(I didn’t have time to do a proper article about reasons why people think we don’t need Pagan clergy of some sort, and why I disagree with them, and I’m sure the topic can wait another week or two. Since I’ve discovered that my ISP is finally allowing Yahoo Groups mail into my inbox for the first time in (literally) years, I’ve actually been reading all of those groups signed up for so long ago, and discovering how very bad most of the posts are. But one caught my eye this morning, and I decided to respond, and then I thought that my response would make a decent enough entry here. Justine has given me permission to post her part of it.)
(As an aside, anyone know of any decent Pagan discussion mailing lists out there? Non-fluffy is far more important to me than traffic volume.)
At 09:00 AM 4/4/2010, Justine wrote:
>Recently I have run into some confusion with my paths. I am still learning and asked someone about druidry as I wanted to learn more. It seemed a path (i know it is a way of life…not just a religion) that I would want to follow
Definitions are tricky and personal, of course, but some of us do think of a religion as a way of life, So’s ya know. >8)
>but when I asked I was met with scorn as they said the druids are dead and you have to a Celt to be one. Okay, fine…so I dropped that because it was too much but I am still confused as to why it met so much scorn. Can anyone explain druidry in itself and druidry today (if it exist)?
There are even more definitions of “druidry” than there are of religion. I’m a priest in ADF, which by some definitions makes me a Druid, but my chosen hearth culture is Hellenic (Greek), and many in ADF are non-Celts. No current Druid group can make a serious claim of an unbroken lineage to the Ancients, the oldest active ones in Britain are all of two centuries old. Sorry to end with a non-answer, but you’ll have to decide for yourself what is or isn’t “Druidry”, and whether what you’re doing is or isn’t part of that. (For my part, I always describe myself as an “ADF Druid”, and if the person I’m telling it to knows what ADF is, then that’s a good description, and if they don’t, they can either ask me or just go “oh he’s a Druid” and leave it at that.)
>Also, (yes, more questions) I have always defined as a Celtic pagan because I shared the beliefs and always felt as though it was my …snip…
>… if we aren’t accepted by these gods and goddesses because we aren’t “this” or we aren’t “that”, then how can we worhsip?
I’ve never believed that genetics are the only way to choose one’s religion. I’m not at all Greek, but the Greek gods are the ones who first called to me, and the ones I feel the most comfortable with, so that’s my hearth culture. Why should we be forced into a relationship with particular gods just because of our ancestry? Better question: I had a friend in college who was adopted and had no idea what his genetic background was, although he suspected he was Belgian based on a few things. Should he be forced into atheism or agnosticism because of it? How about folks who find out, thanks to the marvels of genetic testing, that the guy they thought was their father really wasn’t? Should they be forced to convert?
>I mean, all the gods are from someplace. Do you have to be Indian to worship Budha/buddhism?
If so, I can think of several hundred million Chinese people who are in trouble. >8)
>If we cannot worship these gods then what gods do wiccans worship? Is there a wiccan god/goddess (as far as I know there is not) or does each wiccan discover their own? When you join a coven would you be “given” a god or goddess or do you decide your own?
I’m no Wiccan, so I only know a little of their ways, but it depends on the coven. Many covens do honor a Great God and Great Goddess over all others, but some don’t, and many do have one or two specific gods their group focuses on.
>Lastly, can you just define as just an electic pagan and leave it at just that? You don’t have to tell everyone every little detail of what your study anyway but I want to know if that is an actual path.
Lots of folks do. Don’t let it worry you if a few semi-racist pagans out there tell you you’re doing it wrong, if your relationship with your gods is good, what others think of you is irrelevant.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF