I’ve been reading Drawing Down the Moon as the next book in my DP studies, and I recently finished with the section on Feminist Craft.
While I have never been part of that aspect of Paganism, that section of the book brought to mind how much I have valued the women mentors and friends I’ve made in Paganism, by extension the male mentors and friends I’ve had as well. Something about that section emphasized community and growth and mentorship in a way that made me really think back on and value the people I’d worked with. I’ve been lucky enough to have really good Pagan friends – never very many at one time, but a few that I could really open up to, and those people are really special to me.
I’ve also always had the luxury of having someone who acted as a mentor to me in the Paganism, and right now I’m feeling a little like that’s missing. ADF is more self directed than my previous forays into Paganism, especially given my reticence to approach my local grove. I’m still waiting on my assignment of a mentor for the DP. (I emailed the preceptor a month ago, and emailed to get an update this week, but I’ve not heard anything back at all.) While I know that an automatically assigned mentor isn’t necessarily going to be someone I can turn to immediately, I’m hoping I can build a relationship that will help guide me through this process.
I think best in conversation, and I’m very lucky to have a very good friend who has been involved in Paganism (of some flavor or another) for a long time. He’s currently closest to being Asatru, but is familiar with and has worked with ADF in the past, and he’s been a sort of sounding board for a lot of my thoughts. He puts up with my random text messages about Druidry, for which I’m very grateful. There’s really a lot of power and comfort in sitting down with someone you trust and just seeing what comes out of your brain.
I’m also building a relationship with my Regional Druid, who has been extremely helpful in letting me bounce ideas off her and giving me much-desired feedback on my Druidic musings and first steps.
The structure of ADF has been very welcoming in general, and I’ve had several people email me in welcome over the last month. Now I just need to build on those relationships and hopefully build some spiritual friendships with the various members of ADF. I find those kinds of friendships to be good for my connection to the Kindreds – having, as it were, a kindred spirit to talk with and share experiences with.
Obviously I’m not in a position right now to be a mentor or teacher for ADF – I’m still way too new. But maybe I’ll be good enough to mentor other Druids someday.