I went to Sunset Beach this morning to give the First Oath in the ADF Dedicant Path. I don’t believe it’s in the most recent text, but I found it in Rev. Michael J. Dangler‘s “The ADF Dedicant Path Through the Wheel of the Year.”
Dangler’s book describes it as the First Oath, but as I said in my prior post, I had a similar oath with my BTW training, and it didn’t feel right to act as if I’ve never oathed before the Gods. You can take a look at the text of the ritual here – for the most part, I stuck to Dangler’s OOR (Order Of Ritual), but I modified a bit: Ritual Text
I chose to do this ritual at dawn, and I chose to do it this week because I felt like a ritual would help set my intention as I move forward. I’m going to have to do Dangler’s work somewhat out of order because the next holy day won’t be until August 1st (though I believe I will attend Columbia Grove’s ritual on July 26th). I’ll be skipping from the work I just completed (Week Two) to Week Five. I’ll circle back towards the end of July.
The setting was absolutely amazing and breath-taking.
Manannán’s cloak was quite visible, and I called upon Him as the Gatekeeper.
I noticed several large ravens on my way in, which was unusual. Morning, low tide, the beach is most often full of seagulls eating what the tide leaves behind as it goes out. The raven presence continued through the ritual and until I arrived back home. I felt as though the Mór-ríoghain was making Her presence known, and that I received Her blessing in abundance.
I set up my space and completed the ritual. The omen, I think, was incredibly good. I used The Druid Animal Oracle
and the cards that turned up were … very divinely directed.
Ancestors: The Salmon – wisdom, inspiration, rejuvenation; revered as the extremely sacred in the Druid tradition, it is the Oldest Animal, and it offers us wisdom and inspiration; maintain an attitude of openness and innocence rather than strong-headed determination
Nature Spirits: The Horse – Goddess, the Land, Travel: may manifest as a desire to travel in the physical world, or may be drawn to voyaging in the inner realms; brings energy and speed and connects us to the power of both the land and the sun; connect with a sense of place in the world – with the spirit of the land beneath us and the sky above us
Shining Ones: The Bee – community, celebration, organization; celebrate the wonder and mystery of being alive; be at one with the natural world, by paying homage to the sun, by centering life around Spirit or the Goddess; make decisions in accordance with your sense of purpose and the goals you wish to reach; the bee knows the value of organization, of paying homage to the Goddess and the sun, and of working hard; celebrate life and recognize our membership of the community of all Nature
(Notes from “The Druid Animal Oracle Deck” booklet, by Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm)
Above all, I felt affirmation of the work I’m doing, that I’m heading in the right direction, and that things will happen exactly as they should. I felt like the Horse and the Bee were particularly directive, indicating my recent struggles with wanting to leave my job/the area, as well as not feeling like I’m fully part of the local community, like I’m a piece out of shape. It’s not that I don’t have plenty of people around to talk to, indeed, even to work with, but there’s no one at this point who is interested in the theological aspects of polytheism, or the religious aspects of a pagan practice. Either that will come, or I will come to peace with it being a solitary pursuit.
I looked up as I finished thanking the Powers for their blessings, and witnessed this:
And as I took my well offerings to the sea, I watched the sun rise.
I sat for a time after I was done, and thought about how powerfully the words of my ritual flowed, how connected I felt, and how in tune with the Land, Sea & Sky. I am looking forward to seeing this path through, and to many, many more ritual connections at the beach. I am so blessed to live in this liminal, lovely place.
(There were candles in the cauldron for fire, but they wouldn’t stay lit. Fortunately, there was also charcoal, and that is what I used to burn my offerings to the Kindred.)