Contemplation in Druidry

Contemplation is one of my favourite methods of approaching Druidry. It’s a big, umbrella sort of a term covering a number of ways of working, and one that I’ve found fellow Druids increasingly interested in. Contemplation needs very little, if any training. Pointers can be nice, but its available to anyone at any level, including children. It does not require special gifts, magical whatevers, you can be as muggle as you like and the path remains open. As we don’t all hear the voice of spirit, or walk in otherworlds, this is an important consideration. Contemplation does not lend itself to hierarchy, dogma, or forming powerbases. I like this aspect. It can be solitary, or shared, or both.

Contemplating can be a purely intellectual process, all about asking questions. We can ask questions of anything we encounter in life. Politics, science and culture are full of potential material to contemplate. We can ponder all manner of things with a view to deepening our understanding, seeking our own place, figuring out how we want to live. It’s not unlike philosophy, only without claiming (necessarily) the language, history and habits of philosophical thought. As a topic, ‘philosophy’ can seem daunting to the ‘unqualified’ where contemplation does not imply the need for a knowledge base.

We can contemplate our own emotions, spend time sitting with our feelings, being present in our bodies and deepening self awareness.

We can set ourselves specific exercises, contemplating an object, image, concept, experience and so forth. This approach takes us more into the realms of meditation.

Finally, we can approach any action with a contemplative mindset that allows us to think deeply about what we are doing, while we are doing it.

Thus contemplation can be a part of all aspects of our lives. It enables us to deepen relationships and further our own understandings. Coming back from long, inner journeys, we then have the option of sharing what we’ve found. This, I think, is always a good thing. While I’m much in favour of solitary working, the person who never touches base with anyone else can become separated from consensus reality all too easily. Sophilism, that perspective where we become the only thing of value in our own universe, is not conducive to good Druidry. Of course we may disagree over the outcomes of our ponderings, but this is good and healthy, it helps to keep us questioning. The person who dedicates to contemplation should not be dedicating to always thinking they are right, or getting too comfortable and smug. This is a path of questioning, and above all else, we have to keep questioning ourselves as well.

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

One response to “Contemplation in Druidry

  • Jennifer Tavernier

    “The person who dedicates to contemplation should not be dedicating to always thinking they are right, or getting too comfortable and smug. This is a path of questioning, and above all else, we have to keep questioning ourselves as well.”

    I probably fit in more here, both as seeker, and as bard.

    Great post! Although in the nature of the contemplative, I don’t see how anyone, if they are truly contemplating, COULD become comfortable and snug or right! One would need to view whatever openly, (even bias), and in as many facets as at they can, in deriving or seeking a truth or knowing. And I have often found, it is NOT always comfortable. But the discomfort viewed often leads to an adventure, or maybe a resolvement or wider embracing or awareness. (The brick ed up wall before the pile of gold.) One has to view themselves, too, because it is rather hard to perhaps, view an uncomfortable thing, without admitting that the discomfort may be in oneself, thus affecting their view in contemplating.

    However, I too have seen those who are “snug and smug/right” – because they have walled off any other viewpoint but their own – give and take with the universe. It becomes very like narcissism. (yawn – hey sonny, you are going to get birdshit in your nose if you don’t lower it…) lol!

    Etymological, philosophy means “loving wisdom”. When technically defined, it is the critical evaluation of all the facts of an experience. The interesting thing there, is in the deciding of what YOU choose to derive from it, to make YOUR operating wisdom. I can see where philosophers come out of it. They did the work.

    And yet, in perusing them, one is again studying 2nd hand opinions/knowledge that have been distilled by another person. One still, to be true to themselves, would need to contemplate That, to make it their truth, instead of accepting it blindly.

    Thanks for the great post Nimue!!!

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