Training

Training

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The following books are primary source translations for the Indo-European cultures ADF draws its inspiration from, including Celtic, Hellenic, Norse, Roman, Slavic, and Vedic. Relevance to religious practices varies, and some of the books may provide more of a "cultural flavor". Please note that this is not our recommended reading list, which is much more accessible for general reading. Also note that the links below are to hard-copy editions available at Amazon; there may be freely-available texts on the web, or cheaper hard-copy versions available through other book-sellers such as Barnes & Noble. Note: You can donate every time you shop at Amazon though Amazon Smile. Choose or search for "Ar Ndraiocht Fein A Druid" as your charity - thank you! Celtic Lebor Gabala Erren: Book of Invasions The Second Battle of Mag Tuired - Elizabeth A. Gray, trans. (web1, web2, web3) Book of the Dun Cow - R.I. Best, Osborn Bergin, trans. (out of print; web) The Tain - Thomas Kinsella, Louis Le Brocquy, trans. Early Irish Myths and Sagas - Jeffrey Gantz, trans. A Celtic Miscellany - Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson, ed. The Voyage of Bran - Kuno Meyer, trans. (out of print; web1, web2) Old Celtic Romances: Tales from Irish Mythology - P. W. Joyce, trans. The Feast Of Bricriu - George Henderson, trans. Fianaigecht: Finn and His Fiana - Kuno Meyer, trans. (out of print) Acallam Na Senorach: Tales of the Elders of Ireland - Ann Dooley, Harry Roe, trans. The Four Ancient Books of Wales - William F. Skene, trans. (out of print; web) Buile Suibhne: The Frenzy of Suibhne - J.G. O'Keefe, trans. (out of print; web) The Celtic Heroic Age - John T. Koch, John Carey, eds. Ancient Irish Tales - Tom Peete Cross, Clark Harris Slover, eds. (out of print) The Mabinogi, and Other Medieval Welsh Tales - Patrick K. Ford, trans. Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads - Rachel Bromwich, ed. (out of print; web) Carmina Gadelica - Alexander Carmichael (out of print; web) {C} Some of these sources are available at CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts. Hellenic Theogony and Works and Days - Hesiod; Norman Brown, trans. The Iliad and The Odyssey - Homer The Homeric Hymns - Homer Metamorphoses - Ovid; David Raeburn, Denis Feeney, trans. The Library of Greek Mythology - Apollodorus; Robin Hard, trans. The Fall of Troy - Quintus Smyrnaeus; A. S. Way, trans. Voyage of Argo - Apollonius of Rhodes Medea and Other Plays - Euripides; Philip Vellacott, trans. The Bacchae and Other Plays - Euripides; Philip Vellacott, trans. Euripides Orestes and Other Plays - Euripides; Robin Waterfield et al, trans. The Oresteian Trilogy - Aeschylus; Philip Vellacott, trans. The Theban Plays - Sophocles; E.F. Watling, trans. Electra and Other Plays - Sophocles; E.F. Watling, trans. Hymns and Epigrams - Callimachus; Stanley Lombardo, Rayor Diane, trans. The Golden Ass - Apuleius; P. G. Walsh, trans. The Histories - Herodotus; Robin Waterfield, Carolyn Dewald, trans. Six Greek Comedies - Aristophanes, Menander, Euripides; Kenneth McLeish, J. Michael Walton, trans. {C} Note: You may be able to find some of the above texts freely-available at the Online Medieval and Classical Library. Norse The Poetic Edda - Lee M. Hollander, Edda Saemundar, eds. Edda (a.k.a., the "prose" Edda) - Snorri Sturluson, Anthony Faulkes, eds. Saga of the Volsungs - Jesse L. Byock, trans. Egil's Saga - Hermann Palsson, Paul Edwards, trans. Eyrbyggja Saga - Hermann Palsson, Paul Edwards, trans. Hrafnkel's Saga - Hermann Palsson, trans. Saga of the Jom'svikings - Lee M. Hollander, trans. Fljotsdale Saga - Jean Young, Eleanor Haworth, trans. (out of print) Njal's Saga - Robert Cook, trans. Laxdaela Saga - Magnussen, trans. Saga of King Hrolf Kraki - Jesse L. Byock, trans. Grettir's Saga - Denton Fox, Herman Palsson, trans. Viga Glum's Saga - George Johnston, trans. Nibelungenlied - A.T. Hatto, trans. The Sagas of the Icelanders - Robert Kellogg, Jane Smiley, eds. (many sagas collected) Saxo Grammaticus: The History of the Danes - Hilda Ellis Davidson, Peter Fisher, trans. Orkneyinga Saga - Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards, trans. Hrafnkel's Saga - Hermann Palsson, trans. The Vinland Sagas - Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Palsson, trans. King Harald's Saga - Snorri Sturluson; Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Palsson, trans. Erik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas - Gwyn Jones, trans. Seven Viking Romances - Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards The Galdrabok, An Icelandic Grimoire - Stephen E. Flowers, trans. (out of print) Heimskringla - Snorri Sturluson Beowulf - Burton Raffel, trans. Havamal: Glossary and Index - Anthony Faulkes Havamal - Viking Society for Northern Research The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - Michael Swanton, ed. The Origin and Deeds of the Goths - Jordanes (out of print; web) Rudiments of Runelore - Stephen Pollington Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims, Heroic Legends - Louis J. Rodrigues, trans. (out of print) {C} Note: If you can get it, the out-of-print Complete Sagas of the Icelanders may be more economical if you are committed to reading all the sagas (may be cheaper on other book sites). Also, we recommend the Viking Society for Northern Research as a source of excellent scholarly works regarding the Norse peoples. Roman Fasti - Ovid Early History of Rome - Titus Livy; Aubrey De Selincourt, Robert Ogilvie, trans. The Aenid - Virgil; W.F. Jackson Knight, trans. Metamorphoses - Ovid; David Raeburn, Denis Feeney, trans. Remains of Old Latin - E.H. Warmington, ed. Apuleius Metamorphoses - Apuleius; J. Arthur Hanson, trans. Augustine Confessions - Robert J. O'Connell, trans. Achievements of the Divine Augustus - Paterculus Velleius; F.W. Shipley, trans. Aulus Gellius: Attic Nights - Aulus Gellius; J.C. Rolfe, trans. Marcus Aurelius - C. R. Haines, trans. Caesar: The Gallic War - Julius Caesar; H.J. Edwards, trans. Cato on Agriculture - W.D. Hooper and H.B. Ash, trans. De Natura Deorum (On the Nature of the Gods) - Cicero; H. Rackham, trans. De Divinatione (On Divination) - Cicero; W.A. Falconer, trans. Dio Cassius Roman History - Ernest Cary, trans. Dionysius of Halicarnassus: The Roman Antiquities - Ernest Cary, trans. Odes and Epodes - Horace; C.E. Bennett, trans. Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica - Horace; H.R. Fairclough, trans. Ab Urbe Condita (History of Rome) - Livy; B.O. Foster, trans. De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) - Livy; W.H.D. Rouse, trans. Satyricon - Petronius; W.H.D. Rouse, et al, trans. Natural History - Pliny; H. Rackham, trans. Parallel Lives - Plutarch; Beradotte Perrin, trans. The Histories - Polybius; W.R. Paton, trans. Lives of the Caesars - Suetonius; J.C. Rolfe, K.R. Bradley, trans. Annals - Tacitus; C.H. Moore, trans. On the Latin Language - Varro; Roland G. Kent, trans. Ecologues, Georgics, Aeneid - Virgil; H.R. Fairclough, trans. The Digest of Justinian - Justinian; Alan Watson, trans. The Sibylline Oracles (out of print; web) The Pumpkinification of Claudius - Seneca (out of print) De Verborum Significatu (On the Meaning of Words) - Festus (out of print) The Saturnalia - Macrobius (online text) Note: Many of the above books are in the highly recommended Loeb Classical Library by Harvard University Press. Slavic Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian Text - Samuel H. Cross (out of print; web) Songs of the Russian People - W.R. Ralston (web) Vedic Pinnacles of India's Past: Selections from the Rgveda - Walter H. Maurer, trans. The Rig Veda - Wendy Doniger, trans. Rigveda Brahmanas - A.B. Keith, trans. Atharvaveda Samhita - W.D. Whitney, trans. The Vedas of the Black Yajus School Vol 1. and Vol. 2 - A.B. Keith, trans. Upanishads - Patrick Olivelle, trans. Rigveda in Sanskrit und Deutsch - Karl Friedrich Geldner, trans (German) Note: Vedams Books is also good for Vedic works not carried by Amazon.
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The following are some frequently asked questions about ADF's Dedicant Path (DP). If you have a question that is not listed here, please feel free to contact the ADF Office. If you are an ADF member, please see our DP FAQ for members. How does the Dedicant Path differ from the Study Program? The Dedicant Path is the prerequisite for all other forms of ADF training, which includes the Study Program. After you complete the Dedicant Path, you can join the Study Program and/or also join various ADF Guilds. We also have a Clergy Training Program which is complete, and an Initiates Program you may also join. The Study Program, or more properly the "Generalist" Study Program, consists of further study of the history of druidism and ADF, comparative mythology, and a chosen Indo-European cultural focus. It is weighted academically, so we recommend that students continue to observe the eight ADF High Days, maintain their home shrines, etc. There are currently ten ADF Guilds: the Artisans Guild, the Bardic Guild, the Brewers Guild, the Dance Guild, the Liturgists Guild, the Scholars Guild, the Magicians Guild, the Naturalists Guild, the Seers Guild, and the Warriors Guild. Each Guild provides its own training systems for students interested in those particular areas. You do not need to be enrolled in any other Study Program to enroll in Guild training, or vice-versa, but if you have the time they are obviously complementary. The Clergy Training Program is currently accepting students. Its focus is on training ADF priests in applying the religion of Our Druidry to all the traditional areas that are associated with ministry, such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, naming (saining), etc. rituals. This training will include the development of these ministerial and counseling skills, as well as exploring the use of ADF Druidry for a wider range of life situations. The Initiates Program is a natural next step of progression after the Dedicant Path, and is much more focused on magical and religious skills than the more scholastic Generalist Study Program and pragmatic Guild training systems. How much does the Dedicant Path cost? The guide to the Dedicant Path, the Dedicant Manual, comes with your ADF membership. The program also has some required reading, so there is an additional cost for those books if you purchase them (though most are available through your local library). Our recommended reading page lists many books in order to give students choices of what to read, but you definitely don't need to buy all of them. The only required books are one Indo-European studies title, one preferred ethnic study title (Celtic, Norse, etc.) and one modern Paganism title. If you buy the books new, at about $25 per book that's an additional $75 spread out over the year of the program. However, many Dedicants use libraries, borrow books, get the books used, check EBay auctions, etc., so