Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indo-European Mythology part 3: An explanation of how each of the following elements of ADF ritual may or may not resonate with elements of two Indo-European cultures

I chose to work with the Norse and the Hellenic because I have very little knowledge of the Norse compared to the knowledge I have of Hellenic culture and beliefs. I feel the point of this section is to learn and expand our knowledge while being able to compare and apply it with what we already know.

Earth Mother

                The Earth Mother is a figure that can be seen in nearly all Indo-European cultures. However most of these images are of a raw primitive earth goddess. Very seldom are they seen as very cultivated refined deities.

                In the Norse culture, specifically in the Scandinavian tradition, “…Jord is the personification of the primitive, unpopulated, and uncultivated Earth.” (Lindemans Jord). She is said to be one of the many wives of Odin and the mother of Thor.

                The Hellenic mythologies have a much more defined mythos surrounding Gaia. She gives birth to the Titians and all manner of creatures of the Heavens, the earth, and the underworlds; both sea and under the ground alike. Gaia though is viewed as a rival of the gods. It is also from her body which humankind was formed.

 Deities of Land

                 From what I have gathered from Norse mythology there was not a great deal of separation when it came to Land, Sea, and Sky. It is almost as if all of Midgard was seen as one whole world with no major divisions. However, there is the possibility of a case being argued that Freya was the goddess of land. She is the “… patron goddess of crops and birth… spring and flowers.” (Lindemans Freya)

                In the Hellenic culture, land deities were called Chthonic deities, also known as “Theoi Khthonioi”. “The word comes from the Greek chtonios, which means ‘of, in or under the earth’” (Lindemans Chthonic gods) They were the gods which lived on the earth, tending to the needs of all things upon and within the earth. A few examples would be Demeter, Pan, Persephone, Hades, etc.

 Deities of Sea

                From what I have learned from this course it is very had to find a real hard line drawn within Norse culture for specific deities of the Sea, or any realm over all. Though there are some deities as well as giants that are seen to have their domains in the sea. Aegir is one of the deities which had the defined role of being the god of the sea.  His wife was the sea goddess Ran, with whom he ruled the seas. They were the patron of sailors. (Lindemans Aegir)

                For Hellenic culture there was a large variety of deities which ruled over the seas. The ancient Greek term for these gods was “Theio Halioi.” There were the primordial deities such as Oceanus and Tethys, the main ruler of the seas Poseidon, and then less powerful deities such as the Old Men of the Sea (Nereus, Proteus, Glaucus, and Phorkys) and the Nymphs. There are many cases the Nymphs were seen as both deities and nature spirits.

 Deities of Sky

                A case can be made that the Norse had Thor and Odin as their sky deities. Thor would be seen as the thunder god, the god of stormy skies. Odin can be seen as the god of the sky since he is the ruler of the Aesir.

                There are just as many variations with the sky deities as there are in the Sea and Land for the Hellenics. They were seen as the gods of sky and weather, they were the “Theoi Ouranioi”. There were the gods of the wind, dawn, Atlas the sky bearer, Helius the sun, the Hesperides (sunsets), Iris, Nyx, Selene, and Zeus just to name a few. Each took a role in all the components which make up the Sky.


                Nearly all the Indo-European cultures had beings, either god or spirit, which they considered to be against the order of the universe. By the definition we use in ADF for Outsiders it usually is not too hard to see who would fall into this category pretty easily.

                The Norse had the Jotuns. The Jotuns are the “primeval frost-giants, the enemies of the gods” (Lindemans Jotuns) which have dominion over Jotunheim.  It can also be said that Hel could be included in the list of Outsiders for the Norse, as she will lead an army against the gods in Ragnarok.

                The list of “Outsiders” for the Hellenics could be rather lengthy. Many of the Titians which were thrown into Tartarus would be seen as Outsiders. Nyx and her children can be seen as being a part of the Outsiders as well since many of them are disruptive to the order of the cosmos.

 Nature Spirits

                It is from the Norse view of the Nature Spirits that modern fantasy owes many of its most beloved races.  In Old Norse mythology they were called Vættir, or wights.  The Vættir were made up of elves, dwarfs, and gnomes.  There also seemed to be what Karl Mortensen terms as nature demons who were made up of river-spirits, mermen, and mermaids. (Mortensen 47)

                Within the Hellenic culture there were spirits called Daemones. This was the general name for the Nature Spirits. The following is a listing of some of the Daemones in Greek Mythology: (Atsma)

·         Daemones Argyrean – men of silver age immortalized as underground spirits responsible for earth’s fertility
·         Daemones Chrysean – men of golden age immortalized as earth-dwelling spirits to watch over mankind
·         Daemones Chthonian - spirits of the underworld
·         Daemones Georgici - the spirits of agriculture and faming
·         Daemones Halian – the spirits of the sea
·         Daemones Nomian – the spirits of the countryside, pastureland and wilds
·         Daemones Uranian – the spirits of the sky

So to say that the Hellenics had a place for the Nature Spirits is putting it lightly!


                Ancestor worship in Norse culture was as diverse as that of Nature Spirits in Hellenic culture.  Though there doesn’t seem to a fully developed structure of worship for the Ancestors but it can be clearly deduced that it was part of the culture. There is evidence that the dead were conjured to gain knowledge of things hidden, magic, and the future (Mortensen 41). There is also evidence of what is called erfiӧl, funeral feasts, which were offerings to those who had passed into the afterlife (Mortensen 42-43). It was a commonly held belief that the soul of the dead stayed near for as long as the body remained unburied. As for the forefathers of the people, they were seen as the protectors of the family and therefore offerings were made to them. This could very well be the starting point in the belief that the soul transmigrated into different forms of being; each serving a purpose to the living. Once such form was that of the endrbornir, which was when the soul of an ancestor living in the body of a new born child. There was also the fylgjur, which was the attendant of mankind from birth to the grave. The fylgjur was not only the attendant of the individual but also of the family and it would pass from one generation to the next. An argument can be made that even some of the Ancestor were seen to have been raised to the level of gods; Snorri gives Frey as an example of this saying he was an earthy prince that was raised to the status of a god after his death (Mortensen 42).

