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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

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.

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Having gone through the online versions of the Dedicant Manual, I figured, given that I was on vacation, I’d just get started on this whole Dedicant Path thing, wherever I felt like it would work. Of course, given that I’ve been a member of ADF for two weeks, one of those weeks including a High Day, and one of those weeks where I was on vacation, it was a lot of flying by the seat of my pants. Very exciting, though possibly a little too high energy to be sustainable now that I’m back at work.

Of course, as soon as I get some things completed, I end up stumbling across people with Homework! Homework for the DP! This is exciting too, since that means there’s a study program somewhere. After a bit of digging around and some help from twitter, I’m now reading through the Wheel of the Year study program by Rev. Michael J. Dangler.

As expected, I did things ALL out of order. Oops.

Still, I think I can make it work. I’ll be putting up homework assignments for weeks 1-4 all in one clump over the next few days. I’ve already put together and done my first High Day rite (Samhain) where I honored Donn and the Cailleach, so I’ll have both the High Day essay and the Ritual Redux essay to put together. If I can get those done, I’ll do my first oath, and I’ll just say I did the first month out of order.

Also, I’m ahead on my book reading, since a week off meant a good excuse to plow through Puhvel’s Comparative Mythology. Which was, as mentioned, not an easy read. I’m doing an easier book next – Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon, which I’ve started in the past (and already own) but have never actually finished. Oops. Anyway, it’s nice to be reading something a little more approachable.

I’m already a meditator with a regular practice, so I’m ahead on that front as well. I’ll be posting (hopefully) weekly journal entries to that effect. For my first Druid Meditations I am starting to work with the Two Powers Meditation, which I like a lot. More on that later.

I also need to get myself set up with a mentor. I think in conversations – I’m a writer and blogger after all – and it’s always good for me to put my thoughts into words to someone else as a way to clarify what I actually think. That’s a big part of why this blog exists. Since it’s publishing to the entire internet, I need to use my words well and wisely, and that thought process really helps me clarify what I think and feel and believe. I’ll be emailing the DP Preceptor to start that process.

It feels like I’m going to have to pace myself on this, especially while everything is new and shiny. I hope the Wheel of the Year book will help me both stay on track and not burn myself out too quickly. Having a week off at the very beginning was nice, since I could take a pretty leisurely look at my first ritual and have lots of time to read a difficult book, but I’m also feeling a little bit like this breakneck pace is unsustainable. While I’m sure my current seat-of-pants style of learning Druidry would work out, having something a little more concrete will help (as will the Socratic style that the Wheel of the Year book is written in. I’m a big fan, at least when it’s not kicking my ass.)

I’ll have my first week’s questions up later today, along with my first week’s Meditation Journal.

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