Monday, January 7, 2008

Some complaints about ADF*

I’ve been straying from the more ADF style personal rituals to something a bit more nebulous. Some elements from the ADF ritual stay – giving offerings to the Three Kins, for example – but I’ve left the most clunky aspects of it behind.

I just have never, ever liked the cosmos ADF proposed. I’ve been working with them for almost two years now and I’ve finally given up. They’re supposed to be something that works across Indo-European cultures, but instead it ends up not meaning much to any of them. I don’t mind made up, I think it can be very moving, but framing a cosmos on what is basically a very bland, watered-down Celtic/Norse mash-up and then saying because it’s Indo-European based it should fit for everyone from Celtic to Baltic to Grecian only means it won’t really work for anyone. It’s in stuff like this where I really like AODA because they know it’s all made up and say, “we don’t mind, it works for us, who cares?”

In fact, I find that ADF ritual structure is awkward in general for my personal practice. I’m finding that I like the CR approach of coming up with what works for you from the lore and the research. Back it up and work with it. Other people can do very different things and back it up with their own interpretations and everything is cool. None of that infighting about how we can hammer research into an ADF framework, which is already about 25 to 30 years out of date academically. Not that CR doesn’t have infighting; it’s just different in nature.

I still think that ADF-style ritual would work for a medium to large group at high days. But I’ve not found a grove or protogrove to join, and so I’m a reluctant solitary within ADF. I joined to work with a grove and further my studies. I’m sufficiently started in my studies to go on my own now, and the grove thing never panned out. I don’t think that it’s worth my membership money any more. And maybe in a few years it will be. But right now it’s not.

I don’t mind being a solitary. If I want a group of like-minded worshippers, I could always go to the local UU church. But what attracted me to ADF in the first place was that I might find other polytheists to worship with. I don’t regret my time with ADF, in fact I think it’s been incredibly formative for me. Certainly, it got me off my butt and actually worshipping, doing ritual, meditating, studying, and thinking about these subjects with other people. It got me out of what I would consider my interest phase (that lasted over 10 years!) and into an actual practice. I might still be a beginner, but I’m moving at lightening speed, maybe I’m catching up for those stagnant 10 years.

*There are some good things about having a blog no one reads. This won't produce flame war for one.


acousticdryad said...

Have you thought about starting a PG in your area? It may attract other polytheists and maybe lurking ADF members around you.

Good luck, and I'd hate to see you leave ADF, but I totally understand if it doesn't fit with your personal mojo :)

Danielle said...

Thanks for the comment.

I can't actually start a PG, because there is one in the area that I can just never contact. After a year of trying, I kinda stopped caring.

I have a very warm and special place in my heart for ADF, but the longer I haven't practiced in it's cosmology the further away I feel from it.