Pagan Theology 1

Pagan Theology 1 is a survey of concepts and issues in theology, including both western philosophical concepts and key themes in existing world polytheisms. This course begins by teaching the student about the common terms used in the theological work of most religions, and moves on to ask students to think about how the concepts represented by those terms can be applied to Our Druidry.

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Leadership Development 2

Leadership Development 2

Leadership Development 2 is designed to build upon the knowledge attained in Leadership Development 1. This course will assist students in examining theoretical knowledge and provide opportunities for application of this knowledge. The primary goal for this course is for students to increase their knowledge and skills for effective group leadership and public relations.

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ADF Election 2018 Questions

Rev. Jan Avende’s Responses – VAD Candidate

Hi y’all.  I’m running for Vice Arch Druid in the 2018 ADF Election this year.  Many folks have asked questions of the candidates, and I’ve answered all the ones I’ve seen below.  I also welcome more questions, and will update this post as necessary to address them.  Email me at rev.jan.avende at gmail.com, so your questions don’t get lost.

Continue reading “ADF Election 2018 Questions”

Special Occasion Rituals

Special Occasion Rituals

This course was designed to expand a student’s knowledge and experiences for liturgical development beyond high day liturgy and specifically targets the development of liturgy for use in everyday life for a variety of different purposes.

The primary goal of this course is for students to enhance their skills for developing special occasion liturgy to meet the needs of individuals and groups occurring within every day life.

Course Objectives

  1. Students will identify, define and analyze several types of special occasion ritual and compare special occasion ritual to high day ritual.
  2. Students will increase their knowledge of creating ritual for diverse audiences.
  3. Students will utilize their knowledge and skills for liturgical writing to create special occasion rituals for a variety of different purposes.

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Liturgy Practicum 3: Large Group Practice

Liturgy Practicum 3 is designed to focus on large group practices, both within and outside of ADF. In order to pass this course, you will be required to lead a ritual at a festival, and this ritual must be large enough to pose some of the usual problems that large rites create.

Because part of ADF’s vision is to provide publically accessible worship, even to those who are not part of ADF, this course will require that you perform a ritual for a generally non-ADF-centric function as well. You may contact the Archdruid or Clergy Council Preceptor to help you arrange to lead a festival ritual if you are a Consecrated Priest. If you have completed this course in the LGSP, you may submit the same answers, if it falls in the time frame specified below:

Rituals completing the exit standards of this course may not be performed more than three years before the submission date of this course for grading. The Clergy Council Preceptor will require some form of verification that the ritual took place and included the requisite number of attendees.

The primary goal of this course is for students to provide worship opportunities to the community and develop experience running large group rituals.

Course Objectives

  1. Students will increase their awareness of how ritual elements, such as creating group mind, developing effective prayers utilizing techniques such as motion, dance, music etc., and the use of physical offerings enhance small group ritual.
  2. 2. Students will lead rituals both within ADF and outside of it, and will examine their own processes for ritual creation.

Continue reading “Liturgy Practicum 3: Large Group Practice”

Winter Solstice Spiral Liturgy: Overview

Winter Solstice takes place in the season of many winter holidays. Most of these have some focus on lights in the dark, renewal, or the gifts of the season. After seeing some folks post in the ADF Parents Special Interest Group pictures of their Yule Advent Spirals, I decided I wanted something of my own, but I also wanted to create a liturgy to go along with. Thus, the Winter Solstice Spiral Liturgy was born.

I asked Rev. Michael J Dangler of the Magical Druid to design and make a spiral for me. We settled on a three armed spiral with space for seven candles in each arm and one large candle in the center. The liturgy is likewise divided up into three sets of seven, with a large candle set up for the final day, and our family celebration.

The basic outline for the liturgy is focusing on the ideas of Storm, Water, and Fire. This allows the liturgy to move from dark to light as we progress closer to the solstice. There will be more and more candles lit each day to combat the increasing darkness, up until the Sun is honored on the final day when the nights begin growing shorter again.

The liturgy itself follows a basic template with a very simplified version of the ADF Core Order of Ritual, with only the center portion, the “being of the occasion,” changing between the days. Then the last day has a ritual and tradition all it’s own. This draws from the tradition our family has developed and practiced in past years.

I’m including the outline of spirits honored each day below, and then each day I will post the full liturgy for that day. The liturgy begins on Dec 1st, and moves through December 21st, with an extra piece for the morning of the Solstice.  You can purchase a copy of the full liturgy in Kindle or Paperback on Amazon or get a copy of the pdf by supporting me on Patreon.

a picture of the book cover of a large, white pillar candle surrounded  by many small chime candles of different colors.  title of the book is "The Spiraling Sun: A Winter Solstice Liturgy" by Rev. Jan Avende

Day 1: The Destroyer

Day 2: Solitude

Day 3: The Winds of Change

Day 4: Nourishing Rains

Day 5: Clear Skies

Day 6: Justice

Day 7: The Winner of Waters

Day 8: The Waters of Blessing

Day 9: The Waters of Purification

Day 10: The Ferryman

Day 11: Memory & Forgetfulness

Day 12: The Mistweaver

Day 13: The God of the Sea

Day 14: The Mother of Waters

Day 15: The Son of the Waters

Day 16: The Center of Worlds

Day 17: Hearth & Home

Day 18: The Need Fire

Day 19: The Fire of Transformation

Day 20: Inspiration & Vision

Day 21: Sacrifice & Order

Morning following the Solstice: The Sun

 

If you like the work I’m doing, please consider supporting me on Patreon for access to even more.

Second Annual Prayer-A-Day

picture of a candle in a lantern against a dark background with words that say "Light the Way, Draw others to the Flame: Write a Prayer a Day in November. #prayeraday #adfdruidry"

It’s time for the Second Annual Prayer-A-Day Challenge!

