In this last part, I will discuss the other principles that I have developed through engagement with my central Druid principle. There are not many other principles. This is not some esoteric work, full of hidden meanings and symbols. I don’t wish to sound particularly dismissive of such things, it’s just that I don’t particularly think that the answer to all our woes or the potential for our religious or spiritual paths lie in some, as yet, undiscovered or even undisclosed esoteric work. I prefer to work in the “now” for the now is all we have. These are subsequent principles that were born of personal interactions and experiences and were built upon some personal and recorded demonstrable evidence.
My first consequent personal Druid principle is that the religion that I practice is inseparable from the land, it flows on and through it. The clues to this are actually present in those classical writings along with some recent archaeology. The classical writings positively identify Western Europe as being the home of the Druid class. We know, according to those sources, that Britain was hosting places of learning for Druids. Recent excavations in the Ness of Brodgar has positively revealed Britain’s, as yet, oldest identified temple complex. So the British would appear to have been engaging in some form of religious practices to at least as far back as the neolithic. This provides evidence that Britain has been hosting religious practices for at least 5000 years. It is my own personal opinion that the classical Iron age Druids were a later result, an evolution, from and of those earlier religious practices.
Now, there is a danger in this line of thought that some form of nationalistic exclusive “religious order or right” may be facilitated through that last principle. Afterall, a principle based upon a specific geographic location, by its very mention, conjours a barrier in the mind’s eye if you are not of that land. How can you relate to such a principle if you are not actually physically living there? Well, I treat the principle like this.
We know that our bodies are the products of recycling, “We are the stuff of stars” even modern-day physicists tell us. We are also the product of physical recycling through inherited genes and also through the foodstuffs we ingest which have grown through the use of further recycled materials (the soil is a recycled substance that the majority of life relies on). And if the religion I practice is subject to that further principle of being tied to the land, then everything that comes from that land must be suffused with that spirituality, that particular mix of energies which then goes on realise itself for me in religious experiences. It is inseparable from the materials of life and form and therefore it is just a question of recognizing the levels of expression forged within the self. Those levels of expression are subject to the complex mechanisms within our bodies. And as such, they will find various ways of expressions within and through different individuals.
So the expression of your religion / spirituality, using this principle, is a result of the complex interactions between the body and the other energies and materials present within a landscape. There is no universal “right”way of expression, just different levels of expression that lead to various degrees of commonality between differing numbers of individuals at any one time.
We know our bodies don’t “end” at our skin, but that the electromagnetic energies given off by the human body extend further out in subtle ways we are only just beginning to evidence. It is the case that these sort of energies are also given off by other animals and plants and we also know how minerals can interact and change these energies (the workings of mobile phones or digital watches being a common point of reference here).
So the exclusivity initially suggested by the principle, is only imaginary. The interactions we may experience at any one place, be that geographical or human derived, may have an individual effect upon us. But it doesn’t follow that an individual’s experience is necessarily subject to any supposed hierarchy. As with most things, it’s just a matter of degrees and how the individual understands and interprets their experiences in common with others.
The last of my Druid principles (yes, there are only three in total) is that this thing we call life is not tied exclusively to the material form as we experience it. Again, modern science has influenced this principle for me. Consider the fact that physics now informs us that 95% of the universe is made up of stuff we can’t see, feel or touch. Dark matter. Therefore, there is now no such thing as nothing. Now consider how life on Earth has evolved.
Life as we know it has evolved in just 5% of the universe (if the physics are to be believed). Our own existence is so tied to our environment that the actual percentage of that 5% of the universe used to facilitate us, represents a figure so small as to be statistically insignificant. And almost statistically impossible. And yet we consider our physical forms to be the “norm”. We are told that if we “see” other things in our environment, through the 0.0000000001% of the light spectrum we can actually see, we are imagining them or are even delusional.
My own answer to that statement is – is it therefore logical and rational to consider that life is exclusively restricted to our own statistically insignificant percentage of that 5% of the universe? This is without even bringing up the statistical odds of life existing within the other 95% of the universe we can’t currently definitively evidence!
The first law of thermodynamics states “that energy can be neither created or destroyed”. It appears to be a universal constant. Therefore, it would appear to me that life represents a process for the potential expression of that energy. Further, to assert that energy must always assume the same physical forms for it to be valid is neither rational or logical. To then further assert that life is exclusively tied to the physical forms we see on Earth is akin to wearing a blindfold that lets through the occasional photon of light and then the blindfold wearer asserting that the one photon being let through is the only photon to exist in the universe.
Therefore, my own experiences as revealed through my application of my third Druid principle, have confirmed to me these points. It is illogical and, therefore in my opinion, irrational to confine the properties of life strictly to the physical forms we observe on Earth. The odds for life existing outside our own immediate environment (the other 95% of the universe) have to be statistically overwhelming.
So there you have it. My own personal three Druid principles that I now live my life by. I have developed these principles in co-operation with the other than human communities I interact with and in (sometimes involuntarily so) co-operation with a few choice individuals (who hopefully know who they are and should know I am forever in their debt).
The point of these three posts was not to “tread on the toes” of other Druid organizations or individuals out there. It is not about challenging the roadmaps of their own spiritualities or the methodologies they may have used to arrive there. If you find things of value in other methods, I do not wish to somehow “downgrade” them for you through the expression of my own journey. These posts are offered as an explanation as to my own dynamic Druidry at this time.
It is lacking in prose. It is lacking in references and applications with and through the various classical writings surrounding traditional Druidry. It does not conform to the traditional Druid structure. But it is a dynamic process built up over many years and entirely based in the “now”. And as such, it is now a framework that actively guides and works for me.