Forest Kitsula

First Oath

Did my first oath (which is a suggested part of the Dedicant's Path) tonight at the Three Cranes Grove Druid Moon. I offered to Saraswati and asked her to guide me before hand since see had been coming through strong lately and had seemed to have been taking special interest when I had my membership ceremony.

Here is what I oathed:

I, Kitsula Tsulakala, stand here in the place between the worlds.

I am grateful for the blessings of the gods, spirits, and ancestors.

I now embark upon the Druid's path and shall practice with brightness, purity, and sincerity.

I will dedicate myself to serve and benefit the world and all beings who cross my path.

I shall deepen my knowledge & wisdom through study of the ways of the gods and practices of the ancestors.

From my heart, I will humbly follow the ancient path with sincerity.

Thus, I shall walk this path with wisdom, levity, and purpose – where I shall go I cannot say – but the great purpose is often in the journey as it is in the destination.

This I say before the kindreds and those gathered here who walk in wisdom.

I also vowed to be rootless and and wander without a (spiritual) home if I broke this oath (which would require me to act grossly out of charter to do so).

The day before I took the oath it seemed like the Earth, Sea, and Sky were crashing down upon me - at least coming to and going from Springfield for rpb3000's Housewarming/MLP:FiM Season Finale party. I got very lost several times, people cutting me off, car having issues, bad storms, heavy fog, car somehow skidding out and knocked off road by wind/very wet road, a very aggressive panhandler who was seeming like he was going to mug or carjack me every heading to my passenger side door (which was thankfully locked).

I somewhat wonder if the weirdly difficult journey was due to my audio choice a podcast on Hindu mythology and Mantras which seemed to be on a good stretch about the 'misunderstood' planets Saturn & Mars along with chanting calling down the power of those two planets through what seemed the entire car ride.

Had a few issues today (massive brain fart when asked a simple question, bugs biting all over me (and not until after I put on bug repellent), small mala's varnish melting all over my wrist due to bug repellent. Though I have to say things have gone smoother after the oath. When I got home pulled 19 on the Kau Cim after inquiring about my oath & path:

Since it is a very fortunate and the picture in the poems booklet featured Cranes I'm taking that as a very auspicious omen. Also pulled Kichi (blessing) on Electric Samurai's Cyber Shrine

All in all looks rather good.
Fox Razzie

THS: Once upon a time in the Magical Land of Equestria...

Well here it is everypony!

Goddess Celestia

My new essay on
My Little Pony Mythology is up and it's also my first real post on my new blog for this type of crap 'Tea House of the Spirits'. I'll be putting my essays and review stuff from now on to the Tea House to kinda separate it from my personal blog.

Once upon a time in the Magical Land of Equestria...

Buddha & Herakles

Of hearth and home culture...

I've been wondering more and more about the Hearth culture I should take for my ADF studies recently. I was heading towards focusing on Roman hearth (with some light dual vedic hearth for Saraswati) but when I was at my shrine earlier in the day before my initiation as a full member of Three Cranes Grove last month I felt Saraswati very strongly. I also felt that she was taking particular interest and making herself known. So now I'm thinking on making Vedic culture my primary hearth which fits rather well with my current mismash.

Saraswati is one of my primary patrons though really I came into contact with her though one of my other primary patrons the Shinto Kami Inari. To explain how I came into contact with a Vedic goddess by way of Japan let me first explain a few things: Saraswati came to Japan with the coming of Buddhism (her most common Japanese name being Benzaiten). What popularized her veneration was the Golden Light Sutra (specifically Chapter 8). In time she became rather popular to the point that when Buddhism and Shinto were separated during the Meiji era Saraswati was given Shinto rites, Shinto Shrines, and more or less naturalized into Japan's native religion Shinto. I could go into a long discussion on the adoption of Indian deities into Japan but that would make this entry go well off track. If you're interested I would recommend Upendra Thakur's India and Japan: A Study in Interaction During 5th Cent.-14th Cent. A.D. as a decent introduction to the topic. Though it is interesting to note that some Vedic deities attained positions of honor they did not attain in Post-Vedic India or anywhere else where Buddhism spread.

Anyways in some versions of Japanese beliefs Saraswati/Benzaiten and Inari are forms of one another, in some others she is hir consort, but in any case they are often associated and their shrines will often be close together.

I've had a number of mind-blowing encounters with Saraswati - the greatest when I went on a religious studies class trip to the Bharatiya Hindu Temple in 2007 where I felt her presence very strongly and her statue seemed to be animated with a smile forming on her face. One of her arms seemed to be moving and her fingers were advancing her mala.

With a rather close connection with Saraswati and her appearance in the Shinto & Buddhism systems that form part of my personal practice it seems obvious that she would make a good guide and bridge to ease into an ADF hearth culture.

