Who does the Druid serve?

The call to service is a significant part of the Druid path. Who or what a Druid may serve is a much more personal question. Broadly speaking, land, tribe, gods, nature, ancestors, tradition, spirit and awen would be likely candidates, either in combination or focusing on just the one. How that manifests can be incredibly diverse – serving the land could mean running an organic community allotment. It could mean getting into politics, becoming an activist, planting trees or giving up your car, to suggest a few obvious routes.

Service has to be needed. It’s all too easy to use the idea of service to further our own goals or fuel self-importance. That in itself isn’t entirely a problem – Druidry is not a path of self effacing modesty after all, but if your Druidry gives you a boost in some way, it must also genuinely serve someone else to count as service. The bard as archetype offers a great example here. To be on stage, basking in the adoration of an audience is to get personal benefit from what you do. However, if the audience is inspired and uplifted, if their souls are touched and their hearts healed by what the bard offers, then the bard is serving their community, tradition and the awen and likely a few other things as well.

Service cannot be a flow in one direction only. If you come to give, then something has to nurture you, or you end up drained and defeated, or going mad in other ways. Paths of martyrdom offer their own interesting temptations, and people who are most ostentatiously self-sacrificing can be on the most outrageous of ego trips. Where service is held in a more balanced way, it works better and everyone stays sane.

It is important to look not only at how we serve, but how we are served, and to make sure gratitude flows back where it is needed. The bard on the stage owes greatly to the event organiser, the sound person, the person who taught them to play, the people, stories and landscapes that inspire them. Inspiration, service and gratitude, offering back from what was made, keeps all participants nourished and feeling valued. It keeps people grounded, and also able to give. It means that people whose work is all background get to feel part of the exciting bits. It’s when we start imagining that we are separate and alone, that our service flows purely from us, and people ought to be grateful that a Druid courts problems.

I would, quite simply, be lost without the people who inspire me from day to day. I would be lost without the people who value my work and come back to tell me this so that I understand what I’m doing and why. (Iva broke my heart and fed the fire in my head with this beautiful review of my book, recently) I need the people who give me opportunities to get on stages, sing, run workshops, write books. I need the people who read what I write and ask for more songs. I need the people who get up and do things such that I can go and be in the audience. I need the people who write books and tell stories. And without the people who taught me, this would all be a moot point anyway.

Every act of creativity exists in a context, there are always other hands that you can’t see, making things possible. Where those flows of inspiration are honoured, where love and appreciation flow along the same lines, life is better, and there is more good stuff.

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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

6 responses to “Who does the Druid serve?

  • eberis

    Ahomataiya. Though I don’t agree with awen ., you said something about being “mad” . I am a game character friendly “mad” [(now)] Druid 2 with aspirations to talk to original hippy named Sage . You don’t have to allow this in Steampunk as the danger of foreign affairs to help with the World being Earth is our Mother and in uni*versal history , the meritos of kingdom calendar happens again and again in the 500 years at a time of good God . . and though I am henotheist ., our provider ., being our soul provider is our likeness of Jah in the rastafarian faith and Amen ., . our God in the faith of clergy . Thank you for the joking way to say it is the ‘awen’ of Manna which will be the modern “Nature” of Earth Day and the modern update of the age of computers will help with the Evardian history of those who help the forgiving of what we have done to the environment to find out to rite now what we may stop is the [(GooD)] Earth history of the Universe which time and time again asks we repeat our actions in the Age beginning each 500 years . Thank you . Ahomatakeasi . divine light .

  • alainafae

    Some of the points touched on in this post (and other posts you have made as well) remind me of another post I recently read. It really opened my mind to thinking more succinctly about healthy approaches to ‘caring’ and ‘exchange’.

    http://polytheist.com/spring-and-stone/2015/02/18/caring-and-exchange-in-relationships/

  • River

    Thanks Nimue: another inspired post!

  • verdant1

    Reblogged this on verdant.1 and commented:
    A thought-provoking piece from Nimue Brown about service, creativity and inspiration, and finding a healthy balance:

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