Liturgy 1, #5

Discuss how the Fire, Well and Tree became parts of ADF’s sacred center, and the significance of each in ADF ritual. (minimum 100 words for each of the Fire, Well and Tree)

Fire has always been a central focus in rituals across many cultures,  appreciated as a gift from the Gods even.  Sacrifices were thrown into the fire, it was seen as a magical force that could transform offerings into delivered goods and smoke was seen as a way of delivering messages to the Gods in the Sky in the Upperworld above the branches of the World Tree, as our connection to the Sky spirits.  Fire was also significant in the home as the hearth was built around the home fire. Even in Greek culture, the Goddess of the Hearth, Hestia, was honored before all other deities.  The hearth was a significant concept that was meant to be honored and protected, as well as thought to provide protection for family and children.

The Well is rooted in the ancient Celtic world where bodies of water were seen as sacred elements that jewels were thrown into as offerings to the Ancestors and the Gods.  Wells were thought to give certain blessings, as even now people will throw coins for luck into Wells and fountains.  In our modern liturgy, the Well is seen as a way to connect to the Underworld and a representation of the Sea.  It does not necessarily have to be in a Sea, any body of water is seen as an access point or Well of the earth used to honor the Ancient ones.  It is our way of honoring the Ancestors that dwell deep beneath the roots of the World Tree.

The World Tree is the great connection of the Land between the Well of the Underworld and the Fire of the Upperworld, creating a Middleworld between them.  It is a representation of this World that we live in along with our connection to our Nature Spirit brethren and all life within.  The origins of the tree come from Norse culture, specifically the mighty Ash Yggdrasil where the nine worlds existed.  From this we build the Tree of Life that connects all manner of beings in the Middleworld together and acts as a gateway to the other Worlds of druid liturgy.

When these three things are combined they create the vertical axis or sacred center in which all of our rituals are performed.  It is the sacred space that we create when we connect with the divine, and these gateways are access points and tools that help us to attain that connection.

(Word Count: 403)

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