Archive for November, 2012

On Donor Sessions

Posted: Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 by deacongray in Community Articles, Editorials

On Donor Sessions
By Madame X ©2006

1. TRUST AND COMMUNICATION
These are the primary keys to a healthy donor relationship. Trust is built on honest communication over time. Incomplete negotiation is an error, but dishonesty during negotiation is abusive manipulation. Errors are forgivable, manipulation and coercion are not. Negotiation should include the agreement of any pertinent session details like location, degree, duration and all exchange circumstances, regardless if the agreement is for one session or for an ongoing relationship. It is vital that the donor knows their personal boundaries and expresses them clearly. Life doesn’t come with guarantees, when we entrust there is always the chance of that trust becoming misused. Trust is a precious gift that once violated is difficult, if not impossible, to restore

2. VALUE AND WORTH
Both parties are halves of a whole, yin and yang, they are equal in value. Before a donor can wisely transfer energy, they must energize and empower themselves, and be familiar with energy raising techniques, for post-session recovery. Know that you can’t trust and truly respect another unless you trust and respect yourself first. It is imperative to understand that while in fantasy the donor may be merely a slave, a doll, food or whatever drives you; in reality the donor is a valuable gift worthy of respect, recognition and recompense.

3. CONTROL EQUALS RESPONSIBILITY
Both parties must understand that during a session the donor is in a state of diminished capacity and their ability to make decisions is severely compromised during the time of transference. Similarly many vamps are seriously altered during a drawing session, often experiencing trances or delirium, none-the-less it is the responsibility of the dominant to secure third party presence if assistance is possibly required. The donor is entrusting their body, mind and spirit to their partner’s care, which is a sacred covenant. If you are not ready to accept the responsibility of your actions, don’t accept the control.

4. CONSENT
Control is not unilateral; it is an agreed upon exchange issued with consent.
Sex without consent is rape. Drawing without consent is assault.
The words “No” and “Stop” are evident withdrawals of consent! Either partner should be able call the session to a halt at any time.

5. IDENTIFY ABUSE
Any relationship that works for one individual but to the detriment of the other is abusive. In a session, the donor agrees to the draw and transference, concedes control to the dominant partner to be used for their mutual benefit. The exchange must be in some way rewarding (if not pleasurable) to the donor. No matter how careful (or not) partners were, there are no excuses abuse, physical, or otherwise. People who make excuses for abusers are enablers that compound the problem. Donors must recognize abusive partners, permanently disassociate from them, and communicate abuse to community elders who are in a better position to take appropriate action. Victims frequently fear to talk about abuse because of negative response … when this occurs it becomes as if the victim is twice abused … if the victim continues to entrust the abuser, he or she is obviously issuing consent and recanting their original grievance.

Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Tools

Posted: Sunday, 25 November, 2012 by deacongray in Community Articles, Editorials, Uncategorized
Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Tools
By Madame X © 2008Western culture expressly wants us to be kept busy. We aught to be hard workers, be industrious, occupy our free time with productive hobbies, seek partners who are active and dynamic, never waste a waking minute, never be idle, and never daydream.

We are expected to get up at the crack of dawn and immediately begin our day by tending to our all too human needs and those of our family, hurry to fill the rest of the day with a financially rewarding 8 to 6 job, hurry home to tend to more needs till we finally collapse senseless due to exhaustion. When the weekend approaches we are to fill it with all those tasks we neglected throughout the week; like grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, working on the car, mowing the lawn, painting the fence, visiting the in-laws, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook… In the midst of all this and more, when do we have time for us? It is becoming harder and harder to find time in our daily routines to be introspective, creative, or otherwise release our stress.

We are told repeatedly and in many ways that “Idle hands are the Devil’s tools”, but in fact it is those very idle moments that bring us closer to our source, closer to our higher-selves and closer to our inner nature. Idle peaceful moments allow us to tap into our creative side, to practice introspection, to engage in meditation, to develop spiritual rituals, to day dream, to fantasize, to contemplate possibilities and to just stop the madness. Moments away from Dayside responsibilities are needed, if we seek to develop a healthy relationship with our selves, our conscience, our past, our present and our future. It is important to find this time in our busy schedules, step back and look around; realizing that life is beautiful, nature, human accomplishments, honest smiles, the sky, music, that sent, this color… As we become more and more entrenched in our overwhelming dayside, our burgeoning careers, our dead end jobs, our financial responsibilities, our all too human needs… we resign ourselves to losing touch with our Nightside. These idle moments have become precious treats in our society. We must therefore, strive harder to find these small niches of time to explore our natures, to compare them with others who walk our path, to continue to learn as we experience life thru our own particular window, and ultimately journey toward our dreams.

Too many of us are slaves to our Dayside demands. It really aught to be the other way: our Dayside toils should serve us. It is not an easy turn around to make, but we need to shape our Dayside so that it better serves who we are, what we want to be, and where we wish our dreams to take us. Our Dayside should ultimately enable our Nightside, not hinder it. As Nightkind we are faced with the difficult task of balancing the two. While neither should suffer prolonged or extensively, we do owe it to ourselves to find quiet peaceful moments to simply reconnect, relax and allow our dreams to take form.

The 6 Keys to the Embodied: A Synopsis of inward reaching techniques
By Madame X © 2010

Introduction:
Regardless of your individual level of experience you can Open, Discover, Communicate, Develop, and put the Embodied to work with these 6 practices:
1. Introspection
2. Affirmations
3. Visualization
4. Meditation
5. Trance
6. Astral Journey
Tomes have been written on each; my intention is to briefly introduce them as tools to work with the Embodied.

1. Introspection
When reaching within to our Embodied nothing is more important than Introspection. It is important to consider thoughts, words and actions, bringing intuitive responses into a conscious awareness by examining where motivations come from. Stop looking outward for answers, instead turn inward allowing the Embodied to manifest. To face ourselves and the other within – heart, fears, faults and frailties too. To accept and appreciate its ways, our ways; discovering the unique creatures that we are. Our journey is to embrace our true nature, angelic, bestial or demonic, as an intrinsic part of a larger whole claiming our own rightful place in symbiosis. It is through introspection that we make peace with our Embodied becoming one with it.
Journaling is a terrific tool for introspection as we continue self-observation well after memory has forgotten the subtle nuances. We may also try Reverse Introspection, where we begin examining the last occurrence fist.

2. Affirmations
Verbal affirmations are another great tool for personal empowerment, as they enable reaching and developing the Embodied, be it verbally (words / chants), visually or physically. Positive affirmations impress the conscious and the subconscious mind, building confidence, then shaping attitudes and behaviors, as they become belief. Effective affirmations contain elements of certainty, intentions and the positive qualities of our Embodied (this last inclusion is a critical cohesive factor in establishing/sustaining the relationship). Therefore: from affirmation to acceptance, to affection, to cohesive self-esteem.

3. Visualization
Visualization is a simple process, fundamental in most magickal practices and a terrific tool for reaching our Embodied. Visualization begins in The Mind´s Eye as it acts as a magnet drawing to us what we wish, in this case a deeper connection with our Embodied. Visualization is a form of mental enactment or rehearsal, which sharpens the will improving skills, enhancing ability, and refining performance in a variety of areas from sports, to art, to magickal craft. Creative visualization builds mental images in the mind helping focus on the visual qualities of our Embodied while aiming toward any goals and situations we may want to achieve; in itself Visualization is a visual affirmation. The idea is to see and project our Embodied selves at their very best in unity with the Self. Again, it’s as important to visualize what we are certain of as well as our desired intent. Visualizations will help define our Embodied, unite it with the Self through realization and actualization.

Exercise 1: Seeing Beyond Form – Sit or stand, facing a reflective surface, which can be a mirror, a black mirror, a natural water source, a water basin, or another reflective surface, crystal or silver being preferred. There should be a light source strong enough to allow viewing, be it candlelight or a natural source like moonlight. Focus on the reflection intending to connect visually with the embodied and allowing eyes to blink when needed. As vision blurs our reflection begins to reveal what we need to see.

