Hmmm....

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Aemilius
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Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 12:09

"As an oral tradition, Druidry does not anchor itself with
scientific or historical facts; instead it breathes, shaping itself
through stories ancient and modern." - Emma Restall



It would seem I'm not the only one who disagrees with that statement....

50 BC - Julius Caesar

"They also hold long discussions about the heavenly bodies and their movements, the size of the universe and of the earth, the physical constitution of the world, and the power and properties of the gods; and they instruct the young men in all these subjects."

AD 25 - Valerius Maximus

"And I would call them (the Gauls, followers of the Druids) foolish indeed, if it were not for the fact that what these trousered barbarians believe is the very faith of the Greek Pythagoras himself."

AD 50 - Pomponius Mela

"They have, however, their own kind of eloquence, and teachers of wisdom called Druids. These profess to know the size and shape of the world, the movements of the heavens and of the stars, and the will of the gods. They teach many things to the nobles of Gaul ...."

AD 250 - Hippolytus

"The Celtic Druids applied themselves thoroughly to the Pythagorean philosophy, being urged to this pursuit by Zamolxis, the slave of Pythagoras, a Thracian by birth, who came to those parts after the death of Pythagoras, and gave them opportunity of studying the system. And the Kelts believe in their Druids as seers and prophets because they can foretell certain events by the Pythagorean reckoning and calculations."

AD 260 - Clement of Alexandria

"Thus philosophy, a science of the highest utility, flourished in antiquity among the barbarians, shedding its light over the nations. And afterwards it came to Greece. First in its ranks were the prophets of the Egyptians ; and the Chaldeans among the Assyrians ; and the Druids among the Gauls...."

AD 350 - Ammianus Marcellinus

"....came the Druids, men of greater talent, members of the intimate fellowship of the Pythagorean faith; they were up-lifted by searchings into secret and sublime things, and with grand contempt for mortal lot they professed the immortality of the soul."
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Lily
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 12:27

shows how you can project whatever you want into the "vessel" of the druid.... I like ERO and I also like story and myth and inspired recreation... but that's a bold statement. at least if you take it literally.
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 12:46

Really? How is directly quoting classical writers of chronicles "projecting" anything? I'm just presenting a comparison of what they said to what she's saying. They don't match.... at all.
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 12:48

noooooo... I mean Emma, and anyone else who promotes a more fanciful interpretation of what is known.... (It's ok in my book, OBOD does it, even reconstructionists must resort to it or else there isn't enough substance around to e.g. create a ritual) - as long as you're honest about it...)
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 12:53

Oh I see.... So it's alright to live in a fantasy world as long as your honest about it. I guess that makes sense.
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 13:04

Sorry, I think fantasy was the wrong word to use, but I can't think of a better descriptor.
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 13:13

well it depends Aemilius.... how about inspired interpretation.... when it comes to pracrising druidry, actively, if you insist on going just by the known facts you can't do a ritual for sure.

when it's daily life, I guess you know me - if you don't, sniff around this forum ;)
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 13:22

Yes, I see your point. But if people just come up with whatever they must in order to be able to perform ritual, doesn't that just turn the word "Druid" into the philosophical equivalent of a fashion accessory? I've been looking at this for a while now. What's the connection?
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 13:28

what about we say we are in a process, we re-create, honoring the past - re-imagining - honestly admitting that it is a neo-pagan path for the present day?

You might agree that every time- honored tradition was at one point in time brand new. yet over time it became meaningful.

I think there is a Q (and its A) in the FAQ about this, i.e. how the Order sees it.
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 14 Jan 2012, 13:53

Lily "You might agree that every time- honored tradition was at one point in time brand new. yet over time it became meaningful."

Again, I see your point, but then why not give a brand new tradition a brand new name?

In other words, if one is going to simply ignore what is known of the Druids and fancifully recreate what is not in such a way that the end product doesn't in any way resemble the original practice, why continue to use the word "Druid" at all?

It's sort of like a Christian ignoring or denying the crucifiction and fancifully recreating other aspects of the bible that don't exist, but then insisting on continuing to call oneself a Christian. Very puzzling!
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 16:49

or like the early christians (we have no more than an inkling of how they practiced) - compared to the unctious ritual of the roman catholich church, with invented degrees, costumes, and rituals of which half was borrowed from the religio romana and half fancifully created - the bible definitely does not talk about cathedrals, mitres, monstrances and cardinals - over the course of 1000, 1500, 2000 years? and THEN came the protestants and changed it up again.

yet these days millions consider it all time-honored, orthodox, and descended directly from christ.

