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The following pages describe ADF in more detail as an organization or, in the case of the Founder's Awards, showcase the organizational community service and charity work of our groves (local congregations).The ADF ConstitutionThe ADF BylawsADF Founder's AwardsADF's Organizational StructureADF's Mission and VisionCode of ConductChild Abuse PolicyConvicted and Registered Sex Offenders PolicySexual Misconduct Policy
This article originally appeared in the past print version of the ADF Membership Guide, and as such is rather long. However, it does have a lot of very good information about ADF's organizational structure, information that many new and potential members frequently ask about.ADF LocalThe "local" level is the level where most ADF members interact with ADF on a regular basis. For many members, this means spiritual work in our local congregations (groves), but it also means private spiritual work on a solitary basis. This level also includes day-to-day religious practices such as morning libations, daily offerings to one's patron gods, interactions with other local ADF members, etc. While ADF as an organization provides an overarching framework for individual spiritual practice, the majority of our most important work occurs by individuals practicing their devotion to the Kindreds at their own hearths and among their own folk, and there are as many ways for individuals to do that as there are members in ADF. In fact, one of the most fundamental functions of ADF as an organization is to give members a network to share their own religious practices with other members and thereby enrich their own spirituality.Groves and ProtogrovesLocal spiritual practice is for many members synonymous with group worship in groves and protogroves. The formal definitions of groves and protogroves are, as taken from the ADF Grove Organizer's Handbook, the following:An ADF grove may be formed by any group of three or more voting members of ADF who live in the same geographic area, who gather at least twice a lunar month to study and practice Druidism within the context of Ar nDraiocht Fein, and who are chartered by the Mother Grove as a local congregation.A Protogrove may be formed by one or two voting members in a given location who are attempting to start a grove. Protogrove status is given to most who request it, provided there is a publishable (secular or religious) name and an official mailing address.Those definitions indicate a few things, the first being that groves are larger, requiring at least three ADF members. Second, groves must be established through a formal application and chartering process while the process to establish a protogrove is much more speedy and informal. Lastly, groves have some other requirements that protogroves don't, such as doing eight High Day rituals a year, quarterly community service, etc. It is possible for a protogrove to grow to a size where its members wish to apply for grove status, something that happens frequently and is usually approved fairly quickly.For more information about founding a grove or protogrove, see the ADF Grove Organizer's Handbook or contact the main ADF Office online or using the paper address listed at the end of the ADF National section.Some groves and protogroves have sufficient members and interest that they have their own local sub-groups such as grove guilds and special interest groups. The Shining Lakes Grove's Liturgist Guild, for example, is a sub-group within Shining Lakes Grove which focuses on liturgical issues for the grove. Often such groups have special forums or meeting times that are apart from the normal grove calendar of events, providing extra means for interested members to get involved in the grove.SolitariesFinally, while you may encounter an emphasis on grove-oriented spirituality in ADF, we are by no means an organization that serves only grove members. Our emphasis on public ritual does lead us to focus on grove activities, such as founding new groves, encouraging sharing of resources among existing groves, etc., but we recognize that a very significant portion of ADF's membership is solitary (and often solitary by choice). Here we must reiterate that while group ritual is important, it is also relatively infrequent (eight times a year for groves), and that the real work of Our Druidry occurs every day in our individual homes and hearths. For that reason, we value our solitary members especially for continuing the work of Our Druidry in their lives and sharing their experiences with others. The most valuable resource we provide for solitary ADF members, then, is the networking between members that occurs at the national level.ADF NationalThe "national" level of ADF is the level of ADF as an overarching organization that provides services to individual members and groups such as groves and protogroves. Many of our members outside the United States have expressed concern that "national" means the U.S., but "national" is actually used in the sense of "at the level of nations" and thus includes our valued members in Canada, France, Germany, and other countries. This is the level at which individual geographic origins are largely ignored as we work together to build the larger infrastructure and spirituality of Our Druidry. Often this is made possible by our electronic services such as the ADF electronic mailing lists and web site. These resources will be covered at the end of this section after the different organizational structures of ADF at the national level are described.All of the various organizational systems in ADF work together to maximize our total communication with each other. Unlike most mainstream religions, which have only "vertical" communication between people who are "higher" and "lower" on some kind of totem pole (and which inevitably run into blocks, censoring, and "screening" of information in both directions), in ADF we encourage everyone to talk to everyone!Senior Druids talk to each other, their grove members, and the Mother Grove. Participants in the Study Program talk to each other and to members of the Council of Lore. Anyone can organize a guild, study circle, or other SIG, drawing members from across all Circles and around the world. Hierarchy has its uses, provided that it stays organic and flexible. In ADF we are evolving new ways to empower all our members, while still staying structured enough to get some work done.Bylaws and PoliciesADF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation as recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. To comply with the legal requirements of non-profit status with the IRS, and for our own clarity and surety of operation, ADF operates under a set of "bylaws" which govern ADF as an organization. Bylaw changes are made with a 2/3 vote of the Mother Grove. The original bylaws were adopted in 1990 by the Mother Grove when ADF was founded, and the bylaws are regularly revised in minor ways by each Mother Grove; the most recent modification at the time of this writing was late 1999. The founding of ADF as a Corporation in 1990 replaced the Association of ADF which had been established in 1987, although ADF was actually started in 1984.The ADF bylaws describe the operation of rather mundane aspects of ADF's functioning, such as elections, the positions, and requirements for Mother Grove and other Officers, how other sub-groups are founded and governed, etc. They are published with the ADF quarterly publication Oak Leaves each Lughnasadh, and are also available online.The Mother Grove has also found that there is a need to document methods of handling situations, which do not need to be in the bylaws per se because they may need to change more often. The Policies and Procedures Manual serves as a place to document these policies and includes such things as our policy on mailing list moderation, the voting system of the Mother Grove, current Study Program policies, etc. As with all other governing documents in ADF, if there is a conflict, the ADF bylaws supersede it. The Policies and Procedures Manual may be reviewed in the Members section online or upon written request to the ADF Office.The Mother GroveThe Mother Grove is the legal equivalent of and is referred to in the ADF bylaws as, the ADF Board of Directors. All members of the Mother Grove are Directors of Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship, Inc. The composition of the Mother Grove is described fully in the ADF bylaws but will be summarized briefly here.The Mother Grove is led by the Archdruid, who provides long-term spiritual guidance and leadership to ADF.The Vice Archdruid exercises the functions of the Archdruid in her or his absence and will replace the Archdruid in the event of her/his recall, death, retirement, or permanent incapacitation.The Secretary (also known as Scribe) keeps a record of