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Bel04

Looking for people knowledgable in Celtic paganism

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Ellinas

I'm not going to presume to say anything about druidry.  Not a druid, not my business.

But "authenticity"...?  Grumble grumble harrumph and grumble.

A "tradition" of 50 years old is no less "authentic" than the practices that came to an end millennia ago.  In fact, probably more so because at least it has some relevant to those who are alive today.  When I lop off a tree branch, my chain saw pruner (cross reference to another thread there) represents no less "authentic" a practice than if I hacked at it with a personally fashioned replica of a paleolithic hand axe.

Authenticity is a matter of sincerity rather than historicity.  It is a farce when it becomes an excuse to impose on the present an interpretation of beliefs and practices of long dead societies.

I note with interest that, whilst Mr McCann sees himself as a reconstructionist (something which I do not), his post suggests (to me at least) that he has recognised this.  Olympus, as far as I am concerned, is more interested in our recognition and interaction than in whether we try to re-enact the practices of one or another of the ancient city states from some indeterminate period of Hellenic history

Somewhat truculent grumble over.  For now, at any rate.

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Moonsmith
2 hours ago, Ellinas said:

Authenticity is a matter of sincerity rather than historicity.

Clearly you are not a clogger or a Morris dancer!!!!

An authentic style has nowt to do with sincerity.  Ya dance Ducklington reet or you dunna dance it at all!

As for authentic ale, blood has been spilled and shins clogged over it.

In fact I sort of agree with you.  Sincerity is the foundation of what I referred to previously as "internal authenticity".  External and perhaps conventional authenticity requires that a practice or provenance is demonstrably that of its origin.  Bugger all to do with sincerity.

2 hours ago, Ellinas said:

Somewhat truculent grumble over.  For now, at any rate.

We'll see 🙂

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Briton

This is why I put authenticity in quotations, under the assumption people understood I meant in the sense of a connection to the belief system that grew organically rather than a group of people trying to recreate something we can't know virtually anything about, rather than just creating a new religion for this region.

I guess that's what I take issue with. Why call it Druidism? We all know it's impossible to honestly say we've recreated the religion of iron age Britons, why do they feel the need to do it? Why not just create a new belief system and say its about the uniquely supernatural presence in and of Britain? I would find that more honest and probably openly support their movement. It's just seems too forced.

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Moonsmith

I've given a talk to PF about this 🙂

Why not call it Druidry?

How much stone does the average Freemason cut?

I certainly do not look to antiquity or a Celtic world  for my practice or my belief and yet I refer to myself as a Druid. Why?  I'm not recreating anything.

Well to start with Briton, whatever you believe is based on other peoples interpretation of some philosophy or thinking and filtered through your own perceptions against your own experience and culture via a language.

To me there is just one element that seems to have persisted since at least 2000 years ago - It is believed that Posidonius first reported the word Druid [It may not even have been pronounced like that].  It is that word that intrigues me as it has many others before me.

The Romans wrote a lot about the Gauls and the British.  They used a wide range of words to describe poets, priests, profits, advisors, lawgivers.  Reading Koch and Carey I get the distinct impression that the word Druid was often used by Roman commentators to confer either high honour or ultimate  opprobrium upon a person rather than describe their function.  Oh there are descriptions of practice and function, few of which most of us would wish to adopt or indeed be capable of.

The word lay dormant other than the odd reference in Irish text where once again it was used alongside many other words for what look like similar functions.

Then in the seventeenth century it woke up.  Stukley attached people he called Druids to Stonehenge.  Mutual assistance groups sprung up referred to as Druid Orders in parallel with Freemasonry.  Romantic poets started to use the word and pictures began to appear.  Druidry became attached Welsh Bards ,to the Welsh national identity and later a spirituality evolved. 

The word "Druid" seems to have a fascination and a persistence which I enjoy contemplating.

The meaning and significance of a word or practice to an individual only survives the lifetime of that individual.  Other individuals understand something slightly or very different and attach differing significance.

Rather like the deposit of sediment at the bottom of an ocean, layers upon layers of thinking around the word Druid have consolidated into a solid rock, suitable for building a spiritual foundation.  A fraternal organisation calling itself "The Ancient Order of Druids" must have seemed pretentious in 1781 but now it is what it says on the tin.

When I use the term Druid it is a very personal interpretation of all the folk who have ever been referred to or spoken as Druids right up to the present day, an agglomeration to which I too am contributing in a very very small way.

Postmodernism surfs over never ending waves of modernisms and ultramodernisms.   Postmodern Druidry is for me a highly evolved way of thinking about the spiritual aspects of the universe.  Maybe just as well that there is only one of us.

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Bel04
On 10/30/2018 at 9:05 PM, Briton said:

My bad, when I first started looking into paganism, I took it from a very academic approach because I'm a purist at heart. Whilst I will defend the purist merits, I won't pretend it's not gruelling. The likes of Hutton is all I'm used to so if the thought of diving in head first is a little intimidating - and it totally is - maybe pace yourself Bel04 and accustom yourself to the likes of Hutton after reading other things. I probably punished myself unnecessarily, and considerably slowed down my learning, in this approach. Maybe it wasn't the best approach.

Whilst I agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with creating or sharing the neo-Druid tradition, I think it is important to make clear that it has no tradition, that it is has no inherited link to pre-Roman British beliefs. I'm not denigrating neo-Druidism for the sake of it, only ensuring OP doesn't get fooled by some neo-Druids who will pretend they have some "authenticity".

All I can think about is something important tomorrow I've got so I can probably make a better contribution in a day or two.

Hey there, thank you so much for all the info and helpful suggestions. Can I ask what the difference is between Druidism and neo-paganism or if they one and the same?

ive recently bought a book about druidry but have not yet been able to read it as I’m still reading a books about gods and myths in north wales.

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DavidMcCann

The druid Philip Shallcrass once wrote

Quote

This opens the question of whether modern Druidry sees itself as a pagan eligion. The only answer I can give is that some druids are more pagan than others. Some are overtly pagan, some are avodedly Christian … we know so little about what druids got up to in the past that we are free to concoct just about anything and call it Druidry today.

An honest man!

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Earthdragon
4 hours ago, Bel04 said:

Can I ask what the difference is between Druidism and neo-paganism or if they one and the same?

Hi Bel04,

Druidry is a term coined by Ross Nichols in the 1960s. Nichols and others formed OBOD whose website is www.druidry.org

Druidism is an older name for Druidic practise than Druidry though Druidism  and Druidry are used interchangeably by some.

Neo-paganism is a category of  pagan religions so not all neo-pagans practise Druidism or Druidry.

Re. Authenticity I raised a thread on this a couple of years back which is here

 

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Moonsmith
22 hours ago, Earthdragon said:

Re. Authenticity I raised a thread on this a couple of years back which is here

Thanks for this ED.  It demonstrates that our thinking is consistent over at least 24 months!

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Ellinas
On 11/2/2018 at 6:46 PM, Moonsmith said:

...  It demonstrates that our thinking is consistent over at least 24 months!

Or that it hasn't developed in c. 2 years...

  • Haha 1

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