Dedicant Oath

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Dedicant Oath Text:

“Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Shining Ones, Kindreds all, hear my oath! Gods of the North, hear my oath! I commit myself to the paths of druidry and heathenry primarily.

I vow to learn the lore of the ancients. I vow to deepen my knowledge of the ancient ways. And I vow to honor the kindreds on my path. Do you [audience] accept my vows?

May this hammer remind me of the oath I made today [put on hammer]. I swear this to Freyr and Freya, to Odin, and to Thor. To the gods, to the spirits, and to the ancestors, I give this offering.

I thank the Kindreds and my community for hearing my oath.”

I sometimes find it hard to speak up, especially when nervous. And I was definitely nervous. So I made sure to make my voice louder than I wanted to. I also tried to memorize it as much as possible, but I kept a copy of it on me what I did the oath. I also bought a bottle of nice mead and gave the whole bottle as my oath offering. I decided to do this because I included all the kindreds, the Norse gods in generally, and then four different Norse gods. I figured mead was appropriate for the many beings I called in. There were also four people either unfamiliar with the DP or with ADF altogether, so I did have a teaching moment before I began my oath. I simply explained what I was doing, that I was going to ask them as question, and they would need to give a response. And during the oath, I felt excited but also comfortable. I did stumble over something once, but I was able to look at my phone and pick it right back up. I think the performance of it went smoothly overall.

There are certain historical elements that I wanted to bring to my oath. I read in my hearth culture book that many Norse oaths were sworn on a Thor’s hammer or on an arm ring. I bought a hammer a while ago at the Renaissance Fair for this occasion. I also read that oaths were typically sworn to three deities, often including Thor, Freyr, and Njord. Thor was the protector of the people. And Freyr and Njord were important Vanir deities, thus associated with fertility. Depending on the vow, Odin was also often called. I decided on Odin, since I mostly consider him a patron, Thor, because he is the protector of the people, and Freyr and Freya. I wanted to add at least one female deity to my oath, and they are really a pair, being twins.

In terms of my oaths: I wanted to make oaths that were both honest and simple. I know people who have been part of ADF for many years, and sometimes their oaths are elaborate. But since oaths are so serious, I didn’t want to oath something that I wasn’t going to do. So my oaths were very similar to my First Oath at the beginning of the DP. I put ‘lore’ specifically because I don’t feel I know enough lore, Norse or otherwise. I also want to know more specifics about ancient pagan religious practice. I don’t want to be a full-out Reconstructionist, but I want to be able to put a pagan spin on everything in my life, including celebrations of things like life cycles, which I don’t see very often. I still know how ancients practiced in the most general of terms. And I want to honor the kindreds because I do. This means keeping up my weekly ritual, incorporating them more into my daily life (through offerings, important life moments, etc), and also going to public ritual.

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