One of the things our Grove is most proud of is our openness and welcoming of persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. As a Grove, we feel that it is vital that we work toward equality and justice for all people. In 2008, our own Rev. Michael J Dangler was asked to speak a final blessing at the intertraditional service that kicked off the Pride Parade in Columbus, Ohio. As any Druid should, he called out for blessings in the Earth Mother to uphold all of those marching that day. Here is a (rough) transcription of the 2008 Pride blessing:
“I am Rev. Michael J Dangler, of Three Cranes Grove, ADF, a local Druid fellowship. We have always felt it was important to celebrate Pride, for we are all Children of the Earth Mother. Whether we believe were formed from clay and given life by the breath of a deity; made up of the elements of the periodic table; or born directly from the Mother herself, we all share our one Earth Mother. As we prepare to depart, we will ask for blessings from our Earth Mother this day. Thank you for coming to this service, and thank the organizers for holding it. It is our tradition, though you need not follow it, to kneel and touch the ground as we call out to the Earth.”
Earth Mother, your children call out to you.
You uphold us as we move through life, with each step we take.
Let every step we take upon you today in pride and unity
Be a step toward justice, understanding, and love.
Let us follow the footsteps of our Ancestors
Who blazed trails long before us and fought for what was right.
Let us hear the blessings of the Nature Spirits
Who play among the trees and upon the wind.
And let us go forth with the strength of the Shining Ones
The deities we follow and love.
Earth Mother, mighty Kindreds,
Bless our steps this day, and uphold us even in adversity.
Children of the Earth,
Go in peace and blessings:
This service is ended.
In future years, our Grove hopes to march in the Pride Parade and maintain a booth in the Pride celebration in Bicentenial Park, as well (we have been limited in recent years due to the Pride parade/celebration’s conflict with ComFest).