Calling Oneself a Druid
by Joanna Van Der Hoeven
A blog post about whether to call yourself "Druid" or not has been brewing in my mind for weeks – when do we think we can claim the title?
Simply because in the past one could not claim to be a Druid until after 19 years training (depending upon the source you use) doesn't mean that we still have to follow that way of thinking today. The Celts did many things that we don’t or wouldn’t do today. For instance, the ancestors performed animal sacrifice - we don't. We have to adapt to the modern day to be able to let our path expand and fulfill our needs of today.
To call oneself a Druid is to simplify our intention - how else would we go about it? To say “I am a follower on the path of Druidry” just doesn't roll off the tongue in casual conversation. The term is there to clarify the path, not to claim grand titles. Christians don't believe that they are Christ. Buddhists don't claim to be The Buddha (they are all Buddhas). Therefore, those that follow the path of Druidry, in my view, can call themselves Druid - what are the alternatives? Druidists? Druidans? Druidarians?
Doesn't quite work.
If we don’t adapt the Celtic worldview to ours, we are simply are creating or following dogma, which is an anathema to Druidry, in my view. We should learn all that we can from our Celtic ancestors, to inform our current worldview. The future is built brick by brick up on the past. The ancient Celtic worldview teaches us of a time in history, a specific point and that specific point only. What is no longer relevant to modern day society we need to address, and find new ways of making it work. We aren’t changing it into a completely new religion – it must adapt and flow like the awen itself.
Therefore, to me a beginner on the Druid path may call him or herself a Druid without fear. So can one who has followed the path for 7, 13, 25 years or more. What matters more than the amount of time you have spent on this path is what lies within your heart.
If you love and honour nature, if you seek to learn and inform your worldview from it and feel called to the path of Druidry, then you are a Druid. Walk your talk, live in balance and harmony, and inform yourself – become a student of life. Learn history, language, biology, ecology and astronomy. Gain the intelligence and use it – experience it. That is the path to wisdom. Above all, honour your own nature as well – for in seeing the divinity within nature, we see the nature of the divine.