Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full Moon Musings On Praxis

My freshman year as a theatre major brought with it lots of surprises, in addition to all of the normal surprises one experiences their freshman year of college.  For one, theatre majors are generally required to take two years of dance lessons; including jazz, tap, and ballet.  Included in these classes were also a lot of yoga, tai chi, and meditation instructions. 

Obviously, all of these things are beneficial for performers; you have to get in touch with your body, you have to know how to move, and you're also going to be doing things with your body that could lead to permanent damage.  Serious permanent damage.

I am not especially willowy or petitite, and the thought of having to do ballet was not one I was amused by.  I took a lot of teasing from high school friends, and even some family members.  But when the time came for me, in character, to hurl my body across a stage as if I had received a powerful blow, I was thankful that my body had been conditioned to accomplish this correctly.  The only injuries I suffered were a few minor bruises, which saved the makeup person from having to create fake ones.

I could have attempted it without any training, and been rushed to the hospital because of the broken ribs and crushed ankle I would have received from an improper landing.  I could have picked up a how-to guide to ballet or yoga, and attempted it on my own at home.  And without a properly trained teacher to help me know the difference, I could have trained my muscles in a lot of wrong behaviors that would have ended up getting me hurt.  I could have also not bothered to show up to class and do the work, and then complained to any who would listen at how my teacher/theatre/ballet had failed me.

But I didn't.  I stuck it out, and while my training was never intended to make me a professional dancer, it did teach me an awful lot about how my body works and what I can do with it.  It completely altered the way I walk, how I carry myself, the way I sit. 

What does this have to do with Witchcraft?  Why, everything of course! 

At this stage of my studies, seeking coven based Witchcraft and Traditional training, I know that there are things that I have picked up as a solitary eclectic that are "bad muscle memory."  When I find a teacher and present myself as a candidate for training, there will be things that I have to re-learn or put aside for the time that I am learning their Trad.

And I welcome this.  I welcome the chance to start again, if that's possible.  To look at the Craft with new eyes, to see it a different way.  To understand it in ways I never could when I was reaching out towards the Mysteries on my own.

3 comments:

  1. This is pretty much everything an elder wants to hear from a potential initiate. (They haven't been grooming you over on Amber and Jet, have they? ;) You should have no trouble being admitted into a Trad. I know I'd vouch for you!

    I don't know if you've begun courting a group yet, and you've probably heard this before, but it's really important to find some people you jive with in a deep way, and who jive with you. Folks who listen to you, and value your perspective. People expect a lot from an initiate (deference, particularly), but the initiate should expect just as much of the group. Especially in the case of someone like yourself, who's obviously well-read and well-practiced. Some elders assume that all initiates are complete know-nothings, and treat them that way - so don't let anybody treat you that way! Can't stress that enough. They might know things that you don't, but remember that you're no fool. (Except in the mystical sense, of course.)

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  2. You flatter me! I'm truly blushing.

    I like to think that Amber and Jet has provided a place where my particular grooming fits in. It has such a reputation for being stodgy, but I really do enjoy it. I find it refreshing.

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  3. @Veles and @VVF---Groups I know of w/in an hour's drive are few, high on New Age, low on tradition and training. I may join one anyway: Kraken knows I could use some New Age sweetness and light (I meant that, btw). I'm in an email course, a marvellously excellent one: still I'm sore from lack of a sensei to monitor and correct my technique.

    So: solitary, pretty much. I know some solitaries have done well and gone far. Words of wisdom, advice, tips?

    --
    Hieronimo

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17 Witchy Questions Tag - Kelden and Veles

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