4 stages of Druidry

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eilis
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4 stages of Druidry

Post by eilis » 26 Feb 2009, 00:04

4 stages of Druidry: proto, classical, underground, revivalry. Granted the use of the term classical comes from its association with the classical cultures - Greeks and Romans - being at the same time period and documented by the Classical cultures. But also (perhaps subconsciously) implies that period was the golden age of Druidry. Yet we have nothing to inform that position.

The builders of New Grange (3600 BC) and the migration of the Tuatha De Dannan (2500 BC) recorded in the Book of Invasions would fall into the "Proto" stage. Our ignorance of the Druidry of this period does not mean that it was less powerful. The assumption that the later period was more complex, developed, advanced is all connected to our concept of "Progress" which has any number of pitfalls.

One could equally argue that the earlier stage was more connected with nature and therefore purer - making it more powerfully imbued with the essence and power of the spiritual world.
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 22 Mar 2010, 16:27

eilis wrote:4 stages of Druidry: proto, classical, underground, revivalry.
What would underground be? After the fall of Mona?

Would you see the current popularity as part of the "revival", or is this a seperate stage? I think the whole pagan explosion since the 1960s, that was catalyzed by the internet in the 90's, is a new stage...neo....so neo-druidry is a sub-genre of neo-paganism.
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Frog » 23 Mar 2010, 13:56

Interesting DJ, but I would say that Neo-Druidry is on an equal footing with Neo-Paganism.

To say Neo-Druidry is a sub genre of Neo-Paganism is unfair on those whose religious path is not within the confines of paganism (such as Druid-Christians)

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 23 Mar 2010, 14:27

Frog wrote:Interesting DJ, but I would say that Neo-Druidry is on an equal footing with Neo-Paganism.

To say Neo-Druidry is a sub genre of Neo-Paganism is unfair on those whose religious path is not within the confines of paganism (such as Druid-Christians)

Frog

I hear you...my druidry is not inside the confines of paganism either...but the vast majority of druids I have met in real life are pagans....usually with one foot in Wicca and the other toe testing the druid waters. I think we non-pagan druids are a sub-genre of a sub-genre, but it is still too early in the game to make definitive statements, i think.
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by MistyNightWind » 09 Jun 2010, 11:50

This is the first I;ve heard of Druidry not being a part of paganism...I thought it was established that Druidry was a branch pf paganism. I'm not saying that anyone is wrong I'm just interested, afterall this is the skeptical druid board!

Also what is this neo-druidry you people speak of? Am I right in assuming that this is the druidry people practice today as part of the revival?

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 12:50

MistyNightWind wrote:This is the first I;ve heard of Druidry not being a part of paganism..
Welcome to the OBOD messageboard!


Also what is this neo-druidry you people speak of? Am I right in assuming that this is the druidry people practice today as part of the revival?
If by "revival" you mean the period when those British aristoctats were meeting in pubs in the 18th Century, probably not...more like an outgrowth of the hippie movement, given an injection of steroids by the internet.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think Druidry has 7 stages:

1. Acceptance
2. Testing and Reconstruction
3. Depression and Sorrow
4. Bargaining
5. Anger
6. Pain and Guilt
7. Shock and Denial

I am currently studying at the 4th stage, bu feel I am ready for Stage 5 soon.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Frog » 09 Jun 2010, 12:54

MistyNightWind wrote:This is the first I;ve heard of Druidry not being a part of paganism...I thought it was established that Druidry was a branch pf paganism. I'm not saying that anyone is wrong I'm just interested, afterall this is the skeptical druid board!

Also what is this neo-druidry you people speak of? Am I right in assuming that this is the druidry people practice today as part of the revival?

Love and Laughter
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hi there!
For most people you are correct - Druidry plays its part with paganism. However, there are those who follow druidry but whose religious views are not pagan - for example Christian or Buddhist. It is a topic that has been discussed - without proper conclusion IMO - about whether Druidry is a religous path or a path for belief.

