Apprenticeship is a deep commitment between two people for the purpose of spiritual growth. This commitment can be made for a year and a day or for a lifetime. It is not a hierarchical relationship but one based on respect.
Most spiritual training these days is in the classroom format rather than apprenticeship. It allows teachers to reach more people and also creates a buffer where people's deepest personal issues do not have to be addressed. That deeper work is left to the individual to forge on their own.
Because apprenticeship is one-on-one, it allows for the training to be customized to the student's inner cosmology and challenges. While the work, of course, is done by the student, there is a witnessing going on and listening to Spirit from the teacher that can bring great power and healing to the student.
There is a difference between private classes, which can be very beneficial, and apprenticeship. Private classes are helpful in bolstering your relationship with your spiritual allies, learning to have useful boundaries so you are not overwhelmed and much more. It is also a way to discover what shamanism is.
Apprenticeship is for those who have already chosen shamanism as a life path.
Commitment is a key part of an apprenticeship relationship. To self, to others, to community and to honoring contracts.
Know that unlike many other shamanic practitioners, I consider community service a core part of the calling. Being part of circles and public ceremonies will be part of your work. And know that in every aspect of shamanism, you will be asked to track your own development and to be able to find the love in it. Without love, technique is useless.
If you are still tasting many modalities, have not committed to any one, here is the advice I would give to you. Rather than entering a year-and-a-day bond with someone you barely know, or signing away thousands of dollars to a 3-year program you just read about, keep your personal power for yourself. Appreciate what the spirits have to offer through your teachers and be reliable - to self and others. One of the best things an apprentice relationship can offer is your compulsion to commit yourself to the path and the practice and stay on it regardless of what arises. Make this oath to yourself and the Spirits, show this commitment to your teachers and you will find a great power arise.
Apprenticeship with me may not cost you thousands of dollars but it will cost you in your self-sacrifice, dedication and devotion to the land and the spirits. The rewards you reap will be unimaginable. Your whole life will be shamanic, every part of it, not just the time you reserve for ceremony. It is an honor to walk besides you on your path.
In my experience, a strong teacher-student relationship is unexpectedly powerful. It can become primal for the student, so I do want to be careful about setting a clear premise, a strong foundation so that all is held with care and love.
If I haven't scared you off yet, I will say that, like many teachers, I yearn to share that which makes my life everything that it is, so be brave and follow your calling. There are few people who are truly called to the Path and for them, I am willing to devote. You are my kin.