I was thinking about my post last week, and about how I never made the first oath to start the Dedicant path, even though it was given as an assignment in the WOTY book and suggested on the website.
I’m oath-shy, I guess? I didn’t want to promise anything that I couldn’t fulfill to any Gods who might want to be listening. I take that very seriously, and at the time I didn’t think I could honestly promise anything more than to give it a try and see what happened.
I’m still not sure I’d make much more oath than that.
This week’s assignment is to start thinking about the Dedicant Oath, taken as the last step on the Dedicant Path. I know I don’t need to be ready for that step yet, but I’m really not looking forward to it right now. It’s probably the thing that will hold me up on completing the DP – all the other work is fairly methodical and finishable, but an oath? That’s much more complicated.
For one thing, it’s not just you that makes an oath – it’s a resounding sort of thing that you’re swearing to the Kindreds that you’ll uphold, and they will hold you to it. That’s pretty serious business, and I hesitate to make an oath that will be binding for the rest of my life when I really don’t know how the rest of my life will shape up. I know I can word it so that I’m only on this path as long as I want to travel it, but it still makes me altogether uneasy. I especially don’t want my words to be twisted to mean more than I intend, or to be held to a promise I didn’t intend to make, so there’s a lot of deliberation here.
Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, that it should be a little uncomfortable and challenging, something to take the step forward into being recognized as a Dedicant (though I think what I’m doing now is a pretty full practice of ADF style Druidry, I’m just not labeled as having completed a particular set of coursework yet). And maybe I’m a little bit afraid of commitment (I’ll admit to that much).
I know the Norse took oaths very seriously, and if I end up actually making an oath, I intend to do so very seriously as well. I’m just not really in a place with Druidry where I’m ready to swear anything to anyone about it, yet. Maybe I will get there and maybe not, and I really do have quite a while to make these decisions. It seems a bit early to be thinking about it, honestly, but I guess for some people this comes much more easily.
My tendency to overthink things may be kicking in here, but I feel like I should really mean it if I’m going to make an actual, serious, legitimate oath. What I want, more than anything, is to find the place that I fit into paganism (regardless of what that path is). Maybe in 6 months I’ll be more sure of how I want to address the Dedicant Oath and my eventual place in ADF.