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!