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What to Expect at an ADF Ritual

Ritual binds ADF together. Ours is a religion not of orthodoxy (shared doctrine) but of orthopraxy (shared practice). For ritual we share a common liturgical outline, called the Core Order of Ritual (COoR). This COoR is a ritual "skeleton" structure that we build from to create the dynamic rituals that we provide to the public. 

Why do we use the COoR?

It has been said that a Druid from one grove or area should be able to attend a rite in another, and still have a chance of understanding what's going on. The COoR gives us that chance.

Specifically, the COoR's purpose is three-fold.

  • First, it defines the minimum necessary steps for a rite to qualify as an "ADF" High Day ritual. Many groves add their own traditions as well, but all must fulfill at least these steps. It is, as its name suggests, the "core" of our rites.

  • Second, the COoR sets the sequence in which the minimum steps should proceed.

  • Finally, the COoR specifies certain things that are not used, including monotheistic expressions, blood sacrifices, certain Wicca-esque elements, and non-Indo-European motifs.
















How does an ADF ritual work?

Let's take a moment to understand the basic idea behind ADF rites. They are modeled after the ancient Indo-European principle do ut des, "I give, so that you may give." Worshippers give gifts to the worshipped, and the worshipped give gifts in return. This is how ADF rituals work.


In essence, worshippers invite the Kindreds to be their guests for a time. This invokes ancient laws of hospitality, which dictate that a guest must give a gift in return to the host. The gods are thus obliged to return the favor. Furthermore, the greater being is honor-bound to give a gift proportionately greater. So our small offerings of ale or incense can be balanced by healing, protection, or other great boons. Finally, two beings that once exchange gifts are forever bonded in an ongoing relationship. The Proto-Indo-European word for this was *ghos-ti, describing those in a guest-host relationship. Through ghosti, we experience communion and bring the divine into our lives.

What is the ADF COoR?*

  1. Initiating the Rite - May include:

    • Musical Signal

    • Opening Prayer

    • Processional

    • Establishing the Group Mind

  2. Purification - This must take place prior to Opening the Gates

  3. Honoring the Earth Mother

  4. Statement of Purpose

  5. (Re)Creating the Cosmos

    • Sacred Center must be established in a triadic Cosmos

    • The Three Worlds or Realms must be acknowledged

    • The Fire must be included

    • Sacred Center is most commonly represented as Fire, Well and Tree

  6. Opening the Gate(s) - Must include a Gatekeeper 

  7. Inviting the Three Kindreds

  8. Key Offerings - This will commonly include:

    • Invitation of Beings of the Occasion

    • Seasonal customs as appropriate

    • Praise Offerings

  9. Prayer of Sacrifice

  10. Omen

  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

Items that ADF Rituals Do Not Include

  1. Elemental Cross Symbolism (the 4 Elements)

  2. Casting Circles in public ritual

  3. Calling Watchtowers or Elemental Guardians

  4. Calling the dualtheistic "Lord" and "Lady"

  5. Acknowledgement of one divine being with power over all

  6. Blood Sacrifices

  7. Non-Indo-European mythic and deity motifs

*If you have any questions about any of these core elements, please don't hesitate to email us! 

An example of an ADF Ritual in full. This Lughnasadh ritual was preformed by Rev. Kirk Thomas at the White Mountain Druid Sanctuary in Trout Lake Washington.

A fun version of a simple ADF Druid Rite using the COoR with legos created by Rev. Michael J Danger of 3 Cranes Grove 

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