History of Modern Druidism

History of Modern Druidism

Modern Druidism, that is, modern Pagan Druidism, owes a debt of gratitude to the monotheistic fraternal Druid orders that comprise their not-so-direct predecessors. Some of these organizations still exist: many continue today as fraternal orders (much as the Elks Lodge and similar organizations), others have developed into more Pagan groups, as has occurred with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). More groups seem to appear on a regular basis, some lasting only a brief time, others leaving a lasting mark on society.

Probably the oldest purely American Druid Organization is the RDNA (Reformed Druids of North America). Originally, this group seems to have been almost anything but Pagan. However, some offshoots are quite Pagan in nature. The Major offshoots of the RDNA are Ar n’Draiocht Fein and Keltria.

Ar n’Draiocht Fein (ADF) was founded by a former member of RDNA, and at one time boasted the largest “Neo-Pagan” Druidic membership in the United States. ADF strongly advocates the “Indo-European” theories behind their spiritual traditions. Many local congregations maintain a traditional Celtic focus, while others strive to promote Norse, or even Greek, Druid systems.

Partially as a result of this broad spectrum outlook, and partially for other reasons, the Henge of Keltria was formed by members dissatisfied with ADF’s brand of Druidry. Keltria follows a narrower focus, that of purely Celtic origins.

Other Druid Groups and organizations appear to have come forth out of other organizations and other traditions, as well as many which came forth from the love and inspiration of a few devoted members.

The Druid Clan of Dana originated within the Fellowship of Isis. These Druids cling closely to not only Celtic, but also Irish roots and structure.

The Divine Circle of the Sacred Grove (DCSG)is an organization which calls itself Druidic and Pagan, but displays a decidedly eclectic basis. It also claims to have lineage to British Traditional Orders that are decidedly non-pagan fraternal groups. Some of the early history of the organization has some questionable entries, but it is unclear if the organization currently follows such practices.

The American Druidic Church was formed by dissatisfied members of the DCSG, but is little heard of outside of their California community.

The Druidic Association of North America (DANA) is a fledgling organization of Druid groves, based in the New England area. The Grove of the Golden Leaves is the founding and most substantitive of these groups. DANA places a high emphasis on scholarship and study in the traditional disciplines. The Celtic Traditionalist Order of Druids is discussed in depth in another article. While members of CTOD have been, and continue to be, involved in other organizations, CTOD does not claim to be ‘descended’ from any of these groups.

 

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

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A Little Humor for Your Day – The Lottery

The Lottery

A guy gets home, runs into his house, slams the door and says, “Honey, pack your bags. I won the lottery!”  The wife says, “Wow! That’s great! I’m so happy! Should I pack for the ocean, or should I pack for the mountains?”  


He says, “I don’t care. Just get the hell out!”

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WOTC Special Mini-Series Part 1 – Wheel of the Day

THE WHEEL OF THE DAY

NE – It is just before sunrise. You begin to wake. For a moment you may wonder what day it is or even feel confused about where you are. Your mind is still in an open slate.

EAST – During sunrise or a bit after you are preparing for the day. In your mind you begin to plan. What will you get done this day and how will you do it?

SE – It is mid morning now. As you begin to carry out your plans you demonstrate ‘who you are’ in this day. You choose if you are going to display a positive or negative attitude.

SOUTH – It is noon and early afternoon. You are occupied in the activities of your day. Now is when you carry out your responsibilities to your family and your community.

SW – As your afternoon continues you realize that you cannot get everything done that you planned. You decide what you will do tomorrow. It is a time for finding balance in your day.

WEST – It is evening, The sun goes down. The active part of your day is done. You sit back and evaluate your day considering what went well and what you would do differently next time.

NW – As you retire for the night you gradually let go of thoughts about the day. Your mind becomes more receptive. You may drift between sleep and wakefulness for a while.

NORTH – It is deep in the night now. You sleep and dreams bring renewal that prepare you for the coming dawn when you will begin to travel another wheel of another day.

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Hail & Merry Meet To All Of The WOTC On This Glorious Tuesday Morn’!

Blessed Be Comments
Prayer for Pagan Unity

Dear Eternal Father,
there is so much unrest and disunity
in the world. Help us to embrace
each other and life in peace and
harmony in the Pagan way.
 
Dear Eternal Mother,
we realize there are many different
traditions and paths of faith. Help
us to see past the differences and
unite as one family in total harmony
and love.

So Mote It Be.

 

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The Daily Motivator for February 10th – One little joy

One little joy

A life of happiness and fulfillment is built piece by piece, one little joy  at a time. The moment you’re in is the perfect opportunity to add a little joy  to life.

Even when there’s something big that’s getting you down, you can find  something small to lift you up. Just one little joy can change your outlook in a  big way.