all votes and minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of the Mother Grove, and announces summaries of those meetings periodically to the membership.The Treasurer (also known as Pursewarden) 1presents budgets to the Mother Grove for approval, reviews and reconciles the bookkeeping of the ADF office, creates financial reports for the MG and membership, and approves expenditures greater than $200.The Members' Advocate functions as an ombudsperson, representing individual members of ADF at large, with special attention to the needs of minority factions not otherwise represented; the Members' Advocate is a non-voting member of the Mother Grove.The Chief of the Council of Senior Druids is elected by the Council of Senior Druids to serve on the Mother Grove, thereby representing groves and protogroves.The Chief of the Council of Regional Druids is elected by the Council of Regional Druids to serve on the Mother Grove, thereby representing individual ADF members in various membership regions.Non-Officer Director(s) may be elected by the ADF membership as a whole and do not have specific defined duties, but represent the membership at large; there are currently three Non-Officer Directors (NODs) on the Mother Grove.The Archdruid is elected for a three-year term, and at the time of this writing, the next election of an Archdruid will be in May 2007. The Members' Advocate is elected yearly, and all other positions are elected every two years.For further information about specific Mother Grove positions or election specifics, refer to the ADF bylaws.The National Membership MeetingADF has a meeting of the membership annually. Members may cast their ballots for elections at the national membership meeting or by mailing the ADF Office, as described in the bylaws. The location of the national membership meeting is determined by a vote of the membership. The policy on determining the location, from the bylaws, is the following:The time and location of the annual meeting of the voting members of A.D.F. shall be determined by the membership prior to the close of the previous annual meeting. Nominations for events to host the annual meeting shall be collected by the same method as officer candidate nominations. The nominated events shall be evaluated for suitability and willingness to host the meeting by the Secretary. Candidate events must be held between May 1 and September 1, be sponsored by ADF member subgroups and have been held for at least one year unless no qualifying events exist. All nominations that meet these criteria shall be placed on the annual election ballot for a vote by the general membership. The outcome of that election shall be determined by a plurality vote. Write-in votes shall not be permitted for annual meeting locations.Other Committees, Boards, and Special Interest Groups (SIGs)The Council of Senior Druids is made up of all past and current Senior Druids and Grove Organizers and serves as a resource for SDs and GOs to support each other and share mutually helpful information. The CoSD is also the board from which the members of the Grove Organizing Committee is drawn on a volunteer basis. The Grove Organizing Committee is the group that oversees the application process for new groves and protogroves. More information on the Grove Organizing Committee can be found in the ADF Grove Organizer's Handbook.The Administrative Board is chaired by the elected ADF Administrator and has such positions as Chronicler, Pursewarden, Webmaster, Listmaster, Office Manager, and Regalia Manager. Appointments to the Administrative Board are made by the Administrator. The Chronicler is responsible for overseeing all ADF publication efforts, the Pursewarden is responsible for reviewing our financial records to ensure that they comply with generally accepted accounting principles, and the Office Manager is responsible for the main ADF Office which handles new membership processing, membership renewals, and general information requests.Special Interest Groups (or SIGs) are informal, freestanding groups that may be formed at any time by interested members, and are included in ADF's full national group listing for networking purposes. Examples include the Solitaries SIG and the Children's Education SIG.Other Committees, such as the Outreach Committee, may be created by a vote of the Mother Grove at any time, on a standing or ad hoc basis. Such committees will be chaired by a Director of the Mother Grove, will have a defined purpose, and must notify the Mother Grove of their activities periodically.Guilds and the Council of LoreGuilds are groups of ADF members who have organized together for mutual benefit, especially study and training. They are established by a vote of the Mother Grove and must have their own governing documents, systems of rank, election methods, decision-making processes, etc. While Guilds do not exist solely to support the ADF Study Program, a major portion of their activities is the development and administration of relevant portions of the ADF Study Program. For example, the ADF Liturgists Guild is currently developing liturgical portions of the ADF Study Program, and when the Study Program is complete the Liturgists Guild will administer those training sections.The ADF Guilds are grouped into the three primary functions of Indo-European society identified by the scholar Georges Dumezil. The first function is magical-religious and contains the Bardic Guild, Liturgists Guild, Seers Guild, Magicians Guild, and Scholars Guild. The second function is martial and contains the Warriors Guild. The third function is the "producer" function and is associated with the natural world. It contains the Artisans Guild, Naturalists Guild, and Healers Guild.The Council of Lore consists of the elected Preceptors of each Guild. The present purpose of the Council of Lore in terms of the Study Program is to formulate a set of General and Functional requirements to submit to the Mother Grove for approval. It will also review Guild specialties as the Guilds submit them, and then will pass them on to the Mother Grove for approval. The long-term purpose of the Council of Lore will be to administrate the General and Functional requirements of the Study Program (or delegate the administration appropriately), led primarily by the ADF Preceptor.The Dedicant Program and Study ProgramADF currently has two training systems, one of which is complete and the other which is under revision. The former is known as the Dedicant Program and it is a year-long study and practice designed to introduce new members into the ways of Our Druidry, including such things as meditative skill practice, recommended readings, consideration of ethical and philosophical issues, etc. The latter is our more comprehensive Study Program and at the time of this writing is still under development, though several Guilds have approved their Study Programs. It should also be mentioned that ranks in the Study Program and Guilds have no religious connotations--any member may lead rituals and no one is considered spiritually superior to anyone else due to her/his Study Program or Guild rank.The Study Program is still under development because we have chosen to emphasize quality over speed in our training, trying to live up to our motto of, "Why Not Excellence?" While this may be somewhat frustrating to those who wish to jump right in now, we have provided the Dedicant Program as an excellent and worthwhile form of interim training, and moreover we believe that the extra work we are devoting to involving our members in the creation of their Study Program will produce a much finer and workable program in the end. The Study Program, when complete, will also have the Dedicant Program as an entry prerequisite, so any work done on the Dedicant Program will benefit students planning to enter the Study Program. Both are only available to members of ADF, and the Dedicant Program is part of the membership package [ed.: this is now electronically distributed, though paper copies are purchasable] new members receive upon joining.The Purpose of the Study Program is twofold. In our religion, we seek to honor the Kindreds in the best ways we can, with excellence. While we do High Day rites eight times a year, we do them from a primarily modern perspective, and we acknowledge that our ancestors who were closer to the natural world than us likely knew how to worship the kindreds better than us. We may decide that certain aspects of their worship are incompatible with our modern society (e.g., animal sacrifice), but as an organization, we are dedicated to researching their ways so that we can honor the Kindreds with the greatest excellence possible.Just as someone can be given a piece of paper and read a greeting in a foreign language phonetically, and do so perfectly, so is it possible to fulfill the forms and gestures of our liturgy