Why have you chosen to take the first steps on the Dedicant Path?
Over the past four years, I have drifted further and further from regular practice. This has left a gaping void in my daily life, one I experience as a growing emptiness inside and one that leaves me feeling anxious and disconnected. I have had a spiritual component in my life literally as long as I can remember, so the last four years are a dark spot, one that I seek to illuminate.
I’ve started the DP at least four times before. Now I’m working it along with Thorn’s Fiat LVX program. There is a weekly online class to help keep me on track, one offered in real time, with real connection to other Druids. I find this incredibly helpful, especially as it hooks into my current student status. The DP fits right in with my academic studies, and right in with my current drive towards seeking ways to take care of my Self. The timing is right and I feel a yearning to reconnect with my Pagan roots, my Gods and community. This is a part of that journey.
Is this a step on your path, or will this become the Path itself?
I have felt a calling to Druidry and the Irish Celts for as long as I can remember, quite literally since childhood. I have created traditions that incorporate aspects of ADF, specifically the approach to cosmology and scholarship, along with aspects of ecstatic ritual and philosophy such as those found in Reclaiming and Feri traditions of Witchcraft. I see that trend continuing, so I think the answer to that is “both.” This is both a step on my path and part of my Path.
What do you expect to learn?
In truth, I learn best when I don’t have a lot of expectations, when I go in with an open mind. I guess the answer is that I am open to whatever comes and hope that it will deepen my connection to my Deities and to my inner self. I will undoubtedly learn from the people I’m taking class from, but I will probably also find lessons in unexpected places with unexpected people.
What would you like to get out of this journey?
I think I’ve already answered this for the most part. I would like to reconnect with my spiritual self, with my daily practices and with the nature spirits, ancestors and deities. This used to be a fundamental part of myself, an anchor. Without sounding too much like a cliche, I really have felt adrift. So I would like to get reconnection and redirection.
Do you know where this path will take you?
Heh. I think only the young and foolish would answer that question with a “yes, definitely.” And once upon a time, I would have been that brash. Now I find it’s not about being attached to a particular destination. It’s about the journey and being open to what comes.
If you have been in ADF for a long time, why are you starting only now?
I have been a member of ADF since 1999. My paid membership has lapsed from time-to-time, but I have always felt that I was a member of the community. As I mentioned, I have started several times. There were life reasons why it wasn’t the time before. First it was a supplement to my traditional Wiccan training. Then taking care of Jasmine was priority one and the online components weren’t available – nor were there any local folks to practice with. Then I was more concerned with building my own tradition. The last attempt was right after I moved back to Parker, and I just never felt connected to the Land nor the people there.
As I said in my first response, the current online delivery fits, as does my current focus as a student. I also think the DP has morphed into something a hell of a lot easier for the solitary to complete over the past 12 years. I have the DP manual which has come A LONG WAY from the fifteen page photocopy I had back in 1999. And Rev. Michael J. Dangler published a guide and a journal (from which I’m doing this homework, actually) that are invaluable. So… that’s why.
Does it look hard or easy?
What’s with all the binary questions? I think parts will be easy. I’m a good writer and researcher, with access to excellent tools and practices for both. But following someone else’s plan can be hard sometimes. I chafe. And my intellectual side always wants to quickly absorb and move on, so training my mind to focus and go deeper will be challenging.
Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?
I think this is sort of a restating of the last question, but something different floated up, so I’ll write it down. I think the daily aspects, such as meditation, will be difficult, as will practicing moderation and self-care. That’s been my struggle of the past five years for sure, and I expect it will be now. While I am firmly in the realm of mind right now, it will be a challenge to move outward into the realms of spirit and body as well.
Do you have doubts, questions or concerns?
Not really. In truth, looking at the components of the next year, it’s not unlike the components of my Dedicant year when I was working with a BT Wiccan high priestess. We may call it “Dedicant Path Documentation,” but in reality, it looks an awwwwwful lot like the components of a good Book of Shadows, just as the practice components seem an awwwwwwful lot like the practice components I did that year. But I kind of like that. It feels right to make that kind of a return at this point.