I started my magickal journey in 1994, when I was fourteen years old. I wandered into intense researches about Witchcraft, Sorcery, Theurgy, Spiritism, Necromancy and Goëtia as the Dark Age of Magick mainly interested me at the time. I was curious about the hidden secrets from the occultism, the secret societies and the old unnamable grimoires. I was also strongly influenced by supernatural stories from Howard Philips Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and all the others gothic authors. I learned that even the dreaded Necronomicon from Lovecraft was not real, but I was fascinated by the power of that occult imagery. Through the following years, I slightly shifted my study towards Astrology, Cartomancy, Scrying, Parapsychology, Cryptozoology, and Natural Magick. During these years, I was still an atheist, but I was strongly interested by mythological stories, myths and legends all around the globe. At this time, I must admit that I knew almost nothing about Wicca. To me, it was more or less something that I associated with New Age communities at the time. Then, even if I were still interested in the paranormal subjects, I was not seeking a religion or a spiritual development of any kind. I was reading a lot, without really wanting practicing any ceremony.
Many years passed that way, and in 2013, I separated with my girlfriend and went to live alone. Having spent the last seven years with the company of my girlfriend, I was now in a situation where I had to live completely alone. I was rediscovering a solitary life and the freedom to do anything I want without being judged. On November 2013, I joined a social Pagan group in Ottawa and was later admitted and initiated by a regional ADF Druidic grove. This is where my magickal journey becomes a spiritual journey. I was very dedicated to the Dedicant Path (DP) program and I learned more than what was expected from us. I was able to read more than three books in a week and I recall having great fun by doing so. I was also deepening my understanding of the English language, French being my first language. Unfortunately, I had to leave the ADF Grove for personal reasons, and it resulted in a major personal and spiritual letdown. However, I quickly realigned my spiritual path towards a practice which is sometimes called Druidcraft or Celtic Wicca, which merges practices of Druidry with Wicca. For a year and a day, I doubled my efforts to truly understand Paganism, Wicca, Druidry, and even Ásatrú, Shamanism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Voodoo. And then, during another year and a day, I completed what I call my Grimoire of practices, which makes 898 pages in total. With that major project completed to my satisfaction, I then joined open Wiccan and spiritual circles near my town to share my knowledge and also to collects experience from others. This is how I knew how much I was missing ADF and their scholarship ways. I also knew I needed to deepen some area of my practice, like meditation, to understand how to manage my clairsentience abilities. I renewed my subscription with ADF and started my DP all over again. The Dedicant Path of ADF encouraged me to continue to seek knowledge in areas where I now I needed some help and it also satisfied my need to be part of a serious Neopagan group.
The ADF Dedicant Path allowed me to go deeper into my spiritual path, and interestingly enough, helped me understand more about the virtues. Through studies, I learned more about Druidry and about the Celts traditions (Wisdom). Every day, I made at least one devotional to the Kindreds or to my matron goddess and I celebrated all the High Days of the Wheel of the Year (Piety). I projected myself being more focused on the omen which made me learn more about divination, knowing now that I want to enroll myself in the Seer Guild after my DP is accepted (Vision). Joining a new Grove after so many times practicing alone was not necessarily easy for a solitary like me (Courage). Redoing my DP from the very start since the last time was also a big challenge, and it took much effort to keep on schedule (Perseverance). I learned how to be more available for my friends and family (Hospitality). Finally, I adopted a slightly new lifestyle in which I try my best to balance my time and energies between work, spirituality and socializing (Moderation). I also learned how to include meditation in a weekly schedule, which turned to be essential to my well being. I must admit that the weekly sessions is now almost a daily practice, as every day I find a way to include meditation, visualization or relaxation into my life. I’m calmer and more focused/centered than when I re-started my DP. I also reconnected strongly with nature by going out more often than before.
Where exactly is my spirituality (or personal religion) now? My answer is not “black & white” and I don’t think it will ever be that easy to explain. I don’t really likes labels, but if I must put a specific name on my path, I’ll say that I am following the Celtic-Gaelic-Irish Polytheism Paganism, which can be simplified with Druidry, incorporating some folk magick or witchcraft. Sometimes, I’ll say that I’m a Witch-Druid. It really depends with who I am speaking to. All my rites or celebrations are strictly following the ADF core order ritual, based on the Irish culture, and I sometimes incorporate workings when it’s not a High Day. I lit the candles and burn incense on my permanent home shrine almost every day, and I’m happy to say that my friends, coworkers and family are all aware of my spirituality. I learned that to spiritually express myself into my daily life was a perfect way to easily learns, instead of “hiding” it. Some Pagans use the term “to be out of the broom closet” to express that condition, then I must admit that I’m fully out! My favorite Pagan symbol is the Triquetra, and I use it to represent the three Realms, the three Kindreds and the three Hallows. When someone point out one of my piece of jewelry with a Triquetra, asking what it means, I’m more than happy to express my views on it. I surely do not proselytize, but sometimes I recommend some of my friends to assist to an ADF public ritual. I hope someday one of my friends will decide to come with me and experience it!
Joining a new ADF grove had many positive advantages for my spiritual development, and I’m glad I did it. The grove I choose to join is the Red Maple Grove, located in Ottawa, Canada. I really think I made new friends there, and I hope to stay with this group for a very long time. Many members helped me with my DP questions, and proof read many of my essays. I was already comfortable with the ADF core order ritual, but they make me participate in their public rituals, which I absolutely loved. It made me being more confident in my practice and helped me to be able to speak more freely in front of others, something that I’ve not experienced often before in a spiritual point of view.
I’m always growing and my spirituality makes me want a new tattoo, which is going to be about my matron goddess, The Morrígan. Even if I feel that Morrígan is always with me, I like the idea to literally have her with me all the times. The first session will be on November 2, which is a very interesting date for her, and the last should be around March 2017. I love art and to be able to express my feelings through it, so a tattoo of my matron goddess seems a great way to honor her in my life. I make sure that she will be well represented, and the concept art that I designed was certainly inspired by her counseling.
This year was an amazing one for my spiritual path, and I can foresee the future with even more exciting times. I’m 36 years old and my journey is only beginning. I hope (and will work) to gain the wisdom I seek before I cross over. I want to learn as much as I can, evolve into the ADF Druidry tradition and to transmit my knowledge to new members along the way. It is indeed a great time to be Pagan!
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