Describe the generation of the cosmos, and what is done in ADF ritual to ensure that the cosmos remains in order. (300 words min.)
The creation or “generation” of the cosmos is where we recreate the creation of the world, and in doing so create a sacred space for ritual. The creation of the world is a symbolic act, such as recreating the death of Ymir in Norse lore.
To do this, we attune ourselves to the three realms to create that link within the three realms where they all “collide” in our ritual space. Those realms are the underworld, the middleworld, and the upperworld through access of the three gates of the well, the tree, and the fire in this realm of land, sea, and sky. By giving offerings to the three gates, and opening the gates between the worlds via the tree, we are creating that vertical access in the three realms to have our messages be sent to the three kindred. We acknowledge that this time and the place is now for sacred work. To the well of our Ancestors, we sometimes offer silver (my Grove often offers coffee or a good whiskey). To the tree we offer water and nourishment. To the fire of the Gods we offer incense and things that burn well to carry our messages to the heavens through the smoke. In the Norse culture, many hearth culture, this is represented by the nine realms rather than just the three, but they are linked with the world tree just the same.
The general process is that a gatekeeper is called to watch over the gates, and the gates are then opened, creating the connection between all the worlds and making our space sacred for ritual. By offering these gifts, and continuing to offer sacrifices through praise later on, we maintain the cosmos until we are ready to close the gates and thank the gatekeeper for their assistance.