with technical excellence. However, as a religious organization, we are committed to not just technical excellence but spiritual excellence. Just as we would expect a greeting in another language to have more meaning and power when spoken by someone fluent in that language, so do we strive to understand the social and cultural context of the Indo-European peoples in order to practice our religion as fluently as possible. One purpose of the Study Program, therefore, is to provide its students a structured method of knowing the social and cultural context of the ancient Indo-European peoples, in order that they may practice Our Druidry with the understanding of its roots, and achieve spiritual as well as technical excellence.In addition to giving individual students in our Study Program an understanding of the Indo-European basis for our religion, we seek also to build the religious community itself. We recognize that part of learning-perhaps the most important part-is teaching others and giving back to one's community, and so the second goal of our Study Program is to produce religious functionaries who will use their knowledge and expertise to provide for the spiritual well-being of our community. An essential aspect of that corresponds to the first purpose, namely that the guiding feature of the Study Program is to bring the students and their community closer to the old ways and honoring the Kindreds with excellence.Priests, Clergy Credentials, and OrdinationHaving ordained clergy is important to any religion because such clergy members gain the ability to be officially recognized as clergy by their congregations, and where it matters, to their states also. There is also a benefit to the ADF membership and possibly Neopaganism in general when there are more officially recognized priests available to perform clerical rites and duties. Many people have contacted ADF over the years asking for a priest in their area who could help with marriage, house blessing/warding, with memorial rites, etc. and this is a need we are striving to fulfill.There are two types of Priest in ADF: Dedicant Priests and Ordained Priests. Temporary clergy credentials are known as Dedicant Priest credentials and Ordained Clergy are permanent credentials.At the time of this writing, ADF currently has several Ordained Priests. Due to the need for ordained clergy in our congregations, and in Neopaganism in general, our Dedicant and Ordained Priests are currently in the process of creating a special track for ordination which is separate from the ADF Study Program. The current policies on ordination and granting of clergy credentials are the following:Ordained Priest CredentialsOnly persons who have obtained 3rd circle or higher in the Priest, Liturgist-Priest or Seer-Priest specializations of the ADF Study Program are eligible to apply for ordination.Eligible individuals may request consideration for ordination by the Clergy Council.The Clergy Council will conduct a detailed examination of each candidate for ordination.Following the examination of the candidate, the Clergy Council will conduct a vote on the ordination of the candidate.Candidates who are approved for ordination by the Clergy Council will be ordained by the Archdruid.If the Clergy Council does not approve the ordination in question the candidate will be given specific reasons for the denial and given clear recommendations to address the Clergy Council's concerns.Ordained individuals are expected to keep their training current through continuing education and active practice. The Clergy Council retains the right to periodically reexamine said individuals and, if necessary, revoke their right to represent themselves as ADF clergy.Dedicant Priest CredentialsEligible individuals may request Dedicant Priest credentials by written request to the Chief of the Clergy Council.Eligible individuals are defined as those who have completed the ADF Dedicant Training Program as published in the New Member's Guide and who have at least two cumulative years of experience in the position of Senior Druid of an ADF grove composed of at least 9 ADF members.Following the verification of the individual's leadership experience, the Clergy Council will approve the request for credentials by a simple majority vote.Upon approval, the Clergy Council will make appropriate ceremonial arrangements and issue a Dedicant Priest Certificate which will be valid for a one year period.Individuals who have been granted Dedicant Priest credentials may request extensions by contacting the Chief of the Clergy Council. In order for extensions to be granted the individual must demonstrate progress in either the Priest/ess, Liturgist, or Seer specialization of the ADF Study Program. Upon verification of said requirements, the Clergy Council may grant up to two one-year extensions.Individuals who have acquired the second circle in either the Priest/ess, Liturgist, or Seer specializations of the ADF Study Program may be granted two additional one-year extensions for a grand total of four years.Decisions by the Clergy Council to withhold credentials or extensions may be appealed to the Mother Grove by written request to the Members' Advocate.Individuals who feel that they have a justifiable reason to hold lay clergy credentials, but who do not meet the stated requirements outlined in this policy may request credentials directly from the Mother Grove by written request to the Members' Advocate.Dedicant Priest Credentials may be invalidated at any time by a vote of the Mother Grove.DiscriminationMembership and rank in ADF, attendance at public or semipublic activities, and participation in the Study Program may not be denied to anyone on the basis of race, ancestry, color, physical disability, age, gender, or affectional preference. However, they may be denied to individuals practicing creeds inimical to Neopagan Druidism, such as varieties of conservative monotheism, atheism, demonism, racialism, and other such belief systems as determined by the Mother Grove. This is in keeping with our policy that people who are disruptive, abusive or dangerous can be excluded from grove and other ADF activities in order to protect the other participants. Members who feel that they have been unjustly excluded may ask for help from the Members' Advocate (see the section of that title later in this guide).We have only a few disabled members in ADF, but we are sure that there would be far more, both inside and outside of Neopagan Druidism, if they were made welcome. Would-be leaders are encouraged to learn Ameslan or other systems of sign language. All organizers of public and semi-public ADF activities must make strenuous efforts to facilitate the participation of disabled individuals. Such individuals, however, must let their needs be known if they expect them to be met.The ADF Mailing Lists and Web SiteAs an international organization, our members are geographically dispersed across the world. As a result, the primary mode of communication and networking between many ADF members is on the Internet, often through our electronic mailing lists. We have a wide variety of lists just for members, including ADF-Celtic, ADF-Norse, and ADF-Greek for cultural special interests, ADF-Dedicants for online Dedicant Program mentoring, ADF-Parents for Druid parenting discussion, and ADF-Solitaries for active solitary networking. Each Guild also has its own mailing list, and there are therefore lists such as ADF-Liturgists for the Liturgists Guild, ADF-Seers for the Seers Guild, etc. Two of our most venerable lists, ADF-Religion and ADF-Druidry, are for discussion of the spiritual aspects of our Druidry in particular, and general discussion respectively, though with the latter it should be mentioned that the ADF-Policy list exists for specifically policy-related discussion. If you are a member you can subscribe to any of these mailing lists via the member subscription page.Our web site at www.adf.org has been established since the early days of the Web (1995) and has grown as ADF has grown and changed through the years. It currently serves as a repository for rituals, articles, songs and chants, and other information, and contains the archives for our electronic mailing lists.The ADF OfficeThe main ADF Office, or "central office", is the physical place where things like processing new memberships happen. It is staffed primarily by volunteers who engage in time-consuming, often thankless, and completely vital work for Our Druidry and who are thus deserving of our most sincere appreciation! We also have a number of "e-mail helpers" who answer e-mail sent to the ADF Office address, and who are also volunteers deserving of our thanks. If you would like to contact the ADF Office for some reason or would like to help reduce the e-mail load of our volunteers, please see our contact page for more information on how to reach us.
