What’s going on with my DP?

This past year I have taken a close examination of many things in my life, have dropped some, have altered some, and have embraced others.

It’s no secret that I have really struggled with the idea of making the oath. I had basically quit ADF, by allowing my membership to quietly expire.

I have some issues with ADF, almost entirely to do with ritual structure and the Oath for the DP.

Now, to be clear, ADF has been very good to me. I love the people of ADF. I love the culture of ADF. My issues were never with the organisation as a whole, but more with my own struggle to define my spirituality.

I don’t like the ritual structure. In fact, I HATE it. I don’t like the memorizing of multiple pages. I don’t like the dryness. My personal rituals are a whole lot more visceral, and a whole lot less pageantry. Performing these rituals, whether solo as a requirement of the DP, or as a part of a group has felt forced and uninspired.

I feel weird about the whole concept of “Earth Mother”, which is an entirely modern concept, placed at the heart of every ADF ritual.

I feel uneasy that Manannan, my new patron deity, is assigned to the position of bouncer, and then ignored for the entire ritual.

And then there is the oath. I will not, will not, WILL NOT make an oath to be a life long part of any religion. As I have mentioned before, I made that mistake when I was 15 with Christianity, and felt very not okay with breaking an oath. I have no idea where my spirituality is headed. I know that it is headed further and further away from Neo-Paganism. Making an oath to any religion would only hinder my development.

But… it is important to me to finish what I start. I am half way through the DP. I could finish by summer. But I do need to make an oath. That’s the finishing test for the DP.

I had a talk with Lisa W-M (as my other mentor randomly unfriended me a few months ago after initiating daily conversations with me while I was at work for 2 years. oooookay? Whatevs) Lisa said that I do not have to make an oath to neo-paganism. I had thought about making an oath to my ancestors, but what if I decide all this is bullshit in 10 years? I will still have to live with the oath for the rest of my life. Lisa had said that someone had made an oath to the 9 virtues. THAT I can do. The virtues are very much in line with my personal values. I can absolutely make an oath to live these throughout my life. Also, I am fully comfortable making an oath towards excellence. Excellence is a core value of ADF, and in line with my motto “Mediocrity killed the cat”. We can all use to be more excellent in our lives. I think this rectifies the problem nicely. Well, at least the oath part can be rectified.

I am unsure of my future with ADF. Like I said, ADF has been good to me. I harbour no ill feelings, and no drama. I am just not sure it fits with my current spiritual cosmology. I suppose I will make a decision after the oath.

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Book Review 2- Hearth culture book

For my hearth culture book I chose “A Brief History of the Celts” by Peter Berrisford Ellis.  It is not actually on the DP reading list, so I sought special permission from the preceptor to use this book.  His other book, “A brief history of the Druids” is on the list.  I owned this book, and was looking for a chance to read it anyway, so it worked out well.

Each chapter describes one area of ancient Celtic life, depicting such topics as agriculture, roads, warfare and architecture.  There are three chapters relating to various spiritual dimensions  a chapter on the Druids, on the myths, and on the religious life of the average Celtic layperson.  

He discusses women in great detail, which is a great complement and contrast to the PIE book I read.  He sites many examples of women leaders, and other women who made history, typically by doing something appalling to the Romans.  It is very clear that, though women did not hold equality with men, Celtic noble women certainly enjoyed much more freedom and power than their Roman and Greek counterparts.  He sites Brehon laws which state that women could own property, administer religious rites as Druids, and even divorce their husbands for reasons such as snoring.  It seems that, though men still “wore the pants”, the freedom that Celtic  women experienced could be compared to women in today, where men still rule most of the countries and have most of the property, but women are far from powerless.

