"What is Druidry?" Members offer their views.

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Alferian
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"What is Druidry?" Members offer their views.

Postby Alferian » 06 Aug 2003, 06:18

I'm going to restart this topic and hope that Danu will step in to make it a sticky, since I can't. I'm hoping that this, and everyone elses replies, can stand out here for those who wander into this forum and want an answer to the question posed.

Nagged by the question: how do you define Druidry to someone who asks you, I returned to Philip Carr-Gomm's book "The Elements of the Druid Tradition." I think, if I recall, this has been reprinted with a slightly different title. Nevertheless, there's no simple definition in Philip's book either and, in fact, he points out that one of the first exercises in the gwersi of the OBOD is to ask the student-bard to free-associate with the word "Druid" in order to answer the question "what is a Druid?"

First of all I came up with a series of points that I elaborated as teachings of modern Druidry more-or-less in the OBOD school. Then I tried to distill it down to a sentence or two.

Here's the long bit....

Druidry teaches...

1) A history of the ancient druids as we can reconstruct it conjecturally from literary and archeological evidence. This includes the history of Irish druidry surviving into the 5th century, the probable persistence of druidic teachings through the time in which it was officially supressed and suplanted by Christianity, and finally druidry's re-emergence in the 18th century. The Druid Revival has continued through various orders, and (as Philip suggests himself) through families and groups who have remained secret. The public face of druidry lies mostly in the druid orders which share much history with modern witchcraft, ceremonial magic, and freemasonry. The reconstruction goes on currently with modern druid groups seeking to adapt to a changing scholarly picture of the Celts and the druids. The adaptation, moreover, includes adapting to modern society, its values, crises, and concerns, particularly environmentalism as a movement.

2) Awen. Druidry teaches that inspiration is paramount. Similar in some ways to the early Christian idea of Gnosis, Awen is the spontaneous emergence of vision and communion with the supernal world of the divine. Individual inspriation may be evaluated in relationship to traditions and to the present values of a community, but in general one person's experience of Awen is not to be considered "more true" than anyone else's, any more than one person's dreams are considered "more true" than anyone else's. The Bardic grade and the druid-bard focusses on the development of her own creativity and inspiration. This teaching is fundamental because it describes a way of living in the world with what William Blake called "four-fold vision" seeing through not only the material eye but also the imagination. The poet alters our perception of reality and the world with image and metaphor. The druid mage does likewise through ritual and spell. But the key is learning to use the imagination's eye, not words alone, as positivist science attempts to do by defining, classifying, and seeking material causes.

3) Love of Nature. Druidry teaches a way of life that embraces and loves the non-human world as much as the human world. The old druidry of legend strikes a chord with those people in the modern world seeking a spiritual path grounded in Nature. Such a path is not that of Christianity, which privileges human beings over all others and the spirit over the body. Nor is is the path of secular materialism based in the Cartesian notion tht the non-human world can be reduced to inanimate mechanisms. Druidry is fundamentally a relationship to the natural world of animals, trees, plants, sea, star, and stone. It cultivates awe and a sense of the numinous in the light of the sun and moon, and the invisible rush of the wind. It acknowledges spirit in all things, not just in human beings, and finds intelligence and wisdom in all creatures. In this respect, it is in accord with much of modern science but goes beyond biology to find life and communion in stones, rivers, and stars -- things science tends to consider "inanimate" and without intelligence.

4) Spirit. The "invisible" world of spirit is embraced as part of nature, not as "supernatural." As in most animisitc cultures and modern esoteric systems, Druidry teaches that there is a world of powers and forms tht cannot be reduced to the positivist-materialist pradigm. it is the work of the druid-bard to express metaphors and imaginings that can in some way offer glimpses of this Otherworld dimension of the Universe. it is the particular work of the ovate-druid to bridge that perceptual gap between the material eye and the eye of divine imagination, the mundane world of survival and the spiritual world of possibility.

5) Sacred Space and Sacred Place. All things are sacred for the druid. Whether this is how the ancient druids thought, we don't really know, but we do see this attitude of reverence in the tribal cultures of other oral cultures such as those of North America and Australia. This includes an understanding of sacred places where spirtual power is very great. Places are valued as inwoven with story and meaning. Place and Time are merged into one concept:. Time is embeded in place: the stone circles that mark the movements of sun and moon, the places where important unique events took place. Ovate druids particularly are taught to cast off the shackles of the abstract notions of Time and Space as separable, notions promulgated by philosphers from Euclid and Descartes to Newton.

