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Author Topic: Self-Dedication  (Read 2931 times)

ForeverLearning

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Self-Dedication
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:00:21 pm »
In my search for a more suitable Pagan religion, I have something that has been nagging me for a while, and I wasn't sure exactly what catagory to place it in.

For almost a year I've been practicing Wicca. I understand that most people are introduced to this and then move on, which is kind of what I'm starting to do too (though I do feel a huge pull towards the religion; I most likely will still be affected by it). But something is keeping me from advancing: April 2011, I actually self-dedicated myself to Wicca. I planned on doing a year and a day practice to give me time to research and explore before fully deciding on it. I've been having some trouble dissassociating myself from Wicca, especially since I did the dedication. I don't know if it holds me to this religion or not. And in order to explore I HAVE to let go, for a little while at least. So..what's your opinion, does a dedication chain one to a religion by obligation or not? Did you ever feel so close to a religion but then suddenly wanted something else, and how did you deal with the changes? What were the outcomes?

I've tried to refrain from bothering anybody about this but it won't leave me be. I think learning other people's stories will help me in some measure.
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 06:38:36 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29315


 
All you've promised is a year and a day, not a lifetime.  What's wrong with saving your explorations 'til after that is done?

We generally advise people against dedications without time limits, unless they are very sure.  What you've done is one step up from a promise.  If you fail your commitment now what's the point of making another?

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And I die for the truth in my secret life

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Aster Breo

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 06:46:01 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29315
April 2011, I actually self-dedicated myself to Wicca. I planned on doing a year and a day practice to give me time to research and explore before fully deciding on it. I've been having some trouble dissassociating myself from Wicca, especially since I did the dedication. I don't know if it holds me to this religion or not.

 
It wouldn't have been a very effective dedication if it didn't hold you to the religion, at least for the specified time period, would it?

Seriously, I think you have to consider exactly what you promised to do and why, as well as what the consequences would be for breaking that promise.  And how would you feel about yourself if you break this dedication?  How will you feel about it if you want to make a dedication in the future?

IME, keeping one's promises is usually better than breaking them.  Especially if the promise was made to a deity.

The only dedication I've ever done is to Brighid.  I don't even want to think about how miserable I'd be if I broke it.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

ForeverLearning

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 06:51:46 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;29322
It wouldn't have been a very effective dedication if it didn't hold you to the religion, at least for the specified time period, would it?

Seriously, I think you have to consider exactly what you promised to do and why, as well as what the consequences would be for breaking that promise.  And how would you feel about yourself if you break this dedication?  How will you feel about it if you want to make a dedication in the future?

IME, keeping one's promises is usually better than breaking them.  Especially if the promise was made to a deity.

The only dedication I've ever done is to Brighid.  I don't even want to think about how miserable I'd be if I broke it.

 
The problem is, I can't shake the feeling that I've made somewhat of a mistake in dedicating myself. But it felt right at the time. I believe I simply dedicated myself to the craft and learning and improving on it. I'm beginning to wonder if feeling lost is just part of the test. But I despise limitations; it's my greatest flaw. I could just as easily be happier in some other religion now that I'm exploring others. I'm not sure what happens when April comes around again. It was only a year of study, and maybe this is part of it.

Thank you. I'll definatly seriously consider everything, I'm just not sure if this is the path I want to take. (I only made the promise to myself, and sadly I break those all the time. Promises to others, very very rarily, unless they say it's okay).
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

Aster Breo

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2011, 06:55:56 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29323
I'm just not sure if this is the path I want to take.

 
Something else to consider:  Did you promise to study Wicca exclusively?  If not, can you  add some other topics to your current studying to help you explore a wider scope?
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

ForeverLearning

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2011, 06:58:16 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;29326
Something else to consider:  Did you promise to study Wicca exclusively?  If not, can you  add some other topics to your current studying to help you explore a wider scope?

 
I believe I did say the Craft, but I didn't exactly ban myself from exploring other stuff either. I usually give myself loose guidelines, I probably figure I'd be searching other stuff. It was in all honestly a very loose dedication. I can definatly re-interpert it to mean Paganism in general (or more likely witchcraft and god-service in general).
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

ForeverLearning

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2011, 08:06:30 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;29326
Something else to consider:  Did you promise to study Wicca exclusively?  If not, can you  add some other topics to your current studying to help you explore a wider scope?

