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Author Topic: Dedications, Professions, Oaths, Oh My!  (Read 16560 times)
Hyacinth Belle
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« Reply #15: December 30, 2009, 10:21:21 pm »

I had an issue with worthiness for a while, too.  (Still do, sometimes.)  What I discovered was when I brought that issue up with Brighid, Her response was something like "Well, then BE worthy.  What's the problem?  What are you waiting for?"

Essentially, I think She was saying that "worthiness" is a choice, and I was copping out by claiming to not be worthy.  Whatever that means.
ha. Yeah, I KNOW I use things like this as an excuse.

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"Experienced enough" is a different thing, I think.  How will you know when you have enough experience?  And what kind of experience do you need to acquire?
Hmm... I'm not quite sure. I don't know that it's a certain "kind" of experience as much as the hands-on, ingrained experience that comes with simply practicing one's faith day-to-day. I think it goes back to the "never enough time to do things the way I would want to." I never have enough time to read everything I want, never have time to meditate as I want, to perhaps meet with people NOT in cyberspace, etc. Probably just excuses, but I don't feel satisfied regardless. I keep thinking that "after I finish college" I'll have allllll the time to do everything I want in the world. lol. Going to school full time and working 24ish hours a week and trying to keep up with family and boyfriend and ride once a week is a lot, no doubt. But JUST working full time is no picnic either.

I'm getting into (well, am already into) a big personal ramble here, so I'll stop! The point being I'm fully aware the only way I'll get the kind of "experience" I want is to just do it. Make it work. Somehow. And it is working, it's just painfully slow and so much of my life is focused elsewhere "at the moment."
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"She who stands on tiptoe / doesn't stand firm. / She who rushes ahead / doesn't go far. / She who tries to shine / dims her own light. / She who defines herself / can't know who she really is. / She who has power over others / can't empower herself. / She who clings to her work / will create nothing that endures. / If you want to accord with the Tao, / just do your job, then let go." ~ Tao Te Ching, chp. 24

"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

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« Reply #16: December 31, 2009, 06:11:13 am »

Hmm... I'm not quite sure. I don't know that it's a certain "kind" of experience as much as the hands-on, ingrained experience that comes with simply practicing one's faith day-to-day.

Well...  You know there's only one way to get that kind of experience, right?  Smiley

(And I had a whole long ramble about doing what you could, even if it wasn't everything you wanted to be able to do, and then realized you'd sort of said more or less that yourself, so...  um...  nevermind.)
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« Reply #17: January 03, 2010, 04:49:44 pm »

  • If you have dedicated yourself (professed, sworn an oath, et. al.), how did you know you were ready?

I'm going to admit right now that my dedication was an entirely spontaneous decision.  I was in the surf on Christmas Day, and it was overcast, and I was reminded very strongly of an image/vision thing I had before I found Manannan, which I realise now was a sign that I belonged to Him.  I started talking about being His, and whatever I felt I wanted to say, both to Him and to myself, and I got a message back saying, in a way, "Good.  That's what I wanted/you needed".

So although it's a big commitment, and I realise that it'll hold me to Him forever, I don't feel like I'll ever regret it at all.  Sort of like...I was already His anyway, so what was the harm in making sure I knew it right down to the core? 
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« Reply #18: January 03, 2010, 05:54:43 pm »

This was inspired in part by the Jump Starting Your Faith? thread, but thought it worthy of a new discussion. There is also a similar, excellent thread here from a few years ago. I don't claim to have read it all yet, but it seems a bit different than what I'm thinking here...

  • If you have dedicated yourself (professed, sworn an oath, et. al.), how did you know you were ready?
  • More specifically, I'm somewhat interested in if anyone has dedicated to a specific path or religion, rather than a specific god/dess as appears more common on TC. (I'm thinking more like an Asatru profession or Christian confirmation.) How did you come to that decision? If you like, feel free to share what you did or what that entailed.
  • Alternately, if you have NOT professed or dedicated yourself, why not? Do you think you would in the future, why or why not?

I'm curious because I don't think I am, and haven't really ever thought I was, currently in a state to dedicate myself to a patron deity. I just have a hunch like that's not something I would do. And there is lots of other discussion around here about doing that. On the other hand, I could see myself professing or making an oath with Asatru or the Aesir and Vanir more generally. I'm also interested in how people make such a decision, how you knew it was time.

Don't hesitate to add anything else, of course. Thanks in advance!


Well, I personally tend to be pretty wary of oaths and dedications. It reminds me too much of the form of Christianity I was previously a part of and a dedicant of. I do call myself a dedicant to Apollo, Artemis, and a few other Hellenic deities, but the word is not really fitting.

My path itself warns against oaths and covenants so I don't feel it is really neccesary. I might make a short-term commitment or vow during sacrifice as per the law of reciprocity, but it is not a life-long thing. Understanding psychology like I do, I tend to know that I may not believe what I do now for very much longer. It is generally accepted that one's personality changes in a fairly cyclical pattern (not cyclical in that it reverts to past beliefs neccesarily, just cyclical in that one spends a certain amount of time in each part of the cycle) so it is not fair to commit to one thing and then change one's mind a few years or even a decade later.

I take commitments seriously in all parts of my life. My fiance and I, for example, have commited that once we get married the word divorce does not exist between us. Whether this holds water when things get down to the nitty gritty I cannot say. However, we are seriously considering a mutual pre-nup that states we cannot sue for divorce.

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« Reply #19: January 03, 2010, 07:00:01 pm »

I take commitments seriously in all parts of my life. My fiance and I, for example, have commited that once we get married the word divorce does not exist between us. Whether this holds water when things get down to the nitty gritty I cannot say. However, we are seriously considering a mutual pre-nup that states we cannot sue for divorce.

I know you don't listen to me, but I HAVE to say that's a bad idea.

No one goes into marriage expecting a divorce.  Or we wouldn't bother.  THAT SAID- having the option can be really important.  Most of the time, when people do weird things to "stop" divorce, what they're doing is setting themselves up for it.

Let's say something DOES happen that breaks the contract between you two.  Now you've got that prenup that says you can't divorce.  Now what?  Murder?

No one says you have to USE that option.  I've been with my husband for over ten years, and I have no intent of getting rid of him ever.  That said, I would NEVER sign ANYTHING which restricts my rights to something like divorce - not because I want it for myself, but because it's something that's important to be available.

I hope you never need it - but taking the option off the table to the point of swearing to it in a prenup?  Just makes your options harder down the road.
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« Reply #20: January 03, 2010, 07:03:43 pm »

Understanding psychology like I do, I tend to know that I may not believe what I do now for very much longer. It is generally accepted that one's personality changes in a fairly cyclical pattern (not cyclical in that it reverts to past beliefs neccesarily, just cyclical in that one spends a certain amount of time in each part of the cycle) so it is not fair to commit to one thing and then change one's mind a few years or even a decade later.

I take commitments seriously in all parts of my life. My fiance and I, for example, have commited that once we get married the word divorce does not exist between us. Whether this holds water when things get down to the nitty gritty I cannot say. However, we are seriously considering a mutual pre-nup that states we cannot sue for divorce.

I am really confused how you can not only put these two sentences together in one post, but how you can live them both at the same time. You decide that long commitments and oaths are a bad idea because people change, yet you want to remove the possibility to extricate yourself from a marriage in the future? There is absolutely no logic here.
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« Reply #21: January 03, 2010, 07:31:55 pm »

I take commitments seriously in all parts of my life. My fiance and I, for example, have commited that once we get married the word divorce does not exist between us. Whether this holds water when things get down to the nitty gritty I cannot say. However, we are seriously considering a mutual pre-nup that states we cannot sue for divorce.
Shocked Shocked Shocked

That sounds like you believe the only reason people divorce is because they took the commitment lightly.

I'd tell you to go do some research, but we already know how that goes.

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« Reply #22: January 03, 2010, 08:26:41 pm »

I am really confused how you can not only put these two sentences together in one post, but how you can live them both at the same time. You decide that long commitments and oaths are a bad idea because people change, yet you want to remove the possibility to extricate yourself from a marriage in the future? There is absolutely no logic here.
Well, the problem is not really in the oath but in the danger of breaking it. Obviously a broken oath to a deity is more likely to cause problems than one to a human.

In re: HeartShadow's post -
Yes, I agree, a prenup is going much too far. The idea has come up, however. A verbal agreement should be enough between soul mates.

Personalities change once every fifteen years they say. Or was it seven? In any case, whose to say in another year or so you won't feel the same. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, but still.

 
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« Reply #23: January 03, 2010, 08:45:12 pm »

Shocked Shocked Shocked

That sounds like you believe the only reason people divorce is because they took the commitment lightly.

I'd tell you to go do some research, but we already know how that goes.

Sunflower
I did not realize I made that implication. If I did, that was not my intention.

I did not express dislike for research in general. Only that I did not really enjoy researching certain scientific topics. Also, I would appreciate you not making inter-thread judgements of me.
If you have a problem with what I am saying, attack what I am saying. Bringing up personal issues is not a good debate tactic. Not to lecture you or anything. I am aware you are more than capable of composing a well-thought out debate response without attempting insults. I welcome
all personal messages, even insults to my intelligence or character. Feel free to message me if you have a problem, but I don't enjoy it beong brought up across threads.
(I am not getting uppity here, or playong mod. I am merely expressing my distaste for these snide comment. You're more than welcome to continue as you are, just pointing out that I am
not doing that to anyone amd never have. Anything further in this vein will be ignored. Thank you.) 

To add to my other post:
I made a mistake saying we had seriously considered the prenup, it has come up before.
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« Reply #24: January 03, 2010, 08:50:11 pm »


We can only judge what you say here. And despite your protests, you have shown a general disinterest in learning anything to do with the subject that you were discussing that did not support your own ideas. And a thread isn't a vacuum; we are a community, and what happens in one part of the community will inevitably come up in another part. You are repeatedly back-tracking your comments and re-explaining yourself, so perhaps you should focus on being clear and precise in your meaning to avoid implications that don't accurately reflect your beliefs or opinions.
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« Reply #25: January 03, 2010, 10:08:36 pm »

We can only judge what you say here. And despite your protests, you have shown a general disinterest in learning anything to do with the subject that you were discussing that did not support your own ideas. And a thread isn't a vacuum; we are a community, and what happens in one part of the community will inevitably come up in another part. You are repeatedly back-tracking your comments and re-explaining yourself, so perhaps you should focus on being clear and precise in your meaning to avoid implications that don't accurately reflect your beliefs or opinions.

