Unity - Working Together

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Druidic Dawn invites its various Celtic and Druid Associations, Groups and Orders members to a discussion which could lead to some form of unity between the various pathways which are current today.

This discussion is not limited to its community membership, but open to the wider internet Celtic and Druid community, who are encouraged to participate.

This exploration can either be held transparently in this public forum or alternatively within the community members accessible Serious Discussion forum. All who may wish to participate in the proposed discussion are governed by the terms and conditions of using this neutral virtual space.

Ideally speaking representative spokespersons are encouraged to participate who are in a position to speak for an Association, Group or Order, if they exisit. Alternatively we invite heads or leaders of Celtic and Druid Associations, Groups or Orders to participate.

Looking forward to a constructive debate!

 

 



attila
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Music

Music is as ever a great medium for getting ideas across. I hope it will become more artistic and political like it was in the 70’s ~ or at least a grown up version of that.

Artist, musicians and poets alike can all [and often do] make a massive difference on how people think.



csmaccath
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...in Britain at least, a

...in Britain at least, a lot of the heathen groups I've come across are
very insular and boarder on Racism - one or two would make the BNP seem
positively squeemish.

Here, too, though I have been heartened to see some practitioners of Heathenry from Northern Europe decry the racists. In fact, the band Tyr (Faroese folk metal, good head-bangin' fun, highly recommended) are all Heathens themselves and strongly advocate a non-racist position. I saw them in concert a few months ago in Detroit.

And yes, I agree that this conversation helps and that those people who are teaching and participating in this dialogue should be commended.

--

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | www.csmaccath.com



csmaccath
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I just re-read my last and

I just re-read my last and wanted to clarify that while I don't affiliate with any Heathen organizations, I am a member of OBOD and happy to be so. I was referring just to Heathen groups when I wrote that. Sorry for any confusion.

--

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | www.csmaccath.com



CalonDdraig
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Honestly, I think Druidry

Honestly, I think Druidry is a lot farther along than Heathenry is when
it comes to community-building, at least from my vantage point.

I agree fully with you there Ceallaigh, in Britain at least, a lot of the heathen groups I've come across are very insular and boarder on Racism - one or two would make the BNP seem positively squeemish. 

The important thing to consider is that we're all here, now, discussing this issue amongst ourselves. That shows that we at least want to find common ground/dialogue, whether it's flawed in practice or not. Some don't give a toss... Clearly we do, hence this discussion. I'm also heartened to see so many people contributing to this thread who run Orders/groves/schools... just the kind of people we need to lead us in this. Or at least be a positive voice!

dan y deri/under the oaks,

~CalonDdraig



attila
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many ways to teach

Yeah I am not a part of any order though I wouldn’t mind being part of all as one, if there were such a commonality. I don’t think having a rigid structure or belief base would help or is even druidic, but I think there are plenty of excellent minds out there which can easily tackle small minded politics etc. unfortunately, as you say, there are some boards that bar people that don’t fit with the scheme. This is why I ‘spread the word’ so to say on non specific druidic or pagan/heathen boards. Just one of the gaming boards I go to has 20,000 members and the modification get over 100,000 downloads. So there is a big audience out there in all walks of life and many ways to teach.



csmaccath
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I would be interested to

I would be interested to know whether or not any of you have seen even this level of dialogue in Heathenry. I have not (my turn to be harsh). Rather, I have seen a large number of Heathen organizations and message boards espousing ultra-conservative values and sometimes outright racism. Even in the more liberal of Heathen organizations, I have watched deeply flawed people rise to positions of leadership that they then use not to build community, but rather to exclude others they view as threatening to their personal sensibilities and positions. At the same time, there are good individual Heathens and a few good resources for Heathens on the Internet. It's almost as if many people who care about the spiritway feel as scattered about the current state of the path as I do and therefore don't affiliate anywhere (as I don't).

Honestly, I think Druidry is a lot farther along than Heathenry is when it comes to community-building, at least from my vantage point. Still, the matter calls into question the point others have made; is a structured sort of unity what we want? Is that even what's best for us? Would we be better off loosely affiliating around the things we all hold in common cause? The Heathen half of me thinks so, but the Druid seeks companions...

--

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | www.csmaccath.com



attila
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Sharing; the politics of Druidry and the world.

Sharing; the politics of Druidry and its connection with the world.

