This is the third in Penczak's Temple of Witchcraft Series. I actually read it out of order, after the Inner Temple. I don't think I missed much by skipping the Outer Temple, but he did reference material and exercizes in both books frequently. As with the others, this book is laid out as a year-long lesson plan, with a few introductory chapters, then 12 lessons, one per month, with exercizes culminating in an initiation ritual.
All the Temple books are long, 400+ pages, and packed with information. It took me a long time to get through this one, but I'm glad I finished it. I've decided I don't really care for Penczak's writing - he tends to be verbose and repetitious, but not excessively so - but I do like his books.
This book describes the first lessons of a potential shaman. There are chapters on animal spirits, plant medicine (he even explains the poisonous ones), healing, and traveling in the three spheres, the upper, middle and lower worlds. The ultimate exercize at the end of the book is called "distilling the shadow," where you really get in touch with yourself. I haven't done any of the exercizes myself yet, in fact I am just starting the first book's exercizes, because I like to read it first to get an idea of what's in store. In fact, I recommend that, because even Penczak says the shamanic path is not for everyone. Even if you don't follow the lessons, this is still a good book full of information.
Being initiated into shamanism is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and you really have to be willing to put the time and effort into it. He said the distilling the shadow experience can make you not your usual self for weeks.
I highly recommend this book and the series. They are good guides for solitary practitioners.