- Casey Giovinco
Perfect Love & Perfect Trust
Understanding of occult theory, knowledge of relevant history, and technical proficiency in the Art Magical are certainly necessary elements of a witches training, and, in all of these respects, Uncrossing Your Roads is a wonderful resource (IMHO). However, these elements alone have never been enough to warrant initiation into a coven or tradition. There are deeper, more subtle elements at work in whether or not someone is a good fit for a particular group or not.
At the most basic level, covens are just groups of people. At the deepest, most intimate levels covens operate like families of choice. In either case, group dynamics must necessarily be taken into account. Whether or not the seeker fits in with the witches who are already initiated into that group is a huge deciding factor. Just staying surface for a moment, the question of "Do they like each other?" becomes important. Does the seeker like the members of the group? Do they like him? If they don't like each other or, worse, they actually dislike each other, there's no point in going further. While this may seem trivial on the one hand or even elitist on the other, it is not. It's quite crucial to the health and continued well-functioning of the group. As Judy Harrow says in her book Wicca Covens, "In a good coven we learn to support each others' inner growth and worthy goals. We learn how to blend our energies. This means that a greater pool of energy is available to each of us for our own purposes." Tarostar talks about this concept of a collective pool of available energy as the Over-soul. (His concept is well-worth looking into, by the way.) None of what Harrow is talking about, however, can happen if the members of the group are at odds or, worse, are actively repelling each other.
This is where mentorship comes in. It uses the structure of the training program laid out in Uncrossing Your Roads to give the seeker and the mentor time to get to know, like, and trust each other. While it's important for the seeker to learn and attempt to master the content in Uncrossing Your Roads, that type of study is still a wholly personal journey. All the material he needs to succeed at that goal is laid out in the course. He doesn't need someone to hold his hand through the reading or how to structure his own meditations or when he should practice his psychic skills development. However, to take the technical skills to the next level and learn to use them beyond the course's scope in conjunction with others in a group of like-minded Gay men, that does take some hand-holding, and it starts with building a personal relationship. That's why the ultimate goal is for the mentor and the student to develop enough trust with each other that love can exist between them before considering initiation. Then, once a healthy, genuine love has been established between the two people, the mentor can advocate for the seeker if and when they both decide that initiation is the best option for that particular seeker. It is this highly personal relationship that makes all the difference, because, without it, some of the deeper mysteries will be obscured from the seeker.