Druids: A Very Brief Introduction

Awen Flag at ECG 2013

I’m a member of a Druid order. I read Druid books and I go to Druid gatherings. I wear a Druid robe and I introduce myself as a Druid. But just what is a Druid?In the past week I’ve had multiple questions on Druids and Druidry. That’s usually a sign it’s time for me to blog about the questions and my take on the answers. A full answer requires several books (which I’ll recommend at the end), but here’s a very brief introduction to Druidry as I understand it and as I practice it.The Ancien … [Read more...]

Lessons From a First Ritual

hand bell

Every so often I get an e-mail that says “I’ve been asked to lead the next ritual for my CUUPS group (or coven or grove or other group).  Where do I start???”I usually refer people to this post on A Pagan Ritual Outline and this post on Common Ritual Errors and How to Avoid Them.  But as I mentioned last week, I think it may be helpful to talk about what happened the first time I led a public ritual.After almost ten years of solitary practice, I went to my first Pagan circle at Denton CUU … [Read more...]

Pan Druid Retreat

PDR 2014 02

As I went over my 2014 calendar back in December, I realized I would be traveling a lot in the first five months of this year.  I’ve been with my current employer for 17 years so I get more than the typical two weeks vacation, but I’ve already used up most of it, to say nothing of what I’ve done to my travel budget.  But when John and Elmdea Adams asked me to come to the Pan Druid Retreat and then asked me to be part of a panel discussion on ritual, I had to say yes.The theme was “Approa … [Read more...]

Interdependence and the Weakness of Evolution

spider monkeys in Honduras

The current debate on polytheistic theology includes a strong concern over anthropocentrism – the idea that it’s all about us.  Traci Laird articulated some of this in her own blog post and then clarified her thoughts in this comment to my last post.  Rhyd Wildermuth continued the conversation on his blog.  There have been others, some of which I’ve read and some of which I haven’t.  I’ve seen a lot of very thoughtful and thought-provoking commentary, but what I haven’t seen is a working hypothes … [Read more...]

The Art of Wild Wisdom

The Art of Wild Wisdom 11.17.13 01

The Art of Wild Wisdom by John Beckett Pathways UU Church November 17, 2013 The Ancient Druids“The Druids may well have been the most prominent magico-religious specialists of some of the peoples of north-western Europe just over a couple of thousand years ago; and that is all we can say of them with reasonable certainty.”This is the opening line of Blood and Mistletoe: the History of the Druids in Britain by Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol in E … [Read more...]

Do the Work and Trust the Process

Ovate altar

Initiations in OBOD are powerful ceremonies that transmit mystical knowledge and wisdom to the candidates, but they are not the primary transformative process of the order.  They are an introduction to a grade, not a culmination of that grade.At last weekend’s East Coast Gathering, we initiated 12 Bards into the Grove of the Ovates.  These new Ovates have a lot of work ahead of them and all the ones I talked with understood that.  If you’ve been around long enough to complete the Bardic grade … [Read more...]

The Currents of Life

Animas River, Colorado, 2009

For me, blogging is first and foremost about the discipline of writing.  It isn’t enough to think big thoughts – too many of those thoughts are random, impulsive and disorganized.  Writing forces me to examine my thoughts, see if they’re in alignment with my values, and determine how I should integrate them into the rest of my life.  Keeping a blog forces me to do this regularly – nothing runs off readers faster than long periods of silence.Though some of my posts are intended to inform or pe … [Read more...]

East Coast Gathering 2013

good music and a good fire

I’m back from the OBOD East Coast Gathering after spending four days with about a hundred Druids and Druidish friends.  This was the fourth year for the ECG and my third year to attend.  They’ve all been slightly different – different guests, different workshops and rituals, different weather – but they’ve all had the same spirit of fellowship and bardic sharing, the same spirit of curiosity and inquiry, and of course, the same love of Nature experienced in a beautiful wooded camp.The big cha … [Read more...]


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