I know that many take issue with some of Berrisford Ellis’s pro-Celtic bias.  But, I’m a Celtophile myself, so this fit well.  I don’t think that the bias was that evident, but that instead he was seeking to balance much of the anti-Celtic historical documentation written mostly by the conquering Romans.  Berrisford Ellis strives for a great deal of academic accuracy in his writing, specifically in regards to the names of rulers, language translations, and the dates and outcomes of major battles.  He cites his sources well.  If he does have bias, he has the academic clout to back it up.

There were two matters in which I disagreed with this writer, both of which were rare times when he did not cite his sources.  My background is in psych and neuroscience, not archaeology, so I trust Berrisford Ellis’s judgement better than my own.  He further continues the belief that the end of harvest/ beginning of winter celebration, Samhain was named in honour of the Feast God- Samhaim, and disputes the theory that Samhain translates to “Summer’s End”.  I was under the impression than any entity named Samhain had been thoroughly ruled out, and that Samhain did in fact mean “end of summer”.  Despite Berrisford Ellis’s theory, I will continue to believe in the latter.

He said something else which made one eye brow raise.  It’s common knowledge that the Druids were competent astronomers.  Berrisford Ellis not only argues that, until the 1700s, astronomy and astrology were interwoven, and that not only did the Druids look to the stars for divination, but that they used the same Babylonian astrology charts that New Agers use today (ie Aries-Pisces solar year).  We know for certain that the “Celtic Astrology” of moons named after trees is entirely modern and the work of Robert Graves, but I am not convinced that the Ancient Celts would have recognized my birth in Taurus.  That sounds a little fishy to me.

Berrisford Eliis does an impressive job of recounting the numerous battles between the Romans and Celts, but fails to describe any inter tribal battles between various settlements, of which we know there were many.  Perhaps this is a bit of a white-washing of the history.

One of the most promising tidbits of this book was about the mythology.  Most Celtic Pagans are very aware of the richness of the mythology, even if only surviving through Christ-coloured glasses.  But, we have about 150 myths available to us.  That’s about 1/4 of all the existing Celtic myths.  There are about 450 more in vaults and libraries awaiting translation.  Essentially, we lack the academic knowledge, time and funding to have them translated.  How cool is that?  For a society famous for not writing stuff down, 600 surviving myths is impressive, even if they weren’t the ones who penned them.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book.  I found it academic, but not dry.  Insightful and to the point.  I think that this book should absolutely be added to the DP Celtic Hearth Culture reading list, along with its Druidic companion.

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PIE Book Review: The Myth of the Matriarchal Prehistory

I remember talking to this woman once about men. She said something like “Don’t you know how things were back in ancient times? All women were goddesses!” I rolled my eyes. I knew she was wrong. I knew that she ahd been mislead by New Age pseudohistory. But, I lacked the source material to have the intelligent debate. Now, I know what to say.

For my Proto-IndoEuropean book review, I read The Myth of the Matriarchal PreHistory: How an invented past won’t give women a future, by Cynthia Eller, and despite my procrastination to complete assigned academic reading, I am very glad that I chose this book. I seriously want to keep 5 copies in my purse for when New Agers start naively blathering on about “Ancient Goddess Religion” and all of the false, anecdotal evidence that “proves it”.

I was a student for a very long time. I had to read. It was in my job description to read. After I finished school, the last thing that I wanted to do was pick up a book. After a full year of non-academic reading, I slowly began to enjoy books again. And then I HAD to read a book. I had to read a book with dry language, big words, and cited references. Don’t get me wrong, I love knowledge. I buy books like some other women buy shoes, but I had a hard time reading something again that was required reading. It took me a full six months to get through this book of less than 300 pages.

This book seeks to debunk the myth of the matriarchal prehistory, the idea that, 5000 years ago, there was a Matriarchal, femal based society that was overthrown by patriarchy. Eller very carefully examines all evidence, from the conclusions drawn by femininist matriarchal researchers, to art historians and archaeologists. Mythology, art and stereotype are widely called into question. Eller shows beyond a shadow of a doubt, that not a shred of evidence for a prehistorical matriarchy ever existed. It is just simply a false, half-baked idea with no founding in actual history.

