Book Review: The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe

Book Review

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe: Goddesses, Sacred Women and the Origins of Western Culture

      by Sharon Paice MacLeod

Review by Karl Schlotterbeck

Cover for Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe.This work is an exploration of the presence of the Divine Feminine throughout European history in all her diversity. The book is intelligent without being dry, uses image without falling into fantasy, and is factual without boring the reader. Rather than some cold piercing gaze of analytics, Sharon Paice MacLeod embraces her subject with clear-eyed warmth.

She works through the first half of the book deconstructing our popular modern mythologies about the Feminine Divine by taking us through Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze-age periods, describing what we can know of history based on burial practices, architecture, artistic creations, implements and other artifacts. She shows us a much richer tapestry of European development than would be evident in many popular accounts. In so doing, she restores the beautiful diversity and depth of the Feminine Divine by exposing modern myths promulgated by empire builders and cultural biases – such as myths about the singular basis of our culture in Greek and Roman civilization, and the reductionist notion of a pervasive Mother Goddess tradition. Goddess-based religions, she shows, were not uniform nor based only on fertility or mothering, but arose everywhere, in many different forms, reflecting every aspect of life.

Most chapters begin with a brief narrative story of how things might have been, given the information she then explores. She gives the reader a feeling of being inside the subject, from a place where the people lived out the things she discusses. She provides enough data to give us a feel for the times without getting lost in minutiae.

Recognizing that history is connected to the present, without being preachy, she calls attention to parallels between our own time, climate changes in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic times, and enriches her text by using quotes from indigenous peoples who still have a close relationship with the Earth as did our ancestors.

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe is a firm but gentle call to restore our ancestors’ place in history, which was shaped by the land, with recognition of the interactive relationship among humanity, the Earth and its cycles, and the wide spectrum of roles play by the Divine Feminine.

She helps us to remember – not just remember history, but to honor the breadth and intelligence of our ancestors’ lives and their spiritual relationships, as well as calling us to restore our own relationship with and responsibility to the world around us. I hear in her writing a call to heal our “collective soul loss” and recognize that our land, our culture and our interaction with the Divine all exist in living interactive relationships.

Highly Recommended.

Published by McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2014.

Available at Amazon.com.

(On the basis of the intelligence, readability, perspective and depth of The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe, I’ve purchased the author’s previous work, Celtic Myth and Religion: A Study of Traditional Belief, with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs.)

 

Knitting is a Service Too

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor taken by Karl

Tony Taylor

I received an email from a long-time member asking what could she do for the Henge. Although she does not practice Keltrian Druidism, she loves the Druid way. She enthusiastically supports the Henge while celebrating with a local grove of another tradition.  She also has skills in many disciplines; she writes poetry and songs, shares her plant knowledge and lore with others, and gives psychic readings. Her degree in pastoral studies aids her in her daily work as do the Gods and Goddesses.  She also mentioned that she knits.  I went on-line and looked once again at examples of her knitting - impressive, beautiful work. Clearly, she is a very talented person and has much to share.

“Ah-ha,” I exclaimed aloud.

In Keltrian Druidism, we think of the Bard, Seer, and Druid as paths or areas of service rather than levels of accomplishment. That is to say, Keltrian Druids of all levels of accomplishment act as Bards, Seers, and Druids. Anything you do that honors the Ancestors, reveres the Spirits of Nature, or celebrates the Gods and Goddesses is a service to them.

For example, we celebrate Boann at the Feast of Flowing and at the Feast of Flowering.  Boann represents the woman cycle of life during which an individual takes care of self. We always need to be cared for like the Maiden, take care of others as a Mother, and take care of our community, which is the responsibility of the Crone. These are the four stages of care in our lives. Throughout all of our lives, we have times where we take care of ourselves; however, the other three phases of life are never excluded as we do so. In other words, the characteristics of all of the Gods and Goddesses are within you. They ebb and flow in their influence in your daily life. Similarly, you do things that fit the path of the Bard, the Seer, and the Druid every day.