4. Meditation
There are two types of meditative practices. ‘Passive ’ where in stillness a single focus or blank, allows for a connection with the higher self, divinity, or (for our purposes) a connection with The Embodied, and ‘Active’ where we may be engaged in an activity like drumming or dancing allowing our mind to enter a meditative state.
Passive Meditation includes: focused contemplation of auditory or visual stimuli, Yogic sutras, Buddhist or Zen meditation, Pranayama or breath control, etc…

Exercise 2: The Dragon’s Statue – Here we allow the Embodied to surface by achieving inner peace. Getting into a relaxed position, begin with 5 – 15 minutes of complete silence and stillness. Eyes closed, breathing softly with sensory awareness placed on heartbeat, breathing, and inner sounds. The mind should be cleared and thoughts should revert to our primary intent.

Another type is Assisted Passive Meditation where items like: elements, crystals, incense, pyramids, masks, etc… are used to enhance deeper meditative levels. You may want to try incorporating an element or item that resonates with your embodied to further your connection.
Active meditation includes: Reading, looking thru a set of visual images, Shiatsu Massage, repetition of mantras, drumming, flagellation, automatic writing, automatic painting, intoning, chanting, also aerobic exercises like dancing, running, sexual stimulation, etc…
Depending on the individual, there may be a particular activity that triggers a meditative state or connection with the Embodied. Awareness of this is always a great beginning.

5. Trance / Altered States of Consciousness
Voluntarily Altered States of Consciousness can be achieved in a variety of way including: deep meditation via ecstatic dance or drumming, physical pain or sexual ecstasy, as well as journeying or vision questing. Some claim that certain chemicals can open similar doors, but the faster, chemically induced trances are discouraged because they can exceed personal awareness levels, possibly leading to unnecessary physical, mental and emotional damage. During Trance we may obtain sensory experiences, auditory or visual messages and memories that pertain to The Embodied. These can be short simple snapshots, or lengthy visions detailed in complexity.

6. Astralling and Akashic Hall Retrieval
This practice is the culmination of reaching inward. Here we reach onto a different plane where we may interact with the Embodied in unexpected ways. For precautionary grounding purposes, beginners should attempt Astral travel only with a guide or watcher. Voluntary Out of Body Experiences (OBEs), Astral Projection, and Dreaming are forms of Astralling.
Visiting the Astral can help us reach out to astral entities i.e.: elementals, deities, and ancients who may provide information about the Embodied. Here we may also retrieve insight from the Akashic Halls (aka: The Astral Library).
It’s important to differentiate what is truly a message, what we are ‘picking-up’ from the environment, and what is imagination; sometimes the line is fine, whereas not every vision or dream should be interpreted literally.
To further our connection with the Astral tools may be used; to deepen our connection with the embodied, these tools should reflect some aspect of it and may include: Shedding of clothes (skyclad), donning of robes, hoods, masks, runes, jewelry… preparations like baths, unction’s, blessings, and consecrations… using athames, wands, crystals or elements to open portals… Incense, victuals and libations…Affirmations and visualizations … etc…

In conclusion:
Introspection, Affirmation, Visualization, Meditation, Trance and Astral Journey are 6 keys that with dedicated study and practice will assist us to Open, Discover, Communicate, Develop, and put the Embodied to Work!
It is my goal to encourage trial of these practices with focused intent on reaching the embodied and that you share some of your experiences with us.

By Deacon Gray

Graveyard Press staff writer

It is difficult for anyone to grow up knowing they are different. Sometimes those differences are obvious, sometimes they are differences that are more of a feeling the child puts of…or a behavior that unsettles others…often the parents of the children you grew up calling friends. For the Vampiric Child it is no different.

I had several challenges growing up, but rather than spend the article talking about myself, I thought I would talk to some others on the subject. It didn’t take long to find someone to speak too. So I introduce you to my guest today, who…decided to keep his night, and day side name out of the article. “I do not mind sharing experiences, but I don’t often talk about my own history, or my family on the internet. It just doesn’t seem wise.”

So for the sake of this article, I have decided to use the name Irish.

GYP: Irish can you tell me a little about yourself?