November tends to be a month when people work on doing something each day of the month, whether it’s moments of gratitude or writing for National Novel Writing Month. Last year, I decided that I would try my own variation on this trend and began a #PrayerADay Challenge. The idea was to write one prayer each day, to whatever spirit or on whatever topic called to you at that particular moment. After deciding that I was was going to take this on for myself, I thought “wouldn’t it be awesome if we were able to have a whole collection prayers compiled from clergy and other ADF members?” So, I issued the challenge to other members of ADF clergy, and the whole experiment kind of exploded from there. Many people across ADF joined in to write one or more prayers, and it has been absolutely fantastic.

So, it’s time to do this again, and this year I challenge all of you. Yes. All of you! I don’t care if you’ve never written a prayer, or if you’ve written lots and lots. The idea here is to write a new prayer each day. It’s okay if you don’t like it, but write _something_ every day in November.

The hash tags we’ll be using for this across social media are #PrayerADay and #adfdruidry. When you post it to social media, make sure you use both of those tags so we can all find it!

A Little Oaks Samhain

Our Grove has recently started kicking it up into full gear with the children’s programming.  We probably have somewhere around 15 kids associated with our grove, not to mention any others who happen to show up to public high days.  Our Little Oaks programming is geared towards the kids who are direct members of the Grove, rather than the public stuff we do for the kids at High Days.

Those of us who are trading around leading the meetings right now are working on getting a good routine in place so the kids start to get comfortable.  I’ve got it set up in a basic outline that has an Opening, Story, Craft, Ritual, Closing.  It keeps things moving and allows each thing to build right into the next.

This was our first time trying out this routine, and I think it went really well.  It was structured enough to keep the kids engaged.  We were done with the whole meet up in 45-60 minutes.  Which is plenty long for preschool aged kids, and remarkable that they stayed relatively sane the whole time.

So, what did we do?

For the babies (under 1 year old) we set up some sensory play for them.  We had a whole bunch of different textured gourds for them to feel.  We had small drums for banging on.  We had a baby pool ball pit.

For the rest of the kids we followed the loose outline I mentioned earlier.  For our opening song we sang a version of “My Roots Go Down” that I had modified for our Little Oaks Druidry.  It was a great way for the more shy toddlers to warm up to what we were doing, to get everyone comfortable and moving, and to set a clear beginning for our meet up.

We then moved into the story.   I told it as an interactive, cooperative story.  They had parts where they joined in with certain words and hand motions.  The preschoolers and early elementary kids stayed pretty well engaged and into the story.  They enjoyed shouting “Trick or Treat” and pretending to lift a lantern up.  The toddlers were a little harder, but with some parental redirecting they stayed in the same general area and didn’t go running off.  I got a video of me telling the story that I’ll post when I get it off the camera.

Since the story was about Jack-o’-Lanterns it flowed very nicely into the craft portion.  All the kids were able to get into this part.  The first craft was to draw a Jack-o’-Lantern on a piece of orange paper.  Since the story was about using Jack-o’-Lanterns to keep the fairies away, the kids were invited to make a Jack-o’-Lantern they could hang up at their house for Trick-or-Treating to make sure that only humans came to their door, and no fairies.  They seemed to have a really great time with it.

The second craft we did was to write letters or draw pictures for our Ancestors.  We started with a quick discussion of what and who the Ancestors are, and had the kids give examples.  It ranged from the beloved cat, to a grandfather, to a parent.  The younger kids were welcome to either draw pictures or dictate what they wanted to say to an adult who would write for them.  The older kids were able to write and/or draw as they desired.  It was explained to them that we were making these as presents for the Ancestors, and we’d be giving them to them at the party we were having in just a little bit.

That allowed the craft to flow nicely into the ritual portion of the meet up.  We started with a quick discussion with our listening ears on about what kinds of things make up an altar, and how we don’t touch them or play with them.  In the future I’d also like to start having a small fire for these so we can begin teaching fire safety a little more directly.

After the brief pre-ritual discussion we moved right on in to the ritual.  It draws very heavily from Rev. Kathleen Pezza’s work with the Children’s Programming for Charter Oak Grove, ADF with some modification for our specific group and age range.  In the future we have plans for other deviations from her work, but the basic idea of how to present ritual to kids as a birthday party is fantastic.  We were able to keep the ritual moving right along by having the parents (armed with song sheets) continuing right along with the pieces, each of which had a song (with a children’s song melody) to go along with it.

During the Key Offerings each of the kids brought their present (the letter/picture they made) up to the offering bowl, said who it was for, and put it in.  For the Return Flow, after I drew an omen (Omicron, Mu, Khi) and explained it in kid-friendly language we put each of those gifts into our “goody bags”, represented by cookies and juice.  The kids were then able to take the blessings into themselves by eating them.  We then closed out the ritual by quickly saying thank you to everyone that we invited, and hanging up our Cosmic Telephone.

Finally, after the ritual was over, we congratulated all the kids on doing so well, and sang our goodbye song, which I had my daughter teach me from her preschool class.   All in all, it was a very good day and meet up for our Little Oaks.  There are still things we want to do, and revisit, and modify.  But this was a good day.

Kid’s Samhain Rite

This craft and ritual script borrows very heavily from Rev. Kathleen Pezza of Charter Oak Grove, ADF.

Craft: Cards for the Ancestors

Today we are going to have a party for the the Ancestors. The Ancestors are important to us because they taught our parents all kinds of things to help us grow big and strong. The Ancestors love us very much, and so we’re going to throw a party for them. Continue reading “Kid’s Samhain Rite”