Christian Druidry: God and the Elements

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by path_of_one, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Path of one:

    Hi again young druidess! I have further defined the divine centre in the ‘exceptional depths of mind thread’, the annwn is the darkness similar to the primordial ocean that many cultures believe in, and the divine centre itself is ‘ceugant’ a place of ultimate wisdom and intellect. In one tradition the inverse 3 fold circle is true [where annwn is the ultimate level or sphere of being] & another is its opposite – I feel the early Celtic Christian church had an influence on this set of understanding which is why the more godly centre of ceugant was devised, yet [I may be wrong on this] the pre-Christian understanding probably has more to do with the primordial ocean from which spirits can be made manifest – similar perhaps to the khu’s [shining ones of the moon] or the Ba of ancient Egypt. If one makes a primordial spirit manifest, it can take any animal or human shape, thus can also be seen as nature spirits in there semi-manifest form, I believe that animals, birds, humans, even flowers [note the visage in a flowers bloom] and vegetation have these spirits as part of their being. The human soul has all natures of the divine centre imho. If a spirit is made manifest, we would see that they are kind of grey-silver with transparent eyes [like the darkness in an animals eyes {& lower humans}], they are not evil just un-shaped in there essence, a kind of primary innocence if you will. They extend a green beam that looks like particles [sometimes known as emanations], and one may become attached through the crown of the head and the soul moves upwards towards the next inner circle [towards the light] entering the realm of purple orbs. Interestingly in the Tibetan & Egyptian books of the dead there are orb realms described! They are called ‘intermediate realms’ in Buddhism and the underworld in paganism. Beyond these there is usually a judgement/assessment of the soul before it may enter the light, although apparently [mediums seam to say] these days people just go straight towards the light.

    I have much to determine on such perceptions of the after-life, and this is why recently I have become celibate on a quest to find the source of wisdom, according to the druidic tradition of the chaste quest. For me a druid or druidess is a kind of person similar but not the same as a shaman, we may follow any religion, yet keep a universal perspective and except philosophies from all sources. Perhaps the Tao is the same as the source of wisdom? Perhaps ‘the way’ is feminine and nurturing, with the masculine being submissive in wisdom until fully developed into the transformed soul or Sahu [ancient Egyptian]. A pre-Christian druidic symbol of rebirth is of two adders, the female devours the male then gives birth to it! I wonder if there is a connection there.

    Btw, I sometimes wonder if pre-defined paths are a good thing, it is easier to follow others, yet new understandings are less achieved by this indeed are there a path’s at all or do we simply arrive ‘there’ by whatever means somehow someday? Bit of an anarchic vision there - just an idea.



    I utilise ancient understandings as above to help understand the nature of the soul and spirit, yet I feel much of it needs to be redefined! If one considers that we are ‘that which exists before and after being human or other incarnations’ then there is a continual & indefinable ‘it’ factor throughout all existence of all things – ‘we are not what we are’!



    I’ll have a look at your thread in b&s, glad to meet you! May the road rise with you. :) I like your sig ‘nature is the living garment of god’ – the truth is naked! ;)



    Z









     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Oy. this isn't Christian Duridry.
     
  3. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    No its universal approach Druidry. The idea is that we are moving towards the light of god. I am using ancient wisdoms to ‘see’ various paths, so as to understand things from a philosophically universal perspective. There was a saying in the early Celtic Christian church – ‘Jesus is my druid’! I feel there were parallels in the two faiths & indeed all faiths.



    Z
     
  4. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Path of One was expressing a specific way...Christian Druidry. ;)
     
  5. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Very interesting to hear your perspective, Z. It isn't my own approach, but I always love hearing about how folks are putting the amazing variety of paths out there to use on their own path. :)
     
  6. _Z_

    _Z_ from far far away

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    Hi path of one. Yea sorry for babbling on about pagan stuff, I thought the contrast and parallels of various religions would be interesting for you.

    If you get time to look around at my other threads like ‘the ghost universe’ & ‘what is god’, then you will see that our paths are not that far apart! Most modern druids have a Christian based philosophy & hey we don’t stop learning until we are dead eh!:)

    Z
     
  7. stevemb88

    stevemb88 Member

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    I haven't been on this thread in awhile:(. But above, path_of_one, i noticed that you say that you love to read at least thats what I gather, are there any books that anyone could recommend on blending druidry with Christianity? :confused:
     
  8. stevemb88

    stevemb88 Member

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    I really never stopped to read these posts when I came through here on occasion. But, I certainly glad that I did actually read them. Better late then never! Anyways I loved this post and found it very insiteful. It really does show how both Christianity and Druidry are intertwined with one another. It helps a lot, Chalice thanks for posting, not that I didn't find useful material in the other posts it's just that for some reason beyond my comprehension, I really loved this post. :) :cool: :p :D
     
  9. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    i liked that post a lot as well. i never said anything but i found it to be insightful & a blessing.:)
    it is always neat when something POPS OUT, that helps other things make sense.
     
