The outdwellers are the spirits that are not from our tribe, or that chaos is part of their make up. We make a small offering to them as a way to honor them, so as not to cause offense, but to also ask them to leave us alone as we do the work of ritual. I like the way I heard a friend describe it as a, “here take this and go away,” offering. I have often heard the idea of purification being a way to deal with the outdwellers who have traveled in with us. In many ways the outdwellers remind me of the darkness beyond our family fire while camping. Out in the dark where we have not staked our claim to own the space are things we can not, nor wish to try to control. When our grove is in a space we have done ritual in many times, we tend not to give offerings to the outdwellers, since it is felt that the land and space have already been well and truly claimed by past actions. Our past use of the space has set that boundary of darkness back even further by our fire and presence. Much like if we had brought a flood light in with us, instead of just a small camp fire. Where the light hits is ours, and beyond that is the wild of chaos.
Amanda Thomas is the Grove Organizer for the Ad Astra Grove. She also serves on the Topeka Interfaith Council.