You are right about the neo-druidry. Because nothing was written in a manner that we can properly use to say "this is how to do it" (there are many old tales which have been since written down that provide strong indication), druidry today (again, IMO) is only a "best guess" - but something that seems to fit well with today's society. But I do like DJ's view.
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Argenta » 09 Jun 2010, 14:14

DJ Droood wrote:Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think Druidry has 7 stages:

1. Acceptance
2. Testing and Reconstruction
3. Depression and Sorrow
4. Bargaining
5. Anger
6. Pain and Guilt
7. Shock and Denial

I am currently studying at the 4th stage, bu feel I am ready for Stage 5 soon.
Would you mind elaborating? I seem to be on Stage One, and am curious about how you get to these other elevated states :thinking:
I am not young enough to know everything. (O.W.)

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 14:20

Argenta wrote:Would you mind elaborating? I seem to be on Stage One, and am curious about how you get to these other elevated states :thinking:
It is a simple process of reading messages on this board daily, over several years. If you are an advanced student, please go directly to the threads on the BP oil spill, and you will be eligable for your Level 3 conical hat.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 14:40

Hi eilis,
In my view, Druidry is still underground for many, and is totally not associated with the neo-druidry of the OBOD or other "orders".
It is still handed down through family in small remote ways.

The revival of sorts which is neo-druidry is also far flung from the druidism of old ways. In this same light, druidism is as core to paganism, not the other way around.
Unlike the "hippie style" paganism which DJ Droood mentions, with everything from India, the far east, and perhaps just anything but Judaism, kind of mixed in.

Druidism is distinct from neo-druidry.

The way of the "underground" Drui isn't the Wiccan-Christianflavored-Briton OBOD way. Often seeking refuge in cloaks like Quakerism, the old way Drui survived total persecution.
Early on in American history, to even be of the native spiritual way was to be a slave, cast out, and testimony of this was my great great grandfather, sold as a slave from Wales.
Yup, I am a great great grandson of a Welsh slave.

Times have changed, things have moved on, and although OBOD and other types are not what I call Druidism, really, I rejoice as at least I no longer must hide as my mom and grand-mom did, and never speak of it. Though years had passed, after I joined the OBOD and explored the new neo-druid-dance naked, way, My parents still kept silent knowing I would eventually identify what they taught me and discuss it with them. When I did, they then were open about it and told me they had accepted long ago that I would on day claim my self as druid.

Early on, as I was the youngest of three children, I did not understand the persecution I felt, living in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. My sister, six years my elder, was cast out by just about all, because she had been taught and expressed openly her ability to commune with trees. Others would see her talking away with the dryad of a tree, as she was too young to understand the dangers of doing so.

Seeing this, I was taught a bit differently, a bit later on in life.

For most however, an encounter with the OBOD, or picking "the book of druidry" off the bookstore shelf is the first knowing of druidry. I remember thinking "what a long hair read this is" as I read it for the first time, and of all the books, it was a rare thing at the time to see any book on druidry.

So though I agree there are some outwardly obvious stages in what people see as druidry. I see more of a separation in parallel, not linearly.
It is interesting to note how accepting and tolerant of other religions, neo-druidry is. This from my view of watching my sister be ridiculed by all the other school children for being "different". Now she is 57 and we speak of those times and frankly she is still suffering from the problems caused so early on by her openness and wonderful understanding in nature.

My father was a "missing link" so to speak, a successful business man having to be a Christian to have made it in a world which was so very cruel to anyone who was not monotheist.
To this day, it is very difficult to get anyone who had to deal with the bible belt days of baby boom life to speak to this. I suppose I was lucky to have been the last of thre children, and grew up in the time of pagan revival. My life still suffered early on, even though I was taught to keep silent of what I learned.

It is what it is now, and quite different but druidry, and druidism to me are two different things.

In light,
Merlyn
Last edited by Merlyn on 09 Jun 2010, 15:03, edited 1 time in total.
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ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 14:57

1. Acceptance
2. Testing and Reconstruction
3. Depression and Sorrow
4. Bargaining
5. Anger
6. Pain and Guilt
7. Shock and Denial
As DJ Droood mentions here, working with druidry can be frustrating. The OBOD isn't our real family, and the sprawling and sparse network of drui is confusing, often frustrated and missing a very important link. The OBOD has far outgrown it's ability to be intimate enough and this causes fractured relation to something which needs to be vital in life.
We do not have local community churches, like other religions, as replacement for family, or as guide to the parents as they teach spiritual ways.
To be a solitary druid is extremely difficult, and the OBOD has remained the same core few. This struggle is difficult further as other orders haven't done as well.