  10. Wendigo

    Wendigo 98

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    I take it that "Druid" means something entirely differently now. People looking for a path have idealized Druids of the stone age, yet what I hear about it, it has little to do with ancient Druids as described by Pliny, Caeser and the other classical writers. For instance, how can a neo-Druid be a part of a Priesthood with ranks and specific roles, who are they now a Priest to? Druids were into human and animal sacrifice; how can a modern day Druid do this? Druids authorized battles between tribes. Druids loved to sever heads. Druids read the entrails of animals for divination. We know most of our information of Druids from archaelogical evidence, but little of their practices. The picking of the mistletoe is described, but is sketchy at best. And some of their other magical practices are a stretch to practice now, like using the venom from a snake. So really, do modern Druids just make stuff up now and call themselves this title to describe their affinity with nature?
     
  11. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Yes and no.

    First, we know very little about ancient Druids. Historical sources like Caesar and Pliny are generally discounted by scholars because they are essentially war propaganda. The chances that accurate details about the Druids made it into those sources are slim. It would be like reading Nazi German accounts of Judaism and thinking one had a good idea of what Judaism was like. Any time a culture is clashing with another, the odds are good that the "history" that is written out of the experience is more propaganda than truth. Second, archaeological evidence has not provided us with a ton of details either. We know that Druids did have animal sacrifices on occasion. We know they (along with bards and seers) were in advisory roles to political leaders, and sometimes were able to stop battles from occuring. We know bards influenced leaders through poetry and music. We don't really know how the human sacrifice thing worked- we don't know if some people voluntarily sacrificed themselves (as some archaeological evidence points to), or if some people were killed after they showed characteristics later to be interpreted as demonic/bewitched due to ergot poisoning, or if some people were non-voluntarily sacrificed, or a bit of all three.

    All in all, we just don't know a whole lot about the ancient Druids. Modern druidry, as I understand it, is something quite different. It is, like Wicca, a recent innovation based on ancient earth-based spiritual traditions with a lot of other stuff thrown in. Modern druidry is essentially based on ancient Celtic beliefs, with a good chunk of Celtic-flavored Christianity, various Western Mystery/Magic stuff, and often a bit of Eastern philosophy. Similar in many ways to Wicca, it is different (and takes affiliation with ancient Druidry) primarily in its more overt practice, emphasis on political influence (especially in matters of environmentalism, peace, and human rights), and differing emphases in its spiritual practice- that is, focusing less on the union of god and goddess (although that is there) and more on nature/the creation itself.
    There are some quite different druidry organizations, the two largest being very different from each other (A Druid Fellowship and Order of Bards Ovates and Druids), so I can't speak for all. The OBOD seems to focus on a lot of Celtic cultural and mythological stuff, less on polytheistic worship, and more on an inner spiritual journey. Some of the OBOD historical stuff is idealized, but its spiritual insight and tool-kit, if you will, I find quite helpful. As I understand it, ADF strives for more historical correctness and is firmly polytheistic- it is trying to resurrect the ancient Celtic earth-based religion rather than trying to forge a new spiritual path entirely- at least that's my take on it. I don't think either is "bad," though both are likely to be missing and changing a lot of what ancient druidry was (since we have so little information, and as you pointed out, the culture no longer exists intact). But OBOD works for me while ADF doesn't, because I'm not particularly interested in resurrecting an old religion but rather infusing my Christian faith with practices, myth, and wisdom that speaks to my experience of nature and spirit.

    I think the term "druid" now is primarily an outgrowth of the modern druid movement's historical lineage, going back to 17th century organizations that called themselves druids but had even less than modern groups' actual knowledge of ancient druidry.
     
  12. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    It doesn't seem to me to be very fair to try and dismiss a modern expression of a particular religion because specific things such as animal and even human sacrifice were performed in the historical past. Many widely accepted religions including Judaism and Christianity included animal sacrifice and apparently even human sacrifice (such as the story in Genesis 22 where Abraham was quite willing to sacrifice his son.)

    Things that might have been part of a religion in the past are not necessarily required for those who follow that very religion in modern times.
     
  13. Wendigo

    Wendigo 98

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    I wasnt trying to say people shouldnt be modern Druids; I was just wanting to find out how the title of Druid has changed, and Path-of-One has explained. Religions definately do evolve. More people should be tree-huggers, I know I am.
    Path-of-One sounds like he has a good understanding of what modern Druidry is and isnt. Still, I think it can be misleading to those self-proclaimed Druids who think they are Merlin-incarnate (and theres books which take this slant).
     
  14. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Path of One is a Scientist. I am an engineer. We both believe in the same Force/God. But we see things differently. And we look at nature differently.

    Druidism is in our ancestry (I think), and Christianity is what our families' chose to follow eventually.

    Hugging a tree never kept anyone alive...ever.

    Druidism is something more...it is in the genes, but takes time to come back.

    I do know it is not a religion. It is a state of mind. Or a state of spirit (if you will). And it does NOT conflict with the religions of choice currently...and it does not conflict with Christian faith.

    v/r

    Q
     
  15. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I would agree, Q, that druidry is not a religion (at least not for me). It is a state of spirituality- a being in and of the earth, if you will. As a Christian I may not be "of this world," but as a creature I am of this earth- if you catch the difference in meaning I ascribe to the two.

