Greetings, my name is Francesca. I became interested in the metaphysical in my teens after I realized that what most people where calling parapsychology and witchcraft were natural everyday occurrences in my life. I have been a member of the Pagan community for about 30 years. First as a member of an Earth-based, eclectic Celtic magical group, then as a solitary and now with ADF. In 1987, I started Chesapeake Herbs & Crafts, and became involved in several herbal associations and have maintained connections within the herbal business and teaching community. I have appeared on TV and radio promoting "herbal activism," and have written columns relating to the field in various newspapers. In 1969 I started studying the Chinese Martial arts and hold a 5th degree black belt instructor rank. I have been recognized as a Competent Toastmaster(CTM) from Toastmasters International.
Moving from a major city to a rural area, brings one closer to the land but it also made me long for the involvement of group interaction. Being solitary was not for me, I found ADF on the web lurked for six months and then joined in 1999. Of course, there were no groves near me, but I still found the internet a way to find people who made me think, research and learn. I finally attended an ADF ritual at Samhain 1999 and it totally changed my outlook. I found a way to practice my beliefs without having to hide them and to make the connection to my spirituality. The closest groves are still 2-3 hrs away, but the experience of ritual is so revitalizing and inspirational that it is worth the drive. ADF has also made me expand my knowledge base, challenge me to question and to look beyond. I am also Slavic and have found a way to research my roots, bring it into my worship, and still be a part of an international group like ADF because of its Indo-European direction.
What I do in ADF
I have always liked to travel, so when I can I like being able to visit other groves, seeing their rituals and meeting the members. I was the North East Regional Druid (representative) from 2002-2005.
In 2003 I applied and received my Dedicant Clergy credentials (as a regional druid). At that time, most of the places I visited and the area I lived in had no ADF Clergy. I have always felt the strong pull to assist those who may need someone to turn to and understands their faith. I have actively been working on the Study Program with my goal being completion of the Clergy Program.
Wellspring 2005 to 2008, I assumed the role of ADF Administrator. This was a daunting task that includes administrative and financial background, which I have. What I had not prepared myself for was the amount of administrative work. As this organization grows we will need more members to offer their services and support to keep us running smoothly.
I was the Regalia Manager from 2002-2006. From 2001-2003, I was the Chief of the Artisans Guild and assisted in getting the first issue of the Artisan Guild Study Program approved and accepting students. From 2003-2006 I was the Preceptor of the Seers Guild. I was the Sig Coordinator for the People of the Purple Feather from 2003-2004. I assisted with the formation of the Slavic Kin and was the Assistant Chief from 2004-2007, and Chief from 2007-2010. I started the Military Outreach Sig and was the Coordinator from 2007-2009.
I know what it is like being a solitary; I also know what it feels like to be a part of a grove. I know what it is like doing devotionals alone; I also know the joy of open group worship. I hope that every member gets to experience those wonders.