The Waters Support and Surround Us

At each ritual, the Grove adds the waters of all the previous Wells to our current Well. We do this in order to symbolically link the Well on our altar to all the other Wells we have had in ritual. We call these waters the “Grove Waters.”

The Grove has added many different waters to our Well over the years. What started as simple store-bought spring water soon had waters from Ireland, from sacred wells and main rivers there. We received waters from other Groves in ADF, including the Protogrove we mentor, Black Bear Protogrove, ADF. We filled a flask with the waters at Wellspring in 2003, bringing the waters of so many other Groves in ADF into our own. We held one of the first ADF Unity Rites at our 2004 Autumnal Equinox ritual, adding those waters to our Grove Waters. In 2005, we added the waters of the Danube river to the mix, and in 2007 we added waters from Mount Olympus’ Enipas River. At Summerland 2006, a few members of the Grove collected waters from the same sounce our own “Mother Grove,” The 6th Night Grove, ADF, uses: Yellow Springs, Ohio.

In 2007, though, the Grove went en masse to a sacred spring at Summerland. There, we spent an hour bathing in the waters welling up from the earth, feeling its coolness and its naturalness, and collecting it for the Grove. It was not supposed to be a deep spiritual experience, nor was it really thought of as such at the time. But as I look back on that day, back on the People of Three Cranes gathered around this small spring in the side of a hill, I cannot help but think that it was yet another step in how our Grove has found its feet, how it has learned to walk on its own, and how it can choose its own directions.

These are the Grove Waters, the Waters within each Well the Grove uses in ritual. These are Waters that connect us as a Grove, connect us as an organization, and connect us as humans in a long line of sacred waters and water sources. They are the Waters of Memory, the Waters of our Ancestors, the Waters of Inspiration within us, and the Waters of Life we hold before us. They are the Waters of our first ritual, and the Waters of our last ritual. They are the Waters at the edge of the world that Garanus wades in, and the Waters which he flies beyond.

These are the Grove Waters.

    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Revisiting the Past

The Grove has been recording our rituals, omens, and reactions for a full year now in a new book, called the Book of Three Cranes. This book details many things, and with Samhian and our fifth year anniversary, it seemed appropriate for me to go back over the book and review the past year. So, I sat down to transcribe it to place it on the Three Cranes Website. Here is what I wrote about that experience:

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Every so often, you make a mistake. You think, at first, that you are just transcribing a year worth of rituals. You think that you are merely copying what people wrote down a month ago, six months ago, or a year ago. You think that there are no surprises in the past, that there wasn’t anything that you missed.

And then you realize that you’re not just copying something down. You aren’t just rehashing the past, or repeating someone’s words.

No, you’re reliving the past. There is the first ritual Nick led. Here is where Bonnie first came to a Three Cranes rite. These three ritual omens spoke the same words to us from the Kindreds at three different times. There is a joy described, a sorrow felt, and a smile of pleasure at a ritual well-run or a mistake that’s a thousand times more amusing an hour later.

In this year of rituals, we celebrated our fifth anniversary. We began to talk about how we pray with a good fire. We shared laughter and pain, and expressed deep faith in each other. We filled 58 pages with good omens, changes in ritual style, criticisms and compliments. We showed pride in the canned goods and toys we collected, and we wrote blessings to the Grove and the community.

The voices of the People of Three Cranes came through, loud and clear.

And the future will have those voices to guide them, a strong vision to follow, and a standard of fellowship to live up to.

As I wrote on our fifth anniversary:

Guided by Garanus,
We make sacrifice to the Kindreds,
We pray with a good fire.
Blessings on the People of Three Cranes.
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Greetings!

Greetings, and welcome to the “Leaves of the Willow” blog, a new blog feature on the Three Cranes Grove, ADF, website!

This blog earns its name from the central mythology that surrounds the Grove’s name, the myth of Esus. This Gaulish god is shown on two inscriptions pruning a willow tree, and maintaining it (and, potentially, the world) with the sacrifice of a bull. This myth teaches us a lesson about maintaining our relationships, and balancing the mundane work of life with the sacred duty of piety.

In this blog, we hope to talk about what the Grove is doing, where it is going, and how we can help maintain it throughout its life. As of this writing, Three Cranes (or 3CG for short) is five years old and the fourth largest Grove in ADF. We expect to be around for some time to come, and with the beginning of this new year starting with our Samhain ritual, we hope to start many new projects and further serve the Central Ohio community, along with the greater Pagan community (and, of course, ADF as a whole).

So, sit back and enjoy the ride! I know we will!

    -Rev. Michael J Dangler