The Waters support and surround us
The Land extends about us
The Sky stretches out above us
At the Center burns a living flame
-- Ceisiwr Serith
We in ADF have long venerated our Sacred Fire, that flame burning at the Center of the Worlds. The Fire transmutes and transforms our offerings, carrying them up to the Gods. It is the light of Heaven, the Hallow of the Sky, bringing order to chaos. And we love to gather around it within its light where we can feel its warmth.
This year Archdruid Emeritus Rev. John Adelmann (better known as ‘Fox’) did extensive research on sacred fire, and one result of this was the creation of our own Sacred Flame. In ancient times this fire would be stolen from the Gods, as it were, and created through friction (and later, though use of flint and steel, or with mirrors). Each year at the same time it would be doused, purified, and re-lit using the same methods. And it would be maintained through the course of the year with careful tending, and not allowed to go out.
On Spring Equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere) Fox, in Michigan, and I, in Washington State, lit our Sacred Flames at the same time with friction using a bow drill, and these fires have been maintained ever since. We are able to travel with the flame if we are driving somewhere, and Fox brought it to Trillium and Wellspring, where it was used not only to ignite our campfires, but also for use in ritual.
This is still early days for the concept of the Sacred Flame in ADF, and the whole idea is still somewhat experimental, but it is also a wonderful way we can harken back to ancient times. Maintaining a Sacred Flame requires a fireproof location, organization, and effort, and this work certainly isn’t for everyone. But we hope that we may be seeing the beginnings of a new tradition for ADF.