One way she demonstrates this is to look at prehistorical art with an unbiased eye. Those matriarchal researchers (such as Marija Gimbutas) like to point out that prehistorical art was “full of goddess symbols”. But to Gimbutas, everything is a goddess symbol, including both straight lined and wavy lines. Eller askes “Is there any other way to draw a line?” We can see that much of the Matriarchal “conclusions” simply lack hard evidence of any kind. Though there were certainly deities of both genders in many ancient cultures, those with stronger female goddesses actual treated their women poorer than cultures without these warrior goddesses. Rich women may have had some rights, but poor women were nothing more than chattle. At no point in history was there a patriarchal uprising or a monotheistic “Mother Goddess”.

Much of the modern reasoning of those who perpetuate the myth of the matriarchal prehistory is actually very harmful to the modern woman. They reinforce stereotypes and are incredibly sexist. “Female energy” is supposedly creative, nurturing, gentle and spiritual. “Male energy” is supposedly logical, cold, violent, and dogmatic. This teaches women that they should not explore careers such as military or accounting as they are “denying their true nature”. It also seeks to shame those who are not cis-gendered. These theories also blame women for their own cancer and reproductive issues if they are “not feminine enough”.

The purpose of this book seems to be to end the false belief of ancient “goddess traditions” and instead demand better evidence for what we choose to believe is true. Eller understands that her book is simply a starting point, and will not completely solve this problem, but will hopefully start dialogue and be a step in the right direction. She can tend to take a bit of a harsh, condescending tone, especially in the beginning of the book, but you would too if this was your field of study, constantly being walked over by pseudo-academia.

I very much enjoyed this book. I am glad that it made the reading list and would really like if it became a staple in the pagan movement.

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Just when I thought that I was back on track…

It’s Tuesday. It’s supposed to be DP day.

Work went from 1-120 almost overnight. Work ended an hour ago, but I’m still here, and will be for another few hours. There’s soooo much to do! I may not get relief until late February.

Work comes first. I love my job. But this also means that my DP is going back on the backburner.

However, I still have an oath to fulfill. I WILL be finished by January 26th, 2014.

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I’m Back. Crisis Averted

Just as my friend S was getting annoyed by popular bloggers having a public crisis of faith, I come out with this, go figure. I’m just a small beans blogger compared with others, but my blog does get around. Here you go S, my public crisis of faith, and how I resolved it with the help of Facebook.

I took a long break from my DP. I needed to. I had to sort some stuff out. There were two issues holding me back. One was an easy fix, the other, not so much. Until last night.

The easy issue: I lost my PIE book. I was reading “The Myth of the Matriarchal PreHistory” By Cynthia Eller. I lost the book. It was due week 26. Well, not really. It’s due when I am finished my DP, which is when I choose. But, in following Dangler’s WOTY, it is suggested to have it done at week 26. I could have bought another copy, or read another book. But, I was liking the one that I was reading. It was driving me nuts not finding it! I tore the house apart! But, it turns out that it was in my suitcase, in the pocket I never (well rarely use). I now have it and have started reading again from where I left off. I may need to just start the whole thing again. I used to be a voracious reader, but being a student for so long, when I had to read for 3 hours at least a day, I lost my appetite for reading. I still buy books at almost a hoarders capacity, but I just don’t have the same motivation to read that I did before school.

The hard issue: My dedicant oath. I blogged about this a few times. I take my oaths and promises very seriously. My word matters. I made an oath to “give my heart to Jesus” when I was 15. I spent the next few years in a fundamentalist Christian cult. I was young. I made a mistake. Leaving the church was the best thing that I did for myself. But, I need to live with the fact that I broke an oath to the gods. This is a big deal to me. But, at 15, I never would have dreamed that in 6 years, I would want nothing to do with the curch, and be rather disgusted by the stance on homosexuality, sex-shame and politics. I didn’t know how I was going to change. I made a decision about my faith only based on who I was at that moment. I made a terrible mistake that will never go away.

