Archive for the ‘fake Druid’ Tag

“One Genuine Real Live Druidry”: Take 47   Leave a comment

Previous posts touching this theme [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ] have drawn a range of responses. Some readers took issue with the word “fake”, rather than reflecting on the often spurious claims to legitimacy and authority that prompted its use in the first place. Some took it as an insult, like Robert Frost’s bird “who takes/Everything said as personal to himself.”

Another noted, though don’t I recall mentioning gods, that

the deities … do not need belief in order for them to exist, nor do they need faith. They existed before we even came onto the earth, we are born and surrounded by them and gain consciousness of their presence …

Of course, such an observation is itself a statement of faith. A staunch materialist is equally convinced that the physical world and its processes are sufficient to explain everything — no “gods” needed.

pillars1

Attend a Pagan gathering, a Muslim masjid at prayer, a Christian church service, a Jewish synagogue or temple on the Sabbath, a Hindu puja, and so on, and while statements of belief may be part of the event, the communal experience dominates. People gather for celebration, for spiritual reconnection, for a dip into sacred time and space.

Druid, this dip’s for you.

Argumentation and logic and pure intellect have their place, but if they were all, we wouldn’t have much in the way of human culture. Would even music or art exist? For so many of the purposes they serve are akin to religion and spirituality — something more than molecules moves our hearts. And without that, would some of the more unlikely religions such as Dudeism or the Jedi faith (link to lively interview on British TV!), to name just two, ever have gotten off the ground? What are we to make of this impulse that surfaces in every human culture and enriches it beyond measure, in an astonishing abundance and a variety of forms and colors? Does it have “evolutionary value”? Why might it persist?

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We can add fake to other dangerous four-letter words like true, evil, just, only: you know, “It was just a dream”; “It’s only your imagination”, and so forth. (We won’t even mention three-letter words like why, or two letter words like if.)

“My fake Druidry is faker (and therefore more interesting and exciting) than yours, so there!”

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From “Meditations of the ‘One Genuine Real Live Druidry’ Ogreldi Druid”:

There’s always more to learn.

Spirit refuses to sit obediently within any human container. That includes death.

The Land where you live is your teacher today.

A magic as big as your heart: begin now.

We all live in more than one world. Check your passports before entering.

When does a wall become a window, then a door?

The awen sings in your blood and heart, in your neighbors’, in the stars, in the spider’s in the corner. What songs have you heard today?

The Ancestors still talk.

Make an ally of darkness.

Everything starts dancing, when you look closely enough.

Evil is misplaced force.

Find the fire.

A moon for mundane tasks, a year and a day for magical ones.

Everything is true through which we become better.

Nothing is mundane. Absolutely everything is. A sage bought this at the market of truth, but it’s not the final word on the matter.

What shatters the veil of form?

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We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

 

Fake Druidry and Ogreld   10 comments

I’m a fake Druid.  So is everyone else who names Druidry as the path they walk. And I’ve come to love it.

In a guest essay on the ADF website, J. M. Greer notes,

The very last of the ancient Druids went extinct in the ninth century, and the surviving scraps of their teachings and lore are so fragmentary, diffuse, and contradictory that they don’t form anything like a workable system. All modern Druid groups—OBOD, ADF, and everyone else—were invented in the last three centuries by people who used some mix of scholarly writings, personal spiritual insight, speculation, and sheer fantasy as raw material for their concoctions.

Thus if “real Druidry” is defined as the sort that was practiced by Druids in Celtic countries before the arrival of Christianity, all modern Druids practice fake Druidry. That can’t be avoided, since “real Druidry” hasn’t existed anywhere for more than a millennium. What differentiates one modern Druid tradition from another is the particular kind of “fake Druidry” each practices.

Of course, Greer writes here as an outsider might see it, to try on a truth many still feel uncomfortable to admit.  As Archdruid of AODA, he obviously doesn’t habitually dwell on his particular flavor of Druidry as “fake.”  And when I practice my Druidry, it doesn’t feel like a “concoction” at all.  It coheres, because like anything used — steps, coins, dishes, skin, planets — the edges get smoothed, a few chips and dents show up, and everything takes on that “lived-in” look, that patina that makes antiques look antique, that gives worry-stones their shine, and faces their habitual smile or frown lines.  I make an offering at an altar, I join my Druid brothers and sisters at a festival, I sit for an hour in moonlight meditating, and whether a group of people 300 years ago rediscovered things most traditional peoples have long known doesn’t really concern me.  Clearly, the moment itself offers me better things to do.

Greer continues:

The Druid community has on occasion been racked by squabbles between traditions, caused as often as not by simple misunderstandings that could have been quickly cleared up by people familiar with more than their own tradition. Since none of us have any right to claim possession of the One Genuine Real Live Druidry, a willingness to share the world with other Druid traditions, and to participate with them in celebrating the cycles of nature and the miracle of the living Earth, is a virtue that may well be worth cultivating by Druids of all kinds.

Ah, “One Genuine Real Live Druidry” — Ogreld, I’ll call it. My new tradition, founded right now as you’re reading this.  Here we go … unlike every other practice and belief on the planet, Ogreld sprang into existence full-grown and perfect, without parents or kin.  To get that essential temporal edge over other faiths and practices, Ogreld is the original “source faith” of humanity, practiced when people first became human. In fact, to top it off, it was Ogreld that made them human.  Now we’re cooking!  … This is faking with a vengeance.  “I’m faker than you are.  Na-na-na-na-na!”

In the Egyptian afterlife, the human heart is weighed against the feather of Maat, who personifies truth and justice.  The Wise among us understand that whether I acknowledge three elements of earth, water and air, or four elements of earth, air, fire and water, or a god whose elements are bread and wine, my rituals will still work in accordance with the reverence and love I bring to them, and the holy presences that empower them.  Whether I have helped or hurt the earth and its inhabitants will matter a lot more than the color of my robes, the rank I’ve achieved, or the number of gods I pray to.   The only real Druidry is a “path with heart,” a way of walking the earth that wisely honors all paths with heart.  I’m busy faking that wisdom, practicing till I get it “righter” than before.  Insofar as faking is doing something, it’s generally better than not doing anything at all.  So yes, I’m a fake Druid.  Have you met any other kind?!

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