                Ancestral working in Hellenic culture was part of the lives of the people but in many ways it seems undefined as a structured practice outside of the rituals for the newly dead or part of the state religious ceremonies. Several sources write about the Greeks giving offerings to the dead, “… people brought libations and food offerings to the dead in their tombs…” (Nilsson 8), offerings of mixed fruits called pankarpia “… were also brought to the dead at the ancient Greek equivalent of All Soul’s Day, the Chytroi, on the third day of Anthesteria” (Nilsson 9). Nilsson goes on to explain the Chytroi occurred “… the third day, or, more correctly, the evening before…” He also goes on to explain that “Offerings of vegetables were brought to the dead, and libations of water were poured out to them” (Nilsson 34). Many of these offerings many have been given to the dead not just as a sign of honoring but because there were tomb cults at the time that believe the dead had the power to do harm to the living. To support his view in this Nilsson says “… leaden tablets with imprecations were deposited in tombs, a sure sign of the belief in the power of the dead to do harm” (Nilsson 115).

Works Cited

Atsma, Aaron. "Encyc_D." 2000. Theoi Project . 1 6 2013. <>.
Lindemans, Micha F. "Norse Mythology." March 1997. Encyclopedia Mythica. 16 April 2013. <>.
Mortensen, Karl. A Handbook of Norse Mythology. Neeland Media LLC, 1913.

Nilsson, Martin P. Greek Folk Religion. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940. paper back.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Indo-European Mythology part 2: Summarizomg, then comparing and contrast the myths of two Indo-European cultures with respect to the following topics: tales of creation, tales of divine war, tales which describe the fate of the dead

Tales of Creation

          The stories of creation have always fascinated me. They can be so extremely insightful to the cultural beliefs of a people. There is an interesting theme that seems to run through many of the Indo-European cultures I have read. They seem to be connected in most cases with water to some degree.

          Creation in Norse mythology has an interesting start, from of Ice and Fire. Niflheim, the fog country, was the first realm within the Norse creation. It was a place cold frozen place. There was a well named Hvergelmir from which ten Elivagar, venomous streams, flowed. Niflheim lay in the north while a place of fire and light called Muspell lay in the south. Waves of stream from the Elivagar began to freeze into ice causing the venom to form into a frost. When the frost came into contact with the heat from Muspell the giant Ymir was born. From the congealing venomous stream came the divine cow Authumla. As there was no grass for Authumla to feed on she licked the salt frost-covered stones. One day as she licked them a man's hair was formed, the next day his head, the third day his body. He was given the name Buri. He soon had a son named Bor. Bor married Bestla, the daughter of Ymir's son Bolthorn. Their sons in turn were Odin, Vili, and Ve. From the body of Ymir, Bor's sons created the heavens and the earth in the yawning gulf between Niflheim and Muspell. From his flesh the earth was formed, from his blood the seas, from his bones the mountains, from his hair the trees, and from his skull the dome of the sky. From his eyelashes they made Mithgarth which would be the home of man. One day the sons of Bor were walking along a beach where they took two trees in which to form humans, a man and a woman. Each son gave a gift to the humans: the first soul and life, the second understanding and power of motion, and the third visage, speech, hearing and sight. (Mortensen 19-24)

          There are numerous creation tales with ancient Hellenic mythologies. Most of them present a rather incomplete picture of creation as a whole. However, if the three most common are taken together they form a rather beautiful and complete tale of how the cosmos was formed. I will present the three stories as a continuous tale. In the beginning there was only night, Nyx, and the Chaos. Nyx laid a great egg from which sprang Eros, the winged god of love. Within the shell was the two beings Okeanos and Tethys. Okeanos was the great first great river and he took his sister Tethys as his wife. They were the first being to act on love. It was through their mating that Gaia was created. Gaia bore the sky, Ouronas. Gaia also bore the mountains and the sea, Pontos all with the aid of Eros. To Ouronas she bore Titians, the Kyklopes, and the Hekatoncheires. (Kerenyi 15-17) As for the creation of humans there are tales that there were several races of man throughout creation. And there are just as many tales of how they were created. Once tell was that the first race was purely male and took Nymphs as wives. These were seen as long-lived. It was Gia who brought about the creation of the first humans. She wanted to be the mother of loving caring intelligent being so she formed them from her body.

Tales of Divine War

          Many of the Indo-European cultures feature divine wars. Some even have several among their tales. They always seem to carry the theme of the gods fighting against the baser darker raw elements of nature.

          Within the Norse culture the most well known war is that of Ragnarok. This seems to be the war to end all wars. This battle is the last among the Aesir and the Jotun. During this battle many of the Norse gods are killed along with their enemies. The Nine worlds burn. It is the destruction and end of the life, man and the gods as we know it. Odin fights Fenrir, Heimdall fight Loki, Frey and Surt fight killing one another. Thor fights and destroys the Mithgarth serpent. But though all this the world arises anew from the waters of the sea. It is a time of ever lasting peace and harmony. It is filled with the gods that survived and those that are reborn. And a new generation of man, descendants of Lif and Lifthrasir, inhabit the earth.

          The Hellenic has one of the most well known divine wars as well. It is between the Titians and their children who become the Hellenic Gods. In the Hellenic mythologies it says “…for fully ten years the Titans and the children of Rhea and Kronos had been at bitter war.” (Kerenyi 24) It was through the guidance of Gaia that the gods were able to defeat the Titans. After the Titans were defeated and Kronos was thrown down by Zeus, the high ruler himself was warned that he too would have his children turn upon him to throw him down. There are many other tales in Hellenic mythology about divine wars between the new gods and the children of Gaia. The youngest and perhaps one of the most powerful being born from Gaia was Typhon, the great dragon. It was Zeus, who from afar, struck down the great and terrible creature with this thunder bolt (Kerenyi 26-28). Gaia gave birth to a race of giants which she unleashed to fight the new gods. It is believed that she did this “… because the new gods had now usurped the position of the Sons of Heaven, and Gaia was always an adversary of Heaven.”

Tales of the fate of the Dead

          As with all religions, past and present, the Indo-European cultures all had their very own views of what the fate of the dead. Many of them carried the same themes of a possible blessed afterlife, punishment and rebirth.

          The Norse can be said to have one of the most varied and complex tales which determine the fate of the Dead. Most of what determines what happens to the dead is based on how one died, though life style did play an important role as well. The Norse did believe in a form of reincarnation of a soul or transmigration. They were called "...endrbornir, 'born again'." (Mortensen 43) The belief was that the departed could take up residences in the body of a newborn baby of a descendent especially if the child was given the name of the dead individual. As for the rest of the Norse people, it depended on 'how' you died that determined the destination of an individual's soul. Within their mythology there were three possible destinations, each very different from the other. Though from the sources I have read so far these places could be seen simply as different names for the Underworld, much like in the Hellenic culture, where all the places of the Dead were still all located in the Underworld.

