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Author Topic: Druidry and Volunteerism  (Read 2827 times)
darashand
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« Topic Start: June 30, 2011, 11:09:21 am »

Does your Druid Path include community service?  If so, what is it and why do you feel it's necessary to contribute to your community?

For my personal brand of Druidry (not ADF), doing a year of service is required in order to become a member of the Grove.  When trying to cultivate a set of standards for my path/tradition, this requirement was always a central part.  I think that by reaching out to others, we are able to get closer to the Divine.  Also, the role of a Druid was to serve the community, so I think this is something that we all can do without having to go to law school, f'ex. 

Your thoughts?
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« Reply #1: June 30, 2011, 11:48:39 am »

Does your Druid Path include community service?  If so, what is it and why do you feel it's necessary to contribute to your community?

Darashand, how did you read my mind? This has been something I've been thinking about for a long while. Smiley

Part of my druid path I walk with ADF, but that's not all of it. (Right now "my Druidry" is this nebulous Celtic-green-nature spirituality with a huge emphasis on my place and duties in the world around me. More on that later.) I also work closely with Brighid (whose Work I've been neglecting for a bit >>) who I see as a goddess primarily of change and transformation. This isn't change for change's sake - that is, I don't see her as a deity of chaos, but order - but rather one that sees it necessary to take action when confronted with disease, societal ills, disharmony in relationships, etc. She's also a goddess of community and teaches that none of us live in bubbles, secluded from the greater world. We are all part of communities, and we all have the ability to improve our lot and by extension the lots of others.

I also belong to the Unitarian Univeralist church, which has its share of hippies, Pagans, Goddess-worshipers, and other members of ill repute. Wink The seventh UU principle encourages us to have "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." Whether we like it or not, we are part of communities greater than ourselves - and with few exceptions, all these communities have overlaps and affect each other. For example, I run in Pagan and UU circles, academic circles with interest in religion, online circles, geek circles (and proud of it!), queer circles, circles of biological females, white circles, circles at Roanoke College, etc. None of these circles is cut off onto itself, and none of them are secluded from the rest of the world. (That is, my Pagan-ness doesn't cut me off from the majority of my classmates who are Christian, for example. I can't just ignore them because our identities don't match.)

Not only is everything and everyone connected (on a physical sense, if not a metaphysical sense - though I also believe it metaphysically too!), but everything affects the greater web of existence. Tiny actions have consequences we never foresee, and everyday activities become opportunities to put our beliefs in practice and make the world just a little bit better. My community is the human race (and the rest of the planet Earth, while we're at it), and I feel that I do have certain duties to that greater society. At the moment I'm not involved with official volunteer work (well, I have started working at a community garden, but that's too new to call a habit at this point), but I do try to think beyond myself when I act. Being kind to waiters and cashiers, for instance. (Two years at Food Lion has cultivated a great sense of compassion for those stuck working with customers all day long.) Cleaning up the communal kitchen and making sure all my dormmates have a clean space to cook and eat. Putting up shopping carts left to their own devices in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Wink

I'm mostly familiar with ADF's view of things, so that's what I'll speak about now. It's very important in ADF theology to acknowledge our place in the world. Humans exist at a curious intersection between the gods, Ancestors, and nature spirits. We have the ability to pray and offer sacrifice to these three types of beings, and they in return hear our prayers and offer blessings. This is a reciprocal relationship that encourages us to think of both being hosts - inviting the three Kindreds into our homes and lives and treating them with due hospitality - and guests - understanding that we do not own the world we live in and, in fact, may even consider that we're "renting" out space that belongs to the Earth Mother and various nature spirits! This last sense is what's sparked a growing environmentalism in my faith, which is why I may start to embrace a "green" label to my spirituality. It's not just about people - it's about the entire world.

So yeah! Totally longer than I expected. I blame being in exam-taking mode today. If I can expand on anything, just let me know. This was fun! Thanks for asking.
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« Reply #2: June 30, 2011, 12:06:35 pm »

Darashand, how did you read my mind? This has been something I've been thinking about for a long while. Smiley

My super-duper Druid powers, of course Wink


Quote
Not only is everything and everyone connected (on a physical sense, if not a metaphysical sense - though I also believe it metaphysically too!), but everything affects the greater web of existence. Tiny actions have consequences we never foresee, and everyday activities become opportunities to put our beliefs in practice and make the world just a little bit better.

Yes, definitely.  Our actions really do affect one another in some way, which is *why* one person can truly make a difference.  It's like a ripple effect, one person does something and the rest follow.