The key to being a Keltrian Druid is service to the triad. Keltrian Druids, first and foremost, consciously honor the Ancestors, revere the Nature Spirits, and celebrate the Gods and Goddesses of the Irish Celtic pantheon. I encourage members to share their knowledge, skills, and abilities with the other members. Members can share through writing, song, photographs, workshops, pretty much any medium that will print.

In our knitter’s case, if she decided to knit a pouch for ritual use, she could write about the iconography she used. For example, if a Keltrian sigil, awen symbol, or maybe a cauldron representing The Dagda, were used she could describe why she chose that specific iconography. She could  explain the specific purpose for which the pouch is intended and the method used to consecrate and dedicate it for that purpose.  Photos of the pouch, possibly even in a simulated ritual setting, could accompany a potential submission for publication. (Note: Photos during actual rituals are not appropriate.)

Knitting as type of knot magic and is quite ancient.  Concentrating on the pouch’s use or the intended recipient while working on it creates an object of both beauty and power. Such a work is easily service to the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods as well as to the Henge.

Follow me on Twitter: @tonytaylor50 and @Keltria
Friend me on Facebook - Search for: Tony Taylor Keltria
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[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #100 - Samhain 2013]

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From the President – Samhain 2013

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor, Editor
Keltria Journal

[ Note: This is from Last Year's Henge Happenings, Issue 100, Samhain 2013.]

This, our 100th issue of Henge Happenings, marks twenty-five years of publishing the newsletter.  Over the years it as gone from a one-page, dot matrix printer letter to a replacement of Keltria Journal and on to it’s current form.  I hope you find Henge Happenings useful and informative.  I want to thank all of the contributors, officers, editors, and proof readers we have had over the many years.  It has been a great twenty-five years.

Wren and I were “Special Guests” at the 46th Annual Fall Gathering of the Tribes & International Leadership Conference, held September 5th - 8th, 2013 near LaFayette, GA. The event was sponsored by Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn. Wren gave a workshop about ritual based upon the new “ritual” chapter which will be in the Book of Keltria. I gave a workshop regarding views of deity (theisms) which I have given before at other venues.  It is also covered in greater detail in the forthcoming Book of Keltria.

Publications

Speaking of which, the Book of Keltria is coming along nicely. The new theology and ritual chapters that replaced the previous correspondence course material is completed. The “Gods” is currently in a new rewrite to include more about myths and mythology as well as the Gods and Goddesses we celebrate.
I am working on a substantial rewrite of the Book of Ritual.  I am adding a lot of fresh detail plus additional notes for solitaries. I would like to have the new version available shortly after the Book of Keltria is available, however, I suspect it may not be ready until next spring.

Help Wanted

I am looking for individuals who will help with many of the Henge Projects. They include the following:

  • Keltria Listmaster (Admin.)
  • Keltria.org WordPress Administrator
  • Keltria.org Webmaster
  • Keltria.org Administrator (inc. eMail)
  • Keltria USPS Mailbox
  • Henge Happenings Editor
  • Henge Office Manager

I will work with anyone who volunteers to help them come  up to speed.  If you are interested, please contact me at tony_taylor@keltria.org.

-TT

[Positions lined through above have been filled.  Thank you new volunteers.]

 

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe: Goddesses, Sacred Women and the Origins of Western Culture

[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #99]

McFarland Publishing announced the release this fall/winter of Sharon Paice MacLeod’s new book, The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe. Sharon is a Henge member and Keltria Journal author.

According to the publisher,

This book is an exploration of the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe, focusing on the numinous presence of the divine feminine in Russia, Central Europe, France, Britain, Ireland and the northern regions. Drawing upon research in archaeology, history, sociology, anthropology and the study of religions to connect the reader with the myths and symbols of the European traditions, the book shows how the power of European goddesses and holy women evolved through the ages, adapting to climate change and social upheaval, but always reflecting the importance of living in an harmonious relationship with the environment and the spirit world. From the cave painting of southern France to ancient Irish tombs, from shamanic rituals to Arthurian legends, the divine feminine plays an essential role in under- standing where we have come from and where we are going. Comparative examples from other native cultures, and quotes from spiritual leaders around the world, set European religions in context with other indigenous cultures.

