Training

Training

Category: 
Some of you who are reading this clicked on it knowing full well who your Patrons are and what Hearth Culture appeals to you. If you are one of these people, this note will likely hold less use for you. On the other hand, some of you have been looking through the rest of the online information on Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF). Perhaps you found ADF in a quick search, or perhaps you read about this group in a book such as Drawing Down The Moon. You're intrigued, but you're looking at all of the Dedicant information and thinking that you're not quite certain what Hearth cultures interest you, let alone who your Patrons might be. I'm certain that some of you are out there because I have been one of you. Still am, in fact, though to a lesser degree. You see, I was interested in aspects of the Vision of ADF, but the Dedicant Path scared me. It seemed to be designed for those who were more certain than I. The funny thing about certainty is that most people appear to have more of it on the outside than on the inside. You might think that the Dedicant Program is full of people who know exactly what they practice and why, are certain in all of their relationships with the Kindreds, and in general march along a road toward the horizon. Mind you, you'd be wrong. My first real clue that there was uncertainty and exploration involved was through reading the public Dedicant journal of Michael J Dangler. When I read it, I discovered that the Dedicant Program is full of human beings. A few of his entries indicate difficulty in teasing out who one of his Patrons was. He didn't start out with the specific aim of building a relationship with Esus. Reading through his journal made me realize that I had falsely read into the public information on the Dedicant Program as being a travel itinerary, complete with vouchers redeemable for tickets to the Hearth Culture and Patrons of my choice, provided I walked into the travel agency knowing where I was headed. But that wasn't it at all; it was a travel brochure. It pointed out some of the highlights, but didn't get deeply into all possible variations. Some people might be interested in the continental Celtic culture, but not have any idea who their Patrons are. Others, like me, might be more drawn to other parts of the Vision of ADF, such as the commitment to public ritual, or even the commitment to excellence. You can see the range of others' experiences in the Dedicant program via the many public Dedicant journals. So, I joined. Let me tell you; if you like the brochure, you'll love the travel guide with guest commentators and fold-out maps.
Category: 
ADF has always been committed to comprehensive training of its members. Originally, ADF had a single comprehensive Study Program, but we quickly found that a single training program was not well suited to the multitude of needs and training demands that individual members required. We discovered there was a demand for specialty training as healers, artisans, bards, scholars, etc. so we created Guilds for each of those specialties.Is there one main Study Program, or are there several?There are many. All ADF study programs have the Dedicant Path as a prerequisite. Beyond that, other programs are offered to help build upon the knowledge gained through the DP, in a direction that the student can choose based on strengths and interests. At present, we have eleven Guilds working on study programs (seven of which have completed their programs). The Clergy Council has approved the Clergy Training Program and the Initiate's Program. Also available is the Generalist Study Program, offering a general background in Druidic studies and offering a core group of courses for for the other study programs to build off.What is the difference between the Dedicant Path and ADF's other study programs?The Dedicant Path is an introduction to Our Own Druidry and helps to lay the groundwork for ADF's other study programs. The DP is the first step along the ADF Druidic path. Members who finish the DP may move onto another study program, but no one is expected to do so. The study programs are designed to increase the spirituality and/or scholarship of our members, and can lead to eventual ordination.What are Guild Study Programs?ADF's Guild Study Programs offer a main advantage to the student seeking training: members are not tied to the same track as everyone else for advancement. As the Druids of old were not only priests, neither are our members. To that end, we seek to provide training to those who wish to specialize in a variety of directions.Each of the Guilds has either completed or is working on a Study Program. Currently ADF has the following Guild Study Programs approved: Artisans, Bards, Brewers, Liturgists, Magicians, Naturalists, Scholars, Seers, and Warriors. The study programs currently under development/revision are: Dance, Healers.Most students, after completing the Dedicant Path, will move on to a Guild Study Program. Each member can choose a program that plays to their personal strengths and interests. We understand that not everyone is a linguist, nor will every person lead public ritual. Some people are primarily attracted to Druidism because it has a strong nature-based component, some to the bardic aspects of poetry and storytelling, while others are drawn to the magic inherent in the cosmos they participate in. In offering Guild Study Programs, we allow our students to choose the best way for them to express their own Druidry.What is the Generalist Study Program?The Generalist Study Program (GSP) is something like a liberal arts degree in college, where you learn a bit of everything. The GSP is focused more on academic or intellectual skills, rather than spiritual or pastoral skills. It is designed to serve two functions: 1) to serve those who desire this intellectual foundation, and 2) to provide core courses from which Guilds may draw.What is the Initiate's Program?The ADF Initiate Program is a program designed for those who wish to either expand their training beyond the ADF Dedicant Path but do not want a purely academic course of study, or are unsure if they are interested