The British Druid Order › Forums › BDO Public Forum › Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass › Reply To: Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass
In Chapter 7 Chief talks about ritual. One of the things he implies is that people are disconnected from nature because of the modern way we live and that ritual is the solution to that. Well, I kind of disagree with this because anyone can get out of their home and go for a walk in nature or go camping, and I don’t see why ritual is the only way to connect with nature, but I do see how it is a way to connect with the Celtic gods and goddesses. However, Chief does go on to talk about how we can connect with our ancestors through ritual. Then he talks about the Gorsedd Rite and said he got the rituals from Emma Restall Orr. Chief says that the Gorsedd rite, “reflect another central tenet of Druidry: tolerance for the beliefs and practices of others.” (115, Druidry) So here we see a dogma or central tenant of Druidism that chief is making. And I have no problem with this dogma of tolerance for the beliefs and practices of others, and it just seems like common sense. My problem with this is chief has the druid acting in the role of priest and priestess, and I just don’t get it. Why use the words priest and priestess. All those words do is make druidry like Christianity. I think of a druid more as a shaman or a guide and just feel that the words priest and priestess are now creating a priesthood in druidry, making druidry a religion instead of a spiritual path. And I don’t have anything against a multifaith gathering as long as it is understood that it is a multi faith ceremony where all are invited and welcome. Then there is a mix of witchcraft with ceremony in the casting of the circle, which does not even appear to be a real magic circle but some kind of fantasy circle with all kinds of gods and religions mixed into it, which makes no sense to me. The whole thing seems to be a mix of world religions, and I don’t get it at all. There is also a bardic initiation ceremony, and a funeral ceremony. At best I can only see how these instructions could be used as a suggestive guide for how to run a multi faith ceremony, but I do not see how they in any way could be used in a real druid ceremony. This kind of multifaith druidism seems to me to be an attempt to be all things to all people, and I don’t feel it is really what Celtic Druidism is about. I also feel that druids should stay out of the priest and priestess business. However, this is just the way I see being a druid, and if people want to be multi faith druids and throw all the world religions into one cauldron, that is their right, and I am not the druid police. Again, I think many of this multi religion mix comes from druids who want to establish druidry as some recognized world religion. This is why I think it is better to see druidry as a spiritual path and practiced in small groves, so we will not end up with a corporate religion that has priest and priestesses and a pope or some high mighty archdruid. Being a druid is not about playing church. Leave that to the Christians. Druidry is not a branch of psychology either.
Druidry is a spiritual way of looking at the world and the otherworld, and it is very hard to understand if you are hardwired with fifty miles of Christian coper wire. Basing druid ceremonies on multi faith ritual is just not a good idea. And if you let druids set up a priest and priesthood, you will get all of the same problems that you now have with the organized fundamentalist Christian church, and the catholic church. We are still at the beginning of bringing druidry back, and basing our druid rituals on multi faith models is not good. While I am at this, it also seems that many neo druids go out of their way to say that there is no such thing as evil because it solves a lot of theological problems for them. I think that there are evil spirits in the universe and druids should be aware of this fact and protect themselves from it. You could call it satan, but I just use the world evil spirits because there are many devils in the universe. And there are people who become so negative and full of hate that they put out really bad vibes. This is why druids should learn how to create an auric field of protection so that they can defend themselves from negative vampire like people. Not everything in the shamanic world is nice. And I have seen the effects of evil spirit possession, and can tell you it is horrible thing to see, and a monstrous thing for people to go through, and I mean more monstrous than any horror movie you have ever seen. Anyway, chapter seven gives the neo druid view of a multi-faith druidism. I seriously doubt that the early druids were into multi faith ceremonies. But look, there are many alternative views on what a druid is or is not. If some druids are happy with a multi-faith view, that is fine. There are many different druid groups, and many alternative views on what a druid is. For myself, I am a celtic druid, and not a multi faith druid. I honor the celtic gods and goddesses, the faery world, the otherwold, and the celtic spirit ancestors. I cast real magic circles that are thrice cast and that protect the druid from evil forces, while also inviting the celtic gods and goddesses and the elementals to participate in the magic circle, and the circles I cast raise and contain energy for magic use and are places that are between the worlds. I am not a TV druid or a druid who wants to be filmed by the press. I find that real magic is best performed away from the press and non-believers who are only looking for a show. If people want to gather in a multi faith ceremony, let them call it that, and don’t call it or present it as a druid ceremony. Best Star Tree