once again, the attributes of a mature Druid are seven-fold:
What do we mean by “nonconformity?” We mean individuality. We mean questioning authority. We mean not “going with the flow.” Henry David Thoreau put it this way:
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
It means that just because everyone else has a (fill in the blank), I don’t have to have one (but if you desire something, even if everyone else has it, get it anyway). It means paying very little attention to fashion. It means that you stop caring about what others think.
Just being a Druid is an act of nonconformity. Even among Neo-Pagans, Druids are a minority, and sometimes misunderstood by the majority. Druids are also hard to define. For example, is Druidism “Right Hand Path” or “Left Hand Path?” The fact is that we have traits common to both sides, mixed with opposing traits from both sides. We are really, “middle pillar” but how do you define that?
We are pantheistic in a monotheistic world. We are polyfidelitous in a monogamous world. We prefer the woods to the city, nakedness to clothing, mead to champagne. We define our own gods, as well as declare each other to be god. Of course, there are no absolutes, and a Druid’s nonconformity may lead him/her to not be any of these things.
We are examples of compassion in a selfish world. We are the Treehuggers, the hippies, the beatniks. We demand peace in the midst of war. We demand love in the midst of hate. We demand equality for all, in the midst of classism, racism, ageism, misogyny, and misanthropy. We love.
But even our nonconformity is nonconformist. We’ll gladly go along with society when society is right about something. For example, it looks like the majority is starting to see the importance of being “green.” We go along with that. We encourage “green-ness.” Likewise, we are loyal towards the members and leaders of our Groves, our Orders and our Druid fellowships. In this day of “uber-individualism” being loyal to a collective is an act of nonconformity in itself.
We recognize the natural force of Karma, yet, rather than being Karma’s subjects, we oftentimes are called upon to be Karma’s agents. This means that, like Valentine Michael Smith, we will be called upon by conscience to “take right action at cusp” and use our magick to either bind or eliminate those individuals or things that are a threat to the collective. At the same time, we will take a lot of time to meditate, to Grok, before taking an action. Waiting is. This is the opposite of the usual social need to “do it now, suffer the consequences later.”
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.