* People you can respect, trust and love.
* Good people. How could anyone be spiritual without being at least honest and kind?
* Authentic people - people who seem to live in accordance with the values they espouse. If they claim to be able to teach you Nature spirituality, do they live lightly on the Earth? If they claim to be able to teach you magic, do they seem to be grounded, centered and empowered?
* Competent people - people who seem knowledgeable and skilled, people who are organized, who keep their appointments and are well-prepared for their classes.
* People who listen. People who ask the kinds of questions that encourage you to explore your own spirituality and your own ideas and feelings about traditional lore. People who are genuinely open to learning from their students, as well as teaching them.
* People who will respect your confidences. People who will neither gossip nor use information you share to manipulate or hurt you.
and some things to avoid:
* Authoritarians - stay away from anyone who tries to censor your reading or to isolate you from family or friends. Beware of those who get irritated when you ask challenging questions. Be even more wary of anyone who, when you ask a difficult question, either ridicules you or patronizes you ("let your elders worry about that one, dear, your job right now is just to learn what we teach."). If anybody tries to forbid you to express your opinions in the presence of your elders, run screaming out the door. (all these things have happened)
* Sexual predators - unfortunately a few of these creeps infest every religion. If somebody tells you that your magical or spiritual advancement depends on your giving them what they want, first spit in their eye, then get away fast.
* Hypocrites - those who say they love Mother Earth, and live carelessly and wastefully, those who say they love the Goddess and dominate or abuse human women, those who claim to be Spirit-led while their behavior is ego-driven.
* Exploiters - but they're not instantly identifiable. Any coven might ask students to take a turn bringing consumable supplies like candles or cookies. Teaching covens may have monetary expenses, such as photocopying or rental for a meeting room -- and it's entirely reasonable for them to charge dues and cover their costs from the common purse thus created. There is some debate in our community about whether a Craft teacher should accept payment for their time and work. This is a matter of opinion, but you can be sure that a teacher who takes payment is not practicing Traditional Witchcraft.
It's also fair for a teacher or coven to ask you to do your share of set-up and clean-up, or of ongoing coven projects. But if some coven leader expects you to work free in their profit- making business, or act as their domestic servant, run screaming out the door.
* People who order you to go against your values. Again, this involves some subtle issues. One of the major goals of spiritual development is to learn to hear the still, small inner voice. But some of our inner directives are actually cultural or familial programming. These prescriptions and prescriptions may also be wise, or they may be limiting, or actually evil (consider racial prejudice). They often drown out the voice of authentic Spirit. The best teachers will gently challenge their students to override outworn programming, but never to go against core values. The issue of readiness is also important. If you try to override even the nastiest old programming before you are ready, you might cause a painful backlash. This psychological trauma can actually retard your progress. Beware of insensitive autocrats who try to force all their students into the same Procrustean bed. Don't ever let anybody pressure into doing anything - in or out of Circle - that you believe is wrong. In ritual, we speak to our deepest minds, establishing the moods and motivations that shape our lives. Don't ever do in token what you would not do in truth.
Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):Robert Ambelain - Martinism History And Doctrine
Julia Phillips - History Of Wicca In England
Max Heindel - Teachings Of An Initiate