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Similar to the belief that you need a coven or a year-and-a-day of training, many have the idea that in order to become a “true” Pagan, they need to have a teacher and receive training. In truth, you don’t need another person to guide you on your path, though it can be useful.
Many Pagans have had no formal training of any kind. They felt a calling, and followed it, learning on their own as they traveled down the path. It is perfectly acceptable to be a self-taught Pagan. If you can find a teacher that you connect with, that can be a fantastic experience, but it’s not a requirement. Of course, anyone who imparts knowledge on you and guides you on your path can be considered a teacher, so you may have many teachers in your life, found on forums, in chat groups and at local gatherings.
While you don’t need a teacher to be Pagan, you do need knowledge. You should never stop learning and growing. You will never know everything there is to know or have all the answers. Be careful who you take guidance from, but accept the gift of shared knowledge when it comes your way. Always read, try, and stretch beyond your boundaries. Whether you find all the knowledge yourself or are trained, you’re never going to stop learning more.
*Disclaimer: I no longer practice Paganism, but I’ve left these Pagan Myths articles active because I believe they’re still valuable in helping people to understand Paganism and reduce negative stereotypes.*