Just recently I had a social media run in with a teacher who was advertising for a class for trauma victims. They responded with a list of magickal affiliations and techniques none of which I cared about. So I asked again, “That’s great. Thank you. And what specifically qualifies you to teach trauma survivors?”
The response I got back was a listing of the persons’ own trauma and life story. My response was as follows:
I am not trying to insult you and I appreciate your candor. I strongly believe that any pagan anyone who wants to help the healing process for trauma survivors should have either developed their own process from their own need OR have the appropriate psychological training. I think it is down right psychologically dangerous for someone to present weekend “training” or magickal “rituals” around trauma unless they have had one of the aforementioned. I also believe that Seekers have a right to know what qualifies someone to present a workshop or weekend intensive. For example, if someone was presenting a weekend intensive around polyamory I would not give a flying crap about their magickal titles and affiliations – I would want to know how long they have had a successful polyamorous relationship. Just because they can put a class together doesn’t mean they have the practical successful experience needed. Conversely, in trauma, those who have not experienced it or studied the different methods that are used to help survivors thrive, should not be presenting classes around it, in my opinion. I would love to hear more about your method and how you developed your program (what books you used, what types of therapies you have tried, what magickal intersections you exploit) but I was unable to send you a message off list because we are not friends. So I friend requested you. I am not in XX so there is not any hope that I could attend a weekend event. I am not insulting you. I am merely asking for clarification of qualifications. This is something I believe anyone has the right to do of any person who presents themselves as a teacher on a topic, especially specefic topics.
This prompts this week’s question: Do pagan seekers have the right to demand specefic information from teachers who present themselves as authorities on a topic? Under what circumstances do they not? Does being a HPs or HPS or a teacher of any tradition mean that they are qualified to speak on EVERY topic equally without question? What do you think or feel about this? How do you handle questions about your qualifications?