Jump to content

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online. Become a Patron!

Difference Bewteen Druidry And Wicca?


Guest titania
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello!

 

This is my first 'real' post so please be gentle with me!

 

I was hoping somebody could assist me in understanding some of the fundamental differences between Wicca and Druidry? From my layman's perspective the two appear to have more similarities than anything else.

 

In beginning the life long task of figuring out my path I ideally would like to head off in one direction or the other. I originally began reading up on Wicca but it just didn't quite sit right. So having moved on to Druidic literature I feel more at home, although I can't put my finger on why! From that I have read so far (which is not a great deal by any stretch of the imagination) I can deduce that:

 

- wicca places greater emphasis on magic than Druidry

- wicca is duotheist, druidry is polytheist

- Druidry feels more philosophical or scholastic even

 

Am I way off the mark with this? And what are some of the other differences?

 

Also if anyone can suggest any particular reading material then that would be most appreciated :)

 

Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please consider supporting us to help keep our Website and Facebook groups online.

Hi,

 

It may be best not to compare them at all but to look at each in its own right and see if either [or something else] sings to you.

 

 

I call myself a Druid. This is not because I am studying Druidry. I called myself a Pagan for decades without knowing what one was or knowingly meeting one. Over 30 years I formed my own story of the universe. When eventually I did meet other Pagans I discovered that I really was a Pagan and that Druidry accorded with MY thinking. I have been accepted by the Grove as a Druidic Bard without benefit of OBOD qualification. I was publicly declared Bard by the Grove.

 

So - That is where I came from.

 

Now:

 

Defining Druidry is like trying to define Paganism - impossible. Druidry isn't a religion. In the grove that I attended there were Druids whose religion was Christianity, Druids whose religion was Buddhism and I am told that there exists in the Midlands a Druid whose religion is Islam. However most of the Druids I know call themselves Pagan.

 

Druidry certainly can't be limited to Polytheism but there are a lot of soft Polytheist and Animist Druids. I am a Pantheist Druid.

 

I do not know any Druids who do magic.

 

I do know that there are groves of Druids who stand in circles and call the quarters but I'm pretty sure that they borrowed that quite recently from Wicca [Gardner]

 

Druidry is for the most part very open. My impression of Wicca is that it is less so.

 

Take a look at the OBOD site http://www.druidry.org/ If you can work out what Druids believe from that you are doing better than I did. :lol: If you read Philip Carr-Gom's book "What Druids Believe" and can see what Druids believe then once again you are doing better than I did and I read it more than once. :lol: :lol:

I am a Druid because the world view expressed by many of the Druids with whom I talk accords with my own thinking better than the Nordic or the Wiccan one. That's just me. Shepherds of the Land is a romantic but useful description of their intention. Certainly caring for and revering "The Land" lies close to the centre of Druidry.

 

I know little of Wicca and will leave it to a Wiccan to contrast and compare with my view of Druidry. There are also Valley residents who have studied Druidry and who may disagree with my very vague parameters.

 

I would always recommend "Listening People Speaking Earth" by Harvey or "Pagan Paths" by Jennings to a beginner who wanted a sketch of the various paths. They both cover far more than Druidry and Wicca.

 

 

 

Good Luck. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^wot he sez^^^

I too am happy to be self identifying as Druidic because the world view expressed by the many Dru I have come across accords closest to my own... buggered if I could have put it into words quite so well though :lol:

 

I would add that Druidry, at least in my experience of it as I would would consider it to be at its best, is very much a process of non-prescriptive discovery and shared debate... no-one tells me what to believe, but we can sit and chew the fat, often disagree, but finally agree on the impotant staff... other Druids' values are often closely aligned to my own. In that sense I find myself in that community because I am philosophically minded... but that is not an exclusively a Dru trait... many Wiccan's also have similar enquiring approaches to their path... though then you get into the oft silly yet thorny debate about W/wicca :unsure:

Edited by Animystic
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand Druidry as being broadly divided into three sections. Fraternal druidry which is non-religious and stems from the 'friendly societies' and labour groups which took on what was then perceived to be the "Druid image" but little else. Cultural druidry,such as those associated with eisteddfod and Iolo Morganwg, is not in itself a religion but is or at least was at the start tend to be very Christian in nature (I think it's this sort that Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams was initiated into). It's these kinds of Druidry that would be practiced alongside Christianity, Buddhism, Wicca ect. and it would be fair to say they are not "religions". Spiritual Druidy is the most recent of the three (post-Wicca 1980s I think)and this sort I would say is most definitely a religion. All can be practiced alongside other religions. I once met a Driud who said "it's not a religion it's a way of life" I then pointed out that generally a religion is a way of life and so the statement does not make any sense.

 

 

Defining Druidy, like defining Paganism, is not impossible it's just a question of power and 'voice' and accepting the multiplicity of the meanings of words.