I am definitely looking forward to reading it. To order, see McFarland Publishing’s web site, http://www.mcfarlandpub.com or Amazon.Com to purchase.

- TT

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TARA

by Steward of the Wood

Photo of Steward of the Wood at the Lia Fail

Steward of the Wood

Tara!  Tara…symbolizes one of the most celebrated, sacred sites for all Celts, especially those of us with Druid connections.  “And here I am…at Tara,” Steward of the Wood said out loud to himself.  “Over the years of training in Druidry, I envisioned walking here among the Ancient Ones, gaining sensory images and trying to learn and understand the teachings,” he thought.  And he made it.  Little did he know, or could envision, what was about to unfold.  Magick was afoot.

The Hill of Tara nestles into the landscape a few miles southeast of the sacred Boyne River.  Visible from Tara, the ancient passage tombs of Knowth and Bru na Boinne watch silently but powerfully from hill tops about ten miles to the northeast.  During ancient ceremonies, fires on these sites could be seen from one hill to another.  This part of Ireland is truly a sacred landscape.

Arriving late in the day, Steward walked the site just before dusk, the liminal time when the Veil between the mundane world and the Other World assumes the form of mist.  This is a time when the Ancestors and Nature Spirits roam freely among mortals and time is ephemeral.   The Goddess Boann blessed him as the overcast sky began to rain lightly enhancing the feeling of being in the time and space between worlds.  It was easy to see why the Ancestors chose this site as it is equal in elevation to the other hills as far as the eye could see.  On a clearer, brighter day, Steward would be able to see for miles in any direction.  Lush, thick, verdant grass covered the entire site with a few scattered hawthorn trees (faery trees); the earthen mounds were the only things that interrupted the field of view.   It was quiet to the point of being eerie with only an occasional bird flying over and sheep peacefully grazing.  A pastoral smell of earth, grass, and sheep manure, permeated the air but it was gentle and pleasant.  It was the smell of the earth… of Danu.

Photo of The Mound of the Hostages - Tara, Ireland

The Mound of the Hostages - Tara

Sensing the presence of ancient spirits, Steward communed with the Triad: Gods and Goddesses, Nature Spirits, and Ancestors.  He introduced himself as a Druid with Ancestors from Ireland and asked them to allow him to visit and commune with them, gaining wisdom and understanding of this sacred site and how it fit with the patterns of the earth.  Steward called on Ogma, the God of wisdom and magick, to teach him and help him gain the wisdom of a Druid.  After a lifetime of studying earth wisdom and spirituality and dedicating himself to becoming a Druid four years ago, Steward longed to learn.  “I feel impatient with myself,” he mused.  Druidism has become integral to his way of life and he savored the signs of progress.  “Sometimes it is hard not to question whether I am making enough progress,” he thought.  “Open up and be present in this time and place,” he said out loud as if to chide.

After pausing a few minutes atop the Mound of the Hostages, Steward of the Wood headed south toward the flat topped, earthen mound that comprises the site of Cormac’s House.  The ankle-high, wet grass brushed his boots as he walked, making a faint swooshing sound.  Light rain continued to fall, ensuring life for the lush vegetation.  He mounted the low hill and emerged on a flat top which was perhaps 50 feet wide.  “Ancestors and Nature Spirits, I come to you this day asking for permission to enter your sacred space and commune with you,” he declared in a loud clear voice.  Their consent enveloped him in calmness; and a tingling, excited feeling overtook Steward as they welcomed a Druid in their midst.

There in the middle of the hill was the fabled Lia Fáil, the Inauguration Stone, phallic in shape and about five feet tall.  He lovingly approached it, circling in a deiseil fashion, praying to the Spirit of the stone, and asking permission to approach.  “I am a Druid and I praise you, Lia Fáil, stone of many legends, I humbly seek to learn from you,” he intoned.
As he gently reached out to touch it, Steward was overtaken by a scene of the inauguration of Cormac Mac Airt, Ulfhada (long beard), as the Ard Rí (High King).  The year was A.D. 227 [although nobody else there knew it -ed] and he was engulfed in a great gathering of the clans to celebrate the inauguration.  The excitement and feeling that overtook him was palpable.  “What happened?” Steward thought as he questioned his sanity.

People gathered from all over Ireland.  Colorful tents and wooden structures covered the sacred site and hundreds of people were there.  Steward could see Cormac walking around and talking with people.  He was dressed in a brightly colored tunic of red and green with his iron armor shining. He  wore a fine helmet with a raven on top, its wings moving slightly as he moved his head.  The handle on his sword bore a swirling Celtic design with silver and gold intertwined.  The glossy, leather scabbard was also highly adorned.

Photo of Lia Fail & Mound of the Hostages in distance.

Lia Fail & Mound of the Hostages in distance

Cormac stopped to talk with an almost-equally adorned warrior.  As Steward walked up to join the small crowd surrounding them, he realized that he too wore the tunic and armor of a Celtic Warrior and  noticed how heavy it was, feeling like he was carrying a backpack weighing at least 30 pounds.  He overheard Cormac address the other warrior as “Fionn” and he realized quickly that this was Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn mac Cool), leader of the famed Fianna Eireann.  Fionn was surrounded by several of his warriors and they were all dressed in their finery in preparation for the marriage of kingship (Banais Ríghe) of Cormac with Sovereignty of Ireland in the form of a beautiful white mare.

“Fionn mac Cumhaill, son of the great warrior, Cumhaill, the marriage of kingship is upon us and we will celebrate with the Feast of Tara (Feis Temro) to mark this event.  We are glad you and the Fianna Eireann, Protectors of this Isle, have joined us,” said Cormac.

“Greetings, honored Ard Rí,” said Fionn.  “Your marriage and feast will be sumptuous and remembered by the Bards for all ages,” he continued.  Loud cheering followed these words as more and more of the Fianna and others around them took up the chant, “Ard Rí, Ard Rí,” banging their weapons on their shields.  The noise was almost deafening.

As the clamor died down, Steward heard the squealing of pigs in the distance as they were being prepared for the feast.  The delicious aromas of the cooking food were mixed with the pungent smell of wood smoke from the cooking fires.  The smoke contributed to a bit of haze over the Hill but at least it wasn’t raining.  Being twilight, the haze added even more to the ephemeral appearance of the Hill.

The general clamor of people talking, food preparation occurring, and children playing was thundering as Steward strained to hear Cormac and Fionn talk.  Fionn was accompanied by three other warriors who appeared to be members of the Fianna.  I wondered if they were Oisín, Diarmait, and Caílte.  Finally I got close enough to hear Fionn compliment Cormac’s prowess in his most recent battle with the King of Connacht as Cormac sought to bring the recalcitrant men of Connacht under his rule.  In turn, Cormac told Fionn that he could not have done so without the crucial help of the Fianna.

As he stood listening to Cormac and Fionn, Steward noticed a man dressed in a white robe and wearing a gold torc staring at him.  He wore his hair long but it was shaved in the front of his head.  As he looked at Steward with piercing blue eyes, he walked over and asked in a somewhat hushed tone close to Steward’s ear, “Are you Steward of the Wood?”

Steward replied, “Yes,” also in a hushed tone.  The Druid said that he had a message for Steward as he moved away from the crowd and motioned Steward to follow.

They walked to a relatively private spot and he identified himself as Cathaír, the Druid.  He said, “Steward of the Wood, Long Traveler, in my journey to the Other World a few days ago, I received a vision from Ogma that you would be visiting.  He gave me a message for you.  He said that you were a Druid from another time and far away from Eire.  Ogma told me your studies are rewarded with knowledge about the Triad as well as the patterns of energy flow in the earth.  He hears your requests for assistance and he will work with you.”

Cathaír looked at Steward with a questioning glance.  “Do you understand?”

Photo of Lia Fail

Lia Fail (on right)

To which, Steward replied “Clearly.  I have sought the advice of Ogma many times and am honored that he has heard me and seen the sincerity of my actions.”

Cathaír continued, “The Gods and Goddesses have seen and felt your presence at many sacred sites across the earth, on this Isle and beyond.  They know that you have been seeking them and your Ancestors.  The Nature Spirits told them that they feel your welcoming presence in the forests, beckoning them to commune with you.  The spirits of the trees and streams love your gentle touch and they connect with your ancient spirit. Your magickal name fits you well, Steward of the Wood.  Danu, our Earth Mother, loves you and your dedication to her and all her children.  Your Ancestors take pride in your leadership and all your work to learn about them and especially your efforts to share this hard-won knowledge with your living kin.  They feel your love and acknowledgement and are grateful for it.  Through you and their living kin, they continue to live.”

His final message to Steward spoke of hardships.  “Ogma told me to speak to you of a never-ending journey.  Through your past lives, you have gained much wisdom and sometimes painful experiences.  These serve you well now.  At least during this lifetime, you will be a Long-traveler…a Seeker.  You are fated to journey ceaselessly to sacred sites, to visit beings who can teach you and Ogma will be your guide.  It is lonely at times, but your reward is passing on the knowledge that you have gained.  Your greatest joy will be in reviving and sharing the knowledge of the Celts and their Gods and Goddesses and the Nature Spirits.  Of equal joy will be demonstrating the nurturing value of having a personal relationship with the Ancestors.  You are blessed, Steward of the Wood!”

At this, Cathaír clasped Steward’s hand in friendship, gave him the smile of a true brother and knowledge seeker.  Returning from a state of awe and reverence, Steward said, “Honored Cathaír, I don’t know what to say.  This acknowledgement is unexpected and I thank you for this wonderful news.  I am so grateful that you were willing to carry the message to me.”  Without saying another word, Cathaír quickly moved away into the crowd leaving Steward in stunned silence.

As Cathaír moved away, Steward experienced a shift in time back to the twilight presence where he began seemingly hours ago, but actually only a few minutes.  Steward thought, “Did Ogma cause the shift in time?  Had he been the one who drew me to Ireland in the first place?” Steward thought to himself, his mind was racing with questions.  “I have prayed to Ogma many times, seeking his help and guidance.  Even though I had learned to sense a measure of ‘leadings’ from my prayers, I had not felt a strong direct guidance.  How would that change?  Should I journey to the Otherworld in hopes of contacting him directly?  Would Spirits be his intermediaries?   Steward was stunned but exceedingly pleased by everything that just happened.  He wanted to stay in the past.  Steward gratefully raised his voice to Tara, “Oh powerful Ogma and my Ancestors, especially Cormac and Fionn, I thank you for allowing me to learn with you, to see you and begin to understand.  I will never forget the grandeur of what I saw.  Cathaír, I thank the Gods for you and your message.”

Descending the mound of Cormac’s House, he began to walk back across the Hill of Tara to his waiting car.  Visiting Tara was a dream come true.  The Gods and Goddesses, especially Ogma and Danu, the Ancestors, and the Nature Spirits seemed so close.  What an incredible feeling.  What a mystical and magickal site.

