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ADF Dedicant Path Journal

A New Discovery (long)
I discovered something last night....not sure what led me to it...but I'm glad I found it....  It's an online Gratitude JournalNow, you may ask yourself, what's so new about gratitude that would make someone happy about finding a journal...  Well...from the standpoint of someone who is or...has been perpetually grouchy, ornery, pessimistic, a glass nearly empty kind of person for many years, this is a whole new way to look at things.

I'm in the process of discovering myself.  After a lifetime of being a mess...........and many years of being in chronic pain, medicated beyond belief and suffering from many health problems, along with some emotional issues, I'm finally starting to clear away the fog.  I'm pretty much free of a lot of the medications I was on and now managing my pain with a holistic approach, using a lot of meditation, relaxation, bio feedback, mindfulness, exercise and a host of other much healthier things...and I'm probably the most emotionally stable I've ever been, also off of or on a reduced dose of "head meds".  So, I"m seeing things differently, or for the first time in some instances.  Lots of changes taking place.        

I found I needed to dig a little deeper and start working on my attitude and turn it into gratitude...I know...how pop psychology of me...lol  I was reading that the more you look for things to be grateful about, the more things you will find to be grateful about.  I figured since I'm a relatively intelligent human being, I could tackle this.  So, I joined an online gratitude journal community and made my first post.  It was kind of hokey, but hey...even the little things count, right?  I don't want to feel positive all the time...but fake it til you make it has worked for me before, so I'm setting myself on auto pilot in that department.

There are a lot of things trying to crowd in on me enmasse now that I'm no longer in an emotional coma due to medications.  NOT ready to handle them all, not ready for the emotional flood, so I need to strengthen every positive thing I can come up with.  At my disposal I have the fake it til you make it program, the gratitude journal, and thank the Gods!...a Spiritual belief that hasn't left me.  I feel like I'm on some sort of road to recovery.  Discovery  :)  

I'm babbling....I haven't slept.  This all started last night because I couldn't find my journal.  My friends/neighbors totally cleaned and organized my house while I was gone this past month to a pain rehab clinic...and one of the things I find missing, is my journal.  I was furious and sick at heart and horrified at the thought my journal was floating around somewhere.  I know where I left it, and it's not there.  Yet it wasn't seen and no one knows where it is.  Ok..getting myself upset again....*sighs*  anyway....that had (still has honestly) me all twisted up and somehow that led to the gratitude journal.  Not sure how that happened.  Intervention from somewhere else is all I can figure.  If ever I needed a diversion it was last night.

I learned an enormous amount at the pain clinic.  One of the most important things was how I needed to structure my life.  Due to the way I "work", I really cannot go about things willy nilly.  I think structure is now really important.  I'm really understanding the need mentioned in the DP for developing a strong regular practice of devotionals done at the same time.  The PRC (pain rehab clinic) strongly recommends you have a 2 week plan set up..........a daily structure from the time your feet hit the floor til you tuck them back into bed.  Plenty of time for leisure and rest and relaxation, spiritual pursuits if that is important to you, along with meditation, family life, work, chores, etc.  I set up a base plan before I left, it's required exit work, but I see that in its implementation it won't quite work out.  I need to revamp it.  Have to add in some flexibility.  Moderation and modification are buzz words used at the PRC.  The whole PRC experience is something I'll get into more at another time.  I will say however, if anyone reading this suffers from severe chronic pain, or knows anyone who does, I recommend the Pain Rehab Clinic at the Mayo Clinic 100%.  It's in Rochester, MN but there were people there from all over the country, from all 4 corners of the 48 and as far away as Hawaii.  I go back down to Mayo on April 8th to check into an actual inpatient SMOKING TREATMENT program! Can you believe there is such a thing???!!!!  I'll admit, when I decided to go, I wasn't so crazy about quitting, I just knew I needed to.  The closer it gets though, the more determined I am and the more need I see in it.  I wonder if there is a 12 step program to quitting smoking...hmmm.... I'll have to google it.  There must be, there is to everything else. 

Ok....I've droned on long enough...lol  I need to get some sleep...moderation in regards to sleep as well....but that doesn't mean not getting any!


The varied uses of a journal
I'm so far behind in where I thought I'd be in my Dedicant Path it isn't funny.  Being sick, sad, grieving, mourning...christ...it never stops.  I have decided that more of my life than I like has been posted in my DP journal to date.  To that end, I'm either going to create a new journal or revive an old one I had once, if I can, and put things in there.  I've come to the conclusion there may just be something in this journaling thing, even if no one does read it.

I revived an old journal.  Eeyores_Twin.  If anyone would like to follow me there and find out more about who "I" am, that's where I'll be.

Anyway....I need to come up with a new ...system, whatever...for doling out work to myself.  Trying to get things done on a weekly basis just ain't workin.  I'm thinking more along the lines of a monthly plan.  It's time to be good to myself.  If I want to put the quality of work into something I do, and no...I promise I don't mean being a perfectionist.  Just plain ol' good quality work, I need to not pressure myself right now.  I realize this is gonna sound like I'm being totally easy on myself and lazy to some of you, and to that I just have to say...sorry...I can't hear you.

By the end of July I would like to have 3 Chapters and 2 Virtue essays completed.  I will give myself the rest of this month to decide on the book and the virtues.  Now, this does not necessarily mean I will stop at said amount of chapters, or virtue essays.  If i feel I can continue on with either, or start/complete something else, I will certainly give it my best shot.  But I'm gonna see how this goes for now.  I'm tired of failure.  I'd like to find out what the possibility of success feels like.

Shan aka Shannerz (in tiny chat) aka Muadhnait

It's America!!
I'm feeling a little patriotic today.  Tomorrow I'll be going to Memorial Day services at a tiny little cemetery where we just interred my gramma's ashes.

This is a prayer from A Book Of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith.


Liberty, your torch shines undimmed by the years.

If our eyes have lost sight of you, it is our fault and not yours.

We have turned our vision away from the heights from which your flame shines, and seen only that which divides.

Be our beacon, Mother of our Nation, and show us the way again.

Mother of Peoples, unite your scattered children into one tribe, one people one country.

Started working on the virtues. Wasn't doing very well on the other things I was trying to get done for my DP, so I took up the virtues. What I'm doing is giving each of them 1 notebook page, and writing down 2 definitions from dictionaries, and the definition from the DP manual.

I've found a couple of sites that list TONS of other virtues, http://www.virtuescience.com/virtuelist.html , http://www.virtuesproject.com/virtues.html .

I'm going to choose a few other virtues that I feel are appropriate for me. A friend chose a virtue, and asked me questions about it. We kept track of my answers. With a little filling in, cleaning up, etc... there was my essay for that virtue. It was really quite easy. I'm going to use that process for all the rest. I'll then send those in to my Mentor and see what she has to say.

I did a search for free creative writing classes and it came back with several things. One of which was free classes on writing book reports and book reviews. I'm going to take those classes. There's also some free ones out there on writing essays. I'm gonna use every bit of help I can find!! I wish we could submit our things as they were done like those in the other classes can, rather than sending it all in at once. Yes, patience is one of the other virtues I added...lol

I also made a prayer bead string that is for the 9 virtues and borrowed the poem that went along with it to remember the virtues. It's so hard for me to remember things cuz of the medication I take....but I sure am going to give it my best try.

I really need to set a schedule for myself man... I have to set up a time for everything or I'm just not gonna get it done.

Gonna hop off here now and go work on my virtues.

Bliss........................................................Muadhnait aka Shan

DP Shrine currently under construction

You can just barely see it, but at the very top of my shrine, between the witch and the broom, is a wooden apple, it's actually a candle in the apple, but it is there for Eris. Wanted to let her know she is not forgotten.

This shelf is for my Patrons, Cernunnos and Brighid. It holds pictures representing Cernunnos, Brighid, 2 candles, a goblet, and behind the picture of Brighid is the mantle that hung outside the door overnight on Imbolc.

This is my representation for my Nature shrine. It holds a flowering plant for my world tree, a picture of a whooping crane because I am in the Order of the Crane, and a picture of my Totem animal, the porcupine.

