Druidic Intellectual cohesion and parity.

attila
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Druidic Intellectual cohesion and parity.

I was chatting with a teacher on a forum today, one thing we discussed I thought said a lot of things relevant to Druidry…

Quote; Siblesz

Speaking about the effect of the world great thinkers…

“had they seen what their ideas and actions had done for humanity, had they seen how these ideas morphed into something unrecognizable and opposite of their intent, they would feel disillusioned to the core”

My reply…

to a degree yes, I feel sure they were all wise enough to know that their teachings would be taken out of context, and yet the overall effect of all teachings is continued advancement. They all give us something to work from even if we make a mess of it.

Generally I think humanity is aiming for a kind of ‘intellectual’ cohesion and parity ~ but only as a whole. It is like, some people can be seen as superior to others on an intellectual hierarchy, and some groups or movements may be seen much the same in varying degrees [I.e. not the whole movements but the level they have thus so far attained]. The degree to which humanity as a whole advances shows where we are on the equivalent group hierarchy. Eventually as a group we will reach parity or devolution.

__________________________

As concerns Druidry I have changed my mind about hierarchies, I don’t think we need them or that it matters one bit on an individual basis, and we all have something to offer. What matters is what we are as a group, how we are considered, and what mark or contribution do we wish to make to an overall human spiritual parity! [i stll think that if we could say what druidry is, then that could have a voice and even a spokesperson for it].

Bluntly put, are we a dumbass a confused mess or a group of learned people. The latter not so much on the ordinary intellectual level, you can have 13 yr old more intelligent than most or all of us here. What matters most is aged and learned wisdoms bought through experience and much debate, this we may offer on an individual level, so the question is;

As we consider ourselves to be a group, what kind of Intellectual cohesion and parity can we show?

If we don’t have anything to show, does that make Druidry into an inanity or a confusion?

Should we not at the least be working towards something that Druidry says to the world, something it adds as a collective and not just as individuals. Is not our main role that of learned wisdom speakers? Each and every one of us [in Druidry or not], says things that are inspirational or completely inane and variations betwixt the two. What humanity does very well I think, is to shy away from the latter and embrace the former, this too is what any movement should do or it will simply fall by the wayside. A way must be had by which we all add up to something and can add to the human pool of wisdom.

Ps. don’t give me all that officious nonsense that makes druids appear as like judges, full of laws and rules. I cannot imagine it was like that before the romans came, sitting in circles in groves is an earthly thing, its not something like the Victorians. Here I am speaking more in terms of emphasis, that we tend to overstate such things.

 



Morri
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 I think we see things the

 I think we see things the same just from differring perspectives

Aye! I think so also, which is why I said you were like my friend Chaos. What can sometimes appear to be two positions that are completely opposite, are often the same position stated from different perspectives.

And don't thank me for my patience! I am trying to put forward a concept that took me ages to understand, so it doesn't surprise me that I didn't make it clear the first time round. Thank you for sticking with the process of trying to understand me :D

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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Of course ~ good point again

Infinity may not have x, y, z points, but that which exists in infinity does.

Of course ~ good point again, I think we see things the same just from differring perspectives.

Thank you for your patients with me.



Morri
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. An interesting point!

. An interesting point! Again I see it differently, infinity has no x,y,z points, when we break ourselves [and anything] down, eventually there is nought left to define specifically. For me this is the base of all things, and universal balance would surely arise from no particular location [or would not be universal].

I did not  make myself clear ~ I am the center point on an x,y,z set of axes, and everything has its own place on an x,y,z set and, in fact, multiple sets. The location of anyone, or anything, may move to any point on the cojoining axes and may still be in balance. Usually something is out of balance when it has moved off the set and is existing only on x, or only on x and y (if you can visualize this). While there is a set of axes that interesect for each person or thing, there are an infinite number of possibilities of sets with which we can interact. This is the concept of dimensionality that other magical systems do not have. We exist in three dimensions and our world view is three dimensional. Even our words were 3 dimensional (carved) rather than 2 dimensional (painted).

Infinity may not have x, y, z points, but that which exists in infinity does.

Is a creative force the same as creation? For me the latter implies something that happened [the creation event], where as the creative force is continual, this is fundamental to Druidry imho, as it is what we deal with as much as anything.  

For me creation is not an event in the past, it is a continuous process. So the creative force, Creation, the Universe, Divinity are all one and the same for me.

 

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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/ | \ = one thing we can agree on lols

Hi morri, yeah I understand the first part, I suppose I do bring a bit of chaos lols

connecting with the Divine is only one aspect of Druidic practice. This is why I do not see Druidry in all paths as you do.

Ha, well I would say magic is only one aspect of other paths, but is the whole of Druidry [or at least involved in every aspect]. This is the difference as I see it and hence the parts of other paths that involve magic are the parts that are druidic. I agree shamans are similar, I would thing Druidry arose from something similar and hence to find it, we need to see what extra it added?

Is a creative force the same as creation? For me the latter implies something that happened [the creation event], where as the creative force is continual, this is fundamental to Druidry imho, as it is what we deal with as much as anything. It connects to liminality and contemporary thought [invention etc]. hmm as I read on I see I am agreeing with you lols.

I see myself and all other things as existing as a point on an X, Y, Z set of axes with the infinite Universe around it.

An interesting point! Again I see it differently, infinity has no x,y,z points, when we break ourselves [and anything] down, eventually there is nought left to define specifically. For me this is the base of all things, and universal balance would surely arise from no particular location [or would not be universal]. I agree about the three / | \ of course e.g. ‘chaos X infinity = order’ [one of my formulas], reality is never either one but always reflects all three in varying degrees.

I would love to know what the ancient druids thought of infinity, I don’t know if they had the concept but I feel they had something which resembled its emptiness and lack of form, shapeshifting cannot happen without a medium for it [even if only in the stories].

 

 



Morri
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Magic as the part is the whole...

