So, it’s been about a month since leaving ADF. I’m not sure yet where I stand…kind of odd to still be using much of the liturgy found within the Org and yet not officially being a part of it. But then the ritual structure of Fire, Well, Tree: Ancestors, Nature Spirits, Gods – certainly is not ADF exclusive as it has it’s roots in Indo-european myth and cosmology and can be easily found with very little research.
I have contemplated more than once why I don’t just rejoin if my practice is going to be similar to what it’s been for the near decade of my membership. But then my leaving wasn’t necessarily based on my agreement or disagreement with the philosophy behind the Orgs ritual frame (although I do have certain issues with it and have for years trimmed away much of what I didn’t like)….it was more on the current motivating vision found in the physical Org.
It’s been rather cathartic being a freelance pagan again. Though no member of any Org should ever feel locked into a certain mode of religious practice – not being a card holding member of this or that feels a bit boundless. I’ve thought about membership in a few other Orgs…AODA, The Troth, FoDLA, OBOD, RDNA to name a few. I did join the Troth, as I feel the richness of the membership pool and the openness of their ritual form still allows me the freedom to pursue a practice that is mine. Also the Troth is of value to me in that it is specifically Germanic/Norse/Teutonic based, and positive in it’s outlook. One of the things that annoyed me about being in ADF was that I had to explain what my membership meant. I’ve never considered myself a ‘Druid’ and I’m not a Celtophile, I’d always have to add a cavaet about being a Heathen within a primarily Celtic/Druid leaning organization, it gets tiring.
If I were to join a ‘Druid’ org again it would probably be along the lines of RDNA or OBOD, a more philosophically based form of Druidry that is more personal and less dogmatic, and not as Theistic. However I don’t feel the need to belong to any of these yet or to support them with my dues or membership…I’m still trying to cleanse my palate a bit. If there’s one thing I’m questioning after leaving ADF is my Hard Polytheist stance while under it’s banner. That’s not to say that I’m not as pious in my practice only that it seems to be changing.
I’m also thinking deeply about getting an independent Heathen group off the ground in my area, a challenging endeavor that has failed in the past.