Thursday, June 05, 2008

Version 2

Well, it's been a week and a bit now since a very satisfying time at Wellspring. I'm saddened that more people can't make it to festivals on a regular basis: the amount of energy and information you can glean is truly remarkable.

Not to mention the sparkling conversation and intellectual stimulation you get from people you know and the people you newly meet.

Like getting Guild Chiefs off their butts and doing their job!

Ya ya ya. It's true. I've been quiet and not overly involved in the Guild (some might say I've been a petulant child and they'd not be far wrong) but due to the heroic efforts of Beth Savage and Jeremy M. I've been stoked to a simmer. We talked a lot over the weekend, along with my own Grove and camp-mates from Sassafrass. We also pitched some new ideas to various "elders" on the MG and COL and everyone pretty much liked what they heard. Generally, though, the response was "put a proposal together!" so that's what's been occupying my thoughts recently. (That and an amazing start to a deeping relationship with the Norse culture and Odin for me and my Grove - see my LJ at for more on that.)

I thought it best to start the process of including the rest of the Guild and other interested parties to join in the conversation. (Beth and Jeremy, if there are other points I'm forgetting, please correct me.) Some of my thoughts are still in the formative stage, but there are a couple of assumptions that I am working from.

First and foremost, I see our Guild as being a bit different from other Guilds. Whereas other Guilds represent a chosen "job" or "path" within ADF (and even one's life) I believe that pretty much everyone in ADF is a scholar of some sort. So what makes membership in our Guild unique vs. (let's say) a member of the Warrior Guild doing research about ancient Parthian military formations (or lack thereof)? This question is at the core of our Guild and its purpose and has had different answers at different times. Our Guild was there at the beginning of the Guild system, and has (frankly) struggled since. I hope to end the challenge of "why/what/how ADF Scholars Guild" for at least a little while by putting together the definitions of and requirements for what I believe is a member of the ADF Scholars Guild: an ADF Scholar.

I further believe that a member of the Guild (who I refer to as an ADF Scholar versus a scholar in ADF) is distinguished by doing versus being. That is, I believe you cannot rest on your laurels (for long) but need to be constantly striving, growing and creating. Although it is usual in ADF to award a title after work done, it is odd to me that there is no ongoing requirement for continuing that work. Granted, this is very similar to other Pagan religions in their granting of rank, but there is another model in the mundane scholarly community called "publish or perish." I realize this is normally for titled positions at Universities and that you forever retain your Ph.D. or other post-grad degree, but the notion that you need to continue to work and present it is very strong and something that I would like to enourage as part of our ADF Scholar culture.

Finally, I feel that much of our scholarly effort, both formal and informal, is not being plumbed to its fullest extent. I even fear that some of our history and research has already been lost, or at the very least, laying forlorn and forgotten in various corners of the internet and members (and ex-members) homes. I believe very strongly that a significant portion of the mission of our Guild is to find, consolidate and make available the riches that scholars of ADF have already created. In addition, I feel we need to have a place where the results of study and creativity can live and interweave with older works, and be capable of being integrated into our current work and provide the basis for further and deeper study. With such a platform available to us, all members of the ADF scholarly community (from Warriors to Artisans) can push forward to new heights of achievement.

In my musings, I call this body of work the Corpus of ADF. It would be the mission of the ADF Scholars Guild to build, enrich and maintain the Corpus, either directly interacting with it or helping others use it and the wealth of knowledge it represents. The current ADF Website (including the preliminary efforts of D.R.U.I.D.) is a first step but I have a vision of mini-internet of sites like Wikipedia, LibraryThing and Lexus/Nexus, where information is easily available for instruction, research or (vetted) modification.

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