Druidry is an experience. It is a state of consciousness that has as its foundation an archetypal land, the original magical homeland of the ancient Celts, in its natural perfection and glory. Spirit, or the Sacred, merges with, and impregnates this magical land, and all those who live here are expressions of that spirit. It is a land inhabited and shared between gods, humans and all kingdoms of nature in respect and love. This blessed land has Soul, which fills the eyes, heart and senses with life force, health and vitality. Druidry is an expression of this realm, superimposed upon the mundane, physical land introduced to us as children by our conventional society and teachers.
This magical land has many names, including the Summerlands, Albion, Middle Earth, Tir-Na-Nog, Avalon, Atlantis, and Shangri-La, to name a few. It is inhabited by various races of beings living together in harmony. It is abundant and healthy: everyone living here has what they need in order to live lives of meaning and plenty in an environment of peace. They have food, shelter, a delightful climate, fertile land, beautiful and uplifting scenery, beneficial gods and goddesses, and loving communities. The land is a paradise created to celebrate the beauty and perfection of life itself; all entities are welcomed and honored as the divine beings they truly are. In fact, here the gods and goddesses walk the land.
This land, Tir-Na-Nog, is the expression of a healthy soul, undifferentiated, pure, and whole. It represents a period of wholeness and plenty we all experienced before the Fall, before our innocent perfection was rent and torn by outrageous fortune. Every soul inhabiting this blessed land dreams their special individual dreams and they all come true. Simply to think of something, and fuelling it with desire, would midwife it into existence. Our childlike Divine natures played, naturally empowered, celebrating life and dancing our uniqueness.
This Atlantis is inhabited by people, beings and entities that fire the imagination. Bards and storytellers wax lyrical about the adventures and experiences of the heroes and heroines that live here, the kings and queens, and the people – everyone – who stand out as having particularly powerful and interesting destinies to fulfill. Humans rub shoulders with witches, wizards communicate directly with animals that talk, landscapes interact consciously with travelers, and mythical creatures such as dragons and unicorns are frequently seen. In the words of that elusive yet well-known Bard of yore:
When there is no fear,
And we feel calm certainty,
We stand at the Center, and the Dream’s reality.
We’ve found our way, in perfect harmony.
Creation flows through us, we’re alive –
The Divine Ones now walk upon the Land.
Children laughing, running free:
Winged serpent of our dreams, we can be.
Ah-ya! ah-ya! ah-ya!
There are also many warriors that live here; skill in battle is greatly prized and admired. For some folks, living a warrior’s life is the culmination of a lifelong ambition. It cultivates courage, strength of character, intuition, honor, loyalty and sacrifice. If warriors are killed, then they are deposited into the Cauldron of Rejuvenation and within a short while they are made whole again. It is, I suppose, the Celtic warriors’ (extreme) version of martial arts!
The people that live in Albion are expressions of the land itself and are Nature’s children. As such they are loved, honored, and provided for. There are hierarchies and different classes in this magical society, yet everyone can truly say that, ultimately, they are all equal under the sun. In this enchanted world, everything in Nature has awareness and can communicate together, for all the inhabitants possess the understanding that we are all alive and One on the sacred earth.
The ancient Druids lived in a magic world where there were features on the landscape that held a special power that we would call today power spots, or sacred spaces. These special places were either natural or man-made, and would be the home, on the earth plane, of a god or goddess. Each space would have a ‘personality,’ which expressed a unique, very distinct type of energy. People would visit specific temples for particular purposes: for instance to request healing powers for a sick relative, strength to undertake a difficult task, or wisdom to resolve an issue that was unclear or confused.
There are also natural places of communion in the sacred landscape, such as a grove of trees or a stone circle, places of cleansing and purification, and simply locations where the veil is thin, facilitating exploration of the spiritual and shamanic worlds. At that pristine time in the world’s history, how wonderfully fresh and energetic these places would have been, how alive, how magical! Even in these days of darkness and separation, it is possible, for a trained Druid, to access these pristine, powerful and unspoiled energies and encourage them to flow once again through the landscape. This results in great healing for both the Druid and the environment, for the type of magic that is liberated is none other than contacting and retrieving the soul of the land.
A network of trails and pathways linked (and still connect) all of these special places on the landscape, in both a physical and energetic sense. Even villages and population centers are connected to this earth-energy grid network, nodal points being places of worship, springs, and natural power spots that have become parks or protected areas. In this modern world many of the connecting paths have been lost or closed, yet most of them can still be found and opened using one’s intuition, a healthy sense of adventure, and strong determination.
An important component of this energy grid being built in the Summerlands was a physical network of standing stones and stone circles. The intent of this megalithic system was to connect, amplify and ground the network, and the stones were often placed at the locations paths crossed. Healthy currents of energy flowed throughout its channels, keeping the land harmonious and fertile. In addition, the network of megaliths was precisely aligned to the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars in order to harmonize the Earth with the cycles of the celestial bodies, and to ensure full connection between the Above and the Below. This extremely complicated yet powerful network was designed and built by skilled Druid geomancers. It acted like a finely tuned musical instrument and produced a song of Oneness, the expression of the soul of the Land.
As above, so below. The energy network we discover in the area in which we live is similar to, yet on a smaller scale, to the network bringing life to the region in which we live, and likewise to the energy grid of the entire country. Scale it up again for the continent, and ultimately, to the world. The Earth responds to our intent, and levels of awareness. We are (or are trying to be) conscious fragments of the Land. It is a holographic relationship. If we know a part, then we know the whole. If we are a fragment, we are also the whole shebang. Therefore, if a Druid builds energetic, loving relationship with the local area, the entire world will open up similarly if the intent is there.
