Monday, February 02, 2009

Druidry and Other Important Topics

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we write about religion, politics, and upholstery care. On the latter subject, this has not been a good week. The cat became ill on the armchair. Devastating!

A few years ago I switched religions. I had been raised in a religion and knew its written canon fairly well. What I knew appalled me and was no small reason for my departure from that religion.

So I became a Druid. There is no Bible of Druidry, although there are many books about the theology and practice of the faith.

I've decided not to read any of them. This is just me personally, but I find that if I read religious doctrine, I start poking holes in it. The not-so-nice way of putting it is that I'm critical. "But what about..." is my favorite sentence-starter.

There are several parts of Druidry that appeal to a person like me.

1. The ancient Druids did not write anything down, hence no ancient dogma that must factor into modern human relationships.

2. Druidry invites study of just about anything that relates to the natural world, including botany, animal husbandry, weather (a huge FAVE with me), etc. So it's a good match for a person who is scientifically inclined. At the same time, many sorts of divination and magick are available for study in Druidry, all done by personal choice instead of requirement.

3. Rituals are conducted out of doors, in all weathers and all seasons. I find this appealing because Nature is much grander than anything a human can build, and because no one is asking me to pledge to a building fund so we can get better stained windows and a coffee bar in the fellowship hall.

4. The poems and stories associated with the ancient Celtic people are dramatic and romantic and, at least compared to the Christian Bible, far less gory (although not completely gore-less).

5. There are Goddesses.

6. There are faeries.

Sunday I went to an Imbolc ritual. The ritual itself lasted about 30 minutes, but those of us who came out into the woods stood there talking for two hours. We stood because the picnic tables were crusted with ice. But the fact is, we stood talking for two hours. On our feet. and two of us have had surgery on our legs this year.

Then we went out to lunch and talked for another hour. The topics ranged far and wide, from shenanigans at Ren Faires and Fairy Festivals to books read, to stories being written, to plans being hatched, to plans coming to fruition, and to the glorious weather. This is not Bible study, it's World Immersion, with approval from the bored gods.

Now. On to the important stuff. Does anyone know how to get cat vomit stains out of chintz?


Nettle said...

I am the sort of person that, if I were to somehow acquire a Portuguese Water Dog, I would run out and buy every book I could find on Portuguese Water Dogs. It's such an automatic reaction on my part that I feel midly shocked, in an approving way, to learn that you do not read books on Druidry. It never occurred to me that there was any other option. "She can do that?" I think to myself. "How brave! how daring!"

Sarita said...

You could try Googling "cat vomit" and see what you come up with. Even though I live with three cats nothing to help your chair comes to mind.

I guess that not reading up on Druidry so you can't poke holes in it makes sense. Myself, I tend to poke as many holes as I possibly can - maybe that's why I just say that I have "Celtic leanings," rather than actually calling myself a "Celtic reconstructionist." :P

THE Michael said...

Determined to remain agnostic as I am, I have tried to avoid learning any more of the more deep and mysterious aspects of Wicca, in order to, just like you, avoid having to laugh out loud and end up with alot of women mad at me. Yes, Wicca is HEAVY with the female of the species, and sometimes they can have a distinct lack of humor when it comes to the Goddess.

But I do embrace the Green Man just to keep things on a level playing field.......

Anonymous said...

Anne wrote:

1. The ancient Druids did not write anything down, hence no ancient dogma that must factor into modern human relationships.

Not precisely true. They did not write things down primarily because they put such a high value upon memorization. Dependence on the written word allows the memory to atrophy. Also, passing the mysteries by word of mouth ensures that outsiders will NOT find them out -- the proof of this being how little we know of the Druids!

The early Christians recorded many of their tales, and also the whole of Breton Law, which was also passed orally.

-- Feral Boy

Mama Kelly said...

I have to agree with your point that Druidism invites the study of the natural world. Not that I'm a Druid, but as a Witch I find that my "study" is of myriad topics that relate not only to my faith system, but to the day to day issues of hearth and home and nature and the earth and its all connected.

Erik said...

My first step with cat puke is always hydrogen peroxide. Gets it out of almost anything - but do test on a hidden area of the fabric first, JUST IN CASE. I've never seen it cause a problem, though.

yellowdog granny said...

I like making up my own diety and religion. it works for me.
try carpet cleaner

Illisse said...

If all else fails - Frebreeze (sp?) and a nice throw blanket to discreetly hide the horrible stain


seithman said...

But wait, I thought poking holes in theology was part of the fun in Druidry...

My Gal said...

As a former costumer and current druid, I felt that you were speaking to my heart.

First, they make small steam cleaners that you might be able to use with a good enzyme cleaner. Depending on the base of your material this might just do the trick. They have small handheld ones that do wonders for spot cleaning.

Second, I too came druidry from a path involving stained glass windows. I prefer the investigation of nature to the building fund ANY day. Twice on Sundays :)

Pam said...

Wow... I have just begun to recover from the shock of learning, upon finally sitting still and reflection on my spiritual Path, that perhaps I need more than either my former cross-centric upbringing OR my ecclectic Wiccan label have allowed...

I have to learn more about Druidry... its all so interesting...scientific AND nature based

wintergreen.3 said...

As a recovering christian I love the fact that you beautifully voiced the viewpoint my husband and I share with you. Nature is the best teacher. Blessings, Gilli