What is Druidry?

The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids works with Druidry as a spiritual way and practice that speaks to three of our greatest yearnings: to be fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom. Each of these yearnings comes from a different aspect of ourselves that we can personify as the Singer, the Shaman and the Sage. In Druidry, Bardic teachings help to nurture the singer, the artist or storyteller within us: the creative self; Ovate teachings help to foster the shaman, the lover of Nature, the healer within us; while the Druid teachings help to develop our inner wisdom: the sage who dwells within each of us.

Druidry, or Druidism as it is also known, manifests today in three usually separate ways: as a cultural enterprise to foster the Welsh, Cornish and Breton languages; as a fraternal pursuit to provide mutual support and to raise funds for good causes; and as a spiritual path. Each of these different approaches draws upon the inspiration of the ancient Druids, who were the guardians of a magical and religious tradition that existed before the coming of Christianity, and whose influence can be traced from the western shores of Ireland to the west of France – and perhaps beyond. Caesar wrote that the Druids originated in Britain.

The practice of Druidry was replaced with Christianity by the seventh century, and even though little is known about these ancient sages, groups in Britain who were inspired by the idea of the Druids began to form in the early eighteenth century. Like seeds that have lain dormant for centuries before suddenly flowering again, Druidry began a process of revival, started by scholars in Britain, France and Germany who became fascinated by the subject, and continued today by a small but rapidly growing number of people around the world who are inspired by the tradition, rituals and teachings that have evolved over the last two and a half centuries, which draw upon mythology and folklore whose origins lie in the pre-Christian era.

Druidry appeals in particular to people who have become disenchanted with much of conventional religious practice, and who are seeking a sense of spiritual connection with the land, and with their ancestors. In today’s fast-moving and environmentally-threatened world, they are looking for a sense of rootedness in Time and in Place, and for a sense of reverence for the Earth.

Read different authors’ views on What is Druidry?

What does it mean to be a Druid today? Above all else, Druidry means following a spiritual path rooted in the green Earth. It means participating in a living Western spiritual tradition drawn from many sources, including surviving legacies from Celtic wisdom teachings, but embracing the contributions of many peoples and times. It means learning from archaic traditions, from three centuries of modern Druid scholarship, and from the always changing lessons of the living Earth itself. It means embracing an experiential approach to religious questions, one that abandons rigid belief systems in favour of inner development and individual contact with the realms of nature and spirit.
John Michael Greer, Druidry – A Green Way of Wisdom
 
It’s an attitude, an understanding, an exquisitely simple and natural philosophy of living. For a great many it is a rich and ancient religion, a mystical spirituality. For others it’s simply a guiding way of life. It is absolutely open and free for anyone to discover.
Emma Restall Orr, Druid Priestess
 
Rather than being an organised religion, Druidry offers a personal individual life path that can become part of a modern urban existence as easily as a rural life. It connects us instinctively to the life-giving energies of the earth beneath the pavements, and the sky above the highest office or apartment block.
Cassandra Eason, The Modern-Day Druidess
 
What is Druidry? A Spiritual Path, a way of life, a philosophy, Druidry is all of these…Druidry today is alive and well, and has migrated around the world forming a wonderful web of people who honour and respect the Earth and the sacred right to life of all that is part of the Earth. Like a great tree drawing nourishment through its roots, Druidry draws wisdom from its ancestral heritage. There is a saying in Druidry that ‘The great tree thrives on the leaves that it casts to the ground’. Druidry today does not pretend to present a replica of the past, rather it is producing a new season’s growth.
Cairistiona Worthington, The Beginner’s Guide to Druidry

The videos below discuss the recent and ancient roots of Druidry and its relevance today.

Videos

 

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