Self Exploration

What makes a Druid a Druid?

Long beard, long cloak and staff perhaps or a walking stick.

A woman, barely clothed, adorned in woad with a face of battle rage.

A wise man, excellent judge and cool composure.

An everyday teen, exploring themselves through religion, who decides they like talking to trees.

But what really gives us the right to label ourselves after a religious practice that was not well documented, half stained with Christianity and mostly lost to us now, as it was an oral tradition. We gleam what we can from the history books, but do we really know what it was like to be a Druid? Does it take a public face or remain secluded behind doors?

This is a philosophical musing, in case that wasn’t evident. I am wondering if I have the right to consider myself a Druid, or perhaps I am one and am practicing just fine. Does the Atheist that takes part in public ritual deserve to be considered a Druid? Are there any similarities between the two? Perhaps no organization is qualified to say that you are a Druid, that it is something within you that is gifted by the Gods. Again, perhaps.

 

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About Siofra |Nathifa|

A Druid and a Kemetic Pagan. I have studied Celtic Traditions, European Shamanism, the Fairy Faith, Native American Traditions, Wicca, Witchcraft and have explored New Age beliefs. I guess you could say I'm eclectic, but right now my focus is on Druidry and Kemetic Traditions. I am by no means, an expert in any of these interests. I am also a Bard in training.
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6 Responses to Self Exploration

  1. greycatsidhe says:

    It’s a big question – one we all ask ourselves often. Although there’s a lot of gaps in our understanding of the ancient Druids, we do know they performed rites for the community. This suggests public functions. But they likely did private things too. And since we know it took many years and much study to become one, I’d say a Druid can be someone who has worked hard to learn and continues to do so – especially in the name of the Kindreds and their community. Just my thoughts!

  2. greycatsidhe says:

    And yes, this is a modern understanding. We’ll never recreate ancient Druidism, but we can do the best we can to modernize what we do understand or know! Peace my friend!

    • I always enjoy hearing your thoughts, Grey. 🙂 This may be a question that will haunt me for the rest of my life. LOL. Maybe it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. We are all searching for an identity, which ebbs and flows throughout our lives. I think we are, in many ways, always changing. Yet sometimes it feels as if its all still and silent, and that nothing really changes at all.

  3. Eilish Niamh says:

    Sometimes I feel that what doesn’t change at all is change itself. I agree, we constantly create and recreate our identity, the details of it, but the core seems to continue recognizably. I ask this question about myself as a druid often. I read a book, actually come to think of it you would probably really enjoy it, called “The Daughters of Bast.” The main character was a druid. It was the first time I read about a druid, fiction or otherwise, and thought if there’s any way for someone to become a druid now, that’s the path I need to follow as well.

  4. Eilish Niamh says:

    In OBOD at least part of your question of who’s a druid gets answered by pointing out that when it took nineteen or so years to become a druid, students were also learning subjects we are now taught in school. I personally practice a shamelessly nonreconstructionist form of druidry so naturally wonder about authenticity sometimes, but I practice as I do because it works. It works for me. On the other hand, I am learning Irish and studying Celtic mythology and history as much as possible, because it belongs with my ancestors, and because I wouldn’t feel quite right practicing a spirituality if I didn’t know the language and history of the culture(s) that practiced it. But druidry is also a spirituality of the future and I think growing and questioning and changing keeps something alive, dynamic, still mystery.

  5. Well spoken Eilish. I have tried reconstructionist Druidry but we don’t really have enough historical documentation to really successfully reconstruct a religion that was passed down to oral records and not written ones. A lot of the information we do have comes from observations by their enemies and Christian monks. I question their authority. Lol. Anyway, its important to follow what works for you. Who cares what others think? Be true to your spiritual core.

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