6) Reincarnation and Cyclic Time. By contrast to the Newtonian ideas of separate and absolute space and time, Druidry, like many oral cultures, teaches that our close relationship to nature is rooted in the observance and understanding of time as a cycle of seasons, of solar and lunar movements, and a cycle of birth, growth, decay, and death in the natural world as well as in human lives. Along with modern witchcraft, Druidry celebrates eight festivals that mark the natural cycles of change: the solstices and equinoxes, and the four cross-quarter festivals associated with the agricultural cycle of planting and harvest. Such a view of time predates the notion of linear time promulgated by the hebrew and Greek cultures as they adopted alphabetic literacy and a new sense of abstract "historical" time. This idea of linear time extending infinitely forward and backward along a chronology is so ingrained in Western culture that it is difficult to understand any other view of time. But there is evidence that non-literate, oral cultures preserve a unified conception of space-time in which events are not abstracted from the land in which they take place. Events are not accorded "universal" significance, nor are they seen as a manifestationof a universal "Divine Providence." The cyclic view of space-time sees the concept of time on ly in relaton to natural occurances. Within this context of seasons of growth and decay, the supposedly "unique" historical events such as wars, disasters, and political leaders can be understood as recurrent, if somewhat more chaotic, phenomena. Similarly, the cyclic view of space-time accords with a cyclic view of death and rebirth wherein spirits are continually merged back into the humus and reborn in the threes adn animals, and other human forms. This cycle of creativity has no beginning and no end. The emphasis in Druidry is in the here-and-now.

7) Gods and Goddesses. One of the ways in which Druidry differs from modern Wiccan witchcraft is that it does not posit a dual theology of one god and one goddess. Indeed it doesn't posit any single theology at all. Gods and goddesses are treated as heoroes of story and the spriits of place -- of river, rock, well, and tree -- are just as divine as any pantheon of archetypal characters corresponding to social roles or crafts. The Celtic gods and goddesses, such as Lugh, Brigit, Dagda, Boann, Cernunnos, Hu, Taranis, Ogma, Angus Og, Cerridwen, and Arianrhod (among others) are sometimes characters of legend, and sometimes spirits of place. In the case of Lugh and Brigit, these are spirits of knowledge and craft and healing.

There is no simple pantheon and modern Druidry often embraces deities and stories from diverse other pantheons, recognizing the power of myth across cultures. Some modern druids are Celtic reconstructionists, some are pantheists, some are syncretists drawing on Native American or Asian philosophies and deities. I venture to say, however, that most if not all Druids recognize and revere the spirits of the trees, animals, and wilderness places.

8) Ancestors. Druidry's attitude toward time and reincarnation leads to a reverence for ancestors and their accumulated wisdom. The Ancestors of body and spirit persist. They are not buried and forgotten. The belief in transmigration of souls, held by most but not all modern druids, implies that our ancestors may take up new lives in any form, thus further sacralizing all forms of existence. The ovate-druid also is taught to engage the Ancestors and transcend the artifice of linear time.

9) Magic. Though mystical communion, visions, and communication with spirits of nature and the Ancestors are often more central to druid practice than spell-casting, there is nevertheless a history of druid spells and illusions. Magic is generally acknowledge as real and consist of the use of imagination to change the world according to the druid's will. Druid magic tends to be more in accord with nature and nature spirits, rather than with demons or angels, as in the traditons of magic derived from medieaval Christian models. Like Wiccan witchcraft, druidry looks to herbalism for magic and healing, and seeks to work with spirits of all kinds to heal the wounds of the world. The teaching that the supernal world influences and informs the material world is one druidry shares with many modern esoteric schools. Another way of putting it,however, is that the "supernal" dimension lies within the reality of the material world, rather than in some way "beyond" it.

10) Divination, Augury and Healing. In keeping with the above, Druidry teaches that the fabric of spiritual causation and connection can be glimpsed through the use of oracles and various methods of divining from the natural world, such as clouds and the flight of birds or their calls. Divination and augury are the special areas of the ovate druid, just as are healing. In all these cases it is the flow of energies between dimensions that concerns the ovate in this role as shaman bridging the worlds. Ogham, the special tree-signs of Ireland are studied by modern druids for their esoteric uses in divination and meditation. Herbal medicine is central to druid healing, but many modern druids are also interested in Eastern modalities employing life energies (Qi or prana).

