Dedicant Path Introduction

Image by Stephen Bowler on Flickr (CC2.0)

Image by Stephen Bowler on Flickr (CC2.0)

I’m going to work through the ADF Dedicant Path with the help of Michael J. Dangler’s supplementary book The Dedicant Path Through the Wheel of the Year. Given that I’m starting at a slightly different time than the book schedules for, and that I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to do an assignment a week, I will probably mix up the order a bit here and there.

Even though I’ve been dabbling with Druidry for a few years now, on and off, I think the Dedicant Path will be a useful exercise in what’s known in Zen Buddhism as Shoshin, “beginner’s mind”, learning to see familiar things (such as the wheel of the year) with new eyes and re-examine what they mean without judgement.

The first assignment in the book is to answer some questions about why I have chosen to join ADF and take the Dedicant Path. My answers are below the cut:

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Bant's carn, Scilly

View from Bant’s Carn, an Iron-Age burial chamber on the Isles of Scilly. Photo by me, 2014

Hi, and welcome to Endless Erring!

I’m an agnostic Druid-in-training currently starting to work with the Dedicant Path of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF: A Druid Fellowship), which is an independent tradition of Neopagan Druidry. I’ve previously studied with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and practiced as a solitary Druid with John Michael Greer’s Druidry Handbook for about five years.

Druidry for me is not about romantic fantasy or attempting to re-create the cultures and beliefs of the ancient Celts, but rather it’s  a way of finding and expressing a connection to the natural world: the land, sea and sky all around us. Growing up, I always felt more of that connection in the woods and fields than I ever did in a church.

My love of the natural world is enhanced through science. Science is the single greatest toolkit humanity has ever invented to help us understand the world around us, and for me at least, it is not only compatible with Druidry, but is a profound source of wonder, awe and spirituality. From Darwin’s revelation that all life is one interconnected family tree to physics confirming that we are made of elements forged in the white heat of dying stars, science reveals the magic of reality. At the same time, Druidry works with the magic of myth and symbol to create a meaningful response to that reality, and for me the two are very much entwined.

Needless to say, I am very sceptical of claims that contradict what we know scientifically to be the case, and in the world of Paganism/Druidry, there are a lot of such claims floating around out there. It’s one of the reasons I admire ADF’s commitment to real scholarship and research rather than new-age fabrications.

This blog will be a journal for my exercises and thoughts along my Druid path, as well as anything else I think is interesting.