Discipline has really never been my strong suite when it comes to practicing my spirituality. So much of my life is ritualized as it is that I feel much more comfortable sporadic rituals or prayers when I feel like I need to do something, so I know these CTP courses will be a challenge for me. The discipline portion of the Dedicant Path was one of the most challenging parts of that program for me. I understand the importance of having a regular practice, but this course definitely makes me feel anxious. I’ve started this process by using a morning Sun Devotional that is based on the writings of David Crawford. It’s a very simple prayer, but it gives me the ability to do the devotional no matter where I am, which is important with my crazy schedule.
The sun rises, refreshed and renewed, as do I into this new day.
Through the ancestors, may I gain courage.
Through the nature spirits, may I find peace.
And through the gods may I learn wisdom,
for it is through the Kindreds that I am made whole.
This week I was also blessed with the opportunity to attend the Midnight Flame Festival in Michigan. The festival is a twelve hour drive from my home, but the fellowship and experience is absolutely worth it. My devotional work during this week took on a much different meaning than it typically does. I spent the day attending workshops to explore different aspects of spirituality, which always makes me feel much more connected and introspective. I was also honored to get to experience the first two step of Jan Avende’s Initiate Program completion, including her exit interview and a full COoR ritual done in with a Hellenic focus. Her ritual was inspirational and moving. I also experienced a COoR ritual performed by Grove of the Midnight Sun and several members of ADF Clergy. During this ritual I witnessed the ordination of Matthew Rutledge, which was the first time that I have ever seen the ordination rite. It was moving and extremely emotional for me considering I had just been accepted to the CTP myself, and knowing that I may be standing where he was some day.
Attending Midnight Flame also gave me the opportunity to meet Rev. Kirk Thomas for the first time and discuss the current role of Regional Druids, their history, and his expectations of the role, which was incredibly important to me because it’s a position that I’m very proud to hold. The Festival closed with a large Sumbel, which once again moved me to tears. The love and support seen within the ADF community never ceases to amaze me. It makes me proud to be a part of the organization. I received a candle from Jan Avende that had been lit from the Hellenic Kin Flame and spent the trip home exploring my own thoughts, what the study program means to me, and ultimately my expectations of ordination. Attending this festival was an amazing way to begin the Clergy Training Program. Learning that I had been accepted while there let me share the excitement with the people who care for me and understand what this means. I couldn’t think of a better way to start this new, exciting path.
Greek Alphabet Oracle: