Liturgy 1.16 – Describe how ADF liturgy corresponds with your personal or group practice.

23 07 2017

Describe how ADF liturgy corresponds with your personal or group practice. (minimum 100 words)

I follow the ADF Core Order of Ritual structure for my rituals at each of the eight high days of the year, as well as for my New Moon celebrations. My altar is focused around the Fire, Well and Tree. I follow an Anglo-Saxon hearth culture primarily so my ritual symbolism and wording is focused on Norse/ Anglo-Saxon imagery. I honour the Anglo-Saxon gods, equate the Well with the Well of Wyrd and the World Tree with Eormensyl. I call the Spirits of Nature “aelfe.” I honour Nerthus as the Earth Mother and choose Anglo Saxon deities as the focus of the key offerings at each High Day. I don’t create a boundary, but I do carry fire around the ritual area and ask Thunor to hallow the area and keep away any unfriendly wights. I take the Omen by using the Anglo-Saxon runes and I brew and use Mead as the Waters of Life. Mead is also my primary form of sacrifice to the gods and spirits. My daily practice is usually focused on a brief prayer, and maybe an offering of incense, to the Ancestors so I don’t use the ADF ritual at those times.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.15 – Describe possible cultural variances for elements discussed in questions 3 through 14 above.

23 07 2017

Describe possible cultural variances for elements discussed in questions 3 through 14 above. (minimum 100 words)

Centre/ Gates – The centre, gates and gatekeeper will vary depending on the hearth culture. For example, in a Hellenic hearth culture, the tree may be replaced with a Mountain/ Stone representing Mt Olympus. In a Norse hearth culture, the tree will be seen as Yggdrasil and the Well as the Well of Wyrd, while the gatekeeper may be the god Heimdall and there may be gates to the nine worlds. In a Celtic hearth culture, the tree will be the Bile, the Well will be the Well of Segais and the gatekeeper will often be Manannan Mac Lyr.

Sacred spaces – Sacred spaces may depend on the hearth culture, with Celtic and Germanic hearth cultures focusing more on liminal spaces and sacred groves, while Hellenic and Roman hearth culture view temples as the sacred spaces.

Earth Mother – The name of the Earth Mother will change with each hearth culture. She will be called Gaia in a Hellenic hearth culture, Jord in a Norse hearth culture, Nerthus in an Anglo-Saxon hearth culture and Terra Mater in a Roman hearth culture. She may be considered more as the goddess of the earth in Norse, Anglo-Saxon or Hellenic hearth cultures, while a local goddess of sovereignty and the waters in a Celtic hearth culture.

Fire/Water – In a Norse hearth culture, the basic elements of the universe will be seen as the Fire of Muspelheim and the Ice of Niflheim. In a Celtic culture, these elements will be Fire and Water. There are also different goddesses of fire depending on the culture. For example, in the Irish Celtic hearth culture, the fire may represent the goddess Brighid, while in the Hellenic hearth culture the fire represents Hestia, and in the Roman hearth culture, it represents Vesta.

Fire/ Well and Tree – The Well is often seen differently depending on the hearth culture. In Norse and Anglo-Saxon hearth cultures, the well is equated with the three Wells of Wyrd, Mimir and Hvergelmir, while in the Celtic hearth culture it is the Well of Segais. Similarly, the name of the tree is different, with the Norse calling it Yggdrasil, the Anglo-Saxons calling it Eormensyl and the Celts calling it Bile.

Outdwellers – In Norse and Anglo-Saxon hearth cultures, the outdwellers will be seen as the Giants, the Jotnar and perhaps deities such as Loki, Hel or the world serpent. They are the forces of chaos held at bay by Thor. In the Hellenic hearth culture, they will be seen as the Titans, the primordial powers of creation. In the Celtic hearth culture, they will be identified with the Formorians who were defeated by the Tuathe De Danaan.

Three Kindreds – The three Kindreds may be seen slightly differently depending on the hearth culture. Each hearth culture will have their own pantheons with their own gods and there will often not be a standard deity for the same thing across all cultures. For instance, there is no deity for fire in Norse and Anglo-Saxon cultures, and there is no definitive deity of the Sun in Celtic cultures. The particular ancestors honoured in each hearth culture may differ, such as the Roman Lares Familiaris and the Norse Disir. Finally, the names of the spirits are different in each hearth culture, from the Anglo-Saxon elves and dwarves, to the Hellenic dryads to the Celtic Sidhe and Fae.

