Seven Things Every Druid Should Do

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New growth on the tips of our south boundary pines

[Thirty Days of Druidry 28]

“Should” is such a polarizing word. I write it here as a reminder most of all to myself. “Who are you to tell us what to do?!” Well, what difference does that make? If my suggestions are good, follow them. If they’re not, don’t. In the end, “who I am” really doesn’t matter much, does it? I’m not putting it out there as a distraction, so why let it be one for you? A road sign on a road you’re not travelling doesn’t apply to you, does it?

Besides, if my suggestions are good, you’re probably already practicing them in your own way.

(The next post will account for how well I follow my own advice.)

OK, here goes:

1–Druids should have a practice. I’m not saying what that is or should be, only that we each need one. Finding one we can stick with and make our own can be a deal of work. But without a practice, we lose focus, we fail to hear the hints — from others, from the green world, from dreams, from study and learning, from the nudge that comes in the shower or taking out the trash — that help keep us in balance. Otherwise, how are we more than armchair or coffee-table druids?

2–Druids should be able to talk about Druidry. Not proselytize. Not necessarily give interviews, record podcasts or lead workshops, unless that’s our thing. But if someone asks, a door is opening, and we can have an “elevator speech” ready. You know, an account of what we do, and how it makes a difference in our lives. One or two sentences can be enough. Otherwise, if we can’t manage that much, why are we doing what we do?

3–Druids should show their love of the earth. How we each do that is part of our own unique practice. Like all things, we have our birth and our bloom, our fruit and our fallow time. Otherwise, how do our lives build and contribute to this world we say we love?

4–Druids should keep learning. Neither we nor the world stands still, and much is stirring in many fields of learning that can enrich our practice, our knowledge, our awareness and our ability to work with the energies of the world for good. Otherwise, how else do we honor what we have been given?

5–Druids should respect their own needs. Our existences are such complex systems, and it becomes very difficult to fulfill the potential of our lives if pain, anger, illness, injury, or weakness overtakes us. It can be equally difficult to do more than we’re already doing if we have lives we live fully, without adding more than enough and driving us to a tipping point of imbalance. We should seek to know ourselves well enough to respect our own boundaries and limits, while asking which ones deserve to be there as supports, corner posts, roof-beams and garden fences, and which ones we can wisely transcend and grow beyond. Otherwise, how can we respect the same needs in others?

6–Druids should serve something greater than themselves. It may be a person, a spirit or god, a relationship, a practice, a community, a cause, an ideal, an institution, a way of life, a language — the possibilities are great. Otherwise, how do we give back and complete our half of the cycle?

7–Druids should listen more than they talk — and we talk a lot! By listening, we can hear music others miss, find beauty that others pass by, celebrate wonders that many children know but adults are coaxed to forget. Otherwise, how can we add our voices to the Great Song that sings each dawn, noon and sunset?

There’s my list. Anything you would delete, change, substitute? What “shoulds” do you follow on your own path?



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