I have diligently been working on the Dedicant’s Path, ADF’s basic training, for over a year now. With only a few more essays to go, the time is rapidly approaching for my Dedicant’s Oath rite. I ordered a new robe, in light pink, that recently arrived in the mail. I’m also saving up for a tattoo of my personal sigil, which is the background of this blog.
Becoming a Dedicated Druid means so much to me. It is almost like a formal passage into adulthood, even though I am 25. I am leaving the house I share with my parents to perform a rite that will change me forever, even though I will come back to that same house afterwards. Druidry is home to me in so many ways. Along my own Path, I have met many wonderful people, like Grey Catsidhe, Lauren, Melia, Drum (ADF’s Vice Archdruid), and Selene (my ADF region’s current Regional Druid). I have agreed and disagreed with people on the Dedicant mailing list. Yet, throughout all this, I have felt as if I was trying to achieve some end.
Now that I am closer to finishing the Dedicant’s Path, I’m realizing the Dedicant’s Oath is not an end; it is merely a beginning. It is a gateway to deeper spiritual practice that will nourish and fill that empty space in my soul that I have been trying desperately to fill since high school. It is also a gateway to ADF’s other study programs, the most interesting of which looks to be the Initiate’s Path (at least right now).
My Dedicant’s Oath ritual will be the chance I have been waiting for to officially declare to the Cosmos I am a Modern Druid. I am someone who looks to the ways of the past for inspiration but creates new rituals and practices for the present. I also look ahead to the future by being open to change and discarding what does not serve. I am someone who honors her spiritual and biological Ancestors, her local and mythological Nature Spirits, and her ancestral Deities–the Aesir and Vanir.
I plan to perform my ritual on March 17 at a state forest. March 17 is widely known as St. Patrick’s Day, the day commemorating when “St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland.” The snakes are a euphemism for Irish paganism. It may seem odd to some that I would Dedicate on such an anti-Pagan day, yet it was on this day two years ago I dedicated myself to Wicca. Even though Wicca didn’t work out, I remain Pagan. St. Patrick’s Day has become a symbol for me of the hardship I have endured within my own family to practice my faith. I am also Dedicating on this day as a nod to the Druids of old who disappeared shortly after the arrival of Christianity. They are my spiritual Ancestors, in addition to the Vikings, because my Path is inspired by theirs.
I am also going through a time of change within ADF as an organization Since I have been a member of ADF for at least a year, I am eligible to run for office in the upcoming election. I am running for Member’s Advocate (MA). The MA is someone who listens to grievances from the general membership and fairly presents them to the Mother Grove (the ADF administration) on behalf of those members. It is an important position, and not one I will take lightly, should I be elected. Two other people are also running, so there is a chance that I won’t get the position. If I do get the position, however, I will take office in May. Interestingly enough, my ADF mentor is the current MA. It would be wonderful to follow in her footsteps.
May all of you find the Path you were meant to walk, even if it is one less traveled.