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Arteal
08 November 2005 @ 03:05 pm

As part of the dedicant program I am required to read three books and write reviews of those books I have read. The books to choose from are broken down into three categories and a book is chosen from each category. Here are my choices.

Indo-European Studies & Overview
A History of Pagan Europe
By Nigel Pennick and Prudence Jones (I have read Nigel Pennick's stuff before and enjoyed his work in the past.)

Hearth Cultures
The Druids
By Peter Beresford Ellis (This book was recommended by a friend also and I have yet to read it. I am greatly interested in Druidry.)

Modern Paganism & the Pagan Revival
Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today
By Margot Adler (Another book I have been wanting to read, but have not gotten to yet.)

 

 
 
Current Mood: productiveproductive
 
 
Arteal
08 November 2005 @ 10:52 am
With the dedicant program I will be required to create a home shrine/altar with druid symbols. I have kept an altar since I first stepped on this path and love redefining my altar as my path bends and turns. I have begun getting excited at yet another change to my main altar. I believe I will begin rearranging my altar once the moon shifts to pisces.

The plan is to separate the two small square tables I currently use as one main altar and create two separate altars. The one will be my home shrine for the dedicant program. It will be simple and symbolic (I already have ideas). A place for my rituals and devotions. The other altar will be a working altar for my healing tools. At this time the main altar is both for my healing tools and devotions/ritual. I like the idea of separating them and feel it will further empower the altars in their own purposes.

I will begin working on them when the moon turns pisces. I plan to finish by the full moon and will dedicate them then. The full moon ritual will take place Monday the 14th since I will be running my amnesty meeting when the moon turns full on the 15th. The ritual will also focus on thankfulness for all I have been blessed with.
 
 
Current Mood: goodgood
 
 
Arteal
07 November 2005 @ 06:10 pm
I have talked about why ADF and why the DP, but not what drew me to druidry. I have been following a core shamanic path for several years now. I went to a circle monthly initially and then it began to spill out into my solitary practice as well as the monthly circle. My practice also focused on the feminine aspect of the divine from many cultures (no one Goddess spoke to me). This has gone on for several years now.

I have studied different cultures and none have spoken to me. I tried on the Celtic tradition early in my exploration since much of my ancestry in from that area (Irish, Welsh, English & Scottish). Since I have been studying the runes I have connected with several Norse Goddess/Gods, but the traditions do not speak to me. I even tried Native American traditions since shamanic practice resonates strongly with me, but again it did not fit even though there are aspects I like.

Last September I began to formally study shamanism through the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and Dana Robinson. I have LOVED it! This last June the focus was on connecting with our ancestors. I have done ancestor work in the past, but this June was intense and I had some amazing experiences that brought me even closer to my ancestors, specifically my Irish ancestry. I was given a ritual to connect with spirit to perform each morning and I did. Not too long I stumbled over Druidry and this time it clicked.

So what was different this time? I loved the connection to the Earth. I had the thing I liked about Native American traditions without the guilt. This time I was open and Danu stepped forward. I have been reading bits and pieces and it speaks to me the same way the Goddess spoke to me when I stumbled over pagan traditions initially.

I feel the Earth calling to me more and I believe Druidry can teach me the language to be able to listen more closely.
 
 
Current Mood: goodgood
 
 
Arteal
07 November 2005 @ 04:53 pm
I began reading about Piety and ritual and I must say this is what I hope to get out of the DP program the most. I have a strong daily devotional practice and there is some ceremony to the healing practices I perform. I even perform rituals on occasion, but I lack structure. My practice is very Piscean, in that it is fluid, wordless, without structure. I know the elements of ritual and can preform a ritual if there is need, but at this time I don't seem to own it for some reason. I seek to develop more structure in my practice while still allowing the fluidity to remain.
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
Arteal
04 November 2005 @ 05:22 pm

I like the idea of a private oath to begin between the student and their Goddesses/Gods. In reading this section I would like to perform a private oath during Yule. They (ADF) have a sample oath that I do like and will suit one whether they stay with ADF or move on. What I found curious though is that I am not comfortable using the word Pagan. I did not even realize that I do not refer to myself as Pagan and it restricts me energetically when I use it to refer to me. It does not make sense since I fear no Hell or God striking me down. I do feel I should drop the word Pagan in my oath, but I do need to explore why this word bothers me now since it did not bother me when I first came to Paganism.

Current working draft of oath, borrowed from Dedicant Program and only slightly altered. This oath does speak to me and I feel called to take the oath at Yule, the longest night.

I, Arteal, declare myself a seeker of the Old Ways, a worshiper of the Elder Goddeses and Gods. With this holy oath I set my foot upon the path, the Druid's Way, and I vow to make my dedication plain. I vow to seek virtue in my life, to do right by my kin, my friends and community, I vow to make my Spiritual Path real, by keeping the rites and works that call to me. I vow to deepen my understanding of the Ways through study to fill my mind with truth of the Elder Paths. These things I swear to the Goddesses, Gods, and my ancestors. So be it. Blessed Be!