Attila,

I think that you are like my (best) friend who dubbed himself Chaos online, specifically so he could weed out the closed-minded in the forums. I say this because he and I are best friends because we generally approach a concept from completely opposite directions and, after much discussion and debate, we find the common ground between us ~ that mutual understanding ~ and we discover that we are in complete agreement. At times, our mutual understanding reveals that we are in complete disagreement, but that is okay because we understand and respect the other's position.

Semantics become difficult here, as I do not agree that to explain the magic of Druidry can explain the whole, and yet I concede that magic is the whole in Druidry. I see the ability to connect with the Divine in all paths, but connecting with the Divine is only one aspect of Druidic practice. This is why I do not see Druidry in all paths as you do.

Dr. Bancroft Hunt's book "Shamanism in North America" reveals that, like Druidry, some shamanic practices in NA included knowledge as an integral part of the training of their shamans. Some groups had "fraternities" in which there were levels of training, and specific roles were given to shamans based on their aptitude and the needs of the community. This seems very close to the Druidic schools and the various roles undertaken by Druids in myth and history. Many shamans had the obligation to be guardians of the people, just as Druids are guardians. It could also be reasonably argued that the idea of being a guardian to the people in NA practice is no different than the Druidic obligation to be guardians of the Earth/Universe/Balance.

So, I can see why you would argue that Shamans and Druids are the same.

I disagree, and I will leave the whole issue of New Age Shamanism out of the argument.

My opinion, based on what I was taught, is that "magic" is that creative force (i.e: Creation) that flows as energy and manifests in form throughout the Universe. In Western occult practice, magic is sometimes defined as "using will to create change". My view is in harmony with that thinking, but I include the will of Creation and all its forms, including me, in that definition. So magic is within me and all around me. It is in the wind, it is in the motion of the sea, it is in the song of the robin outside my window. Each creates change. Each is magic. Existence is magic. Understanding this magic opens one to Otherworlds and opportunities in this World that are beautiful beyond imagining.

 It also carries a huge responsibility to become part of the harmonious flow and balance of Creation. This requires the self-awareness to see one's place in the Universe and to see the place of whatever energy or form with which we are working/interacting. Yes, this becomes a Druid's everyday living.

What is so different about the Druid perspective and approach to magic, and to all things (which can go without saying), is really encased in the triplicity that we see over and over in the Celtic world view. We have triads and triple goddesses and triple art forms. What we don't really talk about is the emphasis on living in 3 dimensions. There is nothing dualistic about the Celtic mind. Nothing is black and white, nothing is presented on a linear spectrum. Some people describe it as being spherical, but it really isn't. It is boundless. 

I see myself and all other things as existing as a point on an X, Y, Z set of axes with the infite Universe around it. I view balance not as the middle of a line, or a point that exists at one end of the spectrum of good and evil. I see balance as that point of existence where the three axes meet and flow in harmony with the Universe. Because these "lines" are infinite, where they cojoin is not relevant to the dualistic or linear view of "balance". Balance can exist anywhere. This is why I can respect anything that does not disrupt the flow of Creation. It is why I embrace change. It also means that I can recognize the clear cutting of the Amazon forest (for example) as a point that is not in balance.

What I've described here is different from the concept of the axis mundi because of  the infinity of my axes. The axis mundi is bound to a finite sphere by the boundaries of the Earth. I think that many practitioners eventually move beyond the finite, but they do so by trial and error, or as a "secret" or "mystery" teaching.  It is not instilled from the beginning of the teachings as it is in Druidry.

I am connected to my past, I live in my present and I create my future. I connect with the Divine, I connect with the World, I connect with my Self. I honour Land, Sea and Sky. I honour Moon, Sun and Stars.

In my Celtic practice I do nothing without thinking of all three axes. And I see everything intersecting in threes. This is what I see as unique to the Celtic cultural perspective and to the spiritual practice of Druidry.

And, btw, I do not see this practice as being "better" than any other. It is just different.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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to explain the part is to explain the whole

I have been wondering if I truly understand what people here mean when they speak of "intellectual parity". I have been assuming it to mean an acceptance of intellectual equality between people from different Druidic paths, but perhaps it is being used to mean "mutual understanding"???

I think one reaches several points of intellectual/wisdom equality, e.g. one after an apprenticeship and another as a wisdom master.

Ha, druids will never arrive at mutual understanding, but that’s a good thing, it gives Druidry fluidity! When Caesar spoke of druids in groves arguing and occasionally even physically fighting over philosophical issues, he may not have been far wrong. Without dogma, one has to debate and reassess issues, and rightly so, times change right! [‘every landscape has its own vocabulary’ J ]

If Attila's question was based on the fact that he did not read the definitions put forward by the Orders/groups

I have read and had many debates on the issue, I get the general idea of what druids were, but I don’t get an idea of them from an internal magical perspective. I see the magic as key, and as said before I think the religion was part of everyday life for everyone ~ much like science is in secular society.

Equally; What is it about a druid that makes them and the religion so different? We can see in the ways of the gauls, Britons, irish and Iberians [etc] that the whole culture had a ‘way of being’ of freedom, and an earthiness. A way that was at odds with the civilisations of the day, …I don’t believe that celts or germans were less advanced just because they didn’t build big power structures!

So for me, to explain the part is to explain the whole.

Admin…

Perhaps ‘what is Druidry’ [aside from other similar things]? Is a thread in and of itself. If anyone cares to get such a thread going I would be happy to participate [hopefully someone will link me to it lols].

I was attempting to address it here from a universal perspective, however I think we need to understand what it is from a specifically celtic perspective, before we can start seeing ‘Druidry in all paths’.

I am far from expert in this field but I hope I can help.

 



Morri
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Druid Question

Thanks Admin!

Again, perhaps I have been working on the incorrect assumption that Attila has not been able to see a common thread between the definitions presented by the various Druid Groups, and has been frustrated by the lack of response on the inter-Druidic forums to make a statement about what a Druid might be for fear of starting a riot (or looking the fool) ;).

