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Author Topic: Druidry or druidism - your take  (Read 8796 times)
Collinsky
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« Topic Start: August 28, 2010, 07:32:55 pm »

According to John Michael Greer, the term Druidry stresses that "the Druid path was not an “ism,” an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles." The term Druidism, on the other hand, is used more by Celtic Recon groups "who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship." (Quotes from the AODA FAQ found at http://aoda.org/faq.html#9)

If you're on a druid path, which approach appeals most? For you, is it a set of beliefs, or a craft/practices? What is your take on those terms and how they express (or even shape) your path?

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« Reply #1: August 29, 2010, 11:43:59 am »

According to John Michael Greer, the term Druidry stresses that "the Druid path was not an “ism,” an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles." The term Druidism, on the other hand, is used more by Celtic Recon groups "who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship." (Quotes from the AODA FAQ found at http://aoda.org/faq.html#9)

If you're on a druid path, which approach appeals most? For you, is it a set of beliefs, or a craft/practices? What is your take on those terms and how they express (or even shape) your path?



My Druidry is shaped, in part, by my affiliation with OBOD, a Druid organisation that is more experiential than academic.  OBOD is sometimes poo-pooed by other Druid organistions because we are still somewhat influenced by the Druid Revival period, the Barddas, and 19th century scholarly works that are now out-dated and largely discarded, relying more on personal experience than academia to guide us on our path.  By not stressing the purely academic side of Druidry, we are left to experience the path in our own ways, discovering our own personal truths, all wrapped up in a loose system of common ideas and a ritual framework that is more of a suggestion or guide than a set way of doing things.  As such, OBOD Druidry is more 'ry' than 'ism', allowing for a membership that includes Christian Druids, Atheist Druids, Agnostic Druids, etc.

From the AODA website:

“The term “Druidry” was a creation of Ross Nichols, a major figure in the English Druid community, and founder of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.  He wanted to stress that the Druid path was not an “ism”, an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles.  The English language gives the suffix “-ry” to any number of crafts, such as pottery and forestry; the example of Freemasonry was probably also in Nichols’ mind (nobody talks about Masonism).  More recently the two words have become convenient labels for the two main approaches in the Druid community, the “Druidism” used most often by recent Celtic Reconstructionist groups who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship, while “Druidry” is used most often by older groups who work with the heritage of the Druid Revival.”

Does that make what we do fake?  The answer to that depends on how you define fake as opposed to real.  If real Druidry is that which was practiced in the ancient Celtic lands of Europe before Christianity, then modern Druidry would be fake in comparison, regardless of how authentic a Druid organisation may claim their practice to be. 

On this topic, I think it's important to talk about validity vs. authenticity.  A system can be valid (meaning it works) without any sort of historical authenticity.  On the flip-side, a system can be historically accurate, yet set-up and practiced in such a way as to lack any validity.  And considering, we have no records on what the original Druids did specifically, any modern Druid organisation today lacks authenticity, but not necessarily validity.

The 'ry' approach to Druidry works best for me.  My experiences in life shape my understanding of it, shapes my opinions, beliefs, etc.  These are my personal truths.  Druidry allows for me to share common principles with others, yet makes my spiritual path wholly mine.  So I don't label myself as religious, but spiritual.



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Dame Guenn Eona Nimue
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« Reply #2: August 29, 2010, 02:08:38 pm »

According to John Michael Greer, the term Druidry stresses that "the Druid path was not an “ism,” an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles." The term Druidism, on the other hand, is used more by Celtic Recon groups "who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship." (Quotes from the AODA FAQ found at http://aoda.org/faq.html#9)

If you're on a druid path, which approach appeals most? For you, is it a set of beliefs, or a craft/practices? What is your take on those terms and how they express (or even shape) your path?




Hello everyone!

I would like to echo John Michael Greer’s opinion, and yours, Lailoken. Druidry is indeed a set of “core beliefs” that are shared by all those who love and worship nature and all that she has wrought, attempting always to live their lives in such a way as not to harm the Great Earth Mother. In 1979, while still a young seeker, he took a free class offered by me through the University of Washington (which I only recently discovered). Adherence to these simple “core beliefs” is what unites us all, and yet still allows for a great range of highly individualized forms of expression.

