To all druids living in the past

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum To all druids living in the past

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  • #10175
    Anonymous

    Too many druids are living in the past and trying to find the meaning of being a druid
    In some past history book, or past druid poem. And by the way, I think the story of Taliesin
    Has been driven into the ground by the some of the druid community. Yes, it is an important
    Story, but not to the point of talking about in endlessly and teaching it endlessly. Tradition dies
    If it is not kept fresh. So, If you want to know about the goddess Rhiannon, go and talk to her.
    She walks among us, and if very receptive to talking with druids. Same with the other Celtic
    Gods and goddesses. They are interwoven with us, and are not some type of god or goddess that can’t be communicated with. If you want to know about the magic of trees, go and sit under one and talk with it. If you want to meet the good folk, go where they hang out, like around hawthorn trees and mounds. Plus they like harp music, so get a harp and learn how to play. Druidism is a living spirituality, not some dead phantasy in an ancient book. Leave the books for the academics and their colleagues who have been cashing in on the druid revival with their rhetoric and marketing skills. Don’t buy into the rhetoric and marketing.
    Go and experience being a druid for yourself, and it does not cost a dime. Plant a garden, write a poem, tell your kids a celtic story. Ride down a trail on a horse and be with Rhiannon.

    #10179
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Bards, ovates and druids were also the keepers of the chronicles, keepers of the lore and guardians of the law of the Celtic peoples. Having said that, I don’t think any “serious” follower of a druidic path is trying to pretend they’re living in the Iron Age either. Talking about things, spinning yarns and retelling tales are a very important part of Celtic cultures, and they still are today – from the far corners of pubs in Connacht to the Fest Noz in Brittany. The way I look at it is that the old tradition – the hengerdd – is the source of a stream that refreshes the new and brings rebirth and regeneration to our generation and the ones after us.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10189
    david poole
    Participant

    You have plenty of excellent ideas there StarTree, I used to do a lot of these things myself, before the lockdown. Now it is much harder. But maybe it will be possible again one day. We have a garden, which is very nice which I use, so there is still something. And sometimes I will go for a walk. I meet the spirits all of the time, and they are very welcoming. But I do like reading and rewriting the old stories; I feel like this is something from which people can learn. And it is one of the Bardic areas and skills, so if you are working on your Bardism, then it is very important. But there are many different kinds of knowledge and experience. It will help us all a lot when this is all over.

    #10229
    Anonymous

    David, I read all the druid stories I can, and they are important clues to who the Celtic Gods and goddesses are. I have also started reading the Robert Hutton dude, and it is starting to seem that he has many of the same ideas I have, so it is making me feel not so weird. I just try to be aware that the otherworld is interwoven with ours everyday, and that the gods and goddesses are among us, and not that hard to access. I have tons of faery people around my house, and I mean a lot of them. So here is a funny story.
    I asked the faery folks if they would like to go to the mall with me, and they said yes, so we all got together and rode to the mall in a minivan that I had. Alright, when we got tho the mall, and this is one of those big American indoor malls, I am not sure if you have them in merry old England. The faeries that I am talking about are the sylphs, the air faeries, and yes they do look exactly like Walt Disneys tinker bell. Anyway when we went past the GNC store, which is a store that sell all kinds of herbs in bottles,
    the faeries started knocking all the bottles off the shelves because they were trying to get to the herbs. It was really funny because bottles of herbs were flying all over the store and the clerk was freaking out. I decide to keep walking because I did not want to try to explain to the clerk that the faeries were knocking the bottles off the shelves. So, it might be a good idea not to invite the faeries into a herb store, or it could be a problem, True story. Looking forward the beltaine, will probably spend it in Pocahontas state park in virgina, maybe I will find some liberty cap, it grows all around here, and the American Indians drudged some of the early English settlers at Jamestown with it, and then ran around all night making weird noises and freaking the colonist out who had been stealing the Indian’s food. I was never cool with living here because it is American Indian land that was stolen from them, but then by dead spirit son, who was American Indian, and killed by his mother in an abortion, came to me and told me “Dad, it is cool, you got a pass with the Indians. I feel like I was once or several times an American Indian in past lives. And I have had a number of American Indian girlfriends. It is cool now to be druid in Va, and I hope I can start a grove here in virginia, maybe an BDO grove, for the BDO seems to be full or really decent people and I think Greywolf is a cool dude, who is real. I have a feeling that the American Indians are a lot like the druids. Anyway, best, may you always be a peace, Star Tree

    #10230
    david poole
    Participant

    Thank you StarTree, you always provide us with a lot to think about.

