‘Liturgy 1’ Posts
Dear Rev. Crystal Groves (Crystal Groves),
Congratulations! Your Liturgy 1 submission passes.
Three things of note:
1) In MLA, you don’t have a comma between the author’s name and the page number in in-line citations. You do that a couple of times.
2) You mention in Q5 that the well is rooted in Celtic stuff, and I’ll challenge you not to forget the important wells in Norse lore.
3) In #10 you mention that we’re “invoking;” technically speaking, we “evoke,” but “invoke” has become fashionable enough that I can’t dock you for it
Rev. Michael Dangler
Bonewits, Philip Emmons Isaac. “Defining Our Terms: Ritual and Rite.” Rites of Worship: a Neopagan Approach. [Miami, Fla.]: Earth Religions, 2003. 29. Print.
ADF. “The Druid’s Cosmos.” The Druid’s Cosmos. ADF. Web. 1 Jan. 2012. <http://www.adf.org/members/training/dp/dp-manual-web/01-druids-cosmos.html#adf%20cosmology%20and%20sacrifice>.
Serith, Ceisiwr. “Composing Prayers.” A Book of Pagan Prayer. Boston, MA: Weiser, 2002. 47-49. Print.
Describe the concepts of 1) the Center and 2) the Gates in ADF’s Core Order of Ritual, including two cultural variations of each concept. (minimum 300 words)
The idea of the “Center” is the alignment of the cosmos through the vertical and horizontal axis. With heavy Celtic influence, when the Upperworld of the Gods, the Middleworld of the Nature Spirits, and the Underworld of the Ancestors are aligned together, this creates the vertical axis. The Celtic concepts of Land, Sea, and Sky help create the horizontal axis. When they are both created and aligned together, that center point is the sacred “Center” or space that we create through the representation of the Three Realms and the Three Worlds.
A common example of this vertical axis that is a significant part of the “Center” is the Germanic concept of Yggdrasill as the World Tree. The nine worlds are connected, the squirrel carries messages from one world to the other, the serpent that gnaws on the roots, but it is all bound together by the axis of this great World Tree.
When the Gates are opened up so that our offerings can be received and blessings from the Gods given, we are in a cosmic union of reciprocity. Each Gate acts as a method for delivering our messages and offerings to the Kindred, the Well to the Ancestors, the Tree to the Nature Spirits, the Fire to the Gods, and additionally the World Tree connecting the two Realms of the Upperworld and Underworld together in one great sacred cone. These Gates allow us to connect with the Realms, the Worlds, and the Kindred, and they allow the energy and intention to flow between the Worlds flawlessly in a beautiful exchange of energy and consciousness.
To help protect and balance the gates while open, we call upon a Gatekeeper to join their magic with ours to not only help open the gates, but to help protect the gates, and to help imbue the Waters of Life with blessings once our offerings have been received with favor.
(Word Count: 316)
Describe how ADF liturgy corresponds with your personal or group practice. (minimum 100 words)
CedarLight Grove, ADF focuses primarily on the ADF Core Order of Ritual, with slight variations (we do not always call for Bardic Inspiration, for example). I’ve done some slight interchanging of the Order in my personal ritual so that the flow makes more sense to my frame of mind, but the Core is still essentially the same.
I have never had much experience with anything outside of Druid rituals, and have certainly never run or been involved in one. The ADF liturgy has a solidarity in the methodology and history that makes sense in the realm of practicality to me. I think taking the time to personalize the standard liturgy so that it is unique to your belief system, while still remaining wholly ADF is what makes it great and versatile.
(Word Count: 131)
Discuss your understanding of the Omen. (minimum 100 words)
In ADF Liturgy, the Omen or “Return” is when the Seer reads the message from the Gods after all the offerings and sacrifices are made, usually through a method of divination like the runes. In CedarLight we often ask if the offerings have been accepted first as the initial return, and if the answer is yes, we ask for either what the Gods wish to say to us, or if we are performing the Rite for a specific purpose, whether that purpose has been or will be fulfilled. Some Grove’s will do an additional reading to find out what the Gods ask of them in return for the blessings, but we do not do that in CedarLight. Sometimes we will even shake things up a bit by having three Seer’s taking omens, one for each of the gates. The outcome is still the same, but with alternative perspectives intertwining together.