11) Ethics. From all this extends an ethics which respects all creatures, values peace and harmony among peoples, tolerates diversity of belief and opinion regarding the spirit world, and yet values justice and law to protect those who might otherwise be exploited and harmed. In modern terms Druidry is most compatible with environmental responsibility and sustainable living. However, many druids to not carry the preference for peace to include non-violence. In ancient druidry the use of violence was the business of the warrior caste, and the druids' main job was to temper this impetuosity with reason and prudence.


That's the long bit, and if you waded through it, you win three nights, all-expenses-paid in the skin of a white bull.

The shorter version, which is much more difficult to articulate in a satisfying way is this:

Druidry is a way of life based in reverence for and communion with nature. It teaches that spirits and intelligence exist everywhere in nature, in animals, trees, stars, and sacred places. It reveres ancestors and the divine imagination, which is to say the individual experience of the divine. Its ethics respect all creatures and value peaceful co-existence, sustainable living, and ecological responsibility.


Shorter still, for cocktail parties:

Druidry is a nature religion of white-robed tree-huggers who like to drink mead.

By sea and star,

Alferian /|\

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Postby Ravensdaughter » 06 Aug 2003, 06:55

Alferian, you have done a terrific job of beginning definitions of Druidry. I say beginning because I would add this to what you said: (And please keep in mind that this represents only *my* ideas about Druidry.)

I am in the Bardic grade and one of the things I have found, among many, is that Druidry encourages full development of individuality IN THE CONTEXT of community. This, for me, is very important, since one's experiences can never be exactly the same as another's, yet the need for connection, communication and mutuality are very strong in most folk.

Also, creativity and intelligence, of all kinds and in all ways, are integral aspects, as I understand Druidry.

I have also found that, even though there are certain basic ideas that, for the most part, we all adhere to, there is plenty of room for experimentation, exploration and expression of ideas that may be very different. This inclusiveness within a larger community is a tremendous gift.

A specific example of a teaching that exemplifies this is how the Elements are experienced. On the one hand, the elements are experienced as physical expressions of the world. Taken to a deeper level, one begins to understand the intimate relationships between the many aspects of one's own Being, as represented by the Elements. I cannot know this as you can, since I am not you, yet if I speak to you of the movement of Water through Earth in my life there is a decent chance that you will understand at least some of what I am trying to say. The experience is mine...the expression is communal.

I have always deeply felt that I am part of the Great Web of Being. In Druidry I have a way to express that and am challenged to find new ways of understanding it. My nature and the natures of the Universes and All That Is are in constant communion, never separate, always individual.

For me, Druidry is both a philosophy and a spiritual way of life.

Peace and Bright Blessings,
Samantha Ravensdaughter

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Alferian
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Postby Alferian » 06 Aug 2003, 15:41

That's great, Samantha, and I agree entirely. As OBOD teaches, Druidry is very inclusive and respects the inner work of each member of the order. We share these inner experiences in community and so gain wisdom together. Very important point! Your mention of the study of the Elements is also central to Druidry, which I neglected to mention -- it's so second-nature now! :) But this is a key set of concepts linking the inner and outer worlds to break down the artificial divisions between "inner" and "outer."

In the community of the Druid Grove!


Alferian

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Postby Alferian » 07 Aug 2003, 02:35

Thanks everyone for the additons and comments. I don't think that my outline represents an official OBOD position or definition. A lot of it reflects my own reading and thinking and I shouldn't in any case want it to sit out there like some sort of credo. I would just let folks wrestle with defining the term and see where it goes. Beith, I'd like to hear your take on Druidry from the standpoint of a Druid outside of the OBOD. And I hope others too will add to it, just to put different attempts out there, not to carry on a debate (the debating can continue on other threads about narrower issues).

Beith, the bit about Christianity's priviledging of humans over other species doesn't strike me as particularly inflammatory and I only single out Christianity because it underlies so much of European philosophy and culture in the time since the Druids of old. Christianity has been influential in many positive ways too, but Augustine, along with Descartes and Newton are part of a cultural development that has turned Nature into mere machinery, lifeless, soulless and therefore exploitable. Part of the work of modern Druids, it seems to me, is to call people's attention to the way their cultural assumptions have been historically constructed.

