Why Am I a Reformed Druid?
Contest Winners

“To dispense the healing power of music was one of the many skills of the poet.
Three harp-strains are said to have been instituted at the three confinements of the Goddess Boann:
at her first labour, she was sorrowful because of the pain; at the second birth, she was full of joy;
at the third birth, she was sleepy because of the length of her labour.
These three children were called Goltraigers, Gentraigers and Suantraigers,
who gave their names to the three strains which harpers were about to reproduce:
the sorrow strain, which provokes the release of lamentation after grief:
the joy strain, which provokes mirth after sorrow;
the sleep strain, which provokes rest after trauma.”

~~From The Celtic Book of Days by Caitlin Matthews

Why Am I A Reformed Druid?

by Druid Dhara

In the words of Rene Descartes- I think, therefore I am. Admittedly, (as a pragmatist) I do not appreciate Descartes but that was the very first thought that came into my mind when I read the question – Why am I a Druid? The answer-much like the answer to the “What is the meaning of Life?” is quite simple.

I would like to take this opportunity to share the mystery of life question with my water-kin. This answer comes from years of study and interest in philosophy. My personal favorite, and oft times over looked, Marcus Aurelius, sought the answer in the Stoic teachings of Socrates (who really knows what he said) but more importantly, Plato.

The question of the meaning of life has been bantered about since the beginning of time and the thinking man. And yet it has always been there. The meaning of life is - to live consistently and in harmony with Nature! And what a better group to belong to than the Druids who have always attempted to live in harmony with nature? Of course there are many sects and paths to follow and those paths sometimes get tangled up in underbrush and fallen branches.

With the Reformed Druids of Gaia, we have no set path. We are free to be who we are without the trappings of religion or dogma. We are free spirits. I embrace my water-kin across the continent and across the seas. Marcus Aurelius wrote “It’s Up to You!” And it really is. My water-kin support me and I them in any path that they choose and we are cool with that.

The two tenants of The Reformed Druids of Gaia clearly state our promise to Nature. I am old school, so please forgive me; Nature is groovy, Nature is very groovy! This is our belief and our promise to the future! To live consistently and in harmony with nature is what we are about! Could any path be more perfect for me? The question “Why am I a Reformed Druid?” can be answered quite simply: I am a Reformed Druid because I am.

Why am I a Reformed Druid?

The Grandmother Tree
by Lisa Wyvern

Reformed Druidism is the path I have been searching for my entire life. I now realize that I was groping and fumbling my way down this path long before I knew it had a name. I remember a family vacation when I was 9 or 10 years old which had a huge impact on me. My parents rented a motor home and we drove up the California coast from Los Angeles where we lived to Humboldt County.

I remember a strange feeling growing inside of me the farther north of the Golden Gate Bridge we traveled. I sat and raptly watched the ocean and the big trees and I remember wanting to cry every time the big logging trucks went barreling past. My father told me not to be scared of the big trucks. I didn't answer, but I knew I wasn't afraid of them (well much) but I was sad because of all of those big beautiful beings they had slain and were carting off so callously. And there were so many of them. And I knew my father wouldn't understand. He would rationally explain about commerce and profit margins and the need for the wood. And that made me sad too.

I remember camping out at Richardson's Grove and announcing to my parents that when I grew up I was going to live there with all the big trees. My parents just smiled and nodded and went on with their conversation. But I knew that I would be back one day. It took many years but I do live in Humboldt and I still love the trees.

I remember when I first realized just how sacred the old trees are. A friend and I had been driving home to Arcata from a cross-country road trip and Rainbow Gathering and were hot and tired and in very ill humor. We crossed the state line from Oregon to California and hit the Crescent City ocean breezes. We both started to feel better and as soon as we hit the Redwood State Park and got in amongst the trees we were both smiling and grinning. We drove for a while and I suddenly got the very strong urge to pull over. So I did. We both got out and let the dogs out and we both wandered into the forest.

There was no path, but we were drawn along between the ferns and the trees and we only walked for about five or ten minutes before the trees opened before us and there she was. She was the most amazing old growth redwood grandmother I have ever seen. She was so beautiful. She had ferns growing all about her base and there was a space all around her like all of the other trees and plants were her children and they were gathered around listening to her. Damon moved off to one side of her and I moved to the other side.

I remember being in total awe of so amazing a presence. The silence was deafening and the sense of peace was so strong. I sat in front of her and just absorbed her presence. I don't have any idea how long I was there, but eventually I came back into myself and looked around. It was sunset and the most beautiful orange and purple and gold cloudscape blazed in the opening around the lady in the midst of this little glen. I got up and went and stood before her and stretched my arms out and touched her and put my face against her bark and there was this energy fusing between us that was amazing.

Again time was suspended and I came back into myself again and it was dusk and the dogs came trotting into the glen and lay down. I swear they were smiling. Damon came wandering back from wherever he had been. Neither of us said much the rest of the trip home but we were happy and content and replete.

This experience is the quintessential embodiment of what Druidism is to me. It is love of the earth and the mother who birthed all living things. It is a constant exchange of care and love and support for each other: parent to child - child to parent sibling to sibling.

