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 . . .

Books on Druidry in France

I was surprised to find so many books on Druidry, across several bookstores, while on my recent trip to France. They were clearly more focused on the Celtic traditions in ancient Gaul (which now comprises parts of France) than on the modern practices of Druidry today, though I was still happy to see them at all given the complexities of religion in the country.

These are a clear encouragement for me to improve my ability to read French, which has overall focused more on menus and train schedules!

What continues to puzzle me, however, is how Druidry has been embraced in various forms in the British Isles and the U.S., yet somehow is not readily locatable at all in France. Mind you, I was able to find this nice selection of books that seem to infer a modern practice of Druidry exists someplace there, though I was not able to unearth it whatsoever.

Does anybody know any practicing Druids (Druides) in France? If so, do any of them know enough English to help me understand this phenomenon?

An Imbolc Ritual (for a Solitary Druid)

Imbolc is a festival to mark the ends of the harsh winter, marking the first glimpse of the warmth of the spring and all that it promises for our year to come with the turning of the wheel. I am trying to capture this in my brief video here of my fireplace; may its heat and warmth share that with anybody who reads this.

I recall visiting the UK near the time of Imbolc, and really started to understand what lambing season means. We don’t have many lambs (or even sheep) where I live, so it was a treat to see the hillsides populated with sheep and lambs. While associated with Brigid or Groundhog Day and even with the blessing of the throats on the Feast of St. Blaise or the time of Candlemas, I really like the notion that it shows the turn in the season, from the harshness and darkness of the winter to the health and hopes for spring.

With the energy that comes at this time, I am doing two things. The first is to share this video of my fireplace and the second is to share my personal , solitary ritual I am using today as I celebrate Imbolc. I found a space outside where the snow has finally melted and I can celebrate this. While the location is not one that will allow me to have open fire, I will use my little video above to stand in its place. As so much of my own life is booked solid with work and teaching and research consulting and such, I am focusing on a more meditative ritual with internal poetry more fitting for the energy of the season.

To live as a Druid in New York City!

Awen

An Imbolc Ritual (for a Solitary Druid)

Initiation / Opening

Voice intention of the ritual

This ritual is for the celebration of Imbolc.

Light candles and incense

We shall use the image of the fireplace above due to limitations of space for this ritual today.

Rite of Purpose

Invoke the Spirits of the Place (those ahead, above, and below)

Invoke the spirits of the Air (east), South (fire), West (water), and North (earth)

Breathe deeply

Voice the purpose for this ritual

The purpose of this ritual is to be inspired by the coming warmth of the spring and feel its energy, health, and hope.

Prayer and Centering <peacefully>

Become one with the purpose and place

This space is sacred. All space where good energy flows and where we engage in ritual is sacred space. It was sacred before we came and will remain that way once we leave. This is the belief of druids.

This may include walking the labyrinth

As I am not present to my labyrinth, and will be high in the air, I will look into the distance in the four directions for glimpses of spring and the energy that comes with it, knowing that with the snow predicted for tomorrow, this view will be one for today’s memory alone.

Offering

Consider what I offer <peacefully>

I will offer my druid studies to the shared network of those whose energy seeks to make our world a better place.

Offer it

I seek to give of myself to those who are in need, starting first with those in nature who struggle to live lives of peace and harmony.

Blessing and Sending of Awen

Send the energy of awen into the world <peacefully>

May awen strengthen and work through me. May it guide my intentions and directions. May its flow cleanse me and allow me to share its energy with others. May it continue to work through the naturally world that surrounds me.

Take some with me as I leave <peacefully>

So endeth the Ritual. Awen.

Awen