    #10233
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Fairy lore in different countries is very interesting. Certainly in terms of Cornwall, similar to Wales and Brittany, and in many ways similar to the Aos Sí in Ireland, the “fairies”, and there are different kinds, are not these benevolent, butterfly-winged sprites appropriated by Victorian imagination at all. They can be good, they can be bad, or just ambivalent; however, they are to be treated with respect at all times and left well alone. The older generations were often reluctant even to mention them, for naming is calling; instead, they would use euphemisms or allegorical phrases to refer to them – typical in Cornwall would be to talk about the “Little People” (Pobol Vean) or in Wales the “Fair Family” (Tylwyth Teg) lest by using their “real” names you call upon them to your cost. In Ireland I believe that there are similar folk traditions. Sadly, it seems, Victorian imagination has prevailed and in many cases they have been reduced to picturesque images to use on souvenirs. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t tempt the wrath of the good people nor mess around with them and there was a case not so long ago about a major road that was diverted in Ireland so as not to cut down a fairy tree.

    If you’re interested, there is a legend from South West Britain about a battle between the pixies and the fairies that the pixies won, the result of which was that the pixies held all of the land to the west of the River Parrett (Dorset/Somerset). The town of Ottery Saint Mary in Devon also has celebration in June, around midsummer, called Pixie Day, that commemorates the banishing of the pixies to a cave by the Bishop of Exeter in the 14th century! Allegory for the banishing of old beliefs? The celebration itself only dates from the 1950s, but the lore it’s based on seems to be a lot older, the cave where the pixies were banished, the Pixies’ Parlour, can be found nearby and it was visited, I believe, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1793, thereby inspiring him to write the Songs of the Pixies.

    #10243
    Anonymous

    Hi Dowrgi, You live in England where there are lots of faeries, but I live in Virginia, in the good old USA, and there are a lot of the good folk here too. What you probably don’t know is that the good folk are
    all over the world, and even in Hawaii, they are able to cross dimensional boundaries, So here is a story that happened to me. I tried to stop smoking for years, and never could until I met the Tuatha de Dannnan.
    Now, it was such a great honor to meet them, that I stopped smoking because they told me to. but I also think that they are on a higher spiritual level than we are. You know, higher up, more enlightened, and when I met them some of it
    rubbed off on me. People talked about this happening when they met Buddha or christ. Anyway, the Tuatha de dannan are not just in the uk. They look like children at first, and if you were not in the know, you
    would experience them as children and not think twice about it. But they are not children, and if you look closer, you will notice that they are dressed in adult faery wear, and it is beautiful. So, there really are faeries
    all over the world and the christian church has brained washed its followers to not believe in the faeries, or ghosts, or anything from the otherworld. I disagree with your argument about leaving the faeries alone.
    I have contact with them all the time, and love the red hats. They are great musicians, and many of the Celtic songs come from the faeries. So, if you want to meet them, get a harp, for they most of all the good folk love harp music.
    And the faeries look after and protect my property, which is good because I live in a neighborhood where there are a lot of crack addicts and dealers. I believe that the faeries are the druids friends and it is normal
    for druids to be the faeries friends. Now, if you are a real druid, you will know it, and no amount of druid certificates or badges will make you a druid. I really like what David said about badges and certificates. David
    made the comment that the certificates are a way to prove to yourself that you worked hard on studying the craft of being a bard or and ovate. This makes perfect sense, and is a really good way to look at the course.
    But remember, everything in the faery world is upside down from ours, just a hint at how it works. best star tree, Also, if you are smoking, stop, the faeries don’t like it. And why ruin your health. The tuatha de dannan told
    me that clean air is beautiful, and that it is important to have clean are for magic. Just think of all the magic that floats around in clean air, all the life force.

