Well, my Dedicant Path documentation was approved today within a few hours of submission of the revisions.
Yes, it feels good!
I would like to put down a few thoughts on the DP. It is not an exaggeration to say going through the DP has had a huge impact in my life. When I started upon it, I had been a “lay Pagan” for many years, with no real idea of how to put my spiritual beliefs into any sort of practice. Oh, I read lots of books, but it was the Dedicant Path that really showed me the way; by introducing me to the core order of ritual, by encouraging me to really observe the High Days, by nudging me towards a daily spiritual practice, and by providing me with the means to find some spiritual focus. Without all of that, I would not have had the self-confidence to have volunteered to take a lead role in helping to form a local Druid Grove.
So that aspect of the DP was definitely the most transformative for me. But other parts of the program were valuable as well, including some requirements which I expected to be simple paperwork. In particular, I thought that the virtue essays and the mental discipline journal would be exercises in tedium, but when I went to actually do them I found that the work caused me to question long-formed assumptions and to really challenge myself.
That said, I did find some of the requirements less valuable than others. The book reviews were a bit iffy, and the nature essay seemed like just so much paperwork. On the flip side, I think that there are some subjects which should be included in the DP requirements but are not. For instance, I would have liked a requirement related to developing my divination skills, given the importance of omen taking in ADF ritual. A requirement related to Bardic skills might also be a welcome addition.
So where to now? Since I joined ADF I have always assumed that I would go on to the Initiate Program after the DP. However, my work with my local Grove has got me contemplating entering the Clergy Program. I will need to meditate upon this a bit and perhaps ask the Gods for guidance. But one thing is for sure; the DP has put me upon the path of Druidry, and I am by no means at the end.
Finally, I’d like to thank all those who worked at developing the DP, as well as Rev. Dangler for The DP Through the Wheel of the Year, the ADF Preceptor, my DP documentation reviewer, and everyone who helped me along by reading my blog and commenting (hi Sanil!), and who have been keeping blogs of their own progress which have been an endless source of inspiration.