"What is Druidry?" Members offer their views.

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Breoghan
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Postby Breoghan » 24 Nov 2003, 21:52

Once you're an adult you're responsible for your own learning. University professors don't really teach you anything. They suggest books and journals and then make you write papers where you synthesize what you belive from these sources.

It's the same with Druidry. OBOD provides the gwersi, but you're on your own as far as learning. There are tutors, who will answer questions, and many here will share their thougths if asked. You'll discover a wide range of opinions and beliefs from which to make up your own mind.

Developing critical thinking skills is the first step--not just for Druidry, but for any form of adult learning.

B.

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Postby Breoghan » 24 Nov 2003, 21:56

Your words ring of wisdom Breoghan. I've found that if you tell someone your studying Wicca they either ask if you can cast a spell to turn someone they hate into a Newt, or they back away from you with a look of fear & trepidation in their eyes. If you say your studying Druidry they have a quizzacal look on their face and a reply something like "Well allrighty then . . . "
Thank you, CL. I've been studying Wicca since 1995 and I wear a pentacle. I have discovered it is handy in that I can use it to make certain people run away screaming when they begin to annoy me.

When people ask me stupid questions, I give them "The Look." That usually shuts them up.

B.

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WhiteHawk
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Postby WhiteHawk » 26 Nov 2003, 18:53

I've found over the years that the easiest response to "what's Druidry about?" is the following: "Druidry is about exploring your faith within the natural world."
Similarly "What's a Druid?" - "A Druid is someone who studies their faith within the natural world".

After that it gets a bit more complicated.

Why study, or explore?
what do you mean by faith?
what's meant by 'within'?
why 'the natural world'?

then it gets interesting...

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 26 Nov 2003, 20:32

naughty, naughty... mustn't toy with them like that unless you plan to devour or convert them... :grin:
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Kadipa
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Postby Kadipa » 27 Dec 2003, 10:23

As I am new here, I will try and be brief as possible. I started on the path of the Christian and tried MANY different faiths, followings and paths until I found myself, until recently on the path of the Shaman some 4 years ago. I came to the realization that all of my "hand picked" beliefs, were that OF the Shaman, more specifically, the Hawaiian Shaman. Now I find myself in another interesting 'fork in the road'. I find that everything up until now has lead me here, to you good people, here on THIS path. Between my beliefs, my heritage (Celtic - Finnish), my studies and the description that I read from each and everyone of you, to my choice of divination tools, I find that I have a calling to learn the path of the Ovate and that of the Druid. BUT like so many others here, "where to start?", "What to learn?". Most importantly, What to read? Can anyone help me in this arena?

WELL, it took me some time to get through all of your posts but in the
end, I feel enlightened to your thoughts, understandings, beliefs and practices on Druidry. If I may...?
The love and respect of Gaia, not unlike that of the Shaman and Wiccan beliefs, Understanding of family as well as politics in your own community (and everything in between) as a family therapist with political tendencies, a treater of internal wounds as well as external, like that of a Psychologist with an M.D... ALL while trying to understand him or herself at the very core while making Otherworldly connections and conversations and attaining wisdom in all things. Would that be the BASIC gist of it? Wow, that almost sounds condescending, but please good people, do not take it as such, it is not meant that way. Just trying to speak my unthought out truth.

Kadipa

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 27 Dec 2003, 23:56

Welcome Kadipa
As one of a number of Shamans-in-residence here I think you will find this type of druidry very open and widely embraces diversity since we have not only the official OBOD grades of Bard, Ovate and Druid, but it is home to Shaman with roots beyon native north american ones [my others are Celt], the ones from atheist backgrounds, wiccans who tread a more druidic than strict wiccan style, secular or spiritual humanists, christians or those from that background, buddhist, taoist, pagans, neo-pagans, folks seeking for something to believe in, mystics, healers, some very holy and wise men & women and we all follow a generalized sort of path we call druidry so we have a name to put on our affiliatioin with each other...
blessings, Peter
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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 28 Dec 2003, 18:14

