create psycho-drama and "interesting-associations".. but not as volatile, but not already having the linkages...    these two groups intermingling, listening to each others...

      as a direct example, “Chaos Magick” being so referenced- and yet so oft people have read summaries of another pop-writers simplification of “Chaos Magick” and not the original source material (which is already pretty ‘accessible”.. but in its own language-context, vs just conceptually bland).. but even more-so I’ve heard people reference AOSpare, and say he wrote,,,, and quote the kind of ideas that sound nothing like his writings (nor Carrol, nor Kenneth Grant- not given the linkage assoc, credit in this).. but the pt, each of those three writers have a tone-style-content quite distinct… and to even read a writer (let alone a “student”) seem to confuse…. then the next in line repeats that as fact… -thus many seem to try and simplify as “base it not on ‘theory’ but exper”

       (how many not only seek-Source, prior sourcematerial (or primae-materia),   but the idea of spending a month, let alone multiple yrs returning back to a single piece of writing, again and again.. just seems so foreign these days: such that the cry for Experience, just means, make up some interp, and then test it.. and then go on from there...
       and how to address such an idea so that there is more than a remedial-inclusion (teach it later)- as this subject could be read as a rant, unless one is 'already' in the choir (as in preaching to the.... -if not already agree, how interest/motivate one to agree that this is a worthy-skill to devel...  Beyond a Teacher/Advisor "demanding" (go back and look again :)

      anyway- above comment much more concise than mine, but as I see this as an important issue myself (and for yrs I’ve wondered personally how it could be presented- as well as wondering why I’m so weird myself 🙂 not want to be so different for having been like this -cheers and luck


  3. Taokua says:

    I sensed that there might be a blog-post that was being written (over the prior week or two)… and here it is.

    [it was written even a bit less harshly than I might express it- not a “generational” thing, and not even really a ‘magical/esoteric’ thing… just that the subject seemed to require a higher-lvl of investigation, than a casual question… ]

    [even a “hobby” or a “curiousity” implies, to me, a subject that one digs into, the way a terrier digs- patiently, and obsessively, returning again and again, even if chased away from it- into a hole in the yard.] ” -why (dig) there? cuz.. “what is in this ‘hole’?”

    I’ve seen this sort of question in other forums of ‘magic’ but even just intellectual-subjects (non-magic)…. while some game-systems seem to be where people will get caught up in learning the ‘system’ the ins&outs…. spend hours-optimizing… (seems to be the place where that sort of “tinkering” mindset, I’ve seen)
    I’d read comments/responses to writings that I posted that say along the lines, I haven’t had a chance to fully read what you wrote, but one line ‘I kinda got’.. not sure about the rest… (and then a comment is made, that indicates to me, the “part they kinda got” also was a bit missed)…..
    But I see this as a curiousity- as in another “magickal-forum” set up a few yrs back, over the last yr (surged around last calender-yr end), people saying they don’t have money for materials, not sure where to go… and yet they seem to have the image that materials they can buy is what they need to learn (and when recommended- “Search function” keywords in the previously written forum posts… -go back and start wading through? and/or the idea of picking-keywords to computer-search…. analogous to how I used to find book-titles listed in a text I appreciated, in ‘its’ biblography… as well as scanning the appendix and indexes- first… what terms are listed in the index? shared terms..? (oft that gives more than the “narrative” that may be in a book).
    But the idea- that seems quite differently, but I find of getting a reference/iintroduction to someone (not only sending a blind email- and jumping into a question.. “I want to know…..” or even stronger, not include and “I”… “What is ___?” not only should there be a transitional-msg in such a contact… I’d think one wouldn’t ever lead in with such— the chief indicator of “making an acquaintance” isn’t style, but shows that one knows how to contact….
    [I find this in “direct human connections” (face-to-face or phone.. differently- but oft contrasted with “email”), (email, net-artlcle author/comments).. and even- and in the same way- “Magical-contacts” whether as J writes of “Inner-contacts” living or no-longer living, via the Magical-space….. but likewise local Land/Fae/wild… “Demons” or ‘Deo-forms’.. tapping into Traditional-Currents… etc