I do not believe that the contents of the links you are referring to are not a true representation for most of the contributors to this thread. I think that they are, although they may approach the same concept from a slightly different perspective, or they may explain things in a different way than other individuals or groups might. Certainly there are differences. There are also commonalities. The primary commonality for me answers the question posed by Astrocelt and can answer Attila's question (I think). At least I hope it can.

If Attila's question was based on the fact that he did not read the definitions put forward by the Orders/groups, then the question need not be explored further here.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



Admin
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Druid Question

Morri the question relating to “What is a Druid?” has a specific place here on Druidic Dawn. Contained within this public database directory are some answers from various Druid Groups which have given their permission to link too them.

Overall it is not a complete overview either, or a true representation available from the larger internet community perspective.  Even though it might sound limited, a concise perspective is shared containing various commonalities; this might be an idea place to explore for any answers. Community members can always link or add in additional sources to this database relating to this question if they so wish.

Having said that, one doesen't see why it can't be explored here. As those contents might not reflect or be a true representation which covers all contributors to this thread.

Admin

--

Renard

Guardian of the Druidic Dawn



Morri
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I must listen...

Astrocelt,

Thank you for your timely and well considered focus for this discussion. I do want those here to know that I have not stopped following the discussion, nor have I really thrown in the towel, but I did think it best to let the dust settle a bit and allow myself some time to think. This approach has also been convenient for me as I have been undergoing some dental surgery that has left me feeling less than myself and as I return to the chair again on Monday, I may not be perky (alert? coherent? hee hee) for some time after that.  Sometimes my Lady (as I personify my Universe) has to hit me upside the head to get me to shut up. I am getting better at listening.

 Astrocelt, your question goes to the heart of my answer to Attila's question "What is a Druid?".  So I think that you will have an answer from me on that matter eventually, Attila.  Right now it would seem that I am meant to stay quiet and listen before I speak, but please do not feel that I have lost heart in the quest to find common ground between us all. I think that the question Astrocelt has posed moves us in the direction of commonality and away from confusing and abstract concepts.

I do have a side question, which may or may not be important considering where we are going in the discussion. I have been wondering if I truly understand what people here mean when they speak of "intellectual parity". I have been assuming it to mean an acceptance of intellectual equality between people from different Druidic paths, but perhaps it is being used to mean "mutual understanding"???

Yours in silence (cherish while you can!)

 

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



Astrocelt
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It’s a shame to see

It’s a shame to see posters throwing in the “towel” figuratively speaking, on this thread.

After all, everything is an opinion in the end, for example the Sun will rise between the NE and SE to create daylight, setting between the NW and SW creating the night within any day of the year.  Seeing most human beings around the world experience this opinion. Its turned into a fact, as it becomes a visible experience held by many which subscribes to the same opinion/fact/truth.

Overall it could appear a loose agreement relating to what the practice of Druidry is about. Linking the individual enquirer following a druid pathway becomes a seeker of “mystical empowerment”, as Kenneth indicated. Alternatively one might define mystical as being a personal spiritual/numinous/mystic/magical, or a supernatural connection. One guesses this might be a fact held by some contributors.

What I find interesting, is within most indigenous cultures or different religions around the world, each offer a pathway towards the same connection within its parameters. Out of interest, what in your opinion makes Druidry different in its approach towards the way it mystically connects, from the others available?

Astrocelt



attila
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there is something to letting go of our modern defining ways

I agree with all you said, it is good that many people keep the ancients alive - so to speak, I simply think my path is to see connections between many ways. Druidry for me then is a way of seeing a kind of person in many cultures, perhaps that is not what Druidry was, though one can imagine that if it had spread further then it would have incorporated more cultures into it.

It seams that as soon as we focus on a meaning or term, it splinters and breaks up into many pieces. Perhaps there is something to letting go of our modern defining ways.

I certainly hope this thread has given us all something to think about and that we all carry on along our own paths.

Good luck to you all. Smile



kproefrock
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This has been a beneficial thread, thank you

Hello Attila, Correllon, and All,

Well, I am not sure that we were able to establish either intellectual cohesion or parity with this thread, but, I would like to say that what I think that we did accomplish is a breaking of the ice and, I hope, the beginning of an international dialog that will allow us, someday to achieve a level of intellectual cohesion.

I think that what we do have in common, as people who tread the path of Druidry, such as it is, is a concept of mystical empowerment and connection. Empowerment different from the material power of physical forces and the personal forces of social interaction. Obviously, our individual conceptions of where the power resides, and how it gets through us, vary widely. Throughout the world, mystical empowerment is often explicitly associated with people living in this world or to Gods, Spirits,  and Ancestors who dwell in some other reality as well as this one. Mystical empowerment, with or without a specific locus, is often appealed to in explaining certain events, and is, at the very least, implied in many feelings and actions that color our spiritual paths.

 

I lean more towards tradition as a means to mystical empowerment, I firmly believe that treading the path of one's ancestors has an inherently empowering aspect to it. I guess that is why I am a Reconstructionist--doesn't mean that I don't think that you have the right, Attila, to incorporate Egyptian deity into your path--you most certainly have that right, or that anyone else couldn't or shouldn't incorporate Native American practices, shamanism, Umbanda or anything else that one feels inclined to color their spiritual walk as they feel compelled to do so. It is not my choice and I don't think that it is Druidry as I understand it. But, then again, who does really understand what the modern hodge-podge of Druidry is, or what it is becoming? 

 

Thank you all for your wisdom and your time to cooperate on this thread--I hope that we have made at least a little progress in understanding where one another might be coming from ;-)

 

Have a wonderful day!

Green forests and Blue Skies!

Kenneth 



attila
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we should move on past our differences :)

Or you didnt like there answer?

I have ideas of my own, but whenever you ask on the forums you get everyone saying that you cant say what a druid is. Its quite bananas.

