Sunday, September 16, 2012

ADF Liturgy part 10: Other possible models for ‘Filling Out the Cosmic Picture’ sections

          Though we in ADF are accustomed to the working with the Three Kindreds in our respective ways, there are other views that can be used to fill out the Cosmic Picture. One of the ways to ‘Fill Out the Cosmic Picture’ would be to conduct ritual in such a way as to not gear the invocations specifically towards the Kindreds but more towards all the beings that live within the Three Realms. Through this approach we can be sure not to leave out any of the Kindreds that happen to reside in different realms than we would normally associate them being in.

          A prime example of Kindreds residing in different realms than would normally would be associated with them can be seen in the Hellenic culture with it comes to some of the deities. Within the Hellenic culture there are deities that reside within the Upper World. This can be seen to include Olympus but also the actual heavens themselves. However there are also deities that dwell upon the earth. They are known as chthonic deities. Though some had Their own place within the heavens, such as Demeter (Crudden 7 Line 3, 16 Line 332) (Burkert 161) and Hecate (Crudden 4 Line 25). They chose to remain here in the Middle World. This would also include all the local deities of the land, rivers, and seas. We also have to consider the deities that reside in the Underworld, such as Persephone and her husband Hades. (Burkert 159) The gods can be found living in any of the Three Realms not just in the Upperworld.

          When looking at the possibility of the Ancestors residing within different realms, we do not have to look further than here in the Middle World. Our history is filled with accounts of the dead living among us. One of the customs among the Greeks was to place food and drink into the tombs of the dead so that they would not thirst or go hungry (Johnston 38). This could be seen as the Ancestors still residing within the Middleworld. There are those who believe as well that the Ancestors can evolve enough to move beyond the cycle of life, death, and rebirth; that they can move among the heavens (Willoughby 60, 79). This would then allow them to live in the Upperworld in the realm of the gods. Even the soul of mortals seems to be unfixed when it comes to where it can reside.

          Though physical animals must live within the Middleworld, the Nature Spirits are not necessarily bound to reside just within it. Mythology from the Celts tells us that Nature Spirits like the Sidhe left the Middle World to live within the Underworld (Squire 135-138). There are also stories where the Spirits of Nature travel from one world to another. Norse mythology tells us that the raven is seen as one of those Nature Spirits, because traditionally it is seen as a messenger that travels between the Three Realms (Lindow 187-188). There are many other Nature Spirits such as birds that are seen to be messengers (Crudden 5 Lines 45-46) and travel from this world into the other realms. Even among the Nature Spirits not all seem to be confined to a single realm.

          It is not hard to see how calling to the Kindred through the Three Realms would be a valid way to ‘Fill Out the Cosmic Picture.’ Through the use of Upper, Lower, and Middles Worlds we are assured to truly call to ALL of the Kindreds no matter where They may reside.
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