A Question....

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Aemilius
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A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 21 Jan 2012, 08:57

How have the noble Druids come to be found worshipping among the grand stones of a strange monument of unknown origins in the midst of a rotting necropolis?

King Arthur Pendragon, Raised Druid King of Britain, Pagan Priest, Druid Swordbearer, leader of Druids who worship at Stonehenge.... I deny you, and I'm not alone.

For a Living Path, let there be a Living Temple....

AD 77 - Pliny

"The Druids — for so their magicians are called — held nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree that bears it, always supposing that tree to be the oak. But they choose groves formed of oaks for the sake of the tree alone, and they never perform any of their rites except in the presence of a branch of it; so that it seems probable that the priests themselves may derive their name from the Greek word for that tree. In fact, they think that everything that grows on it has been sent from heaven and is a proof that the tree was chosen by the god himself."
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Re: A Question....

Postby Red Raven » 21 Jan 2012, 10:10

It was noted by the classical writers also that the Druids would use caves so the use of stone was well established . You may also be interested in the recent and ongoing excavations here..
http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/ which backs up the role of stone from much earlier periods than the classical Druids. I would respectfully suggest that the role of trees (wood) and stone were well established and not in competition as such.

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Re: A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 21 Jan 2012, 11:28

Hello Red Raven....

I think your analogy, though clever, could best be described as tenuous and not at all convincing. Caves and dales (valleys) were clearly used for the purpose of providing seclusion and secrecy when giving instruction, and there is no indication they were ever considered appropriate as places of worship. I can find no indication that the ancient Druids used stone circles as places of worship, nor can I find any indication of worship ever having taken place at any necropolis, with or without stone circles (open to correction).

AD 50 - Pomponius Mela

"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 in a course of instruction lasting as long as twenty years, meeting in secret either in a cave or in secluded dales."


Red Raven "I would respectfully suggest that the role of trees (wood) and stone were well established and not in competition as such."


I'm not certain I understand what you're getting at with that, Red Raven, but if you mean to suggest that because the ancient Druids used both stone and wood for utilitarian purposes that somehow explains why they should wish to worship among a bunch of corpses in the middle of a big circle of stones, it didn't work (open to correction).

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Re: A Question....

Postby treegod » 21 Jan 2012, 13:54

How have the noble Druids come to be found worshipping among the grand stones of a strange monument of unknown origins in the midst of a rotting necropolis?
Simple answer, they're dead and extinct, so they would be found in a necropolis. Though not so much "worshipping" as "composting".

The Ancient Druids are dead, long live the Modern Druids! :wink:
For a Living Path, let there be a Living Temple....
Absolutely. My body for a start. I don't need a "sacred site" to go have a spiritual experience. :)

Stonehenge should be dismantled and used for Remineralization. :old:

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Re: A Question....

Postby Oakapple » 21 Jan 2012, 14:02

OK, I'm going to have to respond, although I'm not about to be drawn into an argument.
I think Druids would "worship" anywhere they feel is right. Stone circle, woodland grove, the beach, my back garden, you choose.
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Re: A Question....

Postby treegod » 21 Jan 2012, 14:08

Yes, oakapple. I agree.

Being a Modern Druid I am not constrained by what long dead Greek and Roman authors said about the long dead Ancient Druids they described.

As Aemilius said "For a Living Path, let there be a Living Temple...."

I'm alive, unlike the dead words of dead authors on dead Druids. I am the Living Temple of my Druidry.

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Re: A Question....

Postby DJ Droood » 21 Jan 2012, 15:42

Isn't this more of a Discuss Druidry type topic?...nothing much to be skeptical about here..... I think knowledge of the practices of that time is too sketchy to make definitive statements, so all we are left with is friendly banter...