It is with us to keep the balance

That makes a lot of sense to me, the Egyptian god Anubis taught me ma’at which is the egyptian term for balance, it was central to their spirituality. The only reason I can think as to why I had visitations from Egyptian gods is that I can read about them, so as to understand the ancient mindset. This would make sense having an atheist upbringing and no connection to the ancestors as you have.

i can tell you faith in ANYTHING was tested

In my experience this is generally true for druids [if I still am one lols], wisdom is not easily begotten. The main thing that tells me its all true is that I know if I deviate I will be soundly told so ~ in a manner I am sure you understand.

no matter the cost AND realizing that it isnt all GOOD and fru fru or nicey nice, that some things may seem bad or horrid but they must happen.

Yup I am with you there.

Sure I think we should move on past our differences, we had to go there of course simply so that the whole path is trodden.



Correllon_DragonSoul
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I agree, being from Ireland

I agree, being from Ireland and moving to the states has shown me differing ways people do differing things. Are you saying noone has ever told you what a druid was? Or you didnt like there answer? I think you and i are alike on our adamancy. i can tell you what i was taught and what was handed down to me, now either those people who handed it down(which could be true considering it was family) are touched in the head or just perpetuating a big lie.

But i was taught and told Druids, or any other word that would attest to those people who were here and were later called Druid or magic folk or flying monkeys...LOL Anyway, i was taught that they are gaurdians, of all things here, we work hand in hand with others in the world that call themselves other things. It is our duty to work with those energies and assure they stay within balance by what we as the wonderous human beings we are...do to them. It is with us to keep the balance, some specialize in the way that they do this, either it be ley lines/fey lines/dragon lines...etc or they work through stones or divination or...etc.

As far as faith, i spent many years in the military, and i can tell you faith in ANYTHING was tested, but i held my faith in my fellow man and woman. I kept true to it and to what i was taught, even yes as a soldier. Being special forces i saw things i frankly think no human being should have to see or do.

What is a Druid? A druid is a husband/wife father, mother, brother sister...etc They are those who walk among us who do there duties, who uphold the balance in all things just as the universe and this planet holds its balance and or trys to due to us. So we as Druids hold that balance. 

Now while you may get differening answers in many differing languages and or words...blah blah pick pick. It still all boils down to doing what we know must be done, at no matter the cost AND realizing that it isnt all GOOD and fru fru or nicey nice, that some things may seem bad or horrid but they must happen.

 

Having lost family and or close people to wars, weather and earhtly things, i still stand by that faith as a Druid unfaltering, to keep that balance even if it means my demise in a nice or horrid way.

I hope that helps, i dont know how to put it more simple. if i am wrong so be it, but so far my students and my family have kept true, lets hope all others who call themselves my fellow druids keep true as well.

Last but not least, lets move on to something else, this has burned its way deeply within. I think we have enough answers to help and or move on. large hugs and good thumps to the arm or chest...LOL

 

Correllon



attila
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oh dere i am not a druid and yet no-one can say what one is :)

For some this would be a resounding no your not

oh dere i am not a druid and yet no-one can say what one is lols, excuse me takin da pizz, i love the irony though Smile

May I add that he is no longer alive [as infured], he is my otherworldy guide in an everyday sense. Above and beyond this the dagda is my teacher if I got the meaning of the god right [if he is a male creator god that is], and a few Egyptian gods. So you see my spectrum is much and varied. It is the direct line to the gods by which I consider myself as a druid, as well as kind of person.

Maybe I am not?

There are MANY things science cannot explain and never will.

I absolutely agree, my brother is a physicist and we have had many a long debate on such things. We have to concede that some of science is factual though. Even without science one only has to visialise all the migrations, inter-marriages and colonisations …and imagine them from the dawn of man, to see that there is little change for distinct races or languages or cultures. Each tribe in Britain, Ireland and gaul etc would have had slightly different cultures.

I simply call myself worldish, though I understand why people in america etc, feel a very strong connection to their roots. It is this that I feel is behind the rejection of what I am saying. May I add that I wouldn’t want to take anything away from people, I have said all along that I only wish to add to and expand Druidry.

What does faith mean? hmm forget it that’s quite another debate. :) ...just like to say i dont have faith as i dont need it.

I agree with the later part of your post completely, words just get in the way. We all come from very different backgrounds esp me it would seam, and have a different way of saying things.

 



Correllon_DragonSoul
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I think what she was saying

I think what she was saying was the part where you mention science and its "community" perhaps you meant english science community? I know for a fact that the WHOLE of the science community does not agree on how to turn on a light switch let alone agreeing on race.

My teacher is a former oxford professor, so I guess that makes me a non druid?

For some this would be a resounding no your not. It would be like saying my teacher was an electrician but taught me to be a carpenter, just because he or she knew a bit about it, by no means does it mean they are of it and or within that realm of thought to teach it.  Some would find it offensive for that carpenter to say he or she were an electrician just because they were taught by such. I hope that makes better sense.

Which is exactly where they all fail, all religions that don’t adjust to change will fall by the wayside, it stands to reason...

i disagree, many religions have been going along just fine without the outside influence of science and its obvious infancy in growth. As one who holds a science degree i can asure you that science is always changing simply because it is is NOT a factual field it is more of a guesstimation...LOL. That is why when you listen to lecture or read books on anything scientific, there are words of maybe and this is what we think...but no true why yes this works. 

The difference is..faith, faith in ones self and in others. There are MANY things science cannot explain and never will. I am sure others within the science field snarl at that, but we live with it and move on. As far as Druidry changing...why? is there something that needs to change? The way we work with energy or work with plants or the planet or the universe? I say no, it has worked long before this life and it will work long after. However it was created isnt as important as how well we work with the universe.

We must also realize that we are not alone, that this tiny little rock in the middle of this solar system and this galaxy and then the universe, is not the center of attention nor is it the end all be all of modern..blah blah blah.

Point is, i have been to many religious gatherings,  including the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions.

And while we change what we wear on everyday things and change what we drive and or how we get around or talk long distances, we still stay FIRM and strong in our belief and how it works. AS the VERY OLD saying goes, why change something that works? or later on why fix something that isnt broken?

I think perhaps we are sayin the same things, yet are not connecting. In the end we can talk and debate, but we must continue to study practice and teach. A druid is a druid is a druid. just as an ovate is an ovate so too is a bard a bard. We often make things more complex than they need to be, that is why so many never understand or learn.

