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The preceptor sent me an email which was received after my DP had been approved. It basically asks me to expand on some ideas.  I thought Rob's questions might be helpful to those looking at my stuff. The links added are my own initiative:

4:38 PM, 5/22/2003

To: Rob Barton
Subject: Re: ADF dedicant stuff 

At 03:48 PM 5/22/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>Next on the agenda:
>It looks good but I did want to discuss a few things with you.

Not a problem:

>Pg 1 of rites attended. Imbolc 98 you describe stacking the chair 
>against the door in order to use candles that were not supposed 
>to be allowed. In light of the nine virtues, how do you feel about 
>having done that?

It does conflict slightly with the idea of integrity. Despite this, if I look at it in context, piety would have outweighed the rule infringement. I certainly didn't do anything on my own for that holiday, so breaking a rule that I thought of at the time as "unfair" was probably less important than celebrating the holiday.

I wouldn't do it today, though. I've given up on breaking most rules.

>Pg 1 wheel of the year. You describe samhain and include a 
>description of "winter famine" and in your description of Imbolc 
>you reiterate the short supply of food. I wanted to piont out one 
>thing that was discussed several years aggo during a lecture at 
>Harvard when someone made reference to 'hungry winter months' 
>and was called on it. The fact is that the harvest is recently complete 
>and so winter is generally associated with a time of having plenty of 
>food. It is late spring and early summer that are considered to be 
>hungry months because of the stores from the previous year becoming 
>exhausted. we see references actually hungry July. So as the winter 
>started hunger was not generally a consideration unless there was a 
>bad harvest.

You know, I never thought about that. I suppose you're right, really. The idea behind Imbolc that I understood was this, however:

The festival is associated with the end of winter, and the renewal of resources. When the ewes begin to lactate, it shows that the summer is coming, and that the earth will continue to provide for the people.

I was never much of a farmer (though my entire family is), so I don't get much of the planting cycle. Now that I think about it, that also kind of explains why my family was able to get me nice presents for Christmas as a kid, but not for my birthday or earlier holidays. They probably were running low on money, just as the celts would have been low on food. . . Hmm. . . 

Thanks for pointing that out. I think I took that idea from a new-agey writer somewhere along the lines, and just assumed it was scholarly. I thought I'd gotten over that :)

>Under Saturday you mention the outsiders being an integral part of 
>ADF liturgy. I wanted to let you know that the outsiders as a part 
>of liturgy is one very old point of disagreement throughout ADF. 
>Some Groves have an outsiders section while other absolutely refuse 
>to address outsiders in any way. It comes from the outsiders being 
>added into the liturgy as a major change to earlier ADF liturgical 
>practice. It was decided by Isaac to add it in with very little discussion 
>in the organization, basically a few people asked him to and so he 
>added it. Many people opposed it then and still oppose it to this day 
>and refuse to use that section in liturgy.

I realize that there are some groves that refuse to do that; however, I feel that it's integral to my personal practice, and that's probably what I should have said. If I attended a Grove that didn't deal with Outdwellers, I'd be forced to invite Eris into the Grove (by virtue of the fact that She's my patroness, and I can't go through a ritual without inviting Her. You know what happens when She isn't invited, after all!

ADF has given me a lens through which to see Eris, though. I see Her very much as an Outdweller, but I don't threaten or ignore Her. I always invite Her, but just to the outside of the circle, where the Outdwellers have their little party. She is, after all, a force of Chaos, which is what ADF rite seems to try to avoid.

>You quote Pennick and Jones making a statement of 
>neopaganism being a religion of polarity and not like the 
>polytheism of og ancient European culture. You did not say if you 
>agreed with their position or not. I was wondering what your 
>personal take on that statement was. Personally I consider it to be 
>too narrow and a view of only one type of neopaganism, there 
>certaihnly are modern Pagan groups who practice polytheistic 
>cosmic religion.

"Neopaganism is a theology of polarity, rather than the polytheism of ancient European culture." Hmm. . . I would say that earlier forms of Neo-Paganism, especially some forms of Wicca (Gardner, Sanders, etc) are certainly polarized views of deity. I do think that this polarity permeates most Neo-Paganism today, but most of us don't notice it, nor do we care about it. Look at the way most Neo-Pagans, including myself, describe the year: the God/sun dies, the Goddess/earth gives birth to the God/sun, they marry, God/sun dies. There's a lot of polarity there.

I would agree, though, that the statement does reduce our beliefs a bit too quickly and forcefully.

>I like your observation on Ellis, I prefer his fiction myself.

Thank you. I didn't even know he wrote fiction . . . :) To the bookstore!

>I also wanted to let you know something about the Two Powers 
>meditation. It was also late on the scene in ADF Liturgy and there 
>are a number of Groves that make not use of it at all as amatter of 
>fact I get some pretty scathing writtings about it in some DPs. I 
>wanted to let you know about these in case you visit a Grove that 
>does not TP or Outsiders and wonder why. They might be one 
>of the older Groves or people who just do not use these.

I've gotten this idea recently. That doesn't change its affect on me, though. It really is one of the most moving experiences I've ever had, and I think it's intensely powerful.

>I appreciate the multiplicity of your altars. We have several altars 
>around here also.

I'm putting in more when I move into my new house. :)

>All in all no problems with your program just some observations 
>and things that I found interesting and wanted to hear more about.

I'm willing to elaborate more if you'd like to hear more. Thank you very much for reviewing it!

Michael J Dangler

"it's like spinning in circles until you stop and the rest of your perception keeps spinning, and whatever doesn't spin is ___(insert your own adjective). Actually, it is like spinning in circles until you stop and the rest of your perception keeps spinning, and whatever doesn't spin is ___(insert your own adjective)."
-Illrefute, post on alt.magic: What is Chaos Magic?

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