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I realize, looking back, that rarely if ever have I defined what I view as druidry. So, I place this here as my discourse.

There are those who refer to themselves as druids. Some of them claim an ancestral link, some sort of passed down tradition allegedly dating back to the time of the ACTUAL druids. They always typically refer to themselves as ACTUAL druids, while everyone else must inherently be a pretender, I suppose. These are people who claim druids can only be taught by other druids, who are ancestral. I ask them, who taught the first druid, at which point they usually quit talking to me. I don't intend to alienate anyone with this, it is a legitimate question in my view, and if they could answer it great. Ah well. Then there are those who claim I can't be a druid, because all the druids died or were killed off, and there aren't any written records left. I ask them, how did the first druids become druids, without written records? At that point they stop talking to me.

So, for my brand of druidry, I explain that I believe it to be a living system, evolving, incorporating, expanding and excluding. There are ideas behind how the original druids practiced, and why. Those are what I feel are important to any modern druid in the making. Sure, we will all look different in the end, but the core values of what make up a druid are still there. The dimensions I refer to are community, art, healing, metaphysical, natural philosophy, teaching, and service. Any modern druid would probably incorporate these dimensions within their practice, but since this is my view of druidry I can say these are the points that I consider to be crucial.

A druid should incorporate themselves into the community. The druids of old had no issue with politics, in point they subsumed politics as a part of their domain. I have no issue getting into political debates, as well as suggesting ideas to the politicians in my town and county for improvement of the community. This is something that any good citizen should feel able to do, I believe.

Art doesn't necessarily refer to music, or painting, or the like. Rather, art as in doing something exceptionally. Make what you love an art, and pursue it with the vigor it deserves. Become skillful at something useful, so that you have the ability to take pride in your work. For myself, I take pride in any job I have at the time. But my primary job is that of cleric, for which I do not charge. I am artful in my approach and interactions with the people of my community.

Healing refers to physical, emotional, and spiritual for me. This can come in many forms, but usually the people I interact with come away with something, or at least I would like to think they do anyway. I have counseled others from time to time, usually to their benefit.

Metaphysical for me denotes anything that might be considered occult, spiritual, or for the atheists, nonexistent. I believe in spirit of place, I feel like certain places have an energy all of their own that can be altered and manipulated. I believe in ritual to alter the state of mind in practices such as meditation. I understand that not everyone believes, and some require proof. The thing is, I am not required to prove anything, as I don't infringe on other people with my practices. I don't ask others to believe, I simply believe myself.

Natural philosophy, any sort of philosophy really. As those on this forum probably know, I like to debate, whether on the side I believe or the other, it doesn't really matter. The act of debating philosophy strengthens the mind terrifically. I also incorporate knowledge of biology and physical sciences here. I think a druid should be able to identify various muscle tissues, which plants are which, and constellations. Not all druids agree, of course.

Teaching, that is almost self explanatory, eh? I like to teach, and I think passing on knowledge is half the point at least of gaining the knowledge in the first place. Of course, the teacher often learns from the student. Shaping is a principle I believe in. Force and counterforce work together, I shape the world I live in, but of course I am shaped by the world I live in as well. Interaction on a dynamic scale.

Service is the highest calling, in my opinion, and I have seen that somewhere before but cannot recall where. In service, we give to others our time, something that is valuable to me. But beyond that, what good is having ability and skill if it isn't shared? At least, that is my view. Feel free to disagree, I am certain there are many here who do :)

These are the basics of my brand of druidry, incorporated with Celtic mythology and the Celtic year. When I read mythology, I incorporate what it might mean in terms of druidry with my understanding and decide whether I believe it to be relevant or not. Sometimes it isn't. Usually I can find a piece of truth or two in most myths. And they are fun to read. I just thought I would share what I view to be the druidic path, since I have never done so comprehensively before on this forum about sharing our beliefs(or non beliefs, as the case may be, Johnathan). Feel free, of course, to interact and debate with me, I enjoy it.

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My guess is you can be a Druid the same way Mormons, Christian Scientist, Jehovah Witnesses and the like can be Christians. Would be like saying you can't be a witch unless you have a black cat, a cauldron and cast spells. There are Muslims who believe other Muslim sects are not Muslims at all. I call myself a Doctor of Metaphysics and have a printed certificate with a pretty little seal on it to prove it. Does anyone else believe I am a Doctor of Metaphysics? Don't care.

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Indeed Brother Kaman, I just thought I would share my view, since I never have before that I am aware at least. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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Hi Cuchulain,

I enjoyed your post. I prefer to style myself as a Welsh Wiccan, but I have also studied Druidry in the past with O.B.O.D. (completed the Bardic and Ovate grades between 1994 and 1996) and with a few other Druid groups. You certainly have as much right to call yourself a Druid as anyone else does. The same kind of thing plagues the Witchcraft community as to who is a real Witch, who is allowed to call themselves a Wiccan, and the like. Your question of "Who taught the first Druid?" is much like the question of "Who initiated the first Witch?" asked by Doreen Valiente herself (Gardner's High Priestess). Continued luck on your path :).

