Raven’s Cry Grove, ADF was founded and officially approved as an ADF Protogrove on July 22, 1999. ADF is Ár nDraíocht Féin, an international fellowship devoted to creating a public tradition of Neopagan Druidry and this year is its 32nd anniversary. Neopagan Druidry is a tradition, a philosophy, and a way of life for its practitioners. Neopaganism is a vital and creative movement that draws upon the best aspects of the Pagan faiths of our ancestors to create a holistic, pluralistic path which allows for art and science, reason and emotion, and peace and ecstasy to be experienced harmoniously. Druidry is a branch of Neopaganism which draws its inspiration from the priests, priestesses, wise ones and magicians of the ancient Celts. Druidry calls for excellence in all pursuits, be they physical, mental, artistic, or spiritual. Raven’s Cry Grove, ADF is a nonprofit religious organization incorporated in the State of California. Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit church incorporated in the State of Delaware.
As a member grove of ADF, Raven’s Cry presents public rituals for each of the Neopagan High Days. Our public ritual style is based on the ADF “Core Order of Ritual” template that guides us to a form which uniquely is shared with other ADF groves. Its cosmology model is hard polytheistic – that is based on the premise of many distinct gods. We ask a god to be protector of our gathering and then create a sacred center and connect it to all the worlds where our three Kindreds – Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities – will hear us. Most of our ritual is offertory, and by the Indo-European concept of ghosti – of hospitality – we ask for blessings after our offerings are made. We visualize our blessings flowing into a blessing cup which we pass around so all may receive the blessings of the Kindreds.
ADF groves derive inspiration for rituals from ancient Indo-European cultures and mythology. So while calling ourselves “Druids” may imply a Celtic focus, and Raven’s Cry does celebrate the four Celtic fire festivals, there is not a limitation to Celtic culture alone. Raven’s Cry has presented rituals related to Roman, Greek, Norse, and Slavic traditions. Our first Vedic ritual will be this summer, and within Celtic cultures, we use both Irish and Welsh traditions for inspiration. Our rituals are modern, and we do not make any claim of reconstructing what our ancestors did, only that we are inspired by what anthropologists, historians, and other scholars have uncovered about our ancestors’ practices.
While Raven’s Cry Grove might be called an ADF church, it is not a belief based or orthodoxy based group. We consider beliefs to be personal. Instead we are many times called an orthopraxic religion, meaning right practice. Our idea is our practice leads to our being better people and the world to being a better place, but beliefs are personal and secondary to practice.
Raven’s Cry Grove, ADF has a Facebook presence, and a website http://ravenscrygrove.org where more information and news can be found.