Protogrove of the Live Oaks is part of the Ár nDraíocht Féin
: A Druid Fellowship (ADF)(pronounced: "arn ree-ockt fane" - Irish for "Our Own Druidism"
). We serve the Houston,
TX area. We are a Celtic Hearth. After becoming a Protogrove in 2007 with ADF, we have started making our
means to a fully charted Grove.
ADF is dedicated to serving the greater Neopagan
community by providing quality open ceremonies commemorating each of the eight annual High Holy Days of the Neopagan Year
(the Solstices, Equinoxes and the crossquarters betwen them). In our rites we always honor Earth
, The Great
Mother, first and foremost. Then, at a secondary level, we appeal to The Blessed Ones
(ancient gods and goddesses,)
as well as paying tribute to the Ancestors
and Nature Spirits
. Our rites follow a well researched
and spiritually effective format based on years of practice and the best modern scholarship available on the ancestral ways
of Europe and the British Isles.
ADF's approach to Druidism is often both attractive and somewhat challenging to the average newcomer. Though many of the persons involved in creating
ADF have backgrounds in Wicca (some are still practicing Wiccans; it is possible to do both…) Wicca and ADF
Druidism do have a number or basic differences. Such things should be discussed at length to be fair to both parties but let
it suffice to say that three basic categories might cover most of the issues.
- ADF has a "community oriented" open-door format for providing religious services to the Neopagan community-at-large with
open, public rites. On the other hand, Wicca is by design, a system of close-knit private groups, admission into which is
gained usually by petition and/or invitation only. Both approaches have their value and their limits; like apples and oranges,
it's not a matter of one being "better" than the other.
- ADF has selected to address a more limited range of cultural sources. Whereas Wicca uses cultural sources from Europe
and around the world, including Middle Eastern, Egyptian, even Asian and Native American, ADF chooses to focus its attention
to material originating with the various branches of what modern archaeologists and linguists now call the "Indo-European"
peoples (which include: the Celtic, Scandinavian, Germanic, Slavic, Latin/Romance, Greek, Persian, Armenian and the Vedic/Hindu
speaking peoples). Modern scholarship has shown that the peoples speaking Indo-European languages share powerful and amazingly
consistent foundational patterns of mythos and cosmology, as well as their societal and religious practices. It is that tradition
of commonalty and consistency we are seeking to tap into; not the dangerous illusions of blood-ancestry or race. We do not
intend to represent the Indo-European peoples, their folkways or their descendants as being 'better" than those of other lineages;
yet we do come together because of a common affinity for that body of cultural cues (essentially, a motif); we are
brought together by our "tastes" - not by our "blood."
- And finally, the reason which stands as the closest to being a true criticism of Wicca: "Historical Verity." In no way
does ADF mean to represent its activity as a "survival of an ancient religion." Nor does ADF claim that its rites are "true
reconstructions" of ancient Celtic (or other) religions. Nobody (nobody-) knows how the ancient Druids (or Witches) practiced
and we would suggest that you avoid anyone who claims otherwise. ADF however, is creating a healthy, positive modern religious
practice based on the best modern Celtic and other Indo-European scholarship available. Key here is the term "scholarship"
meaning that we strive to utilize the most up to date archaeological, historical, and comparative religions reference material
available and exercise a prudent degree of skepticism when drawing on folklore or "New Age" source material.
In ADF, more so than in many of the mainstream Neopagan traditions, we endeavor to thoroughly and objectively
research the ways of the Old Ones to arrive at a point where our rites can achieve a certain archaic "resonance" with their
ways; a format created in accord with, but still not pretending to truly recreate their ways (alas, such
"re-creations" will have to wait for the advent of the time-machine and even then we must recognize that it's unlikely we
would like what we'd find: a fact that may serve our spiritual, romantic and ethical tastes best in the long run anyway).
In many ways, the protogrove is still a highly informal organization. What you will find is a bunch of friendly,
sincere people who have been around the block a time or two. Some are well knowledgable in their path and willing to
help all along the way. Though many of our attendees are beginners to all of these topics; please understand that we
believe that every individual present has something vital to contribute to the process. So... if this stuff sounds appealing,
or even mildly interesting to you: come on over and check us out!
Grove Organizer 2007-2008
Please get in touch to offer comments and join our mailing list. We are more then willing to answer
any questions you may have!
We have a blog just for the Protogrove! Check it out!
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to visit our site.
Buy merchandise that raises funds for the Protogrove for events
and supplies at CafePress.com! Please follow the following link to see our t-shirts, mugs, and more! And if you
are member, show your Protogrove pride! Get a cap, shirt, or more!