Last week on ‘Tea with a Druid’ I talked about our circles of care and concern, this week we look at how we can work magically with the circle to enhance our lives and our spiritual practice.
At the weekend I was at the One Tree Gathering that is held every year up in Leicester. Members of the Hindu and Druid communities had come together for a weekend of sharing, and spiritual and cutural exchange. We began with two ceremonies – an ancient Brahmninical one in which each of us offered many spoonfuls of ghee to the fire, and a Druid one. Afterwards, I pointed out how our Druid practice has been influenced by Hinduism. When I was young, the circle was consecrated with fire and water, but not the people standing in the circle. Today, in most ceremonies, participants waft the smoke from the consecrating fire (usually incense) over their faces as it passes by them, and hold out their hands to receive drops of water as the circle is blessed. This is exactly what occurs in Hindu ceremonies.I wonder whether the change in practice has occurred because some people copied this from their experience in Hindu temples and others have then copied them. Or perhaps, more intriguingly, it has occurred spontaneously and naturally as a basic, universal, response to the elements?
The Druid circle is one of inclusion rather than protection, although that can be evoked too. It becomes symbolic of the world, the sun and moon, the horizon, all of humanity. But at the same time it can create a sense of limitation, containment, focus. It can help us reduce the distraction of the outside world. It can ‘clear the decks’ for us. In our meditation this week we consciously develop our sense of being seated within a circle to help us find peace and calm.