the cost can be considerably less. How long does it take? It typically takes about a year. One of the requirements is documenting rituals for each of the eight ADF High Days (which correspond to the traditional Neopagan High Days of Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, etc.), so that ensures it will take at least eleven months or so. What do I get? As part of your membership packet, you get a copy of the Dedicant Path Manual, which is about 100 pages and is currently in its second edition. The DP Manual contains several different sections introducing the student to various aspects of Our Druidry. This includes ethics (our nine Druid Virtues), mythology, home worship (the Druid Shrine and the Hearth), the different Spirits (Kindreds) we worship, various personal ritual practices, meditation techniques, and dedicating oneself to a particular Patron deity. What else do I get? The DP is a very personal effort and experience, and the bulk of the work will be the result of your following the road map outlined in the DP Manual. One resource you will have access to, which many Dedicants find invaluable, is our ADF-Dedicants mailing list, where you can ask questions about any aspect of the Dedicant Path. Do I get a mentor? If you request a Dedicant Mentor, by asking the ADF Preceptor, we will try to accommodate your needs. If there is a mentor available, we will be happy to connect you with her/him. The exact kind of mentoring you receive will vary with the mentor's experience and availability, but will likely consist of a combination of more frequent e-mail and less frequent phone contacts. Most Dedicants find, however, that the Dedicant Manual lays the program out sufficiently, and any questions are readily answered on the ADF-Dedicants e-mail list. In fact, most questions come up repeatedly, so searching the archives of that list usually provides several satisfactory answers. Yeah, but what's actually in the Dedicant Manual? The following is the table of contents from the most recent edition: Introduction Right Action Piety Study The Home Shrine Mental Training The Land & The Spirits Personal Ceremony The Hearth Religion The Dedicant's Oath Appendix 1: Documentation Appendix 2: Ethnic Adaptation Appendix 3: Group Training If you mean, how much is "reading", and how much is "doing", it's really a mixture of both. However, while it is necessary to read about the various Indo-European cultures which form the background Our Druidry draws from, rest assured that ADF Druidry does not consist of merely reading books. The goal of the Dedicant Path, and the emphasis of the work in it, is to help you create and practice your own personal form of Our Druidry. What kind of reading are you talking about? You're in luck—we make our recommended reading list for ADF Dedicants available on our web site. If you're wondering why we would do that, there are two reasons. First, the books on our recommended reading list are excellent works in their own right, books that stand out for quality in a field full of shoddy work aimed at the masses. Quite frankly, it's our pleasure to give these authors the recognition they deserve. Second, and more importantly from the perspective of someone considering ADF membership, is the fact that the Dedicant Path, and ADF Druidry in general, is so much more than just a list of books to read. We do recommend books so that you know where ADF Druidry draws its inspiration, and often its practices, from. But the real work of Our Druidry takes place in homes and groves, at shrines and sacred places in nature. Our Druidry manifests best and most fully every time we make an offering to our ancestors, nature spirits, and gods. Books are a component of the foundation, but the real work we are building is a closer relationship with the Kindreds. Do I have to be in a Grove? What if I'm a solitary? No, you don't have to be in a Grove (local ADF group) at all. While having a Senior Druid or Grove Organizer available to answer questions in person would obviously be beneficial, the Dedicant Path is written assuming that a solitary Druid will be doing the work. If you are interested in an ADF group, either for support with the Dedicant Path work or just for regular worship services on the High Days, please see our Groves section. Why is it so cheap? Does that mean it's low quality? Not at all. It's priced the way it is, as a standard part of ADF membership, because we want it to be easily available to anyone who feels the calling of the Spirits and yearns for a strong personal Druidic practice grounded in the Old Ways. We want to achieve the Vision that our founder, Isaac Bonewits, layed out twenty years ago, a vision of a community focused on excellence in its own worship of the Kindreds, and in providing quality worship services to the larger Neopagan community. We are aware that other Druid organizations have correspondence courses, pacing students and charging for each portion of the training. That's neither better nor worse than our method, but simply has a different focus. Our goal is to create and grow a community of Druids who are well-skilled in regular Neopagan Druid religious practice and are able to share Our Druidry with the larger Neopagan community. We include all our basic Druid training as part of joining ADF because our emphasis is on building a mutually-supportive religious community bound together by our oaths of serving the Kindreds with Excellence. If this is a community you would like to be part of, please consider joining ADF.