In referring to the “now outdated” and “largely discarded” early scholarly works, though, I would have to disagree, as they are not crucial, but can be extremely helpful if one is seeking a greater understanding of the origins of the Pagan/Druidic path as we have come to know it over the centuries.

One such book you may find of interest is “The Spell Of Brittany”, written by my great grandmother, Ange M. Mosher, and published in 1920, two years after her death. She was respected on both sides of the Atlantic for her life long devotion to the study of Celtic folklore.

Another one is titled “Pagan Christs”, written by my grandfather John M. Robertson, a self educated scholar, which can be very informative with regard to various religions and the parallels many of them share.

It is my belief that the Druid path should be open to all and, to quote an historical figure, “simple enough for a child to understand”. Adherence to these “core beliefs” has sustained our family for almost two centuries now, and though we do not choose to reenact ancient rituals as part of our path, we are not critical of those who do (except for the sacrifice of any living beings), nor of any other approach to the sacred heritage that belongs to each and every one of us.

Yours in Light, Dame Guenn Eona Nimue 










   
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« Reply #3: September 09, 2010, 03:00:56 am »

If you're on a druid path, which approach appeals most? For you, is it a set of beliefs, or a craft/practices? What is your take on those terms and how they express (or even shape) your path?

I think "druidism" just sounds silly.

I'm learning ADF Druidry, and it's very much a set of beliefs and practices. The folks I've met are working hard to dovetail academic learning into real practical ritual work to connect with the Gods, the land, and the Ancestors and other spirits. To me, that's the real heart of religious practice. Anyone can do research, but if you aren't actually doing the work to walk the path it's just lip service.

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« Reply #4: September 09, 2010, 11:22:23 am »

If you're on a druid path, which approach appeals most? For you, is it a set of beliefs, or a craft/practices? What is your take on those terms and how they express (or even shape) your path?

Druidry, definitely.  I get confounded with -isms, so -ry is refreshing!  To me, it's more of a peaceful word, maybe suggesting something a little bit older, but still very important.  Druidism sounds like something a New Ager spat out while writing a Llewellyn book.  But, whatever, I still use both terms. Smiley  I refuse to be limited by labels! j/k.
 
I think Druidry is both a set of beliefs and practices.  You can believe all you want, but there is still that aspect of doing something that is the reason for being religious, IMHO. 
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« Reply #5: October 05, 2010, 10:23:47 pm »

I think "druidism" just sounds silly.

I agree. While I appreciate what the Recon's are doing I think that calling Druidry Druidism is wrong. While I'm not going to attack the memory of Bonewits he sort of made people think that Druidry had a ism on it.
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« Reply #6: October 05, 2010, 10:44:09 pm »

I agree. While I appreciate what the Recon's are doing I think that calling Druidry Druidism is wrong. While I'm not going to attack the memory of Bonewits he sort of made people think that Druidry had a ism on it.

I started on a quasi-druidic path via ADF, and I thought it wasn't going to be my place, because it's more recon than I am. But I'm reading Greer's Druidry Handbook right now, and it really seems to fit much better with my approach to spirituality. I'm thinking that AODA may be a better fit.
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« Reply #7: October 07, 2010, 10:55:14 am »

I started on a quasi-druidic path via ADF, and I thought it wasn't going to be my place, because it's more recon than I am. But I'm reading Greer's Druidry Handbook right now, and it really seems to fit much better with my approach to spirituality. I'm thinking that AODA may be a better fit.

"ism" simply means to follow ones ideas that constitute your beliefs. While it may sound silly and people have attached an organisation to it.
I think at the time it was used by Caesar, all things were classified as a religion or not.