Tou are Kadipa.
Time and your journey will reveal things like what that means or what your role(s) are to be in your journey, which is the point from where you were to wherever you are now, not a means to some 'destination'... there can be many 'destinations' which can change in a breath or a blink into just another stopover on your journey which is life itself.
Like some of us here, myself included at some point you may find yourself remade and walking out of being Kadipa and into another identity if it is given to you. We are all rather ecclectic around here, as I tried to convey in my previous post reply to you. This is not "anything you weant to believe in and then soomething more" board; it is druidry, just that we come from many backgrounds, many previous faith-paths and some approach their druidry with two paths interconnected while others choose this one as enough, though they are always going to be afffected by the one they previously walked.
Like some faith-paths are "people of the book" like the Christians with their bible of 'old' & 'new' testaments, or jews with some of what the christians call the 'old', or muslim with the qu'ran, the upanishads, vedas, and other written texts that lay down the faith path of many religions; In the world of the druid, booksa are for lessons and learning at times and a improvised seat at others because this is a place wherre you will learn to learn to think critically and explore your own mind and the things and forces beyond it. There is magic or if you will, by my tradition, medicine beneath your feet, in the air you breath and in that which is around you, and that is only a small part of the tale.
To your mum or your neighbor you might be ecclectic, but unless you're a total nutter, (which we do have from time to time I will grant you) you will find you are not as ecclectic here as in other places in this world or Other World... If for you, 'ecclectic' means always questioning, always analyzing thoughts and dreams, reading all manner of books, taking bits from every aspect of life, death and realms within and beyond? Then you're not ecclectic, you're on the path we call druidry, whatever way it's expressed in you in particular.
blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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Kadipa
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Postby Kadipa » 29 Dec 2003, 00:47

Thank you Wolfwalker, I have decided to have sent to me, the introductory course from OBOD. In the meantime, I'll be reading my new book, Lore of the Bard.
Thank you all for your time.

Kadipa

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FalconSight
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Postby FalconSight » 05 Jan 2004, 04:10

a pull towards nature, knowledge unobtainable to the closed mind, a thriving need for balance not only with nature but of all variety's, honesty, courage even when u face ur darkest hours, and an unfathomable ability to see the truth no matter how clouded the path may become.......

its so much more but that is it basically, well kinda theres too much to describe, oh and not all druids were bards, the training was fairly different for the most part, although all druids had the basic abilitys of bards, bards were trained in far greater detail, same with ovates, some druids posses limited to no skills of an ovate, but hey whose to judge right. anywho:P everyone here is so diverse, i personally would not travel the OBOD path because i was shown and chose another, its always easier to learn first hand off someone experienced in the arts, besides i enjoy learnin on my own, it makes me an individual uninfluenced by others and able to mold 100% original beliefs, or close enuff to it lol

everyone has a different path, i chose mine due to my opportunites, others will undoubtably choose theres, its the way of the world:)

