I was hoping to write this week’s article about the maple syrup-gathering party at former Senior Druid Fox’s farm yesterday, but something else came up and I was forced to cancel. Hopefully I’ll be able to attend other farm-related activities later in the year and tell you about them, but in the meantime, those of you wondering what Fox was up to, that’s what he’s up to!
I did manage to see The Lightning Thief this afternoon, and was actually pretty impressed! I’ve started the book but haven’t gotten very far into it (damn me and my reading stuff for my ADF/SLG functions instead), and from what I’ve read, I’m sure I’ll like the book better than the movie. Certainly I had a few issues with it, like the depiction of Hades as a bad guy and Persephone as his prisoner (but I’d still call it more accurate than that dreadful History Channel show about them), and Percy’s use of fresh water to activate his “Poseidon powers” (the ancient Greeks considered “sweet (fresh) water” and salt water to be almost entirely different substances, certainly in terms of divine powers and magico-religious usage – at least a mention of “fresh water doesn’t work as well as salt water” would have made me happier). Still, it was a decent story, with a few neat twists (recasting the Land of the Lotus Eaters from The Odyssey as a Las Vegas casino was sheer brilliance), and the basic message of heroes fighting to maintain the relationship between humans and gods certainly fits with the themes of the ancient stories. (I’m actually getting worried about the new version of Clash of the Titans coming out next month, as the commercials are making it look like the theme is “mankind outgrowing/defeating the gods”, which would be quite the turnoff for me, and obviously not in keeping with the old stories.)
On a much more modern note, after getting my tax refund money, I finally ordered Call of the Crane, the manual for ADF’s first approved Order, the Order of the Crane. I admit to some trepidation about approving Orders in general, since I worry that having subgroups within ADF that maintain secrets and mysteries isn’t the best way to promote an outward-looking public Pagan church. On the other hand, the Ancients certainly had very similar groups within their cultures (the phratries of ancient Greece come to my mind first, of course!) and ADF members definitely want to explore this form of devotion within an ADF context, so I’m all in favor of letting things proceed and seeing what happens.
The book is very well written, that’s for sure! It reminds me a lot of the various ceremonial magic(k) texts I read twenty years ago in my earliest days of spiritual exploration. Suggesting that people actually have to do particular things on a regular basis to build their relationship with a spirit is something we don’t see often enough in Neo-Paganism, IMHO. It was a little odd reading all the written prayers, though, since that’s something we really don’t do much of in SLG. There’s good and bad in having everyone do the ritual invocations without a pre-written script, of course. One of the bad is that we’re never going to be able to sell a breviary like other Groves do. >8)
So am I going to join the Order? Honestly, I haven’t decided yet. I like the idea of it, but I don’t want to overcommit myself, and my work with SLG and the ADF Clergy Council will always come first in my priorities. I’ve already promised myself and my gods that I’d get Third Circle clergy status at some point, and I have to be very careful about taking on anything else that would get in the way of that. Also, I’m the official clergy advisor for another Order that’s forming, and I think I’d need to make my involvement with the Order I’m actually advising a higher priority than any other Order! But I definitely like the Cranes’ focus on service, and once I’m living someplace better than this apartment in the bad part of Ypsilanti, I’d love to have people over for the monthly healing circles. So we shall see.
Next week, I pontificate – or should that be druidicate? – on the role of clergy in a modern Neo-Pagan group.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF