Liturgy 1, Question 7
Discuss the origins of the Fire, Well and Tree, and the significance of each in ADF liturgy. (minimum 100 words for each of the Fire, Well and Tree)
The Fire is the gate that leads to the upperworld, the sky realm of the Gods. It is connected intimately with the Shining Ones.
Fire is highly important in all IE cultures (indeed, I wonder what an IE culture would be without it), but particularly in Vedic culture, where Agni, fire, was the devourer of sacrifice, and to feed him was to feed
the Gods. ADF's tradition of pouring offerings to the fire likely comes from the intense emphasis that the Vedics placed on the fire, and the manner in which it is carried across the various other cultures of the IE world.
The Well is the gate that leads to the underworld, the chthonic realm of the Ancestors. It is intimately connected with the earth and with Chthonic deities, as well as memory and wisdom.
It is said that Odin plucked out his own eye in order to obtain wisdom from the Well of Mimir, and that it was mud from a well that the Norns replenished Yggdrasil with. Odysseus created his own well at the edge of the underworld with the blood of two black rams, and through it he contacted his ancestors and other mighty dead who knew the answers he sought. Thus is is that we have recognized the Well as vital to Indo-European belief.
The Tree stands at the crossroads between the worlds, the Center of our sacred space, and the access to the realms of the Nature Spirits. It is
intimately connected with the Noble Folk, who help humans in times of need.
The Tree is our axis mundi, based off the many such centers that we find
throughout world religion. This can be represented as the pillars that hold up the worlds in Vedic mythology, the tree Yggdrasil in Norse mythology, or the Bile in Irish. It forms the center of our ritual space, and thus the center of our world, supporting us and protecting us, giving of its many fruits.
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