Anger, pain and guilt, shock and denial, indeed are a part of not having a way to proceed, not being able to feel confident in how things can be taken into family life and passed on, how to be recognized as a valid spiritual person in a world still dominated by sheep.

IMO the needs of drui in America, Canada, Germany, and so on all need a more central, functional core local and progressing to the needs of drui.
I would have to say that the OBOD would most likely not want to sponsor such a growth, which is frustrating, and makes many angry.

How this could be done, has been explored, and was by Alferian, who wanted very badly to begin a mystical school of druidry.
That story unfortunately ended at some great pains.

Having learned from Alferian and many others, I have taken a more creative approach, one which cannot be shut down for being too close of a clone to the OBOD or other "orders".
What I do is unique enough oddly more to the old way druidism. This has been helpful to me and others as at least some place, some way to turn when the reach of the OBOD fails or ends as the last gwers hits the mail box. Others have also begun unique ways, as Alferian has in his wand making, druid way.

I bring this up because I see the frustrated posts, the odd trolling drui, the reconstructionists, and so on wandering about lost and upset.
There is a need, and there are solutions. But I feel the biggest frustration is that the OBOD mystery school is too limited now to work with the very large group it has created.
The tutor system, the message board, the blogs and druid space all try to accommodate the needs, yet it is obvious there needs to be remote, OBOD sponsored, more local to the needs solutions.

Does this sound right?

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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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Badger Bob » 09 Jun 2010, 15:25

Merlyn wrote:The tutor system, the message board, the blogs and druid space all try to accommodate the needs, yet it is obvious there needs to be remote, OBOD sponsored, more local to the needs solutions.
I'm not so sure. I followed the development of OBOD from the late 80s early 90s while I was a member of other orders and groups and from what I have observed there was never a wish to create a solid hierarchical structure akin to a church or college. The basic model seems to have been the masonic one, where there is international brotherhood but from a network of very local structures. The grade courses fulfil a need in that they set the minimum standards for the education of the three grades and I think there is always room for local groves to go way beyond these if they feel the need and have the ability to do so. As members of the order I do feel we have a duty to add as much as we can to this core programme and create the network of information that allows the solitaries and the less well connected to benefit from the wealth of experience we have in our "pool". It may be a British thing but I feel that the flat structure and local communities connected via the various means at our disposal is the way to go, grass may bend in the wind but moss doesn't have to.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 15:33

I think in essence you are correct,
However, there are frustrations in the how and such of working in this way.
There is a gap, one expressed often but lacking definition.

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ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 15:41

Merlyn wrote:IMO the needs of drui in America, Canada, Germany, and so on all need a more central, functional core local and progressing to the needs of drui.
I would have to say that the OBOD would most likely not want to sponsor such a growth, which is frustrating, and makes many angry.
Does this sound right?
I think a regional, autonomous approach is the natural, organic choice for druidry, or really any "earth-based" spirituality. (as if there was any other kind...even extra-terresteral and supernatural fantasies are part of our dirt-based experience). If there was a need or desire for anything else, it would have worked by now, and there is no shortage of various Northern/Southern/Eastern/Western Druid "alliances" with pretensions of being the mother ship. (now that I am old and cranky, it always amuses me that it seems to be 20-something web creators who think they are wise druids who should be the Grand Pendragons.) I see the national/international "order" structure as being good at facilitating individual study, but very bad at creating community. Where I am from, you probably would have a nice collection of druids to play together, but they are divided into these artificial and foreign "OBOD and "ADF" camps, like rival high school teams.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 16:06

Well, let's look at some of the "things".
Having worked with a seed group, done the wheel of the year, grown into a much larger grove, and gone cyber with a message board, I think I have watched a lot happen.
It is left up to us to do what we want, but not up to us to teach druidry. (Speaking to the OBOD system)
I have seen a lot of misunderstanding on this one issue, and point to lack of sponsorship to any "real" growth past the OBOD office.
The tutor system is rather random, often one account of how one is tutored and the resulting responsibility is far different from another account.
This is further aggravated by tutors being held "out of sight" and mostly remote, yet key to progressing through the course.
A grove should be able to step up to the needs more closely, however this is not the way of the OBOD, though much Wiccan influence is found in the OBOD way, and to be Wiccan is indeed far far different and requires person to person insight, direct contact and judgement made personally.

