Political Druid

This is a tricky area for me. On one hand I believe that every choice we make inevitably has a political aspect to it – whether we notice it or not. I also believe that if we’re doing the Druid thing right, then everything we do has a spiritual aspect to it as well. Often, they intertwine. The choice to honour your relationship with the land by living carefully and responsibly, also has political implications. At the same time I am deeply uneasy about any approach that hardwires religion into politics, has religious leaders spouting political messages or otherwise tangles up power structures from either side – as has all too often been the case between church and state all over the place. You don’t need a formal relationship for it to be an issue. The chances of anyone getting into the Whitehouse without professing Christianity, are troublingly slim. I have nothing against Christians, but it shouldn’t be a needed qualification for anything outside of the Church.

I would never say there is one right way to manifest your Druidry, and this is especially true when it comes to thinking about ourselves as political creatures. I do think we have an obligation to inform ourselves as best we can so that our decisions are as well based as we can get them. How that works out in practice has got to vary. Where you are, what matters most to you and who there is on the ground to work with are critical considerations. For a person in the UK but outside of England, with a deep investment in culture, the parties of independence might make a lot of sense as something to support. If your local MP is a politician of conviction who works hard for their constituents, there’s every reason to put that ahead of party politics. You may find it makes more sense to pour your energy in at the most local level, or into awareness raising work unaffiliated to any party. Groups like 38 degrees, charities, and the like can be deeply political in their work without getting into the murky waters of party politics.

As I see it, it matters far more that you engage, than where you decide it makes sense to do so. Follow your heart, your awen, follow the need of your land, and tribe. Do the things you are called to do. That may take you into petitions and protests, experiments with currency, local markets, co-operatives, land charities and innumerable other things that really could use your energy.

For me, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, it means writing for the Green Party. Most of the time, I’m working at a really local level, talking about issues that affect an area of land I could cycle across. I’m not a great cyclist, I might add. It’s a job deeply involved with the place I live and the people around me, which feels like where I should be. If you follow me on facebook and twitter you’ll see I’m putting more time into Stroud issues, and one of the places I’m doing that, is here – http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.co.uk I’m not the only contributor.

However, with European elections looming, I know I’m going to be working on a whole other scale, and a really unfamiliar one at that. The lead Green candidate for the south west, is local to me – Molly Scott Cato. All of a sudden that ‘think local’ job turns out to be something much bigger, with implications for a world stage. I’m a little daunted, but aware I’m just one of a team on this job and that plenty of far more experienced people than me will be leading the way.

It is however, a measure of how easy it is to become involved. In the space of less than a year I’ll make a journey from being barely involved in politics at all, to having a tiny part in something that has the power to affect the world stage. I’ve seen it happen other places, too. People follow their inspiration and the work that calls to them, and they go from small work to high profile, high impact activities. Take Jack Monroe, who blogged about her horrendous experiences as a single mum in a poverty trap, and is now talking at political conferences, and garnering media interest http://agirlcalledjack.com/2013/09/15/for-fairness-sustainability-and-for-the-future-gpconf-speech-in-brighton-14th-september/

So often, we don’t act because we don’t think we can make any kind of meaningful difference. We can. However you do it, for whatever cause cries out to you, step up. The world of politics, formal and informal has been dominated by markets, corporations and profit margins for too long. Politics needs people who give a damn about something other than the bottom line. It doesn’t matter where or how you manifest that, just that you do.

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 “Political Druid

  • stoneofdestiny

    The Druids of ancient Ireland were advisers to the kings, so it could easily be argued that traditionally – politics is part of the job. I think those who are called toward the political theater (and so much of it is really for show) shouldn’t be unwilling to bring their spiritual beliefs with them – even if it’s just as far as the voting booth. Certainly, our Christian friends have no qualms about mixing those two worlds. We could do with a little balance.

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