True enough, for the most part.

In any case I seem to have given you all the wrong impression as I actually rather enjoy learning most things. Anyway, that is enough rehashing of old complaints for me. I just feel slighted sometimes, that is all.

I will do my best to be more clear in my initial posts, however, as that certainly is sound advice. Thank you all for pointing that out very clearly.
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« Reply #26: January 03, 2010, 10:52:58 pm »

If you have a problem with what I am saying, attack what I am saying. Bringing up personal issues is not a good debate tactic. Not to lecture you or anything. I am aware you are more than capable of composing a well-thought out debate response without attempting insults.


HOST HAT ONPLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MODERATE OTHER MEMBERS BY TELLING THEM HOW TO POST OR WHAT THEY MAY OR MAY NOT POST -- THAT'S IN THE RULES. Go READ THEM WORD FOR WORD AGAIN. No personal issues -- let alone insults -- were brought up in the post you are replying to -- at least not as the Hosts and Staff of this board define them -- and my definition is the only one that counts on this issue on this message board.

What you have said in other threads certainly may be referenced without it being considered a personal issue/insult. To disallow references to statements made in other threads would allow absurd situations such as  a member arguing the same issue in contradictory ways in two threads and no one would be able to point this out to those not reading the other thread.

Yes, you are playing mod here (you don't get to decree that you aren't) and I do not like it. It's a new year, and I'm in a generous mood or you would be banned since you have been gagged for rules issues within the last few months.

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« Reply #27: January 03, 2010, 11:06:18 pm »

My path itself warns against oaths and covenants so I don't feel it is really neccesary. I might make a short-term commitment or vow during sacrifice as per the law of reciprocity, but it is not a life-long thing. Understanding psychology like I do, I tend to know that I may not believe what I do now for very much longer. It is generally accepted that one's personality changes in a fairly cyclical pattern (not cyclical in that it reverts to past beliefs neccesarily, just cyclical in that one spends a certain amount of time in each part of the cycle) so it is not fair to commit to one thing and then change one's mind a few years or even a decade later.
Not going into the divorce thing really, but I agree I'm confused by your post. Do you think it impossible to stick with something over time or imprudent to even try?

I agree that people and personalities change... I'd be rather worried if they didn't. Life is all about growing; growing implies some sort of change. I think an oath; such as to a deity, path, or spouse; should have enough built-in flexibility so as to allow for the change that is a part of life. The nature of the relationship of the oath may or may not change as time goes on, and IMO that's ok. And I tend to agree "it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." So even if you end up changing or dissolving an oath, it's not the end of the world and the experience was hopefully a learning one.
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"Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15
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« Reply #28: January 03, 2010, 11:23:42 pm »



  • If you have dedicated yourself (professed, sworn an oath, et. al.), how did you know you were ready?
  • More specifically, I'm somewhat interested in if anyone has dedicated to a specific path or religion, rather than a specific god/dess as appears more common on TC. (I'm thinking more like an Asatru profession or Christian confirmation.) How did you come to that decision? If you like, feel free to share what you did or what that entailed.

I did a brief self-invented dedication ceremony many years ago, dedicating myself to a pagan path. It was more an acknowledgement of what had already happened.

I waited until my holiest day of the year (the summer solstice) in a year when it coincided with the full moon. I'd arranged to be in one of my most treasured wild places for the weekend, and at dawn I climbed to the highest local point, voiced a short dedication/invocation, and anointed myself with some oil I'd bought at a witchcraft store back in the city. (I felt a bit silly with the oil, and still kind of wince, since it's not really very "me", but whatever.)

I asked for a sign, got one immediately (and got a second one later at midday, though I didn't recognize it at the time), and spent the rest of the day as I usually celebrate the summer solstice: staying outdoors all day until sunset.[/list]
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« Reply #29: January 04, 2010, 01:36:14 am »

Not going into the divorce thing really, but I agree I'm confused by your post. Do you think it impossible to stick with something over time or imprudent to even try?

I agree that people and personalities change... I'd be rather worried if they didn't. Life is all about growing; growing implies some sort of change. I think an oath; such as to a deity, path, or spouse; should have enough built-in flexibility so as to allow for the change that is a part of life. The nature of the relationship of the oath may or may not change as time goes on, and IMO that's ok. And I tend to agree "it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." So even if you end up changing or dissolving an oath, it's not the end of the world and the experience was hopefully a learning one.
No, oaths are not impossible to keep, just very difficult.

Very prudent of you. I have to agree that flexibility would have to be built in to most oaths. What I am wary of are binding, lifelong dedications or vows. These can be risky.

I also concede that it is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all. A phrase that might be more applicable here, perhaps, but potato potāto and all that.
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