(Note from Daven: This is kind of a primer for Druidism. I don’t know how much of it is accurate, since I learned from a different Way. However, it sounds correct as far as it goes. Once again, use your brains about all this. Just because it’s written down here doesn’t mean that it’s written in stone.)
SIMPLE INTRODUCTION TO DRUIDRY
We seem to be living in a time when the past is calling to us at the top of its collective lungs. We are somehow living with deep memories of a past that touches us in a way we don’t understand but hunger to embrace.
The work of Druids is the work of re-making the connections between out everyday lives and the wonder and Magick of the inner worlds. We current day Druids and Wiccan’s are trying to again open the gates of the Soul where everything we still remember resides. To once again use the Power of the Self: intellect, intuition, instinct and emotions to seek the good of ALL people which are health, wealth, wisdom. Love and personal power.
You’ll find this to be a very skeletal account of the Druidic faith and how it has similarities to the craft of the Wise. If I can gift you with an enticing and uncomplicated look at what is practiced by some of today’s Druids, I hope it will be another joyful path upon which you might explore as you seek the Ancient Ways – the Magick, the Wisdom and the Mysteries, with diligence and pride.
There is a good deal that you will find similar of you were to do ritual using the Wiccan rites and those of the Druid. Similar at least, in principle. Both use the basics; relaxation, concentration, visualization and the rational of ritual. Your success in the ritual depends on your skills and your personal study from the sources that have spoken to you in some way and on some level. But understand that even when Druidry is approached as a simple, personal religion, the traditional disciplines of the mind and respect for Druid histories are needed for good results.
If you have a ” feel” for Druidry you will know without hesitation that it is the past that is calling to you. You will have a need to light the Sacred Fire in the place of the Spirits. You will seek out the hidden Holy Spring in the forests heart. You will feel called to worship the Old God/Goddess and to restore their Honour in the modern times. It is… overwhelming at times to work with and through the Mighty Wise Ones of old. You will seek to walk the Elders way, even though we may not possess all the knowledge of the Ancients.
DRUID SYMBOLS AND MAGICKAL WAYS: FIRE, WELL and TREE
While Wiccan rite commonly uses the four elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air, there are only three that are the center of Druid ritual and Magick. The Holy Well, The Sacred Fire and the World Tree. They have MANY levels of meaning and they must always be present in any working.
At the deepest, the Fire, Well and Tree connect with the primal powers of the cosmos. Holy Wells open the powers of the Underworld, the dark source of the whole of the worlds potential. The waters flow from the womb of the primal mother, whom the Celts call DANU, the mother of Wisdom.
The Sacred Fire brings the Sky power into the Sacred Grove. The Gods and Spirits are seen as being enfleshed by Fire. It is the power that awakens the individual mind. It is the Heart of the Earth and in every being it is the source of the individual Self. Fire is the power of the Primal Father known to the Celts as the Dagda, the good God.
The World Tree is the power of connection. From its base root in the depths to its peak against the skies, the Tree upholds the home of every Kindred. It is a Magical road and carries the powers between Earth and Sky. It is the symbol of the Middle Worlds where ALL things have light and dark.
These are the Powers of the Center and are what bring ritually into every Druid rite and Holy Place.
THE WORLDS AND THE KINDREDS
The universal use of the four elements is understood by Celtica and Wiccans differently because they are the broader movement. The classical system of the four arranged within a Pentagram is for the Druid, replaced by the three realms of Land, Sea and Sky, with the Sacred Fire in the center. These are used as principles of interacting all of the worlds teaming life whether human, animal, plant, stone or spirit.
…is the home of our HUMAN Kindreds and of our closest allies. The Land is our common world where most of us will live out our lives. The fresh water that wells up in the Earth is also considered part of the realm of the land.
…Is the wild place that lies outside our common land. The SEA is the home of vast and teaming life that is different from our own. It is the place of OTHERWORLD Isles, the home of the Sidhe heroes and is the land of the young.
…is the source of light and shadow. It is the place of the Shining Ones. The Sky overarches the Land and Sea just as the Gods and Goddesses watches over all of us. The turning, waxing and waning of the two lights of Sun and Moon
Within all these Worlds, all common life is sustained. In the middle of these Worlds is found the Druidic Sacred Grove. This is the place of flowing together. There the Sacred Fire burns, by the Well of Wisdom, beneath the World Tree.
And all is as it should be.
Within and behind our common realm, as close as that plant next to you and as far afield as the deepest ocean lie the Otherworlds. The Otherworlds are the homes of the Spirits, the Tribes of the Noble ones and the Shining Ones themselves.
