I often quip that North American Druidry is the lovechild of Heinlein and Tolkien. The Waters of Life in particular has always struck me as an attempt to create a Pagan version of the ‘Water Ritual’ from Stranger in a Strange Land, and as a result it has required some time to get the point where I can take it seriously on its own merits. Make no mistake, I think it is a powerful part of ADF ritual but I wish that I could find a way to make it feel, at least to me, more “authentic” and less sci-fi/fantasy.
Discuss your understanding of the Blessing Cup, or “Return Flow”.
The “return flow” refers to the conferring upon the participants of the blessings which were promised by the Kindred during the omen taking. While one assumes that such blessings can be bestowed directly upon the individuals by the Gods (or other spirits) if they so choose, the use of a Blessing Cup filled with the blessed Waters of Life seems to be a much more spiritually fulfilling experience. When drinking from (or being asperged by) the cup, participants have the opportunity to take a long moment to meditate upon the blessings, to consume the blessings, to physically feel the blessings upon them the more to appreciate them.