I guess we call ourselves druids because we feel inspired by our ancestors. (edit: oh cr*p let's NOT re-open that pandoras box about race. nonononono.... I mean it in a different way. whoever is called by them, fine with me, be you from mars or wherever - I like Gallifrey these days)
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by DJ Droood » 14 Jan 2012, 17:21

Aemilius wrote:"As an oral tradition, Druidry does not anchor itself with
scientific or historical facts; instead it breathes, shaping itself
through stories ancient and modern." - Emma Restall

Well that seems sensible to me....science and historical facts are just opinions...and as I'm sure you are aware, all opinions are equally valid. (Don't try to over-think druidry, Aemilius...or think it at all...I find it helps to try to feel it in my groin.) When in doubt, though, I consult the official spokesperson for modern druidry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOavbyDKSi0
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 14 Jan 2012, 17:30

I SO like your energy....
bwahahahaha :warm:
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Al Hakim » 14 Jan 2012, 22:51

Aemilius wrote:In other words, if one is going to simply ignore what is known of the Druids and fancifully recreate what is not in such a way that the end product doesn't in any way resemble the original practice, why continue to use the word "Druid" at all?
Aemilius,

I understand your doubts. As I see it, modern druidry is not an re-enactment of a 2000-year-old custom. It has develloped. Like the old book-religions did: You take the virtues and apply them to our needs and times.
I read an interesting philosophical statement recently: What if you deduce the Christian God Almighty from the present reality? There are torture and injustice, spoiling environment, eradicating of animals and devastating the tropical rain forest. Bad things, alltogether. So, what if God was not a good, paternal figure, but someone with a bad and evil nature? If there were no good God but just a "devil" who only by accident created some few good things, too? It would fit better...

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Re: Hmmm....

Post by DaRC » 15 Jan 2012, 17:57

It's sort of like a Christian ignoring or denying the crucifiction and fancifully recreating other aspects of the bible that don't exist, but then insisting on continuing to call oneself a Christian.
I think you'll find that this was a continued theme in the early church, I refer to the Council of Nicea and another example would would be the authorized King James version of the Bible. My point here is that all religions and philosophies develop over time.
Really? How is directly quoting classical writers of chronicles "projecting" anything? I'm just presenting a comparison of what they said to what she's saying. They don't match.... at all.
None of the classical writers are Druids and all have their own political agenda, some more than others (e.g. Caesar). Just as an early Christian of the 2nd Century AD would probably have little relation to a modern Southern Baptist.

The question in my mind, with regards to this thread, is this - what is the real question you are driving at?
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Explorer » 15 Jan 2012, 19:09

Aemilius wrote:In other words, if one is going to simply ignore what is known of the Druids and fancifully recreate what is not in such a way that the end product doesn't in any way resemble the original practice, why continue to use the word "Druid" at all?
I agree.
NeoDruidry as we know it is a modern semi-nature based spirituality (from england), but I guess the term 'Naturists' was already taken by the nude people. The celtic/druid link is mostly a romantic fantasy from the 20th century. Our ancestors were not noble celtic or germanic tribes, but christians for at least the last 1000 years. It is a bit silly and very arbritary to quote romans about celts and then think that you talk about NeoDruids.

Fantasy is not a bad thing, it has a link to imagination and inspiration. And to me, this playful and somewhat naive way of getting in touch with 'spirituality' doesn't seem like a very bad way of opening some alternative windows on life and our place in it. At least it attracts a lot more creative and fun people than the cult of the nailed god does (imho).
And why not the celts? They no longer exists, there is nobody to upset or argue with, and their stories and myths can serve the purpose to attach insights, wisdom and morality to like any other story or myth. We could also have used Scoobee Doo, the Book of Mormon or yesterdays newspaper, but I think I prefer a celtic fantasy then.

I guess you all know the story of Ross Nickols and Gerald Gardner who invented Druidry and Wicca in a London pub? Gardner was the more clever one in my opinion, coming up with a term that nobody ever heard of. I sometimes wish that Nickols would have chosen another term also.
On the other hand, the constant confusion and consternation has its charm also :grin:
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Lily » 15 Jan 2012, 21:06

DaRC wrote:The question in my mind, with regards to this thread, is this - what is the real question you are driving at
I think originally he was put back by what Emma R-O said. see on top. that historical fact or the actual lack of it can be dismissed.... science too.... and replaced by fantasy.

Like DJDrood implies, it sounds quite ridiculous if you extrapolate into daily life. Particularly the one about science.

Explorer, what do you mean?!? MY ancerstors caught cave bears with flint tipped spears!

