Breaking Away from the Earth Mother/Sky Father Binary

One of the things that has come up recently in discussion on various ADF forums is the the binary nature of Earth Mother and Sky Father.  Although not all groves or solitary practitioners include an invocation to the Sky Father, as only the Earth Mother is required in our core liturgy, the implicit binary is still present.  This dualistic Earth Mother/Sky Father present in ADF rituals can be quite off-putting, especially for our non-binary members.

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The Love of the Sea and the Moon

Once, long ago, the sea was always dark and still as bath water. The moon was calm, with a gentle smile for all who dwelt below her. As the sea grew and swelled he took note of the moon, and thought how beautiful she would be if she would just turn her face completely to the earth.

When the moon was full in her power she glowed with the brilliance of a thousand, thousand stars, all bunched together in joyous dance. The sea was deeply in love with the moon; her brilliance stunned him.  He called out to her with his mightily roaring waves: a declaration of his love. He rushed up the shores, stretching up to meet her. The moon beckoned to the sea, calling him forth, for she also loved him. She adored watching his deep-blue, inky depths brighten to startling ceruleans and teals in her light. She grew even brighter trying to penetrate his depths.

The stars, in the court of the moon, called out to the sea to come join them for their mistress’s sake. The moon dimmed the specks of light around her and snuffed out their sparks in her longing for the sea; she grew ever brighter until finally she had turned to face the earth completely. She ached for the sea to be near her. And so he tried. Every night he lapped at the shores of the land, striving ever towards the sky. Striving to lift himself up to the beautiful moon so that he might join her and her consort of brilliance in their dance.

But then, with each passing day she grew less and less bright. A darkness began to overcome her as she started to lose hope that her lover, the sea, would ever reach her, though he tried desperately every night. Her consort of stars, they grew brighter each night, trying to bring her hope, but still she faded until there was but a small sliver of light left. The sea rushed up futilely against the shore, calling out with his crashing waves for her to come back to him. He pulled himself up ever higher, but still couldn’t reach the sky. Then the moon’s light went out.

The sea sank back down into his watery depths, letting his sorrows be heard in whispering cries as he left the shores of the earth. Desperately he called out one last time, barely daring to hope. The moon, hearing her love in such heartache and pain, turned her face back to him and gave just the ghost of a smile.

This glimmer of her face was enough to give the sea back his hope. With renewed energy he strove towards the shore, this time determined that he could push his waters to leap into the sky. The moon, as she looked down upon him, saw something she’d never seen before: there was her face, with its small, sad smile, resting upon the cresting waves of the sea. She brightened a bit then, and seeing her smile grow in her lover’s arms, poured her heart into her brilliance. She called out to the sea, and he saw now as she did: her love and light was reflected in his depths, and his deep, blue devotion was reflected in the skies all around her.

So now, each night, the sea rushes up the shores to meet the moon and the moon shines down on the sea. They join together in their own brilliant dance of push and pull, ebb and flow, of silver and blue across the sky and rippling waves.