Opening and Closing the Gates
When I started attending ritual with The 6th Night Grove, ADF, I felt real power at the opening of the gates. I borrowed their Gate opening movements for my own rituals, and continued to use them when I founded Three Cranes Grove, ADF. Recently, Three Cranes has moved away from this particular gate opening, but we still use it when we're looking for something more low-key (or the person leading does not wish to get really, really dizzy and fall down).
The process I go though when I am ready to open the Gates is fairly simple, as is the closing of the gates. It's a simple four-line part in both cases:
Opening the Gates:
Let the Well open as a Gate. [video]If you watch the above videos, you'll see that I'm making motions with my hand, and that I have my hand in a certain position (or mudra, if you must).
I picked up this hand position sort of naturally, I think. I don't know if anyone showed me how to do it, or if I saw someone else do it, or if it just felt right. But here's the hand position I use for describing the knot I'll describe in a second:
The motions follow what's called a "trinity knot" or a "triquettra" nowadays, but it's really just simple knotwork to me.
Here's what it looks like:
And this is the direction it goes (start at the red dot and follow the arrows):
When I open the gates, as I'm saying, "Let the Gates be open!" I usually also hold my hands apart, something like this:
Closing the Gates:
Let the Well be only water. [video]And this is the direction it goes (start at the red dot and follow the arrows):
Again, this is only one way to open them. I've also seen spirals, triskells,
and the turning of imaginary doorknobs to represent opening the gates. Each
person will find their own way to do it.