I had read every book I could get my hands on. I had bookmarked dozens of websites about magic, spells, Wicca, and witchcraft, and revisited them each multiple times, soaking up every bit of advice and tried all the techniques suggested. I had hit a brick wall of learning. It was time I found a mentor!
When solitaires first start their craft, most will read anything and everything they can get their hands on. Books, ebooks, magazines, websites, blogs...Everything is so new and so foreign. I came from a Christian family, so I literally mean everything. I didn't know the difference between casting or invoking, I didn't know what the Wiccan Rede was, (I actually thought it might be a god or something at first)...you get the picture.
I am on limited income, so I was only able to purchase at most a few books a month. I was online every day though, searching hungrily for new information, or for more details about the information, I just read about in a book. After a few months of studying every day, I finally felt comfortable with the basics. I was ready to start putting my own flair on my practice, versus rigidly following the Wiccan Intro books for rituals and spells. I became more confident in my spellcasting abilities and even was able to come up with spells on the spot whenever I found myself in a bind. But I knew there was still a lot I didn't know and knew there was no way I could call myself a novice witch unless I started learning from an actual human. I needed a mentor.
So, there is not even a new age/witchy shop within 50 miles of my home. My local library doesn't' even carry any books about witchcraft (at least informational books- they have a handful of fictional novels about witches). My first thought was Etsy or Craigslist, but Etsy witches really only offer single spells at a time (like they cast a spell for you or send you a kit so you can cast it on your own), and I scratched the Craigslist idea as soon as it came. I decided if I was going to advance in my craft, the closest thing I would get to a mentor would be to find a witch school.
Google dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted advisor. When you are practicing a new religion, and a new lifestyle, I don't know how anyone could graduate to an experienced level without a mentor. And being a mentor cannot be an easy job. Think about it: you've already studied everything your student is grilling you about, and you have to deal with silly, sometimes redundant questions. You have to repeat yourself, you have to be patient, you have to be creative. To all the mentors out there: THANK YOU!After several weeks, and three online schools later, I finally found not only a school but a mentor as well! I registered for Witch School, an online school designed to offer magical education to anyone who wants it for little to no cost. Witch School also trains clergy members for the Correllian Nativist Tradition. For several subjects, such as Lessons for the First Degree (the first level of clergy membership), or for Divination, they offer mentors. You select a mentor from a list for the subject, and you correspond with your mentor via email or on their social site The Daily Spell. I can't even express how much this school has helped me advance. My mentor is WONDERFUL. She will help me with anything, whether it's related to a lesson or not. They provide extra help for tests, and if you are like me and can't sit still for multiple choice tests, your mentor can give you essay tests. You simply write one or more of the essays they email you then send it back in an email formatted per their instruction. So simple! I retain information much better when I write an essay about it.