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This page lists some resources we have found useful for learning ancient and modern Indo-European languages. ADF rituals often include key phrases (e.g., "let the gates be open") in their translated I-E language form, and the resources below should help you understand such phrases and possible even write your own! Note: ADF will receive a referral bonus if you order from Amazon through a link on this page - thanks! Anglo-Saxon First Steps in Old English - Stephen Pollington A Guide to Old English - Bruce Mitchell, Fred C. Robinson Celtic An Introduction to Old Irish - R.P.M. & W.P. Lehmann Old Irish Verbs and Vocabulary - Antony Green Some modern Irish sites: daltai.com Hellenic Athenaze: An Introduction to Ancient Greek (Book I) - M. G. Balme, Gilbert Lawall Norse Introduction to Old Norse - E.V. Gordon A New Introduction to Old Norse: Grammar - Viking Society for Northern Research (UK) A New Introduction to Old Norse: Reader - Viking Society for Northern Research (UK) A New Introduction to Old Norse: Glossary and Index - Viking Society for Northern Research (UK) Roman Wheelock's Latin - Frederic M. Wheelock, Richard A. LaFleur Workbook for Wheelock's Latin - Frederic M. Wheelock, Richard A. LaFleur Vedic Vedic Reader for Students - Arthur Anthony MacDonell Vedic Grammar for Students - Arthur Anthony MacDonell Practical Sanskrit Dictionary - Arthur Anthony MacDonell, ed. Roots, Verb-Forms and Primary Derivatives of Sanskrit - William Dwight Whitney Sanskrit Grammar - William Dwight Whitney
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[This article is an excerpt of materials included in the ADF Dedicant Path, which is included with ADF Membership. Members can access the information on the members site.] The spiritual work of Pagan Druidry is closely bound up with ritual and formal worship. While we teach meditation, trance and quiet contemplation we also encourage all our folk to participate in formal ritual. Spiritual ritual is a process by which traditional symbols are linked with spiritual powers and with archetypes in the mind. By combining these symbols in traditional and innovative ways we can open our souls to contact with the transpersonal and the divine. While ritual can devolve into rote repetition or empty observance, we are working to make our Druidic rites lively, engaging and empowering. The High Days The most universal Druidic observance is the keeping of the eight holy days. This calendar was devised early in the Neopagan movement, as a synthesis of Celtic and other Indo-European symbols. As most widely known among Pagans, the Eight High Days are: Samhain - the New Year, the Feast of the Dead Yule - the Longest Night Imbolc - Feast of the Goddess Brigid, first springtime. Spring Equinox - Feast of Planting Beltaine - The Hinge of Summer, Feast of the Sidhe Summer Solstice - The Feast of Labor Lughnasadh - Feast of the God Lugh, first harvest Fall Equinox - Feast of Reaping These descriptions represent the commonly held view among modern Pagans, but it is actually a composite calendar, pieced together out of Celtic, Germanic and bits of Greco-Roman lore. In Our Druidry we attempt to bring our practice closer to that of specific ancient cultural traditions. In that spirit we provide a listing of the year's feasts as practiced by several ancient cultures. Students may find it easiest to begin with this common calendar of eight days, but your individual cultural studies may lead you in other directions in your personal practice. The bibliography in the next section lists several sources that explain the Neopagan context of these holy feasts. Our Druidry has adopted the fairly modern Neopagan calendar in order to stay in the mainstream of Pagan work. It is predominantly Celtic, and many members prefer to keep the observances of the culture in which they work, Hellenic, Norse, etc. Our Groves are required to keep public ritual sometime close to these eight calendar dates, and they are a good place for a student to begin work. We encourage every Druidic Pagan to view keeping the feasts and their customs as a primary religious duty. Keeping the Wheel leads to one of the basic wisdoms of the Pagan way. It brings your life into better harmony with the rhythms and tides of the land. In our urban lives it is common to see the seasons as mere weather, a pleasure or an annoyance. Keeping the Wheel is a simple and accessible way to begin re-enchanting your world. Find a way to keep these feasts as fully and properly as possible. Of course if you live near a working Grove of Our Druidry you will have a real advantage. There will be regular public worship that requires only your attendance. A local Grove should also make it possible for you to learn the form and meaning of our ritual work from more experienced folks. Many new students will not live near enough to a Grove to attend their rites. In that case there are two choices which can be done together. First, it's good to seek out local public Pagan worship of any sort. Many of the skills you can learn in Wiccan or Asatru or general Pagan rites will transfer directly to Druidic work. While the theology and ritual forms of other groups may differ from ours, the exposure to formal ritual and the involvement with your local Pagan community can be very rewarding. Second, you should pursue the rest of the work outlined in these nine ways, so that you can keep the holy days in the Druidic way. When you have a home shrine and a simple set of personal Hallows, when you have begun to practice the skills of meditation and vision, you will be on the road to effective personal ritual. Please be encouraged to begin personal ritual as soon as you are able. A candle and a bowl of water can be the first step in a magical journey that brings you to the Gate Between the Worlds. You need not wait until you feel skilled or have a complete set of tools. As each Holy Day comes around, try to get out under the sky and on the earth, to drink in the spirit of the season. While the eight feasts are the most important, most nearly obligatory of our rites there can be many other opportunities for worship. Full moons as well as new, first-crescent moons are times of power, as are thunderstorms and times when mist covers the earth. All boundaries and between times partake of this sacredness. Sunrise and set, noon and midnight are all proper hours for Pagan observance. This simple instruction cannot provide a complete guide to the symbolism of the High Days. These ancient holy days are deep and complex symbols, that can only be understood in context of the cultures in which they grew. So you are encouraged to use the resources in the next section to research the High Days as they are practiced in the culture to which you are drawn. We offer the chart on the following