Personally, I've always been more spiritually inspired by the megalith builders than the druids, who seem to me to be just members of a ruling elite...perhaps if I was Prince Harry, I would relate more....I like to imagine the megalith builders as communities working on huge socialist infrastructure projects....but here is a question....if my understanding of many megalith structure is correct (or more to the point, if my understanding of a couple of books on megaliths I've read is correct), were they not gigantic time-pieces used to track the movements of heavenly bodies? And if the Druids were reported to be interested in that sort of thing, wouldn't they have utilized what they must have been aware of...gigantic observatories? I've always considered the druids to be inheritors of the wisdom of the Neolithics...so why not their structures? Which is perhaps a different thing than "worship", although I doubt if the Ancients drew the same lines in the sand about such things as we do...
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Re: A Question....

Postby treegod » 21 Jan 2012, 16:59

No, it was a sanctuary of healing. That's what my Nat Geo DVD says about it (I think).

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Re: A Question....

Postby Merlyn » 21 Jan 2012, 18:17

Best I can glean from all the views and archeological digs, Stonehenge was a kind of multi-purpose temple/grave/sacrifice/party-zone.
We obviously consider that framers had circles to know when to plant, harvest and no doubt Stonehenge goes a bit further, in knowing when to commune with past ancestors.

The Drui themselves however were of the oak. We have to distinguish between the early Celtic tribes: that the Drui were the entrusted guardians and teachers of and to, and the Celts themselves. It would not be too much of a stretch of the imagination to figure the Drui may well have evolved into using stone and wood henges, much like we have evolved into using computers. I agree however that is not the spiritual side, but more the science of the time. Given the more recent digs, to expose the activity around Stonehenge, we begin to see recent discovery challenge the romantic tales formed around Stonehenge. It is still to be certain, how the stones were moved, who really put them there and all, however we do know that this was a henge which grew in stages, possibly first being a wood henge, and rightly so to be sure where the stones would go.

Romantic tales as I call them of Merlin and Camelot could well be based in truth of sorts, and just because we have not found the bones with a head stone saying "Merlin" does not mean he never existed. If we are to only consider what has been documented, dug up and peer reviewed as fact, we would also have to say many other things just didn't happen.
And we know better..

We humans always try to be ones that reason and live by a truth. Frustrating as it is, our truths change and evolve. My own view is that the Drui of the time were drawn to stone henge, just as they are now. This does not mean they built it. Possibly to the ideas surrounding re-incarnation. And it might well be true that "a" druid had something to do with it's construction, possibly a druid who knew nature more than having social skills, and that would have been Merlin... Possibly a "rouge radical druid" some outcast of the social types, who was a kind of Einstein of his time.. :old:
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Re: A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 21 Jan 2012, 20:52

Hello all....

So, in essence, what you all seem to be saying (if I understand correctly) in different ways using different rationales and speculative mental constructions is "I don't need to regard what's been written about the ancient Druids as being in any way significant or applicable to my path since all the information is suspect for one reason or another and no one can prove anything anyway." Would that be a fair assessment?

DJDrood "Isn't this more of a Discuss Druidry type topic?..."

Well, actually, it's more of a "I'm skeptical as to why a large group of people with such a wide range of beliefs who (seem to) actively resist following anything that's been written about the ancient Druids by classical writers of chronicles, even as their "Order" repeatedly quotes those writings as being foundational, would call themselves Druids." type topic.

If, as you all seem to indicate, there's no real connection, what's the connection? Why does OBOD (among others) quote these ancient authors writings as being foundational if they're starting or inventing a new tradition that bears no meaningful resemblence to their ancient namesake? It appears to me rather like a group of disco dancing ice skaters calling themselves Firewalkers! Why not just rename OBOD "The New Order Of The White Parrakeet"?

I'm not on the attack here, just asking questions and challenging worldviews from the vantage point of my own in order to strengthen it.... Emile
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Re: A Question....

Postby Merlyn » 21 Jan 2012, 21:24

Greetings Aemilius,
From the outside looking in, your view is understood. "Why isn't druidism obvious?" "Certainly it should be based in the traditional way.."
It is.

Reading from the forums you see, your impression could be expected. :thinking:
The open forums, this forum and so on are more like "free-form" think tanks. We do experiment, take in and work with just about every view. And for the most part, enjoy doing so. This board is also just a small part of the OBOD. It is formed with many friends, people from all walks, many in every stage of their path and some like yourself. It is an open set of forums. We strive to be both accomodating and inclusive here.