 
But taking your comments into consideration, I feel that the best thing is to continure researching and include exploration of other religions in my research. The year-and-a-day mak can be used to either continue in Wicca, break away from it, or choose to give myself more studying time until I feel I have achieved a deciding point.
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

Asch

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 08:07:40 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29328
I believe I did say the Craft, but I didn't exactly ban myself from exploring other stuff either. I usually give myself loose guidelines, I probably figure I'd be searching other stuff. It was in all honestly a very loose dedication. I can definatly re-interpert it to mean Paganism in general (or more likely witchcraft and god-service in general).

 
Another thing you may want to consider is finding a coven or open group to spend some time with. AFAIK Wicca even Neo-Wicca is designed to be a group kind of experience, at the least it may give you a clearer perception/idea/experience of the religion before you pack it in altogether.

HeartShadow

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 06:43:15 am »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29323
The problem is, I can't shake the feeling that I've made somewhat of a mistake in dedicating myself. But it felt right at the time. I believe I simply dedicated myself to the craft and learning and improving on it. I'm beginning to wonder if feeling lost is just part of the test. But I despise limitations; it's my greatest flaw. I could just as easily be happier in some other religion now that I'm exploring others. I'm not sure what happens when April comes around again. It was only a year of study, and maybe this is part of it.

Thank you. I'll definatly seriously consider everything, I'm just not sure if this is the path I want to take. (I only made the promise to myself, and sadly I break those all the time. Promises to others, very very rarily, unless they say it's okay).

 
Well, you HAVE learned - you've learned it doesn't fit.  That's important knowledge right there, and if you needed the dedication to learn it, that's still useful knowledge.

Now I think you need to spend some time figuring out WHY it doesn't fit and what's lacking/wrong for you.  You're spending that year studying - might as well USE it!

caelestisraven

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 03:08:31 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29315
Did you ever feel so close to a religion but then suddenly wanted something else, and how did you deal with the changes? What were the outcomes?


When I first discovered paganism I walked smack into Wicca. I loved it. It opened all these doors and thoughts that I never even knew existed. Everything I had already believed even though it was not clearly defined yet were right in line with the path.

It was a long time ago so I can't remember exactly how long I stuck with Wicca. But I do remember how I felt. After a while it began to feel like I was a square peg trying to stuff myself into a round hole. While I was close, I just didn't fit perfectly.

And it was a horrid feeling. I had finally found something I loved and cared about and wanted to explore and now had feelings that it wasn't right. It was a struggle.

I decided to step back and really figure out what I believed and going from there. Which quite quickly I found the Dianic path and it was the right one for me.

I honestly think you should finish the year with the last few months here. Not just get up and cut all ties with Wicca. But I don't think being dedicated means you close your senses to everything but the focus of Wicca. It doesn't have to mean all or nothing IMO. You could use this time to go through each aspect of Wicca and see what it is you like, what feels right, and what feels wrong. Find out what you truly think, feel, believe.

You could also do a cleansing ritual to help yourself overcome these feelings you are having. To release yourself up to explore your spirituality. it may just really help you feel alot better about the entire situation.
♥ I walk in the shadow of the moon, I dance to the pulse of the earth. ♥

My Blog..¤°.¸¸.•´¯`»http://moonkissedraven.blogspot.com/ ›●‹

ForeverLearning

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2011, 05:34:11 pm »
Quote from: caelestisraven;29438
When I first discovered paganism I walked smack into Wicca. I loved it. It opened all these doors and thoughts that I never even knew existed. Everything I had already believed even though it was not clearly defined yet were right in line with the path.

It was a long time ago so I can't remember exactly how long I stuck with Wicca. But I do remember how I felt. After a while it began to feel like I was a square peg trying to stuff myself into a round hole. While I was close, I just didn't fit perfectly.

And it was a horrid feeling. I had finally found something I loved and cared about and wanted to explore and now had feelings that it wasn't right. It was a struggle.