(Word Count: 150)
Discuss the relationship between sacrifice and blessing and how this is reflected in the Core Order of Ritual. (minimum 150 words)
When we sacrifice for the Gods and Kindred, we are giving up something as a gift or in honor of them and their abilities. We continue this praise and sacrifice until a positive omen is obtained that shows these offerings have been accepted. If they have not been accepted, then we must continue with our offerings until they are suitable.
Assuming the Omen has been accepted, we can then take in any additional message that the Gods may provide that coincides within the Omen, and then take in their blessings. We do this through the Waters of Life, which within my Grove are chalices of liquid that are placed on the altar to receive the blessings from the Gods and then passed around the participants to drink in and accept into their lives. A common phrase here is “A gift from us to the earth to the Gods, from the Gods, to the earth to us, a gift for a gift. Behold the Waters of Life!”
(Word Count: 166)
Discuss your understanding of Sacrifice, and its place in ADF ritual. (minimum 100 words)
Sacrifice means “to make sacred”, and this can be anything from an item we are offering as a sacrifice to a deed we are performing as a sacrifice on our parts to ensure a desired outcome, and even an oath and the binding that comes with it. The important part of these sacrifices is that they are something significant that we are giving up or doing for a specific purpose. Some of our sacrifices in our liturgy are the offerings that we give to the Kindred through objects and service. Some sacrifices are represented through not simply offerings, but an act such as a shared meal with the community, where part of the meal is also shared with the Kindred or Sacred Beings.
(Word Count: 123)
Discuss how one would choose the focus (or foci) for the Key Offerings (which may include: Beings of the Occasion, seasonal theme or other focus of the work).(minimum 100 words)
In CedarLight Grove, ADF, our offerings are often depicted by the Deities of the Occasion and what is considered most precious to them. Olive oil is often given in honor of Athena, bardic works or service are great offerings for Brigid, learning a new skill and hard work often done in honor of Lugh. Of course, Deities are sometimes determined depending on what High Rite we are doing. An example would be at Imbolc we almost always honor Brigid, or Lugh and Tailtiue being honored at Lughnasadh, so this would also determine the types of offerings we suggest to our participants.
Furthering the idea of Lugh and Tailtiue being honored at Lughnasadh, the history of Lughnasadh and the Tailtiean games might also help determine offerings of self-sacrifice or even warrior games in honor of the Deities of Choice.
Beyond offerings determined by Deities, there are also seasonal offerings. Any of the three harvest festivals can have offerings of harvested goods such as corn, tomatoes, and herbs (which, consequently is another representation of hard work offered to Lugh). During a High Rite of the fertility seasons, such as Ostara or Beltane, eggs or seed may be offered and blessings of fertility towards future children may be asked in return.
There are also offerings based around a specific need for a High Rite, whether this is a Rite of Passage or a Healing Rite for an ailing member, offerings for these could be based around the concept of the Rite rather than the Deities or Season in which it is performed. Though the Deity influence is still strong since normally you are asking help or guidance from the Deities of Choice to aid in the passage or healing. Still, concept will play a big part, and offering service or herbs for a Healing Rite would be more than appropriate to encourage that healing.
(Word Count: 311)
Describe the intention and function of Inviting the Three Kindreds. (minimum 100 words)
When we call the Three Kindred in ADF liturgy, we are essentially inviting or “invoking” them to join and witness our work and intent. The method for doing this is usually through praise of their great deeds, titles, and myths (Serith, 49) within our invocation. With these actions we are working to create a reciprocal relationship with them so that we might regularly communicate with them through our words and offerings, and in return receive their blessings in our lives and through the Waters of Life. If our offerings and praise are accepted, that is when they bestow these blessings upon us.
(Word Count: 101)
Discuss the Outdwellers and their significance in ritual (or not, as the case may be). (minimum 100 words)
Outdwellers or “Outsiders” are not just distracting spirits (Titans in the Greek Lore, Giants in the Germanic Lore) that would sway us from our path or intent, but also the inner feelings that would subconsciously or even consciously prevent us from moving forward with our intended work. While these spirits of both this world and the Otherworld can be menacing, we acknowledge that they exist and even serve a purpose in our lives and in our work by providing challenges and building strength within us. So by acknowledging them, in order to continue our work without their influence we appease them with offerings or bribes under the stipulation that they leave us be. These can be anything from shiny trinkets to alcohol and food. An alternative to using bribes would be to call a protector of some sort during your rite or working to help protect from any such Outdwellers. An example of a protector would be the God Thor, or the Goddess Athena.
(Word Count: 164)