  • Fólkvangr - is the place in which those who have been chosen by Freya go.
  • Valhalla - is the place which Odin, 'Val-fathir', gives a place for all those who have fallen in battle. The Valkyrs are the ones who choose those fallen in battle. It is believed that each day the chosen, the Einherhar awake and battle against each other. Any that are felled rise before evening. The evening is spent rejoicing and drink in Odin's Hall (Mortensen 33)
  • Helheim - those who have died from old age or disease are taken to Helheim ruled by Hel.

          For the Hellenics death was a time of judgment. It seems at one point it Hellenic mythology humans knew the time of their deaths "…we must put a stop to their foreknowledge of their death; for this they at present foreknow. " (Atsma) All those who passed into the afterlife where brought before three sons of Zeus, who had once been living themselves; Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Aiakos. The judges and the judged were stripped naked so as to leave the trappings of the living world behind them. The place of judgment was a divided road, One road lead to the Isles of the Blest and the other to Tartaros. As Tartaros is where Zeus threw the Titans which warred against him, I cannot imagine a much worse faith for a person following the Hellenic path. When the Eleusinian Mysteries were founded there was another possibility for those that died. The cult taught that as the seed from the death plant was laid in the earth and reborn each year so was Persephone. With this came the belief that we too could go through this cycle as well and could be given a blessed afterlife if initiated into the Mysteries. (Leadbetter)

Works Cited

Atsma, Aaron. "Haides." 2011. Theoi Greek Mythology. 1 3 2013 <>.
Kerenyi, Karl. The Gods of the Greeks. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc, 1980.
Leadbetter, Ron. "Eleusinian Mysteries." June 2002. Encyclopedia Mythica. 2 March 2013 <>.

Mortensen, Karl. A Handbook to Norse Mythology. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1913 (Translation date).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Indo-European Mythology part 1: Discussion of the primary sources for three the mythology of three Indo-European cultures, including their dates of origin and authorship

          Many of the Indo-European cultures and religious writings were deviated by monotheist religions, Christianity and Islam being the two major aggressors. This has left us deprived in many cases of primary sources for mythology which were not influenced or tainted by these monotheistic beliefs. However there are three Indo-European cultures' primary sources that remained intact over all and in some cases without any major changes at all. These are the Norse, Hellenic, and Vedic cultures.

          The primary sources for the Norse culture, though written by those of the Christian faith, are the Eddas. The Eddas where written in the 13th century and are composed of two versions; The Poetic Eddas and the Prose Eddas. The Poetic Eddas are a collection of ancient Norse poems that derive from the Icelandic manuscript called the Codex Regius. This manuscript has been attributed to Sæmundr, a 12th century Icelandic priest. The Prose Eddas, also known as the Younger or Snorri's Eddas, were written by the historian Snorri Sturluson around 1220 BC. Snorri attempted to make the Poetic Eddas more approachable and relay the subtleties of the verse to readers. The main issue with these two sources is this: The Poetic Eddas were a part of the Codex Regius, which is believed to have been written in the 13th century. (Wikipedia) This means there is most certainly influence from Christianity in these writings. As Snorri used the Poetic Eddas as the foundation for his writings this means that the influence still taints the original Pagan mythology behind their inspiration. This influence can cause a great deal of damage in relating the cultural and spiritual meanings that originally inspired the beliefs giving us only a dim insight into our Norse ancestors.

          There are many extensive sources from which we can draw information about Hellenic mythology. The first is the Orphic Hymns which are a collection of 87 hymns to the Hellenic gods written sometime around the 3rd of 2nd century BCE. (Atsma , Orphic Hymns) They are attributed to Orpheus, who very well might be a fictional character. This makes the authorship of the hymns very sketchy to say the least. An entire religious cult sprang from teachings and philosophy of this author. There are sources such as Plato who refer to this cult and its teachings. (Parker 483-510) The second major source is the Homeric Hymns which are 33 poems about the Hellenic gods. Authorship is considered anonymous, though the majority of the poems have been attributed to Homer since they are in the same dactylic hexameter as the Iliad and Odyssey. The hymns are dated to be somewhere around the 6th century BDC. (Atsma , Homeric Hymns) Two other sources for Hellenic mythology can be seen in the Iliad and the Odyssey. Both of these epic poems are attributed to Homer, though there is some debate about his authorship of both. The Iliad is about the 10 year siege of the city Troy. The Odyssey centers around the hero Odysseus and his ten year journey home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. All these sources have survive in their original forms, barring translation errors, unlike so many of the more oral traditions of the Norse and the Celts. The only major issue I see with the use of these texts is the issue with translations and the fact that some of the authorships are unknown or up for debate.

          The most fascinating of the Indo-European cultures and their primary sources for mythology have always been the Vedic to me. Their primary mythology is found in the Vedas. The Vedas are a large body of texts, poems and hymns, which are composed in Vedic Sanskrit. The Vedic texts are organized into four collections. The first three are focused on the performance of sacrifice and the fourth is focused on the magical workings and practices such as spells and incantations, among other things. The following are the books and a bit about each one:

  • The Rigveda: contains hymns to be recited by the hotr (priest who performs offerings accompanied by specific chants.)
  • The Yajurveda: containing formulas to be recited the adhvaryu (the officiating priest)
  • The Samaveda: containing formulas to be sung by the udgatr (similar to the hotr)
  • The Atharvaveda: collection of spell, incantations, apotropaic charms and speculative hymns

          Parts of the Vedas have been dated as far back as mid 2nd to mid 1st millennium BCE. This makes them among the oldest sacred text in the world. Overall these writings have been unchanged by monotheism in any type. The one issue with the use of these as a primary source is that some parts of the Vedas can be seen to be in conflict with each other. Also there is again the issue of the unknown authorship. With a sacred text that has been around for so long it can be easy to make slight changes over time which can end up with major deviations from the original writings.

Works Cited

Atsma, Aaron. Theio Greek Mythology. 2011. 1 3 2013 <>.
Parker, Robert. "Early Orphism." Powell, Anton. The Greek World. Taylor & Francis, Inc, 2002. 640.
Wikipedia. Wikipedia - Edda. 21 2 2013. 1 3 2013 <>.

Indo-European Mythology part 4: A discussion on how the following seven elements of ADF's cosmology are (or are not) reflected in the myths of two different Indo-European cultures


                In ADF cosmology the Upperworld is home to the gods and goddesses of our faith. Many times heroes can reside among the Upperworld as well. This is no different among the Norse and the Hellenic cultures.

