Archive for the ‘ADF’ Tag

Nine Virtues 7-9 of ADF   Leave a comment

Hospitality

According to Merriam-Webster.com

: hospitable treatment, reception, or disposition

Hospitality for me is to make sure that everyone feels welcome and warm.  For the guest to know that they are safe in the environment not only physically but emotionally.  That they can share things going on in their lives, share both laughter and tears.  So it’s not just about food and drink but sharing on many different levels.  The amount of trust that’s shown to you as the host is of one of the highest compliments you can receive.  It takes a lot of work to make sure that where you live is a soft place to land for who ever.

In fact even with the Celts it was expected that even the King would welcome one and all into his Hall, and there was a hefty price if he did not accommodate people.  He would lose his throne.

Hospitality has another side to it as well.  And that is of being a gracious guest.  Being able to see that someone has opened their lives and their homes; for you to feel welcomed and important.  To me the concept of a gift for a gift would be for the guest to be grateful for being included into someone’s life.  However always keep in mind that you can misuse the hospitality of someone else.  You must be mindful of not overstaying or expecting the host to wait on you like a slave.

Moderation

 According to Wikipedia

is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted.

In my view moderation is not allowing our appetites to control and dominate our lives.  While I love to knit if that was all that I did then nothing else would get done.  Another word I would use here would be balance.  Finding the balance in our lives is something we should always strive for.  Whether we are within our mundane lives when we make sure we are eating balanced diet or balancing exercise with rest.  Or in our faith, we can’t just live by our Shrine and not interact with the world around us.  While walking the Mists and mediation is good for us so is interacting with your family and friends.  You can take moderation too far as well, every now and then it’s good to sit with friends and have a little too much to drink and just release the tensions that are in your life.  To have a little fun if you would.

Even in our world views there always room for moderation.  We can see that every night when we turn on the news.  Imagine if you would if the government of Egypt has indeed been practicing moderation within the country, perhaps the Prime Minister would have been loved instead of being forced out of office.  In our own country we can see extremism every other day.  We Are Right is a another way of saying WAR, within moderation there would be greater understanding, acceptance within our society and there be less fighting and more peace.  Moderation to me is so important, for that is the best way for all to understand and love each other.

 

Fertility

According to Merriam-Webster.com

1: the quality or state of being fertile: the birthrate of a population

The definition above is so limiting.  Fertility to me isn’t just about being able to get pregnant and have a child but so much more.  Even with nature the fertility of the soil to produce life giving nutrients to us and the animals of the world is a small part of fertility in my mind.  After all I’ve been Pagan a good many years.  It’s also the fertility of the mind and of the soul.  If our minds weren’t a fertility ground we won’t be able to be creative, or to able to understand complex concepts.  If our souls were a frozen waste land we couldn’t and wouldn’t have the capacity to love and care for others.  Our ability to create Rituals all comes from a mind that it open and ready for new ideas.  Deity has the ability to be in our hearts and minds because we are ready for them to speak.  But if our minds are closed they won’t be able to come in and speak to us.

So to me having an open mind and heart and soul is fertility.  To be able to connect with the three Kindred shows to me that fertility runs both ways.  For if it wasn’t for Their ability to be fertile this planet would be either a ball of ice or a ball of fire.  It took the fertile minds and will of the Gods and Goddesses to find the balance between the fire and the water to creative life itself.  Making sure that in Their creation of us that our minds and hearts were ready for their knowledge and love.  That we would go forth and populate the world and worship them and take care of those that came before us and working with the Nature Spirits to make sure that this would be a rich land and never become a waste land.

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Posted January 4, 2012 by Sandra Yost in Personal Essays

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Nine Virtues 4-6 of ADF   1 comment

Courage

According to Merriam-Webster.com: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

While I agree with the definition as shown here, there’s something missing, the courage to do nothing.  There are times in my life where it took more courage to do nothing.  Such as when someone has said or done something to me that causes either pain or anger.  It’s at those times where it takes more courage to stop and think, or to just let it go.  However, there are times when you must stand up for yourself or others when you see something that’s just not right.  Being able to see and have the courage to interfere when someone else is being hurt.  Or standing up to a friend whose about to drive drunk, I’ve done that a few times.  Or to go to the source when something has been said about you, to drill down to the truth of the matter takes a great deal of courage.

Yes, it takes courage to do something that is difficult for you to do.  Like facing fear, such as public speaking during a Ritual High Day, it takes a lot of courage to stand there with all eyes on you.  But with determination to do what needs to be done it can be accomplished.  Or when doing your first at home Rite by your shrine and being scared of messing it up, takes a will be know that the Kindred won’t sit there and laugh at you, or punish you for doing it wrong but rather know that they smile with patience, knowing that this will get easier as you go along.  The courage to ask something of the Deities without feeling selfish or self centered.

 

Integrity

According to Merriam-Webster.com

1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility

2: an unimpaired condition : soundness

3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided :

Once again this one isn’t the easiest for it has many implications to it, both mundanely and magically.  Having integrity is to have people know that you’re true to your word, being truthful with yourself and others.  That you have set a code of conduct that can’t be altered just because someone else thinks that it’s foolish.  It’s holding you responsible for your actions and words.  I also think of a saying, walk the walk and talk the talk.  You can’t say to do one thing and then turn around and do the opposite of what you said.  It’s also following your path and not being swayed to go against what you know is right just because of the crowd.

Another word that can be used is honor.  Honor the Kindred the best way you can.  Honor the relationships that you have, and not to expect others to walk your path and not theirs.  Honor in dealing with friends and strangers alike.  To be charitable to others, give of your time, give of your love, to honor oaths that you have taken.  Also being fair to others, understand that your way isn’t their way and that doesn’t make their way wrong.  But also letting go of selfish needs and desires, opening your heart to others needs and desires.  Only doing good while doing magic, make sure that it’s for the greater good and not for revenge or anything of a negative connotation.  Not asking the Kindred to hurt or injury someone, but instead ask that they will learn and walk a better path.