    . -the question that arises, why would XYZ Entity want to help me? (and not answer the usual- assert your divine right, or you really are special, that’s why)…. -but making contacts, each is different (and while I find most “contacts” are less “anthropomorphic-personalities” perhaps even quite non-person-like… vs all Beings are like Humans… the key is just like any Acquaintance that Becomes a Friend.. what are they like? how do your ‘worlds’ combine? -not just assume and clash….
    -thus in terms of making a Contact (whether a Physical ‘Teacher’ or a Vision-Energetic ~Inner Teacher… or a Being(s) that might assist in your Workings (and thus you ‘in their’s’)… but also What Ideas are in this writing? -delve into…

    I’ve skimmed a writing that is all that is there, vs even I’ve read through a writing- that is all that is there… sort of like saying, I visited a town (or a spot in nature, a people)… that is all that is there (why go back? re-visit? ~like re-reading, outlining, “bullet-pts” to summarize what you “think” you’ve read…. than come up with an [ alternative explanation, and try that ]… to re-read and re-write it out.. connecting ideas hinted at/brushed over in Ch2… to ideas and concepts from Ch5 and Ch 8… – and link/associate to Ideas from another books <even if it isn’t spelled-out in the book? >
    (and create an application based-upon a Working-model that assembles those)
    This comes to me, not only from early readings of “magickal texts” – the idea is are there deep-layered threads in the moziac of a writing? (most “modern-popular” writings, are brief, and what it says is what you get, there isn’t a deeper layer- I don’t usually see, at least… referred to as “clear” or even ‘simplified’…. vs something one can benefit from even at differently lvls of knowledge- thus as one “advs” learn more out of… [vs been there, done with it- introductory…]

    My experience of Taoist InternalMartialArts/chigung (neigung)… “The TaiChiClassics” (Tao Te- and Chou I- Chings).. each have much that can be “Struggled” out of each phrase (many are like the title of a book- not all the details of)….

    and oft one doing a TaiChiChuan form, or a ChiGung set.. an ‘instructor-type’ can watch and give a suggestion in a few words, and perhaps a touch to adjust that is (literally) priceless… never would even know to ask, and yet how “pay for”? thus the advice is for the love of the subject, but also the sincere-seeker, inspires a helping-hand…

    (in the same way “riding-the-coat-tails” of one Doing a Contacted-Working… allows those present to feel and follow.. thus contacting themselves)…..

    but need to Catch that Window of Opportunity…(so whether ‘reading’/studying.. or with another- or feeling/experiencing a Working-Space … the mind needs to be present to catch the wave… that same quality- referenced in the article/rant 🙂 above).. but just as in TaiChiChuan (or my joy- BaguaZhangNeiGung), hints are given, if the learner doesn’t grab-them and followup, and show they’ve practiced them… let alone they just say How do I do ___? (oft the Adv-Practitioner may respond… “I don’t know.” .. -good luck)..

    but to touch their forearm, and they feel subtle shift-adjustments throughout their system (everything furthers)…

        that can go deeper-wider than just the practice of the moment (both the short-term, the current trend-conditions, as well as long-term development)... such guidance, not found under every rock, or leaf...  (so be watchful and prepared for- one's "Tools" <espec awareness> kept sharp and ready)..

    [seekers want such assistance/guidance/coaching.. the question, how can I get a person to guide, or a “guide”, or an Espiritu (Spirit or other “inner-teacher”)….(just signup on this list over here…..)