 

Druids are more likely than Wiccans to be monotheist.

 

As for differences between Druidy and Wicca, that would depend on which tradition of Druidry and which tradition of Wicca you are comparing. Both Druidry and Wicca are "invented"/"revived" traditions (like all other Pagan denominations)and both impard a sriritual signifcance on nature. Magic plays a central part in Wicca whereas it has a lesser role in Druidy if practiced at all. Animystic mentioned the silly Wicca v wicca debate, I think this is something that only exists on internet forums. If it's a religion it's gets to be capitalised as you would Christianity or Islam.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your replies, they have helped put a lot into perspective.

 

I think I now know where my path is going and am just going to go with it and see where I end up :)

 

Perhaps I have been a little too hung up on definitions, boxes, labels and the like. It's such a lot to take in when you are just starting out isn't it?! No wonder I have been getting into a pickle!

 

I will definitely seek out the Philip Carr-Gom book, thank you Moonsmith.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spiritual Druidy is the most recent of the three (post-Wicca 1980s I think)and this sort I would say is most definitely a religion. All can be practiced alongside other religions. I once met a Driud who said "it's not a religion it's a way of life" I then pointed out that generally a religion is a way of life and so the statement does not make any sense.

 

Ross Nichols (founder of OBOD in 1964 out of the Ancient Druid Order) and Gerald Gardner were contemporaries and good friends. Many of the aspects of Wicca have parallels in modern pagan Druidry precisely because the two men worked together on a number of projects and were regular member of the same nudist club (I kid you not!).

 

Wicca and Druidry come from similar roots, having much in common, however there is a marked difference in tone and ethos. Druidry is very much an open system, any may become a Druid and no-one really cares much about who is and who isn't a Druid. There is no Druid/druid debate going on anywhere within Druidry, although there are quite a few non-Druids who say we are all in the wrong (but no-one pays them much attention). The few things that are central to Druidry are a veneration of nature, a spiritual outlook and a personal ethic of service, duty and honour. Under the modern Druidic umbrella you can have the "slash-Druids" who are the Christian-Druids, Muslim-Druids, Jewish-Druids, Buddhist-Druids, Heathen-Druids, Atheist-Druids and so on or the pagan Druids who generally follow a celtic or numinous spirituality incorporating polytheist, animist, pantheist or somesuch belief system. Pagan Druids are by far the greater part of Druidry, followed by a number of Atheist Druids and then a small but friendly group of Christian Druids.

 

Druids are more likely than Wiccans to be monotheist.

 

I think this is a common myth but only really true of initiated Wiccans, who only form a small part of W/wicca these days. There are probably far more Goddess-only wiccans than there are Christian Druids. There are even Christian wiccans these days (I know, I can see one from my desk where I am writing this). One idea central to many expressions of Druidry is that of balance, balancing the male with the female as much as anything. For many Druids, goddess worship is as unbalanced as god worship, the Mabon has to be balanced by the Modron and vice versa.

 

Magic does play a small role in Druidry but spells generally do not. Ritual is a very big part of Druidry, whether you dress up and wave swords about or just cast a circle in your living room dressed in your sunday slobs. The main three magics of Druidry are the magic of making (creating or composing, art, crafts, song, poetry etc.), the magic of seeing (divination, mainly ogham, augury and signs from nature but also systems such as runes or tarot) and the magic of healing (healing the self and healing others through herbalism, counselling etc.) although there are rituals for protection and some Druids include traditional faery lore (think more Tolkien than Enid Blyton).

 

Animystic mentioned the silly Wicca v wicca debate, I think this is something that only exists on internet forums. If it's a religion it's gets to be capitalised as you would Christianity or Islam.

 

The Wicca/wicca debate is the difference between the initiatory tradition involving real covens and the solitary practice that has grown up very recently which involves self-dedication/self-initiation rather than being accepted into a group. There have been very real-life fisticuffs when the two groups have come to loggerheads in my experience. It's one of the reasons I stopped going to moots years ago.

 

Of course you don't really have to choose between Druidry and Wicca if you find something of value in both of them, many Druids practice Druidcraft in which they add the distinctive elements of Druidry and wicca (or witchcraft) to the common core. It is probably the largest sub group among the pagan Druids, a few being traditionally initiated Gardernian or Alexandrian Wiccans as well as being Druids long before PCGs book Druidcraft came out.

 

If you want to learn more about Druidry then there are a couple of online courses hosted over at The Druid Network (TDN) which are worth at least reading through:

 

A Perennial Course in Living Druidry is Emma Restall Orr's year-long course tied to the thirteen moons of the year.

 

Polytheist Druidry is Robin Herne's twenty-lesson course in finding your own polytheist Druid path.

 

You will notice that both are essentially light frameworks for your own study and research. This is pretty much how Druidry is and explains why it is so loosely defined.