                The Upperworld in Norse mythology is home of the worlds of Asgard (land of the gods), Alfheim (land of the elves), and Vanaheim (the land of the Vanir). Asgard is also where the honored dead, those who have fallen in battle, reside after death.

                In the Hellenic mythology the Upperworld is the home of the Olympians and the lesser deities. The Upperworld is also where the Heroes of the Hellenic culture live who were given demi-god status.


                In ADF cosmology the Middle world is the home of humans as well as the Nature Spirits. It is the body of the Earth Mother and where all our Druid rites take place.

                The Middleworld within the Norse mythology would be the concept of Midgard. Its name means middle garden. This middle earth is the home which the gods created for humanity.

                The Hellenic cultures view of the Middleworld is not so very different than that of the Norse. It is the realm in which all of humanity lives alongside the Nature Spirits and in many cases the chthonic gods.

Divisions of Middleworld (e.g., 4 quarters, 3 Triads, 8 Sections)

                From what I have read there is not real defined divisions within Midgard like there is in the Hellenic cosmology. Karl Mortensen quotes Snorri about the creation of the earth, Midgard, by saying “ From Ymir’s flesh the earth was shaped and from his blood the sea,… from his skull the sky…” However there is an interesting fact about the placement of Midgard within Norse mythology that could be most interesting. Encyclopedia Britannica states that Midgard lays between “… Miflheim on the north, the land of ice, and Muspelheim to the south, the region of fire.”

The Greeks divided the Middleworld into three realms; land, sea, and sky (Atsma). This division is so pronounced that there are even Nature Spirits specifically for these realms (Atsma, Nymphai). Each realm is respectively ruled by three brothers; Hades (land), Poseidon (sea), and Zeus (sky). There was another divine that can be seen in Hellenic mythology; that of the four cardinal points: north, south, east, and west. This can be seen in the deities which are rulers over the four winds (Atsma, Sky Gods).


                The Underworld is a most interesting aspect of both the Norse and Hellenic mythologies.  In the Hellenic mythology all humans who pass away, accept those who are granted demi-god status, travel into the Underworld. The Underworld is divided into several different areas. For those that had broken cultural taboos there were the fields of punishment. Those who had been initiated in the Eleusinian Mysteries there was the Elysian Fields where they lived a blessed afterlife. The Underworld is also seen as the home of several chthonic deities, Persephone and Hades being among the most widely known ones.

                For the Norse the Underworld realm is made up of two worlds. Muspelheim is a region in Norse mythology that was the home of desolation. It is the lowest world in the Norse cosmology. It is the land of fire and the home of the giant Surt, ruler of Muspelheim. It is through the interaction of the ice from Niflheim and the fires of Muspelheim that created the first creature. Niflheim is the lowest of the worlds which is beneath a root of the Ygg-drasil. The root extends down into the Spring of Hvergelmir. This is also the realm of Hel and where those who died from old age and illness were received. (Ancient History)


                Fire is one of the most fundamental aspects of ADF cosmology and ritual. It is the one required Hallow as well. Most Indo-European cultures held fire as sacred.

                For the Norse fire was part of the dual force with started all of creation. It was through the fires of the world Muspelheim and the ice of Niflheim that life was first created, resulting in the rest of the cosmos being born.

                Fire in the Hellenic culture is no less important. Fire was seen as a power only held by the gods until the titan born god Prometheus stole fire from the Olympians and gave it to humanity. Fire was also the gateway for sacrifices to the gods by mortals. 


                In Norse mythology there are three wells that are sacred and central to the cosmology. These wells are each at the end of a root of the World Tree, the Ygg-drasil. The wells are Mimisbrunnr (the Well of Wisdom), Urdarbrunnr (the Well of Fate), and Hvergelmir (the Roaring Kettle) which is the source of many rivers.

                Though there are wells that are mentioned in Greek mythology their role is much less important than the sacred rivers. The argument can be made that the sacred rivers can function the same as the symbolism of the Well. The largest most encompassing river is the River Okeanos. There are four Underworld Rivers which of course are fed from the River Okeanos as all rivers are. They are as following:
Acheron: ‘river of woe’. This is river that the old ferryman Charon ferried the dead across from the lad of the living to the realm of the dead.

Cocytus: ‘river of lamentation’. Those who died and were not properly buried were stuck walking about the banks of this river for most of their afterlife.

Phlegethon: This was the river of fire in Hades. It’s said that while the fire burned, it did not consume anything within its flames.

Lethe: ‘river of forgetfulness’. This is the river where the dead had to drink from to completely forget about their lives on Earth.

Styx: ‘river of hate’. This is the actual river that separates the land of the living from the realm of the dead. It is said to wrap around Hades nice times. The river is sacred to both gods and men.


                In ADF we use the Tree not only to symbolize the Middleworld and Nature Spirits but as the great axis between all the worlds. It is our stairs to both the Upperworld and the Underworld. But in this section we will look at how the Norse and Hellenic cultures viewed this axis.

                The Ygg-drasil is the World Tree in Norse mythology. Ygg-drasil is said to be an ash that spans and support the whole of the Norse cosmology. The branches reach far into the heavens while the tree is support by three main roots which reach out into different worlds. One root reaches to the heavens and into the well Urdarbrunnr in Asgard, one into the spring feed well of Hvergelmir located in Jotunheim, and the third into the well Mimisbrunnr in Niflheim. It is through the Ygg-drasil and the Bifrost that one travels between the worlds. (Mortensen 22-24)

                Though there are sacred trees in the Hellenic culture it cannot be said that there was a World Tree of any sorts, however, even if there was no World Tree Walter Burkert does mention tree sanctuaries sacred to specific deities (Burkert 28). Several different things can be seen taking the place of a World Tree in their mythology. One symbol that can be seen as the center of all things is the Omphalos, or the navel stone which is seen as the center of the earth (Encyclopedia Mythica). In an early time period of Hellenic history there can be seen ‘Pillar Cults.’ Burkert passage about Pillar Cults says “... a stone of this kind, or pile of stones, at which daimons make libation, is a marker of a sacred centre…” (Burkert 39). In Greek Religion Burkert talks about two other possible alternatives to for our use of a World Tree in ADF; cave and peak sanctuaries (Burkert 24-28). You can see cave sanctuaries being used as gateways to the Underworld and its associated deities. As Olympus is on the highest peak in the heavens it is not shocking that peak sanctuaries were used as a way to reach the Upperworld.

