It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

What is Neopagan Druidry

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 30 2011 @ 05:23 PM
link   
Neopagan Druidry, what is it?

So I was asked in another thread to explain my faith. This is going to take a little bit of history then what I (and a couple of thousand others do as members of my Order).

There are three levels of pagan faith:

Paleopagan: Those who originally practiced before the various Abrahamic (and other) faiths took over. This would include the various Celtic speaking tribes of Western Europem Their priests were the Druids (under various derivations of the name). This group of pagans no longer exists, no matter what someone will tell you, the paleopagan faiths died out, even if they had survived the mostly oral traditions of the cultural groups involved, would have mutated over time, and thus, it’s no longer the original.

Mesopagan: This group includes the various hermetic groups, thelemic groups, and the masonic like Druid Lodges. These Druid lodges became in the late 18th century, and flourished up to the great depression. They based their practices around Deist ideals, and that the “Druids” (whatever that meant to them) worshiped the sun, and the various megalithic circles were built by the Druids (they were not, but at the time that was the theory) as temples. These groups still exist in many forms. The general classification of “mesopagan” is that they are a mixture of potentially paleopagan imagery and folklore mixed with Abrahamic ideas.

Neopagan: In the mid 1950’s Gerald Gardner unleashed Wicca (as it became known) on the world. Many of you will know about Wicca, it is the most prevalent form of neopaganism. What not a lot of people (inside or outside of neopaganism) is that Gerald was friends with one Ross Nichols, who was the last leader of a dying Druid Lodge (the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids aka OBOD). Today OBOD is the single largest neopagan Druid group with about 10, 000 members.

Inside Neopagan Druidry there are themes:

Revivalist and Reconstructionist.

Revivalist Druids, rely on the revival of the imagry and feel of what the term “Druid” evokes, and not so much on the historical evidence of what the Celtic Tribes (and thus the Druid priests) did. Reconstructionist Druids rely more on the historical evidence. Inside the Reconstructionist faith there is a sub theme, that of the Celtic Reconstructionist movement, I’ll not talk about that here (though I also subscribe to that path) rather I suggest you read here.

Now some of you will be going “hey wait the “Celts” did not write that sort of stuff down” and you would be right. What reconstructionist themed Druids however do is rely on the works of Caesar, and the various myths that have been written down, and couple that with cutting edge (or not so cutting edge) archaeology, and also the idea of synchronicity.

What the hell is synchronicity? This idea is based around the accepted idea that cultures in language families, tend to share ideas and practices in some form or the other. Thus if one is trying to practice a form of “Celtic” spirituality, someone in the Indo-European language family may have done something very similar, and thus other known practices are also likely to have occurred. It’s best done between closely related linguistic groups. Thus if we “know” the Gaels (Irish today) did XYZ then the Britons, and Gauls probably did as well (and vica versa), but can be extended further to other members of the Indo-European language family.



The largest of the Neopagan reconstructionist themed Druid groups is Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF, "arn ree-ocht fane", mean "Our Own Druidism" in modern Irish Gaelic) founded by the late Isaac Bonewits, it is (like OBOD) and international druid organization with somewhere between 1000 and 2000 members at any given time, but over it’s lifetime it probably has had 5000 plus members (and many of those who no longer pay their nominal dues, still practice the path). This is the group to which I belong, I’ve belonged to OBOD and other groups, but ADF has stuck (along with my private Celtic Reconstructionist practices).

ADF states “…we're polytheistic Nature worshipers, attempting to revive the best aspects of the Paleopagan faiths of our ancestors within a modern scientific, artistic, ecological, and wholistic context. Like our predecessors and namesakes the Druids, we're people who believe in excellence - physically, intellectually, artistically, and spiritually.” What perhaps separates ADF Drudiry from other forms of Neopaganism, is that we are committed to holding public ritual. Most other pagan groups tend to be closed, or invitation only. ADF groves (the equivalent to a Wiccan Coven, or a Christian church) accept anyone turning up to an event, as long as they behave!

Thou Art God/dess

We believe that divinity is both immanent (internal) and transcendent (external), with immanence being far more important for us to pay attention to at this crucial phase of human history. Deities can manifest at any point in space or time which They might choose, including within human beings (through the processes known as "inspiration," "channeling," and "possession").

Goddesses and Gods

We believe that divinity is as likely to manifest in a female form as it is in a male form, and that the word "Goddess" makes just as much sense as "God." Women and men are spiritually equal, and "masculine" and "feminine" attitudes, values, and roles are of equal importance.

Polytheism

We believe in a multiplicity of gods and goddesses, as well as lesser beings, many of Whom are worthy of respect, love and worship. We have a wide variety of nonexclusive concepts as to the nature of these entities. While some of us believe in a "Supreme Being," Neopagan Druidism is emphatically polytheistic. We have no figure of ultimate Evil.

