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This Hearthfire Last Kindled on: 15 August, 2017
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TO GATHERING CHATROOM
Expectations

        Many Seekers come here hoping to find a perfect community full of people who are always happy, and mentors who are unflaggingly charismatic, awe-inspiring, mysterious, and yet totally accessible. Neither we, nor the Seekers who come here, are perfect and so it is unlikely we (or any human community) will fulfil these expectations. Avalon is not "heaven", and we are not angels. We are people, with all the foibles and failings of our race -- just as you are. How close your experience of life in ADO community comes to fulfilling your expectations does not depends upon us: it depends upon you. It cannot be said enough that you only get out of ADO what you actually put into it. If your hope is to read what all of us are doing and somehow absorb it by osmosis, then you are doomed to disappointment. If you hope to take away some fairy dust with which to enchant your own projects outside of this community, you will again find yourself disappointed. These desires reflect a total misunderstanding of how ancestral teachings work. The ancestors were a very clever lot. The "Secrets" that make the Tradition magical and compelling are only revealed as you serve the community. This is why we say that nothing is hidden from you. If you do the work, you will discover everything we know, and more. If you don't, you will never face the challenges or ask the questions that will lead you to the insights through which the leys to the Secrets may be accessed. Since only the people with a genuine desire to learn and practice our spirituality and participate in this community for its own sake are likely to offer service consistently enough to confront all of these challenges, "the Secrets" are unlikely to fall into the wrong people's hands.

        Once you have earned the keys and discovered "the Secrets", you will understand why it is impossible to tell them to other people. Even were you inclined to cheapen your own efforts by giving away to someone else what you have laboured long to achieve yourself, you would soon find that they understand nothing you have told them. They cannot understand, because the context for understanding lies in our direct experience of the Mysteries. Their misinformation can still cause plenty of mischief, though, which is why we admonish members not to divulge members-only information to non-members.

        To our honoured Guests we would say this: The hardest things you will have to do if you're considering joining are to learn how to ask questions and then seek the answers yourself; learn how to share your findings with the community; persevere and avoid procrastinating; and let go of your fear of failure, rejection, and unworthiness. You cannot learn these things by reading or watching; you can only learn them by doing. The Public / Guest area of our Forum is a terrific place to practice these skills. We encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity to find out if your desire (or "heart") is big enough to carry you as you face your first challenges. Do not be afraid of the truth. If you belong here, you will know it. If you don't, don't fight the realisation. You have a destiny to fulfil; that can only be done if you acknowledge what is and let go of what might have been.

In Closing

        We thank you for making the commitment to actively participate in the life of our spiritual community. Our Order can only be as exciting, nurturing, and spiritually satisfying as each of us chooses to make it. By choosing to actively participate, you are choosing to be one of those who make ours a truly inspiring spirituality!

        From time to time ADO may also host other gathering places such as social networking and e-list sites. When we do, we make every effort to open a portion of them to the public, so that visitors and Seekers may share ideas and experiences of Avalon and get to know us a bit better. Links to these locations will also be provided (below). Rather than be led by hearsay, rumour, illusion, and innuendo, we encourage you to avail yourself of every possible venue through which you may directly learn about our Order and interact with its members; only in this way may your opinions and decisions about Avalon and ADO may be informed by your own experiences and observations.

Many blessings and --

May peace attend you! 



Roundhouse interior, FlagFen UK, orig. photo (c) C. Filmer-Davies
Forums by ProBoards (phpBB) -- Chat link, below
Guidelines for Cyber Community & Site User Agreement

Traditional Community

​        In time long past, the Druids and folk of the Tribes gathered in earth and stone mound or round-house dwellings not unlike the hobbit houses of modern literature. In the center of each dwelling burned the hearthfire around which the tribes folk gathered to share meals, tell tales by the winter fires, guest visitors, and take counsel of their Elders... For those fortunate enough to walk the path with their spiritual kin in Grove, it is much the same today; but for many, limited by distance or community. ADO recognizes the need to provide support for those members for whom distance or circumstance are currently impassable barriers. Our cyber community is one response to this need.