I appreciate the difficulty of young seekers trying to talk over philosophy with their Christian parents (I've been there). But it is, alas, some Christians (not all) who insist on considering anyone who disagrees with them "adversaries" ("If you're not with us, your against us") One of the things that Druidry as a "pagan" movement has going for it, as compared with a lot of Wiccans, for example, (again, not all) is that it does not set itself up as a rejection of Christianity or Patriarchy, but offers alternative ways of viewing the world.

-- Alferian

(P.S. -- sorry for not proofreading the original post better!)

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Postby Beith » 07 Aug 2003, 19:46

Grin! Gwydion!

I suggest we move all his posts to the shadowy 'under the stairs' at "The Foggy Duck"! ....and we all know what goes on there, don't we?!!

grinning mischievously!

Beith

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Postby Ailim » 09 Aug 2003, 23:38

Honesty? Good question :)

Is honesty the same as being truthful, or is one the physical side of the other?

My pocket dictionary says:

honest fair and sincere in character or behaviour, free of deceit or untruthfulness; fairly earned an honest living; (of action etc.) sincere but undistinguished.

honesty being honest; truthfulness.

truthful habitually speaking the truth.

So therefore, in my view, if someone is truthful, it means that they speak the truth, do not lie nor deceive. If they are honest, it means that they can be trusted, they won't steal nor gain from you by deception.

However, there are times when telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, can land you into very hot water. How do you tell your friend that she looks awful in her new dress? Do you tell her the truth - and hurt her feelings. Or do you tell a lie, and let her look a mess? Or do you use diplomacy and persuade her to change it :)

I believe that druids, regardless of where they gain their knowledge or training, should be honest and truthful, and use their words wisely as they know that a mis-spoken word can cut far deeper than the sharpest sword, and take longer to heal.
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Postby pobble » 09 Aug 2003, 23:57

For me, Druidry is strengthening my need to be true to myself, emotionally true, which is basically free from the negative effects of fear. Not free from fear, incidentally.

No, I'm not free from them yet. Probably never will be, because it is so difficult. But what a path to tread! Every step yields more wisdom.

Daniel

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Truth and Honesty

Postby Alferian » 10 Aug 2003, 01:01

Samantha,

A very good bit that I think I left out. OBOD puts a great deal of emphasis on Truth as a Druid virtue. I think this means not misrepresenting yourself outwardly in the ordinary sense, and also being inwardly true to yourself as Pobble says. We can lie to others, and we can lie to ourselves. And if it isn't a conscious "lie" it might be self delusion. i think in the world of esoteric orders there is a great deal of temptation to represent oneself as more than one is. To cast around titles, pedigrees, multiple initiations, etc. It's a normal human behavior -- kind of like cats who puff themselves up to look bigger than they are when confronted with scary strangers.

I don't pretend, myself, to always scrupulously tell the truth, but I do think that it is a worthy goal. Probably, like most virtues, not perfectly attainable. I've just been reading Evangeline Walton's beautiful novelization of the second branch of the Mabinogion "The Sons of Llyr." There were twins, you may recall, named Nissyen and Evnissyen. The first was a peacemaker and always spoke the truth. His twin always stirred up trouble and twisted the truth. Walton presents Evnissyen with some considerable modern psychological savvy. Before we can tell the truth, we have to deal with our own inner baggage and those odd complexes that may warp our judgement.

I think that "honesty" is a good word for the Druid idea of Truth in the OBOD tradition. It isn't so much about teaching or learning some "absolute truth" or religious revelation, or accepting "the one true God" -- it's about learning to see when things ring true or ring false, to see the possibility of deception, but to also understand the goodness and truth inherent in such things as ritual drama or Bardic storytelling, which are not to be taken as "literal" truths. We need to suspend our disbelief at times to embrace the inner truth of myth and the symbolic trappings of magic or ritual. In other words, I feel it is an important part of knowing and seeking Truth to understand fiction -- whether that be to teach, to entertain, or to manipulate as propaganda or advertising. Language is itself a kind of lie, a convenient fiction. It is by how we choose to use language that we can measure our ethical character.

In the Truth of the Grove,

Alferian /|\

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Postby Ravensdaughter » 10 Aug 2003, 18:33

Just sort of free associating about honesty and ethics, here.

