I’m a member of AODA, a fraternal society founded in 1912 in partnership with a parallel organization in Britain. Its official name is the Ancient Order of Druids in America. And frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever met another member in the flesh. I’ve passed close to them, or through the same space as them, but I’ve never really known them personally. Nor is that about to change.
But one of the things we members are asked to do is to mark the solstices and equinoxes. So last night, as part of my open house, we held the ritual. It was not a full meeting of the order, nor the full investiture of power, I think. Someone came for the ritual but had to leave early, and we abbreviated the work considerably so that he could attend and not feel anxious about leaving on time.
Earth, Air, Fire, Water: they mattered greatly to my grandfather the MIT-trained chemist. He kept that table of elements on his desk until the day he died. I always thought it was a printed page, but it turned out to be a photo of an illustration in an incunable — an early printed book.
Anyway, four elements. A call to Spirit. An acknowledgement of the rights of all existences, not just our own. A sharing of apples, in honor of the harvest. And a prayer for the turning of the year. Followed by a lovey feast of chicken and squash, salad and apple crisp, cornbread and cole slaw.
I’ve let my druid practice lapse more than a little in the last year, but I’m thinking it’s time to renew my AODA membership and get back into the regular work.