 

John Macintyre is the man to ask about Wicca, my knowledge of it is second hand and therefore may be down to individual interpretation.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Badger Bob! That explains a lot :)

 

Those links are great (as is the whole website actually, I can see myself getting lost in there!) those courses look like the sort of thing I would benefit from.

 

I have also looked at the OBOD/BDO courses...does anyone have any thoughts on those? I like the idea of structured training as if I'm left to my own devices I will probably read a load of old tosh!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may also be worthwhile to remember that the older religions, generally called 'recon' because they are reconstructed from pre-Christian religions - often have very close connections with the land and other aspects similar to Druidry.

 

If you consider that modern OBOD-style druidry is a combination of things cobbled together by Gardner (who invented/developed Wicca) and pre-Christian Celtic religious notions and cultural values, then it begins to make sense. There are also pure Celtic recons (CRs) out there, many of whom specialise in one of the three main Celtic paths (Brythonic, Irish or Gallic). My own religion, Heathenry, is very similar to the Celtic religions in that we care deeply about the spirits of the land, rivers, tress etc, and love poetry, writing and word play.

 

I didn't set out to be a Heathen. Sometimes, you end up in places you didn't expect to at the beginning. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I didn't set out to be a Heathen. Sometimes, you end up in places you didn't expect to at the beginning. ;)

 

Very true! I learned this one early on; I thought I would be following a wiccan path, but that soon went out of the window! I find I'm really in more of a labyrinth than on a path...:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Titania,

 

I was hoping somebody could assist me in understanding some of the fundamental differences between Wicca and Druidry? From my layman's perspective the two appear to have more similarities than anything else.

 

In beginning the life long task of figuring out my path I ideally would like to head off in one direction or the other. I originally began reading up on Wicca but it just didn't quite sit right. So having moved on to Druidic literature I feel more at home, although I can't put my finger on why! From that I have read so far (which is not a great deal by any stretch of the imagination) I can deduce that:

 

- wicca places greater emphasis on magic than Druidry

- wicca is duotheist, druidry is polytheist

- Druidry feels more philosophical or scholastic even

 

Am I way off the mark with this? And what are some of the other differences?

 

There's been a lot of good advice above. I'd suggest that we need to be careful in talking about 'fundamental differences between Wicca and Druidry. Wicca is very diverse, even within its initiatory traditions, and Druidry seems pretty diverse - as far as I can tell as an outsider - as well. No doubt there are differences. In my experience Wiccans are much more likely to go skinnydipping in any available sea, loch or river than Druids are, while Druids are much more likely to be able to sing in tune than Wiccans are, or perhaps that's just stereotyping :). The two paths overlap to a considerable degree, and quite a few Wiccans are also Druids. For that matter, quite a few Wiccans and Druids also belong to the younger 'recon' traditions :). It's hard to draw dividing lines in Paganism that don't go through people. Neatly delineated paths seem to exist only in books. Actual living & breathing Pagans are usually much harder to categorise, and that seems to include most Pagan authors.

 

On the three differences you've deduced:

 

Wicca probably does place greater emphasis on magic than Druidry, but magic is a much broader concept than spellcraft. Wicca also encompasses a range of esoteric techniques which are forms of worship much more than anything else, and some of these seem to be quite similar to some of the shamanistic forms of communion with the divine which I understand some Druids practice.

 

Duotheism vs polytheism? Again, I don't think it's as tidy as that. Wicca encompasses a spectrum of theological positions ranging from inclusive Goddess monotheism to 'hard' polytheism. From what I know of Druidry, the spectrum of belief within it is probably even wider. Neither path is really about 'belief' as such, or at least not in the way that the doctrinal monotheisms regard belief.

 

Philosophical/scholarly? If that's a tactful way of saying that there's an awful lot of rubbish written about Wicca then I'd have to agree with you :(. But that's not really a reflection of the path itself. You get philosophical, scholarly, Druids and you get philosophical, scholarly, Wiccans. These qualities seem more about individual interests and aptitudes than specific paths.

 

There's not really any need to choose a path within Paganism. As Moonhunter pointed out, it seems to be more a case of paths choosing us where choices are made at all. In particular, it might not be wise to feel you have to believe or do certain things because they're associated with one specific path, and reject others because they're associated with a different path. It might be better to explore with an open mind, and see where your heart and spirit lead you. The right choice often only becomes noticeable long after it's been made.

 

BB,

 

John Macintyre

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For that matter, quite a few Wiccans and Druids also belong to the younger 'recon' traditions :).

 

:o_nono: :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand Druidry as being broadly divided into three sections.

No, four ‚ÄĒ for one small village of indomitable Druids still holds out against the Roman invaders. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand Druidry as being broadly divided into three sections.

