Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 40 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #10627
    Anonymous

    Chapter 5 is on divination and Graywolf is most certainly leaning to the fact that there is a spiritual otherworld and druids walk in it. Yes there is some fudging for those atheist druids who do not believe in spirit, and Graywolf says that “ you may see it as a means of accessing your subconscious mind.” (p86, Druidry) But read this chapter, and tell me that Chief is not saying that there is an otherworld and Divination is asking the divine (spirit) for information on the future. I feel that Chief is a very spiritual person and he is aware of the spirit in nature and the spirit of the gods and goddesses. Again, you read the chapter, and tell me that Chief is not advocating that the otherworld is spiritual and not all subconscious psychology. Further, Chief talks about second sight. In my opinion, the otherworld does not just show itself to anyone. But there are people that they do make themselves vivid to. Look, this is what I am saying, use some discernment when dealing with the otherworld. It is not all happy and safe, and there are some real dangerous places and beings in the otherworld that are not out to do you a favor. Just take your time and be careful. But what I take away from this chapter is that Chief is a spiritual person, and I do not think he is an atheist non-spiritual person. Further, chief made a set of tree tarot cards for divination, and they are something you should check out. So far I think that this book should be required reading for every druid.

    #10628
    Anonymous

    I just want to make a quick comment here. First I feel that I am a druid and no longer a Christian Druid. So, I am a lot happier just being a Druid because I think that covers more of what I believe, also, I feel I am a Celtic Druid. I would also like to say that there are may alternative views on what a druid is, but the one thing that binds us all is the early Celtic stories like in the Mabinogi and the poems of Taliesin. Some people claim that we are not a spiritual group because we don’t have a bible or a Tora, but I feel that there is plenty of text that proves we are a spiritual group, such as the Mabinogi and the poems of Taliesin, and I am sure there is a lot of other stuff too. And there are alternative views among druids to what the texts mean. This is great, I think, because I like being a part of a group of rebels that think for themselves. I know it is hard for people who grew up with the Christian Church to be a druid because there is no bible to tell them to do this or think that. And not having a book that is full of shalls and shall nots is what I love most about being a druid, we take responsibility for our own lives. And I really look forward to hearing other druids reactions to Chief Graywolf’s book. I know that it is answering a lot of my questions. So until next time folks, go with Awen Star-tree

    #10630
    Anonymous

    In chapter 6, Chief Graywolf reveals to us that he is a shaman and that is what a druid is, not a priest or priestess, but a shaman. Chief says, “the spiritual realm is seen as the origin of all other levels of being, so anything that has an effect in that realm naturally affects every other aspect of existence. The spiritual provides the blueprint from which emotion and intellect build the view of reality from which we construct our physical world.” (p100, Druidry) Then chief talks about reincarnation. However, I have a different view of reincarnation and don’t think we reincarnate as animals because cats like being cats, and dogs like being dogs, and people like being people, and why in the world would a cat want to reincarnate as a human, who cats think are kind of stupid and really destructive to the planet and most humans don’t even know how to use telepathy, so cats really have no intention of ever reincarnating as a human. Chief gives a great instruction on how to contact a tree for healing, and talks about the spiritual power of herbs, and help from the otherworld. I suggest you read this chapter because I really think it can help all druids and will help us all to heal if we follow the Chief’s guidance. Best Star Tree

