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Preparing To Teach

 

I like teaching. I don’t know if I am any good at it, but I do really love to do it. I think I just like the opportunity to share what I know, with a small group of people. I do well with intimate settings. However, as with most of my endeavors, I get very nervous.

With my nerves, comes shots to the self-esteem from that dark part of the brain that likes to tell me that I am not as knowledgeable as I portray myself. I am not smart enough, I am not good enough, and why am I pretending to have anything valuable to contribute to the community? Logically, I know that none of this is true. But deep down, I have been told this enough that I still battle it every time I go to teach or sit in a shop to offer readings.

To negate this, I create outlines for my classes. If I have an outline, I feel like I can stay on topic and make sure that I don’t miss a single detail in the process. Part of the process of writing it all down (which I do by hand!) helps it solidify in my mind how I want my class to go. Then when I teach, I often refer to my notes because I can easily get distracted and go off the rails.

When I have taught without my notes, it usually doesn’t flow the way I want it to. Most everyone has told me that my classes are still excellent, even without my notes. But for me, it’s a stressful thing to try and run a class without my outline. I always end up feeling like I left something out!

I will be teaching Scrying 101 at Mystic South in July and I will definitely be sure to use notes. If you are considering going to the event, do look for me (even if you aren’t taking my class) because I would love for the chance to say Hi!

In The Beginning, There Was Cloud Scrying

 

I am often asked how I got into scrying. After all, it’s not every day that someone just picks up a crystal ball and can use it effectively. However, I was an accidental scryer in childhood!

My most favorite thing to do as a child was to look up at the clouds. I would lay down on the ground, throw some sunglasses on (I later learned to avoid the noon-day sun!), and look for shapes in the clouds. I had a younger sister that I would often do this little chore with. I saw all sorts of images and we would try to come up with “mystical meanings”. I never really understood it but I always wanted to be a magical sort of person. What I didn’t know was that I was well on my way to the world that would allow me to work my natural magic.

I knew I was on to something though when I started noticing a specific object in a tree that was across the street. Every time I looked out the window at night when I laid in my bed, I saw a witch on her broom in the tree. At the time it scared me. I was scared of the Wicked Witch of the West. I had no idea that witches were not as Hollywood portrayed them. So for years, I would try to avoid looking at this tree at night. Who knew it was a message to me about my future?

I also had a tendency to know things. I learned quickly that I could not discuss this “superpower” because it bothered other people. I could walk into a room and know what argument took place. Not that an argument took place, that’s easy for anyone to pick up on. But I knew details. I also was able to get myself out of trouble long before it happened. Not to say that I was never in trouble, but when I listened I avoided some serious stuff.

By the time I hit my teenage years, I had squashed the ability so much, it was as if it didn’t exist. My home environment and society around me said that I was not normal and I had to be normal. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I would come back to my natural tendency. It wasn’t easy either. Opening that part of me leaves me incredibly vulnerable and I had been taught that vulnerable was bad. I had to change my thinking and allow myself to feel and be in the moment that would allow me to connect once again.

I am glad that I came back to it. It has freed me and allowed me to feel more comfortable in my skin. Some readings get heavy and hurt but the ability to connect with another human being on that level is nothing short of a blessing. Others may feel like I help them but I really feel like my clients help me.

Freyja & Scrying

 

When I became devoted to Freyja, I was shocked at just how much I was already devoted to Her and why exactly she wanted me. Freyja is a Goddess of Magic and of Fortune Telling. She watches over Seidrkona (Her women who are of a shamanic path) and fortune telling is one aspect of Seidr that’s important.

It is also said that She taught Odin magic. As scrying made it’s way around the world, it was often associated with Wouten which is proto-Germanic for Odin. By the time the legends of scrying came to include Odin, it was in the image of a crystal ball.

While I cannot locate any documentation that Seidrkona used crystal balls, it appears that they were more into trance work that involved intuitive readings, it is still a nice idea that She would approve of the tool that I am most drawn to!

The Cup of Jamshid

 

The Cup of Jamshid is one of the oldest stories about scrying you can find. It comes out of Ancient Persia, which is now Iran. Inside the cup with this magical elixir that could give anyone eternal life if they sipped from it. Something like the Fountain of Youth. However, I have yet to find stories in which anyone drank from this cup. I am assuming there is something out there, perhaps lost since it’s always associated with the cup. What I love is that when the ruler of Persia looked into the cup, he could see all across the land and into the heavens. He could see everything and know everything. But it wasn’t to be used lightly or for ill-will. It could only be used if it benefited all of the cupholders people.

The cup eventually changed into a crystal ball, most notably in The Heroic Legend of Aslan. More often than not, people don’t comprehend what I do unless I tell them I use a crystal ball. It’s the most common image that a person can relate to. However, when I teach scrying, I teach about all the different methods and I teach the mirror as the introductory into scrying. Rather than a crystal ball!

Q& A With a Scryer

 

I am often asked several questions in regards to paid divination and I often touch upon ethics when teaching divination. I wanted to share with you some of those questions and the answers I provide.

Q: Do you tell people about the readings you do?

A: I would be surprised if I remembered. Readings between me and a person are between me and that person. In a lot of ways, the readings reflect what the client already knows. They simply need to hear it come from someone else in order to solidify truth. Very personal things come up in a reading and it would feel very inappropriate for me to share with others those personal details. Additionally, when I am sitting in a shop for several hours doing readings, I usually forget. Sometimes I can be triggered by memory if I see that person later on or if it’s someone I have routinely done divination for. But I never mention it unless they do. Some people I simply don’t remember at all.

Q: Do you ever see a horrible crash that results in death? Will you tell someone if they will die?

A: Beleive it or not, I don’t see everything. I see what the guides want you to know. I may see a health concern that I will inform you of and encourage you to see a doctor, I never offer medical advice beyond seeing a doctor! To date, I have never seen anyone I am divining for dying horribly or suddenly. In cases of death, I have foretold death for family and pets in the past. It’s a difficult decision to be able to share that knowledge. In all of the cases, these were terminally ill people or animals and so it wasn’t a complete shock. Because I could see that this was a long time coming, it made it “easier” to pass that information on. 

When I teach scrying, I emphasize the importance of being comfortable with a decision to tell or not. Not everyone is comfortable with looking at a client and confirming that Dad won’t make it to winter. That is perfectly okay. However, I do challenge people to consider if they would feel guilt for not passing that information on. Sometimes we are okay with our decision initially until we get word later on. We can be overwhelmed with the guilt even though there may have been nothing we could do to change the outcome. 

Q: Shouldn’t you offer your services free?

A: My short answer is no! My question for you would be, do you work for free? Yes, I charge for my services. The time I spend in a shop to offer my abilities takes me away from other work opportunities and away from my family. It costs me money to drive to the shop and I pay a fee to the shop I am working in. So yes, I should charge for my services.

I don’t solely offer my services for money. I have arranged for offering my scrying class at festivals and conferences without pay. I sometimes engage in divination fundraisers for organizations or to help a person in need. I don’t always make money for what I do!

Q: How often should I get readings?

A: Ultimately it’s up to you. I highly recommend waiting around 3 months. While no reading is set in stone, there are just too many variables that could alter the outcome of anything I tell you, you want enough time to pass to see if there is a change. If you visit a reader every month, you are wasting your money hearing essentially the same thing over and over again. If you visit weekly, please stop! It’s just too much and an indication you are obsessing too much about a situation in your life. If you are that concerned, I highly recommend a therapist to work out your feelings surrounding that issue. 

 

Hopefully, this helps a majority of you with any questions you have in regards to readings and practices. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me at akunschmann@gmail.com!