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 05 Jan 2004, 14:21

S'alright young friend as I follow a shaman path as I was taught by elders in the native community as I began recovering my family roots. As a kid I knew who my grandparents were and mom or dad meentioned their own grandparents in passing and a especially valued uncle or aunt, but little was shared.
As a researcher at university, I began doing historical and geneologic work on old documents. Since there was no legal requirement for the registration of births & deaths in the province prior to our confedderating our country with Canada in 1949, a lot of old records had existed only in a single copy at old missions and churches. Something as simple as a house fire at the minister's house or church building or a ship-wreck that lost the baggage would and could lose a hundred or more years of regional records. My family records prior to confederation were lost in a fire during the time the new laws were coming into effect... when new records had to be mailed into the Department of Vital Statistics, but the old ones had to be laboriously transcribed from the ortiginals to file cards and sent in. The ministers, etc in these places were busy anyway and not remunerated for the extra work, so they did it when they found a moment... yeah, right.
In the fire, about 2 centuries of my family history went up in flames. My mom, in later life after dad had died and so a resource with a great memory gone, mom sat down and wrote down on an exercise book all she could recall in her late 60s. Dad would have possibly had double the amount of information to add to this, but what mom knew of dad's family helped. At the provincial archieves, I dug through centuries old records and found that after the French had ceeded certain areas of the island to the British, the Brits did a survey several years after. Fortunately several years before that war, the French had done one of their own. I found out for one thing my great-great-great grandfather last name Gervais was recorded as Jarvis in the English census as they also did with MacGregor, turning him into Gregoory, Best was Welsh but it was a name also found in England. My other forebearer was from the border country and ghhad a name found both sides Eng/ Scot.
One interesting thing was while the French only named the male head of household and the number of occupants. English paperwork was a little more thourough... they listed Gervis (Jarvis) as having an Indian wife and three male children and two female ones. I dufg and found out details that I tracked forward through later censuses... unfortunately pre-dating the methods of today where they are done on a national full-scale level every ten years and a short form update every five. When I had covered up to and over the gaps as best as I could to the known ancestors, I backtracked to the first known points of my family and found another native wife and other areas I was surprised like one family member who was noted as placed under arrest "for suspicion of piracy", without telling what his outcome was. We are at least in part a result of our past. You have no doubt as your other posts indicated been affected directly in this generation by influences of both your parents, each uniquely, and also your uncle who tutored by your uncle who showed you what you have discerned as your right path. This is a good thing.
OBOD doesn't offer a Shaman course; I was already a semi-profesional writer for newsletters, desk-top publishing, etc for many years before I came here, and a published poet since my teens which is when I began to be a singer-sonngwriter-musician seriously, so I was a bard in many ways before I arrived here, and with life experiences such as I had have bits of all three levels as OBOD teaches them in my experiences. That is not to say the gwersi are not valid or useful... an ovate needs grounding in some of the thinmgs that are taught at the bardic stage of the course, as are druidic ones.
It is for the recognition of someone having passed a threshhold of information they recognize and award the degrees of bard, ovate and druid to show how far the training of the student have progressed. Since not all possess the same gifts or resources of time, money and outside opportunity to study beyond the gwers, it is not unknown to have six and seven year bardic student about the place. No matter, it is more authentic to become a druid that way as in the little we know of the ancient celts it was generally 12-20 years before a person was fully trained, recognized as a druid within the community and even then they were still realizing the exact nature of their gifts and place within the community... their specialization if you will.
Follow the tradition taught you as you feel you must but do not scorn one method or tradition as above or below the other. Shaman medicine teaching is also by mentoring and very hands-on, and emphasizes the practical aspect of learning how & why at the same time as the mechanics of the teaching simultaneously... a trait shared ny several of us here who share the shaman traditions. It is also common to a few other shaman I regularly talk with online on another site. Peace be unto you young friend.
Blessings, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

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FalconSight
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Postby FalconSight » 06 Jan 2004, 02:01

wasnt really criticizing, was pointing out a flaw in the writings of another lol, more critiquing, :P i know every path is different but man that was a hell of a lot to read lol

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Wolfwalker
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Postby Wolfwalker » 06 Jan 2004, 02:16

Bard as well as shaman, that'll teach you to annoy a grey-beard youth! I'll bury you in words in a bardic challenge if you start a ruckus with me... we settle things the old -fashioned way here and do a bardic battle with words as the weapons... last one with rhyme and solid [prose is the victor... :-)
point well taken, but some things cannot best be explained in three sentences.
blessings, Peter
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FalconSight
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Postby FalconSight » 06 Jan 2004, 02:27

that is so true lol, as a writer myself and an emcee i completely understand lol:P

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alistair ab iolo/|\
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Postby alistair ab iolo/|\ » 28 Feb 2004, 21:56

