Getting out and shutting up

“Leave your sleep and let the Springtime talk, in tongues from the time before man” – Nightwish, Elan.

I’ve said many times that 90% of my Druid practice involves getting outside and shutting up. This weekend, I did what I always do when life feels to close, anxiety pressing in on all sides, and I went to the coast (hence the lack of Sunday post).

My nearest patch of coastline is North Norfolk, and I love it dearly. The eerie, changing landscape of saltmarshes, cold water and grey skies has a magic all of its own and it has my heart.

Druidry, as I know it, is fundamentally a spirituality rooted in the natural world. Yes, we love our myths and Bardic stories, and we love our books, but Druidry is not an armchair philosophy. It is not, really, a spirituality that can be fully understood from books and blogs, videos and forums alone.

Druidry is that liminal place where human nature meets sublime Nature, and the divine within us recognises the divine within the natural world. Like the saltmarshes and the sea, it is an edgeland; shifting and changing, forming and reforming in an infinite kaleidescope of colour and feeling, as deep calls out to deep.

I recognise my privilege here as a (mostly) able-bodied person who can walk the land, but for me Druidry is about walking the land and getting to know it, to understand its ways and moods, learn its signs and language, connect with it as with an old friend, fall in love with it.

One reason I love the North Norfolk coast is my partner and I have been going there for years. It’s our sanctuary, our retreat, our sacred landscape, and over time we’ve got to know it well. We recognise the landmarks; that curved tree there, those dunes, the place where the pine wood gives way to the sand. We know its creatures; the call of curlew and sandpiper, the flight of brent geese and flocks of terns, the half-glimpsed shape of muntjac deer.

Someone asked me on Instagram the other day about recommendations of good documentaries to learn about Druidry. I had to think of an answer, though Esoteric Moment and Joanna van der Hoeven on Youtube sprang to mind at once. But the real truth is, Druidry is learned away from the screen.

Or perhaps, it isn’t learned at all.

Perhaps Druidry is felt.

In the seas, in the wind, in the creaking of pine and the whisper of aspen, in the call of the gull and the distant glance of the seal.

There is Druidry.

Beyond words and rituals, beyond myth and poetry.

Beyond even the need for the label “Druid” at all.

Get outside, shut up, and listen.

Nature speaks.

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