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

Wellspring, and upcoming events

As last Sunday, Three Cranes Grove, ADF, was at the ADF Annual Meeting, no update occurred. This week, we’re back to let everyone know how it went!

Wellspring, the festival at which the ADF Annual Meeting has been held for the past several years, is at Brushwood, a large, Pagan-owned and operated camp that plays host to many of the major Pagan festivals throughout the year, including Starwood and Sirius Rising.

The weekend most often involves organizational meetings, but it is also a very social weekend as well. Gathering at Wellspring means seeing old faces and acquainting yourself with new ones every year.

Especially of note, our own Shawneen brought home the Warrior’s torc, being crowned Champion of the Warrior Games at this Wellspring. Shawneen is the first Crane to win this award, and we are amazingly proud of him.

This Wellspring saw the addition of a new ADF Dedicant Priest, as well: Rev. Cheryl Angst joined the ranks of our Clergy as our first Canadian Priest. With her consecration also comes the first real steps in the formation of ADF Canada, and a new chapter in ADF’s international work.

We also spent an evening gathered among friends, praying for one who has passed recently.

In matters of what’s upcoming with the Grove, we are planning two rituals for Summer Solstice (it’s beginning to become a tradition), and we will have a booth at ComFest. We will also be participating in the Interfaith Service supporting the Columbus Pride Parade.

We have also put together a new calendar, so please check that out, too!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Desert Magic and the Komen Race for the Cure

It may be obvious that no entry was created for last Sunday (though there’s a placeholder now pointing to this entry on that date). That is because last week, several of our Grove members went to the Desert Magic Festival in Arizona. So today, a double-issue of this blog is in order.

Desert Magic is hosted by Sonoran Sunrise Grove, ADF, a wonderful Grove that has hosted this festival for five years now. The festival is full of good food, good friends, and good hospitality.

Our Senior Druid, Seamus, was asked to present on warrior spirituality and its applications in today’s world. His workshop called on us to take action, to not simply sit on our hands. He also introduced the new First Circle of the Warriors’ Guild Study Program.

My presentation was on Vedic hearth culture within ADF, offering a simple outline of the deities of Vedism and how they can interact with ADF and our worship structures.

Throughout the weekend, we Cranes enjoyed the company of many of our West Coast brethren: people that we just don’t get to see often enough, and people that we often wish would come out to visit us, too. As a hint, Summerland is just around the corner!

The real work, it seems, was done on the night after Desert Magic, though, when a small group of us gathered together to help work out more of the Clergy Training Program and to nearly complete the Liturgist Guild Study Program’s remaining courses. We hammered out basic exit standards for nearly all the courses required for the Liturgist Guild, and most of the courses required for Clergy within ADF.

ADF may soon see more Ordained Priests. I pray it happens soon.

This week was spent preparing for the Komen Race for the Cure, a breast cancer run that the Grove has done for years now. It is ever a joy to know that our Grove is committed to this particular bit of community service: so many of our friends and family are affected by breast cancer, and this is such a small thing that can help so much.

While the Columbus Komen Race broke new records and shattered the goals that were set, I’m proud to think that Three Cranes Grove, ADF, was among the many who helped make this possible.

Truly, this Grove is blessed with folk who wish to help with our service, and truly we are all blessed by our actions as a community.

Next Sunday, our Grove will mostly be attending Wellspring, so while we will try and update on Sunday, another double post may also be required in two weeks!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Honouring the Center of our Rites

What a group focuses its rituals around says much about what is important to them. While our Grove’s sacred center certainly is made up of the Fire, Well, and Tree, and while we always have an altar set up, looking spatially at our ritual space shows a very interesting aspect of our liturgy.

Over the last several years, we have moved our central focus of ritual away from the center that we always speak of, and made the Fire, Well, and Tree (and particularly the altar) peripheral to our actual focus in ritual: the members of the congregation that gathers to honour the Kindreds.

While the Fire, Well, and Tree are never outside our focus and center, we show with every ritual that what we are concerned with as a Grove is the well-being of the others who have gathered, physically and spiritually, in our space.

Most of our prayers and evocations take place in front of the altar, at the center of the Grove. Our Fire is often in a fireplace or grill, the Well is often on the altar, and the Tree is often further away from the folk than either of these other two centers.

What our rituals do is bring our members and guests together, without barrier, with the Kindreds and Spirits in ritual. We meet and converge in the same point, directing our focus away from the center of the folk only long enough to make an offering, locate something on the altar, or do a working or make a Praise Offering.

Our center truly is a shared center, with the Folk and the Kindreds coming together and standing shoulder-to-shoulder, arm-in-arm. It is a powerful place, this Center of the Folk, and we are all welcome within it.

The festival season within ADF has also begun, with the Trillium Spring Gathering happening last weekend. The Groves that put on the festival were amazing hosts, and the weather was incredible: warm and dry!

For those interested in future ADF festivals, view the events page on the ADF site! And remember, Three Cranes Grove, ADF, is sponsoring the Summerland Festival this year, so please come out for it!
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler

Edited to add: Apparently, this entry was “saved” rather than “published,” which explains the fact that it’s showing up on Monday but time-stamped on Sunday. Sorry about the delay!

The Fire on Our Hearth – A Devotional of Three Cranes Grove, ADF

The Fire on Our Hearth - A Devotional of Three Cranes Grove, ADFSeveral weeks ago, we discussed “The Voice of Three Cranes” in a post. In that post, we offered a glimpse of the devotional book we have been working on.

We’re officially releasing the book, entitled The Fire on Our Hearth – A Devotional of Three Cranes Grove, ADF on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008. Leaves readers (such as yourself) get to see it a bit early, because we really do love you all.

Thirteen different people are represented in the pages of this book, only three of whom are not current Grove members. The first sixty pages are prayers for all occasions (the bulk of which are original to this book, though a couple have been published elsewhere). There are also eight chants that were created by Three Cranes members which are not on the ADF website or available through other means.

Significant events from our history are recorded, too: not only in our Grove poem, “Clutiā Trion Garanonon,” but also in the evocations and rituals included: the poetic drama of last year’s ComFest, the Ritual for Healing after Hurricane Katrina, the prayers to Belenos at Summerset, and our Grove Inception Statement are all included.

Prayers don’t only appear in English, either: there are a few prayers in Latin and a couple in Spanish, too (translations provided)! There’s also a table for translation of the Coligny Calendar month names into English.

In short, The Fire on Our Hearth does an excellent job of capturing the Voice of Three Cranes.

Rev. Kirk Thomas, ADF’s Vice Archdruid, supplied us with a marvelous quote for the back of the book, saying, “This is a great book for solitaries, new Groves and Protogroves interested in investigating new rites and traditions for their personal and grove practices.” He also informs me that he has submitted a review to Oak Leaves!

You can purchase The Fire on Our Hearth at the Three Cranes CafePress site, or via this direct link. We expect to bring copies to the ADF Festivals that Cranes attend, too, but don’t wait: get them while they’re hot!

The book is $16.99 from CafePress. Please do help support our Grove: the profit from this book all goes back to the Grove for ritual space rentals, ritual gear purchases, and all those little things that just aren’t free when you’re running a church. And thank you in advance for your support, as well!

[also, for those unaware, the article mentioned in last week’s post was published on Monday.]
    -Rev. Michael J Dangler