Photo of Sheep Grazing at the Hill of Tara

Sheep Grazing at the Hill of Tara

Footnote: Spirituality infuses everything and everyone at Tara if you open up to the experience.  It is truly a place where all Druids should go and commune.  Prepare yourself before the visit to understand better what you are seeing and sensing.  Read about Tara, including the legends of Cormac, Fionn, and others.  Tara is nourishing and reenergizing to the Druid spirit.   
Our spirituality is growing stronger in the world and visiting these sacred sites and reconnecting with our past and present helps its growth.  We as individuals are strengthened as are the Gods and Goddesses, the Ancestors, and the Nature Spirits.  They feel our strength as their influence and power grows.  It is a mutually-beneficial service.  As we grow, then they grow; and in turn, our Druid community grows.

Walk with wisdom.

Druidism: The Druid and the Littlest Unitarian

By Tony Taylor & Wren Taylor

Photo of Wren & Tony Taylor

Wren & Tony Taylor

The small, dark haired girl eyed me owlishly. Her mother stood directly behind her with her hands resting lightly on the child’s shoulders. She explained that her daughter’s classmates told her that Druids were evil, and if she ever met one, surely she would be sacrificed to Satan in an instant. This is the reason that she brought the child to my presentation. The woman wanted her daughter to see for herself that people who follow a different religious path are nice, normal people, with jobs and kids.

I received an invitation to speak at a Unitarian church in suburban Minneapolis. The congregation was interested in learning more about paganism in general and more specifically Druidism. Dressed in a sport coat and tie, I focused on our similarities rather than our differences, and continued that theme into the question and answer period. The queries were intelligent and pointed.

As the end of the session neared, a gentleman said that I made my point regarding similarities; however, he was more interested in the differences. In a space that was just more than a heartbeat, I blurted out, “Dominion over the Earth.”  That’s when the fun began.

Relationship to Nature.

Druids of all types develop a personal relationship with the Earth. Understanding the three Celtic Worlds of Earth, Sea, and Sky is fundamental to Keltrian Druidism.  Also, developing a close relationship with all creatures, seen and unseen is important to many Druids. Within Druidism, nature is not separate from man nor was it given to man for his domination nor even stewardship. Nature is not something to be subdued nor overcome; people are a part of nature and need to live in harmony with it.

Archdruid Karl summarized it extremely well.  “One of the essential differences between mainstream Christianity and Druidry is traditional Christianity’s vision of self-fulfilling alienation: in alienating itself from the world, it also alienates humankind not only from direct contact with Divinity, but also from the natural world and from themselves as well. In that unnecessary chasm, “redemption” occurs only within a narrowly defined relationship with their nominally singular god and that god’s exclusive chosen people (or church). Thus, mainstream Christianity lives out a mythos of exile along with hope for only a partial redemption. It can never be whole because the wholeness of each human being is not admissible. It is a distortion of an ancient myth of incarnation that should result in ever-widening circles of soul-expansion that lead not only to a higher state, but a deeper one as well – roots growing not only into the heavens, but deeply into the earth as well.”

The connection that Druids have with the earth and all its creatures is a defining characteristic of Druidism.

Relationship to Divinity

Christians and Keltrian Druids have complex views of divinity.  Many Christians believe in one God; however, polytheism underlies much of Christian thought when describing the Trinity.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are often viewed and treated as individual entities. Druids embrace a wide range of perceptions regarding deity from monotheism to polytheism and even panpolytheism. Others hold the concept that individual gods and goddesses are aspects of or manifestations of a single, unifying, unmanifest deity.

One key difference is Keltrian Druids are not told what they must believe; rather, if they follow the ritual formula, they are practicing Keltrian Ritual. In Keltrian Druid practice, the individual is free to experience the gods and goddesses in a way that suits his or her sensibilities. The idea is that deity is flexible.  We do not dictate dogma.

Relationship to Life

Keltrian Druid belief #4 states, “We believe that all life is sacred and should neither be harmed nor taken without deliberation or regard.”  Druid practice encourages us to live life in its fullness and develop our spiritual relationships with this world, the Otherworld, and everything in our universe.  Animals and plants are not resources to be exploited nor dominated.  Rather, we seek cooperation with them.

