The Dedicant Path, while not required to be a practicing Druid nor a Druid in the ADF tradition, is certainly a useful tool for educating oneself on the history of Paganism, and Druidry and is a required step for those seeking to become clergy like myself. As I am incredibly rusty as a student and look to framework in order to ease my learning process I am looking to use Rev. Michael Dangler’s “The ADF Dedicant Path Through The Wheel Of The Year” which will provide reading assignments, homework, and guidance through writing the necessary documentation required for completing the program. It is my intent to use a portion of this Druidry weblog to document my weekly work and share my progress as I move along week by week, hoping to complete the course work required by the start of next year. Continue reading
Today I renewed my Dedicant’s Oath before The Kindreds using my personalized Oath. It was a quiet, intimate morning ritual kept to simple offerings of love and a tiny LED flame as my giant cat decided he wanted to take part as well and I couldn’t well reach most of my altar with him on my lap. Still though, despite it being a little weird, it was a nice ritual. It felt good to do the Oath again, now in a more comfortable mood than I had been in months prior.
When I moved into meditation I called on Artio, who had previously indicated to me through the runes that she wished me to meditate, and asked her to join me in my mental grove to pass along whatever she had wanted to tell. The grove was unstable when I arrived. I knew I was having a hard time ‘tuning it in’. The creek was undulating up and down like a ribbon and I focused to ‘flatten it out’. In time the tumult settled and I sat, listening to the kayaderosseras trickle past me, feeling the grass around me. I felt very small in this moment, the grass taller around me than before.
Eventually I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A tree had sprung up in the distance to my right. Another tree followed, followed by another. As the trees appeared so too did the earth below them pull up into a slope. There was suddenly an inclined path up off into the distance lined with tall, shady trees. I looked toward the grove as I knew it and then looked up at this new formation and willed myself to ascend the slope. I quickly reached a sharp wall of dirt that was too tall for me to mantle. I tried to get my paws up on it and could not. Perhaps I was too small at this time to climb it. I looked back down and the path back to the grove seemed darker, as night had begin to set in. I tried again to climb the ledge but I could not. Moments before I rose from the visions I saw some sort of thick, floating stone disc near me. I knew that a book was hidden inside it though I could not see it.
So as the tingles left me and I turned my eyes to the little battery-powered flame on my altar I called on Artio again, lifting my rune pouch. For my Monday omens I asked if that ledge was for me to climb or if I should remain down in the grove when next I visit that place. These runes called out:
Perpo – The Dice Cup
Fehu – Cattle
Ingwaz – Ing
As the runes were cast, Fehu was leaning atop Ingwaz.
I see this answer as “You are uncertain right now. Go and spend some of that pent up energy with others.”
Indeed I am perhaps slightly overtaxed with thoughts and concerns right now. I am on my autumn vacation and I’ve been making great effort to make it a low impact relaxing type of vacation but my sleep last night was riddled with static in my mind and my meditation today was equally rough. Bear-Mother asks me to go work out the fuzz, shake off the itchy, shedding fur and have a nice time.
We’ll talk again next time.
It’s about time I got back on track with the WOTY course for my Dedicant Path work. Week two brings us to the First Oath. While it is true that I have been practicing and growing along the Druid’s Path for well over half a year at this point and, yes, at one point I scratched the surface of the week two writing, this weekend was firmly dedicated to for really reals reading and writing to get further along the program.
I feel doing the First Oath now/again is just as important as if I was fresh off the Druidry bus. Like one might renew their wedding vows after so many years, my understanding and love of the Kindreds, of my blessed Shining Mothers, has grown so much since I even considered the DP. The First oath of Falling Sticks circa October 2016 vs March 2016, I feel, is the brass concert of Senior Band vs 5th Grade Band. It has more confidence, more harmony, and a richer sound.
And so I prepare now, a re-dedication if you will. This oath is neither to ADF itself nor any members of the priesthood nor the Archdruid himself. This oath is a message of love and dedication to the Kindreds for whom all this practice is centered around honoring, nourishing, and befriending. What follows is my written oath, to be made in ritual once I have completed preparations:
“I declare, to all that will hear, to be a pagan, seeker of ancient ways, whom speaks with and gives of his heart to the Gods.
By this oath I set upon the Druid’s Way and make my dedication known.
I seek virtue, protecting myself and those in my life, that we may all know strength, joy, truth, and prosperity.
I seek piety, an ever-growing bond with the Kindreds, keeping the rites through the turning of the wheel.
