Leader Bio: Crystal Groves

Leader Bio: Crystal Groves

How long have you been involved in ADF?

I joined ADF in 2003, a year after I started attending Rites at CedarLight Grove, ADF in Baltimore, Maryland. At the end of 2004 I was elected as their scribe for the next 3 years, and in 2007 I was elected as their Senior Druid (and again in 2009). Even after moving an hour and a half away from CedarLight to Gettysburg, I still make it a point to visit nearly every weekend and absolutely to every High Rite as part of my devotion to my Grove and to ADF.

CedarLight Grove and ADF were both my first and only group presence in the modern neo-pagan movement.

What else have you done with your life?

In the mundane world, I own a digital marketing agency, though I've held jobs ranging from Veterinary Technician to Customer Service for Terminix. My trade is self-taught, as I have yet to go to college (I plan to eventually, but only when funds are available as I refuse to take out a loan for it). I am also a musician/singer, and play acoustic guitar and the djembe (drumming is quite a passion of mine).

I'm married to a Texan and have also taken care of my disabled father since 2003.

I am from a long line of farmers and am a genuine farmer's daughter, which is why I have a strong interest in the Naturalists Guild of ADF. I am also a freelance personal finance advocate after years of poor financial decisions, and teach workshops on basic personal finance throughout the pagan community. If I could make a career out of a mixture of personal finance, nature, and technology, then I'd be happy as a lark.

What do you do in ADF?

In CedarLight Grove, ADF, I have served as every voted position from Senior Druid to Scribe and Pursewarden. I now serve as an advisor on the Board of Trustees and and Priest as well as Senior Druid Emeritus.

In ADF I've served as Preceptor, Naturalist Guild Registrar, and on the Mother Grove as Secretary.

I also plan to start working on some programs of some sort within ADF that encourage responsibility in personal finance as well as disaster preparedness, much like you would find in other faiths.

Tell us a bit about your personal religion.

The main deity I work with, and have had some degree of a relationship with since the 7th grade, is Athena. I didn't fully understand that relationship until joining ADF, but feel blessed to have had it for so long. My personal relationship with her varies in many ways. But I strongly feel her presence in my financial good sense, and Her stringent wisdom and strength have guided me through my own personal tribulations and triumphs.

But despite Athena's overpowering influence, I do not consider myself Hellenic. I have no Greek that I am aware of in my lineage, and despite my love for the pantheon in general, it is not one I currently follow in my worship. 

Instead I am the Priest for Great Valley Kindred, an Anglo-Saxon kindred based here in Gettysburg.

What is your personal vision for ADF?

I am so honored to be a part of an organization that continually works towards being "the source" for trained clergy and advanced study. I want to see its ranks swell with talented, educated, and dedicated people to continue to propel its knowledge base beyond all others. I want to see us provide that training, create that clergy, and be the foundation for in-depth knowledge and study in the modern neo-pagan movement. Quality -and- Quantity. Why not excellence?

I also want to eventually see much of what we do influence people on a more mundane basis as well. More piety, but also more betterment in our mundane lives. To help inspire each other to get out of debt, remove the obstacles in our lives, and become more prepared for recessions, job loss, death, diseases, obesity, and retirement. There's no reason why ADF cannot provide a support line for the mundane issues that everyone will deal with as well as the spiritual training that already makes us great. This way we can become whole both physically, mentally, and spiritually, living our lives within ADF. Why not total excellence?

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