I think DD and obod, nod etc can all help by having a front page then a sub forum that says what Druidry is about to them! They don’t need to conform to each other as there are things we all believe in anyways [guardians of the earth, down to earth spirituality etc]. equally we may see orders just as we do countries or religions etc, any kind of group thing, hence in these times we need to find a way to balance difference and unity. i guess we picked ourselves a tough challenge eh!

My point is that e.g. I go to many non druidic forums and there is a lot of interest by people from all over the world. Problem is I can link them to sites but most are confusing to the onlooker, so I end up having to explain things over and over again.

Druidry needs a way to connect universally, so I would go for Celtic with an emphasis on global. after all it’s the same world we want to help save, and the same world we want our children to grow up in. Druidry needs a political and religious nature to this end [?]. I am into the idea of ‘universalst cooperativism’ where everyone shares everything and profits are pooled to be used for the general community [for example if work is slow for one group they can get paid from that pool rather than be out of work completely].

Just like druids are made up of groups that we could form into a collective of collectives, the same philosophies can be used for societal models.

I think the ancestors would have had a fair shout at politics don’t you? ~ and by doing so perhaps this is how they created a unity both for them and the greater society.

Perhaps we just need to take it one step further.



Consmiles
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Unity with the Land

Hi all,

just thought I'd share an understanding re the topic. Many different groups,
groves, covens etc as well as solitaries to my knowledge share a common base
for their spiritual expression. I see the common denominator as the idea of
Earth Based Spirituality. To my mind this covers a lot of the different
'traditions' of today and from the past that seek harmony and peace within and
without. 
I am unsure as to whether it is a good idea to try to bring them all together
at this time. Perhaps it may be a better plan to encourage and nurture the
concept of Unity in Earth Based Spirituality as safe, peaceful and the way of
love wherever you are.

 

My reasoning is that this whole area of consciousness
is still the realm of pioneers and as such we probably have a duty to protect
the pathways from those who would seek to turn it all into a religion with
books, rules and a hierarchy. I am not suggesting that current posters on this
topic have such an agenda, on the contrary – I am delighted that such ideas are
moved in such circles. In Ireland, I am in a country where even though the main
religion has been exposed as sick and has hurt many (with strong denial) the
majority of people still go to mass. It is not like this everywhere on the
planet. Pagan, Wiccan or Druid does not appear on the Census Forms here, admission
to hospital excludes acknowledgement for the same group and has only room for ‘Other’.
 In other part of the world things are
quite different and because of this I make my suggestion as above. It is the
Dawn, perhaps we might just hold our space for a bit longer and let the rising
Sun energise us a bit more….



Eadha Deora
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another idea

Still thinking about this. If DD is to have a role in helping to nurture inter-druidic and even interfaith dialogue, then what sort of activities should we be doing and what sort of questions should we be asking? I know we have the forum 'Working Together' so perhaps we should start some discussions in there on how to actively promote harmony.

I actually think perhaps Harmony is a better word than Unity. Unity gives the sense of One. Harmony is many different elements blending and interacting together to create one beautiful sound. Like the Oran Mor/Great Song of the universe. 

If the Working Together forum isn't so much about what I've just described, perhaps we should have a new board called something like 'Harmony in Druidry' or something like that. *shrug*

What do you all think?

Things that could and perhaps should be discussed are interfaith dialogue, non-violent communication, should there be a conference or camp held to bring lots of ppl together to physically join in the discussion (there will be plenty of druids who are not online or don't actively share their thoughts online). 

--

'Just once let what is in your care grow wild enough to see the world through its own eyes.'

http://www.feralpoetry.com

 



Eadha Deora
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unity begins in the heart

Well, the old saying goes, United we stand, together we fall.

How relevant that adage is in regards to modern druidry is yet to be seen. I certainly don't have rosy-tinted spectacles when looking back on the Druids of old, but historically speaking, I am sure there was some unity amongst the Druids, even at a very basic level, as they seemed to have 'centres' which seem to have been particular hot-spots for all Druids at large. Anglesey was one, most definitely. Tara, in Ireland, certainly seemed to be the place to be as it was one of the sacred cosmological centres of Ireland (I think Anglesey was looked at a bit like this too, but that is supposition). My point being though, in the past, Druids seemed to work together, although there is also no doubt that they would have definitely had disagreements. And perhaps there were factions which split away as with any group. 