Nature Worship

We believe that it is necessary to have respect and love for Nature as divine in Her own right, and to accept ourselves as part of Nature and not Her "rulers." Many of us accept what has come to be known as "the Gaia hypothesis," that the biosphere of our planet is a living being, Who is due all the love and support that we, Her children, can give Her. We consider ecological awareness and activism to be sacred duties.

Cautious Technophilia

We believe in accepting the positive aspects of Western science and technology, but in maintaining an attitude of wariness towards the supposed ethical neutrality of that science and technology. We also consider it important that scientists (like everyone else) pay as much attention to their means as they do to their goals.

Religious Freedom

We believe that monolithic religious organizations and would-be messiahs and supergurus are a hinderance to spiritual growth. We believe that healthy religions should have a minimum amount of dogma and a maximum amount of eclecticism and flexibility. Neopagan Druidism is an organic religion, and like all other organisms is growing, changing, and producing offshoots.

Positive Ethics

We believe that ethics and morality should be based upon joy, love, self-esteem, mutual respect, the avoidance of actual harm to ourselves and others, and the increase of public benefit. We try to balance people's needs for personal autonomy and growth with the necessity of paying attention to the impact of each individual's actions on the lives and welfare of others.

Religious Toleration

We believe that it's difficult for ordinary humans to commit offenses against the Gods and Goddesses, short of major crimes such as ecocide or genocide. Our deit




posted on Aug, 30 2011 @ 11:39 PM
link   
Isaac Bonewits was a great man and will be missed. I've been able to spend a lot of time over the years talking to him as he was a regular at the Starwood festival, as was I. ADF is represented pretty heavily at what is in my opinion the best neo-pagan festival around.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 07:10 PM
link   

Originally posted by coyotepoet
Isaac Bonewits was a great man and will be missed. I've been able to spend a lot of time over the years talking to him as he was a regular at the Starwood festival, as was I. ADF is represented pretty heavily at what is in my opinion the best neo-pagan festival around.


Isaac did indeed have his good points (a few bad ones too). ADF has grown much since Isaac stepped down as ArchDruid in the 1990's however



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:05 PM
link   
This is a great crash course on Neopagan Druidry, thank you! I'm a follower of Hellenic Polytheism (Ancient Greek faith) and I've always considered the Druids to be our brothers in reviving the ancient faiths.

I have not researched Druidry for years now. How do reconstructionists use Caesar’s, The Gallic War? I know he outlines basic rituals and human sacrifice, but how do you know these were not his inventions to deride the Gauls and justify his campaign?

Also do we know how similar or how connected the Gauls and the Celts in Britain were. Like, what geological area do most Druids focus on when they are attempting to rebuild? Is there a focus on a area or do you look at the whole picture?

Thanks again.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:23 PM
link   

Originally posted by Gargarean
This is a great crash course on Neopagan Druidry, thank you! I'm a follower of Hellenic Polytheism (Ancient Greek faith) and I've always considered the Druids to be our brothers in reviving the ancient faiths.

I have not researched Druidry for years now. How do reconstructionists use Caesar’s, The Gallic War? I know he outlines basic rituals and human sacrifice, but how do you know these were not his inventions to deride the Gauls and justify his campaign?

Also do we know how similar or how connected the Gauls and the Celts in Britain were. Like, what geological area do most Druids focus on when they are attempting to rebuild? Is there a focus on a area or do you look at the whole picture?

Thanks again.


Most of the Gaulish recons look for any mythology hiding in JC the elders war propaganda...uh I mean commentaries and ignore the the silly bits.

After the Roman invasion of Gaul, many of the leaders went to Britain, so there is a connection there, there is less evidence for the Gaels (who the Romans had little influence with), hence most we know comes from the Gaelic side, and Cymric folklore.

Neopagan Druidry is less concerned with that however, but still tries to do our ancestors honor



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:41 PM
link   
reply to post by Noinden
 


Thanks for the answer, Noinden. The lack of historical information was one of my criticisms of Druidry. The Hellenic Recons, however, have their own problems for the opposite reason. So much source material by authors sometimes hundreds of years apart describing rituals that might be contrary to what other authors say. Often a simple question turns into an academic masturbation fest with no answers answered.



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 05:54 PM
link   
reply to post by Gargarean
 


There IS evidence out there (look at the CR FAQ (paganachd.com...) it's a good start, but it is harder work. Like heathens (Northern and Southern Germanic Recons) it can be done, it just takes work.

ADF is pan Indo-Euroopean so we are not strictly a Druidic group (though most of us follow "Celtic" hearths), we are liberally reconstructive, ie we don't get bent out of shape to much, and UPG is ok, as long as it's not forced on someone




top topics



 
2

log in

join