Irish: I am twenty seven years old, a male and I have been on the outskirts of the Vampire and Otherkin communities for several years. The trip to joining the community was a long one, but my own child is what really pushed me to explore more of what the community has to offer. Sadly until recently there has been few writers that address the subject of Vampiric and Otherkin children, though I did find some articles on Lady Cg’s “Smoke and Mirrors” website, which helped. I am pretty certain I will buy her book “ Practical Vampirism for a Modern Vampire”

GYP: Will you tell us a little about your own expirences?

 

Irish: My Parents always told me I was a challenge when I was growing up. At one point my mother decided to read about compare a child sociopath, it freaked her out enough to take me into a mental health specialist, who decided I wasn’t a sociopath, but was a little concerned. In her follow up report the mental health specialist wrote.

“{Irish} has an interest in fires or starting fires (a fire starter), demonstrates little conscience, empathy or compassion for others. {Irish} is sophisticated at lying, manipulative and deceptive behavior, with little of remorse or appears indifference. He has a history of vandalism to property, bizarre writings or drawings which depicts scenes of violence, and acts out in a sexually inappropriate manner, these are all concerning symptoms, but {Irish} shows no signs of avoiding intimacy, such as hugs, does not seem to need immediate gratification of needs, and demonstrates no cruelty or violence against animals, or other children.

{Irish} should have constant parental supervision and continued visitation with a mental health professional.”

Looking back I think I might have been, or continue to be ADHD, with a lot of curiosity. I also had a constant hunger. It was like I was always looking for something. I tried the normal sugar and salty snacks, I went through a period of smoking, then drug use, nothing ever seemed to fill that whole except when I  made people highly emotional. If I could get them angry, or make them cry it made me feel more whole. I know how that sounds, but it was not just negative things, it was also positive ones. I just found it was a lot easier to annoy someone then it was to make them happy. I even started wondering if people generally just like being upset more than being happy.

Eventually I figured out better ways to get that release rather than making the people in life miserable, but it took a while. Oddly I became a chief, food makes people emotional if you do it right.

GYP: It sounds like you had things pretty well under control, but you said having a child changed a lot of that for you?

Irish: When you look back at your own childhood, you never realize just how much you sucked the life out of others. When I was artistically enhancing the neighbor’s house, I expected the neighbor to be pleased, I had no idea the police would be called. I was a little indignant that the neighbor didn’t like my artistic vision if anything. Today I see why the fellow didn’t like my spray painted machine guns on his house.
The point though is that I didn’t see how my own actions drained the people around me. My mother was upset, I felt better about life, if annoyed with their lack of understanding.

When I had a daughter of my own and started to see her actions from an adult point of view, it certainly changed things. My daughter will do things that just seem intent on making her mother insane, and no matter how upset her mother gets, my daughter doesn’t seem overly impacted by the event. “Dad, mom is crying because I colored her new white shoes black with a sharpie. Doesn’t she like black? Can I have a soda?”

Of course she is disciplined, but you can only take discipline so far if there is no real emotional understanding of and issue. And yet, she sees her mother is upset and takes her the soda I just gave her. “I am sorry you are sad mommy. Can I give you a hug?”

GYP: That sounds like…well a lot of kids out there. I don’t think that kind of behavior would say to me that a child is a vampire, or otherkin.

Irish: it shouldn’t. The hard things to deal with aren’t the behavioral issues, those can be dealt with. The hard part is in dealing with the toll the child can take on everyone around them. The most common thing said about my child goes something like this “ Your child is such an angel, all giggles and rainbows, being around her is a delight, but it is just so draining.”

 

Her grandparents do not want to be around her more than a few hours because “Oh she is a dear, but she is constant. She needs to be around kids more her speed.”

That is not to say my daughter is hyperactive, she isn’t. She is just constant. She feeds by keeping people engaged with her. This can be a real challenge for any adult, but for the child as well. I find myself asking questions like, am I a raising a child attention whore? Will she someday start “cutting” or become a drama queen? How do I deal with issues when I feel from observation and my own history that she is vampiric? How do I teach her to limit herself, at a point in her life when being made to feel different can have such an impact, but also knowing that if I don’t she may well isolate herself by overwhelming everyone who comes into contact with her, in ways they cannot really define?

GYP: Have you found anything that really works well with her?