That's just one...

I could go into the more international community, how things work over-all.
But I see some points just missing and no, I really don't have answers to speak to this, only comparisons to make. At least at this point.
I feel people would step up to the needs if they did not feel the keen edge of the axe, so to speak.

To do this would require a much larger effort and structure to the international order. This is something opposite to the philosophy of the OBOD.
Here is a comparison;
A Christian can get a bible anywhere, the OBOD course is only available through the OBOD.
Churches are sponsored, seed groups and groves are not.

Far flung associations I know, but in seeking answers, some random association is needed to form ideas.
Some like it, want to be solitary, cling hard to keeping things as they are.
Others want to reach out, feel just as strongly the benefits of opening druidry to all.

Not much middle ground between the two..

I think early on, the Wiccan-Druid mix that the OBOD often is described to be, had a few things it may or may not now.
Interpersonal contact, meeting face to face was at one point a requirement, and the OBOD member you met would then make recommendation as to if you were a good sort or..not.
This was a requirement, not sure if it is now. I often held OBOD meetings informally to help others who needed to find a member to meet.

Some issues to ponder;
Early on Philip advocated the "Nudalists" as we jokingly called them, the outward nudity and such at communes of like minded nudists.
We in our groves and seed groups worried a bit. Imagine showing up to your group and finding every one nude, and having brought a friend or your own kid along to join in..
And of course this kind of thing can run into issues legal and more... So we kind of shoved that in a corner as not a "main event to druidry" so to speak, after speaking with Philip.

Nothing wrong with being sky-clad of course, but openly holding group rituals runs into issues of a sort.

So it remains a "mystery school" and is run by the small core. But Druidism is a much larger thing, than OBOD druidry can contain in many ways.
We are free to create new branches, and encouraged to do so, but this takes work, dedication and a lot of patience.
Such is the gap between being solitary and not.

I rather think it is not a matter of re-inventing what the OBOD does.
It is more a matter of doing much more. Granted making a mystery school course as well as the OBOD has, is a lifetime task. Just ask Philip his views on that.
So to be sure some have and do. But it is always a different flavor with requirements some just feel uneasy with.
Who decides what and so on.

One such mystery school has it's own version of "Celtic Tantra" as it's grade work. Circle work includes group masturbation "magic".
Others require dedication to very specific pantheon, or very rigid compliance to grade work much like a college with tests and such.

The questions run very large, without a doubt as to the right approach, what could work universally and with a method to growth.




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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 17:13

DJ Droood wrote:[Where I am from, you probably would have a nice collection of druids to play together, but they are divided into these artificial and foreign "OBOD and "ADF" camps, like rival high school teams.
Actually, that isn't quite fair to ADF..they are far more organized and "evangelical" than OBOD, and I think they provide that sort of structured experience, for those seeking it.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 18:16

True, and in essence, OBOD druidry is a coming together of Wicca, Druidism, and flavored with Christian toppings.
The "Druid's prayer" is a prayer, but I have found it works as a chant too, and has flavors of this.

Early on I noted a drift, away from Christian influence and more to a "pagan" flavor in the OBOD ways.
More wanted a pagan approach and less "Christian community" thinking. No "making money from spirituality" and so on.

But is Druidism pagan? or has Paganism really an evolved druidism?
And of Druidry, the mix it is, often described as "Whateveryouwant".

What did the druid school really represent in ancient times?
How did the Celtic community work?

With wars always and clans and tribes fighting the family unit would have to rely on a structure of education, aside from home life.
Did the Druid school really take in the young aspiring to education and take on what is now viewed as a family or school role?
I would say perhaps so. Highly likely.

We have some "half & half cream on the shelf too. Things like the UU church, Quakers and the like which fulfills roles people want. The Christian church took on these roles too, with All saints day, replacing Samhain and so on.

Often as "Christian" as my father said he was, the importance of having a Yule tide fire was paramount, so much so he built bonfires every Christmas, one time getting the attention of the local fire department. He also knew each and every tree, could name them on sight, and such.

We sometime want the seasonal celebrations to be large community events :yay:
But as a solitary we have to simply go and join in on other reformed or converted things to commune with others.

I think some of us really want true pagan ritual as our seasonal celebrations, but often we lack the structure to do so as purely OBOD in essence.