To be utterly ruthless, technically the 'Celts' (whoever they are!) fell before the Romans because of so much internal squabbling and backstabbing. I have always hoped that the modern 'Celts' and the spirituality(ies) inspired by their landscapes and dreamtime would not follow the same path. 

On one hand,  I feel strongly that modern-day druids should be unified. I don't mean to all have the same beliefs, or to wear the same robes, or to have a 'head of office' or even to be called a 'federation' or become a worldwide organization. There is actually an inherent mistrust in me for large organizations anyway. 

My idea of druidic unity is one of mutual openness/authenticity, compassion and maturity, where all the different groups/individual parts are encouraged to dialogue with the greater whole, amongst druids themselves, within the pagan community, and also within the larger framework of our world. 

I have always felt that if Druidry should be counted worthy to be a part of our modern life and society, it must make its own contributions to the betterment and fulfillment of the gifts and potentials all around us. 

All of this is why I'm such a big fan of Druidic Dawn. I love the idea of a platform where all Celtic and Druidic-interested souls can come and share,  under a respected agreement of mutually listening, sharing and growing together. There will ALWAYS be those who don't like this, who can't handle it, who are too insecure to act in such a mature fashion, or who are too self-involved to even care about dialoguing with the bigger picture. (haha, am I too harsh?) That's OK too. 

In order for this sort of inter-druidic dialogue to happen, I think the real buck sits with the leaders of the orders, networks, organizations and groves ... to actively encourage such dialogue. 

In the past, I think some druidic groups have eyed DD with suspicion, like are we trying to 'steal' their membership, or are we trying to push our way into taking charge, etc. Fair enough. So I think (and it is my recommendation to the DD team) that one of the ways that this website publicizes itself (and I know it already does this, but I think more should be made of it) should definitely be to emphasize its inter-druidic dialogue. THIS I think is the biggest contribution of DD, no matter how nice its fantastic knowledgebase or its gorgeous newsletter are!

So in reality, a space for coming together, for being more unified has already been created. Here. And why just here? We need a couple or three Druidic Dawns! The more the better, haha,  because each would no doubt be unique and have different memberships and discussions and interaction. 

In one sense then, what has been the reaction of other druids out there to groups like DD? That should be one indicator of the true thoughts of others out there on unity. 

A lot may babble about it, but personally, it's only when they actually start cultivating such that I think it's fair to believe them. :) 

And that doesn't take the leaders to do. That starts in every single heart and mind. It begins when individuals (like each of you) actively seeks to bring it about. Until then, any en masse organization will (I fear) degenerate into a governing body or else it will be forced to split within a year. 

Hope i don't sound cynical or pessimistic! lol 

--

'Just once let what is in your care grow wild enough to see the world through its own eyes.'

http://www.feralpoetry.com

 



Adam
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I want to share a suggestion

I want to share a suggestion as to how this may be approached...

We can debate all we want about gods, God or no, tradition or no tradition, beliefs, doctrines, principles or philosophies, but I think that defeats the purpose of what Druids can do in this world.

For me, Druids actively served their community, sharing their wisdom with it. I don't think we need to organise our spiritual principles or philosophies in a coherent structure. With all the Orders and groups there is it's fine the way it is.

 What I do think though is how can we as Druids collaborate to serve our community/ies. I'm thinking along the lines of ten questions I encountered a while back that really underlines the work of a Druid (at least this Druid) which you can find here; http://www.conversationweek.org/category/2008-questions/

I think this would give a different focus to what could happen here than if we thought about spiritual or philosophical unity, which, I think, would just confuse things. My sense of unity comes from that big lump under our feet called Earth (it's hard to miss lol) and being Homo sapiens.

I think these Ten Questions, or something similar, could be the "Unity" of "Working Together." not "believing together," "thinking together," or "ritualising together" etc. Really working together.



attila
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I’ll read the three

I’ll read the three functions of Druidry tomorrow, sounds interesting. :)

Calon

Yeah I thing Druidry desperately needs unity, not sure how it can happen though as there are many orders [which itself divides [?]]. Orders themselves divide by their very nature, but I doubt if that was a problem for the ancients though ~ if they had orders?

I think its more about the philosophy, I for one have to keep redefining what I think Druidry is/was. That is good up to a point, but you need solidity as well as flux.