Personally I think you have valid points. I can't speak for others, and would not want to. However to work with your views, and with the little we have learned about you, can you expand a bit? Your example of working with your brother tells me your talents are amazing, your ability is just as much so.

What order are you currently in? What views does it have? Re-constructionist? or is it entirely different? Is your learning direct? From whom? This might help me see more clearly.
To work with your questions, I of course have a couple of my own, as I am sure others do too. If this is too much to ask, I understand, however the scope of the conversation and direction of it may be a bit limited without comprehensive contributions from both sides of the view.

A large portion of neo-druidism is a tad "color in as you go" for me also. Democratic versions, a bit too clickly, and others a bit to magic minded..
Never the less, at least something positive is happening, and contributing to it, helps it grow, possibly with your help, that of others like you, more to what it might best be.
You never know until you go..as Explorer says.
Thanks,
Merlyn
Last edited by Merlyn on 21 Jan 2012, 21:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Question....

Postby Lily » 21 Jan 2012, 21:26

DJDrood "Isn't this more of a Discuss Druidry type topic?..."

Well, actually, it's more of a "I'm skeptical as to why a large group of people with such a wide range of beliefs who (seem to) actively resist following anything that's been written about the ancient Druids by classical writers of chronicles, even as their "Order" repeatedly quotes those writings as being foundational, would call themselves Druids." type topic.

If, as you all seem to indicate, there's no real connection, what's the connection? Why does OBOD (among others) quote these ancient authors writings as being foundational if they're starting or inventing a new tradition that bears no meaningful resemblence to their ancient namesake? .....

I'm not on the attack here, just asking questions and challenging worldviews from the vantage point of my own in order to strengthen it.... Emile
You are "running in" an open door, as we say in my native German.

Most people in druidry acknowledge that the link between druids and stone circles is tenuous at best. So does OBOD.
http://www.druidry.org/modules.php?op=m ... page_id=70
But the magic pull of them, particularly Stonehenge, is strong, and they are irresistibly and indelibly ingrained into the image of the druid since the 17th century or so....
and to be honest with you, having been inside twice, it is a magical place for ritual.

I think I've suggested in a previous thread that hard core reconstructionist druids would/will have a tough time coming up with enough confirmed substance to build a viable druidic practice.

So the question is for the individual: how much novelty can one accept....
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Re: A Question....

Postby DJ Droood » 21 Jan 2012, 22:49

Well, actually, it's more of a "I'm skeptical as to why a large group of people with such a wide range of beliefs who (seem to) actively resist following anything that's been written about the ancient Druids by classical writers of chronicles, even as their "Order" repeatedly quotes those writings as being foundational, would call themselves Druids." type topic.
Fair enough...so, if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that only people who follow, as closely as possible, the written accounts of the druids and the Ancient stories should call themselves druids. You may be right, actually. Although you may still be setting the bar too high. I read a book by a guy who said only those who had achieved a Phd should be considered Druids (he was a Dr himself.) The Druids spoke a Celtic dialect, or perhaps Latin or Greek as a`lingua franca`, but certainly not English. They seem to have communicated primarily orally, and held positions of authority in the community. There are probably many other ways (with more to be discovered in untranslated manuscripts) of being disqualified to call oneself `Druid`, if one's goal is aspiring to the behaviours and beliefs of Iron Age Druids. I think many of us here would say that we meet very few of the Classical qualifications to call ourselves Druids. We've moved on, and have decided that being inspired by different aspects of our druidic past is enough, in this New Age. If *you* don't think it that is enough for me to call myself a Druid, or a Druid Pendragon, or Druid Half-Elf...well...so what?

As an intellectual question, it is interesting, but I think in practice, it is a lesson in frustration to start saying who can't/shouldn't call themselves a Druid....
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Re: A Question....