in becoming ADF Clergy.At the end of this program a student can expect to be a full ADF Initiate and to have done substantial coursework, all of which will count toward Clergy status, should the student wish to pursue that path. While the student may end their studies as an ADF Initiate, this program is also a good interim step between Dedicant and Clergy.What is the Clergy Training Program?The Clergy Training Program (CTP) is designed to provide ADF and the Pagan community as a whole with competent, trained clergy. Someone who has completed this training will be have the liturgical and pastoral skills expected of clergy, and will be able to provide and lead the rites that define our lives.How much time/work is involved in this?Well, none of the study programs have a time limit set on them, so you can take your time and work through them at your own pace. Most are designed to be worked through one circle per year, and may have three to five circles. That said, the amount of work will vary depending on which study program you are asking about, and how adept you are at the work and how much time you have to devote to it. For instance, for some people math is a subject that takes a lot of work, while for others its concepts are easily grasped. Likewise, students will find that their capability to learn various Druidic skills (such as magic, liturgy, and bardic skills) will vary depending on their ability, and the work one person does will not necessarily reflect the amount another must do.How much does it all cost?Most of the study programs are, at present, free. There may be a nominal cost to join the Guild (and of course you must be an ADF member), but once you have done that, there is usually not a cost. It is best to check with the individual Guild, however, for their particular policies before assuming that it's free for everyone.Do I need to order booklets each month? How often am I sent things?There are no booklets sent out each month, which allows us to offer training at a lower rate (and save trees, like good Druids). Most of the information for the study programs is available to ADF members on the website. If you are an ADF member and do not have access to the ADF site, or would prefer a hard copy to be mailed, you should contact the preceptor in charge of the study program you wish to work on and request that the ADF office print and send you a copy. There may be a nominal fee involved in this.So how/when can I get started, what are the requirements, etc.?First, you need to join ADF. Then you can start on the Dedicant Path which runs about a year in length. After you have completed that, you need to contact the person in charge of whichever study program you are interested in and request the necessary information (such as requirements, book lists, fees, etc.).What do I get out of the Study Programs?The easy answer, of course, is that you will get out of it whatever you put into it. Beyond this, though, you will be working with some of the best minds in ADF and learning much (and they, in turn, will also be learning from you). You'll obtain skills that are useful not only in ADF ritual, but in any Neo-Pagan work you do. ADF's Study Programs are like journeys: they are not ends in and of themselves, but they are means to an end. ADF's Study Programs do not entitle you to fancy honors or positions, but it can (and likely will) give you the tools to earn those honors and to fill those positions.Do I get a personal mentor?If you require a DP or GSP mentor, you can contact the ADF Preceptor and request that one be assigned. The Guilds and Clergy Council may have a system of mentors set up with varying levels of formality; usually all you need to do is ask, either on a public list, or directly to the preceptor of that Guild/Council.Where do I ask questions about the programs or about requirements?The best place to ask questions is to check with the Senior Druid of your local Grove. The most widely accessible and second best sources of information and assistance are the email lists and their archives.There is an email list set up specifically for those students in the Dedicant Path and one for the Generalist Study Program, and each Guild also has an email list that members can access and ask questions on, thereby receiving a large number of responses to a single question. It is usually the lists that are most helpful to a student.If you wish to begin Clergy Training, you must contact the Clergy Council and request it. There are no other points of contact available for this type of training.Can I join ADF and not go through a study program, or even start the Dedicant Path?Absolutely. Status is not assigned by the movement through study programs in ADF. Not everyone aspires to priesthood, leadership, or even to embark on a training program. The choice is entirely up to you.I want to order a Study Manual.As there is not currently a single study program, there is no "Study Manual." There is a Dedicant Path booklet available which is shipped with your new membership packet. The manual for the Generalist Study Program is available for members to download from the ADF website (hard copies are available from the ADF Office). The Clergy Council is currently working on its own study manual as well. Guilds may or may not work toward creating a document of this sort.What if I don't like [insert name], Chief of X?If you perceive a potential conflict of interest with the person assigned to review your work, please contact that person first and see if you can work something out. The DP and the GSP are overseen by the ADF Preceptor. If there is a problem with the ADF Preceptor, you should contact the ADF Members' Advocate. The Guilds will each have a preceptor elected by the members of the Guild. Many Guilds will also have other people acting as advisors. If this is the case, you can request a different advisor than the preceptor. If this is not the case, if you feel that you have been discriminated against, you should contact the Preceptor of ADF, so she can look into the situation and come up with possible resolutions. If her response is not satisfactory, you are welcome to take your complaint to the Members' Advocate.
