A First Year Report with ADF & Merging Blogs

Grain

Image by peter pearson via Flickr

It’s about time for me to renew my membership with the ADF. This first year has included a lot of study as I’ve worked on the Dedicant Path coursework. Even so I don’t think I’ve yet given it the attention it deserves. Partly that’s because I’ve been distracted by my hearth culture studies. This coming year I hope to finish the Dedicant Path work and work at some syncretism between my ADF work and my Roman work. To that end, I’m considering merging this blog and my other, Tita Rufia Prisca’s House, into a single blog.

I don’t know if it’s the best idea, since there hasn’t been a lot of overlap between the two, but then again that’s part of the issue. I don’t want my Roman studies to be one thing and my ADF studies to be another. I’d like to blend them and not be so much living in some kind of pagan Separate Lives remake.

I’m still very much interested in Roman hearth culture and I don’t see that changing. I also don’t think I’m ever going to be rigorously Roman enough to fit into the Roman re-creationist scene. I had that problem with the Celtic recons too, which is how I eventually ended up at ADF. I think at ADF I can be mostly Roman with some Celtic in my practice without anyone’s heads exploding with stress over my syncretism, or my lack of desire to do it just like they did in the Golden Age of Man.

It’s been a good year. I’ve met a lot of people online who have been very generous with their knowledge and opinions. I’ve read a lot, learned a lot and enjoyed posting about it and applying things to my daily life. My first task for my coming year, which starts on Lammas for me because of when I joined ADF, will be to make my own Roman ritual for the “Lammas” spot on the ADF calendar. I’m planning an Opiconsivia ritual. The historical Opiconsivia happened later in August. I think it will make a really good fit in terms of intention and tone, and hopefully Opis and Consus won’t be too annoyed by having their day celebrated a early.

Fertility

“Fruit Basket”, oil on wood

Image via Wikipedia

This is the time of year in my part of the world where we see the fruits of fertility. Almost everyone I know associates Beltane with fertility, and that is perhaps as it should be with Beltane being the “planting” time of year for many folks in the northern hemisphere.  Midsummer has passed and everything is growing and growing– or if you’re down south here, being harvested and enjoyed.

Fertility isn’t really about things that are growing, although that is its results– fruits, babies, projects completed. Fertility is a state of receptivity. From dictionary.com: bearing or being capable of bearing offspring.  It’s easy to get confused about this as a pagan virtue. Does it mean we should try to have lots of children? Does it mean we should try to produce many awesome projects? I think it’s more about the quality of being receptive, of being open to the possibility of producing, be it children or art or some other work that the Gods set us upon.

If we’re not receptive, we aren’t listening or paying attention and we can miss our opportunities.  Fertility is not, however, a passive state. You can’t be fertile ground for new things to grow in without working on being healthy. This is doubly important with spiritual and mental projects. If we’re not doing the work we need to do to prepare ourselves for the job ahead of us then we won’t be fertile ground. Our work will wither and die, if it sprouts at all. So part of being fertile is taking care of ourselves. Like preparing a garden with compost and weeding, we need tending if we’re going to bring forth our best work.

Fertility can be ranked by quality, not quantity as well. One small fertile field will give a better harvest than several acres of sub-standard land. One nutritious dinner is better than three low quality meals. In being fertile, we are being called to be rich sources for whatever we are producing.  I think fertility is important as a virtue because it’s the soil from which other things grow. We can be rich, loamy earth or we can be pallid deserts, and much of that is up to us. We do the work to improve and ensure our own fertility and through that, enrich each other’s lives with our gifts.