Thursday, 10 January 2013

New Year - A reflection on Druidry

When I was tidying up after New Year I found  a card produced by the OBOD about Druidry.  It made me reflect  about the journey I have made over the past three years

I first made a tentative step towards Druidry three years ago it drew me because it fosters a love and respect for the earth for the woods, wild places and  for all t living creatures.  During following years I have developed more intensely my love of nature and the living world.

My Fruit bed with fruit trees  & bushes
herbs and flowers
October 2012
The way I have structured my plot has been influenced  by wanting to create a haven  not only for us but for animals, birds, and insects.  Over the years I have planted eight trees and willow whips on one boundary. I have a cherry tree, plum, apple trees, and a filbert tree, but  being a realist I have not planted an oak tree. I planted  a fruiting quince because of  its shaggy beauty and strange perfumed fruit which are perfect cooked with apples or made into a jelly.  There is also a crab apple which provides fruit for us and for the birds, I have made Crab Apple Jelly, which is tricky because there is so much pectin in the fruit that it quickly goes beyond the boiling point for jam and turns into Toffee.  This was delicious and made a perfect gifts for Christmas in 2011!   Last year I left all the fruit to the birds and animals as they need food after such a poor wet cold summer.

The fruit area of my plot has fruit bushes, herbs and wild flowers growing.  I use the herbs to make herbal teas and for simple healing remedies.  The borage plants growing near my strawberry patch nourished a nest of bumble bees which lived in my cold frame .  In the dreadful wet and cold months of last summer the bees could quickly pop out from the nest collect rich pollen and nectar, and be back safe to the nest before their furry bodies became waterlogged and heavy,  If this happens bumble bees fall from the sky and can die of cold.

I have always loved being near trees, I learnt a lot of my knowledge from my mother who loved the outdoors and nature.  She trained as a herbalist and taught me so much.  What Druidry did was intensify my focus and lead me to learn more about Tree lore and the Ogham.  I have two sets of Ogham cards that I have had for a long time,  One set by Liz and Colin Murry the other by Caitlin Matthews   I used them as a means of reflection, to help in decision and to understand a problem.

There is so much dispute about the origins of the Celtic Ogham and it is doubtful if the full history of how it evolved will ever be clear. I was disappointed to find the Celtic Ogham used as a means of divination was so recent in origin. But I came to feel that The Celtic Tree Ogham distilled from folklore, myths and legends reaching  back far in time and its  links to my Celtic Ancestors had value.  I believe it has a mystical and poetic symbolisms which has a resonance in today's world.. 

My father was a wonderful story teller and historian and instilled in me a love of  going to historic places buildings stone circles, often when I visit an ancient site I can hear his voice telling me the story and legends  of the place,  He taught to feel the importance of history and see the link back to my ancestors and:

The forming power of the past.  (OBOD)

An interest in, and love of, the Sun, Moon,Stars a has always been part of my life.  I like learning about the big picture of the heavens but also seeing the microcosm of my viewpoint.  I like to learn not only facts about our planet and our universe but also Starlore  drawn from the folklore and old stories inspired by cycle of  the  Sun, Moon and The Night Sky.  Druid Starlore:
Embodied in the old stories and the stone circles, teaches a love of the universe.    (OBOD)

The past summer I missed the Sun and Moon and relished being outside on a sunny day with more intensity.  Walking with Pops at night  I felt the absence of the moon during the dismal  evenings of last summer. I like to know the phases of the moon not be reading about it but by seeing it in the night sky and feeling the moonlight as we walk.

Druidry has once again sharpened my focus on the cycle of the sun, moon and stars.  The cycles of the seasons and the cycle of life.

 Love of life of life is part of Druidry it:

Encourages celebration and full commitment to life - it is not a spirituality that wants to escape from life. (OBOD)

I love life and embrace the challenges and joy it brings I feel that my journey into Druidry has shown me away to see the world and its beauty and possibilities from a different standpoint

 People have strange ideas about Druidry and certainly I will not be wearing robes and celebrating the Solstice or Equinox with strange rituals, I won't be found wandering skyclad in the woods.  I am not a Pagan, my Christian heritage is too deep. .I have learnt no magic or spells although I think life and the world can be magical and every day we are given gifts of joy if we pay attention..

Central to my spiritual journey is Reiki and  Mindfulness Meditation.  Druidry has opened my mind to more possibilities and has helped  guided my path.

I am grateful for the journey I have been making in Druidry  I love learning and I will always be a lifelong learner.

With Gratitude to all my Teachers
and Reiki light to you 

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