Peaceful Druid, Angry Druid

Peace is a state upheld by druids as being the ideal. We work for inner peace and for peace in the world whenever we can. But at the same time, Druids are also eco warriors, protestors and trouble makers because some things have to be fought and some things you can’t respond honourably to without getting bloody angry first!

This raises some interesting questions for me, about when to seek peace and when not. This is very much a line of thought in progress, so please, please do pile in with observations, I find the feedback very helpful – both in a personal way and in a wider, more academic sort of way too.

I think peace has to come after resolution and after justice. Peace without justice is not going to work – either it won’t be sustainable, or it won’t be honourable, or both. Quiet dishonour is not peace, it’s just acquiescence. So there needs to be a reckoning, a redressing of balance of some kind for the anger to pass. I’m not sure where that leaves you if justice or recompense seem unavailable. Still wearing the angry Druid hat, perhaps.

Perhaps what matters is what we let our anger do. If anger is the righteous motivation towards necessary action, and the idea of redress, or regaining balance is the goal of action, then anger can be harnessed to work towards peace.

One thing I’ve learned is that supressing my own emotions does not engender peace, within myself, nor lead to sustainable peace in relationships. Anger can be very healthy and necessary, the natural recognition of wrongs, or dishonourable behaviour. I may mostly be a pacifist, but I do also think there are a small subset of people who need their arses kicking. Possibly literally. I’d rather work with reason, with solid arguments and persuasion than with violence, but when you’re dealing with the smug and self righteous, too locked into their own self serving world views to know what good behaviour looks like, the stick to posterior option gets tempting. Not that I have, but ye gods its good therapy thinking about it once in a while.

Today I have the angry hat on. I’m looking at issues I don’t think I can make peace with, but justice is not unimaginable. I can’t yet envisage where I will be once justice has been achieved, but if the theory is right, peace may indeed follow. Peace in my heart, in my soul. Not forgiveness for wrongs done, but the space to forget and move on. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we get there. And I firmly believe I’m going to get there.

I’ve blogged before about re-enchantment and reclaiming magic. All of the positive thinking I can muster at the moment is focused on justice, on fairness, on the truth making itself known and dishonour meeting the rewards it deserves. I am relearning how to hope and how to believe. Angry Druid is a far more effective creature than the defeated one, and right now I think Angry Druid is the persona most able to ultimately serve the calling to peace.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

11 responses to “Peaceful Druid, Angry Druid

  • Jayne

    I think there is far more to all this than meets the eye, therefore, I don’t believe anyone looking in from the outside and reading this blog has the right to pass comment…this is something that obviously has to run it’s course. Truth will prevail!

    • Nimue Brown

      Thanks Jayne. I am happy to be challenged and questioned tho, it’s part of what I blog for, because I do want to hear other takes – the smug state Aracos refered to is something I fear. I don’t want to end up locked in my own reality bubble, thinking that best for me is best for everyone, or anything crazy like that. But, thank you for your thoughts because this also is much appreciated.

      • Jayne

        It may be hard for you to imagine, but I could feel the anger you were emanating when you wrote this blog. There is nothing wrong with feeling anger, sometimes it helps to put ‘stuff’ into perspective, it’s a release and we all (even if some don’t admit it) feel anger at some point in our lives. I only said to a friend today that she should not feel guilty about feeling angry, but also remember that whilst you can feel anger, especially when it is aimed at some-one else, it can reflect feelings you thought had gone. It can also be because you are at odds with yourself e.g frustration, doubting, desperation even.

  • druidcat

    V wise words. Insipid ‘nice’ versions of peace don’t cut it in reality (as recent protests around the world show) – sometimes we need to harness the firey power of focused anger to instigate action for positive change. It’s not easy, and can get out of control. But you’re responsible and honourable – so aiming for the best possible outcome for your own wellbeing and that of your loved ones 🙂

    I also think ‘forgiveness’ is too often thrown around as a trite catchall for ‘let anyone do what they want.’ Nope. But I think your ‘honour’ post covered that well enough 😉

    BTW what does an ‘Angry Druid Hat’ look like? I think I want one… thinking the statue of Boudicca in London perhaps? THERE’s an image of focused anger…

  • Aracos

    “I’d rather work with reason, with solid arguments and persuasion than with violence, but when you’re dealing with the smug and self righteous, too locked into their own self serving world views to know what good behaviour looks like, the stick to posterior option gets tempting.”

    Right, but how do you know when YOU have become that person who is smugly being self righteous and locked into your own self serving world view? Maybe a clue is when you become willing to smack some ‘good sense’ into someone who may disagree with you?

    • Nimue Brown

      Very good point, although my first thought is that I’ve never been tempted to thump someone merely because they disagreed with me. Refusal to hear any kind of alternative line of thinking does make me angry. It’s rare I get enraged on my own account either, but when I can see one person’s beleifs or behaviours causing other people pain and harm, the desire to do something about that can become both intense and less than perfectly reasoned. I don’t like force, I don’t like the use of force, but I still get those fight-flight reflexes and I feel them very keenly even though I haven’t hit anyone in anger in over a decade – and that was a guy who groped me! It’s taking that angy response and the desire to lash out, and trying to turn it into something genuinely productive and more reasoned that is, I think the job. keeping the energy of the anger, but making it work. I do not think that being angry is, in and of itself, a justification for violence either. But it is a motivator. Does that make more sense?

  • jennthesoothsayer

    too true. regardless of issue, any emotion or feeling denied leads to all sorts of negative, shadowy realms. like druid cat said, the forgiveness card is handed out all too often without really understanding its meaning or intent.

    any sort of emotion deemed “negative” these days, (particularly over here in north america) is cast aside and buried or ignored. i think the power which can manifest from truly honouring ones “negative” or “dark” feelings can make other people feel uncomfortable, and maybe even a bit threatened, invoking buried thoughts and feelings of their own.

    if we don’t sit with, and work through these very necessary, sometimes dark emotions, we will never be able to truly access and appreciate the light. ’tis the season, after all.

  • connie

    I want an angry Druid hat too… in red and black please. 🙂 I have often been questioned about my ability to be a ‘real’ pagan, because I served 9+ years active duty Army. Really? As a soldier, let me tell you, ‘at war’ was the last place I wanted me, my husband (also a soldier) or any of my friends to be! I still don’t want our soldiers at war! BUT. I am so grateful we have volunteers who risk and sacrifice their lives for us when war becomes necessary.

    I don’t want to get into any political discussions about the rightness and wrongness of any particular war, but I’ll sum things up like this. I’d rather be peaceful, but I will not sit on my rear if my family, myself, or innocent others are attacked. I love animals and would never want to hurt them, but if a rabid dog approached, I’d shoot it as soon as I recognized the danger. I prefer to love and trust my fellow man… but I still lock the doors of my home to protect my family.

    As for harboring the feeling of anger, I believe it is a natural part of being human, we must, obviously control ourselves, but like the sense that makes you pull your finger off of a hot stove top, anger is merely a response to stimulus. Feeling anger IS natural. How you allow that response to drive you… now that’s what determines what kind of Druid you are.

  • helgaleena for your nearest gathering to be angry druid with the 99% , focusing our endurance.

  • Burrowing into the Tree | lore lippincott

    […] Druid Life – Peaceful Druid, Angry Druid […]

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