Last updated on March 15, 2016
If you have ever studied martial arts, you know the importance of a teacher and also of being able to interact with other students. The same is true if you have taken lessons to learn to play a musical instrument or to improve your singing voice. Whether it is arts, crafts, or athletics, there are many circumstances where you must rely upon the judgment of a teacher in order to progress well and safely. This is the crux of the problem. The most common and most pervasive message within Paganism about teachers and formalized groups is beware. I suspect you would not find it difficult to remember the last time you heard a warning about not giving yourself over to a teacher or school, but when was the last time that you were given a warning about the perils and difficulties of being self-taught. Of course, if you are sincere and persevere you can learn enough to create something that works for you on your own. But if you have the need or desire to go further than that, in all likelihood you will actually need a teacher.