Among new practitioners, there tends to be two noticeable groups*:
Group A – those who charge in like a bull in a china shop, not paying much heed to possible consequences or understanding their responsibility in their work
Group B – those who are almost petrified to do anything, for fear of making a mistake or “doing it wrong.”
(*I think there’s a fair amount of folks in the middle, so before anyone freaks out, I said noticeable groups. The middle tends to blend in.)
I suspect some of Group B may have originated as Group A, then fell flat on their faces hard unexpectedly (at least to them), then quickly joined B. That’s human nature, I suppose.
But I do worry about the high levels of near-paralyzing anxiety that many young practitioners often share online – more than I worry about the proverbial bulls. I don’t think what they are experiencing is not that much different emotionally or mentally than what I went through at their age – but the surroundings are different. I recognize that while the internet can be an amazing resource in so many ways, I think it can also amplify fear and misunderstanding. That trend can make anyone believe that if you fail, it will be judged largely and publicly far and wide – an it will be the end of the world in some way. But that’s not truly reflective of the whole reality.
Making a mistake might be messy, it could hurt, it might take some cleaning up and time to heal. But it’s not a sign of failure of self, of magic, or being a Witch.
The only way to remedy either extreme is through actual experiences coupled with analytical consideration (of the spiritual, physical, and metaphysical effects). This way, you start to see the possible connections and consequences, predicting and anticipating them with more insight. This process will only continue to expand and deepen over time – and you’ll still misjudge situations over time – and then learn from those experiences.
I know some folks argue that the Threefold Law is mainly there to help out newbies, like a kind of metaphysical training wheel. But so many people focus on the negative without understanding balance while adding a lot of subjective veneer to it about what you should/should not do. (Like hexing is a big one people froth at the mouth over, still.)
The thing is, growth happens through learning. Part of the learning process is having the freedom to not only make mistakes, but being able to understand them. I would love for more newbies – young Witchlets especially – to be able to feel free to experience their practice in all of its aspects.
I have a BONUS VIDEO! Where I talk about one of the “mistakes” I worried a long time about, and some other stuff. I would love if other folks shared some of the mistakes they have made and what they learned from them that aided your path.