Many ways to be a Druid

Well, I’d like to resurrect this started and somewhat left-to-dust-blog for it’s original intent. I’d like it to serve as a log or journal of sorts for my continued Druid path. One of the main things I intend to post about is features of the bio-region in which I live, as an exercise to learn more about it myself!

As it will be very specific to my path and location, I understand that this won’t interest everyone. That’s cool, you see time, this one is for me :). Others are invited to come walk with me on my path, but I’m not writing for others here, just so we’re clear. I may post something that is a short snippet that I want to remember such as a new animal I encountered, or a long detailed post about my relationship with a certain god, as I see fit. I don’t want to feel censored here or worry about being interesting, popular, or terribly relevant. This is a snapshot into my personal practice, or at least those aspects that I choose to share with the world. Keep this in mind before you hit the subscribe button. That being said my intent is to blog with integrity here, so I will be speaking from the heart.

When I made my first post here in March, I was struck by the image which is the header, of a man walking through a wood, head resolute. In my mind he was seeking his way home after a long travel, seeking to return to where he stared. However what he found out when he got there, as most travelers do, is that although his home may not have changed he had. Our travels and experiences utterly change who we are and we can never truly go home again even if the surroundings are familiar.

So why revival Druidry? I ask myself that often. No matter how often far I stray from it, I always end up back here. You see I’ve had a very tumultuous relationship with Druidry, as everyone knows. A confession I must make is, I have very little interest in anything “Celtic”. I’ve tried, how I’ve tried, but I just don’t.  My own travels through the pagan landscape have brought me to the Hellenic Gods and my personal gods are in fact mostly Greco-Egyptian (Hekate, Dionysos, Anubis, ect). Whenever I hear the tales of the Celtic gods I feel like a stranger tip toeing on foreign ground, as if I really don’t belong there.

I find reading Mabinogian useful as an academic hureistic device, but it doesn’t strike the religious cord in me, and Ogham just looks like chicken scratch. Try talking to me about The Dagda or Lugh, and I’ll try to stifle my yawns just to be polite. This has caused me MUCH trouble in my own mind. About the only thing Celtic I could be said to resonate with is my relationship with the horned god, and I’d argue he is more proto-indo-European that pure Celtic.  Does someone who “doesn’t do Celtic” have the right to call themselves a Druid? Many people would say no. Is there a place for me here, or should I move on? Something always calls me back in the end.

You see, it’s the archetype of the Druid that draws me; The lone nature priest, listening to the song of  nature and learning directly from it. Dedicating ones life to learning and pure spiritual pursuit. A love of poetry, song, and story. Working within standing stones, learning the secrets of ones own natural landscape, not one removed from me by thousands of miles and years to boot. Do these things truly belong to any one culture?

Specifically, Revival Druidry calls to me. I could never be a reconstructionist. I’ve looked at the ADF and never found any interest there myself, though I know other derive considerable enjoyment from it. No, for me it’s Revival Druidry that works best. While it does have some Celtic overtones, it’s not about reconstructing a Celtic worldview. Luckily for me, Revival Druidry is based on the archetype of the Druids that I love. It’s the idea of the Druid that is the inspiration, the core seed from which each Druid must grow his own personal practice. From the AODA’s website the following sums it up well.

AODA understands Druidry as a path of nature spirituality and inner transformation founded on personal experience rather than dogmatic belief. It welcomes men and women of all national origins, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and affiliations with other Druidic and spiritual traditions. Ecological awareness and commitment to an earth-honoring lifestyle, celebration of the cycles of nature through seasonal ritual, and personal development through meditation and other spiritual exercises form the core of its work, and involvement in the arts, healing practices, and traditional esoteric studies are among its applications and expressions.

Furthermore, connecting with mythos that are far removed from my daily existence holds little interest for me. I am interested in the ground I live on, it’s animals, plants, and it’s own places of power which I can physically visit. What use do I have of Stonehenge and New Grange across the sea, when within a short distance are animal shaped burial mounds, giant step pyramids, and a sacred lake complete with it’s own underwater city?

You see almost every land has it’s own mythic landscape complete with it’s own legendary denizens and spirits to be contacted and befriended. For example, my own area is sea serpent central! Almost every major lake within 100 miles has legends from the indigenous peoples of containing some kind of lake monster consisting of at least one dragon, and a kraken, and multiple plesiosaur like beasties. Also said to be in residence here in the local legend are a race of dog people, a tribe of lizard men,  sasquatch-like ape creatures, and an evil spirit only the most accomplished sorcerers would dare summon! Some of them I’ve even seen myself. One or two of them I work with on a regular basis 😉

It only takes opening a history book or  checking past news paper clippings to determine the mythic nature of your own land. What you can’t find by reading about, you can find by going out into the land itself and just listening. That my dear readers, is what Druidry means to me. Not pretending that I’m an ancient druid or living in eternal ren-faire mode. Connecting with the spirit of the land upon which I live on here and now. I may worship the Greco-Egyptian Gods, but truthfully my gods have little to do with my work as a druid.

Does this make me less of a druid than someone who fully embraces the Celtic dynamic? Some (many?) may say so, yet I believe there is very much a place for me here. Others may disagree, but I’m not really interested in looking for validation of my spiritual path at this point.My path may not look like anyone else’s, but I say that is a good thing.

I’d like to start here by exploring some of the features of my own bioregion and use this space as blog to record it.

One regular feature I plan to start on this blog is called Mythic Landscape, and will describe in detail the mythology of my local land.

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8 Responses to Many ways to be a Druid

  1. snaegl says:

    Sounds like a congruent approach you’re taking. I’m looking forward to your continued rambles. 🙂

  2. I really look forward to seeing you write more on this blog 🙂

  3. Teresa says:

    It is often the terminology that we stumble over in our weakly rooted modern cultures when trying to practice our lost human birthright. It is like walking a new path through deep snow. We have forgotten so much. Hurray for your efforts and the path you open for those that come after. I anxiously look forward to your writing, discoveries and adventures on the land.

  4. Kaye says:

    “As it will be very specific to my path and location, I understand that this won’t interest everyone. That’s cool, you see time, this one is for me 🙂 . Others are invited to come walk with me on my path, but I’m not writing for others here, just so we’re clear. I may post something that is a short snippet that I want to remember such as a new animal I encountered, or a long detailed post about my relationship with a certain god, as I see fit. I don’t want to feel censored here or worry about being interesting, popular, or terribly relevant.”

    YOUR blog. Do what you want, and let no one’s comments influence you (even this one).

    I love the idea of the Mythic Landscape feature, and I will be looking forward to it. I do hope pictures will be involved. 🙂

  5. Skye says:

    Oooh, I resonate with so much that you’ve said here! The archetype of the druid is what keeps on drawing me back to Druidry. I think on a deep level, that archetype just fits with who I am.

    Anyway, keep on blogging, ’cause you’re great at it, and you have lots of wonderful things to say!

  6. greycatsidhe says:

    Hello there! I’m very pleased to find this blog. Although I belong to and feel very at home with ADF, I don’t find your take on Druidism offensive. Perhaps because I’m in ADF, and there are many people devoted to other IE cultures there, I’m more open-minded? I don’t know… I’m very inspired by CR methodologies and adopt some myself, but we always have to remember (especially those of us who don’t live in Celtic countries) that we are in modern times, living in a different culture. We do what we must. I hope we can learn from each other!

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