Irish: actually I have found something that seems to be working. I have started to teach her to be a listener. I have shown her that she can engage people and make them feel great about their relationship with her if she pauses, listens and asks questions. Of course she is still a child, but these skills are really good skills. Already her teachers have noticed a change in her disposition. She listens closely, like she is trying to solve a puzzle, and ask questions that don’t probe as much as invites others to explore their feelings.

It will be an long teaching process, and I can only hope I don’t mess it up. She found a way to be the at the center of people’s attention and emotional struggles without causing them, she can listen and by listening become one of their favorite people. Of course there are still issues. Her grandmother says she feels like she is being psycho analyzed by a seven year old. Which…are the skills I am teaching her more or less. Teaching subtly is going to be more difficult.

GYP: It sounds like you are working hard on the topic. I do find myself wondering if such a thing can work with most kids or of it is just an track that worked in your case.

Irish: Don’t get me wrong, no two kids are the same. We all have challenges we face while trying to raise our kids. Vampiric issues are not perhaps as difficult as say-Otherkin issues, or even a child who actually does have sociopathic tendencies, or many other issues that can be present as the parent is trying to raise their kid’s right. The real key for raising Vampiric children is discovering their needs, helping them to explore their needs in more successful ways. I have spoken to parents who have taken their kids back to their own historical culture. One lady is teaching her daughter about being shamanistic, another who is teaching ancient herbalism and healing to her son. The way you do it is going to have to reflect your own values, and of course finding out what really works.

GYP: Well thank you Irish for your time, and consideration. I hope this article sparks some interest and conversation about dealing with the various issues of childhood vampirism, and by extension child hood otherkin. I would also like to take a moment to thank Madame X of the House of the Dreaming for her insights over the years, and Lady CG for her book Practical Vampyrism for a Modern Vampyre which can be found at Amazon

 

http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Vampyrism-Modern-Vampyres-Lady/dp/1411642996

 

Deacon Gray and The Graveyard Press copyright Nov 2012

By Madame X @ 2006
 
Instruction is guidance and expansion, and it begins with a good mentor who is motivated to establish solid learning foundations. Good compatible mentors are not easy to find. Ultimately it falls on the seekers’ shoulders to find the right mentor for themselves, and be determined to learn and grow.

Foundations are paramount. Let’s say the seeker wants to learn sigil magic. The instructor may request the seeker to conduct some research on symbology, numerology, the history of a particular symbol or emblem, or even an essay comparing and contrasting ancient cultural symbols. The seeker may think that is irrelevant, but such periphery is important to establish a foundation upon which to build on. A mentorship association is as good as the effort that both parties (mentor and seeker) direct to it. It is essential that the mentor be motivated to cultivate learning, but the student “will get out of it as much as they put into it.” Laziness, reluctance to comply with guidelines, avoidance, unavailability, or failure to meet deadlines and desired goals is generally frowned upon behavior. Although this is not formal schooling, the student must continually exhibit interest, dedication, availability and the desire to excel. It is not uncommon that the instructor will simply wait for the completion of one ‘forgotten’ assignment before issuing another, or simply dismiss a lacking student

Assignments may include: demonstrations, research, reading, written or oral presentations, application of studied methods, ritual observation and participation, interaction with specific individuals, interviews, watching specific programs, guided meditations and personal meditative exercises, power exchange, community participation, attending specific events, executing a post or providing a direct service, developing an idea, streamlining a process, procuring specific tools or garb, any combination of the above or any other effective teaching method the instructor may have in mind. Some may utilize more edgy methods of instruction, like corporeal stimulation, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, isolation, restraints, humiliation, emotional catharsis, worship and other variations of sadomasochism toward a pointed end. It behooves the student to ask their potential mentor what methods they utilize, what will be expected of them, and to know their personal boundaries as to avoid any surprises and bad feelings.

An instructor may become your buddy and best friend, but it should not be the expected outcome of such a relationship. Some instructors like to keep their personal feelings and their dayside lives private; students should not expect instructors to become their best friends. If feelings deepen between parties, there is nothing more important than communication. Instruction and learning can work equally well in a formal teacher-student relationship, in a friendship, or in a loving relationship, provided that both parties are in agreement as to what the relationship parameters are, and that adequate focus is still maintained on the guidance-learning dimension; although many mentors and seekers alike prefer formal teacher student relationships where the lines are not crossed.

