Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ADF Cosmology part 5


          Within ADF ritual we create the cosmos as part of our rituals. To do this we connect with the powers of the cosmos through the opening of the Gates. Though we as practitioners of ADF Druidry have the power to open the Gates ourselves, we connect our powers with the Gatekeeper. The best definition of a Gatekeeper comes from the article “Ancient Symbols, Modern Rites: A Core Order of Ritual Tutorial for Ár nDriocht Fein” written by Brandon Newberg. According to Newberg “A Gatekeeper is a being that aids us in working the Gates” (Newberg, 2010)

          As for who makes a good Gatekeeper, any being can be called upon as a Gatekeeper. However, those that are associated with being boundary beings or are known to travel freely between the three Realms would be most appropriate. Though most often the Gatekeeper called upon is a deity this is not a requirement. In my old Grove, Grove of the Red Earth, we called upon Raven often to be our Gatekeeper. The reasoning behind this was because in many cultures the Raven was seen as an Otherworld messenger who traveled between the worlds.

          In the Hellenic culture there are actually several different deities that can fill the role of Gatekeeper during ADF rituals. The two most prominent figures would be Hekate and Hermes.

          Hekate was noted for being the goddess of magic, the night,doorways, crossroads, and necromancy. The association could be related to the part which She played in assisting Demeter in the search for the lost Kore. In many myths Hekate stayed as a companion to Persephone during Her time in the Underworld. She served as Persephone’s guide to the Middleworld each spring earning Her the aspect of a psychopomp. This alone has the beginning mark of being a great Gatekeeper, as She is able to travel between the Middle and Underworlds. But born a Titan and later given the rank of goddess by Zeus for Her efforts in the Titan wars, Hekate retained her powers over “heaven, earth, and sea” (Atsma, 2000-2011).

Hermes is another of the gods who has the power to travel between the three realms. He was the messenger of the Father Zeus. There are many references to Hermes as the herald of Zeus and the gods: “… ‘Hermes, you are always our messenger.’” and “Zeus made Hermes his personal herald.” (Atsma, Hermes Myths 3, 2000-2011). Within His duties, Hermes is referenced delivering messages to mortals as well as the gods: “…Jupiter [Zeus] ordered Mercurius [Hermes] to invite all the gods, the men and the animals to the wedding…” (Atsma, Hermes Myths 3, 2000-2011). Hermes also had an aspect which allowed Him freedom to travel to the Underworld, serving as a psychopomp. In the Orphic Hymn 75 to Chthonian Hermes, Persephone gives Hermes the power of the psychopomp, “Persephone, through Tartaros dark and wide, gave thee forever flowing souls to guide...” (Atsma, Hermes Myths 3, 2000-2011). There are many references of Chthonian Hermes guiding the dead to the Underworld. With Hermes having the abilities to travel the Three Realms, He becomes a great choice as a Gatekeeper for Hellenic ADF rituals.


Bibliography

Atsma, A. J. (2000-2011). Hekate. Retrieved December 7, 2011, from Theoi.com: http://www.theoi.com/
Khthonios/Hekate.htmlAtsma, A. J. (2000-2011). Hermes Myths 3. Retrieved Decemeber 7, 2011, from Theoi.com: http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/HermesMyths3.html#HeraldNewberg, 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/COoRTutorial
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