Truth, Nature and Knowledge: A Druid’s Wisdom for the Seeker

(generously contributed by RDG/OMS Member)
Mareth FitheachBeith, Grove of the Oaken Staves, Florida

Druidry is one expression of the ageless wisdom. It is a way of looking and being in the world—a nature-based spirituality—which emphasizes the sacred connectedness of all life. The source of Druidry is not to be found in the ancient past or in any specific geographical location. The wellspring of Druidry lies in the always-present world of spirit—within the heart of the seeker.

Throughout the centuries our ancestors have gathered in circles around the mystery of fire. They have stood in awe of the sunrise. They have gazed into the night sky and marveled beneath the stars. Throughout history our ancestors have been confronted with the sheer power of life and death, the beauty of a world filled with amazing creatures and breath-taking landscapes, and they, like we, have been inspired to express these mystical feelings through song, dance, poetry, sacred stories, and rites and rituals.

Druidry, as an earth-based spirituality, understands that people, animals, plants, and minerals are all part of an organic whole. Our Scandinavian ancestors called this the Web of Wyrd (pronounced “weird”)—the interwoven threads of destiny linking all things.

Although Druidry evolved over thousands of years out of religious practices of various Celtic tribes of Western Europe, the Celtic Folk-Soul is no longer only the soul of a people, but has evolved into something much larger—an expression of the collective spiritual yearning of countless seekers. The times and methods may have changed, but the goals are the same: to live fully, creatively, and passionately; to be filled with divine inspiration; to bring magic and joy to those nearby; and to grow in wisdom. The druid’s quest is for wholeness, not perfection. At the heart of Druidry is the quest for inspiration—called Awen (pronounced: “ah-oo-en”) —the food of the soul. We seek this nourishment in the beauty of the natural world, in relationships, music, poetry, song, dreams/visions, prayer, meditation, and ritual.

Today, modern Druidry is a path of transformation that invites us into a deep, living relationship with the source of all that is—God. Transcending national boundaries and religious divisions, Druidry encourages us to deepen communion and cooperation with the deep self within each of us, between ourselves and Nature, and between ourselves and the god of all that is.

The catalytic way of the Druid is compassionate wisdom-in-action. The guardians of yesterday call us to re-awaken the root-wisdom hidden in our hearts and to act as a force for goodness for the hope of tomorrow. Druidry offers an alchemical and shamanic view rooted in Western European culture and mythology. Druidry fosters intellectual and spiritual growth and encourages expression of innate creativity and development of intuition.

Formal training in Druidry is often a spiraling apprenticeship of years in the three arts of magic. The first is the Bardic magic of Creativity—understanding, experiencing, and manifesting the inspiration of Awen. At this level the Bard serves as a Communicator of the Tradition. The second is the Ovate magic of Questing used to explore the Otherworld. At this level the Ovate serves as a Visionary Healer. The third is the Druid magic of Changing or Transformation. At this level the Druid serves as a Custodian of the Tradition.

The duty of the Druid is to reconcile the ‘seeming’ opposites and discover Unity. The keynote of the Druid is Compassion and Patience. The Druid seeks to know two things: What am I? What is god? It is said that when the Druid recalls the answer to one, the other is also remembered. So what of you seekers?

I step back and reflect on this and am often reminded what my friend Penda, Archdruid of my Grove, says: “Ah… it’s already in you”.

Ellis, Peter Berresford, The Druids, Eerdmans Pub Co, 1995
Bonewits, Issac, Bonewits's Essential Guide to Druidism, Citadel, 2006
Greer, John Michael, The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice, Weiser Books, 2006