Chapter 16 addresses Education and Training. My copy of the book is missing this chapter entirely, so I had to borrow a friend's copy and do not have it anymore. My memory tells me it included a marvelous syllabus for an entire year of study and suggestions for how to organize the classes and provide mentorship for the students. Amber K has a rich imagination and a mind for detail, and just reading the descriptions of possible subjects was an excellent and entertaining review of the breadth of magickal studies. This book is really fun to read.
Chapter 17; On Initiation. Here is a checklist and set of questions that makes very clear the skills and experience a dedicant must have in order to begin more advanced training. It is reiterated here that, rather than an end point, initiation is the beginning of a formal commitment to the coven. Amber K also describes two forms of initiation—the one in the spiritual realm, which comes from within, and the Earth-plane initiation, which comes from the community. Wish I'd read this before my initiation!
Chapter 18; Group Dynamics in the Coven. This book came out right on the cusp of the Internet pandemic, so there are many tools and suggestions that could seem outdated or even antiquated, especially those concerning communications. One thing that never goes stale, however, is interpersonal conflicts. Amber K addresses potential issues and various methods of addressing them so thoroughly (and with the wit of one who's seen it all) that I might sneak in here to quote verbatim some of the more useful responses to challenging behavior. She explicates three modes of group operation (Work Mode, Process Mode, and Combat Mode), looks at individual needs vs. group needs and decribes roles people tend to take in groups. The most impressive part of this chapter, however, is the section with eye-popping visual charts of interpersonal relationships. I wish I could post one here. It'll make you want to crawl into a cave.
Getting interpersonal with the deity
|"Argos is euthanized and killed by Hermes" Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
Meanwhile, I'm preparing for my coven's Festival of Death and Wisdom this weekend. My little Hive of Initiates is doing some intense work for this one. I'm excited and nervous about aspecting for the first time. I'm working with Hermes, and He seems very eager and delighted to work with me. I seem to take to trance and sharing space with the Divine quite easily. My main concern is to not blow my god wad before Saturday night. Don't rush a good thing, my fleet-footed trickster!