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I have been told multiple times by High Priests within particular Old School traditions (one founded in the 1930s and another the year I was born--and both are equally respectable!). Words cannot express how honored I felt each time I was told that I "would make an Awesome [Trad. X or Z] High Priest," by a HP w/in that Tradition of several decades standing!
The first problem is being unemployed and distance, since I cannot afford to travel to seek training considering that those Covens that I am aware of outside my state are not accepting new students for the most part. For example, I know of one Coven in Minneapolis (a 4 hr. drive from where I live) that has only a few members, but they are not interested in opening themselves up to new students. Granted, they don't have to; but, there's not much of an option for the earnest.
The only other options are Kansas City (2 hrs to the south of me) and Omaha (about 2 hrs. to the west of me), but neither of them has a Coven in one of these particular traditions that I know of. The only other option for me is a Coven in Chicago (a hellish 8 hr. bus ride ONE WAY), and it's come to my attention that the HP of that Coven actively body shames Gay men and will not initiate men unless they are gym rats because "they lack the spirit of fire" or some other rubbish, since I know of Coven within this Trad. in the deep gulf coast that is mostly populated with Bears! Personally, I believe that body shaming has no place within the Mysteries!
Another complicating matter is that I would love to return to school and pursue my formal degree in music (to kill two birds with one stone); but, I cannot find a Coven open where I want to study (neither Portland nor Seattle, for example). But, if I could find one nearer to me, I wouldn't have to move to one of the coasts and I would have more of an emotional support system; but, in the two coastal states where I might like to study there are no options available to me. I could look into a music program in NJ where I would have more options (and an AMAZING mass transit system, which doesn't exist here in the Midwest!); but, I worry that that music program might not be as good a match for me as one in Portland, OR., which has national acclaim as a Community College! I would also be so far away from home...farther than I've ever been!
Does anyone else feel my frustrations? After years of study and "doing my own thing," which I have loved--my heart and soul deeply yearns for something older than myself...something that will make me feel a part of something bigger than myself, in service to the Gods. Especially since I know deep in my bones--and I have been told by others--that I would make a marvelous asset to these particular Traditions. In fact, if I were, I would absolutely bring it with me back home to Iowa to make it more accessible to the earnest Seeker. My should has been crying our for these particular Trads for several years, and it just grows with each passing year as if my heart wants to burn a hole through my chest!

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I can relate to your frustrations.  When I was first starting out I thought about the main Trads all the time.  Especially when I was in the San Diego area.  I'd meet people at the shops there and think of how it would be to connect with them and their covens.  Being in the military at the time complicated issues though.  Between the views of the military on such things at the time and being reassigned to another station every year or two it would have been a tough endeavor.  While the solitary path did work for me, I still really wanted to connect with others.

When I left the military and came back to Iowa there really weren't many options.  While various groups have come and gone, Iowa is definitely a "void space" in between the locations you mentioned when it comes to the Trads.  In time though I became rather comfortable being a solitary and now I actually prefer it.  Eventually we all find our place and what works best for us.

It may not be exactly what you've been looking for but the CUUPs does still have an active chapter in Des Moines.  You should be able to contact them through Facebook and see if they might be able to help guide you to what you seek.  From time to time I have thought of checking them out but as I said, I've grown quite comfortable with being a solitary.

Obviously the gods/universe is telling you now is not the time to be part of a group.

Honestly if I were you I'd start your own coven who knows maybe you might have some pagans come out of the woodwork


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