My inolvement in Ár nDraíocht Féin stems from my desire to build a modern Paganism that truly reflects the Ways of our ancestors. My many years of work in Wicca and Western Magic have led me to an understanding of the Old Ways that is really better fulfilled by the work of ADF.
I'm involved in ADF because of our vision, and the potential to benefit our Pagan movement and the world. ADF dreams big - real organization, real clergy, real institutions to pass on to our descendants, real spirituality and magic. While we have spent the first portion of our work giving, perhaps, more attention to the organization than to the spirituality, that's changing now. That excites me, and I want to be part of the growth of our Druidic religions.
I'm involved in ADF because it's an organization that is working, surviving and growing. Despite metaphoric fire and flood, our Sacred Forest full of Groves continues to grow. It's been that way since our beginning almost 15 years ago, and I'm sure it will continue.
My own work in ADF has mostly been about ritual and magic. I helped Isaac and other early ADFers design and perform some of the early ADF public rites, at Pagan Spirit Gathering and Starwood, and have always been interested in our Order of Ritual. When I began to work with the organization regularly I helped rework and revitalise the outline, adding innovations that have become fairly standard in current Groves. I published the first independent work on Druid ritual that uses a version of Isaac's outline, and was appointed Chief Liturgist by Isaac.
Most recently I have been writing and editing a basic course of training in Druidic spiritual practice, which seems likely to become ADF's Dedicant Training system. From there I intend to work with our new Druidic Order - the clergy training program - to make our training system truly among the best in the movement.
My vision for our future revolves around the idea of the public temple of Pagan Druidry. I hope to see us be able to establish centers of Spirit, Magic and Power in modern cities, places where the Power of Earth and Sky flows, where the shrines of the God/desses give blessing. I hope to see such temples support a few full-time and/or part-time clergy, diviners, counselors, healers etc, and groups of devout Pagan folk, who study and practice the Ways even if their lives don't allow them a full-time 'religious' life. With that core, I see temples serving a much larger group of Pagans, who come for the inspiration and the blessing, and contribute their time and resources to maintaining the temple.
Our national organization is the web, the matrix, inside which this dream should grow. I hope to see ADF become the kind of resource for training, mentoring and support that can allow Our Druidry to grow into the mighty oak of wisdom, love and magic that I know it is capable of being.
Visit Ian's store of druid books, tapes, etc.
(Photo credit: Ava Francesca)