With so many people starting at the same time, I have been forced to think about what makes a person “ready for 2nd”… and have come to the conclusion that it’s kind of inversely related to wanting to be “ready for 2nd”. I can say with relative certainty that it’s not about being able to recite the altar devotion and circle casting… though you do need to be able to perform an altar devotion and cast a circle. The one is saying that you’ve memorized the words. The other is saying that you’re working relatively effectively with the energies involved. Ideally, you will learn them together. “Being ready” is not totally about where you are in the lessons – better to absorb and experience a few than to do many quickly and shallowly, just to pass a test. (I’d have trouble justifying an elevation with too few lessons completed, but in the right circumstances I might try.) But this isn’t the whole of what I am struggling to say.
Think of it as going for a walk down to the store. One way of looking at it is, I’m going to get to the store. If you start out this way, you may or may not see the sights along the way. You might notice some incidental sensations, but you pretty much ignore them. You may or may not enjoy the feeling of your muscles working. You may or may not break into a brief run, but if you do it will be for the sole purpose of getting there faster. You will almost certainly not take short detours to explore along the way and you’ll probably get impatient and find yourself wondering “how much farther.”. The other way of looking at it is, I’m going to walk to the store. You start walking, and get into the rhythm of putting one foot goes in front of the other. You smell the cut grass. You smile at some children playing in a yard. You enjoy the feel of the sun on your skin and the breeze in your hair. You might detour, you might jog for a bit, you might sit and rest before continuing. Sooner or later you look up and realize you’re at the store.
The journey into Wicca, I feel, should be more of the latter. You might meditate just because it makes you feel centered. You might explore tarot cards out of curiosity. You might unexpectedly find that you really relate to the runes, or that you can find deep personal meaning in the LBRP. You might find a real talent for blending oils or incense. You are not expected to become an expert in every field mentioned! The lessons are structured to give you an introduction to most of these things; sort of a “basic minimum” of what every fully elevated witch should know.
When you are initiated, you make the statement that you fully intend to walk to that store, and you are handed a map of one path that will get you there. When you take your second, you have made significant progress along the road and (hopefully) learned to enjoy the journey for its own sake. When time for the third rolls around, you are looking at the storefront and realizing that there is an inside to the store waiting to be explored and a whole world out there past the store, and you no longer need (or have access to) a road map to get you there.
Take the time to enjoy the learning and get all you can from each moment instead of rushing through it as a means to an end. The best way to “get there” might be to not try to get there, and the “end” isn’t really an end.
Brightest of Blessings, and Lots of Laughs,