A conversation I had last weekend started me thinking about Druids and magic. In the popular view it is often witches who are seen to wield magic, be it visions of an old crone stirring a cauldron or a set of glamorous American girls battling demons and consulting their big spell book, it is the witches who hold this power.
And in the real world of modern pagans, the view is often that to perform spells is the preserve of the witch, and furthermore that complicated spells are the only way to do it. So what about druids and magic?
At all levels of druid training, magic is present. The Bard holds the magic of words, music and creativity. Turning the base metal of ordinary words to the true gold to poetry. You may think that poetry is not real magic, so what then is a spell? Poetry has the ability to stir in us so many emotions, and to bring vivid pictures into our minds. The Bard also learns the magic of working creatively and energetically with the elements.
The Ovate works within the magical realms of healing and seership. Using nature to bring about healing of the body, mind and spirit, and using various tools, tarot, runes, ogham etc, to see that which is hidden and what the future may bring.
The Druid is truly the magician, using magic to affect change. This may be in any of the disciplines learned by the Bards and Ovates, and may also be the more direct route of spells and ritual, shapeshifting and journeying. It seems too that science is now beginning to recognise that this sort of magic, using the mind to effect the material world, is actually possible. If you do not believe this to be so, do a little research on Noetic Science.
So the druid is many things, poet and story teller, healer and seer, shaman, priest, magician, walker between the worlds, and I count my blessings everyday that my feet found this path.