Category: 
The following is a list of online Dedicant Journals people have chosen to make available to the public. A Dedicant Journal is part of the ADF Dedicant Path, a year-long introduction to ADF Druidry. Please only submit your journal if it contains only ADF content. Personal journals are not listed here (we may list them elsewhere if there is enough interest).   Completed/Example Dedicant Path Documentation Rev. Kirk Thomas Rev. Michael J Dangler Ceisiwr Serith Rev. Crystal Groves Rev. Nancy McAndrew Cigfran Estara Grey Catling Spider Lily Arthur Shipkowski Rowan Ravenhawk Grey Wren DP Journals in Progress Clatters Kévin Silverstag Moth Cyfarwydd Rosmerda Herne Flyfishing Druid KJ Skye Windsinger Astra Cailleac Boann WillowNymph Ramona66 Ajna Blue Derek Wrigley Melissa Kohal Dawn Luzefski Patrick Soucy ​​​​​​​Rustling Rowan ​Most of these journals are in the Dedicants Community on LiveJournal, so you may wish to check that out too; if you have an LJ account you can mail the webmasterr to be added to it.
Category: 
Due to a restructuring of ADF's Study Programs that took place in early 2003, ADF now has several components of its training programs, consisting of the following four categories of study:The Dedicant Path is the foundational spiritual and intellectual first step in making "Our Own Druidry" one's personal path. Completion of the Dedicant Path is a prerequisite for entrance into any of the other ADF's Study Programs. New members receive the Dedicant Path Manual when they join ADF.The Generalist Study Program is designed to help deepen one's understanding of ADF Druidry. Generalist students will develop core intellectual skills and knowledge valuable to all individuals pursuing a druidic path, and everyone is encouraged to pursue all or most of these areas of study once they have completed the Dedicant Path.Guild training programs are designed by ADF Guilds to meet their members' special interests and needs. Currently there are eight Guilds -- Artisans, Bards, Brewers, Liturgists, Magicians, Naturalist, Scholars and Warriors Guilds -- with approved study programs accepting students, and the other Guilds are developing programs for approval. For more information on approved study programs, see our Guild Training pageThe Clergy Training Program is being designed and administered by the Clergy Council of ADF, with the goal of producing fully trained, ordainable ADF Clergy.The Initiate's Program was developed and designed to bridge the gap between the Dedicant Path and the Clergy Training Program. It was opened for students in late 2006. To read about the Initiatory Current, how it was started, and who started it, see "Establishing ADF's Initiatory Current"When a student begins work in a study program other than the Dedicant Path, that student must be a current ADF member, needs to notify the person in charge of that study program, and arrange to pay any fees assessed by the guild or responsible entity. The ADF Preceptor, Guild Preceptor or Clergy Council Preceptor is responsible for verifying the status of each student's membership and completion of the Dedicant Path.
