I spoke about Druidry at the recent Friends of the Witchcraft Museum day in Boscastle, Cornwall and during the talk I said that I could sum up what Druidry is to me in one word – connection. It sounds so easy now, and it wasn’t always this way – it’s taken me years of commitment and study to reach this place. If I was new to Druidry and I heard someone say that I would probably think that’s all very well, but how?
Like many people I spent years researching the ancient Druids – what they did, how they lived, what evidence there was that I could take inspiration from and bring into my practice, is what I’m doing authentic and can I call in Druidry? All of those things and more. And sometimes I had other people questioning my right to call myself a Druid. Some of us will remember the internet flame war that was the declaration by some that there are no Druids in this modern age. Every time things like this came up I would ask myself the same questions and sometimes I would find shadowy places where there were no honest answers.
I posted a blog recently about my thoughts on the age of modern Paganism, and why it can feel so young, and another about the love of detail. The recent DruidCast podcast featured a conversation between two modern Druid leaders, Philip Carr-Gomm of the OBOD and John Michael Greer of the AODA, and a good deal of their discussion also focussed on authenticity versus validity. It’s obviously something in the air right now, and what I’m hearing time and again is an acceptance. An acceptance that our modern Pagan movement is in its youth – that we are a new people taking inspiration from ancient religions and that we are working with them very much in our own modern ways. An honest acceptance of this throws light into those shadowy places where I couldn’t answer accusations of authenticity because I’m no longer viewing modern Druidry as needing it. It’s a new Druidry for our modern age, and the validity comes from the fact that for thousands of people it works.
What to me is its greatest gift? That word. Connection.
A connection to the land, to each other, to the plants, animals, stones, rivers, seas, mountains, stars, sun and moon. A connection to our ancestors through their stories, poetry, songs and the physical remains they have left us that help us to understand how they lived, who they were. A connection to the Otherworld, to Deity, Faerie, and other realities. To understand that I am a part of all of this, I am one with my brothers and sisters, one with the land, one with Spirit.
To be a part of all that is, was and ever will be.