Postby Merlyn » 21 Jan 2012, 23:09

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(hard to read, as it's in white) (upper left corner of the front page)
The opinions expressed in this board do not necessarily represent those of the OBOD or it's membership :whistle:

So... Please don't base your impression about the OBOD from the even smaller portion of us who wander the halls of the skeptic or other forums.. :hug:
(We do want to hear your side about druidism, not just your opinion of us.) So again, welcome. :shake:

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Re: A Question....

Postby andromeda » 21 Jan 2012, 23:14

Phd? my goodness...IMHO intellectual knowledge, when is not corrupted by vested interests, is useful; but being a druid is about connecting to the land, the landscape and developing a relationship with sacred groves inside and outside

I am new to all this but I have learned more from trees than many books I have read and I used to be like a library mouse! Being well read did not spare me from life's many dramas, nor it equipped me to be wise enough not to make terrible mistakes

Picture this, trees standing strong and flexible facing the elements, witnessing history on the making for hundreds to thousands of years. Responsibly caring for their habitat and harboring many species of animals, birds and insects. Feeding themselves from sunlight and soil and producing enormous amount of resources for creatures big and small. A perfectly self-sustaining micro universe

If we as humans can do that, how different the world will look! Now, how many phds can appreciate that?

And that is without mentioning how much can be learned from the gods who are our ancestors in our own inner journeys or our own totem animals

Books can not teach you field experience, words do not start to describe the love of one tree :old:
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Re: A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 21 Jan 2012, 23:29

Greetings to you Merlyn....

Merlyn "Reading from the forums you see, your impression could be expected.
The open forums, this forum and so on are more like "free-form" think tanks. We do experiment, take in and work with just about every view. And for the most part, enjoy doing so. This board is also just a small part of the OBOD. It is formed with many friends, people from all walks, many in every stage of their path and some like yourself. It is an open set of forums. We strive to be both accomodating and inclusive here."


Yes, I can see all that, and I don't mean to imply that OBOD is "wrong" or that it hasn't accomplished wonderful things.

Merlyn "Your example of working with your brother tells me your talents are amazing, your ability is just as much so."

You're very kind, maybe a bit of ability in the form of patience, but mostly just providing a stable and supportive environment.

Merlyn "What order are you currently in? What views does it have? Re-constructionist? or is it entirely different? Is your learning direct? From whom? This might help me see more clearly. To work with your questions, I of course have a couple of my own, as I am sure others do too. If this is too much to ask, I understand, however the scope of the conversation and direction of it may be a bit limited without comprehensive contributions from both sides of the view.

Perfectly logical, my Path is here....

http://www.anglamarke.com/here

....and my family's background is too in the "Introduction" section of the same site.

Strength to you Merlyn.... Emile



Hello Lily....

Lily "Most people in druidry acknowledge that the link between druids and stone circles is tenuous at best. So does OBOD."

I'm aware of that, the remark in my original post was directed more at this "King Arthur" fellow.

Lily "But the magic pull of them, particularly Stonehenge, is strong, and they are irresistibly and indelibly ingrained into the image of the druid....
and to be honest with you, having been inside twice, it is a magical place for ritual."


Understood about the magical part, though it would have no ritual value for me.

Lily "I think I've mentioned in a previous thread that hard core reconstructionist druids would/will have a tough time coming up with enough confirmed substance to build a viable druidic practice."

The Celtic Reconstructionists, in their bid to "rebuild" a "Living Path", from my point of view, looks more like the Brooklyn Bridge compared to the simple path I'm familiar with, to each their own.

Lily "So the question is for the individual: how much novelty can one accept...."

Well, from what I've read so far, apparently a great deal.... Emile
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Re: A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 21 Jan 2012, 23:48

Hello Andromeda (nice to meet you), I also believe trees are among Gods most glorious creations, and sometimes, they even bear gifts....

http://www.anglamarke.com/recent_news_a ... aery_realm

Emile
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Re: A Question....

