Druid’s way

Druidry

Druidry is not something in isolation of the whole universal way of being. It is not a prescribed religion with rules and texts, it is a free-flowing way of being in touch with yourself and the world carried in every day through engagement with awen inspiration. It is a spiritual practice, every day engagement with this world and everything in it. It is walking the earth in a way beneficial to the whole and the truth of nature.

These words summarise Druid’s way of living for me:

Honour, truth, integrity, listening and seeing, creativity, inspiration, healing, guiding, nature’s cycles, light and dark, seasons, stories, songs, rituals, everyday engagement, connection, involvement, wonder, enchantment, walking the land, magic in everything, leading, being with darkness, humanity, humility, authenticity, delight, spirit, community, joy, trees, nature deities, celebration, shamanic, otherworldly, sacred groves, ancestors, philosophy, seer, peaceful, humble, being with, voice, simple living, barefoot walking, tree talking, making a difference, understanding, seeing others, looking within, animist, standing stones, energy work, embodying, divine within and without, earthly living, participation, grounding

Having experienced some inner storms this week I looked within for what was needed and once I picked up a book on Druidry I settled into a space of peace and comfort. Another’s words on pages spoke to a part of me that is peaceful, content and in touch with meaning. I felt myself relax and calmed into a way of seeing things for what they are with speaking my truth at the heart of it. I find often I need to continue reading the words of the wise to stay connected with the part of myself that knows, feels and understands the ways of Awen, the inspiration of life with all its joys and struggles. I fall down and rise up again every time even though it always feels impossible, but it comes about just like a rain stops and sunshine graces the land once again.

Last night I was pulled into the stunning rainy landscape. I kicked my shoes off and stepped onto wet grass soft and glorious. Walking the earth connects me to the very essence of myself and to the centre of the whole. It feels containing as if the land is there to listen, understand and be with me. I feel all tension seep through my toes into the earth and on the in-breath I bring a renewed, fresh energy up into my body again. Roses in this garden smell incredible. It reminds me of home, my mother, the land of my birth and for a moment I am lost in a space of spirit so present my heart begins to ache with joy once again.

I am continuing to learn and make a practice for myself that serves the purpose of for myself and the whole. A practice that is authentic and in connection with everything that has meaning to me. I feel grateful once again for being shown a way as my chest relaxes in an outer breath and releasing all tension.

 

Druid path exploration begins

druidawen

Sadness rose within me and took me by surprise as I was reading words on a page. I felt tears coming up to the surface and my chest froze in deep sorrow. Anger and bitter disappointment followed the waves of deep mourning inside and I felt like abandoning the whole idea of reading about how Druidry, the ancient religion was overthrown by Christianity. Celts, I felt, didn’t fight hard enough somehow, or at least that’s how it came across in the book I was reading and, perhaps, it is subjective to the writing. Of course, we have little to no evidence of what it was like back in Neolithic times when Druids were practicing their nature laws. Nevertheless the feeling within me could not be ignored. I wept for nature, Earth, people.

What it felt like to me was a siege of something sacred and intuitive with nature, like fire that lived within people’s hearts was extinguished and their will was taken hostage and the earth entrapped in a cage. I also felt enraged at the idea of something being take away from nature, earth and attached to one singular deity where in nature there are so many. The earth is living and breathing, it is not an abstract concept, passive and static, hijacked, as I like to say it. It is described rather than lived every day in all its beauty. This is my experience anyway.

My experience of Yule and Christmas this year, I felt, reflected my feelings towards these two religions. I never experienced this before, which spoke to me of some growth happening within seeking to define a new way for me. There was a huge amount of resistance and dissonance present with Christmas to a point of wanting to completely redefine how I do things going forward. Yule I love very much and that is here to stay. I introduced an element of ‘called travel’ to my celebration this year, i.e. travelling to a sacred place I am called towards during Winter Solstice. I enjoyed that very much.

I began studying Druidry in the last three months, as the calling was becoming louder and signs began to sprout into my consciousness to pick up books and begin delving into exploring Druidic branch of Pagan spirituality. Having been on nature-based path for a few years now I mainly adopted principles of Wicca, working with the elements, herbs, rituals and spells, moon cycles, adopting animist perspective and also creating other rules of my own and ways of doing things that resonated with my soul. I have always been an intuitive witch and pagan rather than a ritualistic practitioner. HERE I write about differences.

Druidry called to me when I began to align with the idea of Living spirituality more and bringing spirit into life, getting actively involved in community work and walking the path as a way of life every day.

