Past, Present and My Future with Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) Part 2

03

   Fern 1-3

Part 2: Present

When we define our present moment in life, are we talking of the here and now or within the last year or so? While it can be difficult to define the present for some. I would give broad leniency, as decisions within a year have direct correlation to the here and now. I feel that we sell ourselves short with this definition because the common thought is a directly defined piece of time. So for the context of this entry,  Present is within the last year.

Late last year, I was surprised with the announcement (September 15, 2017) that there was a Protogrove now in my area.After practicing for the last several years as a solitary with A.D.F, I was jubilant to the possibilities. I attended the first coffee hour(s) with Protogrove of the Gathering Waters A.D.F. in early fall of 2016. Mike Kaan, who is the Grove Organizer (G.O.) was the one who had set things up. And after that first meeting  I began to look forward with having a local group again.

Soon after and several meeting later, things began in earnest that we would be creating our first rite together. And lucky me, I had the distinct honor of composing the liturgy using the A.D.F. Core Order of Ritual (C.O.o R.). Our first rite was to be held During Imbolc 2017. A copy of that Ritual can be found here.  While there was only a handful of people in attendance, the rite was very well received. My own personal thoughts on the right are : 1.) I was happy with the flow of the rite.  2.) Happy that no major fumbles occurred. There was room for improvement for me personally thou. After practicing solitary for so long, I see the missed cues from working once again with a group. Things like this will once again get better with continued group rites.

I must step back a moment and say the the protogrove has a cross culture pantheon. And during the early meeting last year it was decided that we would have Celtic/ Norse/Anglo-saxon.  We had to divde up what cultures would be honored and when. As it turned out, all Celtic high days will be celebrated on the cross quarter. ie; Imbolc Beltaine, Lughnasdh and Samhain. And all Solstice and Equinoxes will be Norse/Anglo-saxon. A fair and equitable arrangement .

Back to the present focus, I see myself growing more spiritual everyday. Even in the daily Piety that occurs, it has a sense of a stronger connection to the kindreds. Like clockwork the last several days, I arise to my Druid prayer beads.

DPB

After one round of them, I do a daily Ogham pull to signify what the kindreds might have for a lesson/focus. (Which I shall post every day in this journal. More on that in future posts). I then proceed to take flame (from a perpetual candle that has been alive for 3 months) and light a candle to my Matron Morrigan offering daily prayers and thanks. This morning routine has become so engrained, that If, I do not follow it. I immediately feel  out of focus. Let it be said that while our lives might be routine. Everyday is a Ritual.

The next post in this journal will look at Part 3: Future.  Envisioning  my-self Spiritually and with what I entend to do with A.D.F.

Past, Present and My Future with Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) Part 1

17

 Onn 4-2

Part 1 : Past

Where to begin, the past is an easy one. Or is it?  I began in earnest my spiritual search on a Neo-pagan path some 25 years ago.  I took an introductory class at a now defunct store in Springfield, IL  (Sundance). The teachers had a very well presented 8 week course culminating with my first ever Ritual. From that moment of my very first ritual, I saw a path that has culminated into a lifelong journey worth every minute of it. From the daily meditations and piety to celebrating the  Wheel of the Year. My life has never been the same since.

I floated along the first couple of years doing either solitary wiccan or occasionally a local public wiccan circle. Being still an infant of sorts to paganism, I stumbled along searching for something. I attended my first Weekend retreat during these years. Margot Adler  was the guest for the weekend. It was held at Diana’s Grove in Bunker Mo. What I remember about that weekend was attending her lecture on Esoteric Drumming. Something felt right because it drew me back to my musical roots as a child. I grew up with several years of piano lessons and 8 years as a clarinetist. While the musical creation aspect of paganism is just a another key to my journey. It did foster a deeper journey that still continue today as I learn Djembé Rhythms.

Continuing on my path, I found myself back at Diana’s Grove for Witchcamp with Starhawk and The Reclaiming Collective. This was a defining moment in my life. I journeyed to my soul during this camp. I found myself unburdening so much of the first twenty-five years of life. From the Catholic upbringing that still hung on in my way of thinking. To the Summer Solstice Ritual  that found me deep in trance, dancing naked by the moon lit sky and bonfire. Thank You Windwalker for being there for that. It was also that summer, I traveled to a festival in Southeastern Michigan to my first Druid gathering. Lughnashah 1997 with Shining Lakes Grove. Soon after I moved to  Michigan to be with something that felt like the missing puzzle piece being found. I was formally initiated  Yule 1997 as a member of Shining Lakes Grove. A.D.F.

With Shining Lakes Grove, I found not just community but family. My roots of Druidic practice began to grow from me. I found myself attending all of Shining Lakes Grove activities. From attending our firewatches the night before rite.  The Wild hunt which found the Mannanan Shrine that Shining Lakes has. To having joined their leadership council as the Grove Ecologist and providing outreach with the Huron river watershed council on stream monitoring. I learned so much from them, that even today many of those traditions are still alive and well in my own personal customs of piety.

While this is a very abridged version of my Neo-pagan past. It does serve where I came from and the inkling of my present and future. A.D.F. has been a foundation that despite the 18+ years of on and off membership. I keep coming back to them. Why? The simple answer is it feels right in my heart and soul. Tomorrow, I shall  look at part 2 : Present.

Each entry will contain a Ogham that  I pull every morning during my morning devotionals. Something that brings focus to my everyday life.