    #10247
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    I disagree with your argument about leaving the faeries alone.

    It’s not an argument really, it was just presenting some of the lore of the traditionally Celtic-speaking areas that I mentioned.

    #10289
    Greywolf
    Keymaster

    Personally, I’ve always been extremely fond of the past, or rather certain aspects of it, due to having always had the feeling that I was born out of time and have struggled with a lot of modern life, like telephones, tax offices, polluting industries, lying politicians and pointless celebrity culture. Hence I play archaic musical instruments and occasionally build Iron Age roundhouses. Having discovered Druidry in the 1970s, there were no how-to books or courses to be found, so my way into the path was through a combination of archaeology and medieval literature, which is why I remain strongly attached to both and believe they have a lot to offer. None of which means I live in an iron Age theme park speaking nothing but Old Welsh. My house was built in 1991 and, with the exception of English, I’m fairly crap at languages. I have learnt to adapt to life in the 21st century, although there are still many things about it that I find baffling, annoying or ridiculous. All three terms, for example, apply to the obscene amounts of money spent on arms when so many people in the world lack enough food to eat or access to clean water and decent health care and education. Of course, human nature hasn’t fundamentally changed and there were stupid, greedy, irritating people throughout history, just fewer of them due to lower population densities and less likelihood that you’d hear from them because there was no mass communication bombarding us with their opinions every minute of the day. I think, on the whole, I’m probably better suited to the Iron Age than the 21st century. Then again, I would hugely miss being able to carry 40,000 music tracks around on a device that fits in my pocket!
    Greywolf /|\

    #10294
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    I think, on the whole, I’m probably better suited to the Iron Age than the 21st century.

    So what was so bad about the Bronze Age? 😀

    #10317
    david poole
    Participant

    What’s wrong with living in the past? Nothing, except that most people exist simply to distract themselves. There is nothing else to do really when you think about it, except politics and protest and learning, which is something which I don’t think most people even try to think about.

    #10325
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Hi David.

    I think we would agree that the Celtic peoples, in their mythologies and lore, had a notion of the cycles of life – circles of existence. This is the reason, I believe, that no authentic ancient Celtic creation myth has come down to us directly, despite numerous attempts at speculating what it might have been. I’ve read all kinds of hypotheses and, as beautiful and poetic as they are, they just somehow don’t ring true. Jean Markale proposed some interesting ideas as well, but they remain highly conjectural at best. Now, what about my idea? Perhaps the Celts didn’t have a creation myth because they saw things in a different way – no beginning and no end – just like a circle has no beginning and no end and every point on a circle is connected in both directions to any other point or just like how energy cannot be created and cannot be destroyed but only transformed, i.e. the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    I stress, this is just my own idea, but just because other religions/belief systems had some kind of creation myth does not necessarily mean that all religions/belief systems had one or viewed things in remotely the same way, does it?

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10326
    david poole
    Participant

    I have not actually looked into this subject myself, I am not currently aware of any Celtic creation myth. Would the Tuatha de Danaan have anything to do with this or would that be a false trail?

    #10328
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    I believe that some have speculated this, but again the Tuatha Dé are concerned with the taking of Ireland, I think it would be hard to find a world creation myth in there. It seems a lot of Celtic mythology was very local, the Irish otherworld is a very Irish one, the Welsh otherworld is a very Welsh one and so on. We don’t know what the other historical Celtic peoples might have believed, but it is perhaps reasonable to think that they might have had their own “local” mythologies. There is a Cornish droll (folk story) about how Helston got its name, involving a big fight between St Michael, the devil, a dragon and a fiery stone that crashes into the ground and becomes the “Hell-stone”. Now this relies also on a play on words in English and not ancient Cornish; nevertheless, there could be something in there in terms of an ancient tale that has been reworked and reworked through time, but again, it’s very local. I may be wrong, there may well be a Celtic version of what we would consider a creation myth and we may discover something in the future, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    Bennathow.
    /|\

    #10329
    david poole
    Participant

    Okay thanks Dowrgi. I think that the Celts are quite distinct then in not having an origin myth, as as far as I am aware most religions or paths do have some kind of explanation within them somewhere. Most unusual indeed.

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