Adopted by the Mother Grove on 15 February, 2012. Last modified on 15 February, 2012 ADF Inc. opposes any form of sexual misconduct by clergy, staff, employees, volunteers, and members, and this policy applies equally to all of the above. We realize that we are in the presence of the Kindreds and commit to ensure our conduct is of the highest standards. We commit to practice: Love and kindness for one another Courtesy and respect in language and actions Self-discipline and control Integrity and honesty with ourselves and others Diligence in seeking to make the most of our talents and abilities Teamwork and good sportsmanship Respect toward leaders and respect by leaders And to refrain from actions that hurt or damage any person or property. Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment of Adults Sexual misconduct occurs when a person with authority, either real or perceived, uses their position to obtain sexual favors or behaviors of any kind. These persons in authority include, but are not limited to, clergy, elected or appointed ADF officers, ADF employees, sub-group volunteers, and Grove/Protogrove leaders. Sexual misconduct by a person with authority involving a member, client, or employee with whom the person in authority has a professional pastoral relationship is unethical and unprofessional behavior. Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to: Unwelcome and unsolicited sexual advances Request for sexual favors Discriminatory tormenting based upon perceived gender or sexual orientation Other undesired verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature In particular, sexual harassment occurs if there is: Submission to any kind of sexual harassment as an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment, to be a volunteer, or for advancement or eligibility for status Submission to, or rejection of, sexually harassing behavior if used as a basis for employment, other personnel decisions, or for advancement or eligibility for status affecting the recipient of the behavior Purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the recipient's work performance Verbal harassment or abuse Pressure for sexual activity Derogatory or dehumanizing remarks about women/men/transsexuals Remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications Unwanted touching of a sexual nature Suggesting or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one's job, volunteer position or reputation, etc. The dissemination of unwanted material (such as cartoons, articles, pictures, etc.) which have sexual content. Reporting Adult Sexual Misconduct The first step in stopping sexual harassment is to directly inform the person involved that his/her conduct is unwelcome, a violation of ADF policy, and that it must stop immediately. Allegations of sexual misconduct shall be made following the complaints procedures as listed in the ADF Standard Operating Procedures document. If the allegation is about a criminal act, it must be reported to the appropriate civil authorities. Allegations of sexual misconduct must be made in writing or electronically as to date, time and circumstances. Investigating Sexual Misconduct Investigations of sexual misconduct shall be conducted using the procedures in the ADF Standard Operating Procedures sections under Complaints and Leader Conduct. Responding to Sexual Misconduct Clergy found guilty of sexual misconduct will have their Clergy Credentials removed by the Mother Grove. ADF Officers, Senior Druids, Grove Organizers, Staff, and volunteers found guilty of sexual misconduct will be removed from their duties in ADF, its Groves, and/or Protogroves. Those making false allegations and/or providing false information will be subject to disciplinary action by the Mother Grove, up to and including expulsion from ADF, as outlined in the Complaints section of the ADF Standard Operating Procedures document. Oversight and Education The Risk Assessment Committee is responsible for the education of members about sexual misconduct and the existence of these polices. The Risk Assessment Committee shall review these policies annually with ADF Priests, Senior Druids, Grove Organizers, ADF and Sub-group Officers, members, Staff, Employees, Committed chairpersons, and volunteers. The Mother Grove and Risk Assessment Committee are responsible to ensure that these policies are followed. ADF Officers, Staff, Employees, Grove and Protogrove Officers, Sub-group Officers, and other volunteers will be educated through annual emailed policy reviews in regard to this policy and will acknowledge the policy by signature or electronic approval to the Risk Assessment Committee. Files will be retained and updated yearly.
The following are some articles describing the basics of ADF, including our fundamental beliefs, goals, visions, etc. If you have any questions that these pages don't answer, feel free to Contact Us with your questions! Ár nDraíocht Féin spoken What is ADF? The Vision of ADF What Neopagan Druids Believe Neopagan Druidism Today Questions & Answers Druidism and Wicca Introduction to Neopaganism ADF Compared to OBOD A Vision for Ár nDraíocht Féin ​
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the US, Archdruid Emeritus Rev. Isaac Bonewits, the founder of ADF, pledged to recognize the Groves, Guilds, SIGs, or other ADF subgroups that provided relief for the disaster. At Wellspring in 2006, Isaac presented the first awards. He wrote:"As some of you may recall, last fall I promised to come up with prizes for the grove, guild, SIG, or other subgroup of ADF who helped the most with Hurricane Katrina relief. After Adr. Skip Ellison emailed me the results of the ADF Cares campaign, I found that I couldn't limit myself to just one award.So at the end of the annual meeting at Wellspring this year, I was privileged to present the first three Founder's Awards for exceptional public service in 2005, all for Hurricane Katrina relief.I always felt that public service lies near the core of who we are as Neopagan Druids. So I hope to make the Founder's Awards an annual event. I would like to ask the Councils for Senior Druids, Guilds, and SIGs to make recommendations to me every January or February for one-to-three groups they consider to have performed exceptional actions of public service (ie, to the general public) during the preceding year."These awards have been given out annually since that Wellspring, recognizing those groups within ADF that do the most for community service throughout the year. Here are the winners, by year:2007Three Cranes Grove, ADF, for its food drives and other charitable activitiesRaven's Cry Grove, ADF, for its support of homeless women and childrenGrove of the Red Earth, ADF, for its support of veterans and servicemembers2006Enchanted Desert Protogrove, ADF, for its food drives and highway clean-upsGrove of the Other Gods, ADF, for its educational and charitable activitiesClan of the Triple Horses Grove, ADF, for its animal welfare activities2005Awen's Breath Protogrove ADF (Hollywood, CA), for the largest financial donation of any A.D.F. group (let's hear it for matching corporate donation programs!)CedarLight Grove ADF (Baltimore, MD), for volunteer labor and financial donationsThree Cranes Grove ADF (Columbus, OH), for food and blood donations
The Wiccan ("Neo-Pagan Witchcraft") movement includes the vast majority of the 100,000 to 250,000 people involved in Neo-Paganism in North America. About three-quarters of Our Fellowship are or have been followers of Wicca, and ADF is inclusive of their beliefs as well. The two religions have far more in common than they have separating them. Wiccan covens can (and do) function as special interest groups within larger ADF groves, along with bardic, healing, ecological, divinatory, and other groups. Because it's important that everyone know where the author comes from, I'd like to take a moment and tell everyone who I am, where I got my information, and to affirm that I'm not an "expert" on Wicca at all, though my research has led me to a pretty good understanding. I'm currently the Senior Druid for Three Cranes Grove, ADF, and I have never been Wiccan. I have been involved in Paganism for 8 years (as of this writing), all of them as a Druid. These last four years, I've been involved in ADF, and when I talk about Druidry (especially in this essay), I'm referring explicitly to ADF Druidry, which is vastly different than the various British Traditions (such as OBOD and the AOD), and is even different than the American Druid groups, like the Henge of Keltria. Expanding on those groups is another essay entirely. Because I have never been Wiccan, I have enlisted some help for this essay. A close friend of mine, SilverPeace (a Dianic Wiccan), sat down with me and we hammered out the basics of this essay. We used Silver's experience and Scott Cunningham's The Truth About Witchcraft Today as our primary source. I also had Karen Dollinger, an