The Journey Beckons…
Stepping out on the path of Druidry is a rite of passage from a so-called ‘normal’ life into a world of magic and mystery. Students whose motivation is simple curiosity or glamor will probably drop out quite quickly, because commitment is always tested. This leaves those whose vision is clear, whose commitment is strong, and who are ready to take on the gifts of the Unknown. It takes great courage and strength of character to drop the armor and make oneself vulnerable to the truth: the reality that would appear if it weren’t denied and imprisoned by our fear and inertia.
This transition into a life of awareness and responsibility is far more effective when the student’s circumstances are so uncomfortable that she is motivated by necessity. The very best conditions for self-transformation are as an act of survival: in these extreme circumstances there are no doubts or resistance, only immediate action. In my case, I was very mentally unstable and was often terrified about the prospect of losing my mind, and having to spend possibly the rest of my life inside a mental hospital. When I was in crisis, and the chance for healing presented itself, I grabbed hold of it like a drowning man and never let go! I am so grateful that I recognized the opportunity to save myself, for not only was I able to pull myself back from the edge, I have made great changes in my life since then and it is if I am a completely different person… O.K., with the same taste in hats…
So you are inspired by Druidry and feel it is the way forward for you. Are you serious? How serious are you? Are you ready to commit yourself to a new path, a new life? Contemplate these questions awhile. If you feel you are ready, and are prepared, then ask yourself: What am I prepared to let go of, to sacrifice, in preparation for my journey?
In my teenage years I had read in some occult book that, in order to receive spiritual teachings and transform oneself, one needed a password. I discovered that the password was: “I want to learn in order to serve.” I was so happy! I had found the key to enter the portal! All I had to do was to find the entrance…
Imagine my delight a month or so later, when I woke up inside a sleeping dream. I dreamed I was walking through London in drizzling rain, early in the morning. There were no cars or people in sight; it felt as if I owned the place. My steps took me to a large temple-like building capped with a dome. I immediately recognized it as the entrance to the world I had been seeking for so long. I crossed the road and stopped at two huge wooden doors guarding the entrance.
With heart in mouth, I knocked on the door. Massive sounds reverberated through the building like thunder rolling into the distance. After a while, a smaller door in the large one opened, and I saw a dark figure in the shadowy darkness. He asked, with a Cockney accent, “What do you want?”
I was determined not to be disappointed by this ordinary question, delivered by an ordinary sort of person who didn’t recognize me as the adept I really was, and presented the spiritual answer I had been rehearsing: “I wish to learn, in order to serve.”
The infuriating voice from the darkness then asked me a completely irrelevant question: “Do you smoke?”
I replied in the affirmative.
“When you stop smoking, you can enter!” was all he said.
I hung my head in surrender. I knew I couldn’t do it, because I was hopelessly addicted and didn’t have it in me, at that time in my life, to stop. I turned around and slunk away across the road, knowing I had failed, and unsure if I would ever have another chance again.
Every aspirant is required to sacrifice something precious, or difficult, to prove they are ready to enter the magical gateway into another life of high-energy and healing. It may not happen before the training starts, but it will come, sometimes when you are least expecting it. Are you ready to offer up what will be requested of you? The giveaway needs to be something precious, or difficult, requiring an effort to manifest, or to let go of. Sometimes a student is required to leave their former life and their home in order to heal and transform. Another needs to lose weight and find his health again, another must pay off a debt he has owed for years… Everyone has their own individual challenge, which they must overcome and manifest in order to start their journey. What is your giveaway? You know!
I bet you didn’t anticipate the direction this article is going! It is a reminder that the goddess loves you unconditionally, yet the god needs sacrifice. Sacrifice means making sacred; in other words, which among the habits you indulge in, can you let go of and gift to the powers that will guide you to your goal? You don’t get anything from nothing. Life is an energy exchange… so live, and become a Druid!
To become Druid, you need a teacher or a school. You can only go so far, and so fast, by reading books. After a decent training to create strong foundations for your life as a Druid, it is easier then to follow your own individual path. There is so much to learn, and become aware of!
Go into yourself now and contemplate your desire to study Druidry. With your journal poised, write down all the reasons you want to study. Give yourself about ten minutes, or however long you need to do this. Now write down all your resistances to studying Druidry. Give yourself ten minutes, or however long you need.
Contemplate both lists. Look first at all your positive reasons for studying Druidry. Are those strong enough to support you along the path, and overcome your resistances? Now look at your resistances. Are they strong enough to sabotage and obstruct your progress on the path of Druidry?
Look at your resistances closer. How much of these are actually real? Time restraints, for instance. One’s time is precious, and must be used wisely. Do you believe you are a spiritual person? Then what proportion of the day do you allocate to spiritual matters? Studying Druidry will probably take up, on average, 45 minutes a day. If you are awake fifteen hours a day (sleeping 9 hours), then 45 minutes is 5% of your waking life. What sort of a proportion is that? Hmmm.
Money. A serious obstacle indeed. Do you have enough money to pay for the teaching you need to become a Druid, an empowered magician and steward of nature? If yes, move on. If no, then ask your heart if you really want to study Druidry. If it says no, then stop the process now, go no further along the path of Druidry, and do what you really want to do.