 

 



attila
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"our finite views"

I get what you are saying morri no worries. I would both agree and disagree with nearly all you said about culture, but I think that warrants its own debate. I was just pointing out about race to the general reader btw.

I think we have plenty of culture to go by in the literature and in what we can understand about the culture. I most certainly agree about conservation and not wanting to take Druidry into a modern mindset ~ at least in many ways. I do think magic is deeply connected with contemporary thought though, all things new I see as like on a wave, invention, inspiration and magic all come [mainly] from the now that lies beyond the crest of that wave.

This is why I feel Druidry should be contemporary and will continue to teach as such, but we all have our own paths and teachings. :)

_________________

Attila your opinions are well just that opinions

And yours are not?

My above post was centred on fact, so where are the ‘opinions‘? culture is fluid in time and location, it is almost impossible [if at all] to define its edges in either area. So if we are to set Druidry purely in celtic culture we are in vague territory at best. At what period would we set it and in what location? Surely it is part of what Druidry is about and not the whole of it?

if you are meant to be a druid the teacher will come.

My teacher is a former oxford professor, so I guess that makes me a non druid?

Further more no other religions in the world are being asked to become more modern to change there beliefs so it can fit better with how we live today

Which is exactly where they all fail, all religions that don’t adjust to change will fall by the wayside, it stands to reason, …is this the future you envisage for Druidry? Do you think the ancients didn’t want progress? Is not the reason they wont change due to dogma, we don’t even have a bible and yet we still want its problems?

Hmm I think we are all misreading each other perhaps, as we always seam to be lols.

So instead of us trying to get druidry to fit into our finite views lets accept it more like embrace it in its fullness

That is exactly what I am doing if you reconsider my words. Finite = limits, I am a universalist, culture, race, dogma etc all come into the finite brackets in my books. Hence I see them as relative rather than total ~ and that is all I meant to say of them.

 

 



Lean De An Thar
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attila

Attila your opinions are well just that opinions.  One major reason there are threads of similarity between those cultures is because the druids would meet and agree on standards for things .. then these would be brought back to there clans, tribes and villages to be taught to the people. YES druidry is cultural and modern at the same time. The things I am being taught have worked for centuries ... the information is timeless because we work with things that are themselves timeless. I get the sense that some people want to grasp onto druidry so badly that they try and bend it to fit into there molds. When it should be us bending and changing to fit into druidry. No scientist or top selling book or the newest and greatest guru can teach you how to become a druid and walk between the worlds . One must be still and quiet search your own heart .. if you are meant to be a druid the teacher will come.

Further more no other religions in the world are being asked to become more modern to change there beliefs so it can fit better with how we live today. I wonder what the Dali Lama would say if some one were to tell him " hey your religion isnt cultural it needs to be made so all the world can take your doctrines and do with them what they will" I am certain he would not approve.. 

So instead of us trying to get druidry to fit into our finite views lets accept it more like embrace it in its fullness. Lets leave the ecclectic forms of religion to the wiccans .



Morri
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Race is not under debate

First, race is not under debate. I said that I was not using the term "Celtic" in that context. That's because I do not think in terms of race. I do think in terms of culture, and while people cannot choose what culture they are born into, they are perfectly capable of choosing which culture they wish to live in unless that culture refuses admission to those not born to it. The last bolded portion is the reason that I take issue with those who define Celtic as a race or as a closed culture and who suggest that you cannot be Druidic unless you are a genetic "Celt" or born in a modern "Celtic" country. But this is not a reason for me to refuse to acknowledge the commonality of the cultures we now describe as Iron-Age Celtic.

Linguistically the theory of a Proto-Human language has not been proven, but that is not an issue relevant to this debate either. The existence of a Proto-Human language does not detract from the existence of distinct languages and dialects that have developed in groups which also share a common culture. I live in a country that has a policy of multiculturalism, and although we may fall short of that goal in many respects, and while there may be many blendings of cultures with cross-cultural marriages, there are still distinct cultures that exist within my city and my country. Many Quebecois feel that they have more in common with those living in France than they do with their fellow Canadians, and with good reason ~ they share a common language, a common legal system and a common approach to daily life. They perceive and interpret the world in a similar way, they approach problem solving in a similar way and they hold common values (not all values in common, but more in common than they do with other cultural groups).

Yes, the Mitochondrial Eve (and there is Y-Chromosome Adam as well that has been traced) indicate that we all have ancestry in common. Again, these beings do not detract from the concept that we have distinct cultures today, and distinct cultures existed in history. The idea that placing an African in Norway and they would become pink-skinned, blue eyed, thin lipped etc. is not a sound argument. Genetics and natural selection are far more complex than that, or the Inuit would look like the Norwegians, or would show more diversity in their outward appearance from their southern Aboriginal neighbours. Humans are complex, adaptable beings and we are able to adapt to any living situation. We are all humans, this does not, however, make us all the same beings. We value our diversity, we value expressing it, and those expressions diversify as our cultures and our languages evolve. The argument that we should become universally encompassing ("catholic" means universal btw which is why they chose the name) is counterproductive to our value of diversity and any celebration of it.

As for the similarities that you speak of between Celts, Germanic and Thracian tribes, I do not know that they are as significant as you are suggesting they are. At least not significant enough to suggest that the Celts, Germanics and Thracians were sub-cultures of Druidic culture. Bear in mind that the Germanic tribes moved into Celtic territory and that the Hallstatt period of Celtic culture is named for the site in Austria that was core to the territory, Later expansion of the Celts swept up into much of Germany and westward to include the Netherlands. It would not be remiss to think that sites found in southern Germany were Celtic if they were dated to the period of Celtic occupation and if they were consistent with other Celtic sites of the same period. The Gundestrop cauldron has spurred a great deal of debate, not because of where it was found, but because of the incongruency between the designs on the cauldron and how it was made (Celtic vs. Thracian). It is theorized that it was found in Denmark because it was booty from a raid, most likely by early Germanic people into the Continental Celtic territories. We can find similarities in anything if we look hard enough, and yes, all cultures have similarities ~ the degree of similarity is what defines cultural groupings. The Germanic tribes were dissimilar enough from the Celtic groups to warrant their own classification distinct from the Celts. This means that we cannot make the same assumptions about the degree of similarities that Germanic tribes may have shared in the values expressed in Celtic literature and what we have gleaned through archeological finds relating to the Celtic groups.