Irish Wiccan, proof the essay and make suggestions before making this public. Again, I'm no expert in Wicca, and there is no way I could possibly cover all the various schools or traditions of Wicca. I'm hoping that with the use of Cunningham and two Wiccans of vastly different experience, I can prevent factual errors, but they sometimes slip through. Constructive criticism is very welcome. I want this essay to be the best it can be. Finally, there will be a bit of an "Us-Them" tone to this article that I can't really avoid. When in doubt, go right back to the first two paragraphs of this essay. I don't want to pretend that there's some mythical, magical separation between the two religions, because there just isn't. That said, let's dive into the differences (and similarities!) that Wiccans and Druids have! According to Cunningham, all Wiccans hold the following beliefs: Reincarnation Reverence for a Goddess and God No Proselytization Belief in Magic Reverence for the Earth I think we should modify some of these things, since the movement has grown to a huge extent since Cunningham published this book, and then compare them to ADF Druidism. Wiccans have many different ideas on reincarnation. Sometimes it's karmic, other times it's about learning lessons, and sometimes this life has no effect at all on the next. Some believe that they will rest for a time in the Summerlands and then come back, while others take a more Neo-Platonic view of it, but there is always some form of recycling. People in ADF have a broad range of afterlife theories. Some believe in reincarnation, some in an afterlife where they don't come back at all, and some believe that nothing happens after death. "Reverence for a Goddess and God" is also somewhat problematic. There are three big possibilities for what the nature of deity might be for Wiccans: all deities are one deity (usually a single Goddess); all deities can be seen as facets of a single Goddess and God pair; and a form of polytheism, where each deity is his/her own self, not part of a larger whole, but are perhaps aspects of a God/Goddess pair, or perhaps the Goddess and God are archetypes. Because of this, we're going to go with "reverence for a Goddess and God archetype". ADF ritual sees each deity as an individual entity. The ritual assumes polytheism and deals with each deity in its own right, assuming that each one has her or his own personality. There is no single Goddess or God called in any ADF rite. Of course, most ADF rites have a section for praise offerings, and I have heard individual members call on the "Great Goddess", and this is acceptable, as well. The main difference is that ADF's liturgical structure is built around polytheism, where most Wiccan rituals are built around either a singular deity or a male-female pair. When it comes to proselytization, belief in magic, and reverence for the earth, Druids and Wiccans generally agree. Individual politics might not make them agree all the time on the question of reverence for the earth, but a general reverence for nature is inherent in each religion. Some other common ideas about the differences: ADF has a Standard Liturgy that all Groves follow to some extent. Nothing like this exists for Wicca, though certain traditions may have either a basic outline, or rituals that are done exactly the same each time. Those rituals are not cross-traditional, though. There is a very different view of source material, as well. ADF Groves all work in a strictly Indo-European focus, while Wiccan Covens often draw from various cultures and groups. Of course, just because one belongs to ADF does not mean that they can't worship who they wish, but the Grove rites must work in an IE cultural focus. Some Wiccans cast circles or spheres, or create cones of power at their rites; ADF rituals do not use these things. Circles, spheres, and cones of power are sometimes used to contain energy in order to focus and fire that energy at a specific target, and ADF ritual builds energy in other ways, from opening Gates to creating a sacred center to attunements designed to pull on the powers of Earth and Sky, and this energy isn't contained in an impermeable barrier (people are free to come and go in rites quite often). I've heard it described that Wiccans build a temple between the worlds, and that Druids do no such thing. A temple between the worlds is a place where the celebrant meets the deities "half-way", outside time and on a separate plane. The ADF liturgy consecrates the space and forms a focus for worship, but keeps the celebrants firmly in this world. This is possibly the prime difference between the ritual structures. ADF is a church, built on local Groves (congregations). Each of these Groves has a multitude of things in common, including an Indo-European focus and a devotion to public, accessible ritual at least 8 times a year. Wicca does not imply an organization, and Wiccan Covens belonging to organizations (such as Covenant of the Goddess) do not necessarily build on similar beliefs or cultures. Some Covens do hold public worship, but the vast majority do not. ADF does not profess any manner of dogma, aside from the "Doctrine of Archdruidic Fallibility," in which the Archdruid is allowed (if not expected) to make a few mistakes. ADF's structure isn't one of power hierarchies, but rather one of democratically elected leaders to help run the group and keep things running smoothly. It could be compared a bit to Coven structure, just "bigger." Really, it's that simple. ADF and Wicca are not mutually exclusive groups, and we don't want to be throwing our weight around. Membership in ADF does not mean that a Wiccan has "converted" to Druidism, just as membership in a Coven won't mean an ADF member has "converted" to Wicca.
What makes ADF different from other Neopagan traditions? Here is how we see it: In ADF we believe that excellence in scholarship is vitally important. The Goddesses and Gods do not need us to tell lies on their behalf, nor can we understand the ways of our Paleopagan predecessors by indulging in romantic fantasies, no matter how "politically correct" or emotionally satisfying they might be. So we promote no tall tales of universal matriarchies, of Stonehenge being built by Druid magic, nor of the ancient Druids originally having been shamanic crystal-masters from Atlantis. We do not whitewash the occasional barbarism of our predecessors, nor exaggerate it. We use real archeology, real history and real comparative mythology -- and we're willing to change our opinions when new information becomes available, even if it destroys our pet theories. This approach is rare in the history of Druidic revivals and the Neopagan community. In ADF we also believe that artistic excellence is important, both in ritual and outside of it. The Gods and Goddesses deserve the very best that we can give them, so we encourage our members to develop their creative skills to the highest levels that each can attain. Our bards, painters, woodcarvers, needle-workers, and liturgists are among the best in the Neopagan community. In ADF we believe that excellence in clergy training and practice is vital for any healthy, growing religion. To that end we are attempting to create a professional clergy training program equal in difficulty and superior in results to anything done by the world's other religions. Unlike many alternate religions, we will never have "instant initiations" into our clergy. Nor do we assume that every member of our religion will have a genuine vocation to the clergy, though it's likely that a high proportion will for the first couple of decades. Instead we expect that eventually the vast majority of our people will be laity. Nonetheless, everyone is expected to communicate with the Goddesses and Gods in her or his own way -- spiritual growth is not a monopoly of the clergy. Every human being needs to learn how to contact the divine fire within, how to talk with trees, and how to unleash the power of magic to save the Earth. If there is such a thing as "spiritual excellence," we need to be striving to express that as well. Naturally, we believe that liturgical excellence is rooted in these other forms of excellence. Sound scholarship (especially historical and mythological), beautiful art, genuinely competent clergy, and people who are ready, willing, and able to channel divine energies are all crucial to creating the powerful religious and magical ceremonies that we and the Earth so desperately need. We have two mottos that we've been using so far. The first is based on the ideas just described: "Why not excellence?" This emphasis on excellence as a goal makes us both unique and controversial within the Neopagan community. Although some folks think that such an emphasis "isn't democratic," we feel that divine immanence implies that everyone has something they are good at (you just need to contact the deities within you and channel Their creative