Why Grove of the Other Gods?

You may have noticed that we changed our name since our last publication. The Grove formerly known as Green Man Grove is now Grove of the Other Gods, ADF. Same friendly neighborhood Druids, new name. But of all the names shown on page 14 of this newsletter, why did we pick the one we did?

Grove member Justin Levinson suggested this name after he saw a piece of an altar in the Met that’s dedicated to just “the Other Gods.” To be honest, when we held the ADF members’ vote for a new name, this wasn’t the one I voted for. But since the vote and the dedication of our new name I’ve come to have a lot of respect and love for it and for “Otherness”.

Other Gods? In my opinion they’re all around us. In history, they’re the Deities that no one worships now, possibly because their traditional worship is not well documented, or because humans just don’t see a use for them anymore. Or they’re the Gods overthrown when a new people took over their land, turning them into Outsiders or worse. The Other Gods from history are just not fashionable anymore. With our name change it has become officially (as it was unofficially before) our duty and our pleasure to acknowledge many of Them.

In modern times the Other Gods are just that: other people’s Gods. In our area of New Jersey we’re surrounded by dazzling ethnic diversity. Down the road in one direction folks are worshipping at a Durga temple, in another direction is a Tibetan shrine and another direction leads you to several local Wiccan Covens. Within a few miles are synagogues, mosques, Hindu temples, Jain temples, Sikh temples, Santeria botanicas, Christian churches and cathedrals, various Norse hearths, and who knows what else....We have a population explosion of Gods. What a shame it would be to narrow our focus and not appreciate and assimilate the contemporary worship of these traditions into our thoughts and our practices.

“Otherness” in a more personal way, to me means seeing the world with your own eyes, picking your own virtues, walking your own path, and putting together your own way of honoring your Gods; with scholarship, with experience, with hard work and with love.

So after the fact, I’m changing my vote. Our Grove has always stood proudly for “Otherness” in our members and our Gods. Now we’re showing it in our name.

Norma Hoffman, Senior Druid, Grove of the Other Gods, ADF