This blog post was prompted by a question that the Druid priest and Author Cat Treadwell recently asked of her audience at a talk I attended at Lin Dhu. The question was, What do you do?
As pagans it seems that many people find this question very difficult to answer. Why is this? Is it because we are ashamed of what we do? Of course not! Is it that we have been made to feel silly about what we do, by modern society and we fear ridicule? Perhaps. Or is it maybe that we find it difficult to answer because paganism is a lived spirituality, not something that happens on a particular day each week and only in a certain building? Maybe
Paganism as a spiritual path is something that colours our everyday lives and so we rarely. if at all, analyse what we actually DO. And it matters not what path we follow, as there are more things that unite us as pagans, than divide us, whether druid, wiccan, heathen, shaman, witch or any other pagan path. We all have a reverance for nature, we all have respect for the old ways and our ancestors, we all view all life as sacred and we all mark the passing seasons. But what is it that we do? If you ask 10 pagans this same question, you will likely get at least 11 answers! So all any of us can do, is answer the question for ourselves, what do I do?
So I will attempt to answer that question for myself, and try to define what it is that I do as part of my Druid path.
We all have small rituals that we carry out everyday, most of them not what we would call spiritual, getting up and making the bed, washing and brushing teeth, getting dressed, that first cup of tea, everyday acts, but rituals none the less. So with all these things going on, how do we define what is a spiritual ritual? What is it that is different about these acts? The difference is the intent. We do things that we would consider ritual acts with reverence, respect and intention. So back to the question, what do I do?
Every morning, one of my first jobs is to go out and check on and feed the ducks and chickens, and while doing this I always salute the morning Sun and make a deliberate connection to my goddess Elen and ask for blessings on my day. I will also often make an offering to Elen on my altar in the garden. When I need to, I light incense to offer up a prayer of light a candle to ask for healing for a person, animal or situation. These are things I do very regularly. Another thing I do, that I consider to be part of my Druid path is to read and try to learn something new each day.. My two current projects are learning ogham and mapping local ley lines, but when I feel I have worked on these things enough, it will be something else.
Creativity is also part of my druid path and this includes writing, poetry, crafting. Trying to live with nature is another thing, so keeping ducks and chickens for eggs which we know have come from happy, well cared for birds. Growing as much of our own food as possible in the garden and allotment and herbs for medicines is part of it too.
To me though, druidry is more about service than personal practise and so much of my work as a druid is in benefitting the community. What I try to do in this respect is to facilitate the coming together of the local pagan community by organising meetings, outings, events and seasonal ritual with our group the Abus Coritani. I also try to offer healing, either through Reiki, crystal healing or herbalsim as theres are the things I am trained in, when I am asked. While this is part of my practise, it is by no means all of it, but I do feel it is important now and again, to just look at it, and attempt to answer the question, What do I do? So what do you do?