power). However, our second motto -- "As fast as a speeding oak tree!" -- serves to remind us all that the achievement of excellence takes time. We've already officially declared the first Druidic dogma: the Doctrine of Archdruidic Fallibility. No one in ADF, not even the Archdruid, has all the answers. We make no claims of handing down an "authentic" unbroken tradition from the past, and have very strong doubts about any other group that makes such claims. Thus we are free to evolve our systems within the organic structures already created, adapting them as necessary to suit the needs of coming generations. We're also free to make a lot of mistakes in the process (a freedom we've already taken advantage of). Every member of ADF has both the opportunity and the obligation to contribute her or his time, money, energy and talents to the adventure. We believe that Neopaganism is eventually going to become a mainstream religious movement, with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of members, and that this will be A Good Thing, both for the individuals involved and for the survival of the Earth Mother. Neopaganism is riding the crest of the "baby boom." Many people who grew up in the 60's and 70's are discovering us at about the same time that they are realizing both the desperate state of our planet and the eternal relevance of our youthful ideals. Membership in the Neopagan community is quietly growing at a geometric rate, both through word of mouth and the many do-it-yourself books now available, giving us an ever-greater impact on the mainstream culture as a whole. All these Neopagans are going to need publically accessible worship, teaching, counseling, and healing. Within thirty years we expect to see indoor temples and/or sacred groves throughout North America and Europe, staffed by full-time paid professional clergy. They'll provide the full range of needed services to the Neopagan community, with no more "corruption" than the Unitarians, the Buddhists, or the Quakers experience. We see globally televised Samhain rites at Stonehenge, and Beltane ceremonies attended by thousands in every major city. We see Neopagan clergy taking part as equals in international religious conferences with clergy from other faiths. We see our children wearing pentacles, Druid Sigils, and Thor Hammers to school as easily as others now wear crosses, Stars of David, or Hands of Fatima. We see talented and well trained Neopagan clergy leading thousands of people in effective magical and mundane actions to save endangered species, stop polluters, and preserve wilderness. We see our healers saving thousands of lives and our bards inspiring millions through music and video concerts and dramas. We see Neopaganism as a mass religion, changing social, political, and environmental attitudes around the world and stopping the death-mongers in their tracks. This vision is very different from that of most current Neopagans, who are focused on small groups as their ideal. Those small groups will always be an essential part of the Neopagan religious community, operating both within and apart from larger organizations, just as their equivalents have throughout human history. As we see it, the future of Neopaganism will require a wide variety of different group sizes, structures, and ritual styles. To lose any of the currently existing approaches risks impoverishing our spiritual "gene pool." So we're not out to "replace" other Neopagan traditions, even though we think that we have something unique and wonderful to share with the world. Doing that sharing requires "going public," something that many Neopagan traditions have been reluctant to do. Granted, it may remain necessary for another decade or two for some Neopagans to remain in hiding wherever fundamentalist hate is rampant. Even for those of us in publicly-oriented Neopagan groups, it will take courage and caution for us to safely "come from the shadows." Yet if we can follow the lessons learned by the civil rights movements of our generation, we can eventually have full freedom to practice our beliefs. Accepting and encouraging our community's growth while avoiding missionary fever will be a vital tool in achieving that task. We believe that ADF has an important role to play in the future of Neopaganism and the survival of the Earth. Already, other Neopagan traditions are imitating our training program, our liturgical techniques, and our emphasis on the arts. If we can attract enough people who are willing to dedicate their time, energy, and money to achieving these goals, the vision can be manifested. We can save the Earth Mother, create a global culture of prosperity and freedom, and usher in a genuine "New Age." Membership in ADF means supporting and working towards the vision. We believe that together we can do it. But we're going to need as many co-conspirators as possible. If this vision excites you, share it with your friends and family. Then become part of our future.
As an organization, ADF continues to expand at an amazing rate. Our membership numbers are greater than ever, we have a number of new groves throughout the world, and the different Guilds are progressing along very well. With all this explosive growth; however, have come some growing pains. Some of our newer members online have written about what they feel is a lack of essential guidance for people who are completely new to Druidry, and especially those who are new to Neopaganism in general, coining the term 'drubies' (a combination of druids and newbies) to describe themselves. It used to be the case that many who came to ADF did so after years of experience with other forms of Neopaganism such as Wicca, being drawn to ADF's special emphasis on scholastic foundations, true polytheism, and devotional excellence. In the past few years, increased interest in Neopaganism and the easy access to information provided by the Internet have combined to allow anyone interested in Neopaganism or Druidry to find our web site, subscribe to some mailing lists, and send in their membership form all in the same day. There are now quite a few new ADF members for whom ADF is their first experience with Neopaganism. Given some longstanding assumptions ADF has had about members' familiarity with Neopaganism, it's not surprising that some of our new folk are a little confused and overwhelmed. It is for these reasons that I have chosen to write this article, for I truly believe in the great value and uniqueness of ADF as a religion and a community, and I feel that we ought to be able to welcome both old and new Neopagans with equally open arms. Paganism, Then & Now Why It's Called Neopaganism The term 'Pagan' comes from the Latin paganus, which appears to have originally had meant "country dweller," "villager," or "hick.." The early Roman Christians used 'pagan' to refer to anyone who worshipped pre-Christian deities, and the word came to have strong derogatory connotations in the following centuries, though it has been reclaimed in part by Neopagans in the latter half of the 20th century. At the present time, there are actually a few different kinds of paganism you might hear about, of which Neopaganism is only the most recently-developed. Paleo-paganism refers to the original tribal faiths of Europe. Africa. Asia, the Americas, Oceania and Australia, when they were (or in some cases, Still are) practiced as intact belief systems. Of the so-called Great Religions of the World, Hinduism (prior to the influx of Islam into India), Taoism and Shinto, for example, fall under this category. Meso-paganism is the word used for those religions founded as attempts to recreate) revive or continue what their founders thought of as the Paleo-pagan ways of their ancestors (or predecessors), but which were heavily influenced (accidentally, deliberately and/or involuntarily) by the monotheistic and dualistic worldviews of Judaism, Christianity and/or Islam. Examples of Meso-pagan belief systems would include Freemasonry) Rosicrucianism., the many Afro-Diasporatic faiths (such as Voudoun, Santeria, Macumba, etc.), several sects of Hinduism that have been influenced by Islam and Christianity, and early (1940s-1950s) Wicca. Neopaganism refers to those religions created since 1960 or so which have attempted to blend what their founders perceived as the best aspects of different types of Paleo-paganism with modern 'Aquarian Age' ideals, while consciously striving to eliminate as much as possible of the traditional Western monotheism and dualism. For example, most Wiccan traditions, Asatru, and ADF arc all Neopagan. The alt.pagan Internet newsgroup Frequently Asked Questions list describes Neopaganism quite well as "attempts of modern people to reconnect with nature, using imagery and forms from other types of pagans, but adjusting them to the needs of modern people." A Brief History of Paganism & Neopaganism If we interpret Paganism to refer to any form of polytheistic, pre-Christian