We each seek our own path and belief system. Without (as stated above) having very few written accounts of Druids, it should be about finding your path and not over suffixes.
IMO

BB,

Abbie (Stormraven)
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« Reply #8: October 07, 2010, 06:37:16 pm »

From the AODA website:

“The term “Druidry” was a creation of Ross Nichols, a major figure in the English Druid community, and founder of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.  He wanted to stress that the Druid path was not an “ism”, an ideology or set of beliefs, but a craft, a set of practices and traditions sharing common principles.  The English language gives the suffix “-ry” to any number of crafts, such as pottery and forestry; the example of Freemasonry was probably also in Nichols’ mind (nobody talks about Masonism).  More recently the two words have become convenient labels for the two main approaches in the Druid community, the “Druidism” used most often by recent Celtic Reconstructionist groups who base their versions of the Druid way on modern scholarship, while “Druidry” is used most often by older groups who work with the heritage of the Druid Revival.”

As a Celtic Reconstructionist, I find this a bit entertaining. Most of the Celtic Reconstructionists I have come across tend to shy away from referring to themselves as Druids and only very reluctantly refer to anybody else as Druids.

When they do, it is usually with an explanation of what they would consider a Druid, why nobody they know qualifies and then refer to that group or individual as they refer to themselves.  Smiley

For what it's worth, I like the sound of the term Druidry better, but think it's a bit confining to think of Druidry as a single practice. The ancient Draoí were much more like an intellectual and professional class than strictly priests or magic workers.

-- K.
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« Reply #9: October 07, 2010, 07:17:18 pm »

As a Celtic Reconstructionist, I find this a bit entertaining. Most of the Celtic Reconstructionists I have come across tend to shy away from referring to themselves as Druids and only very reluctantly refer to anybody else as Druids.

When they do, it is usually with an explanation of what they would consider a Druid, why nobody they know qualifies and then refer to that group or individual as they refer to themselves.  Smiley

For what it's worth, I like the sound of the term Druidry better, but think it's a bit confining to think of Druidry as a single practice. The ancient Draoí were much more like an intellectual and professional class than strictly priests or magic workers.

-- K.


Okay, now I'm curious. If you are able to expand on that a bit, what is the explanation of what they would consider a Druid and why does no one they know qualify? Just curious.
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« Reply #10: October 07, 2010, 08:12:03 pm »


Okay, now I'm curious. If you are able to expand on that a bit, what is the explanation of what they would consider a Druid and why does no one they know qualify? Just curious.

Me too.
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« Reply #11: October 07, 2010, 09:30:30 pm »


Okay, now I'm curious. If you are able to expand on that a bit, what is the explanation of what they would consider a Druid and why does no one they know qualify? Just curious.

That was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the usual explanation goes something like this:

The ancient Druids (that being an anglicized term, of course) were the intellectual and professional class of the ancient Celts. They were schooled for decades in the lore and practice of their profession, in a fashion not currently possible. While some people can back up a claim to qualify for such a title, for most who claim the title these days, it's a bit like claiming to have a Ph.D. because you read a few books, in a context where there are no recognized institutions that give Ph.D.s, anymore.

Most groups using the terms, in my experience, have much more in common with 17th and 18th century revivalist Druidry than with ancient Druids and apply it to all members, regardless of their level of experience or knowledge.  Roll Eyes

-- K.
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« Reply #12: October 07, 2010, 10:03:39 pm »

That was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the usual explanation goes something like this:

The ancient Druids (that being an anglicized term, of course) were the intellectual and professional class of the ancient Celts. They were schooled for decades in the lore and practice of their profession, in a fashion not currently possible. While some people can back up a claim to qualify for such a title, for most who claim the title these days, it's a bit like claiming to have a Ph.D. because you read a few books, in a context where there are no recognized institutions that give Ph.D.s, anymore.

Most groups using the terms, in my experience, have much more in common with 17th and 18th century revivalist Druidry than with ancient Druids and apply it to all members, regardless of their level of experience or knowledge.  Roll Eyes

-- K.


Hmmm, interesting way to look at it. Thanks!
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« Reply #13: October 07, 2010, 10:06:28 pm »


Hmmm, interesting way to look at it. Thanks!

Completely o/t but I love your new avatar.  I actually LOL every time I see it Cheesy
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« Reply #14: October 08, 2010, 02:50:15 pm »

Completely o/t but I love your new avatar.  I actually LOL every time I see it Cheesy

LOL, thanks! It's available, here....http://www.chriscoons.com/notme/.
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