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From the Archdruid
The Modern World Needs Druidsby Karl Schlotterbeck
In this extraverted, money-dominated, achievement-oriented, status-rewarding, individuality-promoting world, our Druidic values can play an important part in restoring balance. I don’t mean to say that we should give up our accomplishments, or that we shouldn’t be involved in the world, or don’t need to better ourselves, or that money doesn’t have its uses. Rather, the values of truth and honor ask us to be aware of the impact of such things on the environment, on our society, on ourselves and our creativity.
Many of us buy music rather than make it, watch sports rather than play them, and talk about politics rather than participate in it. Despite the danger of sounding like some sour evangelist or old-time prophet, I would, nevertheless, assert that we are always in danger of losing touch with our roots, with the potential flow of inspiration within us, and with our place within the greater context of the natural world. With all the distractions of making a living, media, social engagements, family obligations and maintenance of the things we own, we are in danger of neglecting what is deepest in our hearts. For example, I think of the number of demands made upon us for our money, our attention, autonomy.
Traditional Celtic values can help us balance some of this one-sidedness by reminding us of our relationship with the community, about our need to regularly restore our connection to the Divine, and that we ourselves are the product of eons of ancestral contributions and development. We must remember that we, too, will be ancestor to those who come after us, and that we don’t own nature but that, no matter how powerful we become, we are always not only in relationship with nature, but embedded within it.
I find it curious that what some might view Druidic and Celtic things as a throwback to an earlier, more simple historical time, I see it as urgently current to our world’s needs. Furthermore, we don’t need to turn our backs on our gadgets, technology or multitasking but, rather, pay attention to the context in which all of that occurs: to keep our mind open to the elements and the teachings of those elements that have been here longer than we have – trees, stones, waters, animals, winds, and the wiser of our human brothers and sisters to name a few.
In the end, we are the ones with an orientation that calls for integrating the person, the society, the land and the Divine. The task is huge, but so is our courage. None of us can do everything, as they say, but all of us can do something.
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