Now, I’m a member in good standing with ADF. I really enjoy being a part of ADF. There are a few things I take issue with (A Roman Druid? Didn’t they have their own priestly class?) but ADF really emphasizes self-direction. I do what works for me. If someone wants to call themselves a Roman Druid, it’s not my damned business. I like the culture of ADF. I like the philosphies of ADF. I like the emphasis on academia in ADF. For me, right now, ADF is where I need to be. But can I make an oath about my faith that I will agree with in 15 years?

Now, I am not asked to make an Oath to ADF. I am asked to make an oath between me and my kindred. Thing is, in 10 years, will I even believe in kindred? Maybe I’ll move towards atheism. Maybe I’ll convert to Catholicism. Maybe I’ll become a Buddhist. I don’t know. What I do know is that I am evolving. What I do know is that the person I am now, who is typing at this very keyboard, will not be the same person in 10 years. To believe anything else would be unhealthy.

I had originally thought that I would do some sort of dedication to myself and my evolution, or maybe even to my ancestors. But, that felt like a wishy-washy cop-out. Then D- a fellow ADFer- recommended that I put a 5 year time cap on my oath. What a great idea! 5 years is still a long time. I started to think about making my dedication at “a year and a day”. But, the “year and a day” wording felt really hoaky to me. Instead, I will renew my vow every January 26th. Why that day? That is the day my ADF membership fees are due. If I have some sort of change of heart about Druidry and my oath, it stands to reason that I would not be renewing my membership with ADF. Both my membership and oath would expire at the same time. This makes abundant sense. What’s more, I HAVE made an oath to complete my Dedicant path by the time my next membership payment rolls around, January 26th, 2014. I have bad habit of fighting tooth and nail for something, completing 90% and then flaking out. Even when I am reading a book or making a craft, I seem to fizzle at the 90% mark. I need to finish my DP and I need to do so before I finish 3 years. January 26th, 2014. This will be the date that I finish my DPP. This will be the day I make my dedicant oath to expire after one year.

I like this plan.

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Taking a break

Hello folks!

I was really good at getting my DP stuff out every Tuesday, but I’ve decided that I need a little break.  I’m working on a lot o stuff with the Quantum Life Science Institute as well as the Dedicant Path.  I’m just about half way through my DP.  Probably after Samhain I’ll get back on track.

Just so everyone knows, everything is peachy.  Life is actually quite awesome at the moment.  There is no good reason for me to take a break, other than the fact that I feel like it.  Well, that and I haven’t started book one, and haven’t done the Two Powers meditation in ages.  I still have a (mostly) daily practice, just with a different meditation.

This means that I will not have completed my DP in a year, but there are no ADF police ready to chastize me for taking a tad longer.  In fact, I remember hearing the stat that only 15% of ADF members even complete the DP at all.

So, just give me some time to catch up and rest, and I’ll be back in Dedicant form before you know it.

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Week 21: Nature Awareness 2

Woohoo!  I checked the WOTY manual, and I am caught up!  Kick ass!

Confession time… I have lost my PIE (Proto-Indo European) book.  The review is due in 5 weeks.  I have looked high and low.  My house is relatively clean.  It should be there!  The review is due in 5 weeks.  Since I have a year to complete my DP, I am going to read my hearthculture book first, then my modern paganism book, then the PIE book, and hopefully it’ll turn up between now and then.  I don’t really like the book, and I’d prefer not to repurchase it.  I am going to try to see what I can do about borrowing it from either the pubic, university or a lending library.  Either that or just start another one.  I hate to waste the money though.