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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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 18:43

Merlyn wrote:But is Druidism pagan? or has Paganism really an evolved druidism?
And of Druidry, the mix it is, often described as "Whateveryouwant".
Back when I was still (more) self-deluded than I am now, and considered myself some sort of pagan, I would have said "yes". Now that I more clearly see druidism as the spirituality of truth-seeking,I would say no, as for me, a hundred gods are as false as one god. So I would say that pagan-druidry is a degraded form of druidism, rather than evolved.
What did the druid school really represent in ancient times?
How did the Celtic community work?
More of a trivia question than anything to do with modern druidry...about as relevent as "What colour was Aristotle's toga?" when discussing modern biology.

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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by Merlyn » 09 Jun 2010, 20:05

More of a trivia question than anything to do with modern druidry...about as relevant as "What colour was Aristotle's toga?" when discussing modern biology.
I agree, yet we see reconstructionism and a few wander about insisting that druidry cannot be simply because it will never fit this ancient view.
Back when I was still (more) self-deluded than I am now, and considered myself some sort of pagan, I would have said "yes". Now that I more clearly see druidism as the spirituality of truth-seeking,I would say no, as for me, a hundred gods are as false as one god. So I would say that pagan-druidry is a degraded form of druidism, rather than evolved.
It is interesting to see a branch spring from the druid trunk, of "spiritual atheist" more in the form of working the wheel of the year without deity or god(s).
Pagan used to mean simply not being monotheist or of the judaisms. Now it seem to be taking on a new form.

I see your expressed forms of aggravation, as stated above, including anger and such.
1. Acceptance
2. Testing and Reconstruction
3. Depression and Sorrow
4. Bargaining
5. Anger
6. Pain and Guilt
7. Shock and Denial

In the seeking of truth do you feel you wander through these stages? Discovering, or more accurately uncovering the result as a phycology rather than any mystery at all?
Some mention how the spiritual circle is used as a tool box for fixing or advancing ourselves, like a 12 step self help program.
Often the result of the Ovate grade is life changing, somewhat misunderstood as example, after a very grounded feeling of the Bard grade.
Is it more a management of emotions, a progression you express?
To some I see the OBOD druidry as a profound life way, yet others get to your "step 7" and color in the graduation certificate, seeing it as worth nothing more.
These differences I see are very polar, as I mention with small margin in between.

From my view, druidry is in several flavors, ADF OBOD etc, all they way to King Arthur a self proclaimed pendragon all be it he is a very big hearted and sincere fellow.

Druidism, as I try to make distinct, however, from druidry, to me is different from all of the ways of druidry I see today in the neo-pagan revived druid movement.

Merlyn
Image :emerit:
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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DJ Droood
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Re: 4 stages of Druidry

Post by DJ Droood » 09 Jun 2010, 20:46

Merlyn wrote:It is interesting to see a branch spring from the druid trunk, of "spiritual atheist" more in the form of working the wheel of the year without deity or god(s).
Pagan used to mean simply not being monotheist or of the judaisms. Now it seem to be taking on a new form.
Yes, I think I always meant it more like "heathen", and as not being a monotheist, but apparently it can also mean adopting a "pantheon" and getting angry with people for calling Lugh a sun god, etc., so I try to be careful.
I see your expressed forms of aggravation, as stated above, including anger and such.
1. Acceptance
2. Testing and Reconstruction
3. Depression and Sorrow
4. Bargaining
5. Anger
6. Pain and Guilt
7. Shock and Denial
I should be more careful with my silliness, as well...I just took the "7 stages of grief" and reversed them.....I don't really think they are stages of druidry, although I think "disillusionment" is healthy...it means losing one's illusions, and it can be painful, but it is ultimately necessary. You see it all the time here, and i have experienced it myself, both here and in my real life OBOD grove work/druid adventures with other people (retreats and the like). You "imagine" druidry and the OBOD to be a certain thing, or have certain characteristics, and then it slowly dawns on you that you had it all wrong and it is/was nothing like you thought it was...this hits some people hard, and they become bitter, throw around accusations and insinuations, storm off in a huff (there has been a rash of that lately!) Hopefully, you don't burn your bridges, or throw the baby out with the bath water, or engage in any other cliches of desperation, and you can come back to it with a clearer vision...disillusioned...

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