Druidry in the Earthshine Grove

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A Druid walks a personal path, deepening their connection with Nature, both the physical and spiritual aspects of world around us. For some this is a gentle awakening, a realisation of the connectedness of everything, a growing awareness of the effect mankind is having upon our planet, a discovery of the spirit in all things. Others may have a more dramatic realisation, an experience of the Awen, a total connection with the beauty and magnificence of the world around us.

Druidry is about re-finding the connection all human beings once had with our planet. The society in which we now live has become mind-centric. We hold up as icons those who are capable of clear thinking, we look to the learned and knowledgeable to find solutions, we easily feel unsure of ourselves in the presence of intellectuals. Mental sparring has become a normal form of interaction but is more like thought jousting than any form of communication. We fill the silent void with noise having lost the ability to let the mind wander into the spiritual realms and connect with all that is happening around us on the subtle levels.

Other creatures still have this connection. They are in tune with the vibrations of our planet. How often do we hear about a horse or a dog 'knowing' it was time to leave the area just before a natural disaster? Humans have this ability too, but we have stopped using it.


Living Responsibly

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Druidry is about thinking for yourself and taking responsibility for your own path. There is no 'Book of Druid Practice', no list of rules setting out what is right and what is wrong. Your Druidry will be born out of your experience.

This should not be taken to mean that Druids have no morality, far from it, because one of the key things about walking your own path is the requirement of taking responsibility for your own actions. A Druid should not be glib or careless in what they say or do, but make a conscious effort to be aware of possible ramifications. This leads many to make more ethical purchases and look at the humanitarian impact and sustainability of our lifestyle.

This change in lifestyle should not come about as an exercise of the mind, for to be mentally aware of the ramification of all our actions would be next to impossible. Rather, this change happens because of our connection with the spiritual aspect of our planet. It happens at soul level and reaches your heart and gut. You experience a 'knowing' at a much deeper level than the mind and make the changes accordingly, not because you feel you ought to but because you want to.

Druidry is not something imposed upon you. How deep you want to make your connection is entirely your choice. Some may take a life time to write one poem, others may discover a fluency of writing they had not previously realised. For when we open up to the natural world, we connect to the Bard that is within us all.


The Bardic Path

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Bardism is about hearing the song of the planet. When we hear that song, we feel a bubbling up of joy inside that spills out in creativity as we try to express this joy and share it with others. The unaware call us 'Tree Huggers', and rightly so. Not necessarily because we hug trees, though some may feel the urge from time to time, but because we love to walk in the woods and meditate with the tree energies which provide healing and insights. When we open up to Nature, Nature recognises it in us and suddenly the hedgerows are waving as we drive down the road, the Green Man is laughing in the trees, the Horned God is walking through the woods, our Mother is lying on the land in the hills and mountains. Bardism is about experiencing the wonder and beauty of our planet and with this recognition we are no longer isolated individuals in a cold world, we are part of something exciting. Our perspective changes and our ego no longer needs to strut around like a peacock but rather shimmers like sunlight on the forest floor.

It is this personal experience that gives rise to many forms of Druidic practice. Every Grove develops its own style as the members become familiar with celebrating the seasonal rites together. Yet there will be similarities because, at base, there are certain requirements to be met when working spiritually (or magically, as some would say).


Earthshine Grove Rites

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Ritual is made by the people who attend a rite. Our rites are loosely planned allowing space for inspiration from those attending. As everyone gives of their thoughts and inspiration, so everyone receives something to ponder and take away.

Within the Earthshine Grove we aim to make the rite relevant to our lives and how we live in this world. To this end we try to use modern wording rather than 'ritual speak'. This can confuse those who are used to more traditional approaches but they usually support the reason behind it.

Each Rite will reflect the season. We gather for the four Solar festivals at the Summer and Winter Solstice and the Vernal and Autumnal Equinox and also to celebrate the four Earth festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain. (See: ESG Ritual)

At each of these points on the calendar, the Earth energies shift. If we live in tune with these shifts, we are more effective in all that we do. (See: Wheel of the Year)


Ancestors

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Our forebears understood the seasons far better than us, their survival depended upon it. There were no supermarkets to fall back on if the crops failed, no garden centre to buy seed. Learning when to sow, when to harvest, and how to store was vital to their existence.

This is one of the reasons why Druids revere their ancestors. They were survivors, they understood the land on which we live and it is through them that we came into existence, we carry them in our DNA, they are our link to understanding the past.