Becoming a druid

Every now and then I get a message from someone who wants to become a Druid, and feels the need for input. I’ve also noticed that search terms around getting into Druidry bring a lot of people to this blog, so clearly it’s a question plenty of people are asking. Although I think there are two distinct things going on.

One is the practical side. People hear something about Druidry, it interests them and they want to know more. What do we do? How does it work? The question of how to get started is part and parcel of that enquiry. It’s not the easiest thing to answer because where you need to start depends on who you are, where you are and what you want. If there’s a group meeting near you then going along and meeting some actual Druids and doing a bit of ritual may be a good way in. Perhaps you’re academically orientated and need a study course – OBOD at http://www.druidry.org would be my first suggestion, but ADF and Henge of Keltria also inform, and there are plenty of smaller groups and informal teaching materials out there. Budget, desire to join, relationship with authority – these also inform where you might want to go to start off. Are you an urban proto-Druid working with culture or social justice? Are you a rural proto-Druid out planting trees? The answer may not be simply about where you live.

Working out what kind of person you are and what kind of Druidry you want to do is really important when looking for courses, mentors etc. Of course until you have some exposure it’s not always obvious what it was that you needed to be looking for. Druidry is a broad, diverse tradition, so poke around, explore, experiment, ask questions and see what feels right. There’s no point doing things that feel weird, silly or wrong. If there’s no resonance in your heart, the practice is not for you, try some other group, or teacher, or Order or aspect.

No sane person will expect you to be able to dive right in and Be A Druid from the start. You aren’t supposed to magically and intuitively know how to do it all. You will find there are things that you do magically and intuitively know, though, and these are the ones to run with. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, take wrong turnings, change your mind and then get out there and see what happens. Don’t expect perfection from yourself, or from anyone else. Teachers are also human, Orders are made by humans, it’s all a work in progress and some of it is going to be flawed. This is not something to get cross about, just something to deal with as you learn to flex and find your own way.

Alongside the practical information search there is an issue of permission. This has been visible in a lot of the queries I’ve had. People tell me about who they are, what they do, what they know, and sound me out to see if I think they’ve got the makings of being a Druid. I’ve never said ‘no’. As I see it, it’s not about whether a person is qualified to be a Druid, but whether they want to be a Druid. If you want it enough, you will put in the work that will take you forward to the point where you feel entitled to call yourself a Druid, and to a place where other Druids will recognise you as being one. No one can give you that, or do it for you.

We have a culture where qualifications and certificates are the norm, where vetting and examining are a given. If you want to be almost anything in this life, you can expect to be scrutinised, judged, assessed, and you may be found lacking. You may not know enough or have the right bit of paper. Doors will shut for you.

Druidry can be academic and intellectual, and it can be highly skills based. However, there s no one with the power to say that you are, or are not a Druid. This is a spiritual path, and really what happens on it is between you and whatever you engage with. I can’t make you into a Druid. I can’t give you Druidry like a diploma. But I can say this. You are a human being and therefore you have all the necessary qualifications to study Druidry. You are drawn to Druidry and therefore you have the potential to become a Druid. You have every right to explore as you wish.

Now you need to give yourself permission, and take your own steps down your own path.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. 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

13 responses to “Becoming a druid

  • sheblyth

    Well said, Nimue. It took me ages to find how to start. I left school at 16 with few qualifications so I wondered whether I was clever enough. Silly now that I look back at some of my doubts. I found my way by reading various books on druidry and going through the various websites. Now after nearly 3 years I am slowly getting into things but I am told you never stop learning.

  • Graeme K Talboys

    I have often found that people who ask (in the sense of wanting to be Druid, rather than just out of general interest) are already part way into the Forest in that their mindset has oriented them in the general direction of being Druid.

  • greycatsidhe

    Reblogged this on The Ditzy Druid and commented:
    Nimue Brown wrote an excellent post about becoming a Druid. It’s really worth reading if you are curious about the path or know others who are.

  • hereisfaith

    Thank you for this. It is good to have confirmation! I started becoming interested in nature, in trees especially and really wanted to find a belief system that encourages that connection. I have a friend who is Wicca who invited me to some ceremonies, which I liked, but that wasn’t quite “It”, my Shaman’s discipline is Canadian Native (first people’s) which is very nature based but that wasn’t quite it either. I was getting frustrated…both of these friends told me ‘is this a race for you or something? Take your time…try lots of things, you will find your place’. I work at a library, so I started going through books and eliminating all the things that didn’t fit for me. I found a book called, ‘the modern day druidess’ by Cassandra Eason. I started reading, and bells started to chime. This was the closest by far. It has been only 4 months, and I am reading and reading. I decided to take the year and see if this is really for me. There is a Grove in my city…but I don’t know if that is my route…I’m not sure that I need to be recognized as a druid by anyone other than myself. But I guess I will figure that out too. It’s not a race…it’s my life, it’s how I’m choosing to connect with the divine, I’m going to enjoy the journey.

  • Pól

    Very well said. It takes quite a part of the journey to discover that it is your journey and yours alone. Your druidry will be like no other. No one else can deliver the gift you bear to the world but you.

  • Skye on her Isle

    Reblogged this on Breakfast With the Gods and commented:
    thanks Nimue Brown for writing this post. Exactly what I needed to hear at this moment.

  • Jennifer Tavernier

    And as Sheblyth mentioned there are books out there, that one can delve into, and you can formulate and draw your own conclusions. (Anyone here know a Nimue Brown? LOL) Reading a book written by a druid is also great at “placing” a perspective. It doesn’t mean YOU need to look at it as the authors do, but it gives you a more rounded idea of where some are practicing, and why, and how they incorporate their Druidry into their lives.

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