I agree with Lean De An Thar that we should avoid trying to mold Druidry into a modern mindset. We are trying to reclaim a point of view to create harmony and balance in the world, and yes we have to adjust it to apply the values it gives us in a modern world, but we are, in fact, trying to change the world to be less materialistic, more environmentally conscious, more accepting of diversity, more egalitarian and a host of other things that we perceive to be detrimental in our current societies and cultures.

I'll say that it makes no difference to me if we are looking back to Iron-Age Celtic culture or Iron-Age Druidry to define and interpret the values that we are applying today. They are one and the same for me.  I am not about to go out and burn my criminals any more than I am going to slaughter an animal or harvest a plant without just cause/need. All life is sacred, that is what I bring from the then to the now.  But please, if you decide that Druidry is its own culture, view it from its proper time and place, back in the days when belief in truth, stewardship, service, honour, community and family carried more responsibility for individuals than it does in modern times.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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there is no genetic race of celts

It’s a simple fact that there is no genetic race of celts, check out this link to begin with and it will show a myriad on genetic blends over time. It is well accepted in the scientific community that indeed there is no such thing as race, you take a few Africans and settle them in e.g. Norway, then due to the climate their mouths and nostrils will thin due to the colder climate and after a few thousand years they will look like Norwegians ~ and that is exactly what Norwegians are!

https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/atlas.html

Now culture is a little different, I am no linguistic expert so I cant comment to much but to say there are common roots and all languages are blends of others ~ naturally as we humans have been speaking for some time.

We may note that there are many areas of similarities between e.g. celts and germans or thracians etc, round temples have been found in southern germany and the gundelstrup couldron [clearly celtic designs yet made by Thracians or in their style of silverwork] was found in denmark [the home of the saxons!].

This is why I say Druidry is the culture even though pre-celtic druids were probably not called druids. The stories and poems the bards leaned by set the tone for the culture as much as any other aspect [or probably even more].

I think we need all that as our base, but that druidry was and should be at the forefront of modern thinking [where modern is obviously a relative term].

 

 



Morri
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Thank you for sharing that

Thank you for sharing that Attila, it provides clarity for me in where you are coming from! In essence you are defining your path around the "Celtic" concept of Awen, although you recognize that Awen is, essentially, your path to connecting with the Divine and there are other paths that lead to the same place.

Because I practice Medicine in addition to Druidry, I do not find the connection to earth and the Divine (as immanent and transcendant) as particularly unique. It is something that many Native American spiritual paths share. That does not take away from the fact that it is one of the things that I love about Druidry, and it is certainly one of the things that sets it apart from many of the NeoPagan paths.

I think that one of the sticky points on parity is in relation to how we use the term "Celtic". There have been a few people who have asserted that they were a distinct race, and many groups would exclude people who were not of "Celtic" genetic descent. This is not how I am using the term when I talk about Druidry being rooted in Celticism. "Celtic" was originally a term used to define a linguistic group. Language is one of the most basic expressions of culture, so the linguistic grouping strongly suggests similarities in culture, including norms and values. We don't all have to share the same values to adhere to rooting our practice in Celtic culture. We simply need to recognize that we have a core set of values in common. It is also important, imo, to understand that those values exist in the context of the Celtic cultures, or they can be interpreted and viewed quite differently. This would mean that the path that we are reconstructing, reclaiming and adjusting to fit a modern world will lose all context.

We should not allow the misuse of the concept of our Celtic foundation to drive us away from using it properly.

Perhaps we are not in agreement that Druidry, as a distinct religion/spiritual path, originated within the Celtic cultures? That is my belief, even though I recognize that it evolved from an earlier culture and influenced many other spiritual paths later, including Christianity.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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Allow me to clarify… :)

I struggle with what you are saying because I have not heard you describe the context or foundation for your practice. You say you do not work with the ancestors or the gods and you aren't really into the "celtic stuff".

Allow me to clarify…

I was into celtic stuff in my early twenties, bought books etc and learned something about it, I was simply drawn to it even though I was a Buddhist/Egyptian mix at the time. This then brought me to Druidry to which I felt a natural affinity.

When I started debating on the forums 5 years ago, I realised I needed to expand my perspective even more, to get at least a basic understanding of modern philosophy, where the objective was to bring my Druidry up to date, hence my vision is the same for Druidry generally [though I don’t expect everyone else to feel the same].

Running concurrently throughout this, is my basis in what I term ‘universalism’ and contemporary thought.

I still enjoy many aspects of the celtic stuff, but my learning in almost every direction has simply taken me beyond that. We cannot say what celtic is specifically, there is no race and we are all [even the irish and scottish] a blend anyway. ‘Druidry’ existed before celtic culture expanded all over Europe, and then faded and blended with later cultures mainly Germanic and classical.

Through Druidry I leaned of the awen and that it goes beyond the gods, in philosophy I feel ancestor worship [etc] is lacking in clarity over a few issues and I have departed somewhat from it, although I still hold it in my mind as a comparative.

The term awen may be relatively new yet it belongs to something I understand as a basis of the spiritual world through experience of it. In my visions I entered ‘the void’ or an emptiness, then with the onset of visions in that place, the gods and realms are manifest, hence I see this as awen and as the basis.

Equally I have a separate philosophical understanding and reality map, whereby reality is described as infinity and its expression and that is the whole basis of the map. This reflects exactly the spiritual visions and my Druidry, where the void [or nirvana/tao maybe] can be seen as infinity, the awen is that and its subtle expressions beneath material [and other] existences.

