Ritual is one of many ways to connect with the Kindreds. I love ritual — I love writing it, performing it, and living within it. In the structure of ritual, there’s a sense of power and change that is tangible, as we do the work of building relationships with the spirits and cosmos.
ADF’s Core Order of Ritual is the primary way in which I worship. It may seem at first that this structure is restricting, but I find that there is freedom within this structure, and the structure provides a solid framework to ensure one’s good work. The beauty of this structure is that one could visit any ADF Grove and be able to follow along with the rite, regardless of the words used or the spirits being honoured. We use this format because it works.
In a public, group ritual, having a firm structure can aid in bringing everyone together for effective work. Our Grove’s rituals are guided along by instructional text, letting the attendees know what we will be doing next and what is expected of them. This doesn’t sound particularly magical, but it’s necessary for a good rite!
At home, I do some rites using this format, but my daily devotions are not as long. They are structured in themselves, though — I honour Brighid first, the goddess of our hearth, and then the Gods of our Grove, including a prayer for all of our folk. I then make any additional offerings or prayers that are necessary, such as healing for others.
Of course, it isn’t necessary to have a formal structure for every interaction with the Gods and spirits. When I sit with my tree friend at lunchtime, I don’t perform a ritual, but I will pour out some water at its base to show my thanks for our friendship. Or, I’ll make two cups of tea in the morning, and place one on Brighid’s shrine while I drink mine; sometimes I don’t even say any words beyond a greeting. My husband and I pray every night before our shared meal to give thanks to the Earth Mother for what she provides to us.
We can honour the Kindreds through our actions — through adoration and praise, through good stewardship of the Earth, and through formal ritual. All of these things are worship, and all of them lead to living a magical life.
The Intentions of Druidic Ritual – Rev. Ian Corrigan