Pampering the Druid

What do you consider to be a luxury? What do you turn to for indulgence and a sense of abundance, to reward yourself, as a pick-me-up or a feel-good thing? Becoming a Druid is very much about re-imagining all aspects of your life, and is also an on-going process. If you want to be a Druid, there is no point at which you cease to do the work of becoming a Druid.

I’m not going to be all ‘hair shirt’ about this one. While I do believe in living lightly and trying not to consume excessively, life without anything that you consider to be a luxury can be bloody depressing. Feeling deprived of the good stuff is not conducive to good self-esteem or a sense of wellbeing. However, it is worth noting that a sense of abundance, luxury and wellbeing does not depend on specific external sources, but on how we think about them. If you’ve pegged your sense of self and your happiness to having very new, very fast and expensive cars, only that thing will do it for you. The marketing world encourages us, on a daily basis, to feel that only their product can deliver us the sense of inner peace and happiness we crave. This is of course, bullshit, but we are subject to rather a lot of it.

More often than not, the wonderproducts do not deliver for us, or have inbuilt obsolescence. Many of them are only luxuries, (in our minds) because of their newness. Once they are older and a bit tatty, those shoes, that gadget, no longer delivers and we ‘need’ another one. We fear being seen as poor, behind the times, out of date, and so we get locked into buying things we don’t really need simply because we are told on a daily basis that without them we cannot be happy or fulfilled.

One of the most reliable places to go for a sense of luxury, abundance and indulgence, is the body. There are balances to strike here because while one cream cake can seem like indulgent delight, a whole packet has implications. There are pleasures to be had in using the body (assuming yours works passably well) movement brings its own rewards. Walking, dancing, singing, working up a sweat, making love… if we have a mindset that recognises these as good things, rather than horrible and unwelcome impositions, they can be delightful. Making love, having the time and space to do that slowly, sensuously and with someone you really want to be with…. That can feel seriously luxurious.

Sleep is another. Early nights and long, languid rest periods, letting the body and mind unwind, relishing the smell of the clean sheets, the softness of the mattress… If you struggle to see how glorious a good bed is, spend some time camping, or sit on a hill all night to get a bit of useful perspective. A hot shower or long bath can feel deeply indulgent, relaxing the body and bringing sensory pleasures.

The company of friends, a few glasses of wine, a good view… feel indulged depends a lot on what you consider indulgent in the first place. That is a choice; one we are often influenced in by people who want to sell us stuff. What really makes you feel good? How can you get to that without it costing the world? The Druid path is not one of abstinence and denial; it is a path of finding your happiness in a way that does not take too much. What underpins this is a perspective. Learning to be genuinely happy, rather than reassured by participating in consumer society, is incredibly liberating.

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

10 responses to “Pampering the Druid

  • Robert Leland Hall

    If Druidry is a way of life then it is in fact as you point out a way of thinking——Then whether you surround your self with symbols of your spirit or you surround your self with nothing of your spirit are you not still a Druid !(rhetorically I would suggest you are)

    Your Hair Shirt image my be the point. I believe we all connect with the universe in different ways. Material possesions are a burden but some of us require differently as we move along the path of the infinite—–ie. As a child I thought as a child and so forth and so on…………

    The having may teach you more than obstaining…………………………..and vis-a-versa…,,,,.How easily we judge or bath in our own self righteousness.
    ” The olde phychology question—–Is it right or wrong—-answer—Yes it is right or wrong depending on YOUR context”

    Just a few thoughts….No lecture intended….a humble admirer of your perceptions

  • lornasmithers

    I’m keen on Robin Herne’s description of Druidry as ‘responsible hedonism.’ 🙂

  • Andrew Smith

    “The Druid path is not one of abstinence and denial; it is a path of finding your happiness in a way that does not take too much.” I like this phrase, Nimue. Well put.

    The other well-known consumerism is ‘spiritual materialism’. I’ve known many a pagan who dresses the part, loads themselves and their houses up with pagan paraphernalia, buys big big fancy crystals blown out of the earth with explosives, buys wands hewn from unsustainable wood sources, wears robes sewn by child labour, etc. ‘Buying into’ druidry (literally) is a trap waiting for us all – the only way to avoid it is to become a druid from the inside out and establish a relationship with our environment (human, animal, vegetable and mineral). Relationship is about give and take and in a loving relationship we take only as much as we need and give as much as we are able.

  • bjavilla

    I like your way of approach. We need to return our nature by overcoming our attachment to the modern.

  • greycatsidhe

    I just had a massage the other day. Talk about luxury! It’s a luxury I can feel really good about too. I pay a healer for her services and homemade, herbal lotions. It’s my favorite self-indulgance!

  • ladyimbrium

    I like your approach. Luxury can be found without great cost. Extra sleep, a good cup of tea, a fire in the fireplace, a purring cat, a fantastic meal with friends… I’ve found that these littler things add up for me.

  • Terra Maple Forester

    Luxury is a day when I don’t have to be anywhere, when I don’t have to do anything at a particular time. Luxury is time free to read, listen to music, and go for walks. Luxury is going for a walk and not having to worry about getting to a destination or being home by a certain time, but just wandering, letting myself be drawn from one thing to another. Luxury is putting on exactly the music I want, and dancing to it in my living room, with no one there to watch, no one to tell me I am not moving correctly. Just letting my body feel the music.

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