Quote
This last sense is what's sparked a growing environmentalism in my faith, which is why I may start to embrace a "green" label to my spirituality. It's not just about people - it's about the entire world.

This was next on my list of topics. Smiley  Would you like to start it?  Druidry and Environmentalism?

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« Reply #3: June 30, 2011, 12:31:18 pm »

My super-duper Druid powers, of course Wink

I forget they come in the mail with your membership package! Is that before or after you get the Cauldron Crock-Pot of Rebirth?

Quote
Yes, definitely.  Our actions really do affect one another in some way, which is *why* one person can truly make a difference.  It's like a ripple effect, one person does something and the rest follow.

I absolutely believe that with all my heart! I take a "we're all in this together" approach. I know sayings like "every drop raises the sea" come off as cheesy sometimes, but it's really how I see the world. Besides, I've got to do something besides study those dusty tomes all day long. Wink

Quote
This was next on my list of topics. Smiley  Would you like to start it?  Druidry and Environmentalism?

I've got work soon and then after that I'm going to the doctor's. (I've done gone and hurt my lower back, and I think an x-ray may be in order. Sad) I don't mind starting it, but it may not be til tonight or tomorrow. I definitely think it's something we should tackle, though.
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« Reply #4: June 30, 2011, 11:37:17 pm »

Does your Druid Path include community service?  If so, what is it and why do you feel it's necessary to contribute to your community?

For my personal brand of Druidry (not ADF), doing a year of service is required in order to become a member of the Grove.  When trying to cultivate a set of standards for my path/tradition, this requirement was always a central part.  I think that by reaching out to others, we are able to get closer to the Divine.  Also, the role of a Druid was to serve the community, so I think this is something that we all can do without having to go to law school, f'ex. 

Your thoughts?

I used to volunteer and would love to do so once I have a job and a reliable car again. As far as environmental consciousness goes I'm studying for a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Management now and trying to do things around the house to be greener and save money. I've been struggling (and suceeding slowly) to clean up our overgrown yard and hope to start growing vegetables next spring. I also drive minimally - though that has at least as much to do with my awful car as anything else -, recycle, etc.

If nothing else my philosophy is, it couldn't hurt and it could help so why not?
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« Reply #5: June 30, 2011, 11:57:03 pm »

I used to volunteer and would love to do so once I have a job and a reliable car again. As far as environmental consciousness goes I'm studying for a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Management now and trying to do things around the house to be greener and save money. I've been struggling (and suceeding slowly) to clean up our overgrown yard and hope to start growing vegetables next spring. I also drive minimally - though that has at least as much to do with my awful car as anything else -, recycle, etc.

This weekend I really need to hammer out my ideas of "green" spirituality. This summer, when I thought I would be at home with my own garden, I was planning on basically turning my entire back yard into delicious organic food and composting central, and I was gonna live with the land and be one with nature and get a sexy tan. Grin Now that my garden is five little pots on a windowsill, I need to think of other ways to connect with the earth.

Just out of curiosity... are there any lurkers in this thread who think that I'm off the mark by putting so much emphasis on environmental Druidry? (This might be a question more for the Environmentalism thread, actually. Grin)

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If nothing else my philosophy is, it couldn't hurt and it could help so why not?

I have a new philosophy of a similar vein, spoken by UU Rev. Michael Franch: “All living things are connected. Your behavior counts. Act on the basis of the first two sentences.”
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« Reply #6: July 01, 2011, 12:11:23 pm »

Just out of curiosity... are there any lurkers in this thread who think that I'm off the mark by putting so much emphasis on environmental Druidry? (This might be a question more for the Environmentalism thread, actually. Grin)

Obviously not a lurker, but I think environmentalism is key to modern Druidry, so I don't think you are off the mark at all.

I think I'll go ahead and make the thread, so that we can get to the awesome discussion. Smiley
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« Reply #7: July 01, 2011, 12:12:02 pm »

I think I'll go ahead and make the thread, so that we can get to the awesome discussion. Smiley

Ah, you beat me to it. Yay!  Grin
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« Reply #8: July 01, 2011, 12:14:29 pm »

Ah, you beat me to it. Yay!  Grin

It's okay, I'll share the prize with you - virtual shamrock cookies! (Clearly they're what make Druidry green amirite?)
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« Reply #9: July 01, 2011, 12:24:11 pm »

It's okay, I'll share the prize with you - virtual shamrock cookies! (Clearly they're what make Druidry green amirite?)

Yes! But it might also be the trees.

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