First, I want to say thank you to the person who bought me coffee! I saw that you’d asked about the invite link to the Urban Conservatory discord, that the link I had was expired, and now I cannot figure out how to reply to you directly! You can find the UC server here: https://disboard.org/server/700398087310540933 , but I’m no longer a member there.
Discord can be a lot of fun, and can be fantastic for community.
The main problem with any community is that it’s full of people, and sometimes people aren’t the best. You get egos and pride and hurt feelings and then some folks choose not to bring their best self forward. In a Discord server, things are ruled by the Discord TOS, and the individual server’s rules. What the mods say is law, and if you don’t like it you can go make your own server. For beginner witches and students of the occult, the Urban Conservatory is great. A high focus on being able to cite ones sources, not jumping instantly towards the most upsetting mystical answer and instead ruling out mundane causes for bumps in the night, and a focus on basic protections and practices that will help keep a novice safe as they progress.
You get out what you put in, mostly.
Any complex system requires that you interact with other people, and if you’re having a bad day, that bad day can come back to bite you, later. One of the things I did not enjoy about the server’s handling of problems was their tendency to bring up “issues” repeatedly, as proof of ongoing problems. I prefer to have something addressed once, and then to assume it’s over and done with. If you, like me, prefer that pattern to a constant rehashing of previous wrongdoing, you may find yourself frustrated.
I did learn a lot about astrology while in the server, but was stymied in my studies due to a personality clash with the leader of the astrology department. People are people, they’re allowed to not like one another, it’d just be nice if eventually they could put that personal dislike to one side, especially if they’re supposed to be teaching. But then, I’ve always had a personal problem with what I perceive to be poor teachers. I did use the situation to do some personal shadow work, and identified the root of my dislike, and worked through a fair amount of my own reaction.
Allow me to interject a note of caution for any older (over 35 counts as ‘older’ for Discord, it skews decidedly young) folks thinking of joining the UC server: they take their role as ‘guardian’ of the minor members very seriously, and as a result have mentioned that they don’t know why anyone over 35 would join their server, unless it was for unsavory reasons. I’ll be 45 in October, and when I mentioned to them that maybe that was a broad generalization, they DARVO’d me and accused me of being agist. There also seemed to be some fear that older, experienced practitioners would want to suplant them and take over.
There’s plenty of other servers out there!
I’ve joined a few others (and been summarily banned from one, because the owner of that server was the head of the astro department!). I’m not teaching in any server right now, because taking a break from the politics of managing other people’s projections of me sounded fantastic. I will be putting up the last of the lessons, and putting up the class I created on Crystals 101, too, but actual classes with people to interact with? I’ll set up my own server for that, eventually, just to avoid the drama. I’m too old for that!
You can find witchy servers on Disboard, it’s like a search engine for Discord. I’ve enjoyed Ad Astra, Spectrum of the Craft, and Requiem of the Eclipse quite a bit. Low drama, helpful community members, and they feed my desire for community well. Spectrum and Requiem both have classes, as well. Yes, I’m taking astrology classes, it’s my latest obsession. There are other witchcord servers, but I highly suggest you google them first (one server is notorious for changing their name to avoid drama and scandal!)