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