 Works Cited

Ancient History. "Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology." n.d. Ancient History. HTML. 2 6 2013.
Atsma, Aaron. "Greek Gods." 2000. The Theoi Project. HTML. 2 6 2013.
—. "Nymphai." 2000. The Theoi Project. HTML. 2 6 2013.
—. "Sky Gods." 2000. The Theoi Project. HTML. 2 6 2013.
Burkert, Walter. Greek Religion. Harvard University Press, 1985. paper back.
Encyclopedia Mythica. "Omphalos." 3 3 1997. Encyclopedia Mythica. HTML. 2 6 2013.

Mortensen, Karl. A Handbook of Norse Mythology. Neeland Media LLC, 1913.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Toxic Religions

by Russell Heiland
          A friend of mine posted a comment on his Facebook about a church sermon the preacher gave about Toxic Religions. This is something I think about a lot as I am so often perplexed by how any faith can become toxic in someone's life. Especially since the purpose of a religion is to help bring enlightenment and better the people, not poison it with hate and intolerance. I tried finding a definitive answer to 'how do you define toxic religions' but found that there is not one. From what I did find and messed with my own view I come up with this: toxic religion is a dogmatic, closed minded approach to faith that leaves little room or individual experiences and beliefs. Most of what I found of course was centered on Christianity, though it is by no means limited to that one faith.

          The way I see it is that if your religion teaches absolutes, teaches strict dogmatic practices, teaches prejudices, teaches inequality, or teaches self shame about self respect then you have yourself a toxic religion. Religion is meant to pick us up. It is meant to help us become better than we are today. When a religion teaches these absolutes, prejudices, inequality, and self shame all the religion is capable of bring is a degradation of humanity. It breeds superiority which leads to hatred and conflict.

          Each and everyone of us should stop to examine our religious beliefs. We need to take responsibility back from those leading so that we begin to choose for ourselves what is right and proper for ourselves. Not a single person on this planet it qualified to tell anyone how she or he should find their way to the divine. Clergy in whatever form it takes is there to guide us on a journey that is our own. They are there to help us to find our own understanding of the divine. If you remember nothing else remember this: Reality is what you perceive it to be. Each of us has our own perceptive on life. No one perceptive is right. So the ones teaching these toxic beliefs are just forcing their perceptive upon.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pagan!!! Do you worship the Devil?

          I have been a Pagan the majority of my life. During my high school days a friend of mine introduced me to the world of magic, witchcraft, and Paganism. I have never gave much thought about what it meant to be Pagan until I started 'coming out' of the closest, so to speak, about my spiritual path. Even then it was extremely hard to define really what Paganism was. Once I stepped out there were all kinds of questions thrown at me, things like: do you eat babies? do you sacrifice animals? do you worship naked? do you have orgies? Though my favorite has always been: do you worship the Devil?
          Before we go any further we might want to look at the term Pagan. The term comes from the Latin word paganus, which in Late Latin had the meaning of "region delimited by markers. However in the late 14th to early 15th centuries is came to mean "related to the country side", "country dweller", and even "unlearned". Here is what Peter Brown had to say in his book Late Antiquity: 

The adoption of paganus by Latin Christians as an all-embracing, pejorative term for polytheists represents an unforeseen and singularly long-lasting victory, within a religious group, of a word of Latin slang originally devoid of religious meaning. The evolution occurred only in the Latin west, and in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, "Hellene" or "gentile" (ethnikos) remained the word for "pagan"; and paganos continued as a purely secular term, with overtones of the inferior and the commonplace.

Sometime in the earlier parts of the 5th century paganus took on the religious connotations that a person was not of the Christian faith. Then in more modern times the term was adopted by groups who were trying to create religious and spiritual paths that hearkened back to the days of polytheistic practices, times before monotheism dominated most of Europe.

          To define what the modern Pagan is can be a near impossible task. Each person asked will have a different definition. So I figure I will give you my general broad definition and answer a few of the questions I have been asked over the years.

image by Shutter Stock
          For me Paganism is any religious or spiritual path that does not original from the Abrahamic religion (Judaism. Islamic, or Christianity faiths). Being Pagan for me is reconnecting to the Earth Mother, honoring the gods of old, our ancestors, and the nature spirits around us. It is being one with the web of life, no separate from it. Now... for some answers to those questions I keep getting asked. 

Do we eat babies? Well I can honestly say I have never ever once met a Pagan that would even consider eat or sacrificing a baby, not even an unbaptized one. That is seriously misinformation that is spread by those that fear losing their perceived dominance over other religions.

Do you sacrifice animals? Now this is a tricky one. Though most Pagans will tell you they do NOT and will NOT have anything to do with animal sacrifices there are a few traditions that still perform these. The most notifiable is Voodoo. Other than that you will not see or hear of this very often at all. Matter of fact, the majority of Pagans I have ever met are major animal lovers.

Do you worship naked? Well this is another tricky one. There are some traditions that work 'sky clad' which simply put is naked. Those that do tended to be rather closed circles for obvious reasons. The tradition I follow, ADF, does not allow nudity at its rites. We are a public tradition which does not lend itself to nudity. Besides do you really think the gods care if you are clothed or nor?

Do you have orgies? This is one of those questions that I always, ALWAYS, have a smart-ass answer to in my head. But that is where it stays because most people who ask this are doing so very seriously. The answer to this is: no group I have ever been a part of performed orgies of any kind. I have heard of groups that did, specifically related to Beltane (time of year associated with fertility rights). But again the tradition I belong to does not allow these kinds of activities.

Do you worship the Devil? No! No! No! No! And let me tell you why... The Devil, as people are 99.9% of the time referring too is part of the Christian faith. This means if someone is worshiping the Devil they are Christians, not Pagans. Though some Pagan traditions reflect a figure that can be cruel and sometimes extremely dark, over all we understand that the gods, much like humans, have a light and a dark side. This does not make them the Devil. 

          So yes, we modern Pagans can be a bit strange, even weird in some cases. We can be extremely eccentric but we are people who just want to connect to the divine in our own way. We try to live by the principles which govern our religion and spirits paths.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Vocational Essay for the ADF Clergy Training Program

Image of my home shrine
          Before one starts down the path of training to become ADF Clergy you have to take time to reflect upon the following questions. I wanted to share with you my Vocational Essay so that perhaps you will understand a bit more about me and my personal Druidry.