Any responsible instructor will not just simply handover their writings/books to the student, but will encourage the seeker to write his or her own. Rank and promotions do not come easy with any conscientious mentor or organization. A seeker should wish not only for the merit and recognition of ascension, but for the personal growth and development that comes with it. Neither because they had sex with the mentor, nor because they have ascertained a certain level of intimacy with them, not even if they read, stole, or possess the mentor’s book(s). This is not TV-land; knowledge cannot be stolen. Knowledge, Wisdom and Acumen are gained by personal effort, research, communication, application and experience. We can learn without mentors and without teachers; we can simply rely on our own inspiration, motivation and desire to do so, the information is out there. A good instructor however, guides the seekers efforts, expands their horizons, and establishes solid foundations upon which the seeker can build a firm future and one day become a responsible mentor themselves.

Below are some guidelines that help establish good student-teacher relationships. These guidelines may be particularly helpful to seekers who being new in the community may not know what to do, look for, or expect.

Good Seekers/Students:
• Do research on their desired mentor(s) to determine if they are recognized by the community, if they are established and well regarded.
• Have an open discussion about past experiences and future desires with their prospective mentor(s) to determine if there is a solid compatibility of ethics, interests and teaching methods.
• Are skeptics by nature and not easily impressed, particularly when it comes to unwarranted flattery, self-congratulatory story telling, and dubious tall-tales, even if told by their (potential) mentor.
• Learn to identify manipulation, probing and lies from community members and similarly learn to identify goodwill, honesty, and responsible behavior.
• Are open with their mentor about their boundaries, shortcomings, phobias, expectations and desires.
• Reserve and are available for periodic scheduled sessions to discuss nightside issues, assignments, personal development, and to expand their learning, by asking questions and providing service.
• Regard sessions and discussions with mentor as private and exert extreme discretion when relaying any part of such interactions. Knowledge and information has been passed on to you as seekers, and you are not qualified to pass on this information to anyone until you are considered an adult of the community or Calmae. Realize that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
• Realize that instruction comes in steps, and that foundations must be established before moving on to the next level.
• Are patient and maintain a positive outlook.
• Complete assignments in a timely responsible fashion and accept constructive criticism as an expansion of their learning curve.
• Seek to obtain knowledge and information from a variety of sources by using some creative and critical thinking.
• Utilize personal time to engage in reading, interaction and introspection that will expand learning and personal nightside development.
• Demonstrate initiative by taking on personal projects and participating in community projects.
• Know their boundaries and time constraints, and abstain from overburdening their schedule by prioritizing and eliminating unnecessary ventures.
• Become an extension of their mentor offering when needed assistance, protection, representation, and becoming the mentor’s eyes and ears in the community.
• Regard their mentor highly with loyalty and respect, and foment the same attitude in those around them.
• Realize that there is little to gain and much to lose by disrespecting, exasperating, frustrating or otherwise needlessly waste the mentor’s time and patience.
• Take credit for and are accountable for their work as students and their decisions as adults.
• Do not solicit nor demand personal, private or dayside information from their mentor.
• Balance their dayside and nightside duties and responsibilities and will take recess when needed to resolve pertinent issues.
• Respect the experience of their mentor, and avoid those individuals that their mentor has cautioned them against.
• Uphold their reputation and the reputation of their mentor and to ensure both will refrain from engaging in illegal, criminal, or destructive behavior.

