The Call for Justice: in the USA and Everywhere
In Druidry we use a prayer that we often recite together when standing in a great circle at Stonehenge or on Glastonbury Tor. It’s known as the Druid’s Prayer and it was written by a Welshman Iolo Morganwg just over 200 hundred years ago. The version we use in the Order of Bards Ovates & Druids goes like this:
Grant, O God/Goddess/Gods/Great Spirit thy Protection
And in protection, Strength
And in strength, Understanding
And in understanding, Knowledge
And in knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice
And in the knowledge of justice, the Love of it
And in the love of it, the Love of all Existences
And in the love of all existences, the Love of God/Goddess/Gods/Great Spirit (or: the Earth our Mother) and all Goodness.
When you hear it recited in a big group it turns into a shambles right at the beginning. Some say ‘Grant O God’, others Grant O Goddess, others say God & Goddess, others O Gods, others O Great Spirit. This chaos is a good thing. There is no dogma in Druidry – no mandated theological stance. We celebrate this diversity. Unanimity is soon restored in the lines that follow, and the chaos only returns at the end, when Deity is invoked once more.
Some people baulk when they hear the term ‘justice’ being used in this prayer. It conjures up images of authoritarianism – of aggressive policing. But they’ve misunderstood – and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than if we look at what happened in Minneapolis a few days ago when a policeman murdered a man brazenly in the street undeterred by the knowledge he was being filmed, and that people were calling out for him to stop.
Justice is what every human being requires as a fundamental right, and that is why the fury has broken out in reaction to that apalling act. Racial justice, climate justice, social justice. The modern Druid movement stands for these values and I am proud that one of our founding figures, Iolo Morganwg, wrote those lines of the Druid Prayer, and proud too to know that outside a shop he ran in Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, was a sign saying that the sugar he sold was from plantations that employed no slaves. He also refused a legacy from his brothers, whose plantations in Jamaica used slave labour.
Druids pray for the Knowledge of Justice and the love of it. They pray for peace too, and after sending peace to each of the four directions in a Druid ritual, everyone in the circle – of every colour, gender, race, and age who is gathered there – says: “May there be peace throughout the whole world.”
Thank you so much Philip,
you speak to my heart. It is heartbreaking to see such violence and I wish so much for every being in the world to be met with an open heart and treated with respect and appreciation. May there be peace!
Thank you also for your hard work. Enjoy your break – it is well deserved. Blessed be!
“May there be peace throughout the whole world.”
I am really touched by this post . So powerfull and proud to be a druid with these values. I am sure all other injustices are constantly made by murdering humans everywhere, but none of it reaches the news they have no voice… Let this prayer reaches the whole world. Thank you Philip
Thank you Philip, for this heartfelt & thoughtful “Tea Time.” I have a picture of “Portia, Goddess of Justice,” as the Wallpaper on my cell phone. In Her Rose Colored robes, & Rainbows of Light-emanating outwards, she sends Love & Divine Justice & Mercy to All Beings.
I am deeply grateful to be a Druid member of OBOD & for all you have done (& continue to do), to bring Druidry to the world. May you enjoy a Divine & most well deserved Forest Retreat. I look forward to your return to Tea With a Druid, & send Blessings & a warm Welcome to the lovely & capable Eimear. /|\
When I first heard the “shambles right at the beginning” at my first OBOD gathering my heart soared, I knew I was in the right place with the right people.