What is Druidry?
Many Pagan Druid orders draw their inspiration from Celtic traditions, working with the Gods and Goddesses of the Celtic Pagan past. Some work with whatever spirits are within and around the people they are working with. So when in America, for example, they honour the spirits of that land; when at Wayland’s Smithy they might honour the Old Gods of the builders and the Anglo-Saxon Wayland. Also, they might be drawn to particular deities, regardless of tradition or culture, because of their own cultural/spiritual background or because these deities seek them out. (Thanks to Philip Shalcrass of the BDO for this amendment) Druidry stresses the mystery of poetic inspiration and explores healing, divination and sacred mythology. However, not all Druid orders are Pagan. Some are charitable organisations. Others follow particular esoteric teachings not necessarily sympathetic to Pagan beliefs, and some Druid orders are of an artistic or Christian nature.
Following the problems at Stonehenge in 1988, The Council of British Druid Orders was founded as a focus for communication between the various different groups. Some Pagan-sympathetic member orders are: The Glastonbury Order of Druids, which works with the Glastonbury mythos; The London Druid group, founded in 1986 which has associated Celtic and magical groups; and the Druid Clan of Dana, a daughter organisation of the Fellowship of Isis.
The British Druid Order founded in 1979, which is both Pagan and Goddess orientated, and the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, which has both Christian and Pagan members left the CBDO to form the Druid Forum, which meets to discuss issues of relevance to modern Druidry.
A Druid explains:
‘Druidry has no book of law, the only lessons being those learnt from nature. There are no gurus and hierarchy is kept to a working minimum. Central to Druidic belief is a love of nature combined with the pragmatic view that spiritual insight should be expressed in daily life. Druidry stresses the importance of working as a part of a group and working as an individual to develop the spiri tual life. Druidry is especially concerned with the ecological crisis faced by the modern world, and works in many ways for the healing of the Earth.’
Druidry represents another branch of the flourishing tree of Pagan spirituality. Druidry grows from strength to strength, answering in its own voice the call of the Divine.
‘O knowledgeable lad, whose son are you?’
‘I am the son of Poetry
Poetry, son of scrutiny
Scrutiny, son of meditation
Meditation, son of lore
Lore, son of enquiry
Enquiry, son of investigation
Investigation, son of great knowledge
Great knowledge, son of great sense
Great sense, son of understanding
Understanding, son of wisdom
Wisdom, son of the triple Gods of poetry.’
(The Colloquy of the Two Sages- Celtic Traditional)