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Magic in the Shadows states at page 60 that a familiar conjured during an ordeal for initiation won't cost a point of Magic. Does this mean that you will get a familiar and a point of magic from initiation or if you just get the familiar?
Herald of Verjigorm
You get the magic point and the familiar. If you want an ally spirit, familiar ordeal is the most effective way to do so.
this question bothers me since I got that book. Never was sure about that, since it looks so cheap to get both.
Friggas Ring
Yeah, there's been a bunch of debates on this topic if I recall. You can check them out at your leisure, but they never really come up with a definite answer so it's up to your GM and how kind he or she is.

It does however cost you an imperial asston of karma to do, since you have to pay for the initiation then you have to pay for the ally, and for a competeny ally you're liiking at like 30 or so karma at a bare minimum in one lump.
It is indeed a lot of karma at once, but it is a no brainer if your gonna do an ally. I don't think it is very balanced, but it has never been a real issue in my games yet, so I am not patching it till it becomes cheesed
It's pretty well balanced, so long as you bear in mind that a character cannot take an ordeal more than once without express GM permission. You can have a lot of allies, but only one Familiar. That alone keeps some of the heavier abuses in check.
Normally you pay a magic point up front as part of getting an Ally spirit. If the spirit is destroyed or goes free you can't get that point back, but you don't lose any more when it departs.

With an ally spirit conjured in the Familiar Ordeal you don't lose the magic point up front, instead you roll for magic loss when you lose the ally. Most magicians with a high magic rating will lose that point.

Either way you have 1 magic point at risk when you have an ally.
Would you rather loos a magic point now or probably loose one if and wen you loose the spirit. Still a no brainer.

I thought many of the ordeals could be taken more than once. Astral quest, task (where you do a no karma run for a powerful IC reason eg initiatory group) meditation even familiar if you don’t have one already.

Deed is the only one that can be taken more than once without express GM permission. The rest of them, by canon, require GM permission before repeating. This is especially true of Meditation and Astral Quest; a GM may not like it if an initiation is reduced to a few dice rolls.

At any event, the rule you're looking for is on P 60, MITS, near the top of the page:
An ordeal can only be repeated with the gamemater's permission, and certain ordeals, such as oath, can never be repeated.
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