The other day, I was talking to someone who was trying to impress me. And in desperation (I guess), they mentioned how many groups that they have been in over the space of their esoteric career.
(Ok, "career" is probably not the right word to use here. But I can't think of a better one off the top of my head. Free feel to make suggestions in the comment section.)
Poking at it with a stick, I learned that they have never got past first or second stage in any group. So in Wicca, think First Degree (maybe); in Golden Dawn, think Zelator (maybe).
Exactly how many times though Neophyte does it take to become an Adept?
(Hey, I hear that groan from the peanut gallery.)
Truth be told, it does not matter how many times you went though Neophyte, or your Year and a Day, if you do not get much further than that.
I have several Neophyte Grade experiences, and you only hear me talk about two of them. And you only ever hear me talk about one Year and a Day. I had more than just these three, but these are the only ones that matter to me or anyone else for that matter. I don't think that I mention all the groups I have been in over the years.
Likewise, I have been exposed to several correspondence courses. Again, how many do you actually hear me mention?
(I sometimes think that I have seen everything that might make its way into a correspondence course. Then I get surprised by something.)
Truth of the matter is that it impresses no one when you tell them how many groups you have been in, or how many courses you have studied (or in some cases, paid for and never opened).
What we are curious about is what is the highest level you have obtained. And we do not want to hear you brag about it---we want to see proof in your actions and skills. Anything else and we suspect that your Grade is merely a peice of paper (if that) and that you might not be worth our time and trouble.
Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe there are people impressed by it. What do I know? After all, I am the person standing on top of a soapbox.