No, four ‚ÄĒ for one small village of indomitable Druids still holds out against the Roman invaders. :P

 

And then there is the "ME" group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nah its just me and all the other Druidic groups of one to a few.

 

Oh I see, the Independent/Hedge/Solitary/Hermit and other Druids. I assumed ME stood for Middle Earth!

Edited by Badger Bob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Roundtuit
      Thank you.  Yes, I'm starting to think it's the journey that matters.   What a gorgeous image!  I'd love to get back to the fells, there's something new around very corner there.    
    • Stonehugger
      I've had varying degrees and natures of commitment to Christianity since I was at school but I've also always had pagan leanings and for quite a long time now my path has been entirely pagan. It's unproblematic in that my family and friends think it's harmless eccentricity, but I imagine it would be different if I took a strongly pagan stance on something. For me personally it's important to listen to what's going on around me and work out my path accordingly, so I celebrate the presence of many paths up the same mountain and have no concerns about reaching the top. I imagine that, like almost any walk in the fells, what currently looks like the top is just another place to see the next top from. Definitely!! ūüėĀ
    • Ellinas
      Well, I've been called many things in my time... I'm also a former Christian, with a chequered history (Anglican, in the guise of the Church in Wales, then Plymouth Brethren with the odd foray into the Baptists along the way).  I fell out with Christianity in the early 2000's, when I was late 30's, early 40's. Since then, the general nature of my meanderings has remained fairly constant, but the details and contents have changed over time.  That's fine.  The journey is the issue, not the destination.  Ithaca calls, but Phoenician markets and Egyptian cities have the greater import (poetic reference - just means follow your path and hope to arrive late, if at all).  What I believe tomorrow may be very different to what I believe today.  What I believed yesterday is just a stepping stone. In short, don't worry about what you have been, as it is merely the pathway that got you to what you are, and don't worry about where you are going, there are any number of bye-ways for you to explore. As to others - I have struggled with family pressures and the tyranny of monotheistic faith.  I understand your position and have no issue with a softly-softly approach such as you describe.  In fact, it is the best way unless you are prepared to create and weather a family rift. Dangerous statement.  Talk about tempting fate...!
    • Moonsmith
      Hi, Welcome.  While I rarely go to bed before three am, I am also in the habit of switching off my phone between uses.  This device is primarily outgoing.  Many of us have been Christians at some point in our histories.  Experiences vary considerably.  I was heavily involved but just lapsed.  No issues or problems. I know a lot of Pagans who have switched between different belief sets, pagan and non pagan over the years.  They have a tendency to carry over elements from each crossroads they come to.  My own beliefs have been evolving for decades.  I don’t suppose that they will change much more but if anyone gives serious thought to their beliefs there must always be the risk of a new realisation.  Don’t take any notice of what other people say, just be sure that whatever you believe is what you really believe.    There is no top to that mountain.  The road goes ever on. Take any path that leads in a direction that want to go.  Don’t worry about the destination.
    • Roundtuit
      Hi!  Welcome to my self-absorbed drivel. I don't quite know where to start about this, but after years of trying to be a Christian, I'm exploring being a Pagan.  Actually, I'd go as far as to say I am one, and was before in my late teens and early twenties.  I grew up in an Evangelical household and my parents are now Pentecostal deacons.  I started to question my faith from an early age, and later started to practice Wicca and study legends and folk customs.  I had some health problems that made me a lot more dependent on family.  I don't see any reason to ever let my parents or other family members know about my beliefs as that would be devastating for them, but they ask about church and my spiritual life every time I see them.  In my mid twenties I started to think that I had to compromise with my parents over my beliefs if they were ever to accept other life choices I made.  I have had relationships they wouldn't accept and didn't want to alienate myself from them even further.  I wanted to be pragmatic.  There was truth in virtually every belief system so I might as well re-adopt Christianity, find a progressive church and live as good a life as I could like that.  So I did that for years, as a secretly pantheistic Christian who went to a church that worshipped God using male, female and gender-neutral pronouns and lived what most people would describe as a secular life outside of church.  I'd left Christianity because so much harm was done in the name of a set of beliefs.  Then I came back because I didn't want to cause harm to my parents in the name of beliefs, religion or the lack of it.  How people are treated should always come first. Then aged 43, in January during the lockdown, I went 'pop'.  It was like I'd been getting more and more resentful and thirsting after Earth-based spirituality.  It was a need and I'm not sure it can be denied because I need to feel alive.  I've been studying various pagan traditions ever since and have taken a break from church (my vicar knows all of this and is great about it).  Not attending church is unacceptable in my family.  I feel so behind though.  Most people I meet or come across on social media has years of experience and say they've been practicing since they were teenagers.  I once heard someone say that yes, there are many paths up the same mountain but if you keep changing paths you never reach the top.  Do you agree, or not? Is anyone else here a new older pagan?  Is it at all common?  
×
×
  • Create New...