Postby Lily » 22 Jan 2012, 00:52

Lily "Most people in druidry acknowledge that the link between druids and stone circles is tenuous at best. So does OBOD."
I'm aware of that, the remark in my original post was directed more at this "King Arthur" fellow.
he's a character, and he's been around for a while - did a lot for awareness of druids in the public perception(both positive&not), read up on him. but don't project him on your "everyday druid".
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Re: A Question....

Postby Aemilius » 22 Jan 2012, 01:38

Hello DJDrood....

DJDrood "Fair enough...so, if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that only people who follow, as closely as possible, the written accounts of the druids and the Ancient stories should call themselves druids."

No, just saying that preserving in practice what we reasonably can would at least impart a modicum of coherency to the whole thing.

DJDrood "You may be right, actually. Although you may still be setting the bar too high. I read a book by a guy who said only those who had achieved a Phd should be considered Druids (he was a Dr himself.) The Druids spoke a Celtic dialect, or perhaps Latin or Greek as a`lingua franca' but certainly not English. They seem to have communicated primarily orally, and held positions of authority in the community. There are probably many other ways (with more to be discovered in untranslated manuscripts) of being disqualified to call oneself `Druid`, if one's goal is aspiring to the behaviours and beliefs of Iron Age Druids. I think many of us here would say that we meet very few of the Classical qualifications to call ourselves Druids. We've moved on, and have decided that being inspired by different aspects of our druidic past is enough, in this New Age. If *you* don't think it that is enough for me to call myself a Druid, or a Druid Pendragon, or Druid Half-Elf...well...so what?"

Alright then, I hereby pronounce you "DJDrood, High Priest, Supreme Commander and Lord High Monitor of the New Order of the White Parakeet" (just kidding!). I understand what you're saying. I'm simply suggesting that if were just going to throw it all away because no one can any longer fulfil all of the requirements, and we've "moved on" as you say, why hang on to all the quotes or the word "Druid", why not just go all the way with "The New Order Of The White Parrakeet"?

DJDrood "As an intellectual question, it is interesting, but I think in practice, it is a lesson in frustration to start saying who can't/shouldn't call themselves a Druid...."

Again, I didn't mean it that way. When I said "I deny you...." I meant it more in the sense of not believing he is the "King" of anything.... kind of like that fellow we had here a couple of centuries ago called "His Imperial Majesty Norton I, Emperor of the United Staes and Protector of Mexico". I've never said any thing about who should or shouldn't call themselves Druids.... and never will.

Thanks for all the feedback.... Emile
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Re: A Question....

Postby DJ Droood » 22 Jan 2012, 03:07

No, just saying that preserving in practice what we reasonably can would at least impart a modicum of coherency to the whole thing.
Well, if your style of Druidry...the ancient quotes and the like...gives coherency to your spiritual practices, then pursue it..I'm just saying that style of druidry makes it incoherent for me.
I understand what you're saying. I'm simply suggesting that if were just going to throw it all away because no one can any longer fulfil all of the requirements, and we've "moved on" as you say, why hang on to all the quotes or the word "Druid", why not just go all the way with "The New Order Of The White Parrakeet"?
I like Druid..it has a nice ring to it...and I doubt if the Ancient dudes called themselves that, so we aren't infringing any copyrights. I would venture to say, however, that questing, experimental, experiential New Age Druids, from my experience, have more of a right (or, to be charitable, as much right) to call themselves "Druid", and stay faithful to the spirit of the word, than what I've read in the online FAQs about the "reconstructionist path". I would think, after browsing their websites and e-lists, that they may be more comfortable calling themselves "Celtic History Enthusiasts", or "Live Action Role Players" (LARPers). Perhaps there is an Ancient Gaelic word they could use? Anyway, at the end of the day, they are just labels we assign to ourselves or others, so have fun with them, and if *you* are comfortable affixing "druid" to what you do, that is all that matters.

(and again, to bring it back to a practical matter, there seems to exponentially more "New Age Druids" than "CRs", so you may have already lost the battle...sort of like insisting that "gay" means happy and carefree" and everyone who isn't a "Dapper Dan at a speakeasy" shouldn't use it....good luck with reclaiming it from the hoi polli....)
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