    #10631
    Anonymous

    Here is Chief’s review of the book Sacred Animals by Gordon the toad (Gordon Maclellan)
    Greywolf
    5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book and a useful resource
    Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2013
    Verified Purchase
    Gordon MacLellan, a.k.a. Gordon the Toad, is a lovely man, an engaging speaker and a British ‘shaman’ of real integrity. In ‘Sacred Animals’ he has produced one of the best books on ‘shamanism’ that I’ve come across. Often such books are full of New Age psycho-babble or recycled quotes from anthropologists or Carlos Castaneda. ‘Sacred Animals’ is different. It’s full of practical advice for things to do, and not just spiritual exercises, although there are enough of those to keep any reader happy. There are also dozens of fascinating and worthwhile craft projects, from treating wings from roadkill birds to making full-scale animal masks. So, if you really want to connect spiritually, deeply and fully with birds, reptiles, mammals and other non-human sentient creatures, forget the rest and just buy this book. You’re unlikely to need another. And, since finding your power animal is one of the key ways in which we learn to become ‘shamans’ (or my preferred native British equivalent, Druids), you could well save on a lot of books on shamanism by buying this one too. If you succeed in connecting with your power animal through using this book, your power animal should then show you the rest of the ropes. And you’re more likely to make that connection through the advice Gordon gives here than through that given in any other book on shamanism I’ve ever read, and I’ve read quite a few. I really do recommend this one highly.

    #10635
    Anonymous

    People like Rowan Williams, who is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, seem to be very interested in druidry because druidry allows them to re-enact the Middle Ages of knights and courts. It also allows them a break from the white bread and hot dog simple explanations of christianity. Druidry allows them to find inspiration from the magical texts like Taliesin. So, I think all of that is fine and I am happy that the academic world is so interested in the druids texts. Then there are the OBODIANS who seem to want to take all world religions, throw them in a cauldron, stir and mix, throw in some pop self-help psychology, and call that brew druidism. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that approach, but I don’t think that it is Celtic druidism when you add in all religions to the mix. I think what the OBODIANS are brewing is a one world religion designed to fit all. Whatever the case, I always think that the druids do best when they keep druidry living in small groves, and keep their relationship with nature real. Re-enacting is fine, but you do not have to act like you are living in the Middle Ages to be a druid. and the press loves it when all people who dress up in white robes gather at Glastonbury tor. Most of all, we as druids need to stop thinking of ourselves as an alternative religion because we are not. We are the primal spiritual people of the earth. we are the normal ones who have magic and joy in our lives and are not following a dead mechanistic religion that spews out despair. I hope we can always keep politics out of druidry, and keep druidry in small groups like I think it was originally practiced.

    #10636
    david poole
    Participant

    I am very interested in the Mabinogion too, but then I am equally interested in the Irish texts as well, maybe even more so; I seem to have taken an extra step somewhere, as I believe that these texts are just as important as the Mabinogion, as well as providing different knowledge they also cover the knowledge which we already have from Wales in a different way. I think that there are aspects of OBOD that are extremely Druidic and not just syncretic or psychological; it is interesting that some people from these religions have some feeling towards Druidry. Don’t take any notice of the press, they always get things wrong in any case; see the recent case in The Sun attacking paganism over Beltane, a dangerously misinformed piece that smears many people. I wonder where the line is drawn, people seem to be very interested in nature based spirituality which can only be a good thing.

    #10638
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    People like Rowan Williams, who is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, seem to be very interested in druidry because druidry allows them to re-enact the Middle Ages of knights and courts. It also allows them a break from the white bread and hot dog simple explanations of christianity.

    You should be careful what you give credence to, The Right. Rev. Rowan Wiliams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, was inducted into the highest rank of the (Welsh) Gorsedd of Bards. Up until 2012 the Gorsedd had three ranks so to speak, however, since 2012 they no longer apply a ranking as such to their respective bards, ovates and druids. In terms of the Gorsedd, and up until 2012, the title of druid was simply a recognition of achievement and merit within the organisation. The Gorsedd itself is involved with cultural activities, Welsh language poetry, music and the arts. Their opening ceremonies are Christian in nature, they do not consider themselves to be a religious organisation and quite frankly have little or nothing to do with neo-paganism whatsoever.

    You need to bear in mind, or perhaps find out about, the various druid organisations, gorseths and Celtic cultural movements in existence. Although there may be some overlapping in terms of symbolism and terminology, they have very different functions, objectives and outlooks.

