The Atheist Druid

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Bart
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Bart » 06 Jun 2011, 11:12

I'm allways certain that either the car will fail or my house burns down, shall I be the anti-christ?

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Al Hakim » 29 Jun 2011, 23:29

Awen is a Welsh word for "(poetic) inspiration". It is historically used to describe the divine inspiration of bards in the Welsh poetic tradition.
How can an atheist use the Awen when the Awen stands for " divine Inspiration "?
:awen:
I do consider the "awen" as a short joy, a sudden feeling of happiness whenever you solved a difficult task or finished a stressy job. To achieve that feeling you had invested lots of energy and efforts. This sort of awen" does not need a divine power. I would not lay too much concern on the question where the word derived from. You can rarely compare old traditions with modern ideas.
Thus, enjoy your AWeN whenever its meets you.

Al Hakim

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Dysgwr » 17 Aug 2012, 11:01

At the risk of dredging up this topic again... :duck:

I've been away from the boards for too long and after reading through the 13 pages of this topic it has helped me to consolidate my views; I am an atheist Druid. The scientific part of me has always had a problem accepting 'God is an outsized, light-skinned male with a long white beard, sitting on a throne somewhere up there in the sky, busily tallying the fall of every sparrow' (Carl Sagan), and so I have used the word Spirit in my rituals and practice, note not Great Spirit which for me again conjours up the notion of an omnipresent entity.

This 'spirit' for me is a synonym of Awen (not divine, but just plain inspiration), rightly or wrongly. The closest definition when talking about 'spirit of place' etc would be the french word 'ambience' which just isnt really covered by 'atmosphere'. Its that feeling of belonging at a particular place and time with my surroundings... those happy, fleeting moments when everything feels right. Ekhart Tolle would describe this as 'The Now', but thats another discussion entirely :whistle:

So my point is that Awen/Spirit can replace Deity in Druidy, as can many other things. And despite what people may think about the Charge of the Goddess, for me it has something that is spot on...

And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.

Thanks for another stimulating thread
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Aoife » 17 Aug 2012, 13:44

Awen is a Welsh word for "(poetic) inspiration". It is historically used to describe the divine inspiration of bards in the Welsh poetic tradition.
How can an atheist use the Awen when the Awen stands for " divine Inspiration "?
:awen:
I do consider the "awen" as a short joy, a sudden feeling of happiness whenever you solved a difficult task or finished a stressy job. To achieve that feeling you had invested lots of energy and efforts. This sort of awen" does not need a divine power. I would not lay too much concern on the question where the word derived from. You can rarely compare old traditions with modern ideas.
Thus, enjoy your AWeN whenever its meets you.

Al Hakim
Yeaaaah...I had wondered the same thing. Not bashing on atheism or anything but how can you be involved in a spirituality (NOTE: NOT a religion) where you don't believe in stuff like that?

(Not trying to argue here)
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby treegod » 17 Aug 2012, 14:19

Just to reiterate the OP (because it's still so relevant):
I enter the grove
And sit by a tree

In such a place as this
I am enthralled by beauty

The Awen surrounds
As broadband poetry

There are no gods to hear
No spirits to see

So what on Earth do I connect with?

Me
I am a human being with my own innate potential for inner development and evolution. The pursuit of this and its manifestation in life is what I'd call the "me" of the poem. This doesn't disappear just because you stop believing in the "supernatural", lol. And this inner potential or journey and its manifestation are what I call "spirituality".

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Dysgwr » 17 Aug 2012, 21:23

I am a human being with my own innate potential for inner development and evolution. The pursuit of this and its manifestation in life is what I'd call the "me" of the poem.
Which I think is the far more 'normal' way to say
And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
Probably the only part of the Charge which really rings true with me
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby DJ Droood » 17 Aug 2012, 22:23

And thou who thinkest to seek for me, know thy seeking and yearning shall avail thee not, unless thou know this mystery: that if that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
Probably the only part of the Charge which really rings true with me
The faux King James English distracteth me. Verily, was not it penned in the century last?

