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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

August 27th, 2012

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03:41 pm - Thinking About Clergy Training in ADF
The last month or so has been interesting, to say the least. I've been dealing with a large number of items at work, some good (yay, raise!) and some bad (boo, software audit!), but generally life is good there.

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.
    • Oaths
    • 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.

Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: "High Cumberland Jubilee/Comin' Down Slow", -JB

(5 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 27th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Interesting concept. Are you thinking in terms of seven different courses to cover these, one big one, or something in between?

Between my background in Ceremonial Magic(k) and eclectic Paganism, I'd been exposed to all of these before I joined ADF, but I can easily imagine someone coming to us now and not knowing any of it. What I really needed was the course in talking to people without scaring them. >8)
[User Picture]
Date:August 27th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Generally speaking, this sounds delightful! I would love to be a part of whatever you do decide to put together, especially since a lot of these things I'm rather interested in. And I personally prefer forums to email lists.

In the bardic section I would add in something regarding memorization techniques, as well as how to use bardic skills to help keep the energy up in a ritual and how to keep it flowing from one part to the next. I'm familiar with doing this with music and song, but I could see it working well with other bardic arts.

Beyond that, I know there is a lot of shying away from the counseling aspect of priests for liability reasons, but there is no reason you couldn't discuss some common methods to talk to people and help them sort through things. Both personally and spiritually. Most people will go through a crisis of faith at some point, and I think it's important for our priests to be able and available to discuss that and how it relates to multiple aspects of a person's life.

Also, perhaps something regarding myth cycles. Similar to IE myth, but how to apply that practically. For instance being able to use allusions to multiple cultures and lore in order to explain the same point.

Just thoughts...
[User Picture]
Date:August 28th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
As someone who has started the CTP prelim work, I would find this interesting and would not mind helping where I could.
[User Picture]
Date:August 28th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm still looking for more work geared toward those of us without any real interest in folk or high ceremonial magic, not for those who just don't have a background in it. :p
[User Picture]
Date:August 29th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Phew, it's been so long since I've used LiveJournal, I wasn't sure my account still existed.

Anyway, count me in. You know I (Kristin) am seeking additional training, after all. Just call me a guinea pig.

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