An Intro to Indo-European Myths

Three weeks into my explorations of ADF, I find a need to better understand what these Indo-European myths and traditions are all about, so picked up and and started reading one of their recommended texts for their Dedicant Path studies, Comparative Mythology by Jaan Puhvel.

Just when I thought my studies of myth were over, I find myself now seeing connections I had never noticed before, namely related to the links between, across, and amongst various traditions spanning the European and Asian landmasses.

What would possibly bring me to an academic book like this, beyond my proclivity to things academic anyway? Well, ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF)) styles itself as a Pagan church based on ancient Indo-European traditions expressed through public worship, study, and fellowship, and thus its focus on Indo-European traditions is somewhat central.

May as well know more about what I am thinking of getting myself into!

For those who may have no idea what this means, myself amongst them only a week ago, I propose this basic understanding — the languages of Europe, Iran, and India have certain similarity, and this history also speaks to related myths and cultures that somehow connect in ancient times. That ADF faith traditions form from that broad galaxy of interconnected worlds means that I need to at least holistically grok how they relate.

One initial area of learning that I think I always knew but has become more informed through my reading — Celtic traditions are far from being only in Ireland and the UK. In fact, the Celtic peoples stretched from there across France (Gaul, my spiritual home!), much of central and western Europe, and even into Italy, Greece, and Turkey. How, in my former days as a Christian, could I have not noticed that Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians was just that — a letter to a group of Celts in Asia Minor?

Nothing like learning new things to connect many formerly disparate pieces of knowledge!

One Toe Further Toward ADF…

I mentioned earlier this week that I am starting to look at ADF, Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, after somehow never having it really feel like a possible venue for my Druidic path.

How time changes things, or perhaps how we make sense of things differently over time.

I was inspired by Lauren’ The Druid Swamp blog over the years, and how she explored her ADF studies in a rather public way. While I work in open education as part of my professional identity, I am familiar with and at times comfortable with learning in the open, so decided to see how others have explored a long affiliation with and path of a modern Druid using the somewhat structured ADF materials, and was surprised to find a number of examples.

Some of those that reached out to me for one reason or another include The Ditzy Druid, Hazel & Rowan, Druish in the Desert, and Into the Mound, and while I have not yet committed to starting the Dedicant Path, ADF’s beginning training program that is intended to be a year-long introduction to the beliefs and practices of Our Druidry, I have been carrying the books with me in my all week. Somehow their structured openness fits me right now.

While having spent years working across The Druid Network (which I proudly remain as an active member), AODA (the Ancient Order of Druids in America, of which I am also quite happy to be an active part of), RDNA (The Reformed Druids of North America – let’s face it, they have had a valuable effect on many), and OBOD (where I have a bit more of a conflicted relationship, quite oddly in many ways), I find myself strangely attracted to the structure of ADF. Yes, religions need to have certain spiritual practices and beliefs that resonate with us, though the notion of democratic leadership and diversity of perspectives that expand across many related traditions resonates quite well with me right now.

Not sure where they may lead or what tomorrow may bring, but I am comfortable right now with how they are starting. Even with my two outreaches to the community over the past three weeks, I found a quirky and encouraging group of people who somehow managed to make me feel welcome while knowing very little about me, my life, my wants, nor my needs. How good is that, being encouraged to explore a wide ranging family of spiritual paths without judgment?!

Again, we do not know how this may develop, but something about it feels right, even if that means right for now. Hey, something must be working here for me to post on Through the Distant Woods twice in the same week!!

Explorations in ADF

I have looked at and explored many of the large (and not so large) Druid communities out there, though somehow I have missed doing that with Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, commonly called ADF.

While I have only started to read these and chat with a few members from a distance, what I have seen so far does resonate.

We shall see . . .