Beware of the psychic vampire
There is a limit, really, to how many times one should ask for 'energy works' from their mentors, circles, friends, and or coven/church in the Pagan community. However, most people don't know this, or do not understand, or respect, that the amount of 'help' that they are asking for drains the community down. Don't get me wrong here, you should ask when needing help, but not in the way that I have been seeing it done more and more lately. Remember; 'Heal thyself, witch!' is a good place to start.
Step one; if there is something in your life that has gotten you down, drained you of energy, or you do not have the knowledge or personal ability to deal with it on your own, yes, ask for help. To do so isn't the issue, it is how you do it that can become an issue. Instead of asking for random energy lending, prepare a ritual or spell, or have someone who can help you write the spell, and invite your network of assistants ( you know, all those people that you keep asking to lend you some energy) to assist you in performing the ritual/spell to deal with the issue at hand.
Step two; just like in any other ritual, be prepared to offer cakes and ale to those who have joined in the spell-work. Yes, that is the key in our magical rites, to replenish that which was used in spell-work. (There is the number one thing missing when you ask others for help, you do not help them replenish!) This way, you have been granted that extra energy, have worked the magic, and have replenished the source that you drew from. Now the group of energy workers are not being fed on by your requests.
Step three; If you are so down and cannot make it to a gathering or circle, please for the sake of humble respect, don't make it an issue and claim you need that circles energy for yourself. Yes. I have had these requests and have read them as well. You need to be in that circle if you want anything from that circle. You only receive from ritual what you bring into it, and if your request is to have energy from a circle, then you have taken from them what they have built. Kinda sounds like theft does it not?
We have all been taught, one way or another, about building personal power, or raising energy within ourselves. We all know that in doing so, we must replenish that energy within ourselves. Most of us also know that when we 'borrow' energy from other things, natural and metaphysical alike, we have to offer something in return to help replenish that which we use, and return that which we do not use. We all do this in personal rites and spell-work, and in group circles. This is a BIG part in 'living with and with-in Nature', knowing and keeping a 'balance' within ourselves and our environment. If you do not know this, then you need to find a better teacher. This is energy working 101, basics, yet I have come across many 'newbies' and a few veterans who just don't get this at all.
I have no issue with assisting those in need, and have spent two decades doing so, but I cannot offer assistance to those who have breached the trust of the laws of Hospitality according to my traditional beliefs. Let me explain that a bit further for you;
'Hospitality is to be given freely to all that should ask, without payment demanded nor to be expected to repay in kind, nor without record of debt. To all save those who are gluttons, sloths, and criminals of the people or the laws.'
Here, gluttons are those who take and take and take as they can because they can rather than do it so for themselves and take due to greed above their needs. And here, sloths are those who take from hospitality because they can rather than try to provide for themselves when they can. The part about criminals is pretty self explanatory.
However, from my point of view, all those who take rather than do for themselves and those who take out of greed rather than need, are just as much criminal as any other. A psychic crime is no less sever toward it's victims than one of physical nature. And after a while, one such psychic criminal (psychic vampire) can devastate a community in moral, and in magical workings. I have seen this happen, and have learned how to avoid it in my community and groups.
As a practitioner of the magical arts, of a Nature based religion, or one who teaches such things, we need to refocus on this matter a bit more intently and make sure our community members know the proper way to come and ask for help, if and when they truly need it.
We are a Circle, within a Circle, with no beginning, and never ending: Just as long as we keep that flow of energy alive and balanced. So share when you can, ask when you need, but above all,
Heal Thy Self!