My DP work passed and I am officially an ADF Dedicant!
Here are some final questions I’ve answered from the WOTY guide:
1. 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?
Out of all the requirements, I feel like the virtue essays were probably the most difficult. I essentially had to write, in my own words, what each virtue meant to me and having to expound on that for 125 words was particularly challenging. This didn’t surprise me really, and the result of these essays brought many rewards. This requirement gave me a lot of understanding of the virtues. With this awareness of the virtues, I feel like I’ve become a better human being in exploring and applying them to my life.
2. 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 were the High Day recaps. They were fairly straightforward in that I recorded what took place in my High Day rituals, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything from the recaps. In fact, they helped me better communicate my omen interpretations and they also gave me a sense of progress. I can easily tell the progression of my learning from my first recorded High Day ritual to the last. The High Day recaps are incredibly important for this fact and they helped me learn the elements of the ADF COoR. Since the COoR is central to the practice of ADF Druidry, this requirement can’t be understated.
3. Which requirement surprised you the most?
The requirement that surprised me the most was the mental training part of the program. I honestly thought I’d have a pretty rough time completing it, but it turned out to be the gateway to some powerful spiritual experiences. The mental exercises I learned were instrumental in helping me hear the lessons of the Kindreds. I am incredibly grateful for that experience.
4. What things did you learn that you would most like to continue with?
All of it. In fact, I still continue practices that I established while working through the DP. For example, I do daily prayers, weekly devotionals, and a weekly oracle reading. I also try to get out into nature and learn more about it. My personal practice has continued to evolve and I look forward to more study so that I may deepen my practice.
5. 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?
Let’s break it down by each line of my oath:
1. “I swear to keep the virtues and to be true to my Gods and kin!”
This is most easily accomplished by being aware of the virtues in my everyday activities and attempting to adhere to them at all times. By keeping the virtues, this makes me true to my Gods and kin, while helping me be a better person overall. Part of my morning prayers are a recitation of the nine virtues which brings them into my awareness at the beginning of the day, so that I may start my day off on the right foot.
2. “I swear to care for the Earth as She cares for me and gives me life!”
Caring for the Earth involves being aware of how our actions affect the Earth. This can be done on even the most mundane days by recycling and cleaning up trash that I may find outside. It can also involve simply being aware of the Earth and Her daily currents, like taking a moment while outside to feel the wind on my face and listening to sounds of the birds. While the Earth is all I may see wherever I may go, I think it’s important to slow down and listen to Her so that I may never take Her for granted. In turn, this leads to action in which I consider my everyday impact on the land around me.
3. “I swear to keep the Elder Ways and walk the path of Druidry for the rest of my days!”
Every morning before I leave for work, or before I begin my day, I say a prayer in which I honor and praise the Kindreds. When the High Days come, I mark them with ritual and offerings to the Kindreds. On a weekly basis I perform a devotional to the Kindreds in which I honor and offer to them. I also have a weekly oracle ritual, in which I ask the advice of the Kindreds for the coming week. All of these things are what comprise My Druidry, and this isn’t even counting spontaneous prayer and offerings to certain gods or land wights, as well as the studies I may undertake to get to know the Kindreds better. My walk along the path of Druidry is constant and it gives me great joy to have such a wonderful, continuous relationship with the Kindreds and the land around me. Keeping the Elder Ways also includes the two items above and I consider it all inclusive to my lifestyle. In fact, I couldn’t possibly separate my religion from my everyday life and I couldn’t have found a more fulfilling path in all the years I’ve been seeking. This is how I know that I will keep the ways of Druidry for the rest of my life. It is an oath I’m happy and willing to fulfill.
6. Have you considered starting a Grove (or helping to lead your current one)? Is there a leadership position in a Guild or a SIG that you’re interested in? Would you like to run for an office in ADF?
I have considered starting a grove and it’s something I’ll be looking into more closely later this year. Right now, we just bought a house and will be moving soon, so things are on hold in that respect. As for leadership positions, that is something that I’m not ruling out. ADF is a wonderful organization and I’d love to serve in some capacity in the future. I’m just not sure where I’d like to serve just yet!
7. 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?
All of the above! These skills I have learned have been useful for me because they’ve helped me to establish a consistent and fulfilling religious practice, while helping me become a better human being in the process. They are also useful to ADF because I feel like I’m better equipped to contribute to the organization as a whole with this knowledge. These skills could potentially be helpful to my community because I can bring diversity and knowledge to my community, be it environmental, social, or religious. Finally, I believe the skills I have learned to be helpful to other Dedicants because I can provide support to those who have passed, and I can offer advice for those who are still doing the work.
8. What are the next goals you wish to set for yourself, either personally, spiritually, or within ADF?
I’ve got a pretty clear “road map” on what I’d like to do next. I’d like to start working on the GSP around the summer solstice, followed by the potential establishment of a local protogrove. Once I’ve finished the GSP, I’d like to become involved in the Seer’s Guild, and I may start the study course for that guild. My ultimate goal at the moment is to complete the IP. I feel like the GSP will give me a firm foundation and the fact that some of those courses carry over to the IP is a big plus. It is my wish to deepen my religious practice and I feel the IP is one of the best ways to do that. Afterwards, who knows? I’m open to the many opportunities out there and perhaps at that point I may feel like I’m ready to serve ADF on a national level. Of course, if I do end up establishing a protogrove, and it becomes successful, this may change things somewhat. The great part about all of this is that there are so many paths I can take and they are all open to me.