That is panentheism (not the same as pantheism) and while it is something that many Druidic pathworkers believe in, not all Druids do

Panentheism is a term coined by hindus to explain away the fact they are pagans. Most if not all shamanic and pagan religions had a similar basis in the indescribable and unformed basis, the greeks for example called Buddhists worshippers of gaia because nirvana to them represented the earth element as unformed as like imagining space as womb-like. The egyptions had the nameless one and also conceived of a formlessness as bas, to which they added the neters of neith, literally nets of the godsess which collect and connect to [like a web] all the most subtle elements and aspects of things.

In short we all have different languages to describe reality, but there is only one realty, so what I call awen or infinity others may call god or tao or buddha being, even though they all seam so entirely different, somewhere along the line someone has experienced visions of them and interpreted them in a different way.

Perhaps we can say that Druidry is simply a different language, yet I would add that its ultimate connection goes or can go beyond any given language.

Defining it by the magical philosophy that magic pervades everything is difficult as other religions share this philosophy.

Indeed, maybe they can all call themselves druids no matter what their religion [once adepts], just like any of them can be e.g. doctors.

There has to be something more, something that makes it unique from other religions. I think what most people have suggested in the Unity thread is that our uniqueness comes from our value set, specifically those values that we share

I don’t mind us sharing nor that anyone can be a druid and I don’t think we all have to have the same values. However the most glaringly different thing about Druidry is its earthyness and indeed our very sense of connection to the earth or as in my case to infinity [thought of in an earthly sense if you can imagine]. Equal to that is its diversity, Druidry is organic where religions are perfectly shaped carrots lols. They all have set theories and perimeters but in Druidry these arent clearly defined. This is what makes it so hard for us to find parity even though our determination to defend it is itself a kind of parity.

 



Morri
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Attila, I struggle with what

Attila,

I struggle with what you are saying because I have not heard you describe the context or foundation for your practice. You say you do not work with the ancestors or the gods and you aren't really into the "celtic stuff".

 I think Druidry is the only religion with the awen,

I am not sure that all Druids work with the Awen. It is a relatively new concept, although the word dates back to early Welsh writings, the symbol was invented by Iolo Morganwg. So I do not know if the CR's acknowledge it at all!

 It would help if you were to describe what you see the Awen as representing and if you use it as a foundation for your practice.

Yet thinking of something that is both universal and not a god yet is the source of all things, that is druidic.

That is panentheism (not the same as pantheism) and while it is something that many Druidic pathworkers believe in, not all Druids do.

Equally, thinking of magic as beyond words and that it pervades everything even our philosophy [hence taking it to a different level of thinking], this too is druidic

Yes, this is Druidic, but it also exists in many other magical traditions. Those who practice Creation Manifestation in Witchcraft understand this also.

Shamans and religious peoples generally have a commonality, but I feel Druidry can go to this place and that is where Druidry is.

I absolutely agree! Yet defining Druidry only by the criteria that it is panentheistic and is the only religion with the Awen will exclude many practicing Druidics. Defining it by the magical philosophy that magic pervades everything is difficult as other religions share this philosophy. While the elements of your practice are Druidic, they do not define Druidry imo. There has to be something more, something that makes it unique from other religions. I think what most people have suggested in the Unity thread is that our uniqueness comes from our value set, specifically those values that we share.

 

 

 

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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beyond that very landscape of reason and language

What makes this practice distinctly Druidic?

I think Druidry is the only religion with the awen, taoism comes close as do many aspects of other religions. Yet thinking of something that is both universal and not a god yet is the source of all things, that is druidic. Equally, thinking of magic as beyond words and that it pervades everything even our philosophy [hence taking it to a different level of thinking], this too is druidic. Its my interpretation of druidy yet I think it is the same as many others, we all just have our own language of it.

In essence it is going beyond that very landscape of defining reason and language, the magical essence, that is what I feel I am after in this thread and in my druidism. It seams a struggle for us all [me included] to get to that place, and I feel that is where the ancients were at. Shamans and religious peoples generally have a commonality, but I feel Druidry can go to this place and that is where Druidry is.

 



Morri
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Poets are still of the

Poets are still of the bardic class no matter how advanced ~ is that what you meant?

Yes. That's what I meant, which is why I added "unless you are talking about the class of individuals collectively called druids".

I don't think that we need to take the term that defines Druidry away from people. You will notice that people in Orders where "Druid" is set aside for a specific grade, even in groups that have traditionally used the term to refer to both classes like OBOD, tend to define themselves as "practicing Druidry", "studying Druidry", "following the Druid path" instead of referring to themselves as Druids, unless they have earned the grade. This is something that seems to develop naturally out of respect for those who have achieved the grade, in recognition of their accomplishment and their wisdom. Trying to coin a word to replace the phrases I've identified above is not an attempt to take the name away from anyone, it is simply a way of removing a cumbersome form of communication that has developed.

There is perhaps a bare limit of what it is to be a druid, a liminal spirituality between adherent and otherworldly stuff. if we can define that 'skeleton' then we have a basis to work from.

This goes back to Kenneth's question. What makes this practice distinctly Druidic? The description you give could be applied to those who practice shamanism, Medicine (in Native America), Voudun, Santeria, and a host of other religions.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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There is perhaps a bare limit?

I don’t see how you disagreed with me in all but words, :) though I suppose I should not have added peots and perhaps even artist as druids. Poets are still of the bardic class no matter how advanced ~ is that what you meant?

I don’t work with the ancestors at all, nor do I worship or say prayers, and I am very dubious of the gods [or god] and prefer to keep my distance. Would that make me a non druid? There is still a connection and I do listen and teach thusly. There is perhaps a bare limit of what it is to be a druid, a liminal spirituality between adherent and otherworldly stuff. if we can define that 'skeleton' then we have a basis to work from.

There still comes the point where we have to classify all types as druids, just like a priest is as much part of xtianity as a pope. Within that are druids proper, but I think many people would be insulted if we took the term that defines their religion away from them?