This shelf holds a bowl for my well, candles in the colors for land and water, you can't see it but it holds also a personal sized sickle made with non ferrous copper. A friend made this for me many years ago. It also holds a shell for Manannan Mac Lir and a censer for burning cone incense or charcoal and loose incense.

This is my for my ancestors. It holds a picture of my son Cody, his urn, a memory box matching his urn, a picture of his name written in the sand, and 2 candle holders; the sun and the moon.

This picture just shows the fantastic storage at the bottom of the shelf.

This is a continuation of my ancestor shrine. More pictures of my son Cody, pictures of my Gramma, and my brother Lon, and his urn. It also holds the urn of my mini schnauzer Greta. I will be placing some of the pictures of Cody on the wall, and will be adding a small urn of my Gramma's cremains. a picture of my dad and a small urn of his cremains and a picture of my Grampa John and a small urn of his cremains in the near future.

Well Gee.....This Was A Fun Test......pffffttttt..

Your result for Awakening the Hero Within: Hero Archetype Test...

You are the Destroyer.

25% Innocent, 79% Orphan, 42% Warrior, 58% Caregiver, 67% Seeker, 33% Lover, 83% Destroyer, 25% Creator, 44% Magician, 29% Ruler, 50% Sage and 50% Fool!

Goal: Metamorphosis

Fear: Annihilation

Response to Dragon/Problem: Allow dragon to slay it

Task: Let go

Gift: Humility

Addictions: Self-destructive habits like alcohol or smoking, suicide

The Destroyer is central to metamorphosis. The void that the Destroyer leaves in its wake is more profound and debilitating than the abandonment experienced by the Orphan. The Destroyer often is a person in the prime of life, who has a fully developed identity and a belief in their ability to cope. One is not a Destroyer because of wrongdoing. The experience of misfortune can either cripple or be transformative. Sometimes we succumb to madness or cynicism, but sometimes we can let go of the old and open to the new.

The Destroyer is also the transformer. Rebirth, after all, follows death. At best, a Destroyer can be revolutionary, subverting and destroying harmful and repressive systems.

Shadow Destroyer:

All acts of self-destruction and totally destructive acts are those of the pathological Destroyer. The Destroyer turns us into villains when we refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility for the inevitable harm we do.

Take Awakening the Hero Within: Hero Archetype Test at OkCupid

I'm heading out to a retreat in a few hours.  Gonna be there until Sunday.  It's specifically for parents who have lost older children within the last 3 years.  Other weeks it's for families or parents who have lost babies or older children, and families who have children with terminal illnesses.  It's called Faith's Lodge.  www.faithslodge.org  The only place like it in the entire United States and it happens to be a couple hours north of me in a nowhere state like Wisconsin.  Gawd am I lucky, and I'm not being sarcastic.  I need this place.  I lost my 15 1/2 year old son on Xmas Day 2008.  My therapist told me I'm not even grieving yet, I'm still in mourning.  Not handling this well at all.  Still in denial most of the time.  So, I'm going on this retreat in hopes that I can start healing.  I spent the entirety of Xmas in the hospital with Cody.  We were called to the hospital on Xmas Eve day, we left on the late afternoon of the 26th.  During that time, the Patroness I'd had for something like 11 years traded me off to Brighid.  And all the sudden a God was introduced to my life.  After many years, I still had a "hang up" about "God", and had been pretty much a "Goddess" woman, but apparently Cody had a talk with someone and decided I needed one in my life.  No one told me who he was though.  I was left to figuring that out on my own.  Took me until this past August to discover who it was.  Kept me true to my Irish path it did.  :)

Anyway, Cody saw to it that I had the correct Patroness and Patron in my life to facilitate my healing and help with my spiritual life, but of course, I have to do my part too.  Thus, the retreat I'm heading out to today.  They have many activities, group sessions, art therapy, outdoor things, all kinds of stuff, and of course, plenty of quiet time to reflect.  I live alone, so I already have a lot of quiet time, but there will be a therapist there, so if during my quiet time, I need to talk to someone, I can go looking for her.  I'm bringing my DP materials with me.  Not sure what frame of mind I'll be in, so I don't know what all I'll be able to do, but I plan on meditating and doing some devotions at the very least.  I also am to tend Brighid's flame one of the evenings I'll be there.  I bought a small real wax battery operated candle to bring with me, (I have a larger one I use here at home), but there are fireplaces in all the lodge guest rooms too.  I guess they also help you out with a private ritual to do too.

