|Posted by [email protected] on September 23, 2014 at 12:10 AM|
The Essence of Druidry
By Edward Durand
The first of a series of concise books exploring the essential wisdom of various spiritual traditions.
About the Author:
Edward Durand is an Irish writer and teacher currently living in France. He has been studying the various wisdom traditions, comparative religion and comparative philosophy for decades. Throughout his twenties and thirties he read books on philosophy and mysticism. He attained a degree in Philosophy at the University of Ulster. After university he also studied Herbalism and Parapsychology. This influenced his relationship with nature and he was driven to quest for more knowledge, seeking the wisdom of the natural kingdom and by following a Druidic and Bardic path, he was able to touch the Imbas, the spirit of inspiration, and the spirit of the land of Ireland from which he has received much of his inspiration. Edward has led workshops and Bardic poetry walks in various woods in Ireland. He believes that the path of man and nature is one and assists others to find this unity for themselves. He is the author of ‘Tree Poghams: Poems inspired by the wisdom of the ancient Ogham tree alphabet’.
Copyright Edward Durand 2014
The Essence of Druidry
16 Druidry and the Natural World
19 The Celts
21 Celtic Mythology
24 The Wheel of the Year
28 Sacred Sites
32 Druid Healing
35 The Ogham Tree Alphabet
43 Druid Prayers
Druids are not all Celtic but are considered a Celtic priesthood. They are not only priests; they are also traditionally storytellers, singers, healers, lawyers, historians, poets, judges, scientists, seers, teachers, astronomers, astrologers, psychologists and magicians. Those roles became divided with Druids specializing in a couple of them. Druids today are often bards, seers, healers, astrologers and magicians too.
The walking of a Druid path is a walking in the way of the open heart of nature, at one with the forces of nature. It gives access to a realm where everything is magical and sacred and alive. Druids work with trees, plants, water, fire, air, earth and other natural forces, bridging the gap between this world and the spirit world. Druidry is a path of nature spirituality akin to Shamanism. Like Shamans they use methods to access the spirit world, but for Druids they see the higher aspect of the things in this world so this world and the spirit world are not so far apart, they see the spirit world in this world.
Druids live in harmony with nature, with reverence for the sacred ground they walk upon. They transform themselves and their immediate environment, and recognise that they are one with all, especially with and through their immediate environment. Druids drink deep from the well of living teachings they find everywhere in nature. They see the invisible world and work with it. Druids do what they can to heal the land, they assist the flow of energy at ancient sacred sites, opening the ley lines and releasing blocked energies. They tend to the spiritual, medicinal, psychological and educational needs of others. They conduct and orchestrate energies and use them to manifest positive change. They listen to the land and communicate with the devic spirits of the land and higher beings.
The ‘Leabhair Geabhala Eireann’ or ‘Book of Invasions’ tells the story of the successive cycles of invaders who came to conquer and settle in Ireland (the Fomorians, the Fir Bolg, the Tuatha De Danann and the Celts). According to this ancient manuscript each of these races had their druids. They may not all have been conquering invaders but settlers from other lands, some returning to their ancestral homeland. As well as Ireland, Druids were also present in other countries of Western Europe such as Wales, Scotland, England, France and Spain.
Most Druids follow the pantheon of the gods of the Tuatha De Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu. However for many Druids there is no distinction between monotheism and polytheism. There is one conscious divine force that permeates everything and there are many divine forces that take on manifestation as gods, devas, mountains, rivers, planets, the sun, the moon and the stars. The gods are aspects of the one all-pervading divine force, just as in Egypt the Neters are gods but also aspects of the one God. As well as polytheism and monotheism, the Druids believed in pantheism (nature is god) and panentheism (God is everything in nature and beyond).
Druids follow the natural cycles of the seasons, the moon, the sun, the stars and the shortest and longest days, which form natural rhythms and life on Earth dances in response. Druids are in tune with the natural cycles and know the best time to do things based on observations of these natural phenomena. Their reverence for these natural cycles keeps them in tune with nature.
Druids were once considered as important and powerful as kings. When Christianity came there was originally a degree of peaceful synergy between the new faith and the old religion in Celtic Christianity, but religious zealots and soldiers from abroad drove the Druids west, into Ireland and the island of Anglesea, and they were branded as heretics even though in general they personified the teachings of Jesus better than their Christian persecutors.
Famous historical Druids include Amargain, Taliesin, Merlin and Mog Ruith. The word ‘Druid’ comes from the Irish ‘Drui’ and/or the Welsh ‘Deravid’ which means ‘Oak Seer’ or ‘Knower of the Oak’. The Oak is a symbol of Druidry. Druids sometimes use tools such as staffs, wands, pendulums and crystals to focus and magnify the energy, but they don’t usually need anything but nature herself and their own intent. Druids usually develop powers such as psychic powers, out-of-body travel and visions. They sometimes go on vision quest journeys of the spirit where their mind drifts off to a realm where they can journey until they find a symbol or answer to an issue they have.
Druids did many things in threes, for three is the most revered magical number of the Druids. There are three realms – land, sea and sky. There are three cauldrons (main centres in the body) – head, chest and stomach. There are triple goddesses – the three Brighids; maiden, mother and crone; and the three goddesses of Ireland – Eriu, Folha and Banba (there are also three Dagdas). There are three aspects of time – past, present and future. There are three strains of music – sadness, joy and sleep. There are often three orders of Druid – Bards, Ovates and Druids. There are three rays of light on the Awen symbol – vision, symbols and understanding. There are three sacred apples on the Tree of Knowledge on the Isle of the Blessed. The triple spiral carved on the front stone at Newgrange has become common and reminds us of all of these. All of these triplicities are also aspects of ourselves, we are the Awen, the goddess etc.