If your heart says yes, then use all your energies to make it happen. Divert more money to your spiritual evolution. Know that Druidry is a serious investment in your life, as it will lead you to become an aware, empowered human being. Can you study cheaper? Are there any discounts available? Work exchange? Grants? Research, and simply start studying, if you dare! Trust, and allow the universe to create the extra money you need. Don’t not study from fear – it’s a very bad place from which to run your life.
What else? Kids? Your partner(s)? Is Druidry against your religion? Against the wishes of your parents/wife/husband/friends/kids/bank manager/choral society/military unit/friends/pets… So who’s leading your life, anyway? If you reckon the answer is you, and you truly want a soul that is attached to your body, then you’ve simply got to do what you want. Go through all your resistances now, one by one, and discover the positives that neutralize them.
If there truly seems to be no way of surmounting certain obstacles, then sacrifice them to the patron Deity of Druidry! Simply let them go, let the god/dess deal with them, and get on with what you really want to do! Druidry is a lot about creating/fighting for your freedom, so this can be your first challenge. Imagine what your life could be without the specific resistance that is preventing you from starting the spiritual development you so deeply wish to initiate!
If and when you make the decision to start Druid Training, allow your toes to test the waters, until it is time for your initiation. In the GMSD, the first weekend is open to all who wish to train in Druidry, so you can make up your mind after meeting the teachers, checking out their style of teaching, and getting to know the other interested students. You then have a month to make your final decision.
NOTE: When making important decisions about love or spiritual matters, always ask your heart. It knows, whereas the mind only thinks it knows!
All those students who return for the second weekend session will be initiated into Druidry and the Bardic grade, and this is a firm commitment to complete your studies for the first year, following the instructions of your teachers. The Bardic Initiation is a rite of passage into the first stage of a spiritual path that you will integrate into your day-to-day life, until you eventually create your freedom, enlightenment and wholeness. We, as teachers, promise to support you to the best of our ability in your commitment to study Druidry with us for the first year.
On completion of the first year, you will write a review of your experiences. If the teachers consider you have studied well and have fulfilled the requirements of the Bardic grade, we will invite you to enter the Ovate grade. If you decide to study further with us, we will initiate you into the second year of training and, like the first year, we will fully support you in completing the Ovate grade. Then you will write your Ovate review. The same protocol applies for a student’s entry into the third year’s training – the Druid grade.
Once you start your training, the rules that seemed important to your old life fade slightly, and new rules arise. Making money, a good career, a loving and satisfying partner, evenings out with friends, ten days holidays in a favorite part of the country will still be important to you. However, other unexpected matters start to catch your attention. Some of the explanations and examples given to you by your former teachers – from school, church, politics, family, health center, and authority figures simply don’t ring completely true or seem so relevant any more.
You observe life more carefully, and listen closer. You become aware of the way people use words and how they exaggerate and lie, and how unaware they are. You see how unconsciousness is a presence like a dark cloud that dims the light, and how most people are vulnerable to its influence. You see how violence is suppressed but very close to the surface in many people. You start to observe your behavior closer, and learn many thing you had formerly missed about your character and secret motives. All those things you avoided because they were simply too uncomfortable to accept start to introduce themselves to you. And, this time, you greet them and ask them who and what they really are. And they reply!
At the same time your social skills improve. On one hand you may not go out socially so much, and on the other, you find you are much more relaxed, communicate deeper, have much deeper interactions with others, and enjoy yourself more. It is possible you find yourself in a new circle of friends, or community, taking up new skills such as learning a musical instrument, starting a martial art, spending more time in nature, fishing, learning and singing sacred songs, and so on.
We get a lot of feedback from our students about the lessons they enjoyed, and those they didn’t. They often tell us how we could make the unpleasant or boring lessons easier, and more enjoyable. That is an attitude held by most average people, wanting to enjoy life. Well, as a Bard, you are no longer an ‘average’ person, and the exercises we ask you to do are for your inner development and healing. So, if you find difficulty and resistances that arise due to your interaction with an exercise, celebrate! You have been shown, in no uncertain terms, a weakness or wound that you need to address and heal. So, instead of avoiding it, spend more time with it, discovering your wounding, learning to love and accept it, and transforming it with your love. One thing is for sure; nobody heals when they hate and avoid parts of themselves.
In the same way, Druids give a lot of value to the concept, and practice, of impeccability. Impeccability is emphatically not perfection, because nobody can be perfect. If you try to be perfect, you will always end up disappointed and frustrated. Being impeccable is defined as doing the best you can, with the resources that are available to you in the moment. Can you see the difference between perfection and impeccability? Nobody can be perfect, while anyone can be impeccable. Nevertheless, it is still very difficult to lead a fully impeccable life. It is certainly worth the effort, because being impeccable generates a whole lot of extra, available energy that you can direct wherever you want. Whooppeee! You’ve earned it!
If your new studies are effective, you should experience your life slowly transforming. Then you realize that your thoughts are different! What an adventure! You become increasingly observant, noticing many things you formally missed, and life becomes full, full of surprises, and vibrant. Your new awareness brings a swelling inner abundance, deeper and more relaxed friendships, a new community of like-minded people, enjoyment of simple things, and your life snowballs into greater depth and momentum.
Bottom line is your relationship with your Path with Heart. If you have any decisions concerning your life, then ask yourself this simple question: “Does this option have heart?” In other words, is this what my heart really wants? If no, keep searching. If yes, then shift heaven and earth until your wish has manifested in your life. Viewed in this way, life actually is incredibly simple, as it has no options!
Welcome to Druidry.