Describe your discipline practice as an ADF Priest. Explain what you have learned from this practice, describe how your connection with the spirits who support our Consecrated Priests has grown and changed over the time you have worked with them, and reflect on your journals and omens over the period. (min. 600 words)
My discipline with my practice as an ADF Priest has changed since I was first ordained in 2008 until now. Some things have not changed though. Specifically, I still do not keep any kind of journal, with the exception of when it was a requirement for a course. I subscribe to Phil Hine's methods of chaos magic, specifically do it and don't record what you did and try to forget what you did, you'll recognize the results when they happen. Because I did not keep any records of what has happened since I was consecrated, I have no journals or lists of omens that I can reflect upon, and the lack of records is a conscious choice on my part.
My work with the various spirits within the priesthood has varied. As when I was writing Discipline 2, I still do not have any real connection to any of the sky spirits. They do not call to me, and my attempts to connect with them have not given any results. When working with the more earthly spirits, I do have some connection. This is mostly because of the work my grove does with the local land spirits within our rituals. One example of this is our Imbolc/Groundhog's Day ritual where we honor the groundhog as one would a deity in our ritual.
My work with the Ancient Wise has not changed greatly. For me, doing trance work after a full day’s worth of work does not work for me as I will just fall asleep. Combined with myself not having any connection to working with moon phases, I have not done the monthly mound journey. Instead, I do mound journeys before every ritual I perform. I have found that vising at these times works well for me. I have also started building some allies within these spirits, and have felt their guidance during rituals. I have also had the pleasure of seeing both Isaac and Raven in my mound journeys, and have spent some time with them there.
The biggest changes to my practice ultimately fall under the heading of trance. I have completed the Initiates Program since consecration where the trance coursework was what held me up. My skills in trance have definitely increased from what they were when I was consecrated, and immensely since I started the program. I am now able to go into a trance when I need to, assuming I've got enough energy, and do various work while in the trance. One thing I got out of my initiation was that I need to continue heading down the oracular path with my trance work, being told by multiple beings during my initiation.
Another part of the trance work that has expanded comes in the realm of possessionary work. This last summer I had the pleasure of taking an intensive with Diana Paxson on possession, horsing Odin at the end of the week. This work has brought me closer to Odin, and has added some interesting aspects to my life. The biggest part being that he now feels that he can just talk to me any time to get me to do what he wants. Nothing like opening yourself up and becoming god bothered. Needless to say though, this has brought me closer to him, and the skill has opened up possibilities for my oracular work.
The oracular work is really where I have changed my practice. I have taken what I learned from Diana Paxon a few years ago and have applied my personal touch to it based off of other experiences I have had in the past year or two. Conversations with Patty Lafayllve have shifted my views on the group trance used in the standard Hrafnar practice. This resulted in me doing the work with a more basic blot format without the group journey. This will obviously continue to evolve as I do more work with it, including a planned teaching of the skills in the future.
Ultimately, my practice has changed in some aspects, but in many others it has not changed. I have found myself gravitating towards a more minimal ritual practice similar to a blot, and making it work within an ADF context.