Category: 
The following books are decent and fairly readable retellings of classic mythological tales. The list includes books for adults and children. Please note that these are neither primary sources (direct translations) nor our recommended reading list. If you are an ADF member and have a suggestion for this page, please contact us. Note: ADF will receive a referral bonus if you order from Amazon through a link on this page - thanks! Celtic Over Nine Waves: A Book of Irish Legends - Marie Heaney Mabinogion Tetralogy - Evangeline Walton, Betty Ballantine The Chronicles of the Celts: Their Myths and Legends - Peter Berrisford Ellis Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer - Gearoid O Crualaoich Traditional Celtic Stories - Lindsay Clarke Step Into the Celtic World - Fiona MacDonald (children) Various books by Morgan Llywelyn The Raid (Ulster Cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff The Sorrows (Ulster cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff The Destruction of the Inn (Ulster Cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff The Feast (Ulster Cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff He Stands Alone (Ulster Cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff The Red Branch Tales (Ulster Cycle) - Randy Lee Eickhoff Hellenic Adventures of Ulysses - Bernard Evslin (children) Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths - Bernard Evslin (children) The Gods of the Greeks - Carl Kerényi The Heroes of the Greeks - Carl Kerényi Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece - Gustav Schwab Norse Norse Myths - Kevin Crossley-Holland (adults or children) Gods and Heroes from Viking Mythology - Brian Branston, Giovanni Caselli (children) Odin's Family: Myths of the Vikings - Neil Philip (children) Roman Aeneas: Virgil's Epic Retold for Young Readers - Emily Frenkel Slavic Russian Fairy Tales - Aleksandr Afanas'ev Vedic India: Myths and Legends - Donald Mackenzie
Category: 
[Note: This article first appeared in ADF's quarterly journal, Oak Leaves. The ADF Dedicant Path is included with ADF Membership. Members can access more information, including the Dedicant Path PDF, on the members site.] Right Action - A Pagan Perspective At one time or another, you have probably asked yourself, "Why should I do the right thing?" Like every religion, Our Druidry makes an effort to answer this basic question. One Pagan answer is divine justice: that either in the afterlife or subsequent lives you will have to pay for the bad things you have done and you will be rewarded for the good things. But most of us hope that there is a more substantial, more personal and spiritual reason for doing the right thing than avoiding punishment or garnering rewards. We hope that virtue truly is its own reward. Living in the modern world, it can be difficult to justify that hope. Too often you hear about bad things happening to good people and criminals getting away with their crimes. It was clear to the ancients, as it is to us, that virtue cannot guarantee happiness. As long as others have the potential to harm you or your loved ones, your well-being is not entirely in your own hands. Although there are circumstances beyond your control that can stand in your way or harm you and yours, you need not be at the mercy of those forces. Our modern word 'Ethics' comes directly from the Greek ethikos. For all of the Greek philosophers, ethikos was about achieving eudaimonia, literally 'good fate,' or 'with the favor of the gods.' Eudaimonia is usually translated as 'fulfillment,' or 'leading a flourishing life.' For the ancients, ethics was about having as much control as possible over one's well-being. Although some aspects of eudaimonia are external to the individual, like having sufficient food, warmth, friends and loved ones with whom to interact, most of the elements of a flourishing life are internal goods which are within our control, or at least influence. In northern Pagan cultures these goals were often characterized by the simple triad of 'Health, Wealth and Wisdom.' The ancients called the internal goods that help us to reach these goals excellences or virtues. These concepts are a good place to begin in our effort to find Pagan ways of living. Each virtue is associated with one of the realms of human activity. To be virtuous in any given realm is to perform that function well. For example, moderation is associated with the realm of the appetites. To be moderate is to satisfy the appetites without overindulgence. Moderation gives you control over your well-being in regards to the appetite because it insures that your needs are met without your becoming a slave to your appetites, or suffering the ill-effects of overindulgence. Likewise, it is to our benefit to function well in each realm of human activity, not because others will reward us, or because it allows us to avoid punishment, but because it contributes to our eudaimonia. It helps us to lead a more flourishing life, and to a deeper relationship with the gods and goddesses and our fate. One desires to become virtuous because the lack of a virtue hampers one's ability to function well. For example, a lack of courage makes one a slave to one's fears. A lack of hospitality gives one a bad reputation and fewer friends. By consciously choosing to recognize the different realms in which you act, and choosing to act as well as possible in each realm, you will make yourself stronger and wiser-more capable of avoiding bad things happening to you, and more able to respond in a constructive way when they do. Traditional Pagan ethical systems have a virtue associated with every arena of human functioning. They cover work, play, socializing, conflict resolution, relating to the gods, nurturing and educating