Good mentors/instructors:
• Should be recognized as community Elders or at least as Calmae. Seekers, fledglings, or newbie’s cannot be considered teachers of any sort.
• Have the endorsement of other community individuals and at least One Elder if Calmae and 3 Elders if of Elder status. So seekers do your advance research.
• Study potential students over a period of time before welcoming them into the fold. Some mentors even expect seekers to prove their merit before accepting them as students.
• Demonstrate patience, positivism and flexibility.
• Evaluate the level of aptitude, understanding and readiness of the student before proceeding to teach or assign any projects.
• Provide challenging projects that meet the seekers interests, build foundations, and cultivate learning.
• When assignment is complete, provide recognition of student’s achievement, constructive criticism, and topic expansion guidance.
• Are periodically available to privately discuss pertinent topics real time, i.e.: in-person, on the phone, or via on-line chat.
• Are available to be a sounding board for ideas and to give solid council when needed on nightside and dayside issues, offering the student not only tutelage but also protection when needed.
• Encourage seekers to think abstractly, out of the box and research alternate forms of information.
• Encourage seekers to demonstrate initiative by taking on personal projects and community involvement.
• Solicit their student’s assistance with research or development for specific projects, always recognizing and accrediting individual helpers.
• Share personal stories when they may aid current situations and as a way to better identify with the seeker.
• Share past-life recollections or divinatory visions only when the seeker is ready, open, and when the sharing is purposeful to the seeker’s path.
• Consider their interaction with students/wards to be sacred and private, exerting extreme discretion when disclosing any part of it to other community members.
• Turn away seekers when their own plate is full, when the seeker is an incompatible match, when the seeker has serious unresolved dayside issues, when the seeker is unavailable or disinterested, or when the seeker engages in dangerous, illegal, or destructive behavior. Often mentors will direct seekers to other potential instructors.
• Discourage seekers from associating with dangerous, destructive, or criminal individuals by relaying valuable information and personal experience.
• May keep their dayside matters private and separate from mentorship interaction but they value and balance they dayside issues responsibly and will encourage seekers to do the same.

Poor mentors:
• Sit seekers on their proverbial lap and tell self-congratulatory stories of their past deeds adnosium… instead of being awestruck, try to confirm and validate their stories.
• Openly, casually, or publicly tell tales of their past lives or yours. Such sharing should be in private confidence at appropriate times and places. These are lame tools devised to impress the impressionable.
• Openly, casually or publicly recount study sessions, criticize student behavior or demonstrate a lack of secrecy when it comes to student/ward interaction.
• Say ‘learn only from my writings’… instead learn from many points of view and form your own perspectives.
• Have no old friends and surround themselves with a plethora of newbies. There are big warning flags in this ‘cycling people’ behavior; so get ready to be recycled.
• Constantly burn bridges with other community members. We all have issues but true Elders seek to resolve them with responsible accountability.
• Befriend seekers too quickly and make lofty promises of quick ascensions, this is a bad form of flattery.
• Negotiate knowledge, information, ascensions, or recognition for physical or emotional intimacy. Never accept such bargains.
• After so many years in the community, decide that a mere seeker with limited awareness is suddenly their right-hand-person; this is another bad form of flattery. Such close relationships are developed over time.
• Bestow empty inflated titles, even if just for affect. Such effects are ‘lies’ and far from honorable distinctions. Do not implicate yourself with titles that you have not earned nor with those that concede to bear those empty titles.
• Lie or manipulate. You may not be the recipient of the lie or manipulation this time, but I assure you, it’s coming your way. Don’t be an accomplice in these devises.
• Struggle to keep their dayside afloat on a consistent basis. This is not a worthy teacher; he/she should take a sabbatical and get their dayside together first.
• Accept students with and without potential alike. Here students are seen as a personal validation. A good mentor is discriminating and does not waste their time with those who lack the beacon.
• Embrace a multitude of students, wards or chylder. Mentoring someone is a great responsibility and it should not be taken lightly. Expect little results out of this association.
• Embrace or associate with minors. This is illegal and has so many legal ramifications that it is best to avoid this person all together.
• Encourage illegal behavior like substance abuse, intoxication and irresponsible sexual conduct. Great parties, maybe, but you are putting yourself and your reputation in danger.
• Encourage seekers to turn away from dayside family or obligations, instead of encouraging better understanding of the needs of dayside family and directing attention to the importance of dayside duties. Although you may want these dreaded responsibilities to go away, only bad mentors will discourage you from facing your adult duties.
• Forbid students from associating with past associates or other community individuals. Although seekers should be discouraged from pursuing associations with questionable or dangerous individuals, as adults they are entitled to follow their path…wherever it might lead them.
• Utilize their students to research and write articles anonymously or as they unpaid shadow writers. Always insist on credit for what you research and create.