We’ve almost reached the end of 2020. It’s hard to believe that so much has happened in such a short time. There have been many hardships, but there have also been some wonderful experiences throughout the year. I’m grateful for all of the amazing rituals, festivals, and discussions that have been presented in a digital format. I’ve had the opportunity to witness more rituals and met more people than I could have done in a normal year, all from the comfort of my own home. Attending rituals that have had participants from multiple continents has been such a bright and important part of my 2020 experience.
Reciprocity is a key part of our practices and rituals within ADF. Our COoR rites are dedicated to building reciprocal relationships with the universe we live in. We strive to build connections both within our communities and with those beings that we invite to our rites. Through our rituals we invite the Kindred to our rituals, give them offerings and thank them for joining us. Each of these actions is intended to build our relationships, show respect, and act as good hosts to those attending. In the center of our rite, our role changes and we receive blessings from these same beings in return for our gifts to them. Reciprocity, respect, and hospitality are key to these rites.
Our emphasis on reciprocity and hospitality is well based on the practices of the ancient Indo-European people. Ancient Greece had a concept called “xenia” which described the reciprocal relationship between guest and host, or a “guest-friendship,” and the importance of hospitality (Biggs, Joseph and Bennet). It's very similar to the term *ghosti that we utilize regularly within ADF. This type of interaction regularly seen in the relationships between ancient Greek mortals and deities. For example, in the Odyssey, we see an expectation of reciprocity described when Odysseus approaches Eumaeus, the swineherd. Eumaeus welcomes Odysseus, even though he doesn’t recognize him by saying that it would be wrong to turn a guest away. He expresses the idea that every stranger is sent from Zeus and a gift is expected. Odysseus shows his gratitude by calling upon Zeus directly “May Zeus and the other gods give you your heart’s desire, sir, since you welcome me so warmly” (Homer).
The importance of the guest-host relationship, and the divine can also be found in the Eleusinian Mysteries. The Pheneatian sanctuary to Demeter is where the Mysteries first began. The myth tied to this temple indicated that Demeter had visited the temple, and was shown hospitality by Trisaules and Damithales. In return for that hospitality, she showed them the wisdom of the mysteries and how to grow many crops. They built the temple in her honor and to share those Mysteries with others.
2020 has definitely had its own unique set of challenges, but through it all I believe ADF has continued to do excellent work. We’ve seen members and groups adopt new tools, resources, and practices in an effort to provide a safe and meaningful spiritual practice to our communities. I believe that by opening our (virtual) rites to each other, we’ve allowed for connections to be built between each other, and also to help foster the relationships we build with the Kindreds. We’re seeing participants from all across the grove join together in a celebration in ways that were not a typical part of ADF practices. It’s been a beautiful light in this difficult year.
Biggs, Cory, et al. The Value of Hospitality. 2002. 2019. <https://minerva.union.edu/wareht/gkcultur/guide/8/web1.html>.
Homer. Hymn to Demeter. n.d. <http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/demeter.htm>.
—. The Odyssey. Ed. Robert Fagles. n.d.
As I begin to drift into dreamland ⠀
Stars fill the sky, ⠀
The moon shines bright. ⠀
And feel myself relax, ⠀
I call out to the spirits of sleep. ⠀
Let my dreams be peaceful. ⠀
Let my bed be warm. ⠀
May I wake refreshed and renewed. ⠀
Watch over me and bless me⠀
until the sun shines upon us again. ⠀
Rev. Amber Doty ⠀
Khione, daughter of Boreas and Orithyia,
Magnificent goddess of the snow,
I think of you,
as the sky grows dark
and flakes begin to fall.
From the warmth of my home,
I watch out the window
As the seasons turn,
and the cycle moves forward.
The wind blows and
the snow covers the fallen leaves.
Khione, I feel your cold breath in the air.
I see you in the shimmering frost.
Your storms are both beautiful and dangerous.
I honor you, as the snow falls.
Winter is your domain.
I call to you, from the heart of the storm,
Please let our hearths stay warm
and our homes stay bright.
Beautiful, Khione, I honor you!
Good afternoon everyone. It's my birthday week! After a very, very stressful year, I look forward to the end of 2021, but I'm trying to be grateful for the blessings in my life through the month of November. That is definitely reflected in this week's divination.
This week's omen comes from the Witch's Pets Run Deck by Mailoni Kat, which I was lucky to receive as part of their recent Kickstarter campaign. Below is our message for this week:
Wunjo is a rune of positivity. It speaks of happiness and kinship. At a time in our social climate where many things feel divided and disconnected, it's nice to receive a message to remind us of the friendship and joy that we have in our lives.
Ansuz is a message of blessings received from the gods, typically in the form of insight, communication, and wisdom. This may be a time of clarity of thought, or new lessons learned.
Jera is a message of harvest, and rewards. It speaks of reaping the rewards of hard work put in, and being successful in our endeavors.
To summarize, now is a time of positivity, a time to come together as friends to learn and grow so we can be rewarded for our hard work.
If this message speaks to you, or if you have some other interpretation, I would love to hear from you! I hope you all have a wonderful week.
goddess of transformation,⠀
Inspiration, and knowledge,⠀
Mighty magic maker,⠀
And keeper of the⠀
Cauldron of Inspiration.⠀
You who birthed Taliesin,⠀
Great poet and bard of Wales.⠀
You are the womb of potential⠀
From which inspiration flows.⠀
I ask for your aid.⠀
Grant me the blessings⠀
From deep within ⠀
Let my thoughts transform,⠀
And the words ⠀
flow through me.
Tonight, I sit quietly,⠀
Listening to the winds⠀
Blowing through the trees, ⠀
Watching the sky grow darker⠀
As the days grow shorter. ⠀
Yet in this darkness,⠀
I see a glimmer of hope. ⠀
Hope for change, ⠀
Hope for a brighter future. ⠀
I know there is work to be done ⠀
But the fire to keep Pushing forward ⠀
Burns brighter today. ⠀
And so, I say thank you... ⠀
Thank you to all whose voices rang loudly. ⠀
Thank you to those who marched and fought. ⠀
Thank you for reigniting my hope... ⠀
For my children’s future ⠀
For my own self worth. ⠀
Tonight, may we all find comfort⠀
As we sit together in the darkness.
Ianus Pater, ⠀
guardian of doors,⠀
looking in both directions,⠀
You embody beginnings and endings⠀
And guide us through the gates.⠀
Through your door, ⠀
let our words reach the Kindreds.⠀
Through you, ⠀
may our hearts be open.⠀
Through you, may our homes be safe.⠀
With you, ⠀
may all who join be welcomed.⠀
And through you ⠀
may our words travel past the portals.⠀
Hypnos, son of the night and darkness,⠀
Soars through the starry sky,⠀
bringing dreams to the land of the living.⠀
Tonight I call to you, ⠀
And I ask you, please,⠀
Watch over my children ⠀
as they’re cradled in your arms. ⠀
Carry them safely through the night ⠀
Fill their thoughts and dreams with love,⠀
until Eos returns to the world again. ⠀
Pouring from the skies high above
Reaching into the deepest wells below
You live through the cycles,
From oceans, to clouds, and back again.
Our lives rely upon you.
You nourish and cleanse our bodies,
As you nurture our hearts,
Allowing our spaces to become whole.
Flowing with wisdom,
Your waves bubbling with inspiration,
Let your spirits flow through us
And let our sacred space be purified.