Filling Out Cosmic Picture – In a Celtic hearth culture, the cosmos may be viewed as three realms – land, sea and sky. In a Norse or Anglo-Saxon culture, the cosmos may be viewed as seven or nine worlds. In a Hellenic hearth culture, the cosmos may be viewed as made up of the Underworld of Hades, the middle world and the Upper World of Mt Olympus.

Key offerings – The focuses for key offerings will change depending on the hearth culture. For example, in at Samhain, one might honour Odin and Hel in a Norse hearth culture, while one honours the Dagda, Morrigan or Donn in a Celtic hearth culture, and Hades in a Hellenic hearth culture

Sacrifice – Sacrifices may also be different in each hearth culture. In Celtic and Norse hearth cultures, there may be more focus on offering metallic objects such as broken weapons or mead as a libation, while in Hellenic and Roman hearth cultures, the offerings may focus on olive oil or wine.

Omen – In Celtic hearth cultures, the Omen is usually taken using Oghams, while in Norse and Anglo-Saxon hearth cultures runes are used. In Hellenic and Roman Hearth cultures auguries using the flight of birds may be used.

Blessing Cup – Mead is considered a sacred drink in many hearth cultures, but especially in Celtic and Germanic hearth cultures. Similarly, wine may be used in more Mediterranean hearth cultures such as the Hellenic and Roman ones. These sacred drinks are often used as the “Waters of Life” in the Blessing Cup.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.14 – Discuss your understanding of the Blessing Cup, or “Return Flow”.

23 07 2017

Discuss your understanding of the Blessing Cup, or “Return Flow”. (minimum 100 words)

After we have offered our praise and sacrifices to the deities and spirits, the focus and direction of energy within the ritual shifts to become a “return flow”. The blessings of the gods and spirits are invoked through each gate and focused into a horn or cup. The liquid contained in this vessel is what ADF calls the “Waters of Life.” The drink is blessed and “charged with the energies of the one(s) being worshipped.” Then, as the participants drink the liquid, they receive into themselves the return power, energies and divine gifts offered by the deities and spirits. It is very important to be receptive in order to receive the blessings. This is achieved in ADF ritual through three stages – calling for the blessings, hallowing and receiving the blessings, and then affirming the blessings.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.13 – Discuss your understanding of the Omen.

23 07 2017

Discuss your understanding of the Omen. (minimum 100 words)

The Omen is taken for three reasons. The first is to determine whether the deities and spirits are happy with our offerings. Usually they are happy, however if they express their displeasure through the omen then we must give more sacrifices and see if these offerings are accepted. On extreme occasions that may not be suitable either and the ritual is then abandoned. The second reason is to help the ritual participants become open and receptive to the blessings of the deities so that they can be easily received. The final reason is to ascertain what blessings the spirits and deities will bestow on the participants in return. The participants may be asked to focus on what they need and expect the deities and spirits to provide that, or they may accept the particular blessing suggested by the rune, ogham e.t.c that was chosen. The Omen is usually taken by asking the spirits questions such as “Have our offerings been accepted?” and “What blessings do the Kindreds offer us in return?” and then pulling out one or several runes/ ogham’s to get an answer. It is also possible to use more natural omens such as the flight of birds or the movement of the wind through the trees.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.12 – Discuss your understanding of Sacrifice, and its place in ADF liturgy.

23 07 2017

Discuss your understanding of Sacrifice, and its place in ADF liturgy. (minimum 100 words)

The word sacrifice means “to make sacred.” As Kirk Thomas writes, sacrifice is “to make something set apart from ordinary reality.” When we sacrifice, we are making something holy and giving it to the spirits. Many Indo-European hearth cultures have a creation myth that begins with sacrifice – often a sacrifice by “man” of this “twin” who is then used to create the worlds. In a similar way, when we sacrifice we are remembering and re-enacting this first act of creation, and perhaps even engaging in an act of creation ourselves – sacrificing to enable to universe to continue. Mircea Eliade writes that “every sacrifice repeats the primordial act of creation and guarantees the continuity of the world for the following year.”

