Founders’ Corner: Learning the Craft

by Adam Sartwell

My first book on witchcraft was given to me at my birthday party thrown by my high school friends. At fifteen I had exhausted all the school library’s reference books on witchcraft,  and I was happy to take the next steps. This is how my education in witchcraft started. I had friends who were interested in the subject too, and when the will came upon us we would act together. From there I got more books on witchcraft, but it was through meditation, magick and dream work that I started to really learn.  My first “coven” was dysfunctional as only teenagers can be. We did a plethora of things I wouldn’t do again. But that was how I started to learn.

Years later in college I started another “coven” and tried to impart what I had learned. Those were great times. As I look back on those days, I see that I was pretty full of myself. Telling my friends how they should live and practice because I had gotten pretty good at this magick thing. The “coven” exploded a couple of times. From the fire, I learned that though I wished for community, I wasn’t ready for the infighting and personality conflicts. I started to take all this as a reflection of myself and my teachings. I started to think I must be a rotten teacher.  Perhaps it would be better if I went it alone. I made some more attempts, but none of them bore fruit, and so I started a journey of self-reflection.

I traveled and lived in different places and met people who educated me on new ways, but I stayed with solitary witchcraft. Always studying, meditating, and scribbling notes in a lot of blank books. This solitary craft was a journey to know myself. I never stopped striving to better myself. This is partly why I started to take the Temple Mystery School classes, even while working as a founder and lead minister. From the classes I got a linear progression of exercises and the benefit of a teacher and mentor. The process added the observations of others to the search for inner truth. I gained a community of the order known as the Temple of Witchcraft. I learned more about myself and what to change from interactions with the radiant people of the Temple. Together we have created something I see lasting beyond me.

This October I will be thirty-five, meaning I have been a witch for twenty years. I continue to learn and experiment. I have made mistakes, but I regret nothing because I knew I was doing the best I could with what I had at the time. I know that I still have much to learn and much to teach. I hope that you will take this story to heart and never stop learning and growing.

Adam Sartwell is a Founder and Virgo lead minister of the Temple of Witchcraft. Adam’s psychic and intuitive gifts led him to study Witchcraft in his teens and he is a teacher, healer, and professional Tarot reader. He spends time hand-crafting products for the Temple store (which he manages) and was recently published in The Green Lovers anthology from Copper Cauldron Publishing. He can be reached at virgo@templeofwitchcraft.org.

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