It seems to me that both ethics and honesty require information, and we gather information in many ways. The more information we have, and the better quality, the better able we are to develop an ethical standard for ourselves that actually works in the real worlds. The same is true of honesty.

This brings me to the idea that, as a culture (or set of cultures), we are actively discouraged from using information that is gathered outside of a narrowly defined "acceptable" sphere.

Maybe we should be looking at redefining information and the methods for gathering it. Is emotional information valid? How about intuitive or psychic information? If Druidry is, in part, about the balancing of all elements to create a dynamic whole, doesn't that also mean learning to reconnect with the more ephemeral means of knowing and gathering information and combining them with the "acceptable" means we now use? If we are not utilizing, to the best of our abilities, our full capacities in this regard, can we be truly honest?

I realize that what I am suggesting is a process, not a goal. But perhaps the development of ethics and honesty is a process that we are only partially aware of.

The more aware we are, the more connected we are with our whole Selves, the more ethical and honest we are capable of being. It seems fair to say that one definition of Druidry, then, is the development of and reconnection with the many ways of knowing and gathering information so that we are better able to create ethics and honesty that reflect a more awake and aware picture of the world.

Better living through better information gathering and connection. Woo!

Peace and Bright Blessings,
Samantha Ravensdaughter :peace: :loony:

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Postby Alferian » 10 Aug 2003, 20:00

Maybe we should be looking at redefining information and the methods for gathering it. Is emotional information valid? How about intuitive or psychic information? If Druidry is, in part, about the balancing of all elements to create a dynamic whole, doesn't that also mean learning to reconnect with the more ephemeral means of knowing and gathering information and combining them with the "acceptable" means we now use?
Hi Samantha,

I agree that Druidry does respect more than the kind of positivism embraced by the dominant culture of science. Awen is, after all, inspiration. But at the same time, it's a very difficult thing to judge someone else's inspiration, and I am very uncomfortable around people who claim to have divine inspiration to justify their wars and tax cuts. I think you are right that modern Druidry needs some way to judge such "alternative" forms of knowing. And it needs guidelines of some sort about how one should not confuse one's own revelations and little voices with the kind of truth we honor as a society. I would hate for Druids to have no better ethical attitude toward inner knowledge than is usually expressed by the dominant religions, one which rejects all inspiration unless it happens to confirm some sort of dogma or political agenda.

Right now Druidry, for the most part, eschews orthodoxy. OBOD's approach is very open and encourages individual vision and practice. From what I understand of ADF in the States, their desire is to create an ordained Druid ministry or clergy that are credentialled professionals. It's an interesting idea, but I wonder how that can be done while maintaining the balance of openness to individual Awen or Gnosis. I think they do keep that balance. Anyone else reading this who is more familiar with ADF?

Another group that you should check out, if you haven't done, is The Order of Whiteoak, which expressly is dedicated to discussing ethics from a Druid perspective, drawing on the old myths and legends wherever possible.

-- A.

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Postby Loosh » 10 Aug 2003, 20:31

Samantha, et.al.:
I feel I can share a perspective on the "information" angle here. In the cyberworld information is made up of "data", this information leads to knowledge which in turn flows into wisdom. When the data gets "cooked" or slanted the information is bad. (So, I am reminded of the elephant being examined by blindfolded persons.) :???:

Consider that some people (muggles, in HP language) do not have a certain kind of data available to them. Their information is incomplete. "For now we see through a glass darkly." (A biblical reference, please forgive) Some are eager to Judge before the data gets processed into wisdom!! And then <sigh> what data do they have? I try to keep an open mind. Sometimes I get boxed-in in my thinking and a new breeze can be refreshing! That's why I'm here! :D

I forgot where I was going with this. More data! A nice open-structure like Barddas is good! :grin:
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Search for truthI think this speaks well to the question

Postby Merlyn » 10 Aug 2003, 20:37

Greetings Samantha Ravensdaughter


Grant, O God and Goddess, thy Protection
And in protection, Strength
And in strength, Understanding
And in understanding, Knowledge
And in knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice
And in the Knowledge of Justice, the love of it
And in the love of it, the Love of all Existences
And in the Love of all existences,
the Love of God and Goddess and all goodness.