Edited by Arglwydd Gruffudd

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My guess is you can be a Druid the same way Mormons, Christian Scientist, Jehovah Witnesses and the like can be Christians. Would be like saying you can't be a witch unless you have a black cat, a cauldron and cast spells. There are Muslims who believe other Muslim sects are not Muslims at all. I call myself a Doctor of Metaphysics and have a printed certificate with a pretty little seal on it to prove it. Does anyone else believe I am a Doctor of Metaphysics? Don't care.

Hi Brother Kaman,

I have a ULC Doctor of Divinity and feel the same ;).

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Thank you friend. Witchcraft is always one of those things that I used to pick on when I was much younger, but I think that came primarily from ignorance, both on my part and on the part of the people I would debate with. The claim was always an ancient unbroken line, and I never bought it. But then as I grew older I realized, it wasn't up to me to buy it. Wasn't my choice, so why was I worrying so much about someone else's path? And who ever decided it was only valid if it was ancient anyway? The idea had to be new at some point. Anyway, thanks to everyone for responding. Much appreciated.

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Thank you friend. Witchcraft is always one of those things that I used to pick on when I was much younger, but I think that came primarily from ignorance, both on my part and on the part of the people I would debate with. The claim was always an ancient unbroken line, and I never bought it. But then as I grew older I realized, it wasn't up to me to buy it. Wasn't my choice, so why was I worrying so much about someone else's path? And who ever decided it was only valid if it was ancient anyway? The idea had to be new at some point. Anyway, thanks to everyone for responding. Much appreciated.

It's all been an interesting read to me. By now you should know me to be like a sponge that absorbs information. Another good reason to be here.

In my prepubescent youth, I dabbled a bit in minor black magic. But when I became aware of the serious consequences that could be dealt with it, I was scared away from any further attempts to try or understand.

But now, as I'm older, knowledge is power. I seek just to understand for the moment.

My mind has always been years ahead of my body in development. Perhaps that's why I absorb without judgement, for the most part. And, maybe why I am fascinated by what the mind is capable of, while seeking the limits of it.

Edited by Keystrikr

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Thank you friend. Witchcraft is always one of those things that I used to pick on when I was much younger, but I think that came primarily from ignorance, both on my part and on the part of the people I would debate with. The claim was always an ancient unbroken line, and I never bought it. But then as I grew older I realized, it wasn't up to me to buy it. Wasn't my choice, so why was I worrying so much about someone else's path? And who ever decided it was only valid if it was ancient anyway? The idea had to be new at some point. Anyway, thanks to everyone for responding. Much appreciated.

Your statement that you're a Druid is good enough for me. May your path bring you happiness.

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Thank you friend. Witchcraft is always one of those things that I used to pick on when I was much younger, but I think that came primarily from ignorance, both on my part and on the part of the people I would debate with. The claim was always an ancient unbroken line, and I never bought it. But then as I grew older I realized, it wasn't up to me to buy it. Wasn't my choice, so why was I worrying so much about someone else's path? And who ever decided it was only valid if it was ancient anyway? The idea had to be new at some point. Anyway, thanks to everyone for responding. Much appreciated.

Yes, when I first became involved with Witchcraft (Celtic Wicca) in the late 1980's the unbroken line claim was still the party line. Many Witches today will concede that most current forms of Witchcraft were concocted less than a hundred years ago, although some of the odds and ends used to create them may be considered genuinely ancient. In any case, people are entitled to believe as they wish, and I do not believe that there is only one valid path. BTW, it is your tolerance and respect for others that marks you as a Druid irrespective of what others might say. Were not the Druids described as "the most just of men?" :)

Edited by Arglwydd Gruffudd

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The truth is that everyone of us walks a unique path. Nobody has to legitimize the path that we have chosen. We can give the path that we have chosen a name or not. That will not change who we are as we walk our paths. We can also change the name of our path, but it will still be our path. That is one of the beautiful aspects of the ULC. Two things I have always said we should keep in mind as we walk the chosen path: respect the freedom of all and live an ethical live. So, good friend cuchulain, walk your path with serenity and compassion, and I am sure that it will take you far.

Hermano Luis

Morivivi Hermitage

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Life is inherently good, emalpaiz, and I would go so far as to suggest that people are inherently good, as well.

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Life is inherently good, emalpaiz, and I would go so far as to suggest that people are inherently good, as well.

While this is true. life and people are also inherently evil. That's the thing with dichotomies.

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I'd prefer to say we have the potential for both, but that most people incline towards good.

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