life, Neodruidry

“You can go your own way.”

The other day, I got a bunch of emails. Each one regretfully informed me that my email address had been taken off of one of ADF’s mailing lists — artisans, Gael, and a handful of others.

My emotions mixed. First, there was a tinge of embarrassment. I was removed because my email was no longer on their member rolls, which is because I didn’t pay this year’s dues. Next was sadness, then relief.

I wanted to study the Initiate’s Path according to ADF‘s curriculum, but, every time I tried, I always found it difficult to start. It didn’t seem quite as structured as the Dedicant’s Path, and their site migration seemed to cut me off from finding out what I was supposed to be doing.

On the other hand, I got exactly what I needed from ADF. Years ago, I was dealing with a sense of discontentment and a lack of focus. Being an eclectic practitioner resonates with me, and I never really felt quite “at home” in other traditions I had contact with along the way. Still, I felt like I needed something.

That something, as it turns out, was more structure. Following the Dedicant’s Path gave me that: High Days, rigorous study, and the Core Order of Ritual. Once I had that, I didn’t really interact with ADF as much as I would’ve liked. Even the Neodruidry groups I’m in now are primarily made up of members of OBOD and the AODA, so it doesn’t really matter where one studies or what brought them to Druidry.

I chose to take forgetting to renew my membership as a sign. Rather than have my lack of progress on the Initiate’s Path hanging over my head, I’m going to take this time to formulate my own study plan.

I might rejoin ADF in the future, join a different group, or use the foundation provided by ADF to build on myself. I still consider myself an eclectic practitioner and always have, so it could be that I’ve already taken what I needed from this experience.

Either way, I can’t wait to see what the future brings. 💚

divination, life, Neodruidry, Witchcraft

Ruis and Saille.

ADF-structured rituals have an oracle portion that gives us an opportunity to know how our offerings were received, know which blessings we are receiving in turn, and get messages from the spirits we work with. I’ve always used tarot for this, but I’ve been curious about branching out into journeying, geomancy, and other means of divination.

All of this is to say that, for my reading this week, I didn’t pull a card at all.

I’ve been trying to learn to divine using Ogham staves. It’s more than a little challenging for me — memorization isn’t my strong suit (to put it mildly), and the Ogham alphabet is visually very simple. That means that, somewhat like my experience with the Tarot of Marseilles, there isn’t a whole lot for me to go on. Unlike the ToM, however, Ogham letters don’t have suits or numerical cycles on their side, which makes it even more difficult.

My best bet? Lots of practice. There are far fewer Ogham letters than there are tarot cards, so I’m bound to absorb some of it eventually.

This week, I drew two staves. Since I can’t exactly shuffle wood, I placed them face down, mixed them up, and drew them the way I would a tarot card: I moved my receptive hand over the pieces, and waited for the little energetic “tug” that led me to the right ones.

An orange cat paws at a set of driftwood Ogham staves,
Kiko attempting to draw staves for me, featuring hazel and elder.

I drew Elder (Ruis) and Willow (Saille).

Elder stands for the passing of an old cycle. This can be something that is due to pass, or something that we want to hold onto. The elder tree has a lot of connections to death and rebirth, so it’s a reminder that the only constant is change.

Willow stands for balance and equilibrium. In some sources I’ve read, it also stands for cycles, learning, and taking time to accumulate knowledge before acting.

I’ve experienced a lot of synchronicity with regards to both of these things, just in the past two or three days alone. It’s a supermoon in Virgo. This afternoon, I was listening to a webinar about living as a highly sensitive person (which, for me, is pretty much shorthand for “on the verge of a nervous meltdown basically always”), and Dr. Christine Page was giving a talk about inviting change in order to quit burning yourself out and making yourself sick. I mean, as I was typing this, I had to pause because I got an alert on my phone. It was an email: “Tips for Working With Change,” from Sharon Ramel.

It’s spring, the birds are singing, the weather’s warming, the sap is starting to run. The trees are still bare, but there are plenty of little signs that the soil’s beginning to wake up. I can’t say that I know exactly what changes the willow and the elder and pointing to, but I can’t help but look forward to them.


Burning incense.
life, Neodruidry, Witchcraft

I passed! … Now what?

It took me some time, but I submitted my ADF Dedicant Path work, received some feedback, elaborated where I was asked to elaborate, and… I passed!

It’s an enormous relief — perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the feedback I received involved me being “too hard on [myself]” when rituals didn’t go perfectly to plan. I don’t consider myself a type A personality, I don’t really think I’m a perfectionist (well, most of the time), but I can see it. Completing this path work was very important to me. Upholding the virtues and things I’ve learned in the course of doing it is still important to me.

There’s only one problem: where do I go from here?

I’ve considered trying to pursue ordainment. There are also other paths of study within each of the Druidry guilds. With how long it took me to finish my Dedicant Path work to my satisfaction, I’m a little hesitant to jump into another round of studying and writing so soon. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t calling to me, though.

Do I explore other Druid groups alongside ADF, and see what knowledge they have to offer? Do I choose a guild or two to concentrate on?

I’m giving myself until February 8th. By then, I will have looked at my options and picked a course of action.

Fingers crossed that it’s a good one!