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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

The Contemporary Druid

August 2nd, 2010

Having just been on camp, the following quotation feels very apt:

Druidry must be discovered and realized in tree planting parties, outdoor camps with other druids, songs in the forests or in the high, windy places of rock and lonely desert, within the speech of birds that gather at dusk, the beginning of the druidic “day”, and in the assembly of seer-singers around a fire at night… Pounding waves have more to teach a druid than the glow of a thousand computer screens. Living with Nature, tracing and appreciating the sacred geometry of leaves unfolding in fractal patterns and weathered rocks, singing with a murder of crows at dusk is part of druidic practice, as is an appreciation of the land-naming tales of all places, not merely Ireland or Scotland.

Gordon Cooper, ‘Wild-crafting the Modern Druid’

2 Responses to “The Contemporary Druid”

  1. This is so true… I got out working in the yard for several hours this weekend (the first days below 90 degrees since forever, it seems), and felt closer to my path than I have for months.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Sadly, in my experience the folks who insist on this the loudest are often the very same ones who do not like what others hear and experience out in those wilds and landscapes, especially if it doesn’t jive with their own version of Druidry.

    Within many Druids I know, there lives the Bard yearning to speak of the land and the people… and eager to listen when others do the same. The internet is a poor substitute for gatherings and in-person retreats, but for many of us it is the only viable option, when incomes are limited and fellow Druids are scarce.

    Gordon has, in my personal experience anyway, often been too quick to judge others for being too reliant on the written word. As if the written word cannot also inspire action, attention and creative engagement of its own. As Thoreau said: “A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.”

    There is nothing wrong with this kind of beginning. All of us have to begin somewhere.

    There is something that makes me distinctly uncomfortable in the assumption that the only “real” Druids are the ones who can afford the money and time off to attend camps and gatherings. As if the daily gardening or the walks in the local park or the stories a father tells his children every night aren’t quite “oooo, Druid-y” enough on their own. Perhaps I have read too much into Gordon’s quote. But as I said, my personal experience of his criticism still rings in my ears.

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