Red Oak Grove draws primarily from Welsh and Irish mythology. We find our gods in the Mabinogion, which is the oldest written collection of Welsh stories, and in Irish folklore. We follow the A Druid Fellowship of acknowledging three Kindred, or types of sacred beings, in our rituals. Our magical workings incorporate practices from druidry, heathenry, and even Appalachian folk magic.
Our main rituals are formatted after A Druid Fellowship (ADF) standard; at some of our events, which also host other, small rituals, which are usually less structured.
Broadly speaking, ADF rituals are divided into four parts:
- First, we come together to establish our intentions and set the tone of the ritual. At ROG, this includes a procession song and a short speech from our officiant about the roots and meaning of the holiday. Then, we create a sacred space by opening the gates between this world, the world of the dead, and the otherworld of the gods. (Note: Our rituals are not “closed circles,” so we can move freely in and out of this sacred space if need be.)
- Second, we make our offerings to the powers that be. This includes inviting and honoring our three kindred, the nature spirits, honored dead, and the gods. Sometimes during this part of the ritual, people will give physical offerings or specific, personal prayers.
- Third, the officiants lead the group in receiving a blessing from the kindred. We share a food with each other and with the gods, and we divine a message from the kindred. At ROG, we use a set of Ogham sticks for our divination.
- Finally, we thank the kindred for attending our ritual and bid them farewell.
If you want to read about ADF rituals in more detail, they have a lovely comprehensive guide here.
As mentioned above, ADF groves honor three kindred:
- The spirits of nature, ranging from elementals spirits to animals or the hearts of places; some of us consider these sentient beings or personifications of nature, and others see them as manifestations.
- Our ancestors: This doesn’t only mean our genetic ancestors. We celebrate many honored dead, including the native people of the land (here in South Jersey and Philly, the Lenni Lenape), the ancients whose gods we worship, and all those who have inspired us.
- The gods. The patron gods of ROG are drawn from Welsh and Irish mythology, and we honor them specifically in all our rites. However, we invite guests and members alike to additionally call on any other gods who they feel connected to.
Our patron gods
The patron gods of Red Oak Grove include our seasonal deities, Brigid, Lleu Llaw Gyffes, Rhiannon, and Math ap Mathonwy, as well as Cerridwen and Cernunnos, and the primordial gods Dôn and An Dadga.