Again this week I was asked if I take on apprentices. Usually when Frank, my assistant, tells them no, they come back with, “Why?”
So this post is the official, nothing withheld answer as to why I don’t take on apprentices.
First – Being an apprentice/teacher requires a great deal of actual face-to-face contact. Daily is best. As an introvert who can count her closest friends on a single hand, it’s prudent to point out that I’m VERY selective who I choose to spend that kind of time with. So the perfectly honest answer here is I would have to LIKE my apprentice as a person and consider them a friend to spend that kind of time with them. I don’t have a lot in common with most people. So for actual friendship to occur, we’d need other things in common other than Daemonolatry. One thing all of my friends have in common is they’re hard working, self-starters, and independent. Those aren’t usually the type of people seeking an apprenticeship.
Second – I would have really high expectations of an apprentice. I find that many people I meet don’t have the dedication, work ethic, sense of self-responsibility, or drive that I expect from a serious magician. I would require that from an apprentice. I would expect nothing less than excellence, otherwise I would deem the apprentice incompetent and lose all respect for them. I know this about myself, and I also know how unfair it is to saddle someone with those kinds of expectations. Basically – anyone seeking to be my apprentice would have to be a passionate workaholic, and the work would need to be the center of their universe, which can be rather unrealistic in the modern world.
Third – Having an apprentice takes me away from my own great work, and right now I’m rather selfish about my own work. I would not set aside my work to dedicate myself to a student at this point in my life. So how fair would it be of me to expect my student to give the work their full dedication if I wasn’t fully dedicated to that student? I don’t mind running classes from time to time, or teaching the odd workshop here and there. Writing the books I write is part of my great work. However, I am just unable to give that kind of time to someone else right now. That could potentially change in the future, but for the moment, that’s not the case.
So – to recap:
- An apprentice couldn’t possibly meet my unrealistic expectations.
- I am too selfish to dedicate myself to taking on an apprentice.
- Face to Face Time/Friendship Factor.
That’s it in a nutshell. Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments. In the meantime, I do teach workshops, which require less from me, and my expectation of students drops considerably.