Recently I posted a list of red flags to look for in spiritual and magical orders and organizations, as in, what NOT to look for.
Today I will post a things to actually look for. Peachy, huh? Emphasis on the positive! Here we go!
- Leaders who willingly admit that they don’t know something. Hey, that’s awesome! No one knows everything, and I like those who are in a position to teach and/or lead and are willing to admit shortcomings.
- Friendly group egregore. In short, people who get along, act like family, and not just a bunch of whiny kids all trying to get grade badges or titles.
- Groups that demonstrate fruits of their labors. Are their members and/or leaders writing books? Blogging? Are they giving back to their local communities somehow? If the group is big enough, this question can be answered. Otherwise you can see what people who are involved with have done with their lives and themselves, and for those around them to the best of their ability.
- Leaders who have patience with newbies. Hey, we were all Neophytes and newbies once, right? If you get beaten up with responses like “That information is above your GRADE, Frater/Soror!!!” (depending on the tone, obviously) and make you feel like an idiot for asking questions, that’s not a good teacher. Go for the ones who have patience and actually want to teach you.
- Honesty. Go for ones who will say things to you like “The reason why we don’t teach that above your grade/degree level is due both to relevance to the initiation and a desire not to overwhelm you with too much information” or any such reasonable response such as that, but won’t be afraid to answer your questions the best they can. Which leads me to…
- Leaders who have a sense of humor about themselves, their path, and the group. Yes, maintaining the group is important. The path is important. Everyone’s important. Just don’t take yourself or anything too seriously. Laughter is good!
- Leaders who aren’t afraid of differences of opinion, and encourage questioning of authority. Debates are NOT the same thing as arguing.
- Leaders who do not want nor demand blind followers, but want to be and encourage being questioned.
Feel free to add anything I’ve missed. I’ve tried to stay away from any one type of group, path, tradition, or teaching in this list.