What is Druidism?

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Druidism can mean different things to different people.  Much of this has to do with which tradition you embrace, your personal beliefs, and where you are in your life.

In the ADF tradition, to which many of our members belong, Druids typically value the following:

  • A Polytheistic View of Deity : This means we tend to worship multiple deities.  Some focus on forming a deep relationship with only one or two, and some believe in a “supreme being,” but they still acknowledge the existence of many other deities.  
  • A Balance of Gender: Men and women, regardless of sexual preference, may practice Druidism.  Anyone who puts forth dedication and hard work may become clergy within ADF.
  • Nature: Ancient Druids and Celts held animistic beliefs.  We modern folk also embrace these views and they blend nicely with our work to grow in awareness of the natural world and live in better harmony with it.  Many Druids are also environmentalists.  We honor the Earth Mother, local deities, and the spirits of Nature – seen and unseen.
  • Religious Tolerance: We don’t believe that Druidism is the One Way.  Rather, we believe that everyone has a right to peacefully explore the religion of his or her choice.  We don’t, however, believe that religion gives anyone the right to commit genocide or other awful crimes agains humanity or the natural world.
  • A Balance of Magic and Science: The Ancient Druids were the scientists and philosophers of their age.  Modern Druids aim to balance their use of magic (spiritual sciences) with other modern sciences such as biology, astronomy, etc.  Many Druids may turn to magic as well as “practical” means to achieve a goal such as finding a job, healing a friend, cleaning the home, or locating a lost pet.  Many Druids embrace a balance of holistic healing and modern medical advances.
  • Connecting to the Natural Cycles: In addition to honoring the spirits of Nature, Druids also aim to reconnect with the old agricultural festivals our Ancestors celebrated.  As ADF is a NeoPagan religion, we have embraced the modern Wheel of the Year and the Eight High Days.  Some Druids also celebrate the cycles of the moon.  These celebrations are usually influenced by the Hearth Culture of a grove or individual.
  • Ancestry: Druids often honor their Ancestors.  ADF believes that anyone may be a Druid regardless of heritage, but many are called to the paths of their Ancient Ancestors and honor them.  Ancestors of heart and land are also honored in ritual and daily practice.
  • A Balance of Scholarship and Inspiration – While some Druids are inspired by the romantic interpretations of the past, and some are purely cerebral, ADF aspires to balance the two approaches.  Our aim is to be lifelong learners, updating our understanding of Druidism with modern research (archaeology, linguistics, comparative mythology, etc), while at the same time allowing ourselves to be open to divine inspiration, modern innovations, and experimentation.  We only desire to revive the best aspects of Ancient Druidism within a modern context and leave such practices as head hunting and human and animal sacrifice to the past.
    • Respect to Indigenous and Living Cultures: Many ADF members are descendants of European immigrants and are conscious of the First Nations who still live where Europeans settled.  We are also aware that the cultures we emulate in Europe may still exist albeit in a modernized form.  We do not aim to misrepresent living cultures or to appropriate the practices of indigenous cultures.  While some may have eclectic practices, most Druids in ADF do not feel it is respectful to mix cultures in ritual unless there is a historical precedent.
  • Self-Expression: The Ancient Celts were very artistic, poetic people.  We know from archaeological remains and lore that they valued the arts.  We modern Druids also value artistic expression and encourage each other to pursue our hobbies and infuse them with spirituality.  Many in ADF also belong to guilds, such as the Artisan or Bardic guild, which assist members in strengthening their skills.
  • Community: Ancient and Modern Druids value community.  Family and tribe are important.  We stand up for one another, are hospitable to one another, celebrate together, and support one another.  Although some practice their path as a solitary Druid, they are often members of virtual groups and enjoy joining the larger Druidic community at festivals.  Modern Druids also value the extended community – the towns and cities we live in, our country, the world.  Many Druids are involved in charitable organizations.  Groves, protogroves, and study groups often engage in community service – food drives, park cleanups, highway adoptions, soldier adoption, and disaster relief.  Most Druids believe that we are all connected, regardless of belief, and that it is important to help make the world a better place.
  • A Virtuous Life: ADF Druids embrace the Nine Druidic Virtues.  They are piety, wisdom, vision, courage, integrity, perseverance, hospitality, moderation, and fertility. These are not viewed as commandments; rather, they are guidelines for each individual to interpret and apply to life.

For More Information:

A short documentary about ADF Druidism

What is ADF?

What do NeoPagan Druids Believe?

NeoPagan Druidism Today

ADF Druidism and Wicca

ADF Compared to OBOD

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