I seek study, growing my love and practice through the truth of the elder paths.
To all here who bear witness, let my vow be heard! Let my dedication be known! Let the Ways be upheld! As my path goes ever on! So be it!”
While the framework is certainly borrowed from OOD I worked to make it my own, with words and sentiments that were comfortable and true to my vision, to my path forward. It certainly feels right, in this moment, but I fully expect to be stirred in the night with more… Or less words. For now… I sleep. Tomorrow… More reading!
My rune reading tonight continued my saga of being warned about loss of the path. The runes fell in the pattern of an inverse Tiwaz, warning me of a loss of guidance. This path contains great amounts of old wisdom (of course) as well as strength, kinship, learning, and adaptability. Losing the way lies between a guttering flame and a joy smothered in chaos.
I came away from this reading with wisdom from my Patroness Nantosuelta. That she wishes to reinforce my bravery moving forward and not let myself wane in piety or joy, lest I lose my footing.
Which, of course, means introducing myself to Belenus very soon, cold feet be damned.
So remember the other day when I drew Laguz before heading to work? Well it got more interesting.
Fast forward from my day to the evening where I retired early to prepare for a very early shift the next morning. I was pretty tired and had to be up at 4am so I got to sleep pretty fast… And then the midnight commotion came. Our cat, very likely because I got to bed so early and my husband retired to his room as well, just became a terror. He ate and ate and barfed and then ate and ate and barfed and then made a mess in his litter box and… It was just one thing after another. All the hustle and bustle eventually roused me and, in my bleary state, I began to assist with damage control.
It was pretty apparent that he hadn’t gotten adequate time with his daddy today and he was all restless and wired up so I hauled myself out of bed and plopped down, semi-conscious, in my computer chair. He near immediately alighted onto my lap and settled down, something he very rarely engaged in with me personally.
So there I was, pulled from sleep at 2 in the morning to give laps to a restless kitty. But he needed it. He very clearly needed it. And as I turned on Saltybet and struggled to not slump over unconsciously onto him I saw Laguz again. That straight stroke with a sharp bend. Adaptability. Deviating from the plan. Flowing like water to do what needs to be done.
Yup. You got my number with that one.
My first set of runes arrived in the mail today. Carved and blessed by The Magical Druid in Ohio, they’re a very lovely little wooden set. They smell just lovely and while I’ve yet to spend any amount of time feeling them in my hand they look nicely carved. I’m waiting to get too deep into them until I set aside time to properly welcome them to my home and stain them appropriately. I look forward to learning more about them and, of course, expanding the vocabulary in which I can communicate with the Gods.
I was thinking about the face that came down from the sun and I’m starting to suspect it might have been Belenus. I’ve been thinking about the upcoming Summer Solstice rites a bit and it could be that He wanted to swing by and give me a little pat on the back… Or a little kindling to my flame.
I’ve also been thinking about the falling sticks to which I derived my internet handle here. I’ve been asking occasionally to return to that dream thicket where I witnessed the fallings sticks of true names. I have yet to return. With my recent exploration into shamanic-style journeying I’m wondering if perhaps I’m to find my way there again as I grow in my spiritual power?
Either that or my true name really is just Falling Sticks.
Tonight I was preparing to settle in for the evening. I sat myself before the altar and focused on centering myself. I did my breathing and then moved into the Two Powers meditation. I set my roots, drank from the underworld, and filled my belly. I looked up to the sky, the light between, and called down the fire to fill me…
And as I did a face briefly shone before me. It was a man with a broad, long nose and a moustache. He said nothing and had a neutral expression, and then he was gone.
His visage completely fled my memory as I finished my evening devotional, as I did not even think to inquire about the man’s image in my prayers… But after I had called the flame back to candle to smoke I remembered… And came here to journal the experience.
I started a conversation with the ‘Ecstatic Trance” group on the ADF message service regarding my transformation experiences. I have received some sensory exercises to try so when I have several moments alone to truly focus on it, I will attempt to learn more.
I am also now waiting on the arrival of my first set of runes, carved by The Magical Druid. On recommendation from my mentor I am to receive and hallow these runes and explore their use going forward in my Dedicant work, to see if they are a fit for my practice.
It’s become another late night completely by accident so I will finally, finally lay myself to sleep.
Mothers, please keep this home safe and sacred. Wrap me in your loving arms while I slumber and guide me safely to enlightening dreams til the sun returns to me.