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Dysgwr » 18 Aug 2012, 10:27

The faux King James English distracteth me. Verily, was not it penned in the century last?
With a hey nonny-no, I doeth think that my syr is correct in his summisings... very olde worldy, and privvy twas penned within memory living i do believe...
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby kytty » 18 Aug 2012, 14:50

There was a time when I longed to be a "druid" hell I even called myself that. But no longer. I have found I just don't need that baggage
I love nature - being a part of it; being in it, connecting with it. With sky and wind and animals. Sitting on a rocky out crop, above the river where I can sit look, survey and ponder...contemplate life's contemplatables and simply enjoy.
I know who and what I am and I have accepted me.
I believe I am a both deeply spiritual and religious, although I do not belong to any isms or ists. I can and do feel at times a sense of attachment or belonging to places and things. I' revel in the old stories and the old ways, apply the ones I feel I wish to and amend or leave the ones I don't. I do not believe in a higher being or power.
Contradiction in terms? perhaps,
I've came to see the term druid to simply mean a commercial mishmash of mainstream religions dressed in drag.
I still visit here occasionally because every now and again a sweet nugget of joy nourishes my soul. The beautiful poem sums up brilliantly the essence of what my existence is.
Thank you kind sir for posting it.
kytty
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Lily » 18 Aug 2012, 17:48

I still visit here occasionally because every now and again a sweet nugget of joy nourishes my soul.
:roses:
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Doc » 24 Aug 2012, 16:22

Thanks for those that have posted in this thread.

I too have been on a long road that has led to a rejection of a lot of things. I've not been back here for a good few years and have found the need to go off on my own and find my own way a great learning experience.

There are elements of the druid path I find useful and helpful. I enjoy ritual as I think it has a way of reaching and teaching us that is effective, I enjoy the tales and myths, yet I do not feel the need to take them literally, or too seriously. As for beliefs in gods/goddesses etc. that's something I no longer need or want. Others see differently and that is fine. It's good to know there are others around who feel the same as I though.

One reason I never went beyond the Bardic grade was the feeling that the Ovate grade especially was concerened with the more "magical" side of druidry and I felt it would be a bit fradulent to do it if i didn't really believe in those things (if any Ovates want to challenge this assumption please do!)

Perhaps a spirituality may return to me, but for now I'm skeptical, but I'm glad I can still find benefit in the teachings, stories, poems and songs.

Light, Love and Peace

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby treegod » 24 Aug 2012, 17:48

One reason I never went beyond the Bardic grade was the feeling that the Ovate grade especially was concerened with the more "magical" side of druidry and I felt it would be a bit fradulent to do it if i didn't really believe in those things (if any Ovates want to challenge this assumption please do!)
It's true that, compared to the Bardic Grade, the Ovate Grade can be a bit more "imaginative", that at some points you may have to "suspend disbelief". But it's no different from the moments that you pick up a good novel or watch a film, moments that, perhaps, you forget about the "real world" and its reasonings and enter a sort of "fiction-zone" to enjoy a different world altogether.

The difference here is that the "fictional" images of the Ovate Grade (a few of which are also in the Bardic grade) aren't just for enjoyment, they also have an element of self-development and/or archetypal type of work. A look into active imagination might help explain this in a psychological sense.

It's true that the Ovate Grade engages with more "non-rational" work, perhaps more than the Bardic, but I wouldn't say that this is incompatible with a naturalistic POV. It won't lead you down the supernaturalistic route if you don't want it to. But there's less of this in the Druid Grade, so far as I have seen.
Perhaps a spirituality may return to me, but for now I'm skeptical, but I'm glad I can still find benefit in the teachings, stories, poems and songs.
I don't know what sort of benefit that is, but I'd say that any benefit of "teachings, stories, poems and songs" have something to do with "spirituality" or its precursor. "Spirituality" isn't incompatible with "scepticism".

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Doc » 25 Aug 2012, 09:51

Thanks for the thoughtful post treegod.

I suppose I AM a spiritual person, but that word is so loaded for myself and others that I just feel it's best not to use it. I suppose "mystical" is more akin to what I feel.

Thanks for your insights into Ovate grade, the self discovery I found in the stories, poems, songs and study I've done, has been of benefit and is something perhaps I need to continue and stretch myself with via the Ovate grade. (I think I'd need to re-do Bardic grade to be honest though as I did that back in 2006)

It may just be a barren period of my life where I'm having to jetison my conceptions from the past and come to my own understanding. My greatest problem is when I say I'm skeptical/atheistic people think I then dismiss the importance of ritual/story/song/meditation/honoring the seasons etc. I don't those are really important to me (and I think humanity as a whole). I suppose it's the whole issue we have with labeling others and ourselves.

