So here I am, a newly signed up member of the ADF, the excitement of joining still fresh writing my first entry on my journey down the Dedicant Path. After a good rummage around on the member’s section of the website, a read of Our Own Druidry and Through the Wheel of the Year I’ve started to understand exactly how big a task I have set for myself.
I recently spoke to several ADF members at a local pagan gathering that were in various points of completing the Dedicants Path along with senior ADF members who had never completed it. They were all thrilled that after six months of agonizing over the decision to join that I had come down on the side of joining and had almost finished saving up to do so. As strange as it might sound to some at that moment, with those people I realized I had come home. I couldn’t wait to start. So here I am, a newly joined member jumping in the deep end. Again.
I’ve decided to work through the workbook of Through the Wheel of the Year, despite the fact it is ‘more work’ because it offers up a comfortingly structured approach to the DP. Week One readings were sections of Our Own Druidry but were followed up by two suggested readings, one on journaling our experiences as Druids and the other on the uncertainty of facing the Dedicants Path.
Both were interesting, the second one because it spoke to some of my insecurities going in. Although I come to the ADF with thirteen years as an eclectic pagan under my belt and two years identifying as a Heathen, which meant I had my pantheon and a lot of my experimenting out of my system I am still walking into the unknown with no certainty that I am doing the right thing or doing this right. However, I look at the tagline ‘Why not excellence?’ and think I’ll give this my best and if I fail I’ll do it trying my darndest.
So now that I’ve shared some of my thoughts it is time for the Week 1 questions:
Why have you chosen to take the first steps on the Dedicant Path?
This answer can be broken down into three parts. The first part is that I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few ADF public rituals already so I knew I liked the way the ADF ran rituals and was keen to learn more. The second part has to do with my own personal journey, I had been feeling like my growth as a pagan had halted and that I was plateauing and was looking for a way to continue on, rather than stagnating like I had seen friends do. The third and final reason really is simple. I paid to be a member, I want to make sure I get something out of that sacrifice (I am on a low income so joining ADF was a financial sacrifice, one that I made willingly after careful consideration).
Is this a step on your path, or will this become the Path itself?
My crystal ball is in the shop for repairs so I’ll have to wing this one. It is a step on my path certainly, but I won’t know for know at least if this will become the path itself. I guess in some ways it could be both, only time and perseverance will tell.
What do you expect to learn?
I expect to learn better skills in running ritual, meditation and communicating with my gods and goddesses as well as the world around me. I *hope* that I will also learn more about myself as well.
What would I like to get out of this journey?
A healthier personal practice and an ability to understand my fellow ADF members own practices.
Do you know where this journey will take you?
Honestly? No idea, but that is ok, it is like an adventure. I may not actually be a hobbit and there probably isn’t a mountain out there with a dragon sitting on a hoard of gold but with luck it will change me for the better.
If you have just joined ADF, why have you chosen to work on this immediately?
I think in all honesty I joined the ADF so I could undergo the Dedicants Path, I had read all the publicly available information on it before I joined. So now I’m a member I see no point in putting it off.
Does it look hard or easy?
A little of both I think, hopefully using Through the Wheel of the Year it will be easier because it gives me structure and a plan despite the extra work. However if it is hard, well not everything comes easy and that is ok.
Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?
The Oath Rite and the Meditation Journal both scare the heck out of me at the moment and seem hard at this point in time. I’ll probably eat my words later but the rest seems pretty straight forward and easy at this stage, a sentiment I’m sure I’ll re-evaluate later and laugh at my naivety.
Do you have doubts, questions, or concerns that you need to ask about?
That I need to ask about no, that are probably completely unfounded and silly yes.