 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
Arteal
04 November 2005 @ 03:35 pm
  1. Written discussion of the Dedicant's understanding of each of the following nine virtues: wisdom, piety, vision, courage, integrity, perseverance, hospitality, moderation and fertility. The Dedicant may also include other virtues, if desired, and compare them to these nine. (Suggested 125 words min. each)
  2. Short essays on each of the eight ADF High Days including a discussion of the meaning of each feast. (Suggested 125 words min. each)
  3. Short book reviews on at least: 1 Indo-European studies title, 1 preferred ethnic study title and 1 modern Paganism title. These titles can be selected from the recommended reading list in the Dedicant Program manual or the ADF web site, or chosen by the student, with prior approval of the Preceptor. (Suggested 325 word min. each)
  4. A brief description, with photos if possible, of the Dedicant's home shrine and plans for future improvements. ( Suggested 150 words min.)
  5. An essay focusing on the Dedicant's understanding of the meaning of the "Two Powers" meditation or other forms of 'grounding and center,' as used in meditation and ritual. This account should include impressions and insights that the Dedicant gained from practical experience. (Suggested 300 word min.)
  6. An essay or journal covering the Dedicant's personal experience of building mental discipline, through the use of meditation, trance, or other systematic techniques on a regular basis. The experiences in the essay or journal should cover at least a five month period. (Suggested 800 words min.)
  7. An account of the Dedicant's efforts to work with nature, honor the Earth, and understand the impacts and effects of the Dedicant's lifestyle choices on the environment and/or the local ecosystem and how she or he could make a difference to the environment on a local level (Suggested 500 word min.)
  8. A brief account of each High Day ritual attended or preformed by the Dedicant in a twelve month period. High Days attended/preformed might be celebrated with a local grove, privately, or with another Neopagan group. At least 4 of the rituals attended/preformed during the training period must be ADF-style. (suggested 100 words min. each)
  9. ONE essay describing the Dedicant's understanding of and relationship to EACH of the Three Kindreds: the Spirits of Nature, the Ancestors and the Gods. (Suggested 300 words min. for each Kindred and 1000 words total)
  10. A brief account of the efforts of the Dedicant to develop and explore a personal (or Grove-centered) spiritual practice, drawn from a specific culture or combination of cultures.
  11. The text of the Dedicant's Oath Rite and a self-evaluation of the Dedicant's performance of the rite. (Suggested 500 word min.)
 
 
Current Mood: calmcalm
 
 
Arteal
04 November 2005 @ 09:40 am

Why have you chosen to undertake the Dedicant Program?

I prefer loosely structured spiritual training. I find the Dedicant Program to have the structure and flexibility to suit me. I have had a desire to explore the Druid path and have been searching for a structured program that has the flexibility to follow at ones own pace. The other piece and the one that has more value is the program is designed to ignite ones own spiritual path and enhance it.

Is this a step on your path, or will this become the path itself?

Ah, a good question and one I am uncertain of. My current path is wide and broad. I have been looking to narrow my path and I feel the Druid path could weave the current element of my path more strongly. My currently path blends Goddess Spirituality and Shamanism. I have felt more was needed to bring structure to my path, but nothing spoke to me until a journey to my ancestors whispered about Druidry and I felt inspired that this might just be the missing piece to my spiritual path.

What do you expect to learn?

I expect to learn about Druids and to have a taste of the path they once walked long ago. I also expect to learn how to incorporate the essence of that long ago faith into my current practice that is solitary and in the suburbs.

What would you like to get out of this journey?

I would like the end result to be a fuller spiritual practice with more structure and ritual. My current practice is filled with devotions, journeys, and casual rituals. I would like a bit more structure in my practice and learning how to weave spirituality into more areas of my life. I also seek more knowledge of the Celts and Druids along with my familiarity with the Goddesses/Gods anf their myths. Simply put a fuller, richer, more defined practice.

Do you know where this path will take you?

I can never be certain where any of the paths I chose will take me. I never expected to find myself on my current path so all I can say I believe this will be the missing piece I have been looking for and add the structure I seek, but only the Goddess knows where this path will lead me.

If you have just joined ADF, why have you chosen to work on this immediately?

I have been looking at ADF and OBOD for a few months because of their training programs. In the end I joined at this time to pursue the Dedicant Program because I felt that would be the best fit for me at time time.

Does it look hard or easy?

I am not sure either words works for me. I do feel it will be a long journey for and and some things will come easy and others will require more work.

Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?

All the writing is intimidating. It is not a skill that I feel comes easy for me, but perhaps this will help develop that skill in me and I can find my inner Bard. I look forward to the inner shrine. I have kept an altar for several years and I am curious how the inner shrine might differ. I feel creating and maintaining my inner shrine will be comfortable for me. The meditation and trance work will also come easy since it is I enjoy and comes easy for me.

 

 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
Arteal
03 November 2005 @ 03:54 pm

This is my new journey to keep track of my spiritual wanderings as I explore Druidry. My daily life can be seen at dianaofrivers .

I joined the ADF of November 1 and plan to begin their Dedicant Program. This is my attempt to document those travels and their threads.

 
 
Current Mood: productiveproductive