Monday, September 24, 2012
ADF Liturgy part 15:possible cultural variances of the elements in
Many of the symbols that have become standard for our beliefs and cosmology
in ADF leave room for the Liturgist to be creative. They can take into account variances from
within the cultural focus of groves or rituals being written. Variations in liturgy writing are
important to allow for the many flavorful cultural symbols that exist with Indo-European
cultures. Through flexibility in symbols we give a wider range of ways to reach the people and
the Kindreds we strive to server as Druids. One of the many variations that can be used is with
the Sacred Hallows, most notably the Well and the Tree.
Within the Hellenic culture there were many times where links are made with well and
tree, but there are two other very strong symbols that fill the pre-Hellenic and Hellenic culture.
The importance of caves and fissures are seen many much through both periods (Burkert 24-26,
110, 172). They are seen as doorways or gateways into the Underworld; the domain of chthonic
gods, nymphs and the dead. Many shrines and temples were setup around these geological
features. Seeing that the Well is linked with the Underworld and the Ancestors it is easy to see
how a cave or fissure is a cultural variation.
Mountains are another very important symbol in the pre-Hellenic and Hellenic cultures.
The high airy peaks were seen many times as the meeting place between the gods and humans.
Such places were also seen as the larger scale domain of the nymphs. Also another important
aspect of mountains beyond reaching to the heavens is the fact that they are often the home
of caves and fissures that lead into the earth. Just as the Tree is seen spanning the distance
between the realms, so can the symbol of the mountain. (Burkert 26-28, 85)
With a little creativity and research a good liturgist will find there is a world of variations
waiting for them when it comes to writing culturally focused rituals. You just need to big a little
deeper and have some fun with it.