Seven Things Every Druid Should Do   8 comments

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New growth on the tips of our south boundary pines

[Thirty Days of Druidry 28]

“Should” is such a polarizing word. I write it here as a reminder most of all to myself. “Who are you to tell us what to do?!” Well, what difference does that make? If my suggestions are good, follow them. If they’re not, don’t. In the end, “who I am” really doesn’t matter much, does it? I’m not putting it out there as a distraction, so why let it be one for you? A road sign on a road you’re not travelling doesn’t apply to you, does it?

Besides, if my suggestions are good, you’re probably already practicing them in your own way.

(The next post will account for how well I follow my own advice.)

OK, here goes:

1–Druids should have a practice. I’m not saying what that is or should be, only that we each need one. Finding one we can stick with and make our own can be a deal of work. But without a practice, we lose focus, we fail to hear the hints — from others, from the green world, from dreams, from study and learning, from the nudge that comes in the shower or taking out the trash — that help keep us in balance. Otherwise, how are we more than armchair or coffee-table druids?

2–Druids should be able to talk about Druidry. Not proselytize. Not necessarily give interviews, record podcasts or lead workshops, unless that’s our thing. But if someone asks, a door is opening, and we can have an “elevator speech” ready. You know, an account of what we do, and how it makes a difference in our lives. One or two sentences can be enough. Otherwise, if we can’t manage that much, why are we doing what we do?

3–Druids should show their love of the earth. How we each do that is part of our own unique practice. Like all things, we have our birth and our bloom, our fruit and our fallow time. Otherwise, how do our lives build and contribute to this world we say we love?

4–Druids should keep learning. Neither we nor the world stands still, and much is stirring in many fields of learning that can enrich our practice, our knowledge, our awareness and our ability to work with the energies of the world for good. Otherwise, how else do we honor what we have been given?

5–Druids should respect their own needs. Our existences are such complex systems, and it becomes very difficult to fulfill the potential of our lives if pain, anger, illness, injury, or weakness overtakes us. It can be equally difficult to do more than we’re already doing if we have lives we live fully, without adding more than enough and driving us to a tipping point of imbalance. We should seek to know ourselves well enough to respect our own boundaries and limits, while asking which ones deserve to be there as supports, corner posts, roof-beams and garden fences, and which ones we can wisely transcend and grow beyond. Otherwise, how can we respect the same needs in others?

6–Druids should serve something greater than themselves. It may be a person, a spirit or god, a relationship, a practice, a community, a cause, an ideal, an institution, a way of life, a language — the possibilities are great. Otherwise, how do we give back and complete our half of the cycle?

7–Druids should listen more than they talk — and we talk a lot! By listening, we can hear music others miss, find beauty that others pass by, celebrate wonders that many children know but adults are coaxed to forget. Otherwise, how can we add our voices to the Great Song that sings each dawn, noon and sunset?

There’s my list. Anything you would delete, change, substitute? What “shoulds” do you follow on your own path?



8 responses to “Seven Things Every Druid Should Do

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  1. Just wanted to let you know I swiped this post for OBOD’s featured blog-of-the-month!

    Good one, Dean!

  2. I just found your blog though the OBOD posting this month. What a treasure trove you’ve written on this blog! I can’t wait to delve in deeper to your older posts. I think your number 5, respecting our own needs, is one that is often overlooked. It’s hard to serve or grow when you aren’t aware of or taking care of the things your soul and person need in this very moment. I’m glad you touched on that topic in this post!

    • EM–thanks for visiting and commenting. I find that the act of making such a list helps me find what I’ve been overlooking. Do keep exploring and commenting — it helps me and other writers keep writing!

  3. This is fabulous, especially for a druid in the beginning of her new lifestyle. Thank you so much for making it simple and not overwhelming

    Sarah McGahan
    • Sarah, thanks for visiting and commenting. I’m glad you found it helpful. The longer I practice, the more I find that returning to essentials keeps me focused and balanced. The trick is to find new ways of seeing so that seemingly old ways stay fresh and new. They don’t change — we do, as we keep recovering a magical point of view!

  4. My vows were pretty simple: to serve my patron deity, to stand by my truth and to walk both worlds with reverence. Less easy to stick to…

    Yes, I like yours. I need to listen more.

    • Hi Lorna. Maybe “less easy to stick to” but very clear. A powerful triad. When I delve into your three, I find the force of all seven “shoulds” I listed. Easier to remember three than seven, too! I went for more general statements and thereby forfeited the punch of yours. You also treat yours as vows, while I’m trot out a kind of vaguely moral or imperative should. Your patron may have something to do with that 🙂

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