Another Walk in the Woods, and a walk toward a Cure

This week as we recovered from Summerland last weekend, we convened in the Main Library for another Walk in the Woods with Seamus and Shawneen. This week’s special guests were Mugwort, Garlic, Bramble, and Wheat.

As we sat about, enjoying the fruit of some of these (some particularly fat blackberries were served!), we discussed the sacred meanings of each of these plants.

Again, I was struck by the way we learn about the world around us, and the effect it can have on us as citizens in the world. Each time we stop to learn something about our world, we begin to better understand how we are tied to it.

This week, one of our members, Anna Gail, also created a PowerPoint presentation that you can download from our service pages about our Grove’s participation in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure this year. Please take some time to watch it: it’s a great showcase of our work!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Summerland

Tonight, we are back from the Summerland Gathering, an exhausted but happy Grove indeed.

This year, Whispering Lake Grove, ADF, spent their time in the kitchen cooking, and we supported their efforts as we helped The 6th Night Grove, ADF, sponsor the festival itself.

This weekend also saw the consecration of two new ADF Dedicant Priests, Rev. George Lee and Rev. Kelly Kingston, during the ADF Unity Rite.

All I can say at this point is that the weekend was a rousing success. Thanks to all the presenters, the vendors, and the folks who came out to support us, even in the midst of insane gas prices!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Walking the Dedicant Path

Since flying back from Desert Magic with an eye to increasing the offerings we have available to our members and the general community, we’ve now held three study sessions for students in ADF’s basic training program, the Dedicant Path.

We’ve discussed virtues, read books, begun working our way through meditation, and talked extensively about the Kindreds. There’s something wonderful about just sitting around and talking about these things with your Grove, learning how each of you feel about the things that come up. This gives us a chance to review our omens from rituals, talk about upcoming rites, and really involve ourselves in discussions on the nature of the cosmos around us.

It also helps keep all of us a bit more on-track when it comes to doing the work.

One of the things I’ve learned in particular is that everyone (myself included) can learn a lot from going back to the basics and re-doing parts (or all) of the ADF Dedicant Path work. It’s not a path that ever ends, really, but a road you choose to walk down for the rest of your life, one of virtue and study, and it really doesn’t ever get old.

It has, in many ways, renewed my commitment to re-doing my own DP work.

ADF members can check out our current DP schedule, including what we talk about each month through the year. And, of course, anyone can join us: swing by our calendar page

for updated times and meeting topics! We hope you’ll join us soon!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

A Year of Druid Moons

This week, we celebrated the Druid Moon of Elembivios, “the many-sided-moon.” This moon was the one-year anniversary of our work with the 6th Night moons, and (because it fell on a Thursday) also a business meeting.

It’s somewhat strange to group ritual and business together sometimes, especially when things are a bit pressing. With Summerland coming up and our Grove helping The 6th Night Grove, ADF, sponsor the festival this year, there was no way around doing both.

However, this worked out just fine: we came away with a couple of new member applicants, too, and approved one new Friend of the Grove!

At this ritual, we often celebrate the many facets of our lives, and the many ways that our Grove serves each of us. We were also fortunate to welcome a new member into our Grove that evening, and show the mystery that is Three Cranes to another long-time Friend.

There are exciting things going on in ADF these days: the Vice Archdruid called us in the middle of our meeting and had some excellent news! As always, we look forward to how things will turn out in the coming days!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Remembering those who are there for us

Today, we held our Lughnassadh ritual at Battelle-Darby MetroPark. This ritual also tested our skills as a Grove, as the person slated to lead the rite was unable to attend, forcing us to pull the ritual together quickly as a Grove. It turned out very well, and I’m proud of our Grove’s response to the change: several people have already commented on the ritual and let us know that it was one of our best.

The central message of the day was one of rememberance, though. The games were played in honour of those that the Folk remembered. We had two champions that day from the three events.

Were our offerings accepted? Hagalaz – No.

In response to this, we opened for more praise offerings. One of the things that had bothered me a bit about this ritual initially was that there was no emphasis on the commemorative nature of this ritual: because of this, the second praise offering I made was the telling of the story of Tailtiu, promising not to forget those who have given of themselves that we may live.

Were our offerings accepted this time? Fehu – Like all hard-won material wealth, the offerings were accepted.

What is given in return? Isa – Stillness in which to contemplate our lives.

What more is asked of us? Sowilo – Like the Sun we must shine brightly and victoriously in our day-to-day lives.

A lot of what we felt we needed to do was to go back to basics, to understand that there are people who give greatly of themselves, and that we should not forget them.
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler