An interesting development is afoot in the world of Druidry: contemplation and meditation are starting to receive more attention. Last year ‘Contemplative Druidry’, a collection of writings, introduced and curated by James Nichol, was published, and I wrote an essay as a foreword for it, which you can find in the Essays section of this website. This summer, Druid Camp 2015 is taking contemplation and meditation as its theme, and a contemplative druid retreat is being organised in Worcestershire.
This all feels good – a maturing of our path. Here is how I begin the essay, which is entitled
Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth: the Nature Mysticism of Druidry
We all know that Druidry is a magical path – Druids wear robes and conduct rituals with wands and candles, invocations to the directions, prayers to the gods. In a world sorely lacking in meaningful ritual, it can feel like a balm to the soul to engage in actions that are not obviously utilitarian, that are designed to help us enter into a deeper sense of engagement with life – to give expression to our belief in a world of Spirit that infuses this physical world with energies that bring healing and inspiration. And yet it can sometimes feel as if modern Druidry’s concern with ritual has placed too great an emphasis on the magical, at the expense of its equally important mystical concerns… Read more
You can read about the book ‘Contemplative Druidry’ here.
Fantastic!!! I’m so new to Druidry but every time I read a new post it seems to converge with my own practice of many years. I’m loving it.
Not a big fan of meditation myself, as to me, druidry is a path of action (not magic, but engagement) and meditation a habit of sitting around thinking how spiritual we are. To me, the main difference between druidry and other paths are mud, nettle stings, bramble scratches and mud. Sitting inactive doesn’t fit my druidry or my personality.
However, the mystical side of druidry is important and some people seem to find it most easily through meditation, so I’m glad that they are doing more of it, as long as nobody wants me to start doing it. I’ve tried it and it causes me extreme stress.
I appreciate your comments. I find that contemplative practice works best for me when I am not still and when I am fully engaged in connecting with the world. A walk is the best way for me to enter in, almost like entering into the otherworld.
While I enjoy Yoga as a meditative practice, and have also enjoyed seated meditation, I find the greatest peace from doing the OBOD rituals solo. The draawing of the Circle itself is a walking meditation. We gather as equals… Blessings on your Path
Meditation and silent contemplation has always been a natural element of my pagan path. No one taught me that I should be doing it.. a walk in the woods always just seemed to require a moment to sit on a big rock and contemplate the magick and mystery that surrounded me. It is likely that if OBOD begins to incorporate mystical work and teachings, I’ll finally join and take the courses.
Quiet meditation (to me ) is not an inactive thing. I can move mountains in myself and my surrounding through mindful meditation.Great blog. Thank you.
Helen, I would only like to suggest that meditation simply helps people find their course of action in a different manner. For instance, me meditating seated or standing in my yard, I ‘hear’ the plants all singing their own notes, with their stridency or calmness depending on the weather. Too hot for too long, they sound weary, and some just stop singing. Then it rains, and they rejoice. Their tones rise in volume, sometimes in pitch. When it is a quiet night, crickets sing a rhythm, and the plants kind-of sing along. Whether this is really them communicating to me, or is just my projection of my expectations onto them, it colours my actions, causes me to stay more in-tune with Nature. So you might reasonably ask, “What has this to do with action?” Fair enough. My actions (when I was younger and in good shape) were to remove foreign invasive species of plants, planting Native species in their places to strengthen Native ecology. The foreign plants generally do not ‘harmonise’ with the Natives. The closer they come to harmonising, the less harmfully invasive they are. Some VERY few foreign plant species actually add to an ecosystem without competing against others; the plants around them sing that it is so, backed up by my college education in Ecology/Biology (just a minor, but still). I would be interested in hearing how others who do meditate use meditative means to produce actions. Oh, one last thing: Meditation is itself an action that supports both physical and mental health (I have Psych and Religious Studies BAs). You may quote me on that. The younger one starts, the better one’s mind can end up when one is elderly. Just sayin’, in case it might help! Blessed Be, Y’all.
Let me begin by stating that I am not a practicing Druid, although I have great respect for this path. However, having been a serious meditator for a number of years, the practice of “mysticism” as an approach to Druidry holds infinite appeal to me. I have found a daily meditation practice to be life-altering in the way that I now take action in world. I find that meditation raises the vibration of all action. I look forward to learning more about integrating mysticism and Druidry. Thank you for posting this interesting and intriguing book review!
I applaud the growing awareness of Druidry as a spiritual path. I will say that I have always found a full circle, performed alone, to be a walking meditation. The ceremonies of OBOD lend themselves to contemplation at each stage of the rites. I am glad to see this carried further.
Prayer is speaking to God and meditation is listening to God.
Prayer is talking with your Inner Voice and meditation is listening to your Inner
Voice , that part of your Self where your origins are. Remembering, Love, the Peace that goeth beyond all understanding. Druidry finds that in Nature, and I feel there is our Inner Nature too. Endless, formless, abstract, totally open minded and present.
Know Thy Self was above the Temple in Greece. They knew a thing or two.
I am very touched that Druidry is acknowledging the spiritual in a deeper way. I love it all.
As far as I am concerned, meditation has always been a part of druidry. In my course to become a bard, I’ve learned the light body exercise which is a form of meditation to me. It has helped me to beter understand myself and my paganism,for it gives me the peace and tranquillity I normally lack. Therefore I am happy that it’s now more prominent in the minds of others to get more out of druidry then only the rituals can give.