At this moment in our lives and in world history, we know something is terribly wrong. We sense we are wounded and divided from ourselves, and can recall distant memories of the delight and joy we experienced in this original paradise, playing with our brothers and sisters while living lives of love and friendship. We yearn for this lost perfection, a potential we know is possible, yet so far away. We want to go back… knowing that this is an impossible dream, because time and evolution only move forwards.
When we look about us into the modern world, we see that humanity’s modern-day gods and goddesses are the rational mind and its child, technology… not forgetting money, of course! At present we worship the letters after our names, the most modern and lethal of weapons, and the manifestations of our wealth. A little power-over stirs the concoction nicely!
In other words, humanity as a whole is lost. We are unhappy, unhealthy, confused, fearful and ready for fight or flight. We ignore the needs of our hearts and are scared and separate. Our shadows seem huge and we project them willy-nilly onto any convenient host, especially those we love. It becomes increasingly difficult find any light to illuminate our way, or to make any sense out of the mess. We have lost sight of our ancient relationship with ourselves and the world, and are always trying to find the answer in the wrong place: outside of ourselves.
The modern Deities – the gods and goddesses of monkeymindscience – are taking us further and further away from our inner centers, our hearts. As we create increasing chasms between the Sacred and ourselves, we become increasingly lost. Our shadows grow and grow, and the world gets scarier. We then rely on technology to provide protection and walls, which are so effective we become increasingly separate from the world. We are so blinded that we don’t realize we are building walls and shrieking alarm systems between ourselves… and ourselves! We become increasingly isolated from the Source of All: our hearts. A vicious circle grows in viciousness, and our souls become ever more fractured.
Life is sometimes scary. Evil, warlike beings force their way from time to time into our lives and cause mayhem; we are also not immune to natural disasters, sickness and heartbreak. Lady luck may seem to turn her back on us, and we may often feel we have been scapegoated by life.
We are put on notice… do not despair! The land of the Druids is alive and responsive to our destiny. We have been chosen by life – or our own inner desire to evolve, same thing – to heal and grow. Life is part pleasure, part pain, half night, half day. We must somehow learn to integrate these extremes internally, in order to find our wholeness again.
Druidry is a path that unites the physical with the sacred in order to rediscover, and merge with, this lost archetypal land we know exists somewhere. Humanity is lost, and we need to find our way home. It’s all a matter of energy. Druidry is a way of life that opens the heart and energy channels so that we may generate the levels of personal power required to open the portal into the Summerlands. Nobody else can do it for us, or carry us to the goal. Druidry is a state of consciousness whose intent is our healing – becoming whole once again – and restoring the Soul of this beautiful yet damaged Earth.
Some of us believe that there is a way or regaining this paradisiac innocence and magical consciousness. The secret is not to attempt to go back, for this is the way of failure and madness. The way is forward, learning to accept ourselves as we are, loving our wounds and imperfections, and striving to create the Summerlands through our thoughts and actions in this lifetime.
We become eligible to live in the magical world of Tir-Na-Nog by developing our awareness: by living in our hearts, in the present moment, as Magical Children on our adventures though life. While in our hearts, we are aligned with, and feel our relationship with the All. We relate to the world and each other through our love and respect for all things. Once again we become whole, fully authentic beings (warts and all), living our lives according to the truth we find inside of ourselves.
We have to accept that we are no longer perfect as we were in the beginning, but we can create a passable completeness by living in the moment and by living our lives impeccably (doing the best we possibly can with the resources we have available). We can communicate again with each other and the animals. Our intent is heart-centered. As such, we can live in this magical world today, now, for once we recognize the key, all we need to do is turn it, open the door, and pass through.
The Land is, and always has been, our home and our healer. Druid students are encouraged to create a new, exciting, powerful relationship with the area of land in which they live. They are instructed to walk through the landscape, whether pristine forest or concrete jungle, and interact with new, open eyes. They need to find the special characters that live on that land, whether an ancient tree, a spring, a grove of trees, a large rock a hill, a watercourse, and make contact. Once they introduce themselves, they can express their love, and ask to be friends.
Then they need to spend time there, walking the land, checking out how it is all connected, where the energy centers are, and what they can do to express their concern and care. This can include: picking up litter, planting flowers and trees, praying, appreciating the views and expressions of the natural life-force, interacting with the land in magical, meaningful ways, creating sculptures, playing music… the Earth is alive and responds to us. If we experience her as beautiful in her own way, and having a wonderful Soul, then she will. And so will we.
Druidry is a path of Challenge. Are you ready to place your Heart at the Center, above all other possible realities? Are you willing to sacrifice your tendency for self-pity, inertia and desire for safety, all symptoms of your inner victim, and strive to break through your limitations? Are you prepared to make the leap into the Unknown? Are you willing to make the effort to integrate the attitudes of a spiritual warrior into your life, take life on as a worthy opponent… and succeed? If you look closely, beyond the filter of your hopes and expectations, you will find that all the residents of the land of the Druids are spiritual warriors, and have a lot to teach you, if you have enough humility and receptivity.
The Path of the Druid is neither easy, nor comfortable, but it is exquisitely beautiful and meaningful… and it has Heart. Aligning with this path means, on a practical level, that every act you wish to make is preceded by this question: “Does this decision, this act, have Heart?”
This is the Challenge of the Druid. All who read this article are probably committed to this path to a certain extent… but are you ready to go all the way?