I seem to have acquired a student.
I went to the Huntsville Area Old Ways Association meeting on the 30th, (we meet over dinner on the 2nd and 5th Wednesday of each month, and occasionally for coffee and conversation on Sunday mornings,) and I gave a little talk on the theoretical aspects of religious and magical ritual. The talk was well-received by a number of the listeners, and a few listeners seemed to be left somewhat glassy-eyed by the whole thing. And one of the seemingly appreciative listeners asked for some contact information so that she could ask some follow-up questions. So I gave her my e-mail address.
Well, one of the follow-up questions she asked was whether I would be willing to consider taking her as a student.
[insert curmudgeonly "HARRUMPH!" here]
Aside from workshops at random Pagan Pride events, a couple of presentations to HAOWA, and the odd bit of counseling given here and there on the Intarwebs, I've done no real teaching since we dissolved Tangled Moon at Midsummer three years ago.
But if one is going to invite questions one has to treat them with all due seriousness, even if they are questions that one does not expect. So I sat and considered taking the young lady as a student. And after I'd been sitting and considering for a spell, there was this gentle nudge
in the back of my head and I was suddenly aware of the regard of the Goddess to Whom my devotion is given. And She spake unto me, saying: "Do you remember that old saw about 'When the student is ready the teacher shall appear?' "
I admitted to remembering something like that.
"Well," She went on, "you just appeared. Any questions?"
"No," I said, "not really. And even if I had questions, odds are I already know the answers I'd get."
"That's why We like you so much," She said. "You don't make Us waste Our time explaining why you have to do stuff you're going to do anyway. And cheer up: We wouldn't be laying this on you if you weren't good at it. In fact, if you were a lousy teacher We would not be having this conversation in the first place. Besides, you asked for it." [exit Divine Presence, stage right]
I suppose that I did ask for it, at that. In the Tradition in which I was trained, at Third Degree you give yourself back to the Gods as a tool for Their hands. And I let Fox elevate me to Third, even after she offered to let me back out at the last minute. So if I were to decide to be less than happy about all this, I have no one to blame but myself.
And in a lovely display of synchronicity, I come home to find that Thorne Coyle has published a marvelously evocative essay about the ways that leadership and service to others intermesh,
In the actual event, my student turns out to be the sort of student one hopes for. Or so my initial impression leads me to believe. I expect that teaching her will be a somewhat-less-than-onerous task. We'll just have to see.
[Watch Certain People laugh uproariously at the following statement:]
However, no matter what else happens, I am not going to let this turn into a coven. Not even a little living-room coven.