Some of you out there reading this are probably wondering this very thing, which is understandable. My fellow ADF Druids who know me from the mailing lists probably wonder this often. Here’s my answer.
I was reading a fairly well-known Pagan blog on another website, when I saw ADF mentioned. I had recalled hearing about it before, but not knowing much about it. I clicked the link provided in the post for ADF’s website. That click changed my life.
I went directly to the About Us section and read most of the articles listed under “The Basics: Who We Are and What We Believe.” I read Isaac Bonewits’ (our founder and an Archdruid Emeritus) essays on his vision for the organization and common beliefs within ADF. I admit, I was, and still am, excited about his vision, that Paganism will become a mainstream religion practiced publicly. I found myself agreeing with his vision entirely: that Paganism should be based in sound scholarship rather than nebulous claims, that artistic and practical excellence should be valued and encouraged, and that spiritual growth is for everyone. I appreciated the honesty of ADF’s only doctrine: that of Archdruidic Fallibility. I was happy to see a religious organization that was willing to evolve alongside its members.
The last lines of Isaac’s article resounded in my mind as I checked out other articles:
“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.”
I was so thrilled with the prospect of joining an organization that seemed to encompass so many of my ideas and beliefs that I joined shortly after. I may have waited a day or two to make sure I still wanted to join, but I honestly don’t remember. I could hardly wait for my new member packet to arrive!
Another reason I joined ADF was the fact that every single new member who joins gets a copy of Our Own Druidry, a basic textbook for ADF ritual, for no additional cost other than the membership fee. I could actually get training in the skills of meditation and ritual (and much more, I discovered later), instead of attempting to follow exercises in mass-produced books on Wicca, which is where I started in Paganism. I no longer needed to somehow find a teacher, coven, or study group to achieve spiritual growth and fulfillment. Completing the Dedicant’s Path, as it is called, is the gateway for more study programs, including those for becoming clergy.
I also was tired of being alone. I liked the idea of still being a solitary while practicing in the context of a specific community. I wanted to meet other Pagans, but couldn’t do so in real life due to my living situation.
Thanks to that fateful click, I am home. I have never felt more accepted in a community than that of ADF. Thanks be to the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Deities that led me here and that continue to guide me on my journey within the organization.
Many blessings to all of you,
Isaac’s “The Vision of ADF”: http://www.adf.org/about/basics/vision.html