Morri
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Shamanic practice and Ancestors

Attila, I don't think that I am in agreement with you when you say "So for me a druid is... a highly educated person in many a given profession, or an artist, poet etc. the difference is that there is a very strong connection to the otherworld and a religious slant on each and every vocation" unless you are identifying the class of individuals collectively called druids.

When I say the connection can be gotten through training or through the ancestors, that relates specifically to shamanic practice. As someone who has studied both paths, and has integrated shamanic practice into my Druidic practice, one of the most significant differences for me is in working with the ancestors. In shamanic work, I work with my ancestors and the spirit of individuals, but as a Druid I am required to understand and connect with other people's ancestors/gods. This is where the educational training comes in. I cannot obtain that information through my ancestors. I have to study the myths, geneologies, and history of the collective ancients in order to make that connection to feasts and rituals and individuals that I honour through my participation in our shared paths. Even as a solitary, I must understand the gods and ancestors that are affiliated with each feast/festival in order to observe it honourably and respectfully.

My grandmother taught me to think of Druidry in connection with the triple spiral. It took me a long time to grasp the concept, but I finally got it. The center of the spiral is Truth. Connection to Truth requires Information (Knowledge), Understaning (Wisdom), and Application (Service),

Each of the spirals represent one of the realms: The World (physical), the Otherworlds (spirit), the Underworld (self/intuition). Each of the realms has other beings and "things" that can help us on our journey. In each we seek Knowledge, Wisdom and the Service required of us. To be balanced we must seek these things in all three places. We can reach and connect with Divinity through any of the three strands, but we eventually find that we lack the wholeness that we seek for ourselves in our pathworking if we only pursue one strand. We can become lost in one of the worlds and become disconnected from the others.

This is why I would encourage anyone following the path of Druidry to pursue all three aspects of learning, it is a unique gift that Druidry offers to us.

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.



attila
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seers

Originally druids [pre-celtic] probably were ‘shamans‘, but that connection to the other side was after a time ascribed to other more earthly matters, and become the religion. So where a shaman in Mongolia just practices the spiritual arts and medicine etc, a druid uses the connection gained in early life to gain inspiration and intuitions for use in worldly affairs. i think that most if not all religions had a similar background in magic, certainly the egyptians did.

As you say this connection can be gotten through training, so the end result is the same for both the connective path and the disconnected one, I.e. they both are equally connected after their apprenticeship.

seers

Let us imagine that a druid was asked to preside over given issues [I am sure we all agree there ~ that they did such things]…

Example 1. Archaeology, connects with very ancient after-death rituals, a connection needs to be made with the ancestors to get permissions to exhume or re-place bodies, or parts of bodies. For archaeology a druid could simply ‘ask’ [there is an art to it of course] if it is ok to dig a site, an answer would come intuitively to those who know the art of listening.

Example 2. Judgement, if asked to preside of an issue where a judgement must be made about someone e.g. for a crime committed, then the druid would need to be able to look someone in the eye and after much deliberation arrive at a judgement. One much have sufficient depth and connection with the awen in order to make such judgements, along with the ability to ascertain which information is correct or not.

None of this can be done without a connection to the awen, the ancient Britons for example believed [or were said to have] that magic was intertwined with everything.

So for me a druid is as you all say, a highly educated person in many a given profession, or an artist, poet etc. the difference is that there is a very strong connection to the otherworld and a religious slant on each and every vocation.

Note; an artist or poet who is not a druid could say there is no difference between them and druids, they are equally as intuitive etc. hence if you take away the religion and the spiritual aspect we have nothing. Even our most common understanding of the druids, is of someone who practices magic which is part of their religion. This has come down to us through the ages in its most vague and yet correct form.

 



kproefrock
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Morri wrote: "My

Morri wrote: "My understanding of ancient Druids and their role is that, while they do utilize some shamanic practices, they did much more than function as intermediaries with the spirit world (Otherworld). They were the caretakers of history, geneology, lawmaking, etc. etc,"

 

That, my friend is what, for me, separates Druidry from many other forms of indigenous belief systems. The way that we conduct our training has classically been through apprenticeships and small schools, not likely with exactly uniform curricula, but, with an overriding emphasis, by all accounts, on foundational understanding of the world around them; history, music, poetics, law, medicine and the other sciences of the time. They were, first and foremost, well-educated members of their society --it is that education and knowledge that allows for a broader context within which visionary experiences might be understood.

 

Transformational experiences are only as good as the daily translational expressions of our ideology in praxis allow them to be. Or...a second grader is going to interpret any given event differently than a 10th grader--not because one is smarter than the other, they might have the exact same IQ, but the 10th grader's cognitive capacity is greater because they have simply processed a larger body of information in their lives, they are more efficient at extracting relevant information from a given situation. Our daily practice is where we 'practice' the expression of our ideology--the more we practice, the more we breed a certain familiarity to the spiritual process and the more we can describe that phenomenon to other people.

We begin, over time, to be able to extract more and more relevant information from our spiritual practice. Do we have to have a like Cosmological Context out of which to interpret these experiences so that we can discuss them? If so, what are the parameters of that context? Can we draw them here, even as just an experiment in cooperation? 

I would think that that would get us at least a little closer to defining this fuzzy, possibly more fur than substance, creature called Druidry ;-)

 

Kenneth 



Morri
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Once this vision is begotten

Once this vision is begotten the apprenticeship begins, and only by a long and very hard struggle does one make it to ---------.

Attila, I struck out the last word in the quote because what you describe here is how I understand a shaman is called and how they are then trained, sometimes that training is solely through spirit contact and sometimes it involves mentorship.

My understanding of ancient Druids and their role is that, while they do utilize some shamanic practices, they did much more than function as intermediaries with the spirit world (Otherworld). They were the caretakers of history, geneology, lawmaking, etc. etc,

I would also respectfully suggest that most people are guided to study Druidry by an intuitive need that is not the same as the shamanic journey you describe, but it is no less mystical.

Is the apprenticeship you are thinking of the same as the shamanic one that I describe, or if it is something else?

 

--

~Morri
Fierce in all things and Honour above all.