I have come across quite a bit of food-for-thought in my reading for my master’s program leading me to reflect on a wide variety of topics. My most recent reflection is a combination of the work I’m doing for school and my years in the pagan community.
In his book, The Nonprofit Narrative, Dan Portnoy asks, “Who is the antagonist of your story?” Each of our organizations has a story that follows the Hero’s Journey. If we want our organization to be successful, he urges us to tell its story. The protagonists are easy to identify. That’s us. But who is the antagonist?
As I sat with this, thinking about Mountain Ancestors, my mind took me to the greater community and ADF as a whole. Who is our collective antagonist? We must have one if we are bound together with such a clear, unified vision. As I reflected further, my mind wandered to the most recent ADF event, The Wellspring Gathering, where ADF holds the annual general meeting for the organization. Since I was unable to attend this year, I have been watching Facebook for stories, photos, and any other nugget of experience I can glean second-hand from my friends. And then it hit me: the antagonist is loneliness.
We don’t need one another to pray. The mechanics are all there for us as individual practitioners, and I know that I am one of the many who need alone time with the Kindreds to thrive. What I also need is fellowship. That’s how I found ADF in the first place.
I had been a solitary witch for almost a decade when I was finally tired enough of praying alone to do something about it. I was looking for a coven, and what I found was ADF. I came to ADF through the website, the Wicca v. Druidry page to be exact, and from there, I found the courage to visit a local congregation. I needed to see this in person. I reached out to Three Cranes Grove, and onward my story goes from there. I was hooked. I found a safe, healthy place to pray and commune with other like-minded individuals. I found a rich and thriving community, and they opened up to allow me to be a part of it with ease.
It is this spirit, the Spirit of ADF, that has fueled my passion for Our Druidry. Who is the antagonist? It is isolation. It is loneliness. What is the mission of our organization; how do we intend to fight this antagonist? By consistently providing a safe and healthy place for polytheist and polytheist-friendly individuals to gather in community to make offerings and build relationships. This is what we are all trying to do in our local groves, and when we gather at festivals, we have this underlying theme of purpose that joins our voices as one when we light our collective fire.
May the fire that burns in our hearts shine with the light of all fires in unity and with love.