?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
09 December 2012 @ 04:44 pm
YaaD Work: Class 12: Specialties  
This is one of the reflection papers I wrote as part of my Year and a Day (YaaD) of study with Fieldhaven Coven.

The question is drawn from the Greenhaven Tradition; the YaaD course is not published on the Greenhaven Tradition website, but is made available on a person-to-person basis. Material that is not so closely held is available at http://greenhaventradition.weebly.com/

Class 12, Paper 1 (after reading, before class discussion): 1. Make a list of five things you do well. How could you use these in relation to magic or spirituality? (For instance, growing or cooking with herbs would match magical herbalism.) Discuss your findings in a few paragraphs. 2. Make a list of five magical or spiritual skills which you do not have but would like to have. Where did you hear about them? What could you do to learn these skills yourself? Discuss your findings in a few paragraphs.

Normally, I would have been asked to answer one of the above questions as my pre-class paper; I was instructed to address both. Similarly, for my post-discussion paper, I was instructed to focus my additional reading on the skills I wanted to acquire and write a paper on each of them.

This is the first rewrite; it also was deemed a failure.


Assignment submitted August 6, 2012

Writing Assignment: YaaD Class 12 - Specialties

Part 1) Make a list of five things you do well. How could you use these in relation to magic or spirituality? (For instance, growing or cooking with herbs would match magical herbalism.) Discuss your findings in a few paragraphs.

Things I think I do reasonably well:

  1. I type fast and fairly accurately, and I take really, really detailed notes.
  2. I am a decent public speaker.
  3. I have reasonably good Google-fu.
  4. I have a decent but no longer an outstanding memory.
  5. I'm usually fairly good at explaining things to people.
  6. I'm generally pretty good at pretending to be patient and understanding.
  7. I have enough empathy that it might qualify as a weak, low-level Talent.
  8. I can often convince software to do what I want.
  9. I have decent pattern recognition, including sometimes the ability to spot a pattern in what is not being said or done.
  10. I'm reasonably good at customer service.
  11. I'm reasonably good at copyediting.

Things my mentor says he thinks I do well (and I said I wouldn't argue with him):

  1. Cooking.
  2. Networking (I assume he means the people kind rather than the Ethernet kind).
  3. Writing.
  4. Handicrafts, especially those involving yarn.
  5. Kink.
  6. Organizing (by which he says he means all of: finding places for things, filing, event planning, herding cats, and the union definition of getting people to join and become active in their local) – and he and his partner have especially asked that I include this in my list because it's a less-common skill in their community.


Ways I could use these skills in a magickal or spiritual context: I have no clue.

However, in extrapolating on the assignment, I can think of ways I might be able to use some of the skills to help support a Pagan community:

  • Combining 1, 3, and C suggests that I could learn to be a coven secretary or historian.
  • Combining 2, 3, 5, and C suggests that if I were willing to put the effort and focus into it, I could develop some skill at ritual design.
  • Combining 4, 11, and F suggests that if I were willing to put the effort and focus into it, I could be a good assistant to a coven leader who needed that skill set.
  • Combining 5, 6, G, and F suggests that if I were willing to put the effort and focus into learning things that needed to be taught, I could eventually teach those things.
  • Combining 8 with my elemental connections seeming to be Fire and Earth suggests that if I have any Talents, Technomagick might be one of them.
  • Combining B, 2, and F suggests that at some point I could be a public voice for a coven, if such a thing were needed. fatfred suggests that these might be used to help with some kind of PR.
  • D by itself could be useful in that many Pagans prefer using handcrafted items rather than commercially produced ones; however, I'm not so great at actually finishing projects. ditenebre suggests that combining 4 and D suggests that I might be able to teach others how to make things.
  • I can't think of any way to use 10 in a magickal, spiritual, or Pagan context.
  • I can't think of any way to use A in a magickal, spiritual, or Pagan context, other than the obvious "bring stuff to potlucks." catsittingstill notes that A could also be part of ritual design and prep.
  • I can't think of any way to use E in a magickal, spiritual, or Pagan context, because I'm not one of the people for whom kink is spiritual; it's just fun.




Part 2) Make a list of five magical or spiritual skills which you do not have but would like to have. Where did you hear about them? What could you do to learn these skills yourself? Discuss your findings in a few paragraphs.

  1. Kabbalah
    1. I have no idea where I heard of this; my background is Jewish, so I may have picked it up there, or from early reading about NeoPaganism and such things as Tarot and numerology.
    2. I have signed up to attend a three-hour introductory workshop in September. There are a myriad of books and websites about Kabbalah; I could ask the local Pagan community; I could search WitchVox.

  2. Tarot
    1. I have no idea where I heard of this; a family friend gave my mother a book on Tarot, but I might have heard about it before then.
    2. As with Kabbalah, there are a myriad of decks, books, websites, and classes that I could use to learn more. The primary aspect of learning to use Tarot, though, would be practice and memorization.

  3. Ritual design and development
    1. I have no idea where I heard of this; I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware that rituals have to be written. Even the most traditional rituals had to be developed at some point in history, and are often modernized to be more relevant to the current culture.
    2. The way to learn this would be by observation and practice. I would need to read widely about psychology in general, psychology of ritual, and ritual design. I would need to seek out public events that I could attend, and find people who would be willing to talk to me about how and why they wrote the ritual the way they did. Then I'd have to start writing bits of rituals, finding people to test them, and – here's the hard part – asking for, listening to, and learning from criticism about what I should have done differently, then repeating the process, ideally failing better each time (cf Samuel Beckett).

  4. Event planning, especially larger events
    1. I have no idea where I heard of this; I've seen event planning from more-or-less the inside since I was a child.
    2. The way to learn this would be study and practice. I would have plenty of opportunities to do this (e.g., IAAP events, including the annual statewide conference; UCW events, including the annual statewide conference), and if I volunteered to help with event planning in the local Pagan community they might take me up on it if I'd shown some degree of responsibility in other areas. There are also workshops, books, and websites on the topic.

  5. Technomagick – I have to write a caveat for this one: it may not qualify, since there's a possibility that it's a talent I have but haven't expressed; if it is, it doesn't fit the parameters of the assignment, which is talents and skills I don't have but would like to have.
    1. I have no idea where I heard of this; certainly in the Babylon Five episode, but I'm fairly sure I'd run into it previously, probably in a D&D game.
    2. I could read books and essays on the subject and attempt any exercises given in the books. I could ask in the local Pagan community if anyone has this skill set and might be willing to teach it.


I've taken "healing" off both lists; without the hedging, I can't even think about wishing it were something I could do.
Tags: