Thursday, September 20, 2012
ADF Liturgy part 13: Understanding of the Omen in ADF Liturgy
To understand what Omens are it is important to know there is a difference between Omens and Divination. An Omen is: any perceived happening that is believed to show signs of a good or evil event or circumstance occurring in the future or a way of perceiving the intentions of the divine (Random House Dictionary). Where a Divination is: the practice of attempting to see future events or discover hidden knowledge by supernatural things (Random House Dictionary). It is a form of prophecy through intuition.
But knowing the definition is only a part of understanding the Omen. It was something I did not totally understand until I started taking the role of Seer in our Grove’s rituals. From my work as the Seer of the Grove I learned that the Omen is actually a very powerful and important part of ADF ritual.
The Omen in ADF ritual is used as a tool to see how our praise offerings and the main ritual sacrifices have been taken by the Kindred. Through the Omen we are able to cipher the wishes and desires of those we are honoring. It allows us to create lines of communication between the Kindred and ourselves. Omens allow us to ‘know’ instead of guessing or assuming our offerings are accepted. (Corrigan, Concerning the Taking of Omens)
If there is a favorable Omen then the ritual continues on to the Blessing of the Waters of Life which are shared with the grove. What remains of the Blessing Waters are then returned to the Earth. If the Omen is not a favorable one, or seen as something more is needed, another round of offerings will be done before taking the Omen again. In our grove if there are three unfavorable Omen within the ritual we will stop the ritual and contemplate what went wrong, though since I have been in the grove that has not happened. There was only one Omen that I saw as an unfavorable one, in that case one of the celebrants had forgotten to give offerings to the spirits of the land that we were honoring. Making this offering is a tradition for our grove. Once that offering had been made the Omen came back as good.
The Omen is a powerful tool to gauge the success or failure of ritual offerings to the Kindred. In ritual being a Seer is a function that I feel privileged to perform. Without the use of Omen ADF ritual would be lack the special quality that sets it apart from the rest of the Pagan community. The Omen is the tool which allows us the insight to create our reciprocal relation with the Kindred through our sacrifices and honoring.