As mentioned previously, man is not separate from the world.  Keltrian Druids interact with the divine and its endless aspects and manifestations in the natural world. We are not dependent upon external redemption nor a Messiah for salvation.  Each individual must cultivate their own growth and evolution through the development of personal, social, and spiritual relationships with all life and with all spiritual entities. Life is a wonderful thing.  It should not be filled with terror, pain, and suffering.

Wisdom

 

Photo of Wren Taylor

Wren Taylor

One of the key goals of Druid life is the mastery of wisdom. A Christian approach to viewing the world usually limits perception to two options such as yes/no, good/bad, black/white.  To gain wisdom, Keltrian Druidism encourages practitioners to employ triads in problem solving.  The Druid looks for alternate ways to understand the Earth, her inhabitants and the universe.  There is always a third perspective to consider and understand; sometimes there are more.  Certainly there are some techniques that can be used to simplify the process. For example, how does a particular issue affect Mind, Body, and Spirit?  Employing the specialized disciplines of the Bard, Seer, and Druid, how do these perspectives enhance the understanding of a particular issue?  A dualistic view of a situation or question creates argument and righteousness.  A triadic view creates discussion. compromise and creative solutions.

As an exercise, try to balance a playing card on the tips of two fingers extended in a peace sign. It can be done, but it is unstable.  Now add a third so that your fingers resemble the legs of a three-legged stool. The card is now stable.  This demonstrates thinking in triads. Referring to the black/white example of dualistic thinking, the third leg of the stool - the triad - is not grey.  Grey merely continues on the same line, the same path.  The triad is pink, or sunset. Perhaps it’s a coffee pot. It needs to be a totally different perspective.  This is difficult to master; however, you will succeed with practice.

Religion Evolves

Druidic religion changes; the beliefs, practices, and relationships of modern Keltrian Druids would be unfamiliar to Druids of a hundred years ago and alien to the Druids of the ancient past.  Druids adapt to a changing environment as the relationships between them and the spirits around them evolve.  Codifying beliefs into creeds in response to millennia-old heresies is not in the Druidic playbook.

Texts are not sacred because they were handed down by the divine; rather, they are sacred if they produce the effect of making our spiritual relationships with others stronger. Likewise, a place becomes sacred when its effect is to foster stronger or better-defined spiritual relationships with others.

For example, although my relationship with trees is significantly different from  an ancient Druid’s, we both would have a profound experience encountering a giant sequoia for the first time.  The way in which we experience such an encounter may be very different, but the importance and the impact of the experience would significant for both of us.

The Henge and Keltrian Druids adapt to new discoveries and scholarship. If recognized experts agree on an aspect of a new discovery, which affects our practice, we embrace it.

Cyclical Time

Most Druids see time as cyclical. It is a world without end; there is no “end of days” nor a linear creation of all. Was there a “big bang” which started it all? Probably. Could it have been the aftermath of another universe, which collapsed into a singularity to start the cycle of our universe? Quite possibly. All things come into existence, have a life, and then cease to exist only to nourish the birth (and become part of) of something new.

Three Foundations in Keltrian Druidism

Keltrian Druidism is a complex set of beliefs and practices. Individuals are free to interpret the information gleened from the required reading and come to their own conclusions as long as they are in direct support of the three foundations of Keltrian Druidism:

  • Honor the Ancestors.
  • Revere the Nature Spirits
  • Worship the Gods and Goddesses of our Tribe.

In my preparation to speak with the Unitarians so many years ago, I focused upon the similarities of our traditions. How were Druids the same as other traditions the Unitarians would know and understand? Persecution exists today, but twenty years ago the atmosphere was extremely hostile. We wanted to demonstrate that we were not all that different. We merely had a different perception of the universe and our relationship to it.

During my visit I grew in my understanding of the differences between Druids and other religions and learned much of what makes those differences important.  And the little Unitarian learned that Druids may be a little different, but they don’t have two heads and really aren’t very scary.