What is a Druid?
This is a complicated question. If you ask four different people who call themselves “Druids” this question, chances are you will receive five different answers! The truth is, while we know a little about the ancient Druids, modern day folks who call themselves Druids or say they practice Druidry are as diverse as all of the flora and fauna you’ll encounter in Nature.
Let me be clear though, about my personal definition. I’m a Druid because I call myself a Druid, and because I have a love of Nature and the natural world. I consider myself a part of the “Druid Reform” and the Reformed Druids of North America.
I call my personal Druid practice a “Living Druidry” because I am guided by my own life experience with Nature. I choose to direct my own learning and skill development through my passions, curiosities, interests, and values.
I don’t call upon gods and goddesses with whom I have no connection. I don’t wear a white robe, nor do I follow restrictive ritualistic or religious dogma. Politically, I’m more “Libertarian” than “Liberal” – and some in the Druid community may consider me a bit of a rebel because of this. But again, my path is just that – MY PATH.
Here are a few of the things I believe in:
- Nature is good and Diversity is good!
- Diversity is often necessary for the survival of any species.
- We are all sovereign beings.
- Through honoring the sovereignty of ourselves and all beings, a greater web of authentic interdependence can grow and prosper among the Whole of the Universe.
We should all have the freedom to choose our own teachers, build our own unique set of knowledge and skills, and to protect, self-direct and self-determine our own sovereign embodiment.
There is no “one way” to be a Druid. There is no singular path. There is only YOUR PATH in my opinion.
Some Druidry organizations and/or “groves” have prescribed curricula, “degrees” and hierarchy systems, specific or even arbitrary rituals and oaths of allegiance. These things are neither good nor bad – so long as you are consenting to them and believe in them. For me, I’m not one for being told what ancient symbol or color robe I should wear, or when and how I should wear them. I don’t feel the need to be “initiated” into a specific “degree” or hierarchy.
My “initiation” into a Living Druidry comes from the whole of my experience:
- A walk in the woods
- Wishes on the New Moon
- Camping, bicycling, meditation
- Walking a labyrinth
- Studying and practicing Reiki, Acupressure, and Polarity Therapy
- Crafting herbal remedies
- Fermenting food
- Following my intuition and “gut feelings”
- Practicing urban and wilderness survival skills
- Following my curiosity, choosing my teachers, and self-directing my own learning
A teacher of mine once told me this with regard to self-directed learning:
“The lid is truly off, and you are free to choose and learn, over and over again, in a never ending spiral of life.”
This is MY approach to Living Druidry, and I hope that the offerings and ideas I share here can help you to spark yours!
May the Forest be with you!