When the Student Isn’t Ready, the Teacher Will Appear… and Say No!
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.
This is a tale of one of my first students after I received my Third Degree Elevation, one who was desperate for me to teach her The Craft. Witchcraft, that is. I never did. I had taken a vow: I swear I will not teach The Craft to fools.
When you choose your students, you also choose them as your teachers. She was a real lesson for me, in more ways than one.
A mutual friend facilitated our introduction because she’d told him she was looking for a teacher, and I knew— knew—the moment he told me about her that I was to agree to form a small teaching circle and that she would be my first student, along with her wanna-be-a-witch friends. I had been told that he would introduce me to people who would change my life and teach me amazing new things, and yes, that’s very true, even though those people are no longer in my life. The first time I met her, I told her I knew I was meant to work with her. I’d thought it would be more for her than for me.
She was a little rough and abrasive, domineering, a married man-hater with one of the sharpest tongues I’d ever heard, and I pitied her husband whose energy felt scattered and deso- late and so wanting of some nurturing. I saw the outside armor all around her and saw the hurt little girl on the inside and wanted to help. I wanted to hug her and make it better. I’d thought I could get through to her.
The first time we did a ritual, I turned it into a teaching experience, explaining the circle casting, calling Archangels as our Quarters, invoking The Morrigan, describing the intent of the ritual to shed some old pains. I went first, talking for the first time ever about being molested as a girl by my father’s uncle. The next participant in the circle said she had so many things in her past but couldn’t think of anything and would someone else go in her place because she felt shy. The third participant said she was doing quite well these days and didn’t really have any old pains that were hindering her learning process.
Then my armored student’s turn came. I had seen flashes of things from her past, as far back as her childhood, so I knew there was much there if she cared to shine a light on it and release it.
“I don’t really have anything in my past to shed.” There was anger in her voice, but it was an ever-present anger not directed at anyone in particular and at the same time directed at the entire world. “Rather than talk about the past, I’d like to use this time to ask the Dark Mother to rid me of a man at work who’s been a problem to me. I want him to pay for his attitude. I want the bastard dead.”
“You mean you just want him to leave you alone and—”
“No, I mean, I want him dead. Dead!”
It was said later that I turned pale before I stopped her. All that was going through my head right then was, We’ve invoked a Death Goddess to assist in our transformation and the death of past hurts and you’re calling for a man to die? Are you crazy?
I knew then that she wasn’t ready to be taught anything “serious,” though our mutual friend asked right after if I might do anything to soften her up a little so she wouldn’t be quite so vitriolic toward her husband. I said yes, I did have a plan, but it involved teaching her more about the Goddess and getting in touch with her Sacred Feminine so she could strike a balance in her life and work through the past pain I knew was there. I really wanted to wash my hands of her, to be honest, but Spirit wouldn’t allow that.
That night was the first time I learned that a confidence had been breached by someone else who was playing games with relationship dynamics, and my student used this knowledge to try to gain power over me. I also learned that she was in love with our mutual friend and saw me as a threat because he respected my opinions. He had money. She couldn’t say his name in a sentence without talking about his money, and it disgusted me to see him reduced to a meal ticket. For as much as she hated men, this man represented freedom to her if she could only get his attention—she would be happy to cook for him and have sex with him once a week if he would keep her in the style to which she wanted to be accustomed. She frequently talked about leaving her husband, and very often in front of him, the friend, other students, and me.
So I tried a different approach. I offered generic lessons and workshops at my Gatherings, taught my group how to shield, how to call on angels, how to get in touch with the inner Goddess, vibrations of different gem stones, etc. She stared off in the distance, uninterested.
I felt she needed a breakthrough elsewhere before we got into the “serious” stuff. Yet I was still, at that point, to work with her and give her some opportunities. It was a fine line between teaching basic spiritual themes and teaching The Craft, but I straddled it. For all the opportunities given her, she refused them, seeking instead the easy, quick way to power.
“I want you to teach me,” she insisted.
I gave her lots of books to read in her spare time so we could talk about them when we met. She had spare time to party, spare time to watch TV and movies, spare time to sit on her patio and drink. But months later, the books on basic Wiccan philosophy and Goddess meditations had not been touched. “I don’t have time to read that crap,” she told me.
“Can’t you just tell me how to be a witch?”
Because I wasn’t teaching her “the good stuff” as fast as she wanted, she tried doing things to gain power over me. That included telling me lies about our mutual friend, lies wrapped around kernels of truth that made me question my intuition about him. Lies that painted him as a disease-ridden man-whore who left interested and kind-hearted women hanging in wait for him while he was off playing with jailbait who couldn’t carry on a conversation and domineering bitches whose abuse he craved. They were lies designed to make me end my friendship with him, and on at least one occasion, I left her presence stone- faced and then cried all the way home because she’d gone into extreme detail over some questionable activities. She knew just enough from her husband to make her stories about him believable and to make me question my own instincts about him and whether he deserved my respect.
But she didn’t destroy the friendship. Much to her cha- grin. My intuition kept telling me he wasn’t the man she’d said.
She kept begging me to teach her, teach her, teach her. But what she wanted to learn was 1. how to make someone (our friend, though possibly others) fall in love with her, 2. how to get rich and powerful overnight, and 3. how to get revenge and make everyone pay, pay, pay.
She wasn’t interested in any of the reasons I follow The Craft: how to protect those you love, how to help heal, how to connect with Something Greater, how to reach a place of loving unconditionally, how to change the world in positive ways, how to shed light where there has been dark and pain, how to serve a greater good, how to feel a sense of oneness with everything and everyone around us, how to spread knowledge, how to learn. I could never teach her the things she wanted to learn from me— love spells, revenge spells, money/power spells—not because it isn’t possible, but because it is.
The last time I saw her, she was still begging me to teach her those three things, even while simultaneously trying to gain power over me by twisting my heart over our mutual friend. When she found out that he and I still talked to each other, in spite of her attempts to keep him all to herself, she was livid.
I began getting flashes of her as a physically dangerous person. One was a warning to stay far from her and not to visit her home, no matter what the social event. Another was a flash of me being in her home at a social event our mutual friend had also attended, of his being friendly with me, of her rage, of her thinking (wrongly) that I was pregnant with his child, of a dark hallway and her anger and a butter knife thrust into my womb and twisted. The flash was violent and enough to get my attention. I don’t recall any other psychic flash, even the one of the friend in New York being run over by a taxi, ever being so violent and terrifying. I’ve stayed far from her since then, and I believe our mutual friend has, too.
I haven’t seen her since that violent flash. I haven’t heard from her since then. I never taught her the things she wanted, but for my first student, she sure did teach me a lot.