    Personally, I don't think of my Christianity as a religion either. It, too, is a spiritual state of being. Maybe I'm just not a religious person! :)

    I think druidry can be a religion- that's certainly what ADF seems to be under the banner of druidry. But the ancient druids (and seers and bards) weren't a religion, but rather a class of people- an occupational category that had to do with philosophy, science, political advising, healing, music and the arts, and spirituality. I think if you try to boil druidry down into a religion, one runs into trouble because it is more like an approach, a path, a perspective than a coherent belief system. At least that's my take on it. And of course nowadays we don't have the ancient Celtic belief system to go along with it, or the ancient cultural and social constructs, so I pretty much use the term to sum up my spiritual ties to the same stuff that druids wrapped up in their practices all that time ago- the arts, nature, philosophy, education, political activism- stuff that many people in the modern US divorce from religion, I see hand in hand.

    The biggest thing is that I affiliate myself with such a path because its way of looking at nature and humankind's place in it makes sense with my own experience. I find Christianity and Druidry complement each other nicely (at least in my own little spiritual world) because each speaks to something the other doesn't. Additionally, my course of study in druidry gives me an approach, or framework, for visualization and meditative work, for ways to combine the inner and outer journeys of spirituality, for connecting more deeply with the earth. Being earth-based and somewhat shamanic (like most paths that are derived from indigenous belief systems), it works with the way I inherently experience nature and spirit. I've read various ethnographies that deal with the spirituality of Native American cultures, and these also resonate a lot with my own experiences. But unfortunately for me I am not Native American and I do not have access to those spiritual traditions outside of the academic world. So, modern druidry, a modern outgrowth of my own ancestors' indigenous belief systems is as good as it gets.

    Like you said, Q, I think people often know the same God, but we all are blessed with different ways of experiencing life, nature, and spirit (as well as God).

    As for the Merlin-incarnates, this problem exists in every spiritual grouping on the planet. There will always be those who believe they are specially endowed in some way, that they are chosen somehow. Some are, and some aren't, and my own feeling is that the ones who are truly "in the Spirit" (to use the Christian way of putting it) will show the appropriate fruits, including humility. If you've ever done energy work or magic or whatever you want to call it, even accidentally, it (like all things that bring any kind of power and control over your environs) can make one feel good about oneself- "Hey, I did that!" (The same danger, by the way, exists in intercessory prayer and miracle-working among Christians from what I've seen.) But one who is striving for spiritual maturity does not have the goal of gaining power, but rather serving and loving others, no matter what their religion. So if the heart and soul are in the right place, any gifts or skills with which one is blessed will be used in service to others, according to the will of God (or, in other words, in harmony with the natural flow of things), and with caution.

    Hugging trees never saved a life, but protecting them could have- think of Easter Island! (And yes, I've literally hugged trees. But that may not be because of the Druidry but rather just because I have a very large kid-like streak in me- I hug everything.) :D

    By the way, Wendigo, I'm a gal- no worries about thinking I'm a guy though- everyone does at first in this forum! It's rather amusing!
     
  16. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    this is a good post Path:)
    i feel the same way about it. it is just there. i grew up like that where we taught a great respect for nature & the land & animals. they had us planting trees in sunday school, plowing fields & harvesting corn in the boys group, so i think i did get a lot of that instilled into me early in life, yet did not recognize it so much until the last 10 years or so & it has become stronger each year.
    it is like all these gifts from above around me that i may have taken for granted & i see the oneness with nature & God & myself the same way.
    Really neat things happen.
    Fire has been a big thing for me the last three years & each summer i see something new in nature & the elements.
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Eh, maybe that's because he hasn't seen your picture...:rolleyes: :D
     
  18. Elvendon

    Elvendon Believer

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    Hi there everyone! Path, thanks for writing this thread, it's nice to know there are other Christians with druidic leanings around :rolleyes:

    I have always wanted to get involved with a more mystical, nature-orientated form of discipline, and I have looked at Creation Spirituality, Christian Wicca, Celtic Christianity and now Christian Druidry. I still contemplating which one resonates with me the most, so I still have lots of questions.

    My main worry about accepting an animist/magic/nature-focused form of Christianity is the many scriptural and historical events that have shown the two to be at odds. From the Bible's opposition to augury, divination and familiar spirits to the numerous clashes between Saint Patrick and the indigenous Irish druids, there seems to be many instances of these more shamanic faiths being rejected by pillars of Christianity. How do you account for these things?

    I am also interested in the kind of rituals you do. How does a ritual involving the spirits of the ancestors and nature differ from a ritual or prayer involving God alone? How do you pray? Do you take the eucharist? Are you a member of a wider church or denomination?

    I know there are quite a-few questions, but I am quite new to this :D

    Peace

    Elvendon
     
  19. stevemb88

    stevemb88 Member

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    [deleted]
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  20. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    "I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slaves. You must not have any other gods against my face."
     

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