…all of us are the Children of the Mother, descended as we are through the countless lines of mortal mothers and fathers. Don’t be surprised to learn that for as many mortal Kindreds, there are countless tribes of Otherworld beings that have touched you as well. Druids will deal with and make offerings to many kinds of Spirits.
THE SHINING ONES…
…are the Oldest, mightiest and wisest of the beings within the great weaving. The First mother and the First Father. The triple Goddess. The powers of love, artistry and of healing. The children of light and shadow. The Celtic Pantheon.
THE MIGHTY ONES…
…are the Ancestors. Those of our own folk who are presently resting in the land of the dead. They watch over their descendants and lend power to aid us. It is most proper for every Druidic worshiper to honour their immediate ancestors.
THE NOBLE ONES…
…are the spirits of the non-human evolutions, both mortal and those never born. They are the multitude of small spirits of stone, herb and animals to the very Queen of the Fairy and her consort. Each has their own power and should be approached with respect whether it be a gentle herb spirit or a mighty mountain.
These are the Three Kindreds. It is also wise to remember that these are not hard and fast categories. One folks Deity or God/Goddess may well be considered an ancestor by another. So, I highly suggest that it is wisest to do honour to ALL of the Spirits.
RITUAL AND MAGICK
For both Wiccans and Druids, Ritual is a combination of proper speech, proper gesture, proper thought and the knowledge of the meanings and powers of the natural things, times and seasons. The Wise learn the potencies of herbs and stones and woods and colors and the scents and sounds of the things we are blessed to make use of. We train our minds and memory, our bodies and our emotions so that every thing we do can be seen as Holy.
In EVERY work of Magick, the Druid must know their goal and know the skill of his or her Magick. You must dare to seek it out, risking failure or error. No one is going to condemn you or shame you if you fail.
If you would be a Druid, there is one law to which we all must subscribe… That you use ALL of your will to pursue the goal you have set for yourself or the ritual, and, you must keep silent about the work, never displaying the Secret Art before fools.
HALLOWING AND TOOLS
Druid Ritual at its simplest needs only a Fire, a bowl of Water and the Druids Staff along with any offerings to the spirits. Here are the tools and Holy things “Hallows” – that would allow a Druid ritual:
Sacred flame MUST be present at any ritual. In the most reduced circumstances a single candle would serve you just fine. A censer could hold the charcoal block for your offering and perhaps you might even ring it with nine candles. This works well if you have no hearth.
Drudic Holy Water is created from three blessed wells which have been exposed to the light of the sun, Moon and the Sacred Fire (or lightning). This water should be stored in a tightly closed vessel and added in small amounts to the larger amount used in a ritual.
The cauldron is used to hold the HOLY WATER in Druidic Ritual. It is seem as the Primal well of Wisdom and it should always be clean enough to drink from.
THE OFFERING BOWL
Into this bowl you will place your offering to the Earth or Spirits.
The Earthstone is a small piece of stone that is placed into the offering bowl. It acts as the receiver for the Mother Earth when offering is made.
THE HORN OR CHALICE
The horn or chalice is the drinking cup used to pour the offerings of drink and to drink the Blessing.
One piece of adornment that is central to Celtic Magick is the Torc. A Torc is a neck ring that is open in the front and usually made of spiraled metals. The Torc is a symbol of Kinship with the Celtic powers and the Clan of the Old Ways. It also indicates the Sacred mind that enshrines your Magickal knowledge and wisdom. The Torc is a special symbol for those on the Celtic or Druid path.
A SHORT RITE FOR HONORING OF THE FIRE, WELL AND TREE
(SILVER OR PRECIOUS STONE IS OFFERED TO THE WELL SAYING)…
I am here to do as the Wise Ancients did, to make offering to the powers and to bless this work as a Hallowed tool of Magick.
O Sacred waters,
You who flow and swirl beneath all being;
Accept my offering!
Let me know the inner depths within myself.
The source of all.
The well of inner wisdom.
Sacred well, flow within me!
(AN OIL OR HERB IS OFFERED TO THE FIRE SAYING…)
O Sacred Fire,
You who consume and transform,
You are the true light of the Shining ones.
Accept my offering
And let the Holy Flame
Warm my spirit and my Life!
Sacred Fire, burn within me!
(THE TREE IS CENSED AND SPRINKLED SAYING)…
O Sacred Tree, you span the way
between the worlds.
You are the center support of the sky,
Rooted in the Ancient deep.
Let my spirit be deepened in your depths,
Raised to your heights.
Strengthened in your strength.
Sacred tree grow within me!
(HOLDING YOUR STAFF ALOFT SAY)…
The Fire, the Well, the Sacred Tree
Flow and Flame and Grow in me!