Staying out of Trouble — From the Gavin Archives 2007

Communication About Being IN Trouble

Letters arrive at the School of Wicca stating, “When I was first exploring Wicca in my teens, my teacher insisted that I must __ (insert your own bizarre or illegal act here). I did it. Now as an adult I am wondering how to undo it.”

There are fools and charlatans in every field of human endeavor. Since people are endlessly inventive, when you first explore the world of the occult and more esoteric “religions” you may well entangle yourself in more kinds of problems than there are pebbles on the beach. (*Update, with the advent of the World Wide Web and information growing logarithmically, this situation is significantly worse today than 13 years ago, or before.)

Three such problems spring to mind immediately. They originate with self-styled gurus or teachers out to prey on neophytes whose innocence / ignorance makes them fair game, fertile material for exploitation. In any such case, a good early warning sign is an insistence on absolute secrecy.

The quote: “To know, to will, to dare, to keep silent.” has been used time and again to keep people silent about other’s abuses of them as neophyte pagans. If you are encountering this more than you are encountering actual knowledge, if you are encountering cognitive dissonance with your teachers, if you are encountering situations that make you uncomfortable, then tread carefully and be aware of your personal needs. The phrase is quite meaningful while you are on the Pagan path, and outstanding in its own right, however, you need to be careful of people who can, and will, use it as a manipulative tool.

Problem #1 — Any Kind of Blood Rite for a Newcomer

Probably the most basic of such attacks involve “blood bonding”. They stem from the mind of a creep who read some vampire book and then appointed him/herself to “teach Wicca” to unsuspecting, but sex-starved, teenagers. (Update 2020: We do not recommend interacting with teens. Leadership should be two people deep when working with young people — supervision is key. Also, young people deserve the right to make their own decisions as they reach adulthood, which is not at the age of 16, and often not at the age of 18.)

In the case quoted above, we see how a sexual predator managed to keep new slaves, by involving them in a fake ritual that may include an obscene or illegal act; this may range from defecating on a crucifix to bestiality. This is simple blackmail, and the stuff of nightmare.
One of the main reasons that Gavin and Yvonne founded the School of Wicca almost 40 years ago was that a group of teenagers had been (falsely) told they could gain power if they took their school counselor out into the woods and sacrificed him in a blood ritual.

Problem #2 — Sexual Predators

The second type of danger is just as real as that of the simple sexual predator. It is made worse by the long-term threat and subjection of the emotional slave.

In this example, an ethics-free creep such as the one mentioned in Case 1 above may force a teen to participate in unfortunate “ceremonies”, often by manipulation or ridicule or threat, if the teen is unwilling. Incredibly, a student of the School spent 20 years under the threat of an Isis-retaliation spell if she didn’t follow her “teacher’s” directions to the letter. Only in her thirties did she start secretly studying with Gavin. We are proud to say that she learned to write her own spells to release the threatened binding enchantments that had hung over her head since her participation as a teen. Soon she reported to us that she now had a happy, more constructive relationship with Isis and other Egyptian deities. Again, this creep as well was committing emotional blackmail.

That false “teacher” or “guru” into whose clutches our student fell is more common than people would like to admit.
This tale may read as a push for the School’s online courses; yet we do still believe there is a tremendous benefit in

* taking what you like and leaving the rest.
When you study through a correspondence course from a federally recognized body (or at least from the teaching arm of the Church of Wicca),
* you can learn at your own pace.
* no one will force you to commit any act against your will.

Problem #3 — Spiritual Stalkers

The third type of trouble that neophytes sometimes blithely get into occurs on the astral planes. It’s this: “Creepy teachers” exist, not just around the corner in some dingy storefront or in an overcrowded living room. They’re active not only in the physical world but on the astral planes as well. In the School’s instruction on meditation techniques, we suggest that the student work with a guide. Our suggestion that the meditator construct a salt circle for protection is no idle one. We know that not all guides are groovy do-goodniks or soft-focus sweetness and light. Some “guides” on the Other Side are jokesters or worse.

In these times there seems to be a common acceptance of possession. Some of these ideas come from Santeria, in which spirit entities are allowed to “ride” the priest or priestess. Santeria opens up to such events only when the “horse” is well trained and knowledgeable. In our own opinion, it is highly dangerous to invite possession if no one in attendance has gone through the necessary training. You simply don’t know what’s on the other side of the Veil, waiting for a chance to do who-knows-what in a borrowed body. There are a group of pagans that strongly support calling down the God-ess into one’s body as a form of temporary possession as a higher spiritual calling. We are not in support of this idea, although it is a tantalizing action, it takes tremendous experience to do this well and safely.

Today on our desks we have a couple of letters about unwanted discarnate visitors. Both writers felt that these beings meant no harm–but who’s to tell? The best approach is to communicate with the entities to find out why they are there; help them out if you can; and then assist them in making their transition to the place where they rightfully belong. Encourage these entities to take their next step on the “Progressive Reincarnation” ladder.

What About Your Guides — Will They Help You??? When In Doubt…

Your own guide will be at your astral elbow every step of the way. A guide stays in your life and works with you for one reason : They’re assigned in something like a big-brother or big-sister sytem to help you get through your assignments. Their backgrounds and behavior closely resemble your own, just because of the Law of Attraction. This means that if you persistently engage in some self-destructive behavior, you’ll be assigned a guide who practiced that same behavior. Not good. Hence it makes sense to remove self-destructive behaviors from your life. If your current guide enjoys them, s/he will lose interest in your wholesome behavior and ask to be reassigned. To learn more about your Guides, and how to connect with them, you can study our Essential Witchcraft course or Meditation and Astral Travel.

Most spirits really have no need to hang around you for many years. They have their own progressing to do. Yet even when you’ve established good contact with your own guide, watch out for a guide with moral issues! If a guide started out imagining that death meant going to “heaven” and s/he gets assigned to work with a Wiccan, that guide may not be directing the meditator to the most constructive course of action. Your Guide may be just as confused as you are!

We cannot know what the guide’s previous lifetime was like. Occasionally we find that a guide regresses (or has not been incarnated for centuries) into that lifetime in trying to direct your path. A vivid example is what we call the washing-the-clothes-at-the-riverbank syndrome. The guide will recommend to the neophyte that they do actions which come from centuries ago and are no longer appropriate in today’s world–just because the guide enjoyed them and wants to relive them vicariously through the meditator. Also, a guide may have an entirely different paradigm / agenda than you do. It is most likely probable that they have been imbued with a set of religious beliefs that you don’t necessarily subscribe to.

Spiritual Growth Can Come From Mistakes Too!

So–even if you have Cleopatra’s memories and Napoleon’s good advice from your guide–remember to keep your head in gear. Think things through before you sign for that new car you can’t afford, or, after a number of Roman cokes, you bring home with you that slightly weird guy from the singles bar.

So to summarize : When anyone proposes
1. blood bonding or
2. emotional bullying disguised as occult teachings or
3. astral hoodoos
it makes good sense to vote with your feet and leave. A large dose of common sense will help all of us with our magic. (Yvonne’s favorite phrase du jour is Reality Smack ) .If you have made a mistake of one kind or another, remember to forgive yourself. It is an opportunity for growth too.

Blessed be. Gavin and Yvonne