Confession number two:  I have not been keeping up with the Two Rivers meditation.  I am very busy with the Quantum Life Sciences Institute, which does have me meditating for sometimes up to 2 hours a day.  I noticed in looking ahead in the WOTY book, that Week 24 is on the Two Powers.  I’ll get back into it, if only to have something to write about when the weekly assignment comes up.

Now, on to this week’s homework:

1.)  Where does your trash go?

My daughter and I checked out the local landfill a few years ago. It was surreal!  it struck me that, although large, it was a finite space.  When my trash goes away, it does not just disappear.

2.)  Are there options for recycling that you’re making use of?  Why or why not?

Yes, we recycle.  Our complex makes recycling very easy.  Basically, there are 2 sheds, one for garbage and one for recycling.  It is my daughter’s job to take out both the recycling and garbage.  We also regift or donate any decent, still useable items that no longer meet our needs.

3.)  Are there steps you take to help reduce the amount of refuse you create?

I try to be aware of what things are packaged in before I buy them.  There are some restaurants that simply don’t get my business because they use styrofoam.  I use leftover yarn to make shopping bags, and keep them in my car.

4.)  What happens to your waste water?

There is a sewage treatment m=plant on Adelaide Street.  It smells bad.  I used to live across the road.  I guess I don’t think as much about waste water as I do about garbage.  I know I should.  We talk about all the dangers to society- war, famine, big banks, etc.  The thing that places us in the most danger, which we totally don’t pay attention to is water.   Our water is in crisis through threats of privatization.  I suppose I’ve just been spoiled by living in a land with so much clean, fresh water.  I turn on the tap, and it’s there.  I can wash my clothes and my dishes without a second thought.  This is something that needs attention.

5.)  What rivers are nearby?  Do you have a connection to them?  What sort of connection.  The Thames river runs through here.  I have connected to the entity associated with it.  This god is just as powerful as the Gods of Shannon, Danube and Boyne.  But, it has a weird energy.  I don’t like working with it.  Like most urban natural landmarks I’ve found, It has a very scarred feel, and is not overly appreciative of White People attention.  It took me a long time before the bog was cool with me being there, and even that relationship is strained at times.

6.)  Describe the basic climate of your area.  Is it often wet and rainy?  Dry and sunny?  How has this affected the kinds of plants and animals in the area?

I am beyond smitten with this area of the world.  I love how the seasons move and are so distinct.  There are, in fact, 8 seasons here.  The feel of the land and the weather are quite different between the high holy days.  I couldn’t imagine being somewhere like Arizona or Louisiana where the climate does not vary much.  I find it very easy to connect with the High Holy days here, as the weather is not entirely dissimilar to the climate of my Western European heritage.  I get to experience very similar weather to what the Ancient Druids did.  This makes things like planting season and harvest time all the more real, and makes a paleo or 100 mile diet almost identical to that of my ancestors.  Also, many of the wildlife are similar.  There are variants, but when I look at my Druidcraft Animal Oracle, most of the animals in the deck, exist in some variation here, even if in different breeds (deer, bear, raven, etc).

7.)  What visible effects have humans had on the natural landscape around you?

Well, considering this area of the world was forest land as far as the eye can see, and now, there is very little forest land left, this is painfully obvious.  Now, everywhere I look, even on a long drive, I see field and town.  This landscape isn’t even recognizable due to clear cutting.

8.)  Where do the winds usually come from?  Are there different winds at different times fo the year?

The prevailing winds ’round these parts are fairly consistently NW.  Many trees along the highways have a slight bend to hem as a result.  We get the odd change, but on more days than not, we have a WxNW breeze.

9.)  What major crops are grown in your region?  Why are these crops grown here?

This is a garden spot of the world, with very fertile soil.  Our growing season isn’t as long as on the West Coast, but during our growing season, all sorts of vegetables are possible.  However, commercial crops tend to consist of mostly corn.  This is for many political reasons, such as subsidies, and demand for HFCS.

10.)  Where does your power come from?

My electricity is mostly hydro and some nuclear.  Coal is being phased out.  My house is heated by natural gas.

