Druidry and the Druids
Today our biggest problem is that we have separated ourselves from Nature. We need philosophies, spiritualities, ideas, that can help us get back in touch with Nature again. Druidry is one such Spirituality.
The seven gifts of Druidry:
The first is a philosophy...which emphasizes the sacredness of all life, and our part in the web of creation.
The second gift puts us back in touch with Nature. Eight seasonal celebrations help us attune to the natural cycle, and help us structure our lives through the year, and to develop a sense of community with all living beings.
The third gift brings healing...with spiritual practices that promote healing and rejuvenation using spiritual and physical methods in a holistic way to promote health and longevity.
The fourth gift affirms our life as a journey...with rites of passage for the blessing and naming of children, for marriage, for death, and for other times of initiation.
The fifth gift opens us up to other realities...with techniques for exploring states of consciousness, other realities, the Other-world; all grounded in specifically Celtic and Druidic imagery and tradition.
The sixth gift develops our potential...it is a path of self development that encourages our creative potential, out psychic and intuitive abilities, and fosters out intellectual and spiritual growth.
The seventh gift of Druidry is that of Magic...it teaches the art of bringing ideas into manifestation, the art of of discovering and then nurturing, and learning how to use the power of spiritual inspiration known as Awen in Druidry.
Druidry and Druids: The Druids are known throughout history as the Philosophers of both natural and moral philosophy, and men and women who knew the secrets of nature and of the cosmos. This philosophy was a spiritual practice, that was rooted in a love for the land, through ceremony and ritual, and creativity, which took in many different forms. Today, we see that the revival of Druidry in the West, is largely a response to the on-going ecological crisis, which Mother Nature and the Earth is currently undergoing, due to the speed at which the world is developing, and as a result of this, human-kinds disconnection from the natural world.
The foundation for the love and stewardship of the land by the Druids, is seen in an ocean of Spirit, which spans throughout the cosmos and includes a celebration of the eight seasonal festivals, as seen in the Ancient Celtic Calendar, which are the Winter and Summer Solstice's, the Spring and Autumn Equinox's and four fire festivals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain and Lughnasadh.
Druids from ancient times, believed that the Sun was the Grandfather of the cosmos, that the Earth was the Grandmother and that Mother Nature was their Daughter; from which all life forms were born. Druids see the land as their heritage, and as Druids, they believe that their responsibility as guardians of the earth, is to uphold their stewardship of the land, and to fight for Truth, Honor and Justice.
In 1995, a short article titled 'The call of the Future', which was published in the book 'The Druid Renaissance' by Philip Carr-Gomm, the Chief of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, Philip stated the following:: Most people think that Druidry is something that existed in the distant past, and that, in more recent times, some people have tried to re-create it from the scattered remnants that we have inherited. But if we believe in the spiritual world, then we will also believe that the source of any spiritual tradition lies in that world, rather than in the physical world of effects. And if Druidry's source is in Spirit, and not in a lost Past, then we can free ourselves from a concern about the origins of our tradition moving ever further away from us as each day passes.
Freed also from the preoccupation of previous generations to establish 'authenticity' (which generated such bad history) we can come to appreciate the subtler, more complex facts of our inheritance, whilst at the same time responding to a Call from Spirit and from the Future which urges us to develop a Druidry that can help us to live more profoundly and more joyfully in the world today. As we develop more honesty and rigor in attempting to understand our own lives, we undertake a journey that hopefully leads us closer to a more authentic sense of self and, at the same time, closer to our Intuition; to our Soul.
A brief outline below, describes the training of a Druid, there are three grades, which the neophyte undertakes.
The Bards. The Bards are the shaman poets, story tellers, musicians, singers and rune-singers, who opened up the doors to the realm of spirit through the 'Arts', and power of the spoken word in order to gain inspiration and wisdom. They used what is called the 'Awen' (when spoken towards the sun or in a sacred place it is heard as: aaaaaaawwwwwweeeeeennnnnn), which means simply, an invocation to the spirit of 'Inspiration'. Part of the Bardic training includes a study of the five elements, and alchemy. The Awen symbol is at the top of the page, seen as three rays of descending light in a circle. The three rays of light represent the three aspects of deity: truth, beauty and love, and the circle, is representing the cosmos.
The Ovates: The Ovates are the Shamans, Healers and Magicians, who, after their Bardic training, are skilled in opening up the different doorways in the cosmos. They are quite often sent on what can be termed as 'The Hero's Journey', in order to learn about the mysteries that lie beyond the physical world, and to gain information, particularly about death and dying. The Ovates also become knowledgeable in herb law, healing, divination, magic, and working with the spirits of nature (particularly trees), and the animal kingdom.
The Druids. The Druids in ancient times were the Philosophers, the Politicians, and Law givers. In contrast, modern day Druids, quite often, undertake community projects, which are to protect the environment, speaking as a voice for Mother Earth. Such projects as planting trees, opposing government plans to build roadways through ancient countryside, or sacred places of worship, and working within the teaching profession; they become actors and actresses, and are quite often skilled in alternative and complementary medicine/therapies.
The Druid philosophy and teachings are about restoring spiritual dignity with regard to ones physical being, and to bring forth ancient instructions, which show how our sexuality and physiology relate to spirituality.
Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Druidry, can view the Home Page of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids at: www.druidry.org The order runs correspondence courses through the three grades, for people who would like to undertake the training, which is incredibly rewarding. This is also done with the help of a personal tutor.
House Blessing and Consecration. Details to follow.
The Awen symbol, representing the three aspects of Deity in a circle, Truth Beauty and Love.