It has been a while since I last posted, mainly because of moving into the realms of the self employed and all that such a thing involves. Plus I have a certain wedding to help sort out, so it fair to say that my Druidry has taken somewhat a backseat in my life of late.
My work has gone far better than I thought it would with last month being my best month to date and things looking very positive at the minute. I am also looking forward to getting married to Pauline in the summer (hence having to help sort out a wedding). I continue to enjoy photography and my better than expected work results have allowed me to upgrade my camera quicker than I had tentatively planned for.
However, yesterday Druidry re-entered my life again (not that it had left it, just that it has now re-emerged more towards the “front” again).
Like a lot of people, I have felt the despair with the current crop of (in my opinion, manufactured) conflicts playing out at this time. With me running the facebook page for the TDN Peace ritual , I am seeing increasing numbers of people interacting with our small ritual which they are finding compatible with their own morality. The ritual was worded to be as inclusive as possible and it is good to see that it seems to be achieving that objective with currently over 1100 people having expressed an interest in, or committing to, performing it regularly.
I think like most people of my generation, I have considered it to be appropriate to keep myself updated with the news. Since 1991, that has been almost exclusively through TV news (and mostly the BBC) having stopped buying “newspapers” in that year (because I considered that descriptor to be a breach of the trades description act! ). But the reporting of the conflicts of the world today now appears to me to be more an exercise of introducing fear and distraction into the population than actually reporting on the facts.
Any news program today consists of 95% bad news followed by a “light” article to lift the mood at the end. And I now believe that the media news outlets are now no more than the psychological tools of the governments and arms manufacturers. For example, did anyone else spot that the banking ethics enquiry had been scrapped on December 31? (which suggests that the tactic of it being a “good day to bury bad news” is still alive and well).
So our self-imposed responsibility of keeping ourselves up to date with the “news” is an ideal tool by which to deflect and distract the masses as to the reality of the situation. I have been as guilty as anyone else in getting involved in online discussions about situations I could not possibly have any control or influence in, which is what the purpose of 24 hour news channels is, in my opinion. They swamp people with “facts” so that people end up talking about the side issues and not the main issues. Social media gives people the “space to voice their opinion” and so as people continue to argue an debate about it, the authorities and their corporate pals get on with creating profit from conflict. Distraction techniques.
So I have decided to reduce my involvement in such things (I will still continue to do what I consider to be “right” in my dealings with people in the “real” world, but the online discussions about current affairs will reduce significantly). I now view news programs to just be distraction techniques for the authorities.
I cannot influence things that I “see” on news programs so I have come to the realisation that as a Druid, I should be concerning myself more with that which I can influence and interact with. And as an animist Druid, that would be the Land.
One of the things that made me doubtful about whether I would be a Druid many years ago was the assertion that the classical Druids were “intercessors between people and their Gods”. The classical definition of this was that the Druids performed the same function as the later priests / imams/ insert religious title of your choice. But I have come to realise that definition maybe one that was done just used to cater for the understanding of a later monotheistic readership.
I know of a lot of Druids who would not wish to define themselves by such terms and yesterday, a very clear “message” came through to me that such a definition was not correct.
All humans come into this world with the ability to create change. Indeed, in my experience, change is the only constant in this world. Every human is capable of creating some change on this physical Earth though some, through circumstance or cultural controls, choose or feel obliged to minimise that ability. But part of the message I got yesterday, was that it is important to realise that every human has the ability to create change and if we realise that, we can take back some of the power lost through the dis-empowering media news techniques. And so I decided that I will change the areas where I choose to try to foster this change with my own creative energy.
Too much of my creative energy has been directed to certain sections of the virtual and cultural worlds that I have inhabited of late, it is time to focus on the land more, where that creative energy can have some actual positive effect. My focus now will be to spend more of that creative energy in and with the land and not with / on the human communities, who will continue on with or without me.
The “intercessors” role has now been redefined for me, not as an intermediary between people and Gods, but as an instigator for change working with the land, for the benefit of the land and all the entities that use and communicate with and through the land. My Druid role therefore, has been moved away from the “priest” type of role (which to be perfectly honest, is a role I have had difficulty with as far as Druidry is concerned) and more an instigator for positive change with the land.
Yesterday I started that role by creating my own ritual and leaving an offering with the intention of bringing some positive change for the land that I was standing on at that time. That particular piece of land, as it turned out, is speculated to be the site of an early battle between the Britons of Strathclyde and the more Northerly Picts who it was claimed were trying to invade. The little known Battle of Ardunnion.
The fact that I felt compelled to perform this ritual and make my offering at the site of early human conflict is also significant. I felt that I was being instructed that as a self defined land Druid, performing this at a site of previous human conflict was now what was needed from me and thus how I can, as a Druid, now create change in both the physical and spiritual realms. My role as a Druid would be to create change in areas that still have some negative human influence through previous conflicts. I can help reduce some of the negative human influence still present in those areas by performing my own Druid rituals and offerings. I can see me visiting many areas of previous conflict with the same intentions over the coming years.
I am not going to go into detail about the ritual I created, too much conflict has been caused by people claiming prescriptive actions have to be “authorised” for them to work. A position the major religions have been quite at ease to foster as it forms part of their “power” base.
I would expect anyone who reads this to have their own ideas as to how they could create their own ritual / offerings and as such, I would encourage you to go out and devise your own type of ritual.
Another part of the message I got through yesterday was that many of the classical Druids may not have held the role that was defined by the early writings that used the frameworks of the later monotheistic religious modelling. For many, the Druid role may have been more about interacting with the land as a human spiritual instigator for the good of the land, reducing previous human influence, as opposed to them being like the later priestly monotheistic type of role concerned mainly with the benefit of the human populations.
I appreciate, for some Druids, the “priestly” type of role is indeed their calling. But I was also left in no doubt that there was definately a section within classical Druidry (and therefore should be within modern Druidry) that may be better served concentrating in improving the “lot” of the land as opposed to the “lot” of humanity. And this can be done by regular rituals and offerings with the land that concentrates on benefiting the land and not on any fortuitous or contrived side effect of benefiting humanity.
There is no “right” way to do this as such. Everyone must think of appropriate ways to fulfill this using their own morality and ethics but by there being no standardised way of doing this, I was informed, means the effects will be “stronger”, for want of a better word, because of this increased diversity of rituals through using non-standardised models.
I realise that for some reading this, this may not be “news” and that their path may have had them on a similar type of role for maybe years. I am also aware that a lot of people who have worked through the OBOD and BDO courses have come to a similar conclusion. But I can only relate this as and when I experience these things for myself and because I have not done any of the OBOD or BDO course work, the fact that I have arrived at a similar conclusion through an entirely different methodology and set of experiences, certainly for me, adds weight to the idea that what I experienced yesterday is “true”. And as such, even if it is only for my own benefit, I have felt compelled to pen this today.