I think the "Druid Prayer speaks to the kind of truth a Druid embraces. It is a truth of many colors or realms. Not just "telling the truth" but understanding the truth. It then would be by this deep understanding of justice; Knowledge, Love, strength and understanding we then aspire to the truth. Rather than the other way around.
Good topic, by the way, I think it speaks to many other heart felt and hard decisions we make in Druidry.


Merlyn :o
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Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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Postby zamolxis » 10 Aug 2003, 21:18

Hello Alferian and all!
Great job!
I will come with another aproach though.
It is known that letters represent sounds.Sounds are taken from nature(the sound of waves,a bird song) or from activities involving creating with nature(make a fire ,cut a wood,hit a stone).From these first sounds that impressed humans the most emerged a primitive vocabular wich denoted the most simple ideas wich are images after all.
There is a system coming form the works of the ancients that makes that connection between letter-sound-source image-source activity for the greek language wich I adopted for romanian and it works and somehow it makes sense in english too.
It is basic and good luck fact that greek is a very ancient language.
I would be glad if one day obodies who are interested could work this system and adopt it and enrich it in their languages.
So,by this code Druidry meaning in greek first of all 'the way of the oakman',druid meaning 'oakman',it would have the following meanings:
y=liquid form of energy(in a cup)
r=flow
d=nature
i=power
u=seeing energy
r=flow
D=power of nature
In a first clumsy aproach I would put it as the accumulation or reception of the flow of power of nature and its vision.The duplication in meanings enhaces their power.
It is interesting to apply this code on the grades and those who are higher in rank than me bard in training could find or not if it suits them.
Bard:
d=nature,power
r=flow
a=concentration
B=the blow of wind,the Word
In my own aproach :the power to concentrate(on,if you like)the flow of the Word in nature.It makes sense to me!
Ovate:
e=the ancient
t=mastering(of)arts
a=accumulation,concentration
v=wind,mountain ,the word
O=the concrete ,the visible
My interpretation:To see the gathering of the Word by mastering the ancient arts.You tell me!
Druid:
d=power of nature
i=powerful
u=energy in cup(awen?)
r=flow
D=power of Nature
So:Druid is enclosed by power of nature ,is one who became part of it or is deeply connected to it,and is him(ok her too)self powerfulby the flow of the distilled energy...
I am aware that this code needs work ,team work ,adaptations and enrichment.I presented some elementary
interpretations.
I hope I didnot disturb you and the very good level of the topic till now.
I hope for understanding and cooperation maybe...
Love to all
Zamolxis

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Postby Loosh » 10 Aug 2003, 21:45

Zamolxis:
How does the entire alphabet translate? This looking interesting.
:-D
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Postby chalcedoni » 11 Aug 2003, 01:48

oh, my!

there's certainly a lot of intellect and well thought out reasoning in all these previous posts. i am grateful for that, so that any parent who may come looking to decipher what their children are learning will have ample mileage to study. i have been so overwhelmed that i had to copy several posts to tag in me journal. still, i thought i might add me own ha' penney's worth to the thread.

i did not choose druidry. it chose me, and in a dramatic way. so i set about exploring the path that would now be mine. i had excellent guidance along the way: me druid friend david (who i used to make fun of, teasingly, for his beliefs) who lives on a remote island in the pacific; cabe (father oak); and alferian. in that order. all were of completely different druidic philosophies. yet all helped form me own take on druidry.

for me, druidry is a sacred connectedness to the ancestors, the dieties, and the elements, forming the four corners (or wards, if you will) of protection for all of nature, the sidhe, and the future. that being said, it is also a druids responsibility to strive to understand all of these things outside the parameters of linnear thinking and time. i believe our very ability to aspect these concepts is dependent upon our ability to fully release that linnear thinking, and grasp the past as the future and the future as the past.

enough from me,
c.

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Postby Ravensdaughter » 11 Aug 2003, 06:45

But at the same time, it's a very difficult thing to judge someone else's inspiration, and I am very uncomfortable around people who claim to have divine inspiration to justify their wars and tax cuts.
Good point, Alferian. Perhaps the only way to judge another's inspiration is by paying attentiong to actions and to whether the words match the actions. This is part of critical thinking - something that has gotten short shrift in this culture.