It is acceptance of my own and others faults as well as rejoicing in our gifts and talents. It is commitment to work towards the health and well being of our mother and ourselves, both spiritually and physically. While Druidism is only one path among a myriad it is the one that has long called to me, and I have finally had my eyes opened and am beginning to recognize the signposts along that path. /|\

Why Am I A Reformed Druid?

by Gillian Silvermoon

I am a reformed druid because the Orthodox druids have WAY too many rules and have stuck with the ancient, archaic ways of the past. The Conservative Druids have less rules, but still way too many and don’t seem to want to budge on the ones they do have. Reformed Druids live more in the modern day. What rules we do have, (rules? we don’t need no stinking rules!) we are more than willing to change as needed. (Yep, we make them up as we go along!)

We welcome our brothers & sisters with open arms, no need for elaborate conversion classes that can take years! No need to spend money on classes you don’t need or even want. No ancient languages to learn! No, just a bunch of friendly Druids, celebrating nature, the Universe and each other. How much simpler and down to basics can you get?

But seriously folks, I became a Reformed Druid because I finally realized that was what I was. I searched for years, trying to fit into various religions. Not many of them made sense to me. How can you have as one of your commandments “Thou shall not kill” yet go out and kill folks because they don’t worship your God or believe the way you do? How messed up is that? Didn’t they read, “Love thy neighbor” or “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? What are those, after thoughts?!

My Grandfather, who came from a village of Catholics, shunned religion and always told me that nature was what was important and that we should be taking care of our planet. His words and the reverence he held for all of nature, stayed with me after he died. When I had my first introduction to druids through Dungeons and Dragons, I was like, WOW! That’s me! That’s what Grandpa was! So, I started reading and researching, on and off over the years, discovering the RDNA early in 2006. I read all their literature and though it was pretty cool. Finally, some people that respected our planet, wanted to protect it, but weren’t fanatical about. Heck, they were pretty laid back about it, kind of like me. And they had a sense of HUMOR about things! Gosh, how many religions can say that? None that I can think of! Looks to me like the Reformed Druids finally “got it right”.

Reform Druidism is the right fit for me. I have found a virtual grove to call home – new brothers and sisters that are into all things nature and care about each other unconditionally. We crack jokes, and share our triumphs and experiences. They understand the importance of being caretakers of this planet – something I wish more folks would give consideration to doing as well. This planet is what gives us all life and sustains us. She is our mother and should be treated with respect and love. That’s one thing I think any flavor of Druid can agree to.

Yeah, I think Nature is groovy, Nature is very groovy!

Why Am I A Reformed Druid?

by Phoenix ShadowStar

The long version.........

In the beginning...........

My original search I looked into Protestant Christianity, the Catholic Church (during this time I was a Cloistered Carmelite Nun for almost 2 years), and Judaism. These were the avenues available for religious expression open at that time. These were the 'dry' years before the 'New Age' even existed and there were no books on Wicca or Witchcraft or even Buddhism – no one around me had even heard of such things.......

In the middle...........

In 1993 I found a little store in the city near me that was different.
It was a 'New Age' store; something I had never heard of before. I began to read about Native American spirituality, and rediscovered Tarot cards. Soon I ventured in to the Wiccan section and began to explore the books there. I bought my first pentacle, a very simple silver one on a silver chain. I wore it constantly for years, until the 'cusp time'. The books concerning candle magic described things that I had been doing since the age of 12. It was a strange sensation to put it mildly. Latter I was a member of several groups, attended many public rituals, then settled into solitary practice.

In 1999, I began to feel the need for a change......

Further on..........

Gradually I found that Wicca/Witchcraft wasn't as satisfying as it seemed at first. While it was interesting and fun, there seemed to be something that was not being filled, something missing that I wanted to add. I took a course from OBOD, the Bard course, but that wasn't quite it either. But it was closer.

Then my mother-in-law became interested in Wicca, and I found myself in the position of companion for her in her studies. We joined a coven nearby, and for a while everything went quite well. Then in 2004, there were 3 hurricanes, and the covenstead was down and out for almost two years due to damages to the building and disorganization, as well as members having various personal issues to resolve.

At this time I felt the need to buy a new pentagram. It was beginning
to feel like I had 'outgrown' the one that I had. One of the new shops at the flea market had New Age and Wiccan books and jewelry. When we went in I saw the perfect replacement for my old necklace. I had never seen a pentacle like this one before. It has a star and a tree in the center, and written around it are the words, "Thee I invoke by the moonlit sea, by the standing stone, and the twisted tree". Then began the search to find the meaning these words contain. This search led me back to research on Druid groups.

The short version.........

When I reached a 'cusp' in my spiritual path, I was looking for a group that focused more on Nature than on other things and other issues. I looked up "Druids" online and found RDNA. I fell in love with the two
Tenants, and with the whole way the group was started. I read through the different pages listed under links and found OMS/RDG. Read the web pages through, and partly because of the book, "Stranger in a Strange Land", decided to join the group.

The shorter version.......

Why Am I A Reformed Druid?

Because I love the tenants:

1. Nature is good (groovy).
2. Nature is very good (groovy).
3. Thou art God/dess.

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