The key concept in sacrifice is the idea of Ghosti. It is “I give that you might give” or “a gift for a gift.” It is about hospitality, forming relationships and reciprocity. It is giving something of oneself to others. The sacrifice is the central action of an ADF ritual, and gifts can range from flower, food and drink, to oil, incense and precious metals, to poetry, dance and song. While the ancients engaged in animal and even human sacrifice, these things are rightly forbidden in ADF rituals. In ancient times, we also find many examples of metals items such as weapons given as offerings by being broken and thrown into lakes, bogs and rivers.

There are different types of sacrifices given for a wide range of reasons. First are propitiatory and piacular sacrifices where one is sacrificing out of fear of the wrath of the gods, and apotropaic ones in which people seek to placate unfriendly spirits or avert evil influence and bad luck. There are sacrifices of thanksgiving in which we give offerings to show gratitude to the gods and spirits, and supportive sacrifices to show our love for the deities and spirits, which helps to strengthen them. Isaac Bonewits writes that sacrifice is literally “a feeding of the deities” in which we “feed the gods with as much psychic energy as possible, in order to trigger a return response of divine power.” In other words, when we sacrifice we are sharing a sacred meal with the gods. Sources show that in many older Pagan cultures, the sacrifice was a literal meal in which an animal was burned and some parts were saved for the gods, while others were given to the people to eat. Other examples of sacrifices include sacrifices of the first fruits of the harvest, libation sacrifices in which liquids are poured onto the ground as offerings to chthonic gods, the dead and the spirits at crossroads, or votive sacrifices which are offerings made to fulfil a vow. Ultimately the aim of sacrifice is gain something in return, whether that is receiving divine favour and protection, building and strengthen our relationships with the spirits or each other, or maintaining cosmic order.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.

 





Liturgy 1.11 – Discuss how one would choose the focus (or focuses) for the Key Offerings.

23 07 2017

Discuss how one would choose the focus (or focuses) for the Key Offerings. (minimum 100 words)

There are two steps to choosing the focus or focuses for the Key Offerings. The first step is to choose a hearth culture for the ritual. Often this choice will depend on the preferences and religious inclinations of the grove members or ritual organisers. Some groves will focus only on one hearth culture all the time, while others will have members with a range of hearth cultures and therefore will use a variety throughout the year. ADF advises that each ritual focuses on only one hearth culture for that particular ritual in order to ensure we are not calling on spirits that may be antagonistic toward each other, as well as to ensure the symbolism and worldview used in the rites is inwardly coherent and focused.

Once a hearth culture has been chosen, the second step is to choose the particular main deities to honour. Usually this is one or two deities. Choosing the deity is often based on the seasonal occasion or the magical intent of the rite. For example, at Midsummer a grove will often honour a sun deity, while at Mabon they will often honour a harvest deity and at Samhain, they will honour a deity of death. If the purpose of a rite is healing, they may honour a healing deity, while if it is a wedding, they may honour a deity of marriage or family.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.10 – Describe other possible models for the “Filling Out the Cosmic Picture” sections.

23 07 2017

Describe other possible models for the “Filling Out the Cosmic Picture” sections. (minimum 100 words)

The standard way within ADF to fill out the cosmic picture is to recreate the cosmos by honouring and giving an offering to the three hallows – the fire, well and tree, and acknowledging the three realms of land, sea and sky. But there are alternative ways depending on the hearth culture. For example, in a Hellenic hearth culture one might use a Mountain (representing Mt Olympus) rather than the Tree as one of the three hallows and fire may be considered a representation of Hestia. A Celtic hearth culture might consider there to be three realms – land, sea and sky or the five provinces of Ireland, but also view there as being only one Otherworld – Annwn or Tir Na N’Og. While a Norse or Anglo-Saxon hearth culture might view there as being seven or nine worlds. For those more focused on a shamanic worldview, they might use a Pole rather than a tree, and see the three worlds made up of the underworld, the middle world (earth) and the upper world of the gods.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.9 – Describe the intention and function of the Three Kindreds invocations, and give a short description of each of the Kindreds.

