When I had the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Hearth Keepers Way, I was happy to do so. I have long wanted a shared practice with others, even at a distance, where we could join together towards the same ends.
The Hearth Keepers Way serves as an introduction to worship, providing an easy to follow ritual outline, a sampling of prayers for various occasions, High Day workings, the joy of a widespread community, and a sense of ownership and definition of one’s hearth. It should be as satisfying for a newcomer to paganism as it is for someone with years of experience.
Of course, it is part of ADF, and its ritual structure is a simplified version of the Core Order of Ritual, but the Way itself is extremely flexible and adaptable, with only a handful of things deemed “essential” and even then, the wording is adaptable to one’s specific needs. Hearth rites are together but apart: we worship under the same Moon, at our connected flames, but what we do and say may be different. There is a comfort in knowing that others elsewhere are performing the same rite we are.
Indeed, that is what I have always wanted from paganism, but where at one time I wished for a practice identical to others, instead now I see the value in a practice shared. This is simply one of a few intersecting circles at my hearth, where I can meet people as they are, in this way, for this time.
The HKW is in its infancy; it is less than two years old. Of course there are things to grow and to expand: the provision of additional prayers and rites for people to use if they wish, additional focus on spirits found in the home and at the hearth, and a simple proofreading revision, to name just a few. I hope that through these words here, I can help to show how the HKW can serve as one rhythm which can guide a home practice.