Ar nDraiocht Fein (or ADF) means “Our Own Druidry” in Irish. It is an independent tradition of neopagan druidry, founded in the United States, with groves throughout the US, Canada, Europe. Australia, etc. It is founded on the principle “why not excellence?”, which is something we strive for physically, intellectually, artistically and spiritually.
As members of ADF, we are working to build a non-sexist, non-racist, ever-evolving and open religion that we can practice as a way of life and hand on to succeeding generations. And we are aware that patience and moderation can apply. Another ADF saying is, “With the speed of a growing oak.”
What is a Grove? A Proto-grove?
An ADF Grove is a community of ADF druids with three or more over the age of 18, who gather together at least twice a month to study and practice Druidism within the context of Ar nDraiocht Fein, and who are chartered by the Mother Grove as a local congregation. A Proto-grove is a “seedling” Grove, started by one ADF member. The purpose of the Grove or Proto-grove is to provide accessible Druidic ritual and study to the public, and serve the greater community for the betterment of all.
Our Connection with the Gods
ADF Druidism centers around the various pantheons and myths of the Indo-European cultures, including: Baltic, Celtic, Greek, Norse, Roman, Slavic, and Vedic. For us, the Gods and Goddesses of these cultures are very real individuals. Our relationships with our Gods are reciprocal: we offer praise, gratitude, worship and sacrifice, and in return the Gods offer us blessing, inspiration, strength and protection. Most importantly, from the Gods we receive a better understanding of our world and ourselves, and how we are all interconnected.
What do we believe?
We are polytheists, believing in the multiplicity of Gods and Goddesses, as well as in “lesser” beings (such as nature spirits and ancestors), all of whom are worthy of respect, love and worship. We consider our Mother Earth as divine in her own right, and believe that ecological awareness and activism are sacred duties. We feel a healthy religion has relatively little dogma, emphasizing more eclecticism and flexibility. Each person contributes their own special value to the whole of the religion, making it stronger and more vibrant. We see ethics as based on joy, love, self-esteem, mutual respect, avoidance of harm, and increase of public benefit. We believe in the importance of celebrating the solar, lunar and other cycles of our lives, to help us intensify our connection to the cosmos and the order of things. We believe strongly in community service, not only to the pagan community but the community at large.
The Order of ADF druidic ritual:
Druidic ritual is centred around the sending of energy to the spirits (Gods, ancestors and nature spirits), and in return, receiving blessings. It is based, as much as possible, in historical precedent and mythic context.
1-3) Initiating the Rite/Purification/Honoring the Earth Mother
Lighting the Sacred Fire; Pouring the Sacred Waters; Processional of the Folk; Purification; Honouring the Earth Mother.
4) Statement of Purpose
5) (Re)Creating the Cosmos
Establishing the Sacred Center in a triadic Cosmos
The Three Worlds or Realms are acknowledged
The Fire is included
Sacred Center is most commonly represented as Fire, Well and Tree
6) Opening the Gate(s)
7) Inviting the Three Kindreds
Nature Spirits; Ancestors; Deities
8) Key Offerings
Invitation of Being(s) of the Occasion
Seasonal customs as appropriate
9) Prayer of Sacrifice**
11) Calling (asking) for the Blessings
12) Hallowing the Blessing
13) Affirmation of the Blessing
14) Workings (if any)
15) Thanking the Beings
16) Closing the Gate(s)
17) Thanking the Earth Mother
18) Closing the Rite
**No blood sacrifice is made in any ADF ritual.
For more information on the ADF, visit their website at: adf.org