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.