Lessons The Books Haven't Spoken Of
                           By Joseph Teller

   Before I begin, for those who don't really know me well, I wish to
preface this short piece by explaining that I am NOT a teacher, as many
like to claim of themselves. I am a student who likes to share what is
learned. The world has too many 'authorities' who are such purely for
reasons of perceived power or financial gain within the craft - I have no
wish for such falsities to rule and destroy me as it ultimately does those
who fall pray to its lure.
   The following are lessons learned in circle or outside it from my own
personal experience and those shared with me by others I have been close
to, plain and simple. Take them as such and value them as you wish. They
are not numbered to show importance, only to organize my thoughts in some
   1) Within A Circle Trust is an absolute Necessity. If you attend a
      ritual be SURE you trust those involved. Many feel this, in todays
      society to be archaic. It has always proved out when I have tried
      to work with unknown people, those I was unsure of or who were in
      some way unsure of me, failure, disaster or heated debate resulting 
      in dissent has always been the end point. Know a person before you
      are willing to enter sacred space with them.
   2) Never spellcast too soon. Magic should not be a first resort. The
      use of non-magical means should be applied when possible and 
      convient. Overuse of magic, like anything else, becomes a crutch 
      that can unbalance your life.
   3) Prophecy is a two-edged sword. Remember this, wether you read Tarot,
      I-Ching, Runes or whatever other means of divination or personal
      analysis. Be prepared to have the reading to go in directions you
      do not expect and be prepared for them NOT to be in a way you will
      like. Remember the Lesson of Cassandra (in Greek Mythology) that
      sometimes you can change the future and sometimes you cannot, and
      only time will tell which is which. If you cannot deal with the
      possibility of your personal wants or expectations being wrong, then
      you should not be consulting a means of divination. I have seen even
      long-time craft-folk who forget this lesson in the heat of emotion.
   4) There is not a magical answer behind everything. I have known some
      folks who became so obsessed in their  personal paranoia of some
      form of 'magical attack' or 'magical influence' that such became 
      their excuse for everything that occured around them, even when very
      simple non-magical answers existed to explain what had occured. The
      number of magical practitioners at present is VERY small, and most 
      have a range of influence that doesn't extend far on their own. The
      gathering of hateful or vindictive emotional energy to achieve a
      magical attack on another is not done easily or quickly, and tends
      to harm the attacker more often then the target. Look with logic on
      a situation.
   5) Diversify. Don't depend on or look into only a single philosophy or
      magical application - a specialist is usually someone who is refusing
      to grow beyond boundries they have set for themselves.
   6) A single Teacher Is NOT enough. You will spend a lifetime as a real
      student, even if others one day declare you a teacher, leader or
      High Priestess. Gather from many to find what your lifepath is. Do
      not let anyone tell you there is ONLY one true belief system, one
      true Divinity, one way to approach a situation or one teacher to
   7) In the End you ARE Solitary. All Magickal workers are eventually
      forced to depend upon their own company, seperated from the many
      communities and groups by distance, time or belief. You will probably
      spend more time solitary then in a group. Be prepared to face this
      when it happens. The Pagan Community is too small to be everywhere
      for everyone or to even always help its own (though trying to do so
      is a goal I feel vital to expand the community). You must become
      sufficiently balanced and grounded to deal with being alone and to
      practice your beliefs alone, especially in times of hardship and
   8) Don't be too fast to assume the role of a teacher, or to assume that
      a student cannot teach you something in return. Can you really
      explain what you believe and do within your belief coherantly? Does
      the person to be taught really want to learn it all and are they
      sincere, or are they mearly curious or on a 'power trip'? Learning
      to know when someone is ready to learn is one of the hardest lessons
      you must learn if you purposely teach. Don't give a hand gernade to
      a three year old and expect positive results.
   9) Not all paths and philosophies are desireable. There are many that
      are self-destructive, purely self-indulgent or a combination of both.
      If a path cannot teach you some form of inner peace with yourself
      and what you are doing in life, or is devoted to manipulating others
      to achieve your personal benefits, then it is a 'dead-end path', one
      that is a cul-de-sac on the path of growth.
  10) Don't do what feels uncomfortable. If performing a ritual, using a
      magic form, reciting a chant/prayer or performing an activity feels
      personally painful, uncomfortable or 'wrong' then it is not for you
      to be involved with it at that time. Listen to the inner voice of
      your spirit and follow its lead. Intuition is a powerful gift, don't
      waste it by always opposing it.
  11) You will have to take chances. Magic doesn't work on its own, and
      positive karma won't help you if you fight it when it seeks to 
      restore balance around you. It is not enough to cast a prosperity 
      spell and then sit home and wait for a letter in the mail from Ed
      MacMahn with a check in it! You must take non-magical action to help
      things along. Cast a spell for a new job? Sure, but then don't turn
      down a chance to read job listings, mail resumes or attend an
      interview! Working to heal a sick spouse? ok, but make sure they
      are getting medical advice, enough to eat, attention, care, therapy,
      etc. to help the magic on its way!