What Druids are supposed to do

Most of the things I’ve done as a Druid, I’ve done in part because someone asked me to. I’ve taught Druidry and meditation, I’ve run ritual groups and undertaken celebrant work. I’ve run workshops and done talks. I’ve written for magazines. There’s also this blog, and the book writing. I need to mention that I never set out to be a Druid author – my ambition was always to write fiction, this is a diversion that happened because the opportunity was there, but it was never part of a grand plan.

These are all the things that you do if you’re going to be a professional Pagan. And if it works, you can add media work, interviews, travelling around the world to events and suchlike to the list. In practice, of the many Pagans I know who are doing all the things, only a handful are jetting off internationally or getting on the telly. For most of us, the lure of The Very Important Druid work means an expense of time, money and energy far more than any kind of personal gain. And trust me, if you’re burned out, the ego trip just isn’t that much of a payoff.

This year has brought me a lot of challenges, and those challenges have caused me to think long and hard about what I’m doing. There is a real and growing tension between what I need for my personal path (solitude, introspection, presence, time, energy) and what I need to function as a ‘public’ Druid (time, energy, travel, ideas, networking). There is often a tension for me between writing about the path and walking it. It doesn’t help that I’m also a lousy self-publicist and would rather spend my time promoting other people than touting my own work about.

I’m in a process of re-thinking who and how I am. I’ve seen what happens to the people who start to believe their own PR, and I do not want to go there. I also don’t want to peddle authority or dogma. To this end, I have given up most of my teaching work. Talks and workshops are still a possibility. I’m not going to put myself forward for celebrant work – if things come up locally, then fine, but mostly this is not a path I want to follow. I’ve stepped away from things that could have given me a platform, in no small part because I don’t want the platform.

I intend to keep doing this blog, keep writing my Quiet Revolution column for Pagan Dawn, and to write other things as and when inspiration strikes. I’m committed to supporting the creativity of others, what form that will take depends on the opportunities that come along.

Beyond that, I don’t know. I may be giving up on writing non-fiction books. At least in the short term so that I can focus more on my own path and journey without getting caught up in how I’m going to turn that into something useful. And also to make more space for creative writing, and for supporting others. I am seriously considering a formal re-dedication to the bardic path. I’m asking what it is that I want, and how I want things to be and making time and space for those answers to resolve.

There are a lot of things I’ve done because I thought it was what you were supposed to do if you’re being a *serious Druid* and because people asked me. What I’ve not done for many years, is asked what I need to do for myself to seriously be a Druid, which is quite a hefty oversight. I’m greatly enjoying the re-thinking process.

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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 “What Druids are supposed to do

  • Liminal Luminous

    It’s so difficult to figure all this out isn’t it. I’ve started up a new blog covering this side of my life (my third attempt) and I still don’t think it’s right. I also don’t know why I HAVE to blog about all of this stuff, except I know that I need to write about it. I hope at some point to write longer form than blog posts, but for now I am just happy as a blogger

    • Nimue Brown

      writing is cathartic and cheaper than therapy! And in my case, something of a compulsion, and I am not myself if I don’t put words together in this way… which is part of why I’m thinking that ‘bard’ is a better focus for me. The forests of Druidry are tangling and confusing most of the time…

  • Rick Finney

    Interesting turning point that you describe. But I wonder whether nonfiction writing could also sometimes be a bardic exercise. I personally found your book Spirituality Without Structure very helpful, and a lot of what you wrote in that book reflected insight (and inspiration) going beyond mere prose. I’m glad that you’ll continue with this blog, anyway. I read it every day.

    • Nimue Brown

      thank you for saying this! I think it can and that you are right, but that I need to step back from it for a bit. Have had similar bumps around changing genre focus and the like in the past, what Christopher said about stagnation is very much part of the issue, and I won’t keep doing the same thing if I feel like I have nothing new to say. 🙂

  • Christopher Blackwell

    You get stagnant when you do the same thing for too long. Actually, any change may start to make your life more interesting, so go for it. It is perfectly okay, and necessary to fulfill you own needs. You cannot give if you own inner being has gone dry.

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