Thank you Alferion, for such a clear explanation of what Druidry is, at least in our OBOD form. I find myself in agreement with 95% of what you said. The parts I particulary appreciated were (1) The interesting comparison of Awen with Gnosis. (2) The fact that we experience the "invisible" world of spirit as natural rather than supernatural. (3) I found your treatment of Druidic theo/alogy I believe accurately reflects were more pople are at as well as being true to the tradition. (4) Your shorter form - simple, non-glamourous - I particularly like the line, "It reveres ancestors and the divine imagination, which is to say the individual experience of the divine." Our imagination is the greatest gift we have in establishing true spiritual communion.

Blessings,

Alistair ab Iolo, Gododdin Seed Group, Scotland
"that we may be filled with the brightness of the everlasting light and become the unspotted mirror of Thy power and the image of Thy goodness" ... Liberal Catholic Liturgy

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dria
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What Druid means to me? by dria

Postby dria » 23 Apr 2004, 19:54

:raven: ell It's about communing with nature, hearing nature out and managing it better than what we have been doing, writing poetry and odes to our mother earth. As a sign of our commitment to her, and dedicating it to her.

:trilithon: Next the Ovate to understand the cycle of events of what happens and why it's so important that we learn about prophesy, and how when a special time comes it means something is about to happen, that is going to mean catascrophic events happening.

:eaglehead: The Druid To be able to put it all together and draw upon the magics of old, and perhaps create afew new stragies to dealing with what we are dealing with, and what must be done properly, without hesitation, or pro crastination.
I do agree with many a person here and I am only at Bardic Grade level and do hopefully when I get a job working at Mc Donalds, I'll be able to pay for the next level and get caught up.
:trefoil: I do know what Aferien is talking about though about how some of the Christianity Angels being called dieties and such and even unto Gods so on and so forth, but I also read Chronicles of Narnia too, which is also Christian based and it is said that those who still worship them as Gods thier God's worship me still so in doing so they worship me.
Last edited by dria on 26 Apr 2004, 19:10, edited 1 time in total.
All of nature is our teacher including the five elements.

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Robb Hawklord
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Postby Robb Hawklord » 26 Apr 2004, 16:28

Ok, this topic has been up here now for ages, I posted a reply to a similar question on another board, and have remembered where I had left it :???: So here is how I see myself and druidry fitting together.

I see druidry as the path to "oneness". There are many variations within the Druid 'Community' but to me, to be a Druid who has attained the ultimate goal, is to reach the 'State of Balance', whereby, you have in effect attained the same state of concousness(?) as the cosmos or in Christian terms become that what we have been made in the image of. Deities whatever name we may gave them are one god, each deity is but a manifestation of that aspect of the cosmos or of The God.

Not the Vengeful and terror inducing one of the Bible, but the one which is the essence of life, unbiased and wholly forgiving, correct in judgement and true in guidance.

Hawky
She's the goddess of love
The goddess in green
The goddess of all
That I've ever seen
The goddess of hope
The goddess in brown
The goddess of all
That you've burned to the ground

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dria
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shaman

Postby dria » 28 Apr 2004, 23:36

Actually I read a book Called :eaglehead: "The winged wolf" it was about this shaman who was trying to teach this woman how to become the winged wolf. and later on she was able to shapshift into an eagle as well as a wolf.:baldeagle:

This book is awe inspiring to me in that all the myths that the Druid could imaging being able to turn oneself into an animal and than be that animal is totally miraculous.
dria
All of nature is our teacher including the five elements.

