So, why Druidry? I think I was a Druid before I ever knew such a being existed in the modern world.
That's me kissing a Jarrah tree from back about 1998. Yep, I was already pretty Druidy!
Druids have a special affinity for trees. Most of us do anyway. We plant them, care for them, commune with them, and yes, even occasionally kiss them! Some people do say that even the name Druid stems from a word that meant oak-knower or oak-seer, though there are other ideas that it perhaps stemmed from the Welsh word Drywr, and/or the Irish word Drui, which both mean Wren. Even today the Wren is considered a bird sacred to Druids for her unassuming wisdom and courage.
Anyway, I'm not here to rehash information that has been admirably written elsewhere. There are some fantastic Historians among the Druid Orders, but I'm not one of them. I'm more of an in-the-present person.
So, along with loving trees goes a reverence for nature and our planet and a wish to protect her. I have that reverence and always have.
I love that on the whole Druids believe in living and letting live, and in compassion for all other living beings, but they also will stand up and be counted when something unjust is being done. This can take many forms, from protesting against fracking, to reforestation projects, to human rights, to monthly meditations for peace. For me right now it is mostly about supporting charities that I believe in because my own physical situation precludes me from doing the more active things I used to do. I do plant and care for local native trees and shrubs every year. I love to see them grow and thrive, and add greenness and shade to barren places in our hot, dry corner of the country.
This is a winter shot but all that greenery behind Rosie and Tuppy was planted by us. It was bare paddock before.
I love this picture of my darling Andrew, out tree planting. Dammit, it just makes you happy to do it! Really it does. Try it!
Another aspect that is common to Druids is the knowledge that creativity in some form is important to human happiness. It doesn't matter what, you just do it. I was always pretty creative, but by golly since I began my Druid studies I have flowed with creative energy more and more! Writing of prose and poetry, making music, making art, telling stories, these things and more make a life fulfilled. It's not necessarily about how well you do it, just that you enjoy the process.
This is me and my visiting Da playing guitar together. Those are some of my paintings in the background. Behind us is our beautiful Bodhran that came to us all the way from the Shetland Islands and that I can play a little too. Surround yourself with creativity and make opportunities for being creative easy to grasp. Take the judgment out of it and just go for it. It's fun. :) By the way the dog in there is our darling angel, Tam.
So, what else does this Druid do that is Druidy? I learn, both on the inner and the outer plane. Experiential learning is emphasized. Learning from books is good too. Heck any sort of learning is good. The general Druid opinion would be that an open-minded approach to learning as well as to our spiritual path is the way to go. We aren't afraid to have our opinions altered by more learning. There isn't even one form of religion that is shared by all Druids. Some are even Atheist! We don't think our way is the only way, at least until you come up against our desire to save the planet, because we tend to think that's not negotiable, though we're still happy for folks to come at it the way that best suits them.
For a lot of Druids, celebrating festivals during the year that match the seasons, the solstices and so on are very important, but for me here in lonely Western Australia, that is not such a bit part of my practice. I do try to keep in tune with what is happening in nature around me, but it is more of a personal thing. I guess in many ways what is missing from my practice that others get is community. Community is very important to Druids too. Being of service, being involved. Part of that is also a result of my having had Lyme Disease for so long. I stopped doing things because I felt too unwell, and my social skills have yet to return. Who knows, though. Maybe one day I'll even get to a Midsummer dawn ceremony at Stonehenge, or get to walk with my fellow Druids up the hill to Glastonbury Tor!
In the meantime I'll just have to stick to being a bit of a Solitary Druid and mostly talking to the wonderful trees I'm lucky enough to live amongst.