Druidry as a religion v. Druidry as a Fellowship

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Druidry as a religion v. Druidry as a Fellowship

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      The word religion, from the Latin religare, means essentially “binding relationship. So, is druidry a religion or a fellowship or nature lovers? The modern druid Ross Nichols saw druidry as a response to the industrialization of the countryside and the spiritual damage that comes with it.
      He thought bringing back druidry would get more people into walks in nature, and help bring people closer to nature. I really like this concept of druidry, using the template of the druids to inspire and empower us with a love for nature. To me, this is what calls me to the fellowship of druidry. I am not sure how people see druidry as their religion, but I do believe that if someone does see druidry as their religion, that that is wonderful, and that there should not be dogma in druidry, and druid priest telling other druids that they must follow a set of commandments to be a druid. However, there are druids who see druidry as a form of nationalism. In the druid community we have a name for this type of modern druid, and it is called “a nazi druid” because they see druidry as extreme nationalism. Extreme nationalism wants to stomp out creativity and free thought. I feel all should be welcome to druidry, and each person should see druidry in his or her own way. As a druid, I is like the spiritual and creative side of druidry, but other druids like the historical and philosophical side of druidry, and still some druids, me included, like the magical side of druidry. I don’t really like the idea of druid priest, but I do like the idea of druid counselors, and I have noticed that many people who have been in druidry for years have stopped calling themselves druid priest and now call themselves counselors. But , if someone want to call themselves a druid priest and act that role, I say that they should be able to, if that is how they experience druidry. I am in a relationship with many of the celtic gods and goddesses and the faery realms, but I see them as friends and guides, and am not in a binding relationship with them. If you disagree with me, I hope you will not attack me for my way of seeing things, and I encourage you to write about how you see druidry. We are all interested in how other druids see and experience druidry. And I have noticed that many druids change their view of what druidry is as they learn more about druidry, and this is why druids have catmas and not dogmas.

      Dave TheDruid-3X3

        Awens to W.T.

        I would prefer Druidism being a Fellowship than a Religion. That is pretty much the way the Buddhists do theirs as being more like a Fellowship than a Religion. Buddhism is similarly a Life Living Philosophy which is something I can take to. And that is why I call myself a ‘Celtic Buddhist’.



          Just a quick thought, if druids were the priest and seers of ancient tribes, then how can modern druids be priests. I mean, what tribe are they a priest of? You would have to have a tribe to be a priest. Do people consider groups like the obod a tribe? Is a group really a tribe? A tribe to me means people who are bound together for protection from other tribes. And I don’t think of the BDO as a tribe though we do have a chief, and I think we have a chieftess, but she seems to make herself invisible. And we would all love to hear from her from time to time. I see it all as a fellowship of the ring, kind of thing. We are on a journey together to stop the evil of Mordor, the approaching storm of industrialization and environmental destruction. And we are sworn to reclaim our natural right to the spiritual wonder and inspiration of nature. It is our heritage of the Celtic poetry and stories that call us on to the world Celtic Otherworld, and our interrelationships with nature and each other.


            I do not think modern druidry can be considered a religion, and I do wonder if we should even think of modern druidry bearing any resemblance at all to the original druid practices since most are not leaders of their local society or leaders of groups in religious rituals. I think modern druidry is more of a fellowship of people who have a high degree of respect for the natural world and believe that there is some spiritual element to the natural world.

            david poole

              That seems like a fair conclusion Jenniferreid. I don’t think that most Druids are leaders, unless you mean leading by example or trying to relate to a different way of seeing the world which is more Nature based. That could mean priest if you are acting as a priest on behalf of Nature herself. That then implies that Druidry is more of a way of life if you are trying to lead by example.


                This presumes that the notion of a “religion” is a concept that the ancient Celtic peoples would have had and illustrates a problem in any kind of anthropological research, applying terms from one language and a culture to another and everything getting lost in translation. I don’t believe that there is any one definition of religion either, it depends on which particular school of thought is being followed. So how about not bothering with a bothersome word? Druidism is druidism and if we must needs use a non-Celtic word to describe it, I think a “path” would be the best one – so the “path of those who are as wise as an oak”, i.e. those who are strong in wisdom, which would bring us almost full circle to the concept of a philosophy.


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