    At the time he was inducted, some sections of the press and some groups started going on about paganism, much, I believe, to the annoyance of The Rt. Rev. Archbishop Williams himself.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10640
    Anonymous

    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

    #10641
    david poole
    Participant

    You have a very strong point of view Startree, it is giving me all kinds of thoughts and impressions. I think that you have successfully pointed out a real danger here; rigidity of thought, belief and practice. I think that there is too much emphasis on particular people being in charge and that we would be better off working as a group of individuals with a common core of beliefs and some difference; a community or collective anarchy as it were. I think there is a fine line between many spiritual beliefs and that someone can easily tip into animism or imanentism or paganism or Druidry or something to do with nature and that there is nothing wrong with this. I do not think we should be too rigid in our beliefs or practices but instead we should try to enjoy what we have and try to develop as we go. I think we could all lose opportunities if we go around expecting too much. I find that my Druidry can be very fluid and evolving, I know that I have much to learn but consider it to be my home. I don’t think we should become too tied down to specific beliefs or practices or following specific examples, each of us must try to do the best that we can do both on our own and when working with others. This might lead to disagreement and confusion initially but will also lead to growth and development. I find Greywolf’s approach to Druidry very inspiring, but we can all find our own perspective and make it work for ourselves while continuing to work together.

    #10642
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    No two oak trees are exactly the same. Nevertheless, when we see an oak tree, we know it’s an oak.

    Even on the same tree, the twigs and branches grow in different directions and form different shapes, yet they all move towards the light.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10643
    david poole
    Participant

    Thank you Dowrgi, I could not have put it better msyelf.

    #10646
    Greywolf
    Keymaster

    I’m currently working on a new edition of Druidry: A Practical and Inspirational Guide, keeping most of the content of the original but making a lot of additions. I guess by the time it’s finished it’ll be about 50% longer. It’s 20 years on from the original publications date, so seemed like a good time to bring a new edition into print. Given the length of time these things take, I’d guess it’ll be out in about a year’s time…

