D is for… Druidry

I understand Druidry to be a modern faith – drawing on ancient roots, to be sure, but nevertheless modern in form, outlook and content. Futhermore, I don’t see any reason to think that modernity is a problem.

Druidry is like a tree with many roots.

It has ancient roots, reaching back to what little we know of the ancient British and Celtic peoples. These roots bring us a name, stories, the importance of trees and mistletoe, and a healthy skepticism about history written by the winners.

It has medieval roots, which tap into the rich vein of stories recorded throughout the middle ages and later. Folklore, romances, practices of magic and prayer all feed into this root.

It has modern roots, as the Industrial Revolution takes hold. Druids re-enter the popular imagination to be heroes, and Ross Nichols was able to join a Druid Order – which he then re-formed.

Now it is growing postmodern roots. Druidry today works with a wide range of material – depending on the branch and the practitioner – including traditional stories, psychology, ritual and magic, and Celtic religion.

We can also recognize other trees with similar roots or from similar seeds. Wicca and Celtic Reconstructionism might be examples of the former; Hinduism and the Native American religions might be examples of the latter.

My theory of religions does not say that we are climbing a mountain to one point, and must choose our paths. It says that we are all spreading our leaves to the light from one sun, and must grow from where we are.

The Druidry which I practice – strive to practice – celebrates life and physicality, seasons and elements, sacred energies and natural cycles.

Sources: I couldn’t have written this post if I hadn’t read Isaac Bonewits’s Essential Guide to Druidism, Ronald Hutton’s The Druids: A History, or Ross Nichol’s The Book of Druidry among other things.

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