To keep me honest about my progress in the 50 Book Challenge, I am devoting the Monday post of each week to discussing the book I read the week before.
Last week's book was The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer. Somehow I stumbled upon modern Druidry on the internet, and was intrigued enough to check the Handbook out from the library.
When one thinks of a Druid one of two images comes to mind: A white-robed, bearded Irish guy with incense in the forest, chanting in Gaelic; or, in the case of gamers, a Night Elf or Tauren that can change into a bear, cat, treant, or boomkin, depending on your spec. With images of both in mind, I began my study of Druidry.
Not surprisingly, what I discovered about Druidry from The Druidry Handbook was that modern druids are neither of these things, at least not completely. Druidry today focuses on one's relationship with the Earth, especially finding and strengthening the spiritual connection we have with it. There are three paths that Druids follow today: The Earth Path, the Sun Path, and the Moon Path.
The Earth Path encompasses your physical connection to the Earth. It includes finding ways to get outside, be still, and focus on the essences of nature that we overlook day to day (a patch of grass, a stone, waves). As you travel the Earth Path, it's necessary to make adjustments to your lifestyle that reflect your renewed connection to the Earth (your basic green changes: Recycling, efficient appliances, simplifying your lifestyle, taking the bus, etc.).
The Sun Path focuses on the cycle of the year and involves ritual and celebration. Druids celebrate the solstices and equinoxes as well as the dates in-between them (ie: February 2nd, which is midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox). There are various rituals and meditations for each of these days.
The Moon Path is the spiritual aspect of Druidry. It involves meditation on your connection to the Earth, Druid mythology and symbolism, and other emotional or mental challenges you may be experiencing. Someone who has been practicing Druidry for a while will meditate for about 20 minutes daily. The Moon Path enhances your spiritual connection with the Earth.
This is the most brief, general synopsis of the book I can give. There are many other interesting things that encompass the practice of Druidry that are discussed in the book, and if you're at interested in Druidry, this book is a must-read. I found it intriguing enough to pursue other books on the topic and see if it may be a good fit for me, at least in some aspects. I'm not sure I'm quite ready for a wand just yet.
Greer, John Michael. The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth. York Beach, ME: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2006.