religion, then Paganism stretches back to the beginning of history (c. 3000 BCE), and even further beyond that. The fates of such religions throughout the world differ widely, but by confining our focus to Europe it can be said that the rise of the 'peoples of the Book' (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) was generally unfavorable for Pagans) though it took a few hundred years after the coming of Christ .for the Romans to officially abandon their pagan gods and adopt Christianity as the official religion of the Empire (c. 300 CE). From the fall of the Roman Empire onwards, Christianity and later Islam (c. 633 CE) spread rapidly, and both were fervently opposed to worshipping any but a One True God. Scholars speculate that by 1000 CE, most Pagans had gone underground or been destroyed, and by 1300 the Inquisition in Europe had turned the words pagan and witch to political ends in the hunting of many non-Christian enemies of the Church. While occasional works concerning ceremonial magic occurred in the period between 1700 and 1900, it is only at the beginning of the 20th century that any form of Paganism. and now we might properly call it Neopaganism - is found written about or practiced. It was in the early 1950s that Gerald Gardner in England created the first (and still most popular) form of modern Neopaganism, doing so after the last British Witchcraft Act had been repealed in 1951. Gardner pieced together many elements of folklore, then-current anthropological writing, and turn-of-the-century ceremonial magic to create the nature-oriented and duo-theistic Neopagan religion of modern Witchcraft or Wicca. As a non-centralized., word-of-mouth religion, Wicca expanded and diversified slowly, prompting many others to look to pre-Christian polytheistic religions as inspiration for developing the modern religious beliefs and practices which we now collectively term Neopaganism. Common Forms of Neopaganism As mentioned in the previous section, the first and still most common form of Neopaganism is Wicca. There are a number of others, however, a partial list includes the many traditions or 'flavors' of Wicca (e.g., Celtic Wicca), Asatru (Norse Neopaganism), The Church of All Worlds, various women's spirituality and men's spirituality movements, neoshamanism, and neodruidism. Common Neopagan Beliefs Polytheism Perhaps the most obvious way that Neopaganism differs from other religions is a strong belief in polytheism - literally, many gods. Precisely what this means differs depending on which Neopagan religion one looks at. In Wicca, for instance, most traditions are based on duotheism, two deities, namely some kind of god and some kind of goddess. The two are usually archetypal representatives, the god of male-ness and active force, and the goddess of female-ness and receptive force. Some Wiccans acknowledge both the god and goddess but choose to work with one only (e.g., Dianic Wiccans focus on the goddess exclusively). Other Neopagan traditions may be duotheistic like Wicca, or fully polytheistic. Fully polytheistic Neopagan religions quite often draw on a particular time period of pre-Christian history for inspiration, and also often focus on one particular culture and its related pantheon (group of gods and goddesses) within that general time period. Fully polytheistic Neopagan traditions and groups usually acknowledge the existence of many deities (that being part of polytheism), but choose to work with certain ones for certain specific reasons (such as season or time of year, requests to deities for assistance in certain areas, etc.). The concept of 'working with' gods and goddesses is in some ways an inherent part of the Neopagan belief in polytheism. It represents the fact that not only do Neopagans believe in many deities (however they explain such a belief), but that humans and deities are in a social relationship, and that when one gives honor to the other that bond is strengthened. Reverence of Nature Another very common aspect of Neopagamsm is respect and reverence for the Earth and her creatures. Many Wiccans, for example, worship the goddess as Mother Earth, and most other Neopagans have strong environmental concerns. Of course, in some sense one might consider this pragmatic, as Neopagans tend to prefer to have their rituals and ceremonies out of doors and in natural settings- as the ancient Pagans did themselves in most cases. Clearly, if industrialism continues on its current course, there will be few such settings available soon. This is not to say that Neopagans are in general opposed to technology, in fact there are quite a few who are very techno-proficient (sometimes called 'techno-Pagans'). However, those Neopagans who embrace technology usually do so with a definite concern for the impact of that technology on our earth. Magic & Karma A last belief almost all Neopagans hold is that of the ability all humans share, to one degree or another, to manipulate energies and cause changes in the world. Exactly which energies are used may vary - one Neopagan may work with the energies of the Earth, while another may use personal psychic energy, and yet another may use the classical four elements (earth, air, fire, and water). The common aspect of all, though, is that such energies aren't normally perceived in everyday life, yet may be used by someone skilled to accomplish changes in one's own and others lives. This usage is commonly termed magic or 'magick,' and is the basis for spells, or the structured use of energy to accomplish specific effects, such as healing, prosperity, and protection. Such magical energy use can certainly be focused for less benevolent purposes, such as for harming or manipulating others. Most Neopagans, however, believe that the things one does- the actions one takes and the energies one sends out have a way of returning to their origin. Thus, if one performs magic to heal someone, one can expect some form of beneficial energy in return; similarly, if one performs magic to harm, one can expect the same. This effect is termed the law of karma} or the threefold law by Wiccans who maintain that the returns come back threefold. One last note on the subjects of magic and karma} is that the effects are usually neither immediate nor spectacular. In fact, it is usually weeks until successful magic has its intended effects (sometimes longer for more difficult workings), and the effects usually appear 'coincidental.' Skeptics usually say that successful magic is exactly that, coincidence, but any Neopagan who has done magic successfully for years can say that such a huge stream of coincidences is both amazingly accurate and uncanny. The effects just seem to fall into place wholly and naturally, but exactly as intended. Common Neopagan Practices Solar Cycles As a part of nature-oriented spirituality, the celebrations and rituals of Neopagan traditions tend to be intimately associated with the cycles of the natural world. One part of this is the wheel of the year, a solar cycle of the seasons. It seems clear that the Ancients held special regard for certain times of the year, especially those associated with planting and harvesting. In particular, the times of the solstices and equinoxes, and points in between (to make eight) were of great importance. Some Common Neopagan Celtic-based terminology for the celebrations held on each of those occasions includes Yule (winter solstice), Imbolc, Ostara (spring equinox), Beltaine. Midsummer (summer solstice), Lughnasadh, Mabon (fall equinox), and Samhain:. Neopagans today usually have special rituals on each of these days as well Wiccans intertwine their God and Goddess with the cycles of nature -and the wheel of the year, with the Goddess represented as the earth and the God represented as the sun} her consort. Lunar Cycles Another natural cycle commonly celebrated by Neopagans is that of monthly full moons. There is, of course, much lore concerning the moon. It has always been associated with the night, and hence hidden and more psychic, magical things. Wiccans identify their Goddess with the moon (and their God with the sun), and other Neopagans worship the moon as well (e.g. as Artemis of the Greek pantheon). Whether or not they worship the moon directly. it is fairly common for Neopagan groups to meet for companionship or ritual during the time of the full moon. In part, it may be because it has long been part of magical tradition (especially Wiccan) that the kind and strength of one's spells should be correlated with the phase of the moon for maximum effectiveness, with the full moon being the peak time for active, change-making magic. It's' also difficult to be outside on a moonlit night and not feel a bit of magic as the moonlight streams down. Personal Spirituality One last Neopagan practice, or rather a description of Neopagan practices as a whole, is that of a strong personal connection. While other religions may meet in groups