Saturday, May 9, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Apply Knowledge with Wisdom (part 4 of '13 Goals of a Witch')

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

#4: Apply Knowledge with Wisdom

This is a big one. This is one I really struggled with when I was younger (and with my hard head, still do at times). Something you may or may not know about me is that I used to be a teacher. There's an education principle known as learning transference. 

Even if you've never heard the term, you're probably very familiar with the concept. Just think about how schools have begun to 'teach to the test'. We are left with kids who are very good at parroting information or taking fill-in-the-dot type multiple choice tests; however, these same students have absolutely no idea of how to apply this knowledge to life. 

It's sad, really; even if they can rattle off the quadratic equation, they have no clue what it can be used for, let alone how to apply it to creating a business plan or building a dog house. They might be able to supply the right answer in a mathematical problem on paper-- but back at home, they can't figure out how to double a recipe or balance their first checkbook. 

This same kind of issue arises with living a spiritual life. When I first started on my spiritual path I was fascinated by wise sayings-- I used to collect them and paste them on my wall. I'd read them, I'd recite them-- unfortunately, I was not using them or applying them to my life. My problems weren't going away because I couldn't figure out how to transfer these bits of sound advice and actually live by them. 

Yeah, that's the trick, isn't it? Perhaps I was so fascinated by these sayings because they seemed to hold the key to solving my problems, if I could only figure out how to use them. 

I find a lot of Wiccans spend years going through motions -- they know what they're supposed to do with the tools, what to say, etc. -- but they have trouble really making it work. Something is not connecting... transference has not occurred.

Sometimes we try to apply it, we just don't apply it with wisdom. For example, you know the Wiccan Rede tells you not to harm; but you take it to an unwise extreme if you let someone beat you to death because you don't want to harm them.

My Tip for You Today: Start thinking about how you 'apply knowledge with wisdom'. 

The best way to begin this is to look at the problem areas in your life: relationships? Finances? Career? What areas do you continuously have the same problems over and over, where are you repeating patterns? This is probably where you're not applying your knowledge with wisdom. 

In Wicca, perhaps you are following your rituals by rote, just as the books say; but you're not using your own intuition and instincts, you're not feeling it out and experimenting to develop your own feel for things or understanding of what you're doing. 

Perhaps as a Witch you are relying too much on other people's instructions; instead of writing your own spells with what you've learned, you keep looking for other people (who are not necessarily authorities just because they wrote a book or posted it on a website). 

Think about those areas where your transference seems to be failing. It's tricky trying to figure out how to bridge that gap, but the first step is really recognizing that there is a gap there to begin with. 

Have you learned to bridge the gaps?

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