The many cultures of the world are filled with different creation myths. Within these creation myths there are vast variations within each culture. In many of the Indo-European cultures there are major similarities that flow through the myths. These similarities centered on a primordial being, usually male, killed through dismemberment and from the body parts the known universe is created. Ancient Indo-European priests believed that through sacrifice they would able to uphold the cosmos and keep order to all things. Through the actions of sacrifice the macrocosm is affected by the microcosm, sustaining the universe or it would “become exhausted and depleted” (Thomas).
Though each Indo-European culture viewed the structure of the cosmos differently, they still used a triadic symbolism which fit into two basic patterns. The two patterns are the Three Worlds and the Three Realms. The Three Realms consists of Land, Sea, and Sky. As stated by Brandon Newberg “…Celts reportedly swore oaths by these three worlds” .The Three Worlds are made up of the Upperworld, Middleworld, and Underworld. These patterns can be seen as the Sacred Center for the cosmos and worship among the Indo-Europeans.
In ADF ritual, as in ancient times, the use of sacrifice is used to ensure the regeneration of the cosmos and to maintain its order. Though ancient Indo-Europeans used living animals, and sometimes humans as sacrifice, ADF uses other types of offerings such as alcohol, foods, art, or plants. In rituals, ADF members create the Sacred Center where the offerings of sacrifice are given in hopes to maintain the order of the cosmos. The Sacred Center is “a point of power from which all other points in the Clergy Training Program cosmos are accessible” (Newberg, 2010). The Sacred Center is generated by the use of the Three Gates which allow access to the powers of all the worlds and realms. The Three Gates that make up the Sacred Center are the Fire, Well, and Tree. Fire, being the most crucial Gate, is associated with the gods, the Sky and the Upperworld. The Well is associated with the Ancestors, the Sea, and the Underworld. While the Tree is associated with the Nature Spirits, the Land, and the Middleworld. It is through this connection that an ADF Druid ritual is able to offer sacrifices and balanced energies so that energy may be add to the continuation of the cosmos.
Newberg, B. (2010, September 14). Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from
ADF.org: http://www.adf.org/cgi-bin/adf/wiki/view/Main/COoRTutorialThomas, R. K. (n.d.). The Nature
of Sacrifice. Retrieved December 9, 2011, from ADF.org: http://www.adf.org/articles/cosmology/nature-