I decided to step back and really figure out what I believed and going from there. Which quite quickly I found the Dianic path and it was the right one for me.

I honestly think you should finish the year with the last few months here. Not just get up and cut all ties with Wicca. But I don't think being dedicated means you close your senses to everything but the focus of Wicca. It doesn't have to mean all or nothing IMO. You could use this time to go through each aspect of Wicca and see what it is you like, what feels right, and what feels wrong. Find out what you truly think, feel, believe.

You could also do a cleansing ritual to help yourself overcome these feelings you are having. To release yourself up to explore your spirituality. it may just really help you feel alot better about the entire situation.

 
Thank you all for the advice. I will continue to study and expand. I guess it's a little too soon to worry about what label I should paste on myself. Most people take years to find one.
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

sephira

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 11:25:37 am »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29552
Thank you all for the advice. I will continue to study and expand. I guess it's a little too soon to worry about what label I should paste on myself. Most people take years to find one.

 
Exactly right! Most people DO take years to find one and some don't find one, they make their own! Good Luck in exploring your path!
"If it ain\'t fun, it ain\'t worth doing!"

ForeverLearning

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 05:48:58 pm »
Quote from: sephira;29652
Exactly right! Most people DO take years to find one and some don't find one, they make their own! Good Luck in exploring your path!

 
Thank you :) I've slowly been allowing myself the right to studywithout worrying about labels, and it's helping.
My occupation? I don\'t really have one--but in my spare time I look through my telescope searching for that curious man in the flying blue box.

MoonChild78

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 01:26:01 am »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29315


For almost a year I've been practicing Wicca. I understand that most people are introduced to this and then move on, which is kind of what I'm starting to do too (though I do feel a huge pull towards the religion; I most likely will still be affected by it). But something is keeping me from advancing: April 2011, I actually self-dedicated myself to Wicca. I planned on doing a year and a day practice to give me time to research and explore before fully deciding on it. I've been having some trouble dissassociating myself from Wicca, especially since I did the dedication. I don't know if it holds me to this religion or not. And in order to explore I HAVE to let go, for a little while at least. So..what's your opinion,


Could the fact that you did a dedication just be freaking you out now and that's why your running?  Just a thought... I know it did for me after mine like "OMG I just left this other religion and now I'm throwing myself into this one... UUGH!!".

My advise is relax, breath and let it be.  Meditate and see where the Gods lead you... it might be surprising!!

Best of Luck
*BB

AmberHeart

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Re: Self-Dedication
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 12:05:28 pm »
Quote from: ForeverLearning;29323
The problem is, I can't shake the feeling that I've made somewhat of a mistake in dedicating myself. But it felt right at the time. I believe I simply dedicated myself to the craft and learning and improving on it. I'm beginning to wonder if feeling lost is just part of the test. But I despise limitations; it's my greatest flaw. I could just as easily be happier in some other religion now that I'm exploring others. I'm not sure what happens when April comes around again. It was only a year of study, and maybe this is part of it.

Thank you. I'll definatly seriously consider everything, I'm just not sure if this is the path I want to take. (I only made the promise to myself, and sadly I break those all the time. Promises to others, very very rarily, unless they say it's okay).


The Religion of Wicca is only ONE of the modern religions of Witchcraft. The Craft (with diverse frameworks) exists across many different modern Witchcraft Traditions. All autonmous, whether shared or individual. So if that is what you self-dedicated to, it doesn't need to even involve Wicca. All Wiccans are Witches but all Witches are not Wiccans, in other words. And if Witchcraft isn't where you fit, then better to find that out sooner than later.

And while the mileage may vary on this (as more than a few authors have claimed), as I understand it from within a properly trained lineaged Wiccan framework, you may Self-Dedicate yourself to the Gods of Wicca or specific gods but not to the Religion itself as a whole. Each Tradition and Coven and indeed each Witch are considered autonomous so the 'Religion of Wicca' functions more as an overarching label than indicating a monolithic entity with a hierarchical authority like The Church for example that one make an oath to.

Which is another reason why you can't Self-Initiate and why you can be Initiated into a Coven and/or Tradition by others but that initiation isn't valid within any other Wiccan Trad or Coven.

Amber

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