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Week 20: The Nine Virtues: Vision

I made an oath to publish 2 entries a week until I was caught up.  It’s past midnight on a Saturday.  THAT’s piety for ya 🙂 , grammatical errors and all (blame the maple whiskey).

Our Own Druidry defines Vision as follows: “The ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future.”

1.)  Does that definition cover vision in your eyes? Is it simply seeing and understanding, or is there more to it?  I think that this definition overlaps with Wisdom a fair bit.  But, I would say that Vision would also include divination.  We know that the Druids were great divinators.  This is something that I tend to excel at as well, and include divination in my spiritual practice as part of the virtue of vision.

2.)  What does the definition mean by “our place/role in the cosmos” and “past, present, and future”? Do these terms sit well with you?
I think to me, this means to “see the big picture”.  We can sometimes get so caught up in the emotion of the moment.  Vision encourages us to truly understand the relevance of a situation, totally unbiased, in relation to not only a spiritual cosmo, but to our physical and social worlds (I’m going somewhere with this, I promise).

3.)  head to your nearest dictionary and read the definitions in that it provides. Write it down (it is strongly recommended that you include a dictionary definition in your final write-up). Do any of those definitions make sense? Can they encompass all that vision is?

Dictionary.com says:


[vizh-uhn] Show IPA



the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.

the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision; the vision of an entrepreneur.

an experience in which a personage, thing, or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency: a heavenly messenger appearing in a vision. Compare hallucination ( def. 1 ) .

something seen or otherwise perceived during such an experience: The vision revealed its message.

a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation: visions of wealth and glory.

4.)  I like both the ADF and dictionary.com definitions,  One, like I said is closer to wisdom, and the other does include divinatory abilities.

5.)  Now, think about people you know whom you would call “visionary”. Examine why you think of them that way: is it something they know, something they do, or something they have said? Is it something beyond this? Can you find words to describe it?

I think I would describe some of the great Stoics as having vision.  They did not get caught up in the passion of a situation, but yet found peace in seeing things as a whole.  I think my friends P and M are people I would describe as having vision.  He always tends to see how things will play out in the long-term, and makes decisions based on these reasons, using both divination and logic.

6.)  Does vision go beyond simply seeing? Does it involve seeing outside and inside? What does the DP Handbook mean when it talks about “relating to the past, present, and future”? Is it talking about divination, or merely seeing the outcome of traveling certain paths?  I think I’ve answered both above.  I believe that it comes both from logically extrapolating effects both present and temporally removed, the impact on others, and divination.

7.)  Think about myths and legends from different cultures. How was vision shown in the myths and legends? Was there a character in a myth that showed real vision? How was that vision displayed (in the Volsungasaga, Brynhild pronounces visions of the future; how does this fit with your idea of vision)?  I think of the travels of Aengus Mac Og and Manannan Mac Lir.  It’s been a long time since I reviewed these tales, and they deserve revisiting.  Manannan gave Aengus many tests and uncomfortable situations.  Manannan used his sense of humour, wit and skill to prove several points to Aengus.  Aengus struggled but in the end came out a better person.  Manannan showed vision.  Aengus did not.

8.)  Do you see yourself as visionary? Visionary in some ways but not others, perhaps? Not visionary at all? Does one need to be visionary to understand the concept of vision, or to wonder if something is visionary? Can anyone have vision? Um… I think that I am capable of vision, but my passions and tempers can sometimes make me shortsighted.  I think as I mature, that I have potential to be a visionary.  I’m a fairly damn good divinator.  I just need to apply within context.  Also, some neurological issues make me rather socially retarded.  This prevents me from understanding my social cosmo.

9.)  Think of a time when you have exemplified this virtue. How did you feel? Did you know that this was a virtue at the time? Now think about a time when you failed to show this virtue. How did that make you feel? Did you feel as if you’d done something wrong or inadequate?