I agree with fae’s a, b, c,

 

Shropshire pagan

I used to want a group just called the druids ~ to which all belonged in some way, and with a skeleton philosophy, but I think that would ruin it. Maybe we got it right in being ‘wrong‘, not trying to get everyone in line with a given way of thinking etc.

As soon as you have a ‘church’ or given overall group, it detracts from individual interests ~ and that is what makes modern Druidry [and perhaps ancient] so strong and so diverse. For as long as it is a melting pot of ideas it will grow without the need for any help, it wont be a religion! Is that not what many people want?

I have argued over at CR [comparative religion forums] that religion will come to an end, as I think it must. Society is just too diverse hence Druidry is something that fit’s the modern world, just how it is.

Working with interfaith is quite another thing, again it is all about comparatives. There are many things that connect druids to any religion as well as what disconnects it. This is an area we may pursue imho peoples perception opf us will change if they can understand what we are about by the comparison of things we believe in and others believe in.

I do think we have something more than just a conglomerate of beliefs that seam similar to others though. Druidry is a spiritual connection with the universal communicative layer that exist in nature and supernatural equally.

 



ShropshirePagan
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I love the idea of Unity. 

I love the idea of Unity.  However, what is Unity?  Is there a definition of Unity that this discussion is working towards, or is that one of the functions of this discussion?

 

Would Unity need a set of core values and ethics to enable it to develop?  Maybe in a similar way to the Quakers?  They are a very diverse bunch of people but they work within a framework.  Would that be a good way for modern Druidry to evolve?

 

Would there need to be some body/group/network/other to represent modern Druidry?  If so, how would the membership be decided?  Would people need to belong to Orders/Networks or could they join as individuals? 

 

I also agree that working towards Interfaith is a way to go, but it's quite difficult when each individual Druid has a different perception of the world around them and how they relate to deity (or not as in some cases!)

 

I'll come back when I think of something else!!

 

Warm blessings

 

Elaine x



Fae
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Just some random thoughts

I will add my two cents worth here, although I represent no Druid group. I think Unity will scare people away as for some it denotes a loss of Identity, I think a better term would be a Worldwide Federation, a coming together of the many for the sake of this place we call earth. As a Federation we would have a bigger impact on a number of things:

a) call attention to heritage sites and their importance to the world

b) promote environmental issues

c) education of those who don’t understand the basic tenets of earth spirituality

 

Just some random thoughts!

 

Peace and blessings

 

Fae

 

--

Druidic Dawn Knowledge Base Moderator
All things are filled with knowledge
http://celticsageholistictherapy.com



Adam
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Woops, honestly didn't think

Woops, Embarassed honestly didn't think someone else would mention the same article at the same time as I was writing that message. lol Laughing

I'm looking forward to seeing where this discussion goes!



Adam
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Comparatives eh? Did you

Comparatives eh? Did you read my work on The Three Functions of Druidry?

 "Spread the word lols"

I did, I took the liberty of sharing this thread with Druid Wisdom Exchange.

 *tut* Shameless publicity everywhere, even here! Innocent LOL



CalonDdraig
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This brings to mind Adam's

This brings to mind Adam's thread on "The Three Functions of Druidry" - a very interesting read: http://www.druidicdawn.org/node/1515

Personally, I see the role ancient Druids might have fulfilled as including medicine, interpreting the law, mediation, diplomacy, history, teaching, what we now call the arts... indeed one could possibly look at it as an educated intelligentsia running certain aspects of the community it served. 

As for how Druidry can work in a community context today... I think multiculturalism is a must. Try finding someone in the British Isles who is a "Pure" Celt. No such thing, even in the Celtic countries. Also the same can be said with the Celtic languages. I find it interesting to read Ceallaigh's point on Heathenry... I practice certain Nordic mind-body-spirit activities myself. Then again I have some Germanic blood in me, so it makes sense.

Back to the topic of Unity though, does anyone think that Druids today should have anything to do with/be involved in Interfaith councils and Interfaith dialogue? If so, how could we present a united view of Druidry to others? Is it possible to establish common ground before we make that consideration? And if so, how do we go about that as Druids?

This is indeed a very interesting and thought provoking discussion, and one that could bear some very fruitful answers/results!