The first book I read Ancient Celtic Wisdom for Everyday Life by Sophie Cornish covered Celtic history and Druidic tradition through centuries. I describe my feelings above towards a transition from pagan to christian way of things and the deep sadness that I felt while reading this particular book. It was very strong and for more than a moment I considered whether I should carry on. It had such an effect on me. I did not enjoy this particular book. I felt it lacked passion and warmth and at several points I experienced resistance. However, it gives an account of history one does need to read about when starting out. One thing that did confirm I was somehow on the right track was a sentence within the first pages of the book referring to a link between Celtic culture and Russia. This was the first time I ever came across a sort of evidence in a book that such a link existed and I felt excited.

Here are some points that I liked when reading through the book mentioned above and below. Some of them are already at the centre of my practice:

  • reverence and connection to the land
  • active spirituality, living spirituality
  • relating and communicating with deities and gods of the land
  • the idea of sacred circle, elements, simple way of practicing
  • standing stones relationship
  • trees and herbs
  • spirit grounded and manifested in the land and in earthly life
  • celebrating the wheel of the year
  • a feeling of pride in doing and honour in carrying on an ancient tradition
  • it is easier for others from outside to relate to, e.g. in comparison to witchcraft
  • Awen – I love that there is a word defining spirit
  • Dryad relationship (one of my very early discoveries)
  • Peaceful and light with the Sun at the centre
  • Natural, intuitive magic and way of relating

As I continued reading I felt I would definitely be adding to my already established practice rather than replacing or taking something away. I value my practices and have solidified ways of engaging with this spirituality that I am going to keep.

Redefinition of names stood out for me and what people on this path call themselves. It made me think of my own name, my personal energetic signature and I am curious to explore that further. I noticed some shifts with regards to calling myself or others a Witch. There was definitely a shift in my preference and what it meant. I came up against some resistance and discomfort even. Druid word is not yet definted either and there is more to explore there. It feels very big at the moment. I also considered an idea of not having any label or name and it is certainly a possibility. I am not attaching to a particular way of naming things, it is all about experience, which is at the heart of what I do and how I live my life and my spiritual path.

The next book I read I absolutely loved and I highly recommend it Principles of Druidry by Emma Restall Orr

I started reading Living Druidry by Emma Restall Orr last night by the same author and again I love it so far.

Excited to continue on this journey of discovery

 

Transforming with the cycles of nature

sun

Following the cycles of nature and changing seasons of the year have brought me much awareness of myself, the world around me and how everything can be observed, healed and transformed when one is prepared to ‘stop and stare’ and become one with what is happening at any given moment.

Celebrating festivals of the year has always been at the centre of my nature-based spiritual path. It provided such strong and firm foundation for placing me within the universe and making me feel as one with everyone and everything. It brought me peace. It is the most grounding thing I have ever done. It keeps me in constant observation and analysis of what is essential and what is non-essential, what needs healing and what needs to die. Its focus is always on the balance of things and with the changing temperatures, leaves on trees and colours of the sky one becomes aware of what is out of balance within. It is so clear and so touchingly beautiful when the feeling of yourself as one with nature transforms into an understanding of the deepest psychical workings within myself.

Yesterday, as I was reading a book on Druidry (something I am currently studying) I was struck with something that clicked within. There was a clear moment of something pure, clear and light coming through me. I often get this sensation when something grounds in my awareness and resonates with my soul. This year has been a challenge in every aspect and my seasonal patterns have been reaffirmed to me again, e.g. spring is not a good time for me, filled with emotional pain and rejection, whereas with the coming of autumn all is good again. It is just one example. The biggest pattern that I identified and solidified in my awareness this year is just how much the LIGHT has been missing. I wrote about ‘My light is in the shadow’ HERE.

Well, while reading about Druid philosophy and their strong ties with the Sun and light as opposed to the Moon and darkness, which had been mentioned in several sources I have come across, I realised why Druidry is now presenting itself to me as a chosen path to follow. I need to walk towards the Sun, from within outwards. I am now ready to be in the Light. I am also on a quest to find a Patron God, a masculine deity, which can guide me. I have so far only been working with the feminine deities, although recently I began experiencing for the first time the influence of the male God. On my witchcraft path I have worked and revelled in the darkness, which I strongly resonate with, perhaps, combining it with the lighter brighter Druid Sun workings might bring balance to my practice in an even more profound way. Therefore, my plan is, which I feel a lot of excitement about is to consciously implement and integrate what I have learnt over this year and walk into the next cycle, post Yule and starting with my favourite Imbolc in 2017 focusing on introducing my psyche to the Light and the Sun, learning to love and find joy in it instead of hiding away. One way will be focusing on all those festivals I felt less resonance with previously (it is understandable), like Beltain and Summer Solstice, e.g. and being the ‘summer’. This is truly conscious transformational experience that I now seek for myself and can’t wait to see what transpires. It will be an experiment to see if more balance is actually needed, as it might not be the case at all, which means something else will come forward and allow me to see what is needed. The first step is always becoming aware and the second decide to walk towards something that calls.