“Druidry is not a complicated path. It may not even be a path. Appreciating it involves reorienting oneself so that one can approach the mysterious, the feminine, the Arts, both aesthetic and esoteric, in a way that allows us to let go of our assumptions and presumptions about life and instead carries us, as in a Druid ceremony, around the circle of our life towards the still point at the center of which is both our True Self and the Divine Source.
.....Druidry promotes an attitude of immense respect for life and for the interconnectedness of all things...I believe that if we take Druidry to represent that ancient wisdom which lies deep within us, and that can connect us once again to the earth and her wonders, we can understand how we can be Christian druids, Buddhist druids, Jewish druids, or druids of whatever hue or depth is needed for us at our present stage of development."

Philip Carr-Gomm

In the course of my life’s journey, I have learned to touch the earth and learn from Her, to touch the people and learn from them, and to reach out and embrace those helping spirits who have guided and supported me. I sit in synagogue with my Jewish elders, teachers of my spiritual lineage, and pray in the ancient tongue of the tribe of Israel; I sit in the zendo with my roshi, with whom I chose to take my precepts, chanting phrases from sacred Buddhist texts; I sit in sweat lodge with my Lakota spiritual family, a tradition held in my soul from a nameless time, and sing prayer songs in the ancient language of the tribe; and I sit within the ceremonial circle with my community as a Druid and spiritual teacher, speaking sacred words in the ancient tradition of my Indo-European tribal ancestors.

As I have embraced the spiritual traditions of my genetic, historical, and soul’s lineage, I have gained a deep understanding of the empowerment and healing that can come from acknowledging and connecting to one’s tribal ancestry and cultural history. This, I have found is vital for, from the wisdom of our ancestors, will come the wisdom of our children. And what I have learned is that, no matter who we are or how far back we must go to discover it, each and everyone of us comes from an indigenous tribal ancestry.

My road to discovery of this truth was lengthy and it was one from which I learned to trust not only my teachers in all realms, but even more importantly, my body, my thoughts, my feelings, and my instincts. As my trust of these aspects of myself grew, I was led to where I needed to go for my growth.

Over a decade ago, motivated by intellectual research, my heart’s longing, and the spirits who guide me, I was pushed to move beyond the eastern mystical traditions and the spiritual path of the “red road” that I had been pursuing. Although my family was not of British ancestry, with my mother’s family coming from Austria and my father’s from Russia, my soul felt that it had found its spiritual home when I discovered Druidry, the spiritual tradition of the Celtic people and began to study with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD) who are based in England.

Upon completion of my studies, I was accepted into the Order as a designated Druid and flew to London during that year to attend my first Druid assembly. At the close of our time together, I found myself standing with others from the Order, at dawn within the sacred space of Stonehenge, wearing our white robes and performing ceremony. Extremely moving, the experience touched me deeply and I felt the stones at my back for weeks after my return home. During that time, I was continually being “spoken to” by those I have come to lovingly call my “spooks” and was “told” to offer classes on Druidry and Celtic Shamanism and to open my home in celebration of the eight seasonal Druid festivals. “They” told me that many were seeking their spiritual roots and were not finding a home within other indigenous tribal traditions and that it was time for them to learn from their own ancestral bloodlines.

What I discovered during the year it took to complete what resulted in a 7-week class was the answer to why I had been drawn to the Druid tradition and research confirmed what my soul, or perhaps my cellular memory, already knew. The tribal people, commonly known to us as the Celts, were not indigenous to Britain, they merely ended up there. Archeologists have been able to date the first Celtic settlements in the British Isles to the early Bronze Age (about 1180 BC) and have even identified the Beaker people of Central Europe or Iberia and the Battle-Axe people of southern Russia as “proto”-or “original/primitive”-Celts.”

Digging deeper, I found that most scholars agree that the tribal people known as the Celts originated from these Indo-Europeans in the areas that are now part of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In fact, practically the whole of Europe was of Indo-European origin and was, in the majority, Celtic. Historical evidence also indicates that, from the 6th millennium BC onwards, the Celts expanded from their homelands both east and westward, through France (or Gael), Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Rome, Greece and Turkey, reaching Britain and Ireland in the west and India in the east.

It is interesting to note that studies in comparative mythology show that Sanskrit literature documents ancient Indian rituals that are similar to those traceable in Celtic Ireland, and there are certain striking parallels which can be drawn between some Hindu deities and Celtic gods, as well as other similarities in their religious traditions. In addition, there is also another parallel that seems to exist between the northeastern tribes of North American and the Celts. Archaeological evidence in New England indicates a European settlement existed as far back as 800 BC and, based on findings, suggests strongly that the people who inhabited that settlement were Celtic.

Today, Druidry has become a dynamic nature-based spiritual path that is being practiced all over the world. Perhaps the best way to share its perspective and values is to share the seven gifts of Druidry, written by Philip Carr-Gomm, head of the OBOD.

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