    -whether "Int'l Martial Arts" or Magical, or heck in Business-environ... a "Mentor" is not a Hired-Coach (as often it is translated these days, nor does a Mentor train a "Mentee" sic, ha....  there are instructors, trainers, coaches: of students, apprentices and even Protegee.. all being different terms and diff-categories)  but I mention above, as getting a person to make Biz-introductions, invite you into Financial-opportunities, (give you Tasks that provide OJT, and are within your ability, while making further relations)....  those come from being 'trusted' and not harsh, and a Seeker  (not even just Magical-Esoteric nor even just Intellectual-scholarly....  which many could interpret Josephine's article comments).

    I don’t know if any might read my long-comments, and I hope it isn’t too much (I don’t mean to try and imply Josephine’s article needing any supplementation… but perhaps one needs to have a degree of the ability to “study” and seek under the surface that she writes about, in order to see/read/understand all of what it is she writes about… (self-referentially meta 🙂

    ps I had thought to send emails myself- even just a comment here and there- per my apprec of your writings.. but figured I didn't want to take up your time with...  per above wish I had, perhaps it could have helped balance out (as if you are ONLY getting those type of emails.... not having them balanced out by non-asking, msgs:   thus just in a long-all at once comment here, not alone, and the QVUAREIA might hint in this dir, but espec illustrating such wrinkles {again I hope I haven't over-imposed upon your blog-page via my comment here)

    (how to inspire the “struggling to learn” to those that haven’t… which may itself requiring a “struggle to learn- how to struggle to learn…”) cheers&Luck


  4. satanicviews says:

    Technology makes people lazy and stupid, babysitting them is a waste of time, they learn nothing from it. The modern education system spoon feeds students, with rigid systems of learning and thinking that has no place for creativity, exploration and play. The irony is that I am unlikely to employ a degree student because they have no creativity and wisdom compared to someone I could train straight out of school with no qualifications. Magick is an experiential activity, it has to be learned through action rather than reading.


    • that is true that magic is experiential and a practical skill, but the student also needs to be able to access various texts in order to work within a context, particularly in the early stages of magical training. To do that, they need research skills, hence the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

    • satanicviews says:

      I think that technology may have an answer with Artificial Intelligence, which brings to the table the possibility of an agent that can assist the student in their learning without becoming a babysitter to them.


    • they don’t need AI, that is just adding to the problem, people do not need an aid with their learning, they just need to learn how to learn. Humans have amazing brains, they just need to learn how to use them and stop thinking that someone, something, is going to make it easier and better.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah scarlet says:

    I wonder if the difference in perception of the underlying nature of learning . Is in itself a reflection of your developed wisdom as a teacher. I am a teacher. Always thru all time the best thing a teacher can do is give a student the skill of self teaching. Which includes a willingness to fail and to look stupid. Perhaps this ability causes students to ask different questions of you.

    There are cultural differences in acceptable interpersonal relations, which also affect the teacher pupil relationship . Culturally we are trained as children to see the teacher in particular ways . I have had Brazilian and South Asian students in the same room . The Brazilians won’t shut up, and the South Asians will not speak. This is how they are taught in school and at home thru there language and there culture. This can also be a defence mechanism. If it is the teacher who teaches. Then they the pupil can not have failed, the fault lies with the teacher. Both Defences due to cultural societal conditioning. damage for us as teachers , no matter what subject to remove.


  6. Those are interesting points Sara, and when it comes to students, yes, they do come in with lots of different cultural backgrounds and relationship understandings. That is not the issue. Everyone learns in their own style and it is up to the teacher to recognize that style of learning and work with it. That is also not the issue.

    What I am addressing is something very different. Here is a scenario that may put it in context.

    A new student walks into a Spanish language class. They do not speak any Spanish at all. They sit down and as the lesson starts, they stand up, and say, ” look, I don’t have time for this, I don’t want to spend a year or two learning Spanish, and I don’t like reading books. I don’t want to come to classes, so can you just summarise the whole two year course for me, but only into a couple of pages as I don’t like to read much. Oh and can you get it done by this afternoon?”

    the problem is, the student has no concept of what it takes to learn a language (which is what magic is), is not willing to learn, does not want to be a student, but wants t be able to speak that language fluently. The key is that they are not being rude or arrogant, they just do not get it. They do not know how to learn anything, they do not understand what learning entails, and they have been programmed into everything being ‘instant’ and that someone is always there to give them instant when they demand it.