A situation came up a few months ago which was ethically grey.  I had been waiting for such an opportunity, and probably would have had great success.  I did some divination which advised against doing nothing.  I regretted missing the window at first, but later came do be thankful that I did not take action, as it allowed me to experience forgiveness, resolution, closure and joy.
10.)  Finally, is vision a Virtue? Is it one that you agree should be on ADF’s list? Why was it chosen? What is it about vision that either makes it a Virtue or keeps it from being one? If you have decided that it is not a Virtue, would you suggest another term, removing it altogether, or replacing it with something else entirely?

Vision totally needs to be on this list!  In looking at the mythology, Vision is the whole reason why noblemen kept Druids around for consultation.  In this time of uncertainly, Druidic vision is needed more than ever.  I had a debate recently online with someone about Druidry and the environment (this is where I promised I was going).    Ancient Druids were not tree-hugging hippie-dippy dirt worshippers.  They would not have paid attention to the environment as we think they would have, basically because they didn’t have the environmental issues we do.  They would have supported the poisoning of wells and the burning of crops in times of war.  They may have even participated in cutting down trees and hunting.  we know for certain that the Druids killed both people and animals to read the entrails as a form of divination.  But, I think if ancient Druids had the vision the legends claim, they would be taking deep issue with the way we treat the world, simply because they have the vision to know that it will lead to our own demise.  We are poisoning our own wells, and burning our own crops (with GMOs).  I think the ancient Druids would be disgusted by our stupidity as a species, and by our own lack of vision to care for the land that sustains us.

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Week 19: The Dedicant Oath: First Thoughts

I am soooooo behind!  Ya wanna talk oaths?  It is my oath to the kindred to put out two entries a week in my DP course until I get caught up.  There.  How d’ya like THEM apples, non-committal guilty conscience?

I’ve mentioned before, I have a real problem with religious oaths.  I’ve been all over Celtic Paganism and Druidry for the past 10 years.  I can’t guarantee I’ll feel the same way in another 10 years.  Oaths are a big deal to me.  They mean something.  Integrity is important to me, as you’ll read about in the next few weeks.  I don’t like wishy washy people, especially religious wishy washy people.  I don’t want to be a wishy washy person.

I’m also a scientist, and science is tentative.  In science, there is no absolute, forever truth.  In fact, historically, things we take for granted as truths turn out to not be true.  Science never covers its ears, but instead says “this is our current conclusion based on the information available.”  I can’t say what information I will come across in the next ten years.   The DP oath asks that Dedicants make their Oath, in front of the kindred, to the Neopagan Druidic path.  But I can’t do that.  I may decide to delve into scientism and become an atheist.  I may explore the left-hand path more.  I may revert and go back to the church.  Heck, before this bought of insomnia, I dreamed about Buddha 3 nights in a row, with two physical manifestations from the dream.

So, it’s my life, and I choose not to make the Oath they ask of me.  Nope, no binding religious contracts with the kindred.  No-sir-ee-bob.  Not for me.

So, what can I make my oath about?  What will always be a part of me?  My ancestors.  Even if I choose atheism at some point, I can’t deny that I would not be here if not for the hard work and fertility of those who came before me.  Even in my current life, no one has my back like my Grandpa W.  I come from a Western European background, British and German mostly, with a touch of Native.  It turns out, my spiritual path is Western European (Celtic and Gaulish with a growing interest in Norse) with a touch of Native.  Now, my ancestors were not pagan.  They were Protestant Christian farmers.  But they did give me rich traditions that are a part of my spirituality, like zymergy (the art of fermentation), the Tannenbaum, and never leaving Grandma’s house with an empty stomach.  It makes sense then, that my oath will be about dedicating myself to the ways of those who came before me, with a primarily Celtic hearthculture, mixed with some Germanic, and just a hint of Native.

I can do this.

My oath doesn’t seem so bad now.

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