ADF Dedicant Path: First Oath
Technically this the third week since I began, but as I said, I am not necessarily following along week/by week. Also, since the third week is supposed to fall on or around a High Day, it doesn’t make sense to rush right now since the next High Day isn’t until August. I’ll probably spend the time between now and then getting a head start on the required reading.
Today, I performed my first solo ADF-style ritual. I followed a script from the DP guidebook. The purpose of this ritual was to make the following oath:
I, [Shelley], before this assembly, declare myself to be a Pagan, a seeker of the Old Ways, a worshipper of the Elder 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 my community, I vow to make my Paganism 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 the truth of the Elder Paths.
These things I swear to the Gods, with those gathered here as my witnesses. So be it.”
I am still waiting on my custom oak altar (I can’t wait!) and I have very little in the way of proper altar tools, my rudimentary set up wasn’t so bad. I set it up outside beneath the tree in my back yard, so that the tree could act as the required representation of a tree (I am planning to get an artificial bonsai sculpture for my indoor altar). I wanted to make my oath outside regardless of whether or not I had an indoor altar set up. It just felt like an outside sort of ritual.
I meant to take a picture of my altar when it was outside, but I forgot. So I took a picture of the table and items I had on it after I brought it back in. Thor was definitely present during the ritual. it started to rain as soon as I stepped outside. It also became windy such that I couldn’t keep a candle lit. I burned incense instead as a representation of the fire. To receive blessings, I used a matcha bowl that my husband gave me as a gift. I haven’t yet used it for matcha and it has been sitting around in its original box for some time. I’ll probably keep it now as a permanent altar vessel (perhaps as my well).
The runes I used to draw the omens were a set I have had since high school. I thought it was strange that the guide book made no mention of required divination tools, but it was included as part of the ritual. Im glad that I happened to have a set of runes already. As you can see in the picture, the three that I drew were: Hagalz (disruption), Eihwaz (defense), and Inguz (fertility).
I haven’t used these runes since I first bought them and I can’t remember anything of how to properly read them or if I was supposed to pay attention to the orientation of the rune. Fortunately, all three that I drew have the same orientation upright and upside down.
According the the text I have, my omens can be interpreted as follows:
Halgaz – indicates “a pressing need within the psyche to break free from constricting identification with material reality and to experience the world of the archetypal mind.” The text goes on to explain that Halgaz is the “Great Awakener.” As such, I might feel that I am “coming to my senses” or “emerging from a deep sleep.” Furthermore, “the onset of power may be such as to rip away the fabric of what [I] previously knew as [my] reality, [my] security, [my] understanding of [my]self, [my] work, [my] relationships or beliefs.”
The disruption to my life might be minor or severe, but a change is coming in some capacity.
Eihwaz – “speaks to the difficulties that can arise at the beginning of a new life” and suggests that I exercise patience when dealing with obstacles. I shouldn’t act needy for or lust after a desired outcome. In other words, this rune “announces a time for waiting.”
Inguz – “embodies the need to share, the yearning to be desired, a search after similarities. The completion of beginnings is what Inguz requires.” This rune indicates that I “now have the strength to achieve completion, resolution, from which comes a new beginning.” In terms of fertility, the traditional meaning of this rune, I am to “fertilize the ground for [my] own deliverance”
Basically, it sounds like a change is coming my way, that the challenge will be to exercise patience as I wait for the pieces of my new life to come together and that what I need to concern myself with at this time is preparing for a new beginning.