As I work to get my Dedicant Path (DP) documentation ready to submit, it occurs to me that it might be interesting to give brief thoughts on each of ADF’s Nine Virtues as they apply to being a Grove Organizer (GO, the title for the person officially running the Protogrove). I’ve reordered them a bit to closer match the flow of their relevance to group formation. Note that I’m actually skipping other obvious meanings; there is a lot to be said, for example, for how one’s virtues — or their lack — reflect on the organization as a whole.
The very act of forming a group requires a vision of what that group will be.
There is a reason that some writings on the ADF site refer to “planting” a Grove — it is very much a creative endeavor.
There are many fears one will face when organizing a group. Fear of harassment or ridicule, fear of performing a rite badly, fear of being unable to produce a viable group, and even fear of success. These fears must be faced.
The actions of a Grove Organizer will help shape what the group becomes. When one acts as a leader, actions gain greater consequence, and must be considered well.
Do what you’ll say and say what you’ll do. Don’t break promises of what your group will be doing. All too many Pagans have horror stories about group leaders abusing their power.
The obligations of running a group must be kept in balance, neither starved for lack of effort nor devouring the rest of one’s life.
You will be welcoming both other people and the Kindreds, and should be hospitable to both.
A group does not form overnight. Even when starting with a group of interested people, there is no guarantee a group will coalesce immediately. A setback is not the end, but a cue to press on.
It may be obvious to say, but the idea of a Protogrove is to grow into a group that holds regular, public celebrations of the High Days.
(Note: Lest anyone get the wrong idea, analysis of the above virtues rather than agreement with them is what is required for DP documentation.)