Labyrinth on the beach at Luccombe,
Isle of Wight. This so-called Cretan Maze
is a fine visual representation
of the Druid’s path.
Druids of old were traditionally teachers, as well as advisers to their kings.
Indeed, it is recorded that students would travel from Europe to receive the much-sought-after wisdom of the British Druids and royal offspring would often be placed in their charge to learn the many arts and traditions that would be an essential part of their armoury as future rulers. Druid school was very much the exclusive university of its day.
In their earliest times the Druids would advise and assist their kings in warfare and battle and, indeed, there is anecdotal evidence of them using the entrails of disembowelled captives to scry or peer into the future. But later they seem to have become peacemakers, perhaps finally perceiving the folly of warfare and the wisdom of peaceful solutions, and this is echoed today in Druid rite with a call for peace before each ritual gets properly under way.
The apprenticeship to Druidry was an immensely long one, perhaps made more arduous by the fact that it was purely an oral tradition, with teachings through story, myth, anecdote and example committed to memory. Nothing appears to have been written down. This might have been because of a perceived need for secrecy or as a test of the initiate’s mettle and fitness for his particularly onerous future role.
Today some Druids may learn “on the job” from those around them in the grove or order and from the considerable lessons afforded by the natural world, although formal teaching is now available.
The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids offers courses which guide the novice through its three degrees and more details can be found on its wesbite at http://www.druidry.org
Online addresses for other major UK Druid orders can be found on the links page of this site and most offer some kind of teaching and/or support for the initiate.
A Perennial Course in Living Druidry
WIGHT Druids have embraced A Perennial Course in Living Druidry, developed by Emma Restall Orr (Bobcat), founder of our affiliates, The Druid Network, and author of many books on the subject of modern Druidry.
Emma has made the course material freely available online, so anyone wishing to get involved can always go at their own pace. No pressure, here. No exams. Simply learn for yourself, grow – and enjoy!
There are no fees involved – everything Wight Druids do is also always offered free of charge – and anyone interested can begin at any point of the annual cycle.
This course does not directly address the ‘nuts and bolts’ of Druidry, but is designed to lay the best possible foundation for integrating Druidry as a personal way of life, and to offer deep inspiration to all who are already following this beautiful natural path, or simply considering walking this way.
If either statement applies to you … click here. And may the Awen be with you /|\