I've also been drawn into several very interesting (and very disconnected) discussions about the ADF Priesthood, how we train our Priests, and what deeper work people can do. These discussions are with a broad mixture of people: some are Priests, some are not, and some haven't even finished the Dedicant Program yet. Some discussions are more study-oriented, and others have turned more personal-oriented. I'm actually really enjoying the conversations.
I have been thinking, though, that it's time to get back to work on a back-burner project that's just been waiting for me to get around to it for years: a bit of practical training to compliment the book-learnin' of the CTP and IP work.
Fortunately, iancorrigan has already provided a lot of the practical IP work, but for folks not interested in the Initiatory work, there's still a gap. And that gap becomes very noticable when we forget to prep people who come into this without a background in either folk or old high ceremonial magic (or at least a well-read knowledge of either).
This, of course, doesn't make them bad Priests (in fact, several of them are quite good at these things without the background), but in talking to them, most of them seem to wish they'd had something more: some pre-training to tell them the little things that we sometimes take for granted.
So I've started thinking about this, and I'm gathering together a small chunk of stuff that people really need to know going into this community of Priests (or things that people seeking to deepen their work as Druids or general magicians might need). Here's the initial, very basic list:
- Trance Work
- Focused guided meditations, on-topic with the coursework
- Specific trance exercises
- Leading others in trance and meditation
- Magical Work
- Crafting and blessing tools
- Building magic into the Core Order of Ritual
- Building magic outside the Core Order of Ritual
- Ritual Knowledge
- Common ritual phrases and movements
- Creating/maintaining your own ritual voice
- Writing new and unique ritual pieces
- Bardic work
- Poetic meter, ancient and modern
- Storytelling skills
- Theatrical awareness
- Spirit Work:
- Introducing yourself to spirits
- General rules for dealing with unknown spirits
- Building relationships/gaining allies
- Divination Work
- Meditations and work for common symbol sets
- Crafting your own set of omens
- A divination practicum (reading for a lot of people in a row)
- Common Liturgies
- Weddings, funerals, births, etc.
- Blessings of tools and people
All of this would be accompanied by a daily/weekly/monthly ritual routine, of course, and balanced with the scholastic side of the work.
I've been thinking about starting an e-mail list, or perhaps a web forum on my site, or something to get people talking about some of these, and being able to create material for them. I'm a bit daunted by the task, I admit, but I'm also a bit excited about it.