23 07 2017

Describe the intention and function of the Three Kindreds invocations, and give a short description of each of the Kindreds. (minimum 100 words for each of the Three Kindreds)

ADF acknowledges three groups of spiritual beings – the three Kindreds. They are the gods and goddesses, the ancestors and the spirits of nature. It is important to note that these are not hard and fast boundaries and certain beings may fit into more than one of these categories. As Isaac Bonewits wrote, “if a spirit gets powerful enough, and is perceived as predominantly beneficial, it may become something that people will call a deity.”

The gods and goddesses are the eldest, mightiest and wisest ones. They may have had a hand in creation. They often rule over particular spheres of life such as love, war, craftsmanship or poetry, but they are not one-sided and often have multiple interests. In ADF they are called the Shining Ones and are communicated with through the gate of fire. The Earth Mother is often the first of these gods to be acknowledged and honoured in ritual – she is the goddess of sovereignty who upholds the ritual. Following her, we honour the god of inspiration, the gatekeeper god, and the deities of occasion. The gods and goddesses are often seen as ancestors of humans as all beings are “children of the mother.” As a Polytheistic religion, ADF acknowledges the reality of many real, literal gods who have their own agency and desires, however what one believes about them is up to the individual. The gods are often seen as being personified and immanent within nature, or living in the world of the gods, called “Osgeard” in the Anglo-Saxon hearth culture.

The Ancestors are called the Mighty Ones, the Dead. They can be ancestors of blood, who are the ancestors of our family line – our grandmothers and grandfathers back through history. They can be ancestors of place, who are the people who once lived or worshipped in the place we are currently doing the ritual. And they can be ancestors of spirit, who are ancestors who have inspired us in some way, whether people we knew in life, or those who have had a big influence on our culture. In this third category, I would also place Heroic ancestors. In ancient cultures, many great leaders were deified and turned into something more than a simple ancestor by a community. The ancestors live “under the mound”, they dwell in the Underworld, which is often thought of as a place of feasting, rest and merriment. From this place (called Hel in Anglo-Saxon and Norse hearth cultures), they watch over their descendants and lend us power to aid us. They can also communicate with us through dreams. We communicate with them in ritual through the Well. In my opinion, honouring our ancestors regularly is the most important of the three groups because they are the ones most likely to take an interest in us and help us out when we need it.

The Spirits of Nature are called the Noble Ones. They are the local spirits of place, the ones who “enliven the land”. As an animist religion which acknowledges the spirit inherent in all things, ADF honours the spirits in the land around us. They are the spirits within the stones and mountains, the sun and wind, the trees and flowers, the birds and animals and the waters. These spirits are seen in different ways depending on the hearth culture. In the Celtic hearth culture, they are the Sidhe who live under the mounds, or the Faeries. In Norse and Anglo-Saxon hearth culture’s they are the Alfar or Aelfe, the dwarves and the land-wights. They are often named after the places they inhabit e.g. water elves, wood elves, field elves and so on. These spirits are not necessarily friendly to humans. They have their own desires and should be approached cautiously, however a relationship can be built with them over time and they can become important allies, granting us luck and prosperity. If we anger them, they are capable of sending “elf darts” which can cause illness according to the Anglo Saxons. Another important class of spirits is the house spirit, a spiritual being who inhabits a house or farmstead, aids people in chores and prosperity, but is very sensitive to being sent away if they are made to feel unwelcome, the house is not kept clean, or they are offered clothes as payment for their services. We communicate with the spirits of nature in ritual through the sacred Tree.

In ritual, we invoke the three Kindreds to invite them to pay attention to us and to open ourselves up to receive their blessings. Bonewits says that invocation is “establishing communication with entities from either within or outside of oneself.” By seeking to get their attention, honouring them through “beautiful speech, poetry or music” which “pleases and influences the powers”, we can then receive their blessings in our daily lives.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.8 – Discuss the Outdwellers and their significance in ritual (or not, as the case may be).