    #10648
    Anonymous

    Chapter 8 gets very spiritual again. Chief Graywolf talks about the otherworld and traveling to the otherworld. He also talks about shape shifting and power animals. Further, he says that a druid can act as a, “bridge-builder, promoting understanding and reconciliation between different cultures or interests; many druids promote and take part in interfaith dialogues or work for peace between opposing factions.” (p.134, Druidry) In conclusion I think Druidry by Chief Graywolf is a mighty book, and shines a light on all the wonderful things in druidism, and the many views of the modern druids. I feel that each druid needs to decide for himself or herself what a druid is, and that no one should be forced into a belief system from peer pressure. The chief of the OBODIANS rages and screams about how druidry has no dogma, but what he does not understand is that dogma comes from what druid leaders and people in authority and in leadership positions say and write. So, in my opinion, the OBODIANS don’t have dogma, except for their dogma. I think that Chief Graywolf is a druid for the right spiritual reasons and that he is not trying to be some powerful leader. Chief Graywolf is a person who stands up for his beliefs and who is not afraid to talk about and share his otherworld experiences, and this takes great courage and bravery in a world where most folks do not believe in faeries, or celtic gods and goddesses, and power animals, and the otherworld. So the BDO is very lucky to have him in a leadership position. And as I understand it, Chief Graywolf has also been responsible for trying to bring peace among druid groups, who each want to put forth their agenda for modern druidism. Look, I think there is really no way around some of the facts of spiritual groups. There are always going to be people who fight for political power in a spiritual group, and who want to push their views on the rest of the group.
    I also feel that druids should try to work in small groves and not large mega groves like the OBODIANS. Further, I have found that if you go behind the scenes of the Christian Church, behind the Christian mask, there are some christians who have great hatred and distrust of the witches and the druids. The Christians have a very different view of what a druid or a witch is, and many Christians eschatological view is that we are all going to hell, and are part of the apocalypse. Further, don’t forget that the Christians just about wiped the druids and witches out, and they can do it again if the Christians feel that we are getting too powerful as a spiritual movement, so small is beautiful. And as for the druids changing the world, I would tell each druid to first work on changing yourself first. The druids and witches prayers and thoughts do change the worlds view on global warming, and also change the otherworld’s web, for all of life and nature is interconnected, but we are up against the petrodollar, the large industrial military complex, and the world wide domination of the Christian church and their end time stories. And if you don’t know what the petrodollar is, you need to look it up, and it will explain to you a lot about what is really going on in the world and why not much is being done by the USA to stop global warming. Most of all, I hope that druids will be open and honest about what their form of druidism is, and not hide their agenda in secrets, because when a group of druids have secrets, it makes people think that they are a cult, and cults can be demonized by the press. And group secrets are one of the key signs of a cult. Further, the pagan religion is a growing movement and will help many people live a better life. But each person should follow what he or she believes and not be drawn into a group just because the groups promises that if you join with them you will live a more happy and magical life. Also, in my opinion, I think that many of the Neo Druid groups are marketing their group to try to get more members, so the group leaders can get street cred in the religious corporate world. And remember a druid does not have dress in long white robes and grow a long white beard and only get their druid on at the festivals. A druid can dress in jeans and take a walk in the woods or go camping or plant a garden, druidry can become a lifestyle. I think druidism will always work best in small circles of friends and does not have to be some religious movement with a world headquarters the size of the Vatican. And you do not have to pay $450 dollars for a course to learn how to be a druid. One more thing, and then I will shut up, I have found that being a druid is a beautiful way of life and has made me very happy. Also, the things I have said in this review are only my opinions and are subject to change because they are only catmas and not dogmas. I think we should all stand with our brother and sister druids, druidesses, and witches. I have found great love and kindness and healing in the druid and witch community, and the witches have saved my life many times. But most of all, like Chief Graywolf said, we should be grateful, “as we follow the rushing stream back to its source, the well-spring of the the creative spirit.” (p. 139, Druidry) Best , and may you alway go with Awen, Star-tree

    #10650
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    The chief of the OBODIANS rages and screams about how druidry has no dogma, but what he does not understand is that dogma comes from what druid leaders and people in authority and in leadership positions say and write.

    To be honest, I don’t think I’ve heard the “chief of the OBODIANS” ever rage and scream about anything and I do think he might understand just a few things about the druidry.

    Further, don’t forget that the Christians just about wiped the druids and witches out,

    The Romans dealt the death blow to the druids before the Roman Empire became Christian, and there where druidry lingered on, there was a relatively peaceful transmission and a great degree of syncretism. Don’t forget that the so-called “witches” of the Middle Ages and Renaissance were mostly Christians, for example Joan of Arc, they certainly weren’t practitioners of some other religion and many of the cases against them were no more than trumped-up accusations brought against people because of old grudges, envy and score-settling. In 1080, Pope Gregory VII actually told King Harald III of Denmark to stop with all the witch-hunt nonsense and later Popes were more concerned about what they considered heresy, rather than any “occult power” as such. Going further back, the pagan Romans actually didn’t tolerate witchcraft and there were laws against it, some of which later formed the basis of anti-witchcraft laws in Christian Europe; the recorded history of Rome bears testimony to a number of mass executions, book burnings and hostile legislation against witchcraft and superstition. In Ancient Greece too, we find the sorrowful case Theoris of Lemnos, who was executed along with her children for witchcraft.

    In life you’ll always come across narrow-minded people, usually badly informed, who may say this that and the other and may hurt your feelings, but as the Greeks said – empty vessels make the loudest noise and those who babble the most lack wit. The best policy is not to worry so much about what others are saying or doing and focus on what you are doing in the right way so that you can be at peace within yourself.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10651
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Thanks David. By the way, I’m working on some calendar research, when I’ve got enough together, I’ll update you and we could compare our notes.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 40 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.