more often (e.g., weekly), for Neopagans much of their religion is more personally-oriented, woven throughout their daily life and not requiring others to practice. Many Neopagans maintain personal altars, for example, at which they meditate or offer daily. Neopagans may also perform small bits of magic or psychic work every day, and usually have similarly close relationships with any deities they worship. Indeed, to most Neopagans all things are divine in one way or another, and Neopagans are known to strive to accept difference and diversity, especially in areas of sexuality. Wiccans have something called the Wiccan rede which states, "And it harm none, do what ye will," and most Neopagans have a similar attitude of acceptance concerning things which do not harm anyone (including the doer). Such acceptance is often an attraction for people with 'alternative' sexual orientations and people who have generally had a variety of unsatisfactory experiences with other, more rigid religions. References Why It's Called Neopaganism was based on Isaac Bonewits Defining Paganism: Paleo,- Meso-, and Neo- With additional material from the Alt.Pagan FAQ, Version 4.0 by Susan Harwood Kaczmarczik A Brief History OF Paganism and Neopaganism used factual material from Margot Adler's excellent survey of Neopaganism, Drawing Down the Moon, Penguin USA, 1997 Common Forms of Neopaganism draws from the Alt.Pagan FAQ
Adopted by the Mother Grove on 15 February, 2012. Last modified on 15 February, 2012 Intent: Recognizing our personal responsibility for and commitment to the virtue of hospitality, this policy was developed to provide for the safety and wellbeing of our members and their families as they participate in ADF worship and other spiritual activities of the organization. Child abuse and neglect is not only against the law, but also, is a violation of the sacred bargain ADF Druids share with the Kindreds. Definition: ADF takes its definition of child abuse from the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, and from the World Health Organization's definition of child maltreatment. A "child" under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor. Child abuse includes any recent act or failure to act by a parent or other person responsible for the care and well-being of a child, which results in serious harm or imminent risk to the child's health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power. Child abuse includes all types of physical and/or emotional harm, sexual abuse, neglect, negligence, exploitation and potentially, could include exposure to intimate partner violence. Policies: When a complaint of abuse or neglect of a child designated by law as a legal minor is disclosed, or where there is reasonable cause to suspect such abuse or neglect, the person to whom the disclosure is made or who suspects such abuse shall immediately report the suspicion and the information on which it is based to the appropriate authority or agency as defined by law. The person reporting is encouraged to record the details of the disclosure or the reasonable cause for suspicion, including dates and times of the alleged incident and name, address of the alleged perpetrator. The person reporting is to keep the information confidential, except as required by law and this policy. The authority or agency to which suspected abuse or neglect of a minor is reported has the responsibility of investigating the suspected abuse or neglect. In order that such investigation is not hindered, no representative of ADF will question the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator, or any potential witness concerning the investigation while the investigation by the agency, authority, and/or police is being conducted or until such time as those authorities indicate such questioning may proceed. When the alleged perpetrator is in a position of responsibility in the organization, its subgroups or Groves/Protogroves, the matter should also be immediately reported to the ADF Mother Grove Officers by the person who has taken the allegations to the reporting agency or authorities using the standard complaint procedures as outlined in the ADF Standard Operating Procedures manual under 'Complaints'. Specific definitions, reporting procedures and prevention strategies can be accessed at http://www.childwelfare.gov/can/ and http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/child/en/. Risk Reduction Recommendations: The following recommendations were developed for those working with children and youth to decrease risk and to increase safety for children, youth and volunteers. Preferably two unrelated adults should be assigned to children and/or youth at all times. When possible utilize volunteers with current criminal and child abuse background checks. Keep a record for each child that includes the name(s), current location and contact phone number for the child or youth's parent(s) or guardian(s). Obtain permission forms signed by a parent or guardian when you are providing care for a child and/or youth at a location separate from the location of a parent or guardian. Permission forms, information regarding allergies, medications and any other medical alert information should also be maintained; however, the utmost care must be taken to protect confidentially of all medical information. Only parents or guardians should give a child or youth medication. Universal precautions should be utilized if changing diapers or utilizing minor first aid. Volunteers should complete an application that includes contact and emergency information that is kept on file. Volunteers should be knowledgeable of the sites emergency evacuation plan. Volunteers under age 18 should be supervised by an adult volunteer at all times.
Originally published in News From the Mother Grove, November 1995 In the midst of our concern with corporate structure, bank accounts and member services, I offer a vision of the spiritual, and of the Spirits. I believe that Our Druidry has in it the seeds of a powerful relationship between mortal folk and the Inner Realms. Our Pagan movement has for several decades been calling out to the God/desses and Spirits, and they are beginning to answer. We have nurtured the work in secret, working in tiny groups to grasp the skills of magic and the meanings of religion. I believe that ADF is one of the many answers that are being given, like the Waters of the Triple Cauldron, to the world. Our Druidry is a blending of at least two distinct streams of Pagan current. On one hand we have attracted many teachers and initiates from various Wiccan and Craft traditions. From them we can gain important occult and magical skills, as well as knowledge of group dynamics and real Inner contacts. On the other hand much of our original structure was based on Asatru ways. From the Norse traditions we can learn lessons of kinship and sincerity, and the value of ethics and simple tribal religion. Magic and religion; the two primary divisions of our heritage. From these grafted roots we have the potential to grow a fruitful tree. It has begun already in our Groves. Our fires are becoming meeting places both for the Pagan folk of our communities and for the Kindreds of Spirits. In order to continue this growth, we must cultivate both the roots of our tree. The Holy Places of our Way can become like the hearths of wise chieftains. There every kinsman and kinswoman can find welcome, can stand in the presence of the Powers, can find affirmation of our Ways. There we can find in one another good counsel, friendship and mutual support. Together we can work for the health, wealth and wisdom of each and all. The Sacred Centers of our Nemetons, whether public or individual, can be places where ordinary people can come a little close to the borders of the Otherworld, perhaps speak with the Spirits that are most in tune with their individual lives, and drink of the Waters of Life. In this way we can bring a greater share of the blessing of the Spirits, and the power of magic, to many who might never learn the skills for themselves. My vision for ADF involves blending the earnest practice of magic and spirit-art with the heart-felt devotion and fellowship of religion. I see us as similar to those religions that encourage learning and the preservation of lore. I hope we also choose to be like those who instruct all of their members in meditation, energy attunement and ritual invocation. Paganism, and thus ADF, contains all of this in seminal form. >From our roots we hope to harvest patterns of community that can carry our work from our generation forward, with strength and honor. We hope also to gain core techniques of mental and spiritual discipline that can allow us to interact with the Powers, and gain good for our folk and the world. May the God/desses and the Wise Ancestors, and the Noble Spirits of all Kins aid us to make it so.


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