When I talk about the more ephemeral, inspirational means of getting information I am in no way advocating abandoning common sense, the intellect and observation. Quite the contrary! I am talking about an ethic that embraces and balances ALL ways of gathering information.
Right now Druidry, for the most part, eschews orthodoxy. OBOD's approach is very open and encourages individual vision and practice
An approach I heartily agree with, Alferian. By eschewing orthodoxy, OBOD actually opens up the possibilties in developing communication and information gathering skills that have been suppressed. Also, and this is a point I am in total agreement with, it allows and encourages the growth of ethical standards based on real experience in the worlds, both inner and outer. This will result in different people having different ethicical standards.

I do think it is important to have a guideline for judging the ethics of another. And I think that guideline should be a simple one...no books of rules and regs...:):)

For myself, I judge based on whether people and/or other aspects of the natural world are harmed by one's actions. Needlessly harmed.

Merlyn, you are correct. The Druid's prayer DOES address the many colors and rhythms of Truth and Honesty...precisely because it will be felt and interpreted in different ways by different people. And therein lies the Beauty.

zamolxis, this is VERy interesting! Please give us more! How did you come by this?

Peace and Bright Blessings,
Samantha Ravensdaughter

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Postby Merlyn » 11 Aug 2003, 14:00

Hi Samantha Ravensdaughter,
By seeking truth in all realms we get a very good view of our own truth and reality. In "all existences" we become less critical and more open to the truth of others. But in the same way we more clearly see when things are not true, simply when they do not flow and react like a "truth".
I think.. :-)
Merlyn
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Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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Postby Karen » 11 Aug 2003, 14:49

Hey Merlyn, thanks for quoting the prayer! I would have done it myself if you hadn't got there first!! I'm guessing I may have stirred something over the last couple of days :wink: !
I believe the Prayer holds the central keys of development for me. The recitation of it states my aim and outlines my path, as a very good reminder as to what it is that I wish to stay true to in my spirit, such is the Power of the word to keep me centred. This outer reminder keeps me aware of my innermost direction.
It is interesting what is said about truth, for I actually add it onto the end of the Prayer for myself, sometimes even replacing the word Goodness with it, as I believe Truth to a certain degree supercedes the polarities posed by 'good' and 'bad'.

Here's a quote on truth that sums it up for me:

"No one in the world can change truth. What we can and should do is to seek truth and serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is within. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of the extermination camps, two irreconcilable enemies lie in the depths of every soul. And of what use are victories on the battlefield if we are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kobe

That strikes me as a statement which seems to hold at its centre much of what I feel the OBOD Course has at its core, and much of which I have read about the spiritual journeys explored here over the last two years or so I've been posting. That would be the foundation that leads to knowledge being used wisely, the ability to see things as they are beyond the perceptions we apply. (I may never shed those but at least I shall know that they exist and what they look like.)

Also, I'll mention now the Druid Vow.

"We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand,
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this, our sacred vow."

To stand by peace and love is something I try to do every day. The prayer and vow is my spiritual expression and path throughout my day. It is so important to me. The second lineof the vow speaks of unity, community, individual hearts coming together not just in the druid community but globally, and that someone else's heart in always connected with yours. Samantha Ravensdaughter expressed my personal central tenet of the interconnectedness of all things and this vow holds that for me, as well as the prayer.

But more than this, in druidry, I am not seeking to become something I'm not, to become some desired-for image for myself. In druidry, I am becoming what I am. Maybe this is why druids are united in OBOD and yet so diverse.

:D
Karen
Last edited by Karen on 11 Aug 2003, 18:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Druid Prayer

Postby Merlyn » 11 Aug 2003, 15:13

"We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand in hand,
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this, our sacred vow."

Hi Karen,
I have found the "Druid Prayer" to be a great focus for each day. I have carefully prepared it in a nice format for formal display at my bedroom Altar. It is a good focus right before using an oracle or other divining method as well. Blessed be to you all, as I take the Druid initiation rite tomorrow. I am graced by my woman Suzi, a practiced circle worker of American Indian shamanism, and thus a wonderful healer. She will be my Indian goddess (Druidress) for the rite. My last OBOD tutor was also an American Indian Shaman, so I feel very comfortable with this, as the land I live in is the land of their spirits.



Blessed be
Merlyn :)
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Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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Postby Loosh » 11 Aug 2003, 18:30

Merlyn, Karen, and all:
I will use this prayer for my full moon meditation this evening! Thank you very very much! :-D
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