children, etc. It is not our purpose here to provide an exhaustive set of virtues, but instead to give a starting list of those excellences important to everyone embracing a value system inspired by the old ways. Some virtues will not appear on this list. That is not to say that they aren't also important, but in the interests of providing a simple starting point, we couldn't include every virtue. The process of examining one's life and becoming more virtuous is ongoing. This list is merely a beginning, for our system and for you. These are not listed in any order of importance. They each interact with all the others, and cannot be ranked one-through-nine. Nine Pagan Virtues Wisdom: Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response Piety: Correct observance of ritual and social traditions; the maintenance of the agreements, (both personal and societal), we humans have with the Gods and Spirits. Keeping the Old Ways, through ceremony and duty Vision: 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 Courage: The ability to act appropriately in the face of danger Integrity: Honor; being trustworthy to oneself and to others, involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, self-confidence Perseverance: Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult Hospitality: Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the honoring of "a gift for a gift" Moderation: Cultivating one's appetites so that one is neither a slave to them nor driven to ill health, (mental or physical), through excess or deficiency Fertility: Bounty of mind, body and spirit, involving creativity, production of objects, food, works of art, etc., an appreciation of the physical, sensual, nurturing Each virtue is the right way to behave in the realm of human functioning with which it is concerned. But it is not always obvious which realm of human functioning is apt. For example, you know that in order to be moderate, you need to cut down on your intake of foods with lots of sugar and fat. But you also know that to be a good guest, you should partake of the food your host has prepared. So you are at a birthday party. Does eating cake fall under the realm of the appetites, or the realm of social situations? Which virtue should you be manifesting, moderation or hospitality? (Or, if you are an alcoholic at a ritual, and you are offered wine for the return flow, which virtue is the issue, moderation or piety?) There is no single answer to this question, or others like these. Ideally you will manifest both virtues. Perhaps there is some alternative that you can eat that your host has provided, (or a nonalcoholic drink that has been blessed). Or perhaps you can act moderately by partaking of only a small amount. The point is that ethical situations arise on a regular basis without our usually thinking of them as such. The first step to including the virtues in your life is to start noting when you are acting in the realms covered by the nine virtues. When is deliberation in order? What situations call for piety? (Only the eight high day rituals, or sacred times during the day, or whenever you pass a holy object, etc.?) When is vision key? Once you start noticing the situations in which the different virtues should come to play, the next step is to figure out how to behave more virtuously. Aristotle describes each virtue as a mean between extremes. Courage, for example, is a mean between cowardice, on the one hand, and rashness on the other. To be courageous is neither to shrink from your best action on account of fear, nor to foolishly go into danger when no good is likely to come from your doing so. This means that what is courageous for one person may actually be cowardly for another, and rash for a third, depending on the abilities and situations of the individuals. For a small seven year old to fight a large eight year old bully may be courageous, when it would be cowardly for an adult to act in the same manner, and rash for a four year old to do so. The key to determining the mean in the case of courage is deliberation about what good is threatened, what options one has to protect that good, and what the likely outcome will be using the different options. The course of action which does not sacrifice the good to fear, when one has a likelihood of protecting it by taking action, is the mean between the extremes of cowardice and rashness, and hence is the courageous one. But this deliberation is not always easy. Aristotle also recommends that people keep in mind role models, and ask themselves, "how would this virtuous person act under these circumstances?" Emulating virtuous people helps to inculcate good habits. Another piece of advice that Aristotle offers is to aim at the harder of the two extremes. If you aim at the extreme that is more difficult, it is easier to hit the mean. For example, with courage rashness is more difficult than cowardice. So if you practice ignoring your fear, you will put yourself into the habit of acting courageously more quickly than if you concentrate your energies primarily on careful calculation of risks. With hospitality, being overgenerous is more difficult than being miserly, so you will more quickly develop hospitality by aiming at being extremely charitable than by keeping careful track of who is in whose debt.
Category: 
In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a single "ADF Study Program", but since 2003 ADF has a number of different training programs, starting with the work of the Dedicant Path and branching out from there. The following pages provide an overview of our different training programs:Frequently Asked QuestionsMore Details On Our TrainingIf you have any questions about ADF's study programs, please feel free to contact us and we'll be glad to help!
