I have officially become a Dedicant of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF), a Pagan Druid organization. I have worked very hard for around 15 months to achieve this status. I wrote in my journal some reflections on my journey through the Dedicant Path work, prompted by some questions.
Looking at all the things you’ve done, what was the hardest requirement to yoU? Was it one you expected? Do you feel that you fully understand the requirement, or is there room for improvement?
The Two Powers essay, about my experiences with and understanding of ADF’s form of “grounding and centering,” actually turned out to be the most difficult. I originally thought that keeping a regular (at least weekly) practice would be the most difficult because I have trouble doing almost anything regularly. I think the Two Powers essay turned out to be the most difficult because it was the one I was resisting the most. It was also the exercise I think I had the highest expectations of. I was expecting to have some profound connection with the universe, which does not happen in only 15 months of work. I realize now that experiences like that will take lots of work and time. There is definitely room for improvement in my experience, like forging a deeper connection with each Power.
What was the easiest requirement for you? Do you feel that you learned something from it? Describe the value of the requirement in a way that has meaning to you.
The easiest requirement, for me, was the High Day rituals. The High Days are often called “sabbats” in other Pagan traditions. Since I wanted to celebrate each High Day anyway, I rearranged my schedule or altered my observance of the High Day as needed so I could celebrate each of them. I learned a lot from the requirement about the Core Order of Ritual, ADF’s ritual structure, and proper Beings to honor at various times of the year. I was also able to experience greater communion with the Earth Mother by observing the seasons in this way. Interestingly, I thought that writing accounts of the High Day rituals I performed would be one of the easier requirements when I began the work.
Which requirement surprised you the most?
The mental discipline essay definitely surprised me the most. I didn’t expect to complete it in the first few months of my journey. I was also surprised I found it fairly easy to keep a weekly practice. I was really eager to just begin some sort of regular practice, even though it wasn’t daily, and managed to stick with it for five months.
What things did you learn that you would most like to continue with?
I learned I can have a a fulfilling practice by performing weekly devotional rites and keeping the eight High Days. A daily practice isn’t needed. Keeping weekly devotionals and the eight High Days is something I would love to continue doing. The devotional rituals definitely keep me connected to the Three Kindreds (Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities).
Now that you have given your Dedicant Oath before your gods and your community, how do you see yourself living that Oath daily? What sort of things will you do to fulfill the Oath you took?
My Dedicant’s Oath can be found at the top right hand corner of the page, next to “About the Druid.”
I will continue to study Druidry, including the ways of the ancient and modern Druids. I will do this by undertaking ADF’s Generalist Study Program, which delves more in-depth into the history of the ancient Druids and mythologies of multiple Indo-European cultures. I will continue to observe the Wheel of the Year and adjust observances and scheduling as necessary to do so. I plan to learn the art of seidh (Norse divination through trance; similar to the Greek Oracle at Delphi) and deepen my skills in Seership, through the ADF Seers’ Guild, to more fully “walk between the worlds.”
Have you considered starting a Grove (or helping to lead your current one)? Is there a leadership position in a Guild or a SIG (Special Interest Group) that you’re interested in?
I’ve thought about starting a Grove (local ADF congregation that hosts public rites for the community), but that is not something I am interested in at this time. I am currently organizing Sacred Feast SIG, which focuses on the concept of hospitality and cooking as sacred practice. I also currently am running for office in ADF, that of Members’ Advocate (MA). The MA is someone who fairly represents the general ADF membership and reports complaints from them to the ADF Board of Directors (also known as the Mother Grove).
Where do you see the skills you learned as a Dedicant being the most useful? Will they primarily be useful to you, your community, to ADF, or to other Dedicants?
The skills I learned while working on the DP will be useful to me, sure, but also to other Dedicants. I can share my experiences with them to help them find their own ways within Druidry.
What are the next goals you wish to set for yourself, either personally, spiritually, or within ADF?
The next goal for me is to begin to understand the use of ogham (often known as the “Celtic tree oracle”) for divination. This I am doing through a weekly correspondence course offered by a fellow ADF member. I am also planning to complete the Generalist Study Program, as I mentioned earlier, along with the Seers’ Guild Study Program. Also, I seem to slowly be gaining awareness of my leadership skills (which are much better than I thought they were), so another goal is to develop these skills more through active involvement within ADF. Finally, I would also like to develop a deeper relationship with Freyja, my Lady.
Thanks to everyone who helped me complete the DP!