What do you need when you’re starting out as a Druid? Robes? Tomes of archaic wisdom? A really good wand? A golden sickle? Here’s my suggested essential kit list.
1) Clothes and footwear that allow you to be outside comfortably. If you are able to walk, then good walking shoes should probably be your priority investment as this will do most to help you get out and engage with the world.
2) A detailed local map, for the not getting lost, and for finding sites of possible interest to visit.
3) A notebook and pencil, a camera or whatever else you might use for your moments of insight, inspiration and bardic creativity.
4) Something waterproof to sit on – this will help considerably if you get the urge to sit out and contemplate.
5) A torch – if you are out at twilight it is very easy to get this wrong and being lost in the dark is not funny.
6) Nibbles and something to drink – if you get carried away and are out longer than you meant to be, top-ups can be very useful indeed.
7) A staff can be useful as a walking aid, for fending off enthusiastic cows/dogs/brambles.
8) A useful bag to put things in – feathers, stones and whatever else occurs to you, and another useful bag for bringing other people’s detritus away in.
9) A pocket nature identification book – just the one, don’t weigh yourself down. Pick an area you aren’t strong in and carry a little information to help you learn.
10) An open mind, and open heart, ears that are ready to listen and eyes that are keen to see, skin alert to sensation, nose alert to scents. (Insofar as these work for you, we don’t all get the same options, but use what senses you have as far as you are able to.)
This starter kit works as well for the urban Druid as for someone wandering the woods. All the other tools you really need are in your head – tools of thinking and feeling, of being, of taking interest, asking questions, making creative responses. You can leave the golden sickle at home, they’re heavy, and of no discernible use whatsoever. It can be tempting to acquire kit that helps us feel special, magical and glamorous, but that’s often just about the surface, and is nothing compared to how you’ll feel watching the sun come up in some wilder place, finding an orchid or knowing which bird just called and which berries you can eat.
This is just my list, other priorities will suggest different gear, so if you have an essential Druid kit item I’ve not named, please do add it in the comments.