Druid Community

Is there such a thing as Druid community? It’s a question I’ve revisited repeatedly. I’ve been a member of The Druid Network and Henge of Keltria – my inclusion or exclusion dependant largely on whether I am willing to pay for membership. Technically I will always be a member of OBOD, but unless I pay for the magazine, I don’t have much direct contact. I believe there are boards I could use, but I spend too much time online as it is. Experience of physically meeting up in groves and groups has also demonstrated to me how easy it is to come in, and to leave.

Communities have to have permeable edges. If people can’t come in, or move on, then you have something stagnant and unhealthy. But at the same time I think that it’s too easy to solve things by leaving, by letting people leave, and thus by not really sorting things out at all.

For me, community means working together to maintain relationships. It’s not simply paying to access the same space, or temporary allegiances. Community means dealing in some way with our conflicts, differing needs, issues and so forth, rather than rejecting anyone who isn’t a neat fit outright. How far we are willing to go to include and to look after each other is a question I think we need to be asking.

Thanks to the internet, and to modern transport most of us aren’t obliged to deal with the Druids around us. There are no real pressures on us to work together. And if the ‘problem’ just leaves, problem solved! I think in this way, Druids are simply reflecting the rest of how things work generally. We move on, we leave jobs, we move away from difficult neighbours, we cut off friends we’ve fallen out with… These are all things that individuals in conflict have little scope of handling well.

Peace is something we talk about a lot around Druidry, but it’s not something we all practice. We don’t all seek peaceful resolutions for each other. We don’t all tend to intervene to resolve things, we often just let the problem move on, or encourage it to. Let the awkward person go somewhere else. Let the person who lost the argument quit.

Mediation is hard work. It can call for challenging people, and for investing time, care and effort in trying to resolve things. To do it, we’d have to really care about each other… like we were some kind of community or something.

(I expect there are Druid communities out there that do this for each other, but mostly my experience has been of the other sort of thing.)


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

20 responses to “Druid Community

  • druidcat

    Sadly true. There is a community, but I’ve felt that it’s almost on the edge of maturity – a bit teenage. Like Terry Pratchett’s witches: happy individually, but with some snippiness and insecurity in the background. More growing to be done, definitely.

  • garycohenblog

    I am an OBOD person as far as I am studying the Bardic course and intend to continue on to the Ovate course. I have met Damh a few times when I have bought a ticket to see him and have paid for a weekend workshop in Glastonbury run by two other well known OBOD people. I speak via email to my Mentor. Everyone I have met has been lovely but with regards to being in a community, I don’t have any direct contact with any other members. There are no local gatherings. The only gatherings I am aware of are events I have to buy a ticket and then travel to attend. While I do feel a connection with the wider world and other people I don’t have a local community in as far I meet with others for ritual, discussion and socialising.

  • Jen - Liminal Luminous

    yep, on my own over here again. I was part of a grove a while ago, but I left due to conflict with another member, I think conflict is too strong a word, but I really really didn’t like her and thought she needed therapy, as well as being in a grove. That sounds really harsh, but I think that she needed professional help and that isn’t our place as untrained people and that ritual wasn’t the place to work through things which should have been done in therapy.

    I did say why I wanted to leave and I was allowed to leave. I do wish that I had stayed and made the effort to stay, but also that I was encouraged to work through the issues that I had. As you say these things are difficult, but need everyone to work through it.

    I have a history of leaving when things get difficult and it is my fondest hope that if I find a community again that I am aware of this tendency (after years of therapy myself) and don’t repeat past mistakes.

  • dkhyde2014

    I’ve belong to myriads of groups over the years, be they faith based, hobby based of professional. All in the pursuit of like minded people who I can belong with. But it didn’t happen and encouraged a lazy consumerist approach to relationships. I think I’m going to have to reach out and build community with people who aren’t like minded. Which given my particular mind, may be a good thing.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Wiccan groups are pretty much the same way and then there are people like me, who are mostly loners.

    I never was one for creating, and maintaining close friendships, though I have a number of people that I keep in contact with online, some for a decade or more. Just not a group person as a whole.

  • here

    Years after leaving a spiritual group that had turned into a cult, my wife and I have become very private people. We still miss the company of people with similar values to ours, though. Just don’t know where to find them.

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