Universal Life Church
I came to Druidism for the reasons of exploring my Celtic past and finding a spirituality that truly speaks to me. I am new to Paganism and was not sure what I would find. I am thankful for the opportunity to expand my spiritual horizons and share them with others.
The course begins with an historical overview of ancient Druidism and its social context. Druidism was a Celtic religion and interpreted the cosmos in ways that Celtic peoples could understand. The myths interpreted the cosmos and the sacred rights influenced the cosmos. We may find some of the rites, such as human sacrifice, to be repulsive, but the Celts believed that they were necessary. The course gives a balanced account of the ancient druids without modern judgment.
Included in the explanation of ancient Druidism is an exhaustive list of the Celtic deities with explanations. The list includes Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Gallic deities with cross-references and comparisons to the other deities. This was the most intriguing part of the course, because it gave real insight into the culture of the ancient Celts.
The meat of the course is the lessons on the calendar, sabbats and the Ogham alphabet. Druidism is a heart a nature religion. As such, Druidism seeks balance and harmony with nature. The identifying thread of Druidism is that nature is particularly identified with trees. The Druids named both the calendar months and the alphabet after the same set of trees. Furthermore, the sabbats, or festivals, celebrate the yearly cycle of plant growth and death, which was connected by the druids to the larger cosmological cycle of life, death and rebirth. The key to understanding Druidism both ancient and modern is in understanding the wealth of relationships that each tree represents. As a modern druid, I put most of my effort into learning this part of the course.
The remaining portions of the Druidism course are concerned with the practices of modern druids. These practices include liturgies, druid magic and geomancy. The liturgy lesson provides the basic rites of a druid. The more interesting druid magic lesson contains some very helpful links to other sources of information on druid magic. The geomancy lesson requires hands-on practice to fully understand, and I still find it a little confusing. (I suspect that divination is not my best subject.) Thus, the beginning druid has the tools needed to begin a druidic ministry and links to continue the study of druidism.