Category: 
A commitment to excellence for our members and our clergy. ADF has several training systems. The Dedicant Path is prerequisite to other ADF training and is a year-long introduction to the beliefs and practices of Our Druidry. The Initiate Program is built around more experiential skills of personal ritual, magic, divination, and trancework. The Generalist Study Program is a core set of courses which complements Guild training, allowing students to learn specific skills of interest. The Guild Study Programs bring in specialized training in such things as scholarship and bardic studies, as well as artistic and liturgical skills. The Clergy Training Program is now open for students that have completed our Dedicant Path. An Overview of Our Training Systems The Dedicant Path: First Steps of Our Druidry Becoming Clergy in ADF Guild Study Programs Druid Training Resources (recommended reading)
Category: 
When Ian Corrigan created the Dedicant Program for ADF, he created a jewel of spiritual growth and learning. Not only would Dedicants learn of the history of Druidry and Neopaganism, we would also be exposed to mental discipline, the Nine Virtues, our Kindreds and others of our ways, traditions and rituals. Taking the time to complete this program, step by step, is a wonderful exercise in Piety that can only support our spiritual needs.The DP is the basis of much that we do in ADF, and is required before any other study programs may be started. But since doing the Dedicant Program can take up to a year to complete, we sometimes get 'target fixation' on the outcome. "As soon as I'm done, I'll be able to go for Clergy!" "As soon as I'm done, I can finally start the Warriors Guild program!" "As soon as I'm done..... done.... done...." People say this as though finishing the DP were actually an ending of some kind - but the opposite is true. Completing the Dedicant Program is really a beginning. For now the ADF journey of spirit truly continues. Are you brave enough to keep going? Virtue - Why not Courage?The Dedicant Program teaches us self discipline and the basic skills that we will need to grow our religion and our spirits, to form relationships with the Kindreds, and to empower personal growth. But should we stop our DP practices after completing the program, we might slow down our spiritual growth, and even run the risk of falling backwards and losing all that we have gained. Virtue - Why not Vision?Take meditation as an example. Beginners often complain that meditation is really hard or even impossible. Quieting and disciplining the mind is a big job at first, and it can take a long time to finally get the hang of it. It's so easy to sit and day-dream with our eyes closed and so hard to be merely present. But after 5 months of practice, as the DP requires, most of us begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The silence comes more easily and the world begins to look a little different. But if we should stop meditating, just because we've completed the DP and don't 'have' to meditate any more, we may lose the silence and our self discipline, and much personal growth may stop there.In meditation, the end is not what matters. Rather it is the journey itself. Suddenly, when you can find that silent place within yourself at will, visualization becomes easier and more vivid, trances become deeper and more textured, and your magic becomes more powerful. Another plus is that finding that quiet place will enable you to stay calm in the midst of the dramas of the people around you - their drama just doesn't penetrate as easily. The more we meditate the better all these things become. The past is all about regret and guilt. The future is all about the unknown and fear. Meditation allows us to be in the moment, that place where joy resides. Virtue - Why not Wisdom?Occasionally we all have epiphanies, those moments when we suddenly, for a moment, see the 'truth' of something in our lives or spirits. Usually, we lose them soon after experiencing them. But a deep, meditative practice will open you up to the point that they will actually begin to stick. Virtue - Why not Perseverance?The DP also requires Dedicants to explore a personal or Grove-centered spiritual practice. To this end, we perform rituals and learn the ADF ritual order, making offerings to the Kindreds and beginning the process of forming relationships with them. Our religion is based on the principle of reciprocity, of giving to the Powers that we might receive in return. Virtue - Why not Hospitality?By continuing our practice of rituals and sacrifices, our relationships with the Kindreds will strengthen and deepen. Great good can come from our spiritual relationships. Growth, joy, comfort and even great change are possible. Virtue - Why not Fertility? To let go and stop practicing our rites could see those relationships falter and deteriorate. Regular practice will come more easily, and relationships are more sure. Paganism is about 'doing'. It's about consciously opening ourselves to the possible. And it's about stepping into the Otherworlds. Attendance at High Days is good. Weekly or daily practice at your Home Shrine is even better! Virtue - Why not Piety?Another Dedicant requirement is to work with nature and honor the Earth. In ritual, in song, and in deep meditation we may feel the pulse of this planet. As the ancients did, we may see spirit in every rock, tree and stream. We may see divinity in a thunderstorm and in a gentle rain. With constant practice we may see, feel, hear and even taste and smell the divine. But as a people we are damaging the world's environment. Perhaps by feeling the pain of the Earth we can cut back and make things better. Virtue - Why not Moderation?When I started the Dedicant Program I had recently returned to Paganism after an absence of over thirty years. I had much catching up to do. The reading list helped me become aware of the changes in scholarly thought which had occurred since the 1960's. The search for information on the High Days led me to distinguish between ancient practice and modern invention. The meditation requirement opened new doors for me and led me to the world of spirit. Even those of us who have been practicing Paganism for years have benefited from this program. We have learned more about ourselves and about our ways.There is so much out there to experience in the worlds of the Kindreds. By living our lives and keeping the old ways in our hearts, minds and hands, we may grow in spirit and open ourselves to the universe and to new and wondrous things. Through discovering ourselves inside and out, through embracing our Fellowship as much as we can, and through practicing our religion with an open heart, mind and spirit, we can touch the Gods and glimpse behind the veil. This is the stuff of our Virtue of Integrity, and this would be a life well lived.
Category: 
The following are some sources for out-of-print books our members have found useful: Powells AbeBooks BookFinder Addall Kessinger Publishing Rare Reprints Hamilton Books Books for Scholars ISBN.nu Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project