However my main obstacle with looking into a Vedic hearth culture are my issues with "Vedic Reconstructionism". One issue that I see which is rife in "Vedic Reconstructionism" is a undercurrent of almost outright hostility to Hinduism. One event left some bad tastes in my mouth that I remember seeing an old BeliefNet thread where a VR was arguing in a rather nasty fashion with a Hindu Brahmin that the Brahmin's traditions were illegitimate & corrupt and that he, the VR, was the true Brahmin. This and similar arguments are very much the worst kind of cultural appropriation and imperialism - pure and simple.

Buddhism, Jainism, and the various forms of Hinduism may all differ from Vedism but they all bear its stamp - they are like cuttings from the fallen tree of the Vedic religion. Sure the religions of India changed greatly at the end of the Vedic period - for that matter changes were occurring during the Vedic Period for that matter with the Upanishads and the works of the Forest Sages. It is from the Upanishads and commentaries the Forest Sages that a lot of the ideas and concepts that form pillars of Hindu thought first appear. In many cases Vedic rituals were reinterpreted in the various forms of Hinduism. I may be wrong here but I always assumed the most important qualifier here was Othopraxy not Orthodoxy. Also while forms of Hinduism may be Monist in philosophy on the level of ritual they are often Polytheist - again is Othopraxy or Orthodoxy the change? Also do modern 'Neo-Pagan' have much ground to criticize the reinterpretation and updating of an ancient ritual?

One great insight which Algernon Sidney Crapsey's The Ways of the Gods had was the Wax and Wane of the popularity of Deities & Saints according to conditions and needs of the people at the time. The end of the Vedic era was a time of great transition and from that transition the Vedic religion split off into Buddhism, Jainism, and various forms of 'Hinduism'. Because religion of the peoples of India changed over time to new conditions and some deities became far less important means that the tradition is 'illegitimate' and utterly divorced from its roots in Vedism? Also what of the still living Śrauta tradition?

So given these issues I have some trepidation with taking a Vedic hearth culture for my ADF studies. I still intend to learn especially now with Saraswati nudging me down that road.

Also just a cavet - I'm more familar with Buddhism and forms of Hinduism than Vedism proper. My main issue is not how 'Vedic' Hinduism is - my issue is the current that seems to almost demonize Hinduism and claim Vedic traditions while denying the validity of later Indian religions and their traditions as having a root in this source. In essence it's spiritual imperialism and doing spiritually what the British Empire did physically to the Indian Subcontinent.

Now that I've probably pissed off a bunch of people with my possibly ill-conceived rant I'm going to get off this soap box. I was tiredish when I wrote this so please excuse the typos and other possible errors.

Laughing Fox

How do I break dream?

I woke up from this dream a little bit ago.

I was this guy who looked and acted kind of like George from being human and I was in this car traveling with someone who looked kind of like this Britney girl from work. I was not really in control of this guy just seeming to be acting and going through the motions. Long story short some generic horror cliches with the creepy guy a the gas station who randomly expounds about the beast (werewolf) seen occasionally up the road. My guy is all scared and nerviness and then the car broke down. He and the girl got out and moments later they hear a howl and see a large wolf down the road. So instead of doing the sensible thing and getting back in the car they decide to scream and run.

Georgy boy gets bit on his right leg (kind of about rear shin area) but he and the girl beat off the wolf and it runs off. Georgey starts thinking "Fuck! I'm going to be a werewolf" and then I kind full of take over and the thoughts turn to 'FUCK YEAH! I'm turning into a wolf now!!!". I then turn into a wolf and run off into the forest and enjoy it for a time and enjoying the semi-familiar form until I feel myself booted out of the body. Georgy suddenly reverts to human and as I rocket off he's naked in the fetal position crying like a baby before starting to head back. I got the impression that I was bounced for disrupting the dream narrative. I then work up and it was exactly midnight.

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Dharmapāla Kitsula


Why have you chosen to take the first steps on the Dedicant Path?

Mostly I seek to understand Ár nDraíocht Féin and the western ways better and to hopefully move on to other study programs within ADF.

Is this a step on your path, or will it become the path itself?

The DP is a step on the path, though I hope that some of the steps can be taken off the staircase and cobbled into my current path to widen it and fix some potholes.

What do you expect to learn?

I expect to delve deeper into Indo-European ways and pantheons and participate more heartily into the current Neo-Pagan community.

What would you like to get out of this journey?

A greater appreciation of the Neo-Pagan community and a greater understanding of I-E cultures.

Do you know where this path will take you?

No I do not, but then I often take random paths and find amazing things while managing to go where I was headed.

If you have just joined ADF, why have you chosen to work on this immediately?

I feel it will help me delve deeper into ADF and help me acclimate to ADF's modes and traditions.

Which requirements appear to be difficult to you now, and which appear to be easy?

The hardest requirement will probably be the Virtues Essay since I feel I will have to look at some very personal issues involving a few of the virtues. The easiest by far appear to be the book reports.

Do you have doubts, questions, or concerns that you need to ask about?

Nope. Most of my questions have been answered by TCG members.