page as only the most skeletal introduction. As you begin your travel on the path of Pagan Druidry, please take the time to be involved in ritual worship. It helps to ground your Pagan theology in the physical world and charge the symbols of our work with spiritual power. Ritual, especially in combination with trance, is the key of the mysteries, the door to blessing. A Simple Listing of High Days in Several Cultures Celtic Norse Hellenic November Feast Eve before Nov 1: Samhain - Feast of the New Year and the Dead Related Winternights, no real Norse context Mid-October: Thesmophoria - The Feast of Mourning Winter Solstice Celebrated in later times, probably imported from the Norse Yule - Feast of the New Year and Ancestors Mid-December: The Country Dionysia - Feast of the Phallos February Feast Eve before Feb 2: Imbolc - Feast of the Goddess Brigid and the Hearth New Moon in Feb: Charming the Plow - fertility feast for the coming planting Early to mid-Feb: Anthesteria - Feast of the Wine and Holy Marriage of Spring Spring Equinox Seed planting customs, no real Celtic context Full Moon after equinox: Eostre - Feast of the Goddess of Spring Mid-March: The City Dionysia - Council of the Folk, Feast of Drama May Feast Eve before May 1: Bealtainne - Feast of Summer and the Sidhe May 1: May Day - Feast of the Coming of Summer Early May: Thargelia - Purification of the Polis and the Folk Summer Solstice Celebrated in later times, but probably from the Norse Eve of June 21: Midsummer - Feast of Great Blessings Mid June: Skira - Festival of the Furrows August Feast Eve before Aug 2: Lughnasadh - Feast of the God Lugh and the Spear August 1: Loaf-fest - Feast of the Grain Harvest and Thor and Sif Late July: Panathenaia - in Honor of the Goddess of the City, Feast of Bounty Fall Equinox Harvest customs, no real Celtic context Full Moon after equinox: Winternights - Feast of the Ancestors and coming of winter Mid-September: Eleusinian Mysteries - Initiation into the Mysteries of Death and Rebirth
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[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.] Basic Training in Druidic Spiritual Practice The core of religious work, the work that sustains the uniting of the human spirit with the greater weave of the worlds, the awakening of the individual mind to the soul of nature, the communion with the God/desses and spirits, is the personal practice of trained human spirits. In every age of the world, in all cultures, the flame and flow of spirit and knowledge are kept alive in the minds and hearts of men and women. Through meditation, ritual and trance, we keep open the ways between the worlds, and help to make humanity's voice clear to the powers of the worlds. Our Druidry is an open, public path. Our groves and temples welcome all who come to worship with an honest heart. Those who wish the simple blessing of Gods are granted it freely. Yet we hope that some, even many of those who seek the Druid's way will wish to take up a more focused spiritual practice. So we offer these nine ways, a simple pattern of spiritual and magical training. If you come to this work through previous Pagan training, you will probably find these exercises familiar. These skills of meditation, worship and trance are common to many of the world's traditional religions. They are the pillars of many kinds of magical and spiritual work. If you are new to the work these basic techniques can be the foundation of a life of spiritual growth. If you wish, these techniques can be the first step in a path of Druidic Initiation. Or if you wish, these nine ways can serve as a full system of basic Pagan spiritual practice. These ways are the ground level, the core work that a devout Pagan should undertake. Whether or not you feel you may continue toward the priest/esshood, these techniques will improve your personal spiritual work and help you to get more from your participation in group rites. Here is the outline of our Druidic Basic Training. I. The First Triad The first three points are preparatory to all spiritual work, and should be followed by all who wish to work as Druids. 1: Right Action - It is proper to attempt to do only good for one's self, family and community. We present a model of virtue based on Pagan lore. 2: Piety - Pagan ways are based on active individual involvement with the rituals and practices of tradition. To be truly involved is to attend or perform rites regularly and do the work. 3: Study - The study of actual archaeological, folklore and classical sources is vital to restoring the old ways in out time. These first simple steps should be the duty of every Druidic pagan. without them there can be little but empty imaginings and opinion. If the new student does nothing at first but these three steps he will be able to grow in his Pagan work. II. The Second Triad The next three steps are a basic introduction to Pagan meditation, and to the creation of personal worship space. 4: Basic Meditation - In order to open the mind and spirit to wisdom, improve well being and learn control, nothing is better than simple, silent meditation. 5: The Two Currents - Using skills of imagination and concentration, the student learns to connect with the primal energies of fire and water, sky and earth. 6:The Home Shrine - It is proper to set aside a corner of one's home as a personal shrine where the student can deepen her awareness of the spirits. When you have mastered the simple practices in this triad you will have a pattern of spiritual practice that can serve you all your life. These practices are the heart of all further development. III. The Third Triad Building on the previous work, these steps teach our formal ritual work, and two final stages of the beginners path. 7: Full Ritual Worship - The core of ADF's work is our order of ritual, which brings closed contact with the God/desses and spirits. The student completes a set of worship tools and learn the order of ritual. 8: The Dedicant's Oath - When you feel sure that the Pagan Ways are your ways, we encourage a formal oath to announce your will. This is the first step in the formal work of our Druidry. 9: Patronage - In polytheistic religion it is proper for each person to develop a personal relationship with a specific Deity or pair of Deities. We offer techniques to establish and enhance that special partnership. When you have mastered the work of this third triad you will have a firm basic grasp of the techniques of Druidic Paganism and magic. You will have the skill to participate in ritual leadership, or to fully participate in group rites. You will also have the basics of a personal spirituality that can deepen and brighten your whole life. [Note: Two further previews of the Dedicant Path are available, each concerned with the first Triad above: Right Action and Piety.]
