Essay by OakLore and Inion An Daghdha, 2003
uman beings are drawn naturally toward the mystical. Perhaps it is the Divine seed within us that whispers to our spirits and beckons scholars and skeptics alike to contemplate the timeless message of the Druid tradition.
What would the world look like if seen through a Druid's eyes? Nature would be elevated, once again, into a position of noble equality. It would be revered and protected as a sentient living and Divine presence. It would no longer be seen as something to simply dominate and exploit for wealth, entertainment or power. The mystery of nature would reemerge and we would suddenly be filled with wonder.
Within the wonder and mystery of nature is the flame of hope for mankind. Druids kindle and tend that flame with great care, full in the knowledge that what good is performed today, shall forever be felt in the years and generations to come. Humankind must not remain alienated from the very home of our spirit, but return to it, love it and celebrate that union, found in the gentle rhythms of the world of Druids.
Druids receive Divine inspiration or "Awen," which manifests itself in a variety of ways. Inwardly, the changes are subtle ones. Our conscious minds are opened to the greater possibilities of the world and awaken, thirsting for knowledge. Our subconscious minds are opened and the mystery within pours forth and awakens in us senses, long asleep, and we are suddenly aware of the unseen world. These gifts enable us to grow and continue our journey toward enlightenment, gathering in the knowledge and wisdom of those who journey with us now, and all those who have traveled this way before us. We together, past, present and future, shall converge in the center of all that is and find the source of Awen, which is Truth.
Druid spirituality is simplistic: Nature is Divine. There is nothing to divide you from your Gods, for They are manifest in everything! They speak in the soft whisper of wind stirring the trees. They sing with the water rushing in the streambed. They sprint through the forest, wing breathlessly skyward or remain as still as stone. Our hearts cannot escape Their gentle touch and neither shall They remain untouched by the love we give Them in return.
But Druid spirituality is also complex. We honour simplicity yet highly value the pursuit of knowledge and truth. The exploration and quest for truth becomes one of such intensity as to almost define a person's soul. We explore the concept of reality and existence and its impact on the triplicity of body, mind and spirit. We find ourselves provoked to deeper thought and further exploration and interpretation of life experiences. So too do we engage in conscious devotion to spiritual pursuits and the soulful exploration of our higher self. We seek the love, comfort and affirmation of communion with the Divine.
The term "spiritual progression" can probably best be defined as a labyrinth in which we slowly, through the course of many lifetimes, achieve a greater understanding and awareness of our spiritual self, as well as the universe and the nature of all existences. This journey takes place on the plane of "Anwynn" or "place of rebirth." It is here that our energy consummates its eternal longing for the Divine creator. This is the place of soul rest where healing and compassionate understanding is a sweet cup from which we drink. As we traverse the wheel time and again through the natural process of birth and death and rebirth, we attain spiritual progression. The purpose of spiritual progression is to bring the soul to a level that Buddhists might characterize as "total enlightenment." This level of achievement is marked by a shift in awareness to embrace, with total understanding, the mysteries of the universe. Without further need to experience the mortal plane, the spirit moves away from the process of rebirth and goes to its ultimate reward, union with the Divine.
A Druid better understands these mysteries by mapping the soul's journey through time. The Druid calendar is divided into an eight-fold year. Each holiday represents an event in time, the changing of seasons and celebration of the fertility and abundance of this our Earth Mother. There are four solar festivals which celebrate the equinoxes and solstices dividing the year into four equal parts. There are four fire festivals that commemorate historical events as well as the passage of time.
Upon this wheel of the year we can plot the course of a human lifetime: birth, coming of age, young adulthood, middle age, elder years and finally death. This is a gentle and comforting wisdom which instills in us the natural cycle of our existence, which is in harmony with the cycle of all creation. We discover our own mortality and also the promise of immortality secure in the knowledge that the circle of life, is indeed a circle.
We oftimes find ourselves filled to brimming with the knowledge we gain as we traverse the wheel. We seek out means by which we can express and/or illustrate these events making them available to others. We reach into our own center to find wisdom and embrace the sacredness of life. Through artistic expression, esoteric knowledge, divination, natural philosophy and other means, we share what we have learned, as we walk the paths of the Bard, the Ovate and the Druid.
Contemporary Druids hold as truth that the mortal soul is not limited unto itself, but enjoys a greater communion with the energy of all living things and indeed the Divine source. When we come fully into this awareness there is within us a startling metamorphosis. We begin to see clearly our connection with all life and know that all life is sacred. That sacredness not only forms the foundation of all life, but is the root of Druid philosophy.
Chris Travers in his 1996 essay, Who Were The Druids? writes, "The picture that emerges of a druid is one of a thoughtful philosopher and magician, schooled in the lore of the traditions, and in charge of the education of the chieftains as well as those who sought esoteric knowledge. A druid is a knower of truth." So we see that from both historical and contemporary perspectives, Druid philosophy, though shrouded in mythological beginnings, has a poignant relevance in today's world. Druidry is the wellspring from which human beings will begin to once again recognize and accept our role in the circle of life, rather than trying to dominate or change it. We will begin to honour and love all creation, for it is the embodiment of the Divine. We shall honour our ancestors and harken to their voices and their spirit. We will not be afraid of the wildness of our own spirit that beckons us to explore and renew our connection with the blessed land and with the Gods. We will walk with dignity these modern times, and live the Elder Ways not only for the betterment of self, but for the benefit of all.
Thank You for reading. Blessed Be!
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