After many years of trying to find a spiritual practice, I have now finally found something that I am happy with. I posted earlier about how after rejecting the self identity of Druid for many years, I am now more comfortable with using the term for myself. Many things have contributed to this current position, a lot of which I have posted here on this blog, but it is the coming together of several things in the last six months that have clinched it.
One of the most important was the clarification of the purpose of me adopting the title. I needed to understand the objectives and then what methods I needed to use to meet those objectives. A particularly fruitful period of discussions within the Druid Network has helped me tremendously along with indepth discussions and travelling to different areas with my partner, Potia.
I have always been a little uncomfortable with public ritual but since moving to Scotland, I have joined in with more public rituals than in the last 10 years whilst back living in England. This has led to a period of consideration as to why this creates this uncomfortable feeling with me. The answer is not what you may have expected though. It doesn’t bother me how people dress or if they are somewhat larger than life when in ritual, it finally dawned on me why I had this discomfort. It was the somewhat formularic nature of the rituals, especially the drawing of circles and the calling in of the elements and deity(s).
I understand that for a lot of people, this constitutes no more than “manners” in making specific requests for the attendance of their personal deities. And as such, this is fine. But I don’t usually interact with deity and as such, I think it left me feeling as if I was someone “earwigging” into a discussion that was not of my making.
Also, my own interactions have largely (but not always) happened when the other parties have wanted to communicate with or through me in their time. This happens now on such a regular basis that a specific ritual for communication as such, is not needed by me as this now happens regularly in everyday life.
I realise for a lot of pagans that ritual is a most enjoyable and meaningful event and my posting here is in no way critical of it, my point being the reason as to why I am uncomfortable at public ritual.
I also realized that my interactions needed to be aimed not at specific deities or elements but the land and the spirits associated with those lands. I also didn’t want to take anything from the land. This is a big issue for me. Humanity takes such a lot of resources from the land under the legal position of land owner and gives very little back. My practice therefore, is directed at giving something back to the land without wanting some sort of exchange from it for myself.
I cannot express too strongly how this point is now at the heart of what I now do. To achieve this, I have put together a “Druid kit” that is in my works vehicle and my car. It consists of small snap lid food containers that hold an amount of organic matter (Bird suet pellets, bird seed, organic Scottish oats and organic oats from northern England), a set of corvid feathers from various parts of the North of England and Scotland built up over the last three years and a most unusual rattle constructed for me by my partner Potia.
Today I managed to get to an area which is only 20 mins away from where I live and this is it…
I made my offering in the way I wanted to and my hands whilst doing the offering and rattling went extremely hot. So hot I had to place them on the ground for several minutes. I take this to be a good sign that I may be doing something of value.