Perseverance

According to Merriam-Webster.com: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness

Or how I put it tenacity, not letting a project go until it gets done.  Even when the road is tough and things seem impossible to keep it up even if it’s at a snails pace.  It reminds me of the tale of the tortoise and the hare.  The hare rushed getting the race over and done with, and lost his way.  While the tortoise kept to the path, he never gave up and always knew that the end of the race was before him.  Sure enough the tortoise won the race because he persevered.  My neighbor had a stroke a few months ago, his left side was paralyzed.  He has persevered through his therapy and can now walk with help from a cane and a leg brace.  His left arm is still immovable but again through therapy movement was spotted by his therapist.  I see him from time to time and he has kept a positive attitude knowing that with hard work he can gain his movement back.

Even working the Dedicant Program takes perseverance as I’m finding out.  It’s not easy and the tasks seem daunting, but working the program step by step and not becoming frustrated makes it easier.  With the smallest steps that I have taken I see that it can be done so long as I don’t give up and throw in the towel.  I my opinion if you believe in yourself and keep saying “I know I can” almost everything can be worked through and you come out at the end better and stronger for the journey.  Just looking through my past I can now see where I persevered and came out a better person for it.  I also know that with my tenacity nothing can hold me back accept for me caving into my own disbelief in myself.

Posted December 20, 2011 by Sandra Yost in Personal Essays

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Nine Virtues 1-3 of ADF   2 comments

WISDOM

According to Oxford Paperback Dictionary

The definition of Wisdom is:

Noun

1. Being wise, soundness of judgment. 2. wise sayings; the Wisdom of Solomon, a book of the Apocrypha.

The virtue of wisdom is fairly important to me, having this virtue means that foolish decisions while still done can be greatly reduced.  There is a line from a movie Jurassic Park, where the scientist who studies chaos theory states, “Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do something.”  There is great wisdom in this statement.  Pagans, be they druid or witches all have the ability to tap into and use great power for their magick.  But is this always wise to use this power?  Just because we have the knowledge should we indeed use it?  Or how can I use this knowledge for the betterment of myself and others.  Too often in life we have a knee jerk reaction to a situation when the wise course of action should be to stop and think about it.

When we gain knowledge the feeling of having it is wonderful.  However when we apply that knowledge without common sense we can hurt others or ourselves (depending on the knowledge, of course).  Just as an example while we live our daily lives we practice wisdom often.  Such as when we drive to work everyday, while our cars can exceed the speed limit in really ridicules ways but yet we do our best not to.  The reason being, we might hurt someone else if not ourselves.  Not to mention that hefty speeding ticket waiting for us.  So it’s wise to slow down.

Piety

According to Merriam-Webster.com

1: the quality or state of being pious: as a : fidelity to natural obligations (as to parents) b : dutifulness in religion : devoutness

2: an act inspired by piety

3: a conventional belief or standard : orthodoxy

This one is hard for me to figure out.  To me Piety means to be in service of the Gods, Ancestors and Nature Spirits.  Sounds easy doesn’t it, well it’s not.  We are their instruments and at times that is a very difficult road to walk on.  But yet when we do their work (whether we want to or not) it can lift us higher than this mundane life.  Just to remember that we are loved by the Kindred can make Piety just a little easier.  With a heart felt ritual we can leave our darker days behind and feel the love they have for us remembering them.  Unfortunately, we do have to return to the daily grind of life and the troubles we left when we started.  To me it is also being in service of others, keeping in mind the work we agreed to when we became a Druid.

It’s also respecting the Kindred and understanding we would be no where without them.  They gave us life and it’s up to us to do them honor in everything we say and do, not only to them but to ourselves.  If we just went through the process of Ritual without our hearts into it, how can we treat each other with the same love respect that is given to us each and every day by the Kindred?  Sometimes it is very hard to achieve when you feel hurt and angry so we struggle daily to keep this in the fore front of our minds.  It’s not impossible to achieve but it is a difficult road to walk at times.

Vision

The definition of Vision from the Oxford Dictionary is:

1 the faculty of seeing, sight. 2. something seen in the imagination or in a dream. 3. Imaginative insight into a subject or problem ect., foresight and wisdom in planning, a statesman with vision. 4. A person or sight of unusual beauty.

Ah vision a wonderful topic that covers not only mundane but magic as well.  Just while using sight when we go outside we can use our vision and see things differently.  When we see a bird we don’t necessarily see just a bird but the Nature Spirits saying hello.  During Ritual when the gates are open we can visualize the gatekeeper actually opening the portal.  Even while doing this I can see myself completing the Dedicant Program in my mind’s eye.

In magic we use it to not only invoke the well, tree and fire in their true form, but also seeing the end product of our working.  Long term projects even take some vision to see where the project is going and how it will look at the end.  Even the ADF was a vision that Isaac Bonewits had at the creation of the Druidic system he created.  Vision also needs to be a process that involves evolving, after all if something doesn’t work the way you envisioned it, it must evolve and change or else it will go no where.  There’s what has been called the 360 degree view.  One I try to incorporate daily.  We can get lost just seeing in one direction.  There are times when you have to change your sight into something bigger than what you see.  Being able to see all around you, how your actions and words can affect those around you.  You must have the ability to see the small picture rather than the big picture.  Your vision must be adaptable in all circumstances.  So to me vision is an important component within Druidism or Witchcraft.

Posted December 14, 2011 by Sandra Yost in Personal Essays

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