It’s been both a strange but busy period for me over the last 6 weeks or so. On a personal front, I have visited my parents back in England and have also got engaged to my partner. In this period, I was also heavily involved in creating and promoting the Druid Network International Full Moon Peace Intention Ritual. I was strongly driven as a result of both the commemorations of the start of the First World War and the escalating warfare in the middle East and elsewhere, to try to do something positive in the light of all the negativity spewing from my television and computer screens. 24 hour news has serious drawbacks for me and the nature of news reporting now-a-days is always on the negative aspects (and at my age, I am increasingly thinking that this negativity is just a tool for keeping the masses in fear for their livelihoods and their materialistic “gains” supplied by an industry whose only aims are self perpetuation).
The work with the ritual was an unusual one for me. I haven’t been involved in such a thing before and the speed and intensity as the Awen took hold of me was both invigorating and a little unpredictable. And as is the case sometimes, it also had consequences that I didn’t foresee. My involvement with the ritual was prompted by a post on the Druid Networks Facebook page in which someone was voicing their frustration at the feeling of helplessness in light of the increasing escalating violence in the middle east at that time. People needed an outlay into which they could contribute and feel themselves to be contributing some positivity in a negative situation.
I would contend that a side effect of the information age is that we can see what is happening in these conflicts (whilst also acknowledging that we are seeing the “sanctioned” versions sometimes) and that part of this constant news feed is almost to perpetuate the feeling of helplessness in the general populations. A population that feels dis-empowered is mostly an apathetic one, resigned to their own “fate”. Being a person who tends to engage with life in a positive frame of mind, along with my partner, we set about trying to devise something that people could engage with.
So I posted on the Druid Networks Social -dot site with an idea of how to create something. I did not and could not foresee that within a week, the ritual would be structured and advertised and that the numbers of people who would actively engage with it would exceed any presumptions I may have had as to its potential effectiveness in engaging people. At the time of posting, the event page on face book has over 450 people committing to the ritual and rising and I know there are at least two hundred more doing the ritual who, for whatever reason, haven’t registered with the event page. Absolutely astounding.
As is the nature with these things, there was a negative in so much as I didn’t properly engage with a person with whom I should have worked more closely with and the result was not something I am proud of. But I was caught up with the momentum of this thing, momentum creating by and through the Awen expressing itself through me.
Looking at these events now, and after reading a post by Sandra Ingerman in which she describes how, in her opinion, part of the purpose of an initiation is by ” “surviving” an initiation we learn how to live.”. I consider my part within this to have been one of an initiation within modern Druidry. There is a section of people engaged within modern Druidry that have this idea that the classical Druids had access to secret knowledge and that made them better people and gave them the ability to walk an almost righteousness path. And because we have no access to this information, we are almost consigned to forever languish in our own inability to express Druidry as it once was. To express it in it’s “purest” form. It is a position which leaves the individual with limited options, resulting in the similar position of the general populations that news reporting today imposes on them.
Druidry today however, has new abilities. The ability to engage with people over a far wider geographical spread. The ritual has engaged with people in the far east, the middle east, Africa, both North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and a good deal of Europe along with the UK. Engagement the classical Druids could not have had because of their physical limitations at those times.
So whilst there may well be aspects of classical Druidry that, as modern Druids we may never experience, my experience of modern Druidry is that modern Druidry expresses itself now as a process that is constantly engaging with the current processes of nature and culture. And it is entirely possible that the initiation with and through modern Druidry is one that would have been universally understood within classical Druidry. To survive the initiation is part of this process of change, this engagement of, with and through modern Druidry. A process that sometimes chooses to use the Awen as both instigator and facilitator of change. A process that ensures the continual relevance of Druidry today through engagement with initiation, even if we may fail to see it as such at the time.
This was the scene that I witnessed the following day after writing this blog post. Sometimes nature can be subtle!