Druidry is not that new to me, I have been interested in reading about them for years but as a casual interest rather than serious study. It is only recently when I started exploring Philosophy of Religion to a greater depth and questioning my own spiritual beliefs to a high level that I started looking at Druidry more seriously.
To make things clear from the start, I do not label myself “a Druid”. I am a long way from doing in terms of study and my own personal journey. I do however have a strong interest in them.
Currently I am working through a course from the ‘The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids’ which arrives monthly in the form of short Gwersi (Welsh for lesson). The course is stimulating intellectually but also on a personal development level. Whether or not I end up calling myself a Druid I know I will benefit from this course.
My initial thoughts are that I respect the manner in which this course is being taught. It is made clear from the outset that you are not to blindly accept the ideas and methods presented. Critical thinking and self discovery are encouraged. There is no great leader or figure to worship, no cult of personality; it is very much a personal journey using the materials they happen to provide.
The appeal of Druidry to me is a desire to live more in harmony with nature. I feel strongly we as modern humans have lost our connection to nature and the world around us. I am theistic in that I believe in God and believe this world is just a physical manifestation of the Divine Source. We have lost respect for this physicality and thus lost our connection to The Source and our Deep Self. Druidry develops the sense of connection to the Earth again and with a big focus on trees. They do this in a number of ways: rituals, knowledge, looking at tradition; ecological philosophy and building connections with people and the Earth.
All life is sacred and should be respected and preserved, Druidry offers a very practical way of doing that. It builds the relationship back with nature and the natural cycles of life and in doing so heals and rejuvenates. Its purpose is to help people live more fully in this life.
Finally, I consider myself a Christian too. I read and take inspiration and comfort from the bible. I no longer attend church but pray to God in my own personal way. As part of this blog I want to also explore the ways in which Druidry and Christianity intertwine. A great quote in the introduction to the course sums this up to me:
Spiritual traditions do not exist in isolation – like trees in a forest, each one is distinct and unique but their roots and branches often intertwine and they share the same soil, water and air; the same sun and moonlight.Philip Carr-Gomm