I had intended on doing a piece this weekend on my favourite books about Druidry, as a light introduction for people new to the path. But, with the numerous and terrifying crises happening all around us, I somewhat lost motivation to do so.
In difficult times, in times of fear and uncertainty, it can be hard to connect to a spiritual current. When we’re forced indoors (for good reason, of course) on dark and cold days, it can be hard to connect to nature. When the world seems spiralling into darkness, it can be hard to find the light.
Sometimes, in those moments, along comes just the right thing, the right words, to help. I read (well, listened to thanks to the wonderful feature that allows you to hear the article read by the author) an article in Emergence Magazine that helped me regain perspective and a sense of my Druidry again.
Emergence Magazine is new to me, and explores ecology, culture, and spirituality, and I look forward to reading lots more of its pieces.
The article in particular was on the modern Druid Renaissance by Lucy Jones. Her depiction of the expanded self that can occur in nature resonated with some of my own most meaningful experiences like nothing I’ve read before:
“I am now the river. I am crawling behind the bark. I am the putty of the mud and the rotating wheel of the rotifers and the tines of the plankton. I am biting my teeth on the roots. The roots have entwined me. I snort the soil. I have disintegrated into the silt on the riverbed. I am my great-great-great-great-grandmother fish. I’m stardust, interstellar salt and pepper. I’m the fiZzZzZing spangle from exploding galaxies billions of years old. I’m as old as the oldest supernovas. I have the claws of a crayfish, the wings of a mayfly. I’m the dilation of a pore on the underside of a leaf. I’m the hum of a bumblebee. I sliver about in my aliveness and a part of me that I don’t understand—my spirit or soul or some primordial animal note—is fattened and caressed and kindled. I can feel my cells dying and recreating, expiring and renewing, drawing in energy from the moss; the mycelium and sap hitting my bloodstream.”
The article goes on to feature notable Druids including Phillip Carr-Gomm, Eimar Burke, Damh the Bard, and Penny Billington, who each share their experiences and wisdom gained from their Druidry:
“We are part of that web; we are interconnected,” says Burke. “It’s not just [that] we’re good people who look after nature, but that we are nature. It’s not just about us needing to be good people to make sure we don’t destroy the environment—we are the environment, all of us.”
I cannot recommend enough reading the entire article, it’s utterly wonderful. What listening to it did for me was remind me of why I began this Druid thing to start with – that connection, that awe and wonder, that sense of being-with-other-beings, nature bowing to nature, the cosmos experiencing itself.
Whatever happens in the human world, this endures.
The rivers flow, the tides turn, the sun rises, the moon shines down.
The worms still till the soil – and wait.
Returning, renewing, rejoicing.
“Some kind of ritual. Some kind of rite.”