Happy New Year!

Image from "merrychristmasgreetings" (CC2.0)

Image from “merrychristmasgreetings” (CC2.0)

So, 2016 has arrived! I’m not one for making new year’s resolutions, but the theme of the year ahead for me will be Creativity. I want to bring more creativity to my Druid practice and my daily life, to write more, read more, listen to more music, learn an instrument and find ways to be inspired and express that inspiration.

In more practical terms, this will be the year I finish the ADF Dedicant Path, and I’m already starting to look ahead to what might be the next steps for me. I’ve learned a lot from the DP, but I’m not sure if ADF is the right “home” for me long-term. Part of the reason for that is simply geography. I’m in the UK, and ADF are predominantly in the US, so it is impossible for me to attend ADF events and gatherings. However, the UK has its own vibrant Druid tradition and community, most notably with OBOD and The Druid Network, that I could get involved with.

There are other reasons, mostly due to ADF self-describing as a “Pagan church” and being a religion complete with clergy etc. (and a constitutional ban on atheists as members – see article 5) that rub me the wrong way as a pretty secular, anti-clerical, vaguely pantheist/agnostic sort of Pagan, but I don’t want to dwell on negatives. ADF is a fantastic organisation, and the best at what they do, and I would recommend the DP to anyone, but as I have no interest in being clergy, I don’t really know what else I would do for future studies with them.

I have a box of OBOD Gwersi (weekly lessons you get sent when you sign up to the Bardic course) which I worked through years ago, and got about half-way through the Bardic grade, so I’m thinking of dusting them off and revisiting them once the DP is done. There are aspects of OBOD-style Druidry that I miss in my current practice, such as the emphasis on Awen (inspiration) so it might be nice to re-connect to a form of Druidry that grew from this land and its heritage.

Then there’s the Norse hearth culture. I have no idea what to do with this one! I am fascinated by Norse mythology, have a Thor statue on my home shrine, and I love doing the rituals from Sunna’s Journey, but since visiting the British Museum’s Celts exhibition and seeing the Gundestrup cauldron, a certain Celtic antlered figure has been cropping up in my dreams a lot recently…

Anyway, that’s where I am at for the start of 2016, and I look forward to the year ahead. There’s some pretty cool stuff coming up, including a trip to Sweden to go dog-sledding in the Arctic circle, and my first ever visit to a proper rock festival with Download in June, so lots to look forward to!

Happy New Year to one and all!

Sunrise, Kauai. Image from WIkimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Sunrise, Kauai. Image from WIkimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

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2 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. Happy New Year to you too! I’m hoping to finish up my DP work on schedule this year as well, if I can get my meditation act together. haha. I have just enough time. When I started the DP, I wasn’t sure I’d stick around with ADF, but the longer I’ve been with it, the more likely it seems. The big selling point for me is that I *am* in the US (ironic, since I am usually painfully bitter about being American :p ) and I have a really nice Grove to meet up with. That’s too bad about the anti-atheist thing. I didn’t know they had a rule like that. I hope you can find a better fit for yourself after the DP 🙂

    • Ryan says:

      Thanks! The meditation requirement was by far the hardest part of the DP so far for me, but you can do it! If I was in the US, and near a Grove, I probably would stick with ADF but it seems odd for me to be so far removed from them, while also ignoring the Druid community here in the UK. The anti-atheist rule is never really enforced (I’ve come across plenty of ADF members who identify as atheist or agnostic) but it makes me uncomfortable to see it in the Constitution.

      I’m really looking forward to doing OBOD stuff again, and I’ll keep on blogging! Good luck with the rest of the DP and whatever you choose to do next.

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