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby treegod » 25 Aug 2012, 11:43

"Numinous" is a good word too. Humans have a sense of the numinous. And it doesn't have to be supernatural, lol.
It may just be a barren period of my life where I'm having to jetison my conceptions from the past and come to my own understanding.

It's an interesting journey that. :grin:
My greatest problem is when I say I'm skeptical/atheistic people think I then dismiss the importance of ritual/story/song/meditation/honoring the seasons etc. I don't those are really important to me (and I think humanity as a whole).
Yeah, "scepticism" and "atheism" are loaded words too. And so is "Druid". Knowing what words to use at the right time, it's an art.

"Knowing what words to use at the right time" sounds a bit like magic (another loaded word, lol).

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Lily » 20 Sep 2012, 20:14

"Knowing what words to use at the right time" sounds a bit like magic (another loaded word, lol).
good one :) *notes down in little notebook*
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby treegod » 20 Sep 2012, 20:48

Your welcome. :)

There is skill in using words, and it's not all rational or intellectual. :grin:

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Dragon » 22 Nov 2012, 22:33

The Earth gives life and is therefore sacred and 'divine' surely?
:duck:

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Corwen » 24 Nov 2012, 20:35

The Earth gives life and is therefore sacred and 'divine' surely?
:duck:
Sacred and divine are both words that are better understood as expressing something about our relationship with a thing than really telling us much about the thing itself. Something is sacred only if someone holds it to be sacred, likewise something is divine if someone chooses to attribute it with the status of a deity. To a Pagan the Earth may be divine, to a Christian maybe not. I don't see why Atheists are not allowed to hold things as sacred or even 'divine', in the latter case it comes down to your definition of deity.
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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Lily » 24 Nov 2012, 21:12

Sacred and divine are both words that are better understood as expressing something about our relationship with a thing than really telling us much about the thing itself. Something is sacred only if someone holds it to be sacred, likewise something is divine if someone chooses to attribute it with the status of a deity. To a Pagan the Earth may be divine, to a Christian maybe not. I don't see why Atheists are not allowed to hold things as sacred or even 'divine', in the latter case it comes down to your definition of deity.
:applause:
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

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Re: The Atheist Druid

Postby Opal » 07 May 2013, 20:47

This forum was what encouraged me to join the boards in the first place. I sometimes feel too pagan for the humanists and too humanist for the pagans. I really liked what DJ Droood said below.
I said druidry is a add on because you have atheist, wiccan, hindu, and polytheist druids. Which to me is why drudry is a add on to any world outlook or at least a way of enhancing that.
I suppose you can look at it any way you want. I consider myself fully engaged in druidry as my chosen spiritual discipline, and my non-theism is fully contained within it, (if you can contain a nothing...I am an agolfist druid as well...it could be a never-ending description if I listed everything I don't employ in my spiritual practices) so I don't need a hypen...simply druid is good enough for me....I suppose one persons "enhancement" is another's debasement. (I imagine there are a number of Christians/Wiccans and Hindu's, etc. who wouldn't see the "-druid" as a "value added" component...and vice versa) Huzzah for self-identification!
I've never looked at it that way before, that the label of Druid or Pagan alone can fully encompass my Humanism and Naturalism as much as it does another's supernaturalism. The hyphen isn't a minus sign after all, it doesn't indicate a subtraction. It is more like when someone says they are Pagan dash anything: Pagan - Heathen, Pagan - Wiccan, Pagan - Humanist.

In a talk about permaculture, Starhawk begins by talking about "the concept of edges, or in biology they call them ecotones, places where two different systems meet. [They are] places of great dynamism, they can be places of great tension but they can be the most creative, most diverse aspects that kind of create a third system that is often richer than the other two." She goes on to talk about deer. "The deer don't hang out in the deep deep forest, and they don't live out in the middle of the plains. What they really like are those places where the meadow meets the woods, where they can graze and go back into the forest for cover."

It is a wonderful picture, and when I imagine it I think that is where I belong.
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