There is a lot of goodness in life, and it’s always good to be reminded of  that. You deserve a little joy right now, so go ahead and give it to  yourself.

While you’re at it, give some joy to those around you. Even a simple, sincere  smile can make a difference, so make wherever you are a more joyful place.

Decide that you’ll find some little way to be joyful, and you can feel the  positive energy flowing in you. Everything you do will be enhanced and improved  when you do it from a perspective of joy.

Add a little joy to life, right now and every chance you get. Those little  joys will quickly add up to a life that’s truly magnificent.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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The Daily Motivator for February 8th – Start the doing

Start the doing

Don’t be too smart for your own good. Don’t be too critical of your own  work.

Prepare for what you intend to do, and plan how you will do it, but not to  the point of obsession. Sooner rather than later, finish the planning and start  the doing.

Even though you won’t get it perfect, focus all your energy on getting it  done. Even though you may have your doubts, push on through them and keep  going.

Achievement is never clean or linear. Great achievement is messy and  inconvenient, daunting and often quite unpredictable, and it is worth all  that.

You have great achievement within you, today, in this place, using what you  have and what you know. What a shame it would be to never let that unique  achievement see the light of day.

So get busy right now and begin to let it see the light of day, on this day.  You have so much to give to life, and such exquisite fulfillment to savor from  doing so.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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February 4 – Daily Feast

February 4 – Daily Feast

To stand alone does not mean there is no one else around. It means we are u na tse li dv-u na to tiv hi…. We think for ourselves in an independent way, using our heads rather than our feet. We fit life to us instead of letting it press us into a mold that would not makes us happy. Letting the world dictate to us is being one of the herd that runs – not because it is the right thing to do, but because we think everyone else is doing it, and so must we. Is it the right direction? Refusing to be swept along with every trend is cultivating our inner awareness of right and wrong. Awareness is there within us, but we have to hear it and heed it. This is why we were given intelligence – to stand alone so that we may have something to offer when someone else needs us.

~ Too many misinterpretations have been made….too many misunderstandings…. ~

CHIEF JOSEPH

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Daily Motivator for February 4th – No need for frustration

No need for frustration

Frustration is a painful, debilitating feeling that can often cause you to do  things you’ll regret. So choose to quickly let it go.

Frustration, as automatic and overpowering as it may seem, is a choice. And  you can always make a different choice.

The habit of reacting in frustration is just that, a habit. Like any other  habit you’ve developed, you can get rid of it when you choose.

Yes, life regularly presents you with difficult dilemmas for which  frustration is a perfectly understandable reaction. Other than grabbing your  attention, however, your frustration never does accomplish much.

So once you’re aware of the frustrating situation, make the choice to find a  more useful, effective response. Step back from the desire for instant drama,  and work on creating some long-term positive results.

Channel the high-powered energy of frustration into intentional, focused,  positive action. Give yourself the option to act effectively and appropriately,  and you’ll find you have no need for frustration.

— Ralph Marston

Daily Motivator

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Daily Motivator for Jan. 29th – Do this day right

Do this day right

Do this day right by getting it off to a good start. Do this day right by  giving it a meaningful, positive purpose.

You have precisely one opportunity to discover and to live the unique value  of this day. Get started on it right now.

Get started strong, and keep going with enthusiasm and love for the  possibilities. Decide that you will do something truly great with this day, and  then enjoy doing it.

Remember that every moment is a choice, and all those choices add together to  determine the quality of your day. Choose wisely, choose intentionally, and  choose to add great richness and meaning to your world today.

The immense value of this day is yours right now. Make good and purposeful  use of it so that tomorrow you’ll have no regrets.

Do this day right by living it with love, joy and authenticity. Do this day  right by bringing its outstanding possibilities fully to life.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Witchcraft, Ethics and the Role of Animals in Society

Witchcraft, Ethics and the Role of Animals in Society

Author:   Skye of the Hallowed Grove 

Witchcraft is more than a religion; it is a magickal way of life that encourages living with compassion and tolerance toward all of Earth’s creatures and working to heal and protect the environment as well as ourselves. We acknowledge that we are part of the great web of life, and this interconnection extends to all beings.

Our daily lives are intertwined with not only other human beings, but with the animal kingdom and the Land as well. Without this relationship to animals and the Land, our civilization would not exist as we know it. As Witches, it is our moral obligation as protectors of our planet to speak out against injustices towards other living things and our environment.

The Role of Animals In Society

In the pre-history of civilization, our ancestors were nomadic hunters and gatherers. As agriculture and the domestication of animals developed, small clans were able to merge into larger communities. Domesticated animals played an essential role in these communities, providing labor in the fields, meat and milk for the table, and skins for protection against the elements. The herds were protected and cherished, because man’s survival was dependant upon them. In the warmer months, crops were plentiful but in the harsh Winter months, the fields were fallow and communities relied heavily on meat and animal products to sustain them until the next growing season. The history of Imbolc is a classic example of the reliance on ewe’s milk for survival during Winter.