    It is as if there is a generation that has not developed beyond toddler. That is the issue.


  7. FA says:

    Hello Josephine!

    I been a fan of yours I love your book on “The Exorcist’s Handbook”. I’ve left my Order to pursue K&C with my HGA for a while now and I’ve just came across on Quareia. I have been reading your modules, a strong gut feelings tells me to replace my Lesser Invoking Ritual of Pentagram with the opening you have taught. But the first initiation opening requires me to accept and begin the journey of the Sword and Cup. May I ask what what entails for the journey of the Sword and Cup? I hesitated to just jump in because as I understand once divine beings starts to teach it’s hard to get them to stop or take a break.

    My apologies to be so abrupt posting questions on your blog. I’ve tried looking for a forum for Quareia students, but searches didn’t show any results.

    If you be so generous to offer some insight, it would mean a lot to me.

    Thank you for your time and looking forward to your reply.

    Best Regards,


    • When Module Ten goes up over the next couple of weeks (9 and 10 are finished and just going through formatting) you will be able to see what the initiatory final lesson is about. Throughout Quareia, there are no vows and no bindings, but the cup and sword session is about stepping fully into balance before embarking upon the Initiate road. It is necessary because of the work involved in the middle part of the training, as it strengthens the foundation. But like all of Quareia, it is your own choice. It is about putting your own house in order.


    • hi FA,
      I just re read your question: apologies, I have been trying to do too many things at once. You say ‘journey of the sword and cup’ – There is no journey of Sword and Cup (I am presuming you mean like Arthurian, Rosy Cross, etc)… there is none of that. The sword and the cup are two magical tools. The initiatory lesson of the sword and cup is a threshold crossing, and is the culmination of the apprentice section, not the beginning of the initiate section.
      It puts the apprentice in visionary contact with a threshold being who will challenge them.
      Hope that is clearer. If you look at the modules and lessons, you will see there is no cultural overlay or specific magical pattern/path, which is why we say that on the website. repeatedly.


  8. Christina says:

    I wondered if anyone else had noticed this! At first, I thought that people were just being rude by asking such simple, or just very poorly thought out, questions.
    I actually enjoy teaching very much, and love to light a spark for minds hungry for magick, but did they really expect me to teach them all that I know about a subject as vast as candle magick just becasue they were buying a $3.95 oil? Seriously?
    Or, can they expect me t take their question seriously when they ask about the “stuff” they are buying?
    I may, at times, come across as uncooperative, perhaps even a bit “cranky”, but it is not so much a case of unrestrained emotional issues as the fact that I shall not stoop to have a perfectly intelligent person understand me. They are goign to have to stand up straight and talk me eye to eye! THEN we can play as equals, and that is the only way that I will have it, or else I do not need their company, and will have little to offer them in the way of true service.
    By the Lady Blessed Be!
    I wondered if anyone else had noticed this! At first, I thought that people were just being rude by asking such simple, or just very poorly thought out, questions.
    I actually enjoy teaching very much, and love to light a spark for minds hungry for magick, but did they really expect me to teach them all that I know about a subject as vast as candle magick just becasue they were buying a $3.95 oil? Seriously?
    Or, can they expect me t take their question seriously when they ask about the “stuff” they are buying?
    I may, at times, come across as uncooperative, perhaps even a bit “cranky”, but it is not so much a case of unrestrained emotional issues as the fact that I shall not stoop to have a perfectly intelligent person understand me. They are goign to have to stand up straight and talk me eye to eye! THEN we can play as equals, and that is the only way that I will have it, or else I do not need their company, and will have little to offer them in the way of true service.
    By the Lady Blessed Be!
    Christina ElegantWitch


