As far as I can make out most religions are defined by their central deities, the core text and the main rules. Druidry doesn’t exactly have any of these. With animist, polytheist, atheist and Christian druids in the mix, no fixed rules and nature being the only ‘book’ we don’t entirely fit the mould for regular religion. And yet for many modern druids, it is very much a faith. Many of us have the sense that the external trappings of a religion are not what matters most.
Religion is about what you do, how you feel and understand the world. The essence of any faith is the way in which it inspires you to live your life from one day to the next. However, when it comes to talking to other people, it helps to be able to pin that down.
I gather that at the very beginning of The Druid Network’s application for charitable status as a religion, they set about finding a definition druids could broadly agree on. It was fairly long, and people were able to agree on it. But unless you are particularly good at memorising, it’s not the kind of thing you can whip out in public when explanations are called for.
Druidry. It isn’t exclusively pagan, or theist in any way, it’s not focused on a book, or a place or on a specific way of doing things. It’s intuitive, international, highly diverse. And yet, as a druid when I meet other druids I usually find that sense of resonance and commonality. A feeling that for all the differences, there is something intrinsic that is shared. It’s not at all the same as encountering like minded folk from other faith backgrounds, even pagans from other paths. I could say that I know what druidry smells like, but how to get that into words?
This is an opening gambit, to see how people react. I’m trying to express to myself, as much as anything, what the essence of druidry is, and to get that down in a small expression, for portability and ease of remembering. I want a self contained reference that does not point people at any other time, place, text, activity etc because I’m certain that rules too many other people out. I’m increasingly of the opinion that the all embracing quality of druidry is not to be worried about, ignored, or ‘fixed’ it’s part of who we are as a modern and evolving tradition, but at the same time there is an essence, a shared something. And I think it goes like this…
Druidry is the spiritual quest to understand our unique, personal relationship with everything.
I shall sit back and wait for you all to pile in. I don’t always respond directly to comments, but I do always read them and hugely appreciate them. Thank you, all of you who take the time to feed back, to share insight and make observations.