Teacher and Student Hullabaloo
Yesterday someone contacted me about something one of my students did, as if I was somehow going to step in and command them to stop.
A couple weeks ago someone told me that they wanted to take my course but was afraid of having his own status as a teacher questioned, because he would be “my student” at that point.
When I made the decision to not just write books but to teach professionally, I had several models to choose from. I could start an order where people pay dues and get titles and emblems and shit. But I really don’t dig that set up. I actually use as little kit as possible in any situation, and wearing the black robes with the sticky-felt merit badge of my degree never made me feel anything but silly. I also had a lot of experience in the Guru/Chela style of learning – but that has even more problems. If it is a very personal relationship it is not scalable, and thus untenable as way to support myself. If it is not very personal, than that whole model jumps the shark. You can call Rinpoche your root guru but if you have never eaten a meal or gotten shit faced with him, that is a lot of fealty to grant to someone that couldn’t pick you out of a police line-up. It is also a model that is prone to ego-inflation for the teacher and abuse for students.
In the end I chose the straight sell: this is what I am offering, this is what it costs. To me its the most honest and straightforward. I get criticism weekly from people that would seemingly rather me be a Guru or Order Ipsissimus. The last time I ran a FB ad for Strategic Sorcery someone commented that gross commerce like this will block people from finding their true will and attaining Gnosis. If however I sport a funny hat, charge dues, and diddle the occasional student on the side that would probably be fine. Likewise if I decided to limit myself to the low five figure income that I would get from writing books alone, that would probably be acceptable.
As to the student teacher relationship, I have some students that I grow close to over time and some that I have never had a personal exchange with at all. Every now and then though someone writes me out of the blue to share a field report and my heart sings, because here is a person doing the work. It may be my teachings that they are working, but usually it’s a few people that they have learned from. But the work is theirs.
I don’t own my students or their works. They have their own agency. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I “trust” everyones agency, because I don’t, but it’s theirs. Just because its magic doesn’t mean I have to, get to, or want to control everything my students do.
A student in my class is also just my student in THAT class. I may take a class from them in something else, in which case I am their student in THAT class. I think that’s a healthy way to be and to think about things. I reject both the Guru Disciple relationship that tends to place intrinsic value on those roles that extend into all areas of life, and the “peer learning” model where no one steps up as teacher for fear of shaking the egalitarian collective.|
If you are interested in joining Strategic Sorcery, now is a great time because we are running the Hekate Global Rite between Halloween and All Souls Day!