There are a great many books on Wicca and Witchcraft, and it's unfortunately true that many authors simply read each other's books and repeat what they've read - even, occasionally, repeating each other's mistakes - so there tends to be a depressing sameness about so many of them ..... this isn't to say they're not worth reading, though. Most of them have some useful information to impart, something that you perhaps won't find anywhere else. But when you've moved ahead a bit beyond the basics, much can also be found in books that are not directly about Wicca or Witchcraft.
I've recently been reading a book called "Yoga and the Quest for the True Self," by Stephen Cope (Bantam, New York, 1999); it is a more or less autobiographical account of the author's (supposedly) four month sabbatical at the Kripalu yoga centre in New England which turned into a ten-year stay. At the end of his time there the centre imploded when it was discovered that the Guru, who insisted on celibacy for his students, was having affairs with female staff and students ...... There is, however, much wisdom between the book's covers, wisdom that can be applied to areas other than yoga - and, I think, to our own area.
It is of the utmost importance that teachers not be deified. Nothing undermines the potential of an environment to be truly transformational more than a teacher who is seen to be perfect, all-knowing, or "the ultimate authority". In the best transformational spaces, even brilliant, charismatic or truly enlightened teachers are understood to be explorers and guides, not gods ... even these powerful guides are understood to be transitional. They must, finally, set us free to be ourselves.
The best transformational environments avoid telling us who we are. Rather, they support us in finding out who we are for ourselves.
(Pages 30-31; bolding added)
"Liberation, in the Tantric traditions, is gained not through renunciation, but through entering fully into the play ... of energy and consciousness.
The candidate for wisdom does not seek a detour by which to circumvent the sphere of the passions - crushing them within himself and shutting his eyes to their manifestations without, until, made clean as an angel, he may safely open his eyes again to regard the cycle of samsara [i.e., the normal cycle of birth, life and death] with the untroubled gaze of a disembodied apparition. Quite the contrary: the Tantric hero ... goes directly through the sphere of greatest danger"
[Quoting Heinrich Zimmer, "Philosophies of India," Princeton 1951]
(Page 56; bolding added)
This last part, I feel, could just as easily apply to the aspiring Witch as to the "Tantric hero"; ideally, the Witch seeks to interact directly with the world around him or her, rather than trying to seek some kind of Nirvana
Blessed Be everyone - witches and Tantrics alike,