23 07 2017

Discuss the Outdwellers and their significance in ritual (or not, as the case may be). (minimum 100 words)

The Outdwellers are “powers that can be inimical to mortals or oppose our own gods and goddesses” according the Ian Corrigan. They are the forces of chaos, of destruction and the wild in the Utangeard. For the Celts they were the Formorians, for the Norse they were the Giants. They are not evil, but they are a threat. They could also just be local spirits that want to cause mischief or are not happy about humans being in a particular place doing the ritual. It is important to also acknowledge the negative forces within ourselves e.g. arguments, feeling down and so on, can be outsiders. We need to put them aside for the ritual. In ADF, we acknowledge them, an offering is made to them at the edge of the sacred space and they are asked to leave the ritual participants alone and not distract us or interfere in the ritual. It is important to note that not all ADF groups include the Outdwellers in their ritual.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web. 

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.





Liturgy 1.7 – Discuss the origins of the Fire, Well and Tree, and the significance of each in ADF liturgy.

16 07 2017

Discuss the origins of the Fire, Well and Tree, and the significance of each in ADF liturgy. (minimum 100 words for each of the Fire, Well and Tree)

The Fire, Well and Tree are the key symbols of the centre and are used to re-create the cosmos in ADF rituals. When we re-create the cosmos with these elements, the orient us “in relation to all the other parts of the universe and to all the other beings in it” according to Bonewits. They also become the gates through which we can send praise and receive blessings.

The Fire connects us to the realm of the sky, to the world of the gods, to Osgeard, the world of order. The fire represents the sacred hearth fire so central to the lives of our Pagan ancestors. It is the spirit of inspiration, the spark of life and that which fuels us. It is also the means of purification and transformation, turning chaos into an ordered cosmos. When we put our offerings through the gate of fire to feed the gods, the fire releases the spiritual essences of the foods so that they can be consumed by the deities.

The Well connects us to the realm of the Sea, to the world of the ancestors, to Hel. It connects us to the underworld powers, to the sacred earth current and to chaos. It links us to our ancestors, to their knowledge, wisdom and memories. We can receive guidance from them through the symbol of the Well. Water is the “unordered cosmos fed by chaos”, it requires the power of fire to turn it into order. We can see it in the myths of the Norse, where water feeds the world Tree, Yggdrasil. In these myths, there are three Wells – Hvergelmir which is the source of primal waters, Wyrd, where the Norns maintain the patterns of life and the universe, and Mimir’s Well, which stores knowledge, wisdom and memory, and which Odin gave his eye to in order to receive its wisdom. In Celtic culture, there is the Well of Segais, which is also a Well containing wisdom, this time in the form of the Salmon of Wisdom who were eaten by Fionn Mac Cumhaill granting him enlightenment. There are also parallels in this story with the story of Taliesin receiving the Awen from the liquid in the Cauldon of Ceridwen.

Finally, there is the Tree. This is a boundary between all worlds and connects us to the realms of the nature spirits. It is the sacred world tree Yggdrasil which, in Norse Mythology, reaches throughout all the nine worlds and connects them. It represents the order of the universe. Trees are also central to Druidry and many were acknowledged as sacred by ancient Paleo-pagans. A particularly famous one is Donar’s Oak in Germany, which was cut down because it was a focus of Pagan worship. In Irish mythology, there is the sacred Bile. And Tacitus, in Germania, explained that for the ancient Germanic Pagans, “their holy places are woods and groves” and “the grove is the centre of their whole religion.” Likewise, the Tree is central to the ADF religion.

Bonewits, Isaac. Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work. Minneapolis: Llewellyn Publications, 2007. Print.

ADF. “Standard Liturgical Outline.” ADF. Web.

Bonewits, Isaac. “Step by Step through A Druid Worship Ceremony.” ADF. Web.

Brooks, Arnold. “A Druidic Ritual Primer.” ADF. Web

Brooks, Arnold. “Goals of Group Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The ADF Outline of Worship: A Briefing for Newcomers.” ADF. Web.  

Corrigan, Ian. “The Intentions of Drudic Ritual.” ADF. Web.

Corrigan, Ian. “The Worlds and the Kindreds.” ADF. Web.

Paradox. “Sacred Space, an Exploration of the Triple Center.” ADF. Web.

Thomas, Kirk. “The Nature of Sacrifice.” ADF. Web.