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RavenLord
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Postby RavenLord » 06 Aug 2004, 07:55

I do not so much think of myself as a "practitioner of Druidry", because I do not "practice" the ancient Druid way of life. Not for a lack of wanting, but I simply find that in the world and the life in which I live, it is far too difficult, and in fact would cause more problems than good, to try and live by the Old Ways. So rather, I see myself as a believer and follower of the Old Ways of Druidism. I have always been far more involved with the spirituality and philosophy of the ancients, than I have been wanting to practice their rituals and ways. I would very much love to live that life, and have others around as I, who could celebrate Samhain and the Solstices and Equinoxes and so on and so forth.....to live in such a place where this is commonplace, that everyone does it, and it's just like any other gathering or celebration of holidays. But I have never met another "Druid" in my lifetime, and I feel incredibly awkward trying to relate to the many local "Wiccans" in my area, although to be fair I've tried. But at the end of the day, I simply find that I cannot relate to them, they are far too different, and with the few similiarties aside, their thoughts, their attitude, and their ways seem to me to be nothing like what I feel in my heart Druidism is all about.

I have never felt, and still do not feel, that Druidism (the ideals), or Druidry (the practice), is about "magick" and mysticism, as much as it is about looking at things from a different perspective, seeing the world through the eyes of the world, instead of through your own. Stiving to be one with everything around you, instead of trying to find what I feel might very well be a nonexistant "Oneness" within the self. The relation to nature is Paramount to not only the ancient Druid beliefs, but also their very ways of life. They attributed everything they learned and knew, and kept as Truth, to studying Nature, to studying the seasons, the stars, the winds, the waters, the animals, the trees and the grass....everything. Their philosophies were not taught in a course or learned in books, they were learned by opening their eyes and observing the world around them. I have read that they learned of the eternal flow of time by watching the tides of the ocean. That they learned of life, death, and rebirth by watching the seasons come and go, of watching the plantlife be born, grow old, and wither to nothing, only to be reborn every spring. That they didn't really worship the Gods, so much as they respected and revered them, and saw themselves, on some plain, as being equals of the Gods, which I think is quite unique in and of itself, compared to most spiritual paths, ancient or new.

I have learned in my studies that in many ways, Druidism is much like Hinduism, the striving for Oneness with all, the reverence of the world and the things in it, the passion for life and art, and also the belief that All Gods are One God, and that while all things are seperate from the source of creation, they too are all a part of Creation, a part of God, so in essence, we all have the spirit of God flowing through us. The Druids called that the Awen, the Flowing Spirit, that created and animated all life. But I also found that as similar as the two paths were, they were also very different. I think the key difference being that Hinduism focuses on finding inner peace within you, by becoming one with all by seperating yourself from it, and becoming One within yourself. To my understanding, the ancient Druid's philosopies were geared more to the thought that to become one with everything, you truly must BECOME One with the world around you, to become attuned to the elements, the seasons, the earth , the sky, the stars, the animals and trees and everything in between. It is said that that is where the notion of "Wizards", in the commonly accepted modern fantasy sense, originated, from the image of old Druids who had reached such a point in their lives, in their path, where they truly had attained Oneness with the world around them, and could manage incredible feats of "magick", indeed like wizards of old, and could perhaps even command the elements, and talk to nature, read the stars and the clouds and the tides.....to heal without medicines.....truly incredible things. And while much of that to the modern scheptical mind may sound indeed like nothing but fantasy....I for one have always believed that magick must have existed in some very real form once, and that for all the similar stories and "myths" of the ancients, of Dragons, of Giants and "little people", of other humanoid races, of great monsters and fantastic feats.......not every single ancient people could have been "wrong" about all of that...or that every single ancient culture on earth, who all seem to share very similar stories and world views, could all have been just imagining things, because they were not yet blessed with the modern miracle of science, which obviously explains everything to us as fact.

