Tuesday, May 08, 2012
ULC Master of Druidism Course final
Master of Druidism – Final Assignment
I thoroughly enjoyed the Druidism course. I've been drawn to Druidism for several years but it seemed to be a path that was cloaked in mystery and out of reach. The apprehension I felt towards Druidism I believe stems from the stigma that was associated with Druidism and human sacrifice.
The propaganda that the druids performed human sacrifice is still propagated today. Even mention that you would like to pursue that path, even to another pagan, and it is fraught with disgust of the Druid path due to their perceived association with human sacrifice. a trait they themselves reviled, believing it to be barbaric. Caesar claimed that the human sacrifices were primarily of criminals, but at times innocents would also be used, and that they would be burned alive in a large wooden effigy, now often known as a wicker man. Caesar wrote a lot about the Druids. I think he admired the power and control they had over the Celtic people. Which was definitely something that Caesar wanted for himself. Also, since he was a religious person I'm sure he saw similarities between the Roman pantheon of Gods and the pantheon of the Celts. This is probably why he wrote about them. I believe that the Roman historians were merely trying to make the Roman civilization look far superior than the "barbaric" Celtic people they were trying to conquer. In their mind, the best way to do that was through demonizing propaganda and heresy. Unfortunately, it worked to some degree.
Like everyone else, I was born into the religion of my parents. Which was mostly Catholicism with some eastern mysticism mixed in. I was taught that I didn't have to take their word for it that I should find my own path to God. I think our spirituality grows as we learn about life and our place in the universe. Like the Druid's, I believe in the immortal soul. The immortal soul is the belief that your soul is a separate entity from your physical body and that it can never die. I think believing in the immortal soul reinforces the resolve of the people to strive to do good things over doing something bad because their actions will affect their immortal soul. Another Druid belief that I have always believed is The Three Circles of Existence. I didn't have a name for each step in the journey of the spirit but I have felt that we do go through these steps until we have learned everything we need to learn until we reach enlightenment.
I think it is very important to know who you are as a person before stating if you are a Druid or follower of any belief system. I like that there are so many diverse kinds of Druids out there, that there isn't a strict guideline on who a Druid is or isn't. I believe that when someone has found their correct path in life, everything that they do seems blessed. The steps they take to assist a person, animal, or the earth to them are normal and ordinary but to others they are extraordinary because of the results they achieve. One article I read stated that Druid Magic works according to the natural laws of the universe and are available to everyone. Those who perform Druid Magic have developed their abilities by becoming self-aware and by raising their consciousness.
The Druid path is very similar to other pagan paths. However, I think it has an older feel to it. That it is an ancient path that is more aligned with the world and everything in it. When reading about the Druid ethics the one thing that resonated deeply within me was the concept of honor. The Druid's belief that we should honor life; honor all things, honor nature, honor the Gods, honor our families, follow our spirits and our hearts, and to honor life itself. It is such a wonderful concept. That everyone should be reverent to the powers of nature and feel that connectedness. Nowadays most people have forgotten how to honor their lives and how all things in nature are interconnected. If we did then we probably wouldn't see the environmental destruction that we see being propagated.
As with many spiritual paths throughout the world as Christianity gained power, those belief systems were demonized and pushed underground. The Roman Christian church labeled Druids as evil witches and sorcerers as a way to stain their reputations and spread fear among the people. Druidic orders were methodically being dissolved, as the Christian church attempted to prevent the oral transfer of knowledge from occurring.
Despite the efforts of the power hungry elitists, Druidism prevailed. Modern groups like the ADF, The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, The Reformed Druids of North America, as well as many others, is a testament to that. Like the Druids of old, knowledge is being passed down to the next generation.
Happily this course has opened my eyes and gave me a new found respect for our Druid ancestors. I liked the whole course. I didn't dislike any part of it.