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I've been distracted from my DP for sometime, due to both life duties and some obstacles in my practice. I've been working within the framework of ADF's Roman Kin and have run into some challenges. ADFhas allowed me to learn, experiment, and finally be able to clarify them better.

For example, did the Roman's value Nature? With their cities, conquests of other cultures, and belief to be the descendents of Greeks would lead me to think otherwise. I see them to be quite "Urban", as far as pagan cultures go.

I seek a pagan practice that is effective, experiential and resonates with me culturally. I do feel that being historically accurate is something that is important to me. ADF's liturgy is very humbling before the Gods, Land and Ancestors. I've had to change my thinking about ADF ritual, to learn not only to speak the words but feel them - to feel the gates open, to build that tunnelling connection spiraling upwards and downwards to the other realms.

 I find myself concerned with how farmers within more remote regions around Rome would have practiced their religion. Surely they didn't travel into the city to go to temple. I was reminissing upon a custom of my Grandmother, an immigrant from Italy. Throughout November she'd keep a candle lit in memory of the dead, i defunti - she'd lay out photos of all those she'd known who'd passed away. I wondered about these traditions, steeped in Roman-Catholic customs but uniquely Italian. Many of these "superstitions" can translate remarkably well into neo-paganism.

 My family, they were farmers. I feel like I'm denying myself of something essential while using The Pillar instead of The Tree, even though it's brilliant in regards to Rome. It feels wrong that the Gatekeeper should open the gates so I might speak through them, pass offering through them, without myself passing through to experience those mysteries. (Perhaps this sort of shamanistic approach is something taught to ADF Clergy?)

 I have been exploring writings about Northern European Cunning Craft, of which my favourites would largely be considered "unverified personal gnosis". This UPG, however, contains symbols, concepts, and methods that are quite relatable to ADF's liturgy, which I find strikingly odd and inspiring. I've also been looking into Italian Folk Magic called Benedicaria or  Stregoneria (not to be confused with Grimassi's "Stregheria"), customs and superstitions that have become intertwined with Roman Catholicism. I propose that they are customs that have evolved from something much older, the result of assimilation into Christianity.

 Here are some links that I'm drawing from right now. With some more work, I intend to write something more definitive and descriptive soon.






Well, I know that *I* live an urban lifestyle, and it doesn't mean I don't respect and revere nature, but I do go about it differently :) It just has me curious.

June 2008

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