Howdy, y’all! It’s about time to school to start back up, or maybe for you it has already started (you poor souls). A lot of my writing lately has been focused on custom rituals for various things. I thought today I’d share with you a ritual for a child’s first day of school. This is written specifically for the first day of Kindergarten, but could very easily be modified for any pre-K or elementary grade kiddo. I will probably be doing something very similar to this with my daughter he in just a couple weeks. Enjoy!
This is geared towards the warmer months of the year and I originally wrote it for a Summer Solstice Ritual honoring the Avestan Goddes Ardvi Sura Anahita, though you could easily shift some of the imagery for use in rites in the dark half of the year. Enjoy!
Perseverance is the flame that continues to burn inside yourself when the storm seems the worst. Sometimes it burns bright and strong with no trouble, though this is often only when the winds are calm, and the Theoi are easily heard on the breeze. When times become difficult, and the rain is pounding down, the flame flickers, just barely keeping alight. The sound of the rumbling thunder seems to drown out the Gods, and the lightning blinds you from seeing them in your life. It is then that the flame needs to be tended most, and cared for. And just as it seems as though it may extinguish itself in the whipping wind you remember: The Gods are always present in your life, and will hold you close and keep you tending that small flickering light. After all, even when the storm seems worst, it is still the mighty Zeus.
It is important to reflect on our Code of Ethics, and the virtues we try to embody, every so often. ADF’s continuing education used to require it at least once every three years, though that has since changed and it’s no longer required that we revisit it. It is still an extremely valuable practice, and allows to see how we are growing and changing as a person and priest, and helps us to realign and reaffirm the work we are doing. I’ve also seen my work shift and focus since being Consecrated, and having had time to settle into that new(ish) role, now seems like a good time to review where I stand, what I believe, and how those things are expressed in my words and actions. Continue reading “Ethics & Vocation: 2019 Reflection”
As we grow as pagans, there are many ways our practice and our liturgical language changes over time, and it is important to regularly evaluate and reflect on them. Not only does this allow us to make sure our work still aligns with our values, but it also make sure that it is accurate to our theology and praxis.
Mentoring is essential in cultivating new leaders in an organization. Those of us who are already in those roles need to become mentors so that those following us can more easily manage the journey. As mentors, we seek to help our mentees feel welcomed, valued, and part of their own learning process. We walk alongside them, providing support and insight, encouraging reflection, risk-taking, and confidence in their growing skills, and challenging them to continue moving forward on their path.
I had a messy draft of this for when my daughter was born, and then actually solidified it when another friend had a baby. It’s been nice to have handy, because the birth of a child is an important and often scary event, where prayer proves comfort and support from the spirits.
I call out to gentle Eileithyia!Make your way swiftly to this mother and childThat labor may be eased and pains dampened.Sweet Opener of Ways:As new life springs forth hold your torch highThat the path may be illuminatedso this shining child may join us hereIn full health and full joy,Bright-eyed as he shouts his arrival to the world!Eileithyia, for your gentle and practiced protection and delivery,I make this offering to you!
The ADF Elections are coming up, and while the bios that candidates provide are helpful, they are by necessity too short to truly convey the things the membership would like to know before casting their votes. To that end I’ve compiled the many questions that folks have asked across social media. I’ll be sending out the questions to the candidates, and providing their answers here, in a separate post, so that they are all in one place for folks to read. If you’ve got any last minute questions you want to see added to this list, please send me and email at rev.jan.avende @ gmail.com
Additionally, sometimes it’s hard to know what all these leadership positions actually entail, so I’ve summarized the basics of them below. To see the full list of descriptions for the Mother Grove officer positions, look here: https://www.adf.org/members/org/mg/index.html (you will need to be logged in as a member)
Here’s the list to see who has been nominated thus far: https://www.adf.org/members/org/elections/2019/nominations.html
Our grove priests travel around during the Stay at Home month in February of each year. I modified the blessing we do to work for any time of the year, and in this case focusing on a hellenic hearth. This is the blessing I use most frequently when doing commissioned house blessings.