What is Druidry?

Druidry is a spiritual way and practice which speaks to three great yearnings:

To be fully creative in our lives
To commune fully with the world of nature
To gain access to a source of profound wisdom

Within Druidry there are three recognised grades namely the Bard, the Ovate and the Druid

Bardic teachings nurture the poet, storyteller, singer or artist within us
Ovate teachings foster the shaman, the lover of nature, the healer within
Druid teachings help us to develop our inner wisdom, the sage who dwells within each of us

Ethics of Druidry

Druids hold the following values to be of supreme importance:

responsibility, community, trust, integrity, honour, courage, generosity, loyalty, balance, relationships, self-knowledge, environmental awareness, friendship and the worthwhile life

“Life involves inevitable encounters with events that seem, at least at first, to impose themselves upon you. Fortune, nature, other people, and death itself, are among them.
These events also invite us to respond. The response generally involves the development of various human potentials and resources. Some of these are social, such as one’s family and friendship ties, and some are personal and internal, like courage and integrity.
If we respond to these imposing events with excellence, and if the excellent response becomes habitual, they can be transformed into sources of spiritual meaning and fulfillment. This transformation opens the way to a worthwhile and flourishing life.”

Dr Brendan Myers, The Other Side of Virtue, OBOD Mt Haemus Scholar

Irish Wisdom texts give us an insight into the ethics of the ancient Druid:

King Cormac explains to his grandson what his habits were as a youth:

“I was a listener in woods,
I was a gazer at stars,
I was blind where secrets were concerned,
I was silent in a wilderness,
I was talkative among many,
I was mild in the mead-hall,
I was stern in battle,
I was ready to watch,
I was gentle in friendship,
I was a physician of the sick,
I was weak towards the strengthless,
I was strong toward the powerful,
I never was hard lest I be satirised,
I never was feeble lest I should have my hair stripped off,
I was not close lest I should be burdensome,
I was not arrogant though I was wise,
I was not given to promising though I was strong,
I was not venturesome, though I was swift,
I did not deride old people, though I was young,
I was not boastful though I was a good fighter,
I would not speak about anyone in his absence,
I would not reproach, but I would praise,
I would not ask, but I would give,
For it is through these habits that the young become old and kingly warriors.”         Instructions of Cormac, § 7

Cormac’s instructions to his grandson on how to act in all situations:

Be not too wise, be not too foolish,
be not too conceited, be not too diffident,
be not too haughty, be not too humble,
be not too talkative, be not too silent,
be not too harsh, be not too feeble.
If you be too wise, one will expect (too much) of you;
If you be too foolish, you will be deceived;
If you be too conceited, you will be thought vexatious;
If you be too humble, you will be without honour;
If you be too talkative, you will not be heeded;
If you be too silent, you will not be regarded;
If you be too harsh, you will be broken;
If you be too feeble, you will be crushed.” Instructions of Cormac, § 29

Druid Beliefs

The unity and one-ness of the world.

We are all connected in the web of life and our seperateness is an illusion

The inherent goodness of human nature.

The presence of ‘Awen’ (magical or divine inspiration)

Nature is sacred. The experience of the divine in trees and landforms and in nature generally

The existence of ‘the Otherworld’ – we must die in this world to enter the other world and vice versa

Immortality of the soul

Reincarnation – metempsychosis

The law of the harvest – the doctrine of cause and effect – ‘as ye sow so shall ye reap’ (karma)

That the goal of life is the cultivation of wisdom, creativity and love

Love of Peace – non-violence and pacificism (ahimsa)

Love of Justice (restorative not punitive justice)

Love of Truth

Love of story and myth and its potential to enlighten, heal and entertain eg Tale of Taliesin

To have love and respect for all life – human – animal – nature

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