To me, Druidism is about Truth. Understanding, a deeper understanding than most. To me, the practice of scientific study, which of course is all the word "science" means, "to study", while very useful and helpful in many ways, tends to miss the important details, because if the universe were a great puzzle, science only seems to focus on the individuals pieces that make it all up, to see how each one works, and try to understand how all the pieces come together. To me, while commendable, that way seems backwards and counterproductive. To me, I'd like to think of the Druidic line of thought, to be more about taking a step back from yourself, and instead of trying to study all the individual pieces of life, of the world, of the universe at large, instead it is about trying to percieve the entire puzzle, to stand back and try to see the bigger, complete picture, and accept it for what you understand it to be.....and in that simpleness of thought, through accepting the bigger picture, knowledge and understanding, combined making wisdom, comes to us, instead of us looking for it.

We who strive to follow what we understand of the Old Ways refer to ourselves as Druids, because they are who we are trying to be, and in a sense, we are on that same exact path. But while we call ourselves Druids, I do not, in my heart, really believe that we can call ourselves such a thing, for what they went through to earn that title, and what we, in our many varied ways, attempt to reach the same end, are very different indeed, and in most cases, I would think, certainly not as long and diciplined as those who once spent most of their lives striving to earn the title of Druid....much like martial artists spend most of their lives striving to earn the rank of Master. At the same time, though, I disagree with those who hold the notion that there can never be Druids again in the world, because they are long gone and we have no connection to them. I do not think that to be true at all. If any of us truly believe what little we know of their ancient ways, than of course we know and understand that any number of us could have once been the Druids of Old....and we are mearly coming back to it in this life. Nothing is coincidence of course. But that brings up the matter of "how can anyone these days become a Druid? How can you call yourselves that when you know so little of the real Druids?"

And to that, I say, it's not out of the realm of possibility at all. I do not neccisarily think that one needs to take a "course", or jump through hoops, so to speak. I think the same Truths that were available for the ancients to study, are still around us today, and we have but to look at them and learn to follow the same path as our ancestors, of blood and spirit. In my heart, I do indeed one day hope that I will earn the title of Druid, to finally be at that level. But I know also that I am nowhere near that place now, and that I have a very long way to go. The knowledge is all there, I feel, and the wisdom come and goes, but it's still a lifelong path, and it is one, in my case, that I have accepted I must take alone. There was a time when I longed for nothing more than to find "others like me", "my kind", my kindred spirits....people who I could feel that I belong with. To some extent, I still want that. But unlike then, when I was much younger and very naive, although comendably passionate, I now have learned, on my path, that just as the ancients must have known, acceptance is the only true path to understanding, and therefor I must accept that there are no other "Druids" around me, nor anywhere close to me, and thus this is not a path I can really share with anyone. At least not at this point in my life. It is a path that I must traverse alone, like a spirit quest through the wilderness, till I can make it through, and come back with the right to call myself "Druid". Perhaps someday, I still hope, that I will reach that place, and that too I will have access to others like myself, and in fact perhaps even help to lead a movement, towards better things, and share what I know, and what I have, and will have learned, before my time is done.

To me, that is Druidism. It is a neverending cycle of Truth and a quest for the acceptance and understanding of that Truth. I am not One with the world around me, not by a long shot. If I were, I'd be a lot more at peace than my restless and tired soul is right now. But I accept that I am not there yet, and that I have a long way to go, and I also understand that I have much of the knowledge inside me, some of it known to me, some of it not quite yet revealed, that will help carry me through on my path...and so it is my belief that that acceptance and understanding in my path for Truth, that I walk the walk of the Druid. There is so much more to it. It is so complicated, with so many facets. Yet it is also so very simple in it's nature, and all those many facets still come together to form the One. It's all the same, so there's no reason to say it all at once. That is impossible. But yeah....I guess I am very much a "lone Wolf", a "solitary practitioner" if it sounds better....and those are my thoughts on Druidry.

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Crow
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Postby Crow » 06 Aug 2004, 14:17

EXCELLENT post, RavenLord. Thank you for your insights!

:raven:
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Postby WhiteHawk » 06 Aug 2004, 15:39

Yes, as an evolutionary biologist recently said, the one thing that really differentiates humans from the other apes is our ability to believe in somthing that isn't there!

Ho ho


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