Werewolves learn Gifts from Spirits, although the English word “learn” does not accurately describe the process. The mystical abilities that spirits pass on to werewolves are an intrinsic part of the former’s nature, in the same way that a deer can and must be able to walk moments after it is born; their abilities are not learned through research or study, but are part of the spirit’s evolutionary makeup.
This instinctive process is what the spirit passes to the werewolf. Through Gnosis, the spirit changes the werewolf’s anagogic essence and the Gift becomes as natural as eating and drinking to the student. A werewolf’s metaphysical rigor, as measured by Rank, and his standing with the teaching spirit are more important than an aptitude for learning, skill in research, or even hard work.
In nearly every circumstance, a werewolf who wishes to learn a new gift must petition a spirit who can teach it to him after it has been summoned to the Cairn he belongs to. It is one of the important functions of the Cairn, especially to Theurges. Without a Cairn, the werewolf faces a much more difficult prospect: finding a teacher in the wilds of the Spirit Realms and then convincing it to teach him the Gift. Spirits are often much less willing to pass on their abilities when approached outside of a Cairn, but this is the only recourse for werewolves who live outside their society.
Werewolves can learn Gifts whose level corresponds with their Rank. For example, a Fostern (Rank 2), could learn Mark of the Wolf (a level 2 Gift), but not Disquiet (a level 3 Gift). Werewolves may learn Gifts outside of those associated with their Breed, Auspice, or Tribe, but they cost more experience.