Druidism in Action
The Community of the Druids Nemeton is a social & practical working group of Druids & Neopagans, drawn from other movements, such as, OBOD, BDO, ADF, CoBDO, & Modern Paganism (each individuals personal choice of which school of theory, training & practice are left to their discretion), that is supported by a personal daily spiritual practice, & whose members come together in a specific locality – Woodland Trust (the goal being to purchase a woodland, to create a permanent base), to share personal experiences, knowledge, & practical techniques to further enhance & compliment their personal spiritual path.
The Community of the Druids Nemeton is not another monolithic enterprise raising out of the bedrock of the now many failing totalitarian systems; rather we are open & pluralistic. We encourage dialogue with others & promote human relations that are in harmony with the natural systems of Nature. At the same time, we accept a plurality of opinions & the diversity of behaviour patterns. Therefore, such systems of thought feed upon exchanges, interactions, & even contradictions in mankind’s pursuit of personal excellence & sustainable living, through its Stewardship of the Planet.
Druidism is a nature based religion that has many elements in common with New Age & Wicca but with a focus on nature, ancestry & magick. It has no official dogma or sacred Scripture &, therefore, allows its members to express their personal spirituality in many forms. The Community of the Druids Nemeton is not a ground for recruitment, conversion or indoctrination into a religion – No one religion has ‘the truth’, nor the right to impose that on others, but all have insights into ‘the truth’, therefore, by mutual tolerance of one another, the exchanging of ideas, information, & practices, one can freely develop their own unique personal spiritual belief system & remain in harmony with others of differing beliefs & practices, to share in the most advantageous benefits of being in a community – United we stand, divided we fall.
Like the New Age movement, it can adapt to a large variety of spiritual beliefs – Tolerance is the key here, rational man can tolerate anything except intolerance. So, those who are pantheists, polytheists, monotheists, & animists can adopt our Community’s Druidic Philosophy & Spiritual Traditions while maintaining their personal beliefs, theory & training. Monotheistic Druids & Neopagans would believe in a god or goddess. Polytheistic Druids & Neopagans would affirm gods & goddesses. Pantheistic & animistic Druids & Neopagans would deny a personal God & would instead affirm the presence of It, as a force – the Source, that would exist in all things.
What does it mean to be a Druid & a member of the Community of the Druids Nemeton in the 21st century?
Are the dominant thought forms of our times driven by a personal spiritual & inner philosophy or an academic philosophy that’s supports a totalitarian (relating to a system of government that is centralised & dictatorial & requires complete subservience to the state) system? Or by the mentality of the marketplace? Are we driven by a desire for truth, or political expediency? Being able to think, question & reason are liberating, powerful tools that can help us fight superstition, stupidity, short term thinking & self-destructive behaviours.
The Community of the Druids Nemeton offers a structure based on Celtic mythology, Druidism, Magick, Alchemy, Western Hermetic Qabalah, Tarot, Astrology – the hermetic arts & Rosicrucian philosophy. This framework is intended to form a ‘common tongue’ for the diverse beliefs, systems & practices of its members, the goal of which is to create the common ground where its members gather in community for open, cooperative & harmonious relationships – like Druidry, the community has no spiritual doctrine, dogma or policy. It acts in accordance with the Constitution of the Community of the Druids Nemeton, its Purpose & its Mission Statement – a democratic framework that allows for expansion & development by its members. Members are mentored about embracing sustainability & more earth-centered living as a fundamental part of their Druid/Neopagan path. Members are encouraged to investigate the idea of being “deeply rooted in the living earth”.
The community embraces the principles of Permaculture, which is basically a design system, based on the ethic of caring for the earth, caring for people, & returning all surpluses to the natural cycle. While basically human-centred, it is readily adaptable to the practical expression of the philosophies of Druidry, Neopaganism & Deep Ecology. 'Permaculture is about protracted & thoughtful observation, rather than.....protracted & thoughtless action....' It designs systems which have the diversity & stability of natural eco-systems, encourages bio-diversity, & draws its practical principles from the close observation of natural systems & our sacred & spiritual connection to them.
Re-earthing is a process of re-connecting with the earth, using every possible means which works for the individual or for the community, to bring oneself back into context with the whole of the natural world, both physically & spiritually. It dissolves the boundaries between self & other - other being everything in the universe which is not human.
Such processes often form a bridge between Permaculture & Deep Ecology & vice versa, & the community offers a place for this interaction. Some people begin with a philosophy or ideology, & need to work towards its practical expression; some begin with the practice, & need to develop the philosophy & spiritual depth to underpin their actions.
For Neopagans, & especially Druids, Nature is the canvas on which they paint their own unique spirituality. The community layers in mythology, experiences in the natural world, observations, & engages in esoteric practices that allow it to interact with the land. The community reveres Nature, her spirits, her deities, & it enjoys nothing better than being out in wild spaces communing with Nature.
As part of this work, of course, the community thinks about these natural spaces–if the world is a sacred place, how do we conserve it? - How do we preserve it?
The task seems so enormous, it can be overwhelming. Can the Community of the Druids Nemeton, or any other Druid or Neopagan Order become the leaders of sustainability in our everyday communities?
The Community of the Druids Nemeton principles & philosophies, combined with more modern writings on the Druid & Neopagan traditions published in the last 60 or so years, provides the community with an excellent grounding, especially from a spiritual side, to address sustainability. Tracing the roots of today’s Druidry reveals some powerful practices that can help the community embrace a sustainability mindset, but also areas where it might need to go beyond the traditional history of Druidry for additional guidance. These practices are powerful, they give the community much in terms of working principles, philosophies, & ethics, but they don’t necessarily tell the individual directly how to live sustainable lives. So the community draws from the roots of sustainability within these traditions, but not necessarily overt principles–this is where other movements can help guide the community’s path.
One way of embracing sustainability is to connect/embrace & adopt other nature-based movements that clearly align with the community’s principles & that can teach it the skills to become more sustainable, these other sources of inspiration & tradition can be found in the permaculture & deep ecology movements, such as Greenpeace etc. Other principles, like Deep Ecology, can provide the community with ethical frameworks for understanding the world paired with specific actions & techniques for making real change. Deep Ecology includes principles like “re-earthing”, which asks the individual to expand their connection to nature & expand their own idea of identity to closely align with other life.
Embracing sustainability as part of Druidic practice is obviously compatible with the broader movement of Druidry. When we think about common definitions of magick, & ways of working magick, one of the basic principles is that magickal practices should also have a physical component. In the community’s emphasis on sustainable living, its members can find that the real magick happens when they combine physical action with spiritual approaches.
The community’s practice of aligning with the principles of these movements, empowers its members, through their shared spiritual understanding, knowledge & practical techniques, its members are able to bring the physical & the spiritual into harmony; they will be able to develop a more complete personal philosophy of living, growing, interacting, & respecting our living world.
The community practices a safe & representative form of democracy, in that the members have the final vote & say, the community’s three councils are the structure to ensure the community’s members will is carried out. The councils can never, ever, impose their will on the members of the community.