Dedicant's Work

Study Program











Pagan Student Association

CafePress Shop


Discuss the Outdwellers and their significance in ritual (or not, as the case may be). (minimum 100 words)

The Outdwellers are forces of chaos, usually destructive. In Irish mythology, they would be the Fomorians; in Greek myth, they would be the Titans; in Germanic myth, they are the giants and trolls, or possibly (though not likely) the Vanir. In all Indo-European cultures, there is the myth of a primordial war that is won by the deities of the incoming IE culture: those deities that we in ADF usually worship.

So the Outdwellers are defeated. They tend to be characterized as sulking in the darkness, stealing children and wrecking things for us humans.

Groves have different ways of recognizing them, and different ways of dealing with them (if they do either at all). Iíll outline a few approaches, and end with the way I work with them.

1) Ignore them completely.

Of course, if you give name to something, it becomes real and tangible. Many Groves choose not to name or discuss the forces of chaos so as not to bring them into their rituals.
2) Threaten them.
These are defeated deities and the enemies of our Gods, and we have the power of those we worship to fight them off if need be. The idea here is to remind these chaotic forces that we do not want them, and that our Gods can kick their ass. Norse rituals would likely invoke Thor for this purpose, or relate a story about Thor killing giants.
3) Appease them.
Often, Groves will offer beer or ale to the Outdwellers to keep them satiated while the ritual goes on.
4) Threaten and Appease.
Sometimes, Outdwellers are both threatened and appeased. Theyíre reminded of their defeat, but offered something to keep them away. This was my first experience with the Outdwellers.
5) Bribe them.
Sometimes the offering is given as a bribe. ďIf youíll stay away, Iíll give you this beer.Ē Itís not quite the same as appeasement, but itís close.
5) Acceptance/Appeasement/Bribery.
I have moved in a different route from every other Grove Iíve seen. I call everyone to start with (acceptance), and I let the Outdwellers know that they are just as welcome as anyone else, but I qualify that if they will not work with us, then I am making an offering that they can have if they donít bother us (bribery). I also make a special offering to Eris (appeasement), my patroness, inviting Her to the rite, but asking that She please refrain from blessing us with chaos unless it helps our cause in a happy, noticeable manner. We all know what happens if She doesnít get invited to the party!
I understand that not everyone uses the Outdwellers in ADF ritual. Iím cool with that. My personal stance on it, and thus my Groveís stance, is that with Eris as a patron, Iím required to acknowledge the forces of chaos in a different way than most. I must acknowledge Her, and I donít want to draw her into a ritual where Sheíll get bored if I ask Her to hang around.

If I ever attended a Grove where the Outdwellers werenít acknowledged, I would be forced to call Her into the ritual, because that is part of our bargain. This is mainly why I work with the Outdwellers in my rituals.


Content © 2003, Michael J Dangler
Updated on 08/14/2003. Site Credits / Email Me!
Basic site design from
(Yes, I stole it!)