        In the time of the ancestors, even the Druid was once a babe dandled on her mother's knee, raised in the ways, rhythms, lore, and tales of the Tribe. Visiting strangers were also given tasks to bring them into the community's ebb and flow. Spiritual community remains the vehicle of manifestation for Avalon's power in our lives even today, for Avalon's power derives from Love and Love's source springs from the home hearthfire.

​        The only way to know a people is to live amongst them. The same is true of a worldview, and especially of a Druid worldview. Only a few will cross the threshold to live with us on the Holy Isle; most of our visitors will remain in the Vale that forms Avalon's outer perimeter. The Vale is also a place of learning, for it offers us the opportunity to test our mettle and see how we respond. Are we able to follow through on our commitments or do we make excuses and blame others for our failures? Can we accept traditional teaching or do we feel impelled to change or adapt it? Can we adapt to this Avalonian spiritual community? Will modern conditioning keep us forever outsiders? The only way to know is to try, and honestly observe how we respond. To this end, we invite you into the Vale...

        It is always wise to acquaint ourselves with local law and custom before settling into a new place. Our Laws and customs are found in our governing documents, publications, on this website, and in the agreement below. As a condition of access, our guests and visitors are also bound to follow them. Come you in, then, and find your place by the hearthfire; for by this blaze shall you come to know your place and purpose here. Rest, then, and enter into the heart of the eternal flame...

Forum & Calendars

Purpose & Use
Forum

        The Forum is the home of the ADO e-community and provides a place where members and nonmembers with an interest in Avalonian Druid community may gather. Here, members share the fruits of their labours and experiences and guests gather to share their emerging memories of the Holy Isle. Members volunteer time and energy to maintain and moderate this resource; in exchange, regular and substantial participation is a requirement for all Forum participants. Rules for Forum participation  are given below and in the Forum itself. 

Calendar

        The Member Events Calendar now resides within the Forum, providing information on ADO events, gatherings, training opportunities, and Grove celebrations, as well as reminders about important dates for administrators. In the interest of making our guests feel welcome and comfortable, we also provide Public Events Notices. To receive the notice simply join the "Events" mailing list by clicking the "Events Mailing List" icon (the crane) below. (If the link fails, please send a blank email, subject header "Events Mailing list" to the email address below and a staff member will add your address manually.) ADO events are confirmed once they meet the minimum enrollment, so please confirm the event status, admission prices, and arrange payment by inquiring at: ado_admin@avalondruidorder.orgsubject header: "Confirm (Event Name)", before making travel plans. We look forward to meeting you one day soon!

Rules, Site Policy & User Agreement

        For a modern spiritual community we have very few actual rules. Some rules have been added to the Traditional requirements because the habits of modern people have proved them necessary, but mostly the same rules are repeated in different ways to address different situations and circumstances. To be a member, is to be given freedom to intimately explore the customs, beliefs, and spiritual practices taught within the Order; therefore as a condition for using ADO resources you personally agree to conform to ADO rules, requirements, guidelines, and expectations, including those associated with our spiritual community, as published by ADO. Descriptions of these requirements are provided in various resources, including our "Bylaws/Belief Statement/Codes of Ethics & Conduct" and "Mentoring Agreement / Basic Requirements", published at this website, as well as in the Site Policy and User Agreement and Addenda at our Forum's public area. Your choice to use ADO resources constitutes your legal agreement to abide by all of these beliefs, expectations, rules and requirements.

        Please sign into our Forum as a "guest" (only register if you have enrolled as an Aspirant).  Active participation (defined as posting at least one substantial message about Avalon or native Faery spirituality at least once each month) is required to maintain access.  Members only post to the Aspirant and public areas in response to your questions and messages, so if you don't post, you won't see posts (and eventually your Forum account will be closed). Start by introducing yourself on the introductions thread, then post your questions about Avalon and/or native Faery Tradition. We'll be watching for your posts and will response as quickly as possible. It only takes a couple of people posting to start a fascinating discussion. If you have time to read, you have time to post. You've got nothing to gain by holding back, so why not post now? For those who would rather meet  face-to-face, our events mailing list and the information provided by the Hedgerow School provide an easy reference to ADO events, training, and other opportunities. Those who pass through the hearthfire unscathed, may begin posting!