  9. Gary B says:

    Feeling that a comparison was in my subcon, rippled to the surface how there are many that would think the ‘very idea’ that certain people “actually beliee there are magickal-forces” (that can concretely-definitely affect the world, and their lives).. is amazing and unthinkable to many…
    -likewise it seems that “to me” similarly amazing and unthinkable that the below type responses might be made [I’ve come to view that I actually wouldn’t rant it myself- as I’m not even sure I find it a ‘bad-thing’.. ie that people should have such curiousity (as I think I either always have, or developed it per tendencies in me.. so how can I then relate)… In other words, I just realized in myself that I only really can grasp that someone would think’respond as below quoted, if they “really were thinking they just wanted to save effort..etc…” -but if they really didn’t have it occur to them to look-it-up themselves…

    Perhaps many don't sift a bit under the surface (ponder beyond the first impression), not via entitlement or laxity.. but per it really doesn't even occur to them to do so (that it is as "outside of their world-view"  .. as the idea&skills of Magick are "outside the world-view" of Others)
     " comments like, “wait… Egypt still exists? Like with Pharaohs and stuff?” Sigh."

    ” – the amount of times people have emailed me, total strangers, with no introduction, no background info, not even a name, just a text speak sentence like: ‘tell me about eastern magic’, or ‘can you explain what magic is’, ‘can you tell me about Kabbalah but only in a few sentences as I am really busy and I don’t like to read a lot (yes, really….)’. The best one was, ‘I want to know what is in one of your books, but it has a lot of pages, so can you just bullet point it for me’ (I shit you not).”

    anyway- not to excuse or contast, just a thought (and the above quoted sections from the article still get me… I read them the way I think others respond to tales of encounter with a Land-Being or Fae… -they think, ‘they don’t REALLY mean that do they? -they couldn’t actually mean a recognition, and attunement with, Energetic Current-Tides.. that’s just a metaphor right? -iin the same way- the idea of clearly multiple books were written hinted at something, but it “could be summarized in a sentence of two” -obviously, it just hasn’t…. (vs seeing that as a strange thought).

    (still chewing on this thought- digestive chewing spawned this comment-impluse.. I hope it contributes to someone, vs just being my ramblings).. luck


    • Gary B says:

      Ah I meant to add to above that relation to the recent Frater Acher Blog-Post: Part5 “in search of a holy magic” -amongst other pts… the metaphor of “if the knowledge of the working of Wood was lost.. only “artifacts” remain.. all construction now done of stone (Masons- expensive)… “forests” un-recognized (burned down to “clear” seeking Quaries of stone….)…….. but then people start to “re-construct” the (possible) wood-working Arte /? (and how much the talking-about-talking, writings of ideals… as not really knowing this “lost art”… and others reading such new-idea… what does the “term” working-wood mean? -as it can’t be literal..!! thus a coded metaphor?

       I hope my summary of some pts doesn't attempt to oversimplify- just to intertwine as a seed here  (perhaps one, or more, might just to research it- and his other posts- thus the Study-spurred as J wrote in above).


  10. Mossel says:

    The problem is people are seeing you as a search engine. Unlike your time, the issue these days is too much information (low quality at that) and knowing where to start is the biggest issue.
    So instead of fighting a search engine that won’t give them a hint of what key words they need, they come to you instead.


  11. Suzi Petito says:

    I hear you, Josephine, and marvel how you are able to address all of these Questions, and still teach so many of us. I also worry about the “sound bite intelligence and sense of entitlement” evident today. All I can say is a very big THANK YOU, and now I begin, at age 64, to seriously study your course. I guarantee, you will NOT have to hold my hand:-) Just know that there will be times during my studies, when I will think of you and smile – I hope you feel that – You deserve so much more.


  12. Truth! Thank you for your words of wisdom.


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