1. Why do you want to become a Priest, and what is your plan for making that goal happen?

          In my early teenage years I was lost in my spiritual path. Though I was raised Southern Baptist, I could not find a connection with their teachings, with the way the divine was viewed and worshiped, nor any connection with the idea of monotheism. Because of this lack of connection to any spiritual beliefs, I began searching for something that was more, something that would fill the emptiness in my heart and spirit.

          Years of searching brought me to Paganism, which I studied with great intent. I started with Wicca, where a lot of people do. I devoured anything I could get my hands on to read about Wiccan Paganism. I believed for a long time that I had found my path, but the more I learned, the deeper my understanding became, the more I realized that there wasn't much of a place for me even here. A dualistic faith was not what I was searching for, I needing something more.

          So I continued my studies of different types of Paganism and began to feel a desire to share what I was learning with others. Visions of being a Priest, being the helping hand to those in need, being a teacher of a path and gods I had yet to meet came to me during meditations and divinations. So I resumed searching for the place I belonged, to find the path I was being called to, the path that would lead me to become a priest for the gods and to the people.

          Why I want to become a priest is simple: it is a calling that finds its way into my dreams, my desires, and into my life at all times. It is a calling that I must answer. I have been studying as much as I can about priesthoods throughout time, as well as in the modern Pagan community. I plan to continue these studies with ADF and Hellenion. I also plan to take courses at one of the local colleges, at their continuing education program in counseling and psychology to help make myself a more rounded spiritual source for those around me. I also have been looking for ways to get more involved on a leadership level in the local grove that I am involved in currently. I have also been making myself a source within the ADF Hellenic group that provides devotions, prayers, and rituals to those seeking them.

2. Why do you want to be an ADF Priest in particular?

          Though I have had a compelling desire to become a priest since I was in my early twenties, I had not found a tradition or path that had everything I was looking for. For me, Wicca lacked the concept of true polytheism and seemed mostly focused on magical workings. With other traditions like Shamanism and Ceremonial Magic there wasn't much focus on a central structure of faith in general. They were mostly focused on either journeying into the Other Worlds for healing and knowledge or on honing skills in ritual magic. None of this really filled the void I was feeling in my spiritual life.

          Then came the day when I found ADF through one of my dearest friends and soon to be Senior Druid, James Lock. I spent some time just learning about ADF through the website, and realized from what I was reading along with my many conversations with James, that ADF was what I had been searching for. I loved the idea of working with the Kindreds to create a closer relationship with them. I was also great intrigued with the idea of the Three Hallows. At my first ADF ritual I was overwhelmed by the power of a ritual dedicated to worshiping and connecting with the Kindreds rather than on magic. I was hooked from that very moment.

          Very shortly after I attended my first ritual, I joined ADF and started working through the DP. I was drawn to the scholastic study of cultures, myths, and ancient religions as a part of the program. I had never seen such an approach to religion within the Pagan community. The combination of spirituality and scholastic work was refreshing and inspiring.

          After about six months of working the DP I started reading about the Clergy Program for ADF. I talked with James about the program, which he was working through himself. From what he told me, I decided that this was the course I was meant to serve not only the gods but all the Kindreds.

          Through the ADF Priesthood I will be able to achieve my goal and dream of becoming a priest through honest work and scholarly study. I know it is a path that will take time and effort, but I believe that is part of what makes it such a powerful Clergy Program.

3. What does being a Priest mean to you in the cultural context of your Hearth Culture?

          My Hearth Culture is that of the Greeks. From my research into of the Greek culture, priests were there to serve the people as well as the gods. The Greek priests were the Seers for the people, bringing the visions that the gods wished seekers to have.

          The priests were also the spiritual leaders of all the religious rites and festivals that were on the official public festival calendar, very much the same as the Druids of the ancient world were. They guarded the secrets of the Mystery Cults as well as passing their teachings on to the initiated. The priests also oversaw the upkeep of all the temples throughout Greece.

          Knowing this about the ancient Greek priests, I see a path that is very similar to my own. I have been a practicing Seer for many years, helping out those around me with my visions as well as through the use of divination tools. I feel that being a priest for Hellenic culture means teaching those around me, whether in my grove or just in the Pagan community in general, about the Greek gods and the way They seek to be worshiped in the modern day. I also think it means designing rituals that are Greek based, centered on the mythos to share with the grove at High Days.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Justification... sorry human excuses for genocide!

          A friend of mine on Facebook made a request for several of us to report a Facebook page as inappropriate. When I click on the site I was not prepared for how sickened I would be. It is a Facebook page that is dedicated to the eradication of the Canada wolf. The images on the site are graphic and gory to the point I was sick at my stomach. Many of the images where not of single wolf killings but the culling of FULL packs and the slaughter of pups that looked to young to even be weened. The site name? KILL ALL THE WOLVES AGAIN. (WARNING!!! DO NOT VISIT THE LINK UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF!!!)

          I am not against hunting, especially for food or culling a population that has become to large so that it is causing ecological damage. I think that helps keep a healthy balance in the wild. But this? This is glutenous whole sale slaughter presented in a fashion of joy and pleasure. There are even two videos of a snared wolf which is shot in the side (not a clean shot to the head which would have been a clean death) then allowed to just lay there and die slowly. That is not sportsmanship. That is not hunting for food. That is torture. That is cruel. There is no sense in such activities.

          Wolves play a very important role in the wild ecological system. They help thin the herds of deer and elk. They help remove those that are aging or diseased. Without wolves these herd animals over populate and begin to migrate from the wild into our backyards. We then complain and destroy these animals because they are damaging crops, gardens, and the like. Not to mention that the disease which will quickly spread their illness to the rest of their population.

          I have yet to see a practical, or any for that matter, justification for their destruction. What can you possibly say to justify this:


or this

It is time we as a people keep out about this kind of behavior! It is time we stop this kind of action and prevent the destruction of a species for reason. It is time to stop the justification of genocide!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Religious Mysteries within ADF Druidry

         Sometime a while back the topic of religious Mysteries (Yes mysteries with a capital M. Not a lower case m.) was explored on the ADF Facebook Discussion page. It was a rather thought provoking discussion as most religions have various Mysteries to their path. It made me wonder 'does ADF Druidry have Mysteries? Does is need them?' So I started trying to understand what a religious Mystery really was? I mean how can I understand if it does or does not have Mysteries if I do not even know what one really is. Well Merriam-Webster dictionary on-line it is:

          "1. a: a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand.
               c (1): a secret religious rite believed (as in the Eleusinian and Mithric cults) to impart enduring
                  bliss to the initiate (2): a cult devoted to such rites" (Merriam-Webster, mystery)

But the text book understanding just did not do it for me. There was just to much left unanswered. Then I realized something, it is only something that you, and you along can experience. the founding principles of a Mystery can be revealed by someone who have learned the Mystery themselves but each persons encounter with the Mystery will be different. The spiritual or intellectual enlightenment will vary from person to person. Sure they may be very similar but in the end how it effects each of us will always be our own.