As for Gardner being cleverer, I think the story goes that Nichols provided a lot of help to pull Old Gerald's confused mess of ideas together*. And I consider Nuinn the far more gifted ritualist.


*I own "Witchcraft today" - it's awful
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by DJ Droood » 16 Jan 2012, 00:27

Lily wrote:As for Gardner being cleverer, I think the story goes that Nichols provided a lot of help to pull Old Gerald's confused mess of ideas together*. And I consider Nuinn the far more gifted ritualist.
Who formulated the "8 fold year"? Who made the genius leap of putting the solstices and equinoxes together with the traditional European agricultural festivals to make the elegant cycle that most of us woo woo types follow? I think that spiritual/ritual breakthrough is the real start (and perhaps the final word) of modern paganism (in the loose sense of the word, because it is entirely independent of any mythological cycle or gods driving fiery chariots chased by barking dogs and what-not, unless you want it that way)
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Explorer » 16 Jan 2012, 08:33

Lily wrote: As for Gardner being cleverer, I think the story goes that Nichols provided a lot of help to pull Old Gerald's confused mess of ideas together*. And I consider Nuinn the far more gifted ritualist.
I specifically mean about the terminology 'wicca' and 'druidry'. It wasn't very clever to use such an existing term to give something entirely new a certain glamour. That kind of deminishes the truth-value of both the old and the new meanings of the word (it is a form of lying).

I don't know which of them had the brighter idea's or who was a more gifted ritualist. I'm glad for what they both did, brilliant, nuts, brave and meaningful. We need people like that (but not too many please :grin:).
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Re: Hmmm....

Post by Aemilius » 16 Jan 2012, 10:30

Hello all....

DJDrood "Well that seems sensible to me....science and historical facts are just opinions"

Could you expand on that DJ? I think everyone will agree on how the element of opinion in the form of subjective belief (or ulterior motives disguised as belief) has played a part in how historical facts have been recorded, reviewed and evaluated, but my impression of science is that it would seem to be all about the elimination of opinion or subjective belief in arriving at conclusions that result in repeatable outcomes not subject to interpretation, hence their usefulness. If opinion or subjective belief were to play any significant role in the scientific method, would not the whole construct immediately fail?

DJDrood "...and as I'm sure you are aware, all opinions are equally valid."

Don't you mean all "worldviews" are equally valid? I would agree philosophically that all worldviews are and must remain equally valid because of the extremely subjective nature of philosophy, and that no one worldview can ever really be said to be more or less valid than another since there is no way to show that conclusively. The validity of an opinion is somewhat different though, and its validity can often be measured (at least to a degree) by either testing or by observations made over time. For instance, lets say you are of the opinion that dropping an anvil on my hand will cause me distress, and I, on the other hand, am of the opinion that it will have no effect at all. We can test the veracity of our respective opinions by dropping an anvil on my hand, and I think afterward it would be obvious that your opinion, at least in this case, had greater validity than mine.

DJDrood "(Don't try to over-think druidry, Aemilius...or think it at all"

Too late, I've been thinking it pretty much all my life.

DJDrood "...I find it helps to try to feel it in my groin.)"

Hah! Not familiar with "Groin Druidry", but who knows? "The Sacred Grove of Groin Druids" could be a real hit in San Francisco!



DaRC "I think you'll find that this was a continued theme in the early church, I refer to the Council of Nicea and another example would would be the authorized King James version of the Bible. My point here is that all religions and philosophies develop over time."

Develop, or are corrupted?

DaRC "None of the classical writers are Druids and all have their own political agenda, some more than others (e.g. Caesar)."

Well, whatever their political agendas may have been, the excerpts I chose for the original post bear no hint of them, they do though all uniformly indicate a keen interest in science and an enthusiastic acceptance of Pythagorean doctrine.

DaRC "Just as an early Christian of the 2nd Century AD would probably have little relation to a modern Southern Baptist."

Perhaps, but there are two things which connect the ancient and modern Christians that they would still agree upon today (without getting into the truth of it), that Christ was the Messiah and only begotten Son of God, and that he was crucified to atone for the sin of man. Coincidently, there are two things that ancient and modern Druids would agree upon and that connects them to this day, an abiding reverence for the natural world, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of the universe and its workings.

DaRC "The question in my mind, with regards to this thread, is this - what is the real question you are driving at?"

That's fair, here's what I'm driving at then.... Can anyone give me one good reason for rejecting the writings of these men (besides vague references to political agendas) who may actually have met Druids or known people who did, and putting their faith in Emma Restall Orr instead?

Thanks for all your opinions, very informative.... Emile
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