The Past Through Yesterday

I suppose I should say where we’ve been.

In February 2005, I and two other ADF-interested individuals in State College gathered to hold an Imbolc rite. I didn’t write it. The interest of the two others waned for various reasons, but I continued to perform personal rites for each holiday.

In August 2005, I held my first semi-open ADF-style rite, mentioned on local email lists. After that, I continued holding locally advertised ADF-style rites for the High Days as possible, though (ironically) it was hardest to get people together for Samhain and Beltane. Attendance varied widely as I progressed; I could never predict how many would turn out. A few definite regulars started attending: a UU-affiliated Discordian and a UU-friend of his, along with a few other semi-regulars. Many others attended one or two rites and went on their own way. I was fine with this, because I was finding a joy in offering an outlet for public honoring of the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Godden. As I proceeded, I began to develop my own particular takes on some sections of ritual and my understanding of the ADF Core Order of Ritual improved.

Eventually, I realized I was doing a large chunk of the work of a Protogrove. Or, at least it felt that way. So in March 2007, after a number of pushes by humans and other people, I finally submitted a Grove Organizer’s survey. I hoped that formal recognition and a name would help create an “If you build it, they will come.”

I knew it was a mistake, letting my officemate use that movie as a test disc for months on end.

For you see, there’s interest — a fair bit of it — but turnout hovers at 4 per High Day. Including myself. The two regulars, though very supportive (spiritually and materially), aren’t interested in joining — they are the Pagans public holiday ritual is meant to serve. One of the semi-regulars likes the rites, but lives in Pittsburgh (I have mentioned Sassasfras Grove). Another would like to come more often, but works a fiendishly incompatible schedule.

So now I’m here to look at what I’ve been doing, adjust and adapt. I’m certain I’ll touch on other aspects of the past as I go — but right now, this is the situation.

Starting up

Sometimes, it’s as much a matter of knowing when to start as when to stop. This blog is about bringing Hemlock Vales Protogrove, ADF into existence.

It doesn’t take much to start an Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) Protogrove, you see.

You need to join ADF.

You need a PO Box.

You need six months to pass.

You need to not be a complete ogre.

You need to fill out a Grove Organizer Survey.

But this level of “starting” isn’t the same as actually founding a Protogrove.

That difference is what this blog is about.