ADF Dedicant Path: Beginning
I celebrated the Summer Solstice with my local ADF grove on Saturday. I am lucky that the group planned a training ritual for that day, wherein the different parts of the ritual were briefly explained. It was a small turn out, but I was glad for that too. Smaller groups are less stressful when I am new to a group. A combination of the ritual date falling on PrideFest weekend and Midsummer not being one of the more popular High Days led to the smaller group.
One of the members made the lovely rune pictured above. He made one for everyone.
I became a member of ADF only a few days prior and obtained a guidebook for working through this organization’s dedicant path. It is nicely structured into a 52 week program with clear assignments and checkpoints to get me through the training. As I have already mentioned, I will likely not complete it in a year’s time, but I appreciate the structured guide and will follow it, stretching out weeks as necessary.
Keeping a journal for my path is optional, but highly recommended. It will be especially helpful should I decide to submit documentation for formal recognition of completion. I wouldn’t submit the journal itself, but would draw from it in order to complete the required reports.
The homework for the first week was to read the introduction to the Dedicant Handbook (a separate text from the guide I am following) and to consider the following questions:
Why have you chosen to take the first steps on the Dedicant Path?
I have been wandering around aimlessly on an unstructured pagan path ever since leaving Wicca. I am a hard polytheist, I talk to my house wight from time to time, and I am drawn to Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions. But outside of that, I have not been engaged in any form of regular practice or ritual. I do not even have an alter set up, though I’ve been telling myself to set one up for a few years now. I need formal instructions in order to start anything seriously and the Dedicant Path offers this.
Is this a step on your path, or will this become the Path itself?
I don’t know yet. In the sense that I will never be done learning, I would call this a step on my path. But I don’t know that I will need or desire further structured training. I need it now as a crutch until I feel confident guiding myself. I may or may not consider other ADF training programs after this.
What do you expect to learn?
- History and mythology from which to build a foundation for spiritual practices
- Good advice and techniques for learning meditation
- How to perform non-wiccan rituals
What would you like to get out of this journey?
- a closer relationship with the ancestors and deities
- a strong foundation for further spiritual practices
- confidence to continue on my path with or without further training
Do you know where this path will take you?
Not exactly, but I know well enough that it will take me closer to where I want to be with my spirituality.
If you have just joined ADF, why have you chosen to work on this immediately?
I joined ADF specifically to have access to the Dedicant Path materials. Before this, I spent several months looking around for a program of study that suited my needs. I first learned of ADF about a month ago and after learning more about it from current ADF members and the ADF website, it seemed like a good place to start with my formal training.
Does it look hard or easy?
A little of both. It seems hard only by virtue of how much time it will take, but easy in that everything will not be thrown at me at once and I can follow at my own pace.
Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?
Training my mind and learning meditation practices. I am very anxiety prone and I have a hard time achieving a satisfactory state of calm let alone complete control of my mind. I worry too about finding distraction-free times and places to practice. The book work appears to be the easiest. I am a graduate student, after all, book work is my specialty. This part will only become difficult when I am in the middle of a school semester, prioritizing school work over Dedicant Path reading (this is why I expect to take longer than 1 year on this path).
Do you have doubts, questions, or concerns that you need to ask about?
My current doubts are already expressed in the previous question, but I don’t feel the need to specifically ask about anything at this time. I am aware that I can request a mentor if needed, but I do not think this will be necessary.
Wish me luck everyone! (^^)