A great blog post here folks, that challenges the “traditional” with real engagement, making us think fully about what we say or do in ritual and in the rest of our lives in accordance with our Paganism.
The subject matter of this post, to some, will be challenging. It is not my intention to cause offence as such but I will be questioning some core aspects of some general Pagan frameworks. If your path is clearly defined for you and you are happy with that definition, it would probably be better to now move away from this post. Any comments directed to this site that adopt an antagonistic or personal attack will be deleted.
Ever since I embarked on this journey of what at this time, is self defined as Druidry, there have been aspects of general paganism and, indeed in some quarters, Druidry, that have created problems for me. These problems at this time, the summer solstice of 2014, now appear to be at the forefront of my thoughts and it’s time to address them.
Both myself and my partner have been recently getting involved…
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One should always keep in mind that facts change as we each become more wise in our ways and as our information gathering and evaluation improve. In ritual practices and personal awareness, there is always a strong focus on tradition, even to the point of re-enacting the tales in a ritual context with the tale becoming the ritual. Each of us can assume a role in that context that is a part of the tale or concept. Druid ritual should be an act of becoming; and act of experiencing; an act of honoring, all rolled into one.
The subjective experience and viewpoint is as valid to most people as the detached, objective approach. We are not living or functioning in a scientific enviroment.Life is a flexible and personal experience to be lived from that POV as much as, if not more, from a universal and omnipotent understanding (even if we were gods, I believe that we would from time to time surrender our deity to live the ethos of human limitations).
Indeed. From my personal perspective though, we need to challenge our perceptions of traditions to create a pratice that doesn’t get “stuck”, that evolves with our spirits and our ever changing view of the world. To not question why we do something, to just take it for granted, to me in anathema in Druidry. x
Tradition is one of the three parts of knowledge for Druids. That is why a group of the first reported Irish Druids were assigned the names of these three forms: Fios, Eolas and Fochmarc. It should be supported by and provide support to our experiences or it is dead to us. The third part of knowledge is found in research, questioning and making inquiries. Each really is absolutely necessary for a fullness in knowledge to be found. Tradition materials should be the first part of anyone’s formal education. Once a person knows how things can be done and meshed with others, then evaluated and synchronized, personal experiences should be the basis for new knowledge and traditions. A wise teacher knows and can identify with most of these experiences, since they are an ongoing student in finding knowledge through experiences. Often, the student is the teacher and the teacher is the student. Together they cam go forward into realms of possibility and discovery to create the future and growing potential of knowledge.
Thank you for sharing!
Having experienced over ritualisation in the Christian church, where the ritual took precedence over what the heart may have been desiring and the lack of it in an evangelical church, which could best be described as organised chaos, I feel that a middle ground needs to be found. Since following my heart and returning to a nature based ‘spirituality’, I use a small amount of ritual, but usually to get the ball rolling, as it were! After that, I follow my heart and accept that some days will be fruitful and others will be less so. But either way, I am being true to myself and not following the leavings of other dreamers from long ago!
Indeed – there is a difference between ritual and dogma, between ritual and liturgy. They don’t have to exisit within each others arms. 🙂