Google ‘druid’ or ‘druidry’ and you’ll pick up a mix of spiritual druids, and gamers. World of Warcraft Druidry currently comes out high, but no doubt there’s still some Dungeons and Dragons in the mix too. For someone looking in a very serious way for serious articles about serious druidry, this can be a tad frustrating. But in games, as in fantasy romance fiction, druidry is popular.
Why am I blogging about it? Because based on conversations online, there are people who start out as gaming druids and then start looking for more. Gaming druidry is a million miles from what we get up to in fields and groves, but it is a route in, so I don’t think it should be dismissed out of hand.
Ok, I shall confess. I played an AD&D Druid character before I took up druidry, and looking back, it very obviously was one of my moves in this direction. I knew perfectly well that whatever happened in a game was fantasy and play, and would not afford me any deep spiritual revelations. I was a pagan already at that point. But I wanted to play at being a druid because the word had such huge resonance for me. Gaming is a bit like acting, a bit like writing a story, and is full of opportunities to experiment safely with being different people, acting out different mindsets, values and attitudes. For a young human trying to establish who they are, it can be a helpful tool. I learned a great deal about honour during my gaming years.
I think most people who explore druidry do so because the word itself calls to them. Wanting to try that title on for size and see how it feels, is not something you can do in real life very easily. But games enable all manner of things. If the resonance continues and the game itself fails to satisfy, then you start looking around, wondering where to go next. In just the same way, films, books and TV programs have been inspiring people to find out about real paganism for years, without having any decent pagan content of their own.
Druidry is a creative spirituality, inspiration is a big part of what we do. Bard craft is full of storytelling, acting a role, making things up – so we shouldn’t be even slightly surprised if folk who are finding their way wander in through games and creative play.
I don’t think it matters a great deal where people find their inspiration, so long as they do. So if you are a gaming person, who was looking for AD&D and World of Warcraft Druidry and landed here because of my shameless use of tagwords, and stayed to read because you felt something, (I really hope someone does!) then keep looking, keep reading. There is far more to actual druidry than a game can ever offer.