The Initiate intention letter is written prior to beginning the Initiate’s Path within Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) to determine the suitability of the seeker for the Path. For me, lots of soul searching and thinking was needed before I could answer the questions sufficiently. The required word count for all answers total is 500-1000.
I will warn you, this letter is very personal. I’m amazed I’m even putting it here, but I am hoping it will give readers some insight.
1: What draws you to the path of Initiation within ADF?
I seek this pursuit because I feel it would signify a major step in my practice. It would reassure me (I tend to be somewhat insecure) and the Three Kindreds that I am willing to step up my practice to maintain *ghosti with the Ancestors, Deities, and Spirits of Nature, in addition to my Ladies, Sunna and Freyja. I also seek to learn the skills necessary for intense communication with the Kindreds so that I may come to understand them better. I seek to complete the Path of the Initiate so that I may discover the power that I know is hidden within my soul so that I will find within me the ability to change the world for the better and the confidence that my practice is recognized by other Pagans, as well as myself, as valid and sufficient, since the majority of my life I have suffered from lack of confidence and low self esteem. I feel that I must gain confidence in myself for others to see me as someone worthy of employment, leadership positions in various organizations, and friendship. I have looked at both the Generalist Study Program (GSP) and the Initiate’s Path (IP). I have chosen the IP over the GSP because I am not interested in a purely academic course of study. I feel that I have much to learn about the skills of magic, trance, and divination that would enrich my practice in addition to the knowledge of Indo-European culture and myth.
2: What does being an Initiate mean to you?
Initiation, to me, is a special occasion on which a title is granted. However, the title of Initiate carries with it knowledge of oneself and the teachings of ADF, power granted by the Kindreds to create change in oneself and the world, and responsibility to maintain *ghosti with the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones. The title of Initiate also signifies to the rest of ADF’s membership that one is committed to and has internalized the teachings of ADF on a deep level, thus they are someone to go to when questions about concepts arise. The word “initiate,” as a verb, means simply “to begin.” In this sense, Initiation is a beginning. But a beginning to what? I feel that Initiation is the beginning of a serious Druidic lifestyle that includes frequent devotions to all the Kindreds, a heightened awareness of the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits, and a life lived rightly and well. Some may argue that the DP is perfect for this, but I must disagree. I felt that I learned a bit about ADF and very general Pagan practices, but my desire to learn is not sated. I desire to learn to build a specific, personal hearth practice and personalize my relationships with each of the Kindreds. I am also simply wanting to prove to myself that I can handle a spiritual challenge.
3: What services do you hope to provide to your community with this training?
I would love to be able to serve my community as a resource for understanding various concepts like the Hallows, reciprocity, the Nine Virtues, and others. Initiation would also help me in my pursuit to become a mentor for students on the Dedicant’s Path, since further experience and knowledge through study beyond the DP is preferred. I would also become a resource in the wider Pagan community as someone with considerable experience in divination and magic, and thus someone able to help. As I stated above, I also wish to serve my fellow humans as both a sacred and profane catalyst for improvement of such conditions as global poverty and environmental destruction. In other words, I would like to inspire others to make a difference in the global community on the profane level. I would also like to use the skills of divination, trance, and magic specifically to help heal the Earth Mother and create positive change in the individual lives of people who seek it from me. Magic will allow me to help heal the Earth Mother by sending her energy that she can then use for healing. Magic will allow me to help others who may be at their wit’s end and need a boost for help dealing with life’s problems. Trance skills will allow me to help others gain valuable knowledge that they may not have the skill or desire to gain themselves. The skills I gain in divination will help in the same way—by allowing me to gain knowledge on behalf of those who may not have the skill to, but need help with a situation.