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The following is a list of recommended books which are unfortunately out of print. They are listed here so that you can pursue these excellent works if you have the time and money to do so. If you find that any of these are back in print, please let us know. ADF members, please note that these books are not on the Dedicant Path reading list. See the Recommended Reading List page for those. The links below are to Amazon book auctions, but you might also try the sites on our out of print sources page. Happy hunting! Note: ADF will receive a referral bonus if you order from Amazon through a link on this page - thanks! Indo-European Comparative Mythology by C. Scott Littleton Lost Beliefs of Pagan Europe by H.R. Ellis-Davidson Celtic Celtic Mythology by Proinsias MacCana The Silver Bough: Scottish Folk-Lore and Folk-Belief by F. Marian McNeill Druids, Gods and Heroes from Celtic Mythology by Ann Ross Lebor Gabala Erren: Book of Invasions Book of the Dun Cow - R.I. Best, Osborn Bergin, trans. The Voyage of Bran - Kuno Meyer, trans. Fianaigecht: Finn and His Fiana - Kuno Meyer, trans. The Four Ancient Books of Wales - William F. Skene, trans. Buile Suibhne: The Frenzy of Suibhne - J.G. O'Keefe, trans. Ancient Irish Tales - Tom Peete Cross, Clark Harris Slover, eds. Trioedd Ynys Prydein: The Welsh Triads - Rachel Bromwich, ed. Norse Teutonic Religion by Kveldulf Gundarsson Teutonic Magic by Kveldulf Gundarsson Practical Magic in the Northern Tradition by Nigel Pennick Fljotsdale Saga - Jean Young, Eleanor Haworth, trans. The Galdrabok, An Icelandic Grimoire - Stephen E. Flowers, trans. The Origin and Deeds of the Goths - Jordanes Anglo-Saxon Verse Charms, Maxims, Heroic Legends - Louis J. Rodrigues, trans. Roman Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic by H.H. Scullard The Sibylline Oracles The Pumpkinification of Claudius - Seneca De Verborum Significatu (On the Meaning of Words) - Festus The Saturnalia - Macrobius Baltic/Slavic The Balts by Marija Gimbutas The Slavs by Marija Gimbutas
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The Pagan revival has been troubled from the beginning by shoddy scholarship and indulgence in esoteric fantasy. When wishful thinking and poor science take the place of true knowledge, all of Paganism is harmed. Ár nDraíocht Féin was founded on the principle of respect for the actual old ways of Europe. We believe that by starting with the foundational remains of Iron Age Paganism we can build a modern system that will serve modern needs and be true to ancestral spirit. We recommend you choose one or two titles at a time and begin working your way through them. This is by no means exhaustive, but is the initial list of books that ADF Dedicants must choose from, and thus consists mainly of books for a student beginning to study Paganism the first time. There is little direct mythology for each culture, because we hope to have our Dedicants understand the culture that the myths come out of before delving directly into the myths. We've also worked hard to make sure that every book on this list is in print. Unfortunately, all the best books seem to go out of print, and sometimes libraries don't carry them. We hope this list will not only aid study, but will also be highly accessible, and we have broken the list into the following categories: Indo-European Studies; Hearth Cultures: Celtic Culture, Greek/Hellenic Culture, Norse Culture, Proto-Indo-European Culture, Roman Culture, Slavic Culture, Vedic Culture, Baltic/Hittite/Avestan (Indo-Iranian)/Tocharian and Other I-E Cultures; Pagan Revival; Nature Awareness; Additional Notes; and Other Listings. Preceptor Note: If you have an additional book you are interested in using for the purpose of the DP, please make sure it is not on our list of Other Reading Resources, which are not approved for the purpose of the Dedicant's Program but are highly recommended resources regardless. Also check out our Other Approved and Unapproved reading resources for the purpose of the Dedicant's Program. The difference in this list is it will show not only recommended reading, but also books that are not recommended for the Dedicant's Program or in general. Note: ADF will receive a referral bonus if you order from Amazon through a link on this page - thanks! Indo-European Studies & Overview In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth J.P. Mallory A summary of known scholarship on the peoples from whom the Celts, Germans, Greco-Roman, and Baltic cultures descended. This book is fairly dense and reads on an advanced level. It could also be classed as Proto-Indo-European. (We have a short review of this book.) Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Comparative Mythology Jaan Puhvel A good discussion of Indo-European myth. It covers the entire spectrum of Indo-European myth. Reading Level: Post-Graduate A History of Pagan Europe Nigel Pennick and Prudence Jones A simpler review of the history of Pagan peoples and their beliefs. Reading Level: Early Undergraduate The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Will Not Give Women a Future Cynthia Eller This book takes a hard look at what evidence there is or is not for the Gimbutas assertion of a matriarchal goddess-worshipping, pan-European Neolithic society. Reading Level: Late High School to Early College Hearth Cultures Anglo-Saxon Culture Lost Gods of England (out of print) Brian Branston An examination of early Anglo-Saxon worship, including a comparison of Old Norse and Old English myth. Reading Level: TBD Travels Through Middle Earth Alaric Albertsson An introduction to the Anglo-Saxon gods and goddesses, cosmology and the spirit realm, with an emphasis on contemporary worship. Reading Level: TBD The Real Middle Earth Brian Bates Bates reveals the Anglo-Saxon perspective and beliefs that inspired Tolkien's writing. This book focuses less on the Anglo-Saxon deities and more on the worldly spirits known to the early English. Reading Level: TBD Celtic Culture There is no definitive collection of Celtic myth, but there are many good sources on who the Celts were, including a few mythical cycles: The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales John T. Koch (Editor) This book includes a large number of sources on the Celts, all included in a single place. Many of the translations are updated, and it includes many obscure texts. Reading Level: Late High School to Early College Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales Alwyn and Brinley Rees The very best study of pattern and meaning in Celtic myth, with special reference to Vedic lore. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Pagan Celtic Britain Anne Ross An exhaustive survey of known archaeology and lore about Celtic remains in England, Scotland and Wales. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate The Mabinogi, and Other Medieval Welsh Tales Patrick K. Ford The most academically accepted translation, it also includes the Battle of the Trees, a pronunciation guide, and an index of names. Reading Level: Undergraduate The Tain: Translated from the Irish Epic Tain Bo Cuailnge Thomas Kinsella, Trans. One of the main Irish Myths, the Ulster Cycle is key to understanding Irish mythology. This translation is considered standard among academics. Reading Level: Middle School A Brief History of the Druids Peter Beresford Ellis The best modern survey of what we know and don't know about the Celtic Druids. (previously/also marketed as "The Druids") Reading Level: Post-Graduate The Druids Stuart Piggott Previously the best survey. Somewhat unfriendly to the culture it describes, but full of good data about the archeology and facts about the Druids. Reading Level: Post-Graduate Greek/Hellenic Culture Hellenic Pagan lore is contained in a number of books, available in inexpensive student editions: Greek Religion Walter Burkett An overall survey of Cult and practice in Greek Paganism, and is a basic text book of beliefs. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Religion in the Ancient Greek City Louise Bruit Zaidman, Pauline Schmitt Pantel; Paul Cartledge (Trans.) Another good overall summary of Greek religious practice. Reading Level: Post-Graduate Theogony and Works and Days Hesiod, with M. L. West, ed. Descriptions of both myths and religious practices. The introduction to Norman O. Brown's translation is considered to be one of the best, though his translation is somewhat dated. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate The Iliad and The Odyssey or The Homeric Hymns Homer These tales embody much important lore about Hellenic Paganism. The Hymns make the powers and nature of each of the deities clear. Reading Level: High School Norse Culture The Poetic Edda Lee M. Hollander, Edda Saemundar, eds. The Eddas, in addition to the Sagas, make up many of our primary sources for the Norse traditions. Hollander's translation is currently regarded as the best in academic circles, but it is more difficult to read than some others. Reading Level: College Edda Snorri Sturluson, Anthony Faulkes, eds. This is also known as "The Prose Edda", because it is related but different from the Poetic Edda above. While the Prose Edda was discovered before the Poetic Edda, scholars have come to date the former as historically later than the latter. However, both Eddas are useful, interesting, and widely cited in Norse scholarship. The Everyman edition (linked here) is the complete Prose Edda - some editions leave out valuable material. Reading Level: Mostly late High School; Introduction: Post-Graduate Gods and Myths of Northern Europe H.R. Ellis-Davidson Davidson is one of the best writers on northern European Paganism. All her books are worth reading. Reading Level: College The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer Jesse L. Byock Akin to the Nibelungenlied, this book more accurately reflects the Pagan ideals in the literature, rather than the courtly nature of the Ring Saga, and is preferred for DP work. The introduction here is almost as valuable as the Saga itself. Reading Level: Middle School to early High School Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions H.R. Ellis-Davidson A good shore compilation of what is really known and what can be surmised of the religions of the ancient Celts and Germans. Reading Level: College Proto-Indo-European Culture Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans Ceisiwr Serith From ADF Publishing, this book provides a solid introduction to Proto-Indo-European work and lays an excellent framework for work in "common Indo-European" formats. Included here are rituals for the turning wheel of the year, from planting to harvest to equinox rites. Additionally, there are rites for ancestors, lists of reconstructed deity names (and the functions those names imply), and domestic rituals for the family at their hearth. Reading Level: Late High School Roman Culture Romans and Their Gods in the Age of Augustus R.M. Ogilvie Ogilvie's brief text on this subject has been the definitive text on Roman religion for decades. He demonstrates his thorough understanding of how the Romans worshipped, as well as how they thought about their religion during the Age of Augustus. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Fasti Ovid A poetic description of the festivals of the Roman year which unfortunately breaks off at the end of June. This classic work is available from many publishers. Try searching at Amazon.com to find the price range or book style that you prefer. Reading Level: Middle School The Gods of Ancient Rome: Religion in Everyday Life from Archaic to Imperial Times.  Robert Turcan; Antonia Nevell, trans. A good source for Roman religion. It seems that his books are being translated slowly, so keep an eye out for them. Reading Level: Late High School to early Undergraudate An Introduction to Roman Religion John Scheid; Janet Lloyd, trans. This book comes highly recommended as an intro to the religion of this culture. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome Lesley Adkins, Roy A. Adkins Focuses mainly on culture, but there is also some information on Roman religion. Reading Level: High School Slavic Culture The Bath House at Midnight: Magic in Russia (Magic in History) W.F. Ryan A collection of scholarly literature on the history of magic and divination in Russia. Information was gathered by the author for over 30 years. Reading Level: Post-Graduate The Early Slavs: Culture & Society in Early Medieval Eastern Europe P.M. Barford And easy to read and nicely objective introduction to early Slavic culture. Reading Level: Post-Graduate Russian Myths Elizabeth Warner An overiew of the customs and themes underlying Russian beliefs. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate Vedic Culture Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads (2 Volumes) A.B. Keith This is the must have book for anyone interested in Vedism. While Keith does not focus on much of the material that should be dealt with for a practitioner of Vedism, he does introduce those new to Vedism with strong facts and a wonderful starting point. Reading Level: Post-Graduate Religion of the Veda Hermann Oldenberg; Shridhar B. Shrotri (Trans.) Oldenberg does often get confused on some Vedic concepts, as pointed out by out noted scholars such as Keith and Macdonell, but this is a must read for further understanding the ancient Vedics. Reading Level: Post-Graduate The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism A. L. Basham This book focuses primarily on Classical Hinduism but it does cover the Vedic period and it's disintegration into Hinduism. This is a wonderful introduction which allows the individual to see the differences between the Indo-European Vedism and the non Indo-European Hinduism. Reading Level: College Vedic Mythology Arthur Anthony Macdonell This book is a must have for anyone serious about Vedism. It describes a large group of the Gods, complete with references from the Vedas and just where to find these references yourself. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Baltic/Avestan (Indo-Iranian)/Hittite/Tocharian and Other I-E Cultures These cultures have no books at present. If you are an ADF member with a book you want to use for one of these cultures for the Dedicant Path documentation, please contact the ADF Dedicant Preceptor. Modern Paganism & the Pagan Revival Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today Margot Adler The classic survey of American Neopaganism, including plenty on ADF, our origins and growth. Reading Level: College The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft Ronald Hutton A detailed book, discussing the origins of Wicca, the source of most of Neo-Paganism. It serves as a counter-balance to much of the information and theories that are likely to be encountered when reviewing Neo-Paganism in general. It is recommended that, due to its focus on Wicca, Dedicants supplement this reading with more sources. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to Post-Graduate Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today Ellen Evert Hopman, Lawrence Bond This book is a set of interviews from modern Neo-Pagans. Some ADF members are interviewed for this book, as well. (Also marketed as: People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out) Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to Post-Graduate The Idiot's Guide to Paganism Carl McColman A book that covers the basic forms of modern Paganism. Reading Level: Late High School to Early Undergraduate Her Hidden Children: The Rise of Wicca And Paganism in America Chas S. Clifton A book covering the basics of the Neo-Pagan movement today, starting with Wicca and exploring the varieties of Paganism from there. Reading Level: Late Undergraduate to post-Graduate Nature Awareness Note: These books do not fulfil a requirement for the ADF Dedicant Path, but are provided to help Dedicants work through the Nature Awareness section of the DP. Landscape and Memory Simon Schama An extraordinary survey of European attitudes to and conceptualizations of nature over the course of the last 500 years or so, and how our ideas of nature have shaped how we interact with it. Spans Europe from Poland to the Atlantic and from England to the Mediterranean, as well as (the European experience of) America and Australia. Reasonably scholarly but still quite readable. Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You Clare Walker Leslie; Charles E. Roth A very popular book with homeschoolers and teachers. (Please note that if you wish to purchase any of these titles online, we have worked in association with Amazon.com Books to make them available for easy ordering.) Additional Notes We recommend that the beginning student avoid any nonfiction by Robert Graves, D.J. Conway, Lewis Spense, H.P. Blavatsky, Edward Williams (aka Iolo Morganwg), or any works by others based on their writings, or those of Merlin Stone, Barbara Walker, or other revisionist ideologues. Some of the assertions made in these sources can't be supported by current scholarship on the Druids; the use of common sense and a critical eye are highly recommended in dealing with these books (and all the other books listed on this page as well). This is not to say that they don't have their own possible worth or that people shouldn't know about these books, but that an understanding of these writers should come after understanding Druidry/Neopaganism in general. One has to get a firm grounding, four walls and a roof before she can decide on what kinds of curtains to look at. When in doubt, consult your nearest tree...   Other Recommended Reading Lists Individual ADF Guilds will likely also have more extensive reading lists for topics relating to Guild activities (e.g., liturgy, healing, etc.). Guilds are open to ADF members only, so if you are not a member but are interested in specific Guild recommended reading, please consider joining ADF. Also, some ADF Groves have developed their own recommended reading lists so you may want to see if there is an ADF grove near you or visit various grove web sites.
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ADF's 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 member can choose a path 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. The Guild Study Programs are designed by ADF's Guilds to meet these special interests and needs. Currently there are eight Guilds with approved Study Programs accepting students, and the other Guilds are developing programs for approval. Here is a listing of the approved Study Programs: Artisans Guild Study Program - The AGSP requires learning the different types of art and the corresponding culture. The student will begin searching for a connection between the Kindreds and their own creative skills. They will learn to recognize their abilities and how to best offer their services to their community. Bardic Guild Study Program - The ADF Bardic Guild has designed a study program to promote the production and performance of bardic arts for the benefit of ADF. Brewers Guild Study Program - The ADF Brewers guild encompasses those interested in the art of beverage fermentation as part of an Indo-European spiritual practice. It strives to teach its members the art, history, and spiritual significance of brewing so that they may create quality brews for the folk and the Gods we honor. By the time one completes the study program the student will be familiar with the law and history. They will also proficient in the use of the equipment, various methods of brewing beer, wine, and mead and have produced many batches of quality beverages. Liturgists Guild Study Program - The study program of the Liturgists' Guild has been designed to help the student learn the background and skills necessary in order to write, direct and perform effective rituals in an ADF context. Coursework, organized in three Circles, will include exposure to the basic skills of composition and poetics as well as a regular, systematic practice of personal and group ritual. The First Circle work covers ADF's approach to Neo-Pagan Druidism, with emphasis on private ritual practice. The Second Circle will concentrate on group ritual and the Third Circle will cover special liturgies, such as Rites of Passage. Magicians Guild Study Program - The MGSP courses include history, theory, the practice of magic, ethics, and magical self-development. The coursework involves both theoretical study of magic and hands-on application of those theories. Naturalists Guild Study Program - The ADF Naturalists Guild exists to learn more about the land on which we live so that we may educate our groves and communities, to work in whatever way we are called for the protection and healing of this land and the Earth, to deepen our understanding of and relationship to the Nature Spirits, and to facilitate the spiritual connection of our folk to the land. Scholars Guild Study Program - The ADF Scholars Guild Study Program is designed to prepare ADF members, as an integral part of our faith, to participate in scientific and scholarly research, and debate, about the ancient Druids, the Indo-Europeans, comparative religion, folklore, and every other relevant field of human knowledge. Seers Guild Study Program - The ADF Seer's Guild study program is designed to provide the student with two things. A background in IE concepts that are so important to ADF and an opportunity to begin studying the art/science of divination. Warriors Guild Study Program - The Warriors Guild Study program will challenge those interested in learning the basic skills such as campcraft, wilderness survival, basic self defense, and physical conditioning; to simple strategies; to the more advanced skills of self defense, urban survival, strategy & tactics, warrior PSI, and above all lifestyle balance, where a warrior will strive to improve in all aspects of mind, body, spirit. Members can view the individual Guild Study Programs directly. If you are not a member, please consider joining ADF and becoming a part of Our Fellowship!