A Path of Your Own
The beauty and strength of Druidry is that it is non-dogmatic; there is no right or wrong way and many Druids will incorporate ideas from other spiritualities and philosophies to enrich their own practice. We each develop a personal brand of Druidry that ultimately adds colour, richness, variety and depth to the wider path. Our spiritual practice is unique to us; there is something very freeing in the idea that we can create our own ways to meaningfully engage with life.
Vern Crawford has done just this. From his study of Druidry, he has developed his own spiritual philosophy which he calls Tefistry. Here he explains a little about that philosophy,
What are the enduring themes of Druidry? My understanding is that the Ancient Druids were people of honor, seekers of truth and justice, and celebrators of nature. They worshipped Celtic deities, believed
in the immortality of the human soul, and took for granted the existence of otherworlds. Being religious and philosophical Idealists, the Druids saw reality as essentially spiritual, not material. The image we have of them—as sages, as honored elders, as philosopher-priests—seems to be an archetypal image, persisting as an ideal of human aspiration right across the ages. Modern Druids honor this ideal of ancient Druidism.
In my practice of NeoDruidry I have not embraced all of the views of Druidry, ancient or modern, for I am much too educated in the sciences and am much too independent of mind to buy all of it. I have, instead, evolved my own path, called Tefistry, which incorporates selected parts of the Druid and NeoDruid heritage. Today, on my Tefist path, I seek more love, more peace, more awareness, and, especially, more integration and balance in all areas of life: inner and outer, cultural and natural.
Simply put, Tefistry seeks Wholeness, Home, and Harmony. Its field of interest is all of reality, knowing full well that each of us cannot be proficient in all skills and fields. The goal of the Tefist, as I see it, is therefore to become as comprehensive as a lifetime of study and experience will permit and—especially—to seek to interrelate, to orchestrate, his or her life experience, to achieve harmonious connectedness across body, mind, soul, and world. As a Tefist—as a Poet of Life—I seek:
* To have rich life experience
* To invest my experience with value
* To give pattern and meaning to my experience
* To integrate my experience, in all of its diversity
*To act so as to bring Harmony to all of Tef.
If these goals of Wholeness, Home, and Harmony strike you, too, as desirable goals, then my free e-books Tefist Paths to Nature and Tefist Wisdom and the rest of my website may give you much satisfaction.
Critics may charge that I claim too much for Tefistry, that similar ideas, goals, and methods are shared by other wisdom paths. And I concede that Tefistry does indeed overlap greatly with many other wisdom paths and ism’s, even with orthodox psychology, philosophy, religion, art, and science. Some others may feel that Tefistry, as presented here, is too personal, too confessional, too emotional for their taste. I do not entirely disagree—for I do express emotion here! I am a Romantic, I concede! Still others may feel I write in more than one voice: at times expository, at times ecstatic, at times exhortative, at times poetic, at times vague or evasive or paradoxical. All true! My response to these criticisms is that I am a real person, with multiple dimensions. I feel it is unrealistic to insist that a writer always employ a single voice, or to try to communicate the most important stuff in life without ever being personal even idiosyncratic. Moreover, I think it is unrealistic to expect the world’s wisdom paths not to overlap. We are all human beings, whatever path we follow. Therefore, regardless of its strengths and faults, I offer Tefist Paths To Nature to anyone and everyone who can benefit from it.
To learn more about Vern and Tefistry visit his website.
Great article hits the nail on the head ! Its autonomy that attracted me do (neo) druidry or whatever you want to call it .
Totally agree,ntute simpy means create and as a individual within humanity such a path empowers self.To know thyself is to walk your path as your faith in self manifests.A perfect being can never be achieved,the fact religion means to realign tefistry is yours and unique.
Good Morning Philip.
I loved your article. It resonated with me in many ways, not least of which was the emphasis on the beauty of walking a path that contains no dogma – a path of freedom to tread your own path, a path of the heart.
I was brought up in a houshold with both parents, and grandparents strict Welsh Baptists. As a young child I sat through many Sunday “fire and brimstone” sermons, and was packed off to Sunday School with my pennies in my pocket for the collection. On one occassion I spent the collection money on sweets on the way to Sunday School, and was hauled in front of the rest of the class and asked “Who do you like most, God or sweets?” I was six years old, i replied “Sweets” I was handed over to my parents for my just desserts, and it was at that point that I, and the God of their understanding parted company!!!
Today, I am accepting of whatever path people chose to tread, it is their freedom to choose what they will, but I can only now follow my heart, and not a path based on being told what I MUST do, and held to ransom of the consequences of not doing so.
It is a pleasure to be a part of a community so accepting of free thinking. If your inclination is to be a truth seeker, your goal is a constantly changing target. Once you think you have understood the true nature of something, you prod and discern further into your assumptions and perceptions. You can never settle long enough to allow dogma to encroach around you like a creeping vine.
Every new concept encountered must be tossed about, turned over, examined from every point. It is a restless existence. I don’t feel as though I am ever going to have a “total” understanding of experience or existence because as I meander from one Hermeneutic to another I lose sight of the past momentarily as if I am wandering down a curving forest path. One insight obscures another.
As our attention is drawn to one idea, all other existences are momentarily blurred or forgotten, yet continues to exist, unfold, and change. Our analysis is always of an experience that is by then in the past. But that is the nature of life, constantly unfolding, changing, while previous memories become remote. I have have resolved to just enjoy the ride…
How fantastically put Lisabeth! Thank you – I feel exactly the same way.
I can resonate with Paul to a degree. Born in 1940, I was brought up Anglican, in 1956 followed a Baptist path, then Pentecostal, used to preach on Brighton sea front with the local tabernacle! Then, intrigued by Spiritualism, struggled for two years, because I was warned the devil had got me! But after witnessing healing phenomena in the spiritualist churches, and so much love demonstrated, I shook off all my fears and embraced life after death, which did not come with the restrictions of the previous denominations. I was 22 years old by then and gradually became psychically aware of other energies, angels, companions and felt quite comfortable with that. I know that I am a spiritual being residing in this physical body, I am loved, supported, guided and healed, in return I live from that intent, relating to others in the same count. There are some in our local Anglican church who are still a wee bit nervous of me, even though I have lived in this village nearly twelve years, but as I live and ” am known by my fruits” trust is expressed bit by bit, over time. Even my notification re our local Death Cafe is accepted in the Church Magazine. We are all on a path of exploration, sharing and loving, expressing that as portions of I AM. It is so fulfilling to understand this and a joy to demonstrate it in our daily lives. Love, Blessings to all, I so love this link, thank you. Margaret.