In peace and mutual understanding,

~CalonDdraig



attila
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I agree with both of you,

I agree with both of you, perhaps another way to ‘connect’ Druidry with our age, is to make comparatives. For example; I make game mods at a totally unrelated forum and on the debate part of the forum they totally got into the idea that the ancient druids would have done many ‘normal’ jobs around now, everything from law to teaching, poetry and the arts. They thought of them in a vague way as some kind of magicians, so connecting them to trades many of them aspire to made what the druids were about as much more real.

On the above stated forum they have made a game modification called ‘gods and fighting men’ based on ancient irish myths! There are many ways to connect.

Spread the word lols



csmaccath
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I really love what you've

I really love what you've both said here about multiculturalism and its place in modern Druidry. The other half of my soul is Heathen, and of course you all know what garbage gets thrust upon that spiritway because of its Northern European origins. But if our spiritways are to survive and evolve, we have to embrace the truth that they're fundamentally disconnected from race and that 'tribe' means something different now than it once did.

Glad Frith,

--

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | www.csmaccath.com



Adam
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Good idea. As modern Druids

Good idea. As modern Druids we cannot rely on the same political or social situation that the ancient Druids found themselves in. We aren't living in a Celtic culture, so yes, a multicultural approach is necessary. But as Druids we can serve the society we find ourselves within, bringing to it a fresh yet ancient understanding of the world and way to relate with it. Ancient Druids reached beyond their tribal boundaries to collaborate and bring balance (one would imagine) to the many tribes that they served, a lesson we can certainly learn from today.



attila
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How about multicultural

How about multicultural unity? Druidry is very focussed on Celtic spirituality and rightly so, however if we cast our minds in to future potential, it soon becomes clear that we need to expand on that [hopefully without taking anything away].

I also go with csmaccath above that humanity must become guardians of the earth, and a lot of people are connecting with that.

For example; imagine if the ancients had expanded Druidry beyond its borders, they would have come across Greek, Persian, Hindu and Taoist cultures to name but a few. In today’s world this is perhaps ever more relevant, as we are in contact with world cultures both on the net and on holiday or through business.

I wonder how ‘outsiders’ view Druidry? It may appear as quite insular and is often misunderstood or just not known about. I have had some debates following the thread at obod about liminality, and this is an area we can connect to other religions, poets, artist and what-have-you. I done one thread called; ‘liminal times’ and a lot of people connected with that idea [I may do the same thread on druidic forums].

The general thrust I feel is to find ways in which we can connect our beliefs with the ways of others as well as joining the druidic community itself together. Perhaps by finding similarities that ‘outsiders’ can relate to, this will help the various groups relate too.

 



csmaccath
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I am very pleased to see this topic of discussion...

I am very pleased to see this topic of discussion, and I too hope that it sparks some constructive conversation. In my experience, unity has been one of the most-discussed topics in Druidic/Heathen/Pagan circles, so it appears many people want to be unified. However, it has also been classically difficult to achieve, since our spiritways are reconstructed, individualized and encompass people from so many walks of life. We want to be unified, but we are so diverse, and that makes it difficult to agree on principles of unification.

It has long been my belief that the resurgence of earth-centered spirituality in the last century has coincided synchronously with the need of the earth and its people for sustainable pathways of spirit. Now, more than at any time in our history, the earth needs us to be strong and wise with Her, and we need to be strong and wise for each other. It's not easy, especially since we do not follow dominant paradigms of thinking and being, and we often have to contradict the culture we live in to even get on in the world. Then, when we encounter each other and think 'Ah! Finally, someone who believes as I do', we often find that in fact, those people who espouse our ideals are actually very different from us. It can be very lonely, and it can lead to the natural conflict that stems from that loneliness.

I don't think there's any single answer to this, but I also want to see us unify and be strong together. For me, thinking of us, all of Pagandom, as a People, with a capital 'P', helps me a lot. So if you are Pagan, and you are reading this, then you are one of Mine. You get the first cup of tea at my table, the warmest blanket, the best of my hospitality. Another thing that helps me is to unify with those people who are working toward sustainable lifeways and spiritways. So if you are writing a constructive ritual or piecing a patchwork quilt from fabric scraps, I want to add my efforts to yours. Finally, I think it has to be understood that our unity will come through our diversity and that we can succeed because of our differences and not in spite of them. That's not to say we won't have conflict, but anger and difference are a part of growth, and they should be accepted, not feared.

I hope some of this makes sense. I've just begun my day and have written much of it stream-of-consciousness. Be well, everybody. Awen guide you.

--

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran | www.csmaccath.com