It's going to be super emotionally charged..I know this...just hope I'm ready for it.  There's so much more I wanted to say, but I'm having trouble stringing words together.  I'm very nervous and didn't get but a few hours sleep in my computer chair last night.  I'm also afraid. 

Well, I best hop to it and get my collective chit together.  If anyone happens to read this, throw a prayer my way, would ya?  LOL  I'm gonna need it.  And, think of my son for a moment too, if you don't mind?  It's been said, you die two deaths.  The first is the physical, the second is when people stop saying your name.  I will NEVER stop saying Cody's name.

I Love You Peanut....

Brighid...please keep me safe and warm in your mantle this day....

Muadhnait aka Shan

Finally feel like I'm getting somewhere
I did my first Two Powers meditation yesterday and it was pretty cool.  Compared to any other meditation I've ever done, this was the first "active" one.  I ended up feeling like I was on a tanning bed :)  It was very powerful.  I also did my first official devotion in my DP career.  Thanx to Seamus for getting me started. I feel like I got a friendly boot in the butt. *grin* 

As I mentioned on NYE, I was going over my books, and thankfully I'm a bookworm, so I'm not too bad off there.  I bought A History Of Pagan Europe, Comparative Mythology, and The Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith which I cannot recommend highly enough!!!  I already had Celtic Heritage, The Mabinogi, and A Brief History of the Druids.  I'm going to have to buy Drawing Down the Moon.  I've read it, I just thought it was kind of dry, and I'm going to get the Idiot's Guide to Paganism, because I love Idiot's and Dummie's guides...now, if they'd only come out with Moron's guides, (sorry...gotta take a moment to listen to the Rock God Frank Hannon....ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming)  some of the more difficult things I might be able to actually learn...hehe  I'm also going to pick up Keeping a Nature Journal.  And no way in Hades am I going to pay full price for any of them...Used books kind of squigg me out a bit....cuz I'm weird that way, but, I'm also poor.  I kind of see it as like a rescue service.  I just can't fathom some poor, used, homeless book out there with no one to love it.  Books are my jewels.

The next thing up for the DP is Imbolc.  There are a couple things going on, online and I may attend more than one, and I always do something on my own because February 1 is my birthday and it makes my day special for me.  I'll definitely be more conscious of it this year for a few reasons, and of course I'll be writing about it.     

I'm off to jot down some plans for Imbolc...

*ponders on why there are no Sigs or Orders for Discordian Druids...hmmmmmmmmm                           

Where do I start?
Now I'm not sure where to start....  It all seems rather daunting.  One could definitely say I'm confused.  Also, I'm not sure if I need the new DP Handbook, and if so, how do I get one?  Since I haven't officially "started" my DP yet, I feel I should begin with the new requirements.  

so we're ringin in a new year and a new decade...
It's interesting how I chose today to finally start on my Dedicant Path....believe me, I hadn't given a thought to the day....I just all the sudden had the urge to pick up the books and the paperwork and start going through it again with a notebook and a pen in my hand.  I remembered later on that not only was today a full moon, but a blue moon as well.  Rather auspicious I spose...  However, I don't work particularly fast, so this time next year I may be writing about how I'm FINALLY half way done...LOL  We'll see.  After several years of experience on this earth, I've finally come to the realization that sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Brighid...May you keep my mind on track, my diligence to study forthright and the words flowing easily from my fingers (unlike the way they come from my mouth, and you know what I mean).  Dear Lady I thank you for the strong desire to seek out more questions even as I find answers.  In your service, always...   Ok....so there is a little Discordian in me...whachya want me to do?

Tonight I'm basically organizing myself and figuring out what books I'm missing that I'll need shortly.  Luckily I'm sitting pretty good there.

I have a bottle of wine to finish before the ball drops here  ;-)  Have a wondrous New Decade everyone!!!