This was a response to an inquiry I received on Druidry. The querent asked really good questions. I’m not sharing his writings to protect his privacy, but I do want to share my responses as he moved me to put this down in writing in a way that I don’t often take the time to do.
Summary of conversation – “I’m not convinced that there is life after death. I also want to know more about druidry as an experience and also how your values and morals guide you. Seems that this kind of religion could be used for selfish purposes”
Sure. If you believe life ends at the end of this incarnation and time is linear – you’re existence will be bound by these rules and you will make decisions based on that. My experience is that the universe has much more poetry, vastness and strangeness to it than that. Science is now starting to find quarks that jump time and space, particles that fly through the Earth without touching a single atom and studies concerning near death experience and ghostly phenomena seem to point out that we don’t know the half of it..
Druidism is an experiential path, not one of dogma as you may be use to studying. So you’re only going to be able to pierce the veil so much before your intellectual mind begins to hurt 🙂
Only giving your intellectual side to life will yield a texture of dry, uninspiring cynicism to your life. This is the curse of the spirit that relies too much on Air. The new druid synchronizes their exploration to that of the forest and the seasons. Many folks approach earth centered spirituality with a strong Air affinity (intellectual bent) and it is the age of Aquarius which is an Air sign, but if you begin the OBOD druid path, you’ll work on balancing the other 3 elements of your personality in the Bardic grade. Really neat opportunity to explore yourself on a ‘guided path’ using meditation, ritual and other projects that bring better balance. You’ll gain new perspectives on poetry than you have contemplated in the past. You’ll connect to inspiration within yourself and it will be totally unique to you (no one can teach you) and you’ll only get out what you put into it.
As for morality. My morality is informed by my values. That includes fair dealings with other people in business and social interactions, respect for the environment, raising children that are drug free, responsible and well adjusted in order to provide for themselves, their family and contribute in the world – this is just to name a few. I find other druids to be open minded, willing to help and non-judgemental of others.
Abuse of followers? You mean like suicide cults, religious based racism, bombers and priests taking advantage of children? We don’t have clergy and I’m hardly the leader of any ‘movement’. We have Awen’s Light Grove as a place for druids to meet together and I’m the organizer, provide some direction to make it worthwhile for folks. I like to answer questions and be a beacon for people seeking.
I would like to add, that with the little summary posted about the initial questions, I am left to assssume, and we all know what can happen then! I would like to add, in the thoughtful response, that all humans balance a need to care and to serve self with societies and then internal needs to serve others. Personal experiences that are extreme, or misinformed passed along stereotypes can create a very large dress-up wardrobe that interferes with what the eyes see as the covering of a concept/person, the reflection of such, what they intend to be, and what they actually are. Discernment and wisdom then become very important(at least to me) in making a decision about what to do with all of the puzzle pieces of energy with each energetic exchange in life.
There is also the hidden binary choice in what was stated…it seems a choice between logic(concrete) vs. abstract(flighty/untrue) are the only two shown to be of validity–with the words that were chosen and how I viewed the words, before going away for a while, pondering, and coming back to look anew.
Thank you for this blog.
I just wanted to comment, ‘abstract’ shouldn’t mean ‘flighty or untrue’ – in this case it should simply mean ‘unverifiable through scientific method’. Many people have experiences that can’t be verified, or just deeply personal, but it does not make them any less ‘real’.