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.
Some thoughts on the upcoming ADF nominations and elections:
While we have groves and protogroves as the backbone of our physical community, solitaries make up the backbone of our online community, which is not only much larger, but also the only community many of our members get. That being said, if you know folks in our online groups who have thoughtful opinions, often seem to be starting or contributing to conversations, and seem like someone whose ideas you agree with: reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to run for an office. We want our leadership to be people who are passionate about ADF Druidry, and those who are active participants in our various groups often are. If everyone waits until they feel recognized enough or experienced enough, we will continue to have the same people in leadership, which leads to stagnation in any organization. A lot of people just need the little push of someone else thinking they would be a good fit to convince them to run.
Additionally, I always encourage diversifying our leadership. Diversity is important, and it doesn’t happen by accident. We have to deliberately cultivate it. We like to think of ourselves as a welcoming and inclusive organization, but we need to walk that talk by encouraging, electing, and supporting our minority members into various leadership positions.
Part of diversifying our leadership also has to do with giving more folks a chance to be involved in leadership. This means encouraging and electing folks to hold only one leadership position, rather than electing some who already holds one or more leadership positions. The more positions a person holds, the more likely things are to fall through the cracks, the more likely certain aspects of a particular job will not be a focus for them. We won’t get new folks in leadership if we keep stacking people into multiple positions and not giving new folks an opportunity to serve. Take a chance on someone new this election cycle.
Once the nomination and election period gets a little more underway there are often folks who put together a series of questions that they ask nominees to answer. Feel free to ask your own questions and listen to the answers that the nominees give. This is a chance to for you get to know them a little better, but more importantly to see if their vision for bringing ADF into the future matches your vision for what you want to see from your church.
Regarding what positions are up for election this year, Rev. Amber Doty has put together a great listing of our organization-level positions: http://bit.ly/2019ADFOfficers