Practical Druid Paganism
Gods and Goddesses
Patron deities are a part of any ritual, as well as a part of everyday life. People who are familiar with Wiccan rituals are used to the invocation of “The Goddess” and “The God” in circle: either by a specific name, or just a “Goddess and God”. While many people who practice a Druid path have a patron Goddess/God or both, they are not limited to just one or two divine beings in a ritual. Nor must they always use the same divine beings. We may refer to one, two or twenty God/desses in the coarse of a single ritual. After all, the more the merrier, right?
Actually, it is just slightly different than that. As we see it, Druidry has many Gods and Goddesses: all different, and all equally valuable and valid. Where most Wiccan groups believe that “all Gods are one God, all Goddesses one Goddess”, we see many different divine beings, with many different relationships with both humans and with each other. We many honor one or several different God/desses in a ritual: as patrons of differing sacred precincts, as workers of specific energies, or as representative of particular relationships on the earthly plane. Aesclepius might be asked to aid in a healing work, within the same ritual where we have called upon Demeter, Persephone and Hades (celebrating the change of seasons as well as the sacrifice of love); and seek Charon’s aid for a meditative journey. Of course, the Gods and Goddesses should come from the same pantheon, as the interrelationships are already established. It may not be impossible to work with Isis, Cernunos, Kwan Yin, and the Corn Maiden in the same ritual, but it would be infinitely confusing.
Separate and unique from the Gods and Goddesses is an all-encompassing sacred energy. Separate, yet intrinsically connected and part of each other. The Christian concept of the Holy Spirit is similar: an immense, genderless, sacred “being”, which our particular tradition (and a few others) refer to as the Dragon. The Dragon is quite literally beyond true description: it is without gender and flows through all things, places, and people. John Boorman touches briefly on this concept in his movie Excalibur. The Dragon is unseen, yet can be seen all around us: it’s breath in the wind, it’s scales in the bark of trees. It is said that the Dragon’s energy can be felt in the ancient holy places (which may contribute to the fact that the mysterious energy lines which connect ancient sacred sites are called “Dragon Lines”.
If you have ever experienced this ‘Dragon Energy’ at one of it’s focus points or along one of the ley lines, you may have some difficulty describing the experience. Of course, each sacred site has it’s own “feel”. It has been reported that particularly sensitive individuals can tap into the ‘energy’ of another sacred site while working at a site along the same energy line. In theory, this seems entirely possible, although I don’t personally know too many individuals who have experience this phenomenon. However, it is this mysterious Dragon Energy along with the myriad of Gods and Goddesses who make our world what it is to the Druid: alive, breathing, and powerful.