          So with that understanding the question then becomes does ADF Druidry have any Mysteries? I think so, though maybe not in an official sense like some religious paths do. So what are some of the Mysteries I see in ADF? Well if you take a look you might see them too.

          Over is the idea of reciprocal relationship to me is part of the Mysteries of ADF. People can talk about the idea of this reciprocal or ghosti relationship until they are blue in the face and you are sick of hearing them. But until you experience it, truly experience it for yourself it is near meaningless. There is something sacred and life changing when you finally feel and 'know' for the first time that your offerings where accepted and a bond of friendship has been created.

design by David Crawford
          Then there is the calling of the Hallows and Opening of the Gates. Let us take a look at each one. The call of the Hallows have so much Mystery and meaning behind them, perhaps more than most people realize. I know when I first began working rituals on my own it was just me walking through the mechanics of rituals. I wanted to make sure that I have the form as perfect as I could. Then suddenly one day when I was calling the Hallows it finally struck me. I was not just calling on spirits of the Fire, Tree, and Well. I was calling to the Fire of all the universe, to the axis and World Tree of all the universe, and to all the waters and Wells of the universe... that included each one that resided within myself. I found my whole being respond to the call! That is something no one can teach you to feel. It is something that must come as its own revelation deep within you. That day I learned not only was I the Hallows but what it meant to open them with this knowledge. When I opened the Gates I felt a spiritual ecstasy I had never in my life experienced.
The Titan's Gobleby Thomas Cole

          One of the most powerful Mysteries to me is that of the Waters of Life. Again this is one of those things that you hear about in ADF rituals but until you truly experience it for yourself you will never know. The Mystery is the changing of the liquid from just plain liquid into the pure blessings of the Kindred. It is the powering of all that gratitude in the vessel and the liquid it contains so that they are passed on to you.

          As for their importance? I believe it is through the Mysteries of a faith that true spiritual comes. It is through the individual experience that we expand as beings. When we come together as a group these experiences help create and environment rich with magic for others to have the Mysteries revealed to them.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Fast as a speeding Oak"

          I saw a posting today on Teo Bishop's blog (BTW if you have not subscribed and read him regularly you should) about "To Be Pagan Without Community." An amazingly thought provoking article. There was something in the blog that shocked me. Someone I really respected for his efforts within our tradition had left ADF. He brought ideas that challenged some of the more 'conventional' thinking. He even brought a few ideas that really caused some debate among the leadership and our ideas about how our religious community is structure and could be structured. I know I have been a bit out of the loop, my life is a bit insane right now but still it was a shocker. But it was a shocker when I had heard of others who stepped down and away from ADF for their differences with how things go, do not go, or that the Mother Grove (our ruling body) moves slow.

          In ADF you will hear many people saying "Fast as a speeding Oak." It is a saying that really underlies how our Druid path operates. We are scholars, we are artists, we are leaders and we are both a community of many and a community of solitaries. This makes it difficult to try to introduce rapid change. Is that a bad thing? Maybe. Most of the time I see it as a virtue. I have seen both Christian and Pagan groups torn apart because of rapid change. The change was so dramatic and so sudden that old members were divided, new members shunning the old because they were still thinking in their traditional way. And in everyday life that is usually how change occurs, but in religion we expect something stable, something that doesn't chance on us without a very good darn reason and even then with resistance.

          I do not for one minute believe that ADF or OBOD or Wicca or any other Pagan or Christian tradition is completely correct. Nor do I believe they have any right to make full claim on a members beliefs. I am an artist by nature and I see my life is a work of art. ADF for me is like a piece of canvas, it is the base on which I paint my own master piece. I pull from all my skills and knowledge of the past, I pull from all that I am learning, and what I find is that just like the saying goes 'Fast as a speeding oak' is about the right speed so that something wonderful comes from what I create, because even in a community of Pagans your spirituality is always solo for no one but you shares your temple. We join a religion for its founding cosmology and principles, its belief structure not for the people... if you do that then it is not spirituality, it's a social organization with some sort of agenda.

          And as an artist I firmly believe that you never paint over a piece you have started. You do not walk away from it just because it started out great and then you realize it was not turning exactly the way you had expected. Instead you step back, examine what is happening and find the best way to work your essence into the piece the best way you can but never letting go of your own personal vision of it.

          Always remember, if you vote with your feet or abstinence all you are doing is adding to the problem. Just because someone says no does not mean never. Try creating history for your case. Try a different approach. Go back to the drawing board with comments made to see where you can improve so that when you try again you will succeed.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Illusion? Perhaps!

        I saw this one Facebook and it really was rather an interesting idea. To think that all things are mostly empty space. It is much like the heavens which is mostly empty space with some matter dispersed throughout. As above, so below or in this case As above, so within.
          In metaphysics many believe that reality is shaped by the individual, which means it has to be a malleable substance for it to be changed by each person. If we are mostly not hear it would explain why those who practice magic have the ability to shape and reshape the world around them.   

          Perhaps the Hindus and the Buddhist are right... we are nothing more than mere illusions that exists in the greater part of the divine. The idea we live in a holographic universe it not so bizarre after all. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


          Everywhere we look today there are people spouting out about their beliefs and how everyone should follow the way they think, that everyone should be as perfect as they are. I have one word for you: Hypocrisy. What is that word you say? Well hypocrisy is the state of "... feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion" (Merriam-Webster, hypocrisy).

          Every single person, wither intentional or not, is guilty of being hypocritical to their beliefs at some point in their lives. Many are guilty rather often unintentionally in their daily lives. Some are guilty very intentionally. But no matter the intent or lack there of, hypocrisy is... well hypocrisy.

          This is one of those topics, sadly, that keeps coming to mind many times throughout the day. I, myself, am guilty of it like everyone else. Sometimes it is intentional (a little lie here or there to have a little extra time off work) and sometimes unintentional. But what kills me are things like the fight against and for gay marriage. All these holier than thou Christians are fighting this 'righteous' war to defend the sanctity of marriage while all the while they themselves have been married 2, 3, 4 times. They say that marriage is for pro-creation yet there are married couples that cannot or will not have children. Yet if you turn it back on them the very same people begin to spout "Judge not, least ye be judged." Well guess what? You are a hypocrite! Not just a little bit... A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT!!!

          But there is major hypocrisy within all religious faiths, even among us Pagans. Many people who have turned to Paganism did so to escape the kind of oppression and hypocritical behavior seen in so many churches within the Christian faith. But they soon find themselves belonging to a spiritual path that can be just as hypocritical. I remember one of the first groups I joined talked about how each person was a priest/ess. that each of us were just as able to reach out to the gods as anyone else. Yet within a few short classes I was instructed I was not allowed to do rituals, magic, or even simple prayers to the gods without supervision. Well that is pretty hypocritical to what was stated upfront.

          Though each of us as individuals and as groups at any given time can be a hypocrite, it is important to remember that we are not perfect. We each make mistakes. All we can do it work hard towards following our beliefs to the best of our abilities and try to like with as much integrity and piety as possible. If each one of us would strive to this the world would under go dramatic change.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ADF styled Vedic Ganesh Chaturthi ritual

          As a follower and devotee of Ganesha, the Chaturthi is one of the important none traditional High Days for me as a Druid. It is the Vedic/Hindu celebration devoted completely to Lord Ganapetia. In India millions of people take to the streets with flowers, fruits, sweets, and various other offerings as they parade massive statues made from plaster of the Lord. These processions lead to the ocean where the statues are submerged into the sea or rivers which lead to the sea.

Here is a video of these celebrations:

          The old Grove chose to celebrate this as a group. I created a Paper Mache statue of Ganesha that was used in the ritual. We decorated him with flowers and gave offerings of fruits, sweets, and coconuts before we placed him in the fire to send our love and devotions to him in the heavens. The following is the ritual which we performed on this day.

Ganesh Chaturthi (Vedic)

Precession Song: (Bardic)  We approach the Sacred Grove with hearts and minds, flesh and bones, Join us now in ways of old, we have come home. We have come home.

Purification of the people

Welcome (Yellow) 

World Tree Meditation (Yellow) 

Consecration of Place and Time

Offering to the Outsiders:   (Yellow) Outdwellers, turn from our grove!

Offering to Agni: (Yellow) Might Agni, be in our grove!

Offering to the Earth Mother: (Yellow) Beloved kSétrasya pátnī (kSeh-tras-yah pat-nih), be in our grove!

Offering to Poetic Inspiration: (            ) Spirit of Inspiration, be in our grove!

Recreation of the Cosmos and Establishing Scared Center (Yellow)

Invocation of Gatekeeper: Honored Mushika, come to our grove!

Opening of the Gate:      Well, Tree, Fire

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky
We stand like the World-Tree rooted deep, crowned high. (repeat once) 

(Yellow makes offering of silver to well-opens the gate)
Come we now to the Well, the eye and the mouth of Earth,
Come we now to the Well, and silver we bring,
Come we now to the Well, the waters of rebirth,
Come we now to the Well, together we sing: 


(Yellow makes offering to the tree-opens the gate)
Gather we at the Tree, the root & the crown of all,
Gather we at the Tree, Below & above,
Gather we at the Tree, Together we make our call,
Gather we at the Tree, In wisdom & love. 


(Yellow makes offering to the fire-opens the gate)
We will kindle a Fire, Bless all, and with harm to none,
We will kindle a Fire, and offering pour,
We will kindle a Fire, A light 'neath the Moon & Sun,
We will kindle a fire, our spirits will soar. 

CHORUS (with gusto)

All: Let the gates be OPEN!
                Let the gates be OPEN!
                Let the gates be OPEN!

(Yellow): The gates are OPEN!

Kindred Invocations

Offering to Ancestors:  (Blue) Beloved Ancestors, accept our offering!

Offering to Nature Spirits: (Green) Spirits of Nature, accept our offering!

Offering to the Gods:  (Red) Mighty gods, accept our offering!

Song: (Bardic)      Gods & Dead & Mighty Sidhe, Powers of earth & sky and sea. By fire & well, by sacred tree, Offerings we make to ye!

Main Rite
Kindred of the Occasion Invocation:

Invocation to Ganesha (Yellow):

[Ganesha Invocation: 108 count] om gam ganapataye namaha

(offerings of sweets, flowers, and fruits)

Praise Offerings (For Ganesha Alone):

Main Offering (Prayer of Sacrifice) Yellow:

[Prayer to Ganesha Remover of Obstacles]

(offering of drink and fruit)

Taking of the Omen:

Cup Litany:

(Blue)                  You among the Mighty Dead, ancestors to us all,
                           Offerings we have made, offerings you have received.
                           We ask that you bless these Waters so we may share in the wisdom of
                           Your great Knowledge!

(All) The gifts of the Ancestors for the people of the Ancestors!

(Green)               You of land, sea, and sky; both mortal and spirit alike,
                           You who are the Nature Spirits,
                           Offerings we have made, offerings you have received.
                           We ask that you bless these Waters so we may share in the warmth of your
                           Great Kinship!

(All) The gifts of the Nature Spirits for the kin of the Nature Spirits!

(Red)                 You among the divine and gods and goddesses of all time,
                          Offerings we have made, offerings you have received.
                          We ask that you bless these Waters so we may share in the great Light of
                          Your Truth!

(All) The gifts of the Gods for the children of the Gods!

(Yellow)                 In the name of Memory, the preserving shrine.(Well)
                              In the name of Earth, our common mother.(Tree)
                              In the name of Truth, the light which has no beginning and no end.(Fire)
                              May we never know thirst or need while in your service. Awen! (Make sign of ADF sigil over the Waters of Life)

Return the Waters of the Earth: We return the Water of Life so that the land will be better for us having been here. Hail great giving Earth! Keep safe always the sacrifice, keep it ever holy!


End of Rite

Thank deity of occasion:

Thank the Gods: (Red)

Thank the Nature Spirits: (Green)

Thank the Ancestors: (Blue)

Thank the Spirits of Inspiration: (           )

Thank the Earth Mother: (Yellow)

De-Hallowing of the Fire, Well, & Tree; Close the Gate, and thank Ganesha: (Facilitator-Yellow)

Closing Meditation  (Yellow)

End of ritual

Song: (Bardic)   Walk with wisdom from this hallowed place. Walk not in sorrow, our roots shall ere embrace. May strength be your brother, and honour be your friend, And luck be your lover until we meet again.