Sunday, August 19, 2012
ADF Cosmology part 3
Within ADF, ritual cosmology can be divided several different ways. Most ways involve the
cosmos being divided into three sections.
The first way of looking at dividing the cosmos in ritual would be in the forms of the Three Realm: Land, Sea, and Sky. The Land is the common link to the earth, our Great Mother. This can be seen as the axis mundi connecting the Sea and Sky. The Land takes the place of the Tree, Mountain or Pillar linking all the Worlds and all the Realms. The Land is also where many of the chthonic deities reside, some living deep within the earth itself blurring the line between the Middleworld and the Underworld. This is where our closest kin, those of the animal kingdom, interact with us. The Sea is the great mysterious realm which the deities, spirits of water, and our aquatic animal kin reside. It is the World most isolated and hostile environment to humankind. It is linked with the Well, which is the pathway to the Underworld, the realm of the Dead. It is the sustained forces of life which continually renews all life.
The Sky is the vast arcing realm of the heavens, the stars, and the earth’s weather. The Sky is linked with the Fire, and is considered the crown of all the worlds. It is through the rising flames and smoke that offerings made to the gods are transformed and rise to into the heavens. The Sky is also the domain of the air spirits and the feathered animal kin soaring the lofty heights. The Sky can be the chaotic forces that can bring destruction or life giving rains. It brings weather changes over the Seas which stirs chaos into natural flow of order feedings the continual cycles of regeneration so that life can carry on.
Another possible aspect of dividing the cosmos in ADF ritual, which seems to be more common, is through the use of the Three Realms: the Upperworld, Middleworld, and Underworld. The Upperworld is that of the Shinning Ones. The Middleworld is the home of the Nature Spirits and some of the Shining Ones known as chthonic deities. The Underworld is home to the Ancestors and the other chthonic deities which are typically associated with the Dead. The cosmos is divided in this fashion because of ADF's focus on Indo-European cultures. Many of these cultures contained tripartition of the cosmos to some degree. In forming a modern tradition that is based off the teachings of those that came before, a tripartition cosmos becomes an important part of ritual structure and view of the cosmos.