When animals were slaughtered for food it was done with great respect for the life taken. Many cultures would offer prayers of gratitude to the spirit of the animal. Ritual animal sacrifice was not uncommon during this period. These sacrifices were not senseless acts of violence but reverent ceremonies where the most prized and valued animals were offered to deity in exchange for something considered as having higher value – namely, favors and blessings for the community’s prosperity and well-being. These animals were extremely well cared for, as only “perfect specimens” could be sacrificed.

The method of sacrifice required a quick and humane slaughter (which was most likely far less traumatic than methods used in commercial slaughter today) . If the animal cried out, flinched or otherwise showed fear (“unwillingness”) , the sacrifice was considered null and void.

We won’t argue that throughout the history of mankind, some ancient civilizations were notorious for animal mistreatment, much of which was purely for sport. However, rural communities for the most part, were much more concerned with the welfare of their livestock.

Centuries passed and communities grew larger as human populations increased. Beginning in the eighteenth century, agriculture made improvements in farming techniques, which allowed for improved yields, which in turn supported the urbanization of the population during the Industrial Revolution. People migrated from the countryside and moved into large cities, distancing themselves from the Land that sustained them.

In the late nineteenth century, there was a movement towards mass production in industry, causing another surge in urban settlement. This again meant more people to feed, with fewer farmers to supply the food. As a result, the agricultural industry had to begin adopting the same mass production techniques that lead to the demand for more food. At this point in history, meat and animal products were not only considered a necessity for health and survival, but also an economic commodity.

Factory Farms and Animals

To meet ever-increasing demands for animal products, factory farms began to emerge. The first animals to be factory farmed were chickens. The discovery of vitamins and their role in animal nutrition, in the first two decades of the twentieth century, led to vitamin supplements, which in 1920s America allowed chickens to be raised indoors. In 1960’s America, pigs and cows began to be raised on factory farms. This innovation then spread to Western Europe.

The concept of the family farm, where animals had pasture to graze and room to exercise their natural behaviors, gave way to large-scale commercial operations whose sole purpose was mass production of meat and animal products. The well-being of the animals was no longer a priority. Family farms simply could not compete economically with these factories.

Today, there are now nearly five million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930’s. Of the two million remaining farms, only 565, 000 are family operations. (1.)

Yes, the government now imposes rules and guidelines for factory farms to follow, but the sheer volume and speed at which animals are processed makes these rules difficult to enforce, and the result is extreme suffering for the animals. The factory workers themselves often become desensitized to the violence and suffering they witness and inflict on a day-to-day basis.

We find it rather ironic that society today shudders at the thought of ritual animal sacrifice in ancient cultures, when the widespread exploitation and inhumane treatment of animals in modern society is met with such indifference.

Disregard for factory farm animals persists because few realize the ways in which these animals are mistreated, and even fewer actually witness the abuse. Once aware, most Witches are appalled, not only because they support animal rights, but because they also know that animals feel pain and that morally decent human beings should try to prevent pain whenever possible.

Most of us are also completely unaware that the dairy and egg industry also contribute to an enormous amount of exploitation and suffering. Everyone should have an understanding of where their food comes from and how it was handled from farm to table. Earthlings and Food Inc. are two excellent documentaries that chronicle man’s relationship to animals and the animal farming industry.

Factory Farms and the Environment

The livestock from factory farms are major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, which are thought to be responsible for global warming. They are also major contributors of ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems. The term “livestock” refers to all farmed animals, including pigs, birds raised for meat, egg-laying hens, and dairy cows.

Livestock are also key players in increased water use, accounting for over 8% of global water use, mostly for the irrigation of feed crops. Factory farms are probably the largest source of water pollution, contributing to “dead” zones in coastal areas, destruction of coral reefs, human health problems and the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures. (2.)

Thankfully, with the renewed interest in organic farming and agricultural sustainability, family farms are beginning to make a comeback. I’m sure most Witches would agree that this is at least a step in the right direction for ensuring better conditions for farm animals and the Earth as well.

Every Life Counts

Regarding other sentient beings as objects or property for the sole purpose of serving mankind is ethically questionable. So is attaching a value to the life of other species based on their differences from humans. This is known as speciesism, which is a form of prejudice and discrimination against non-humans. A double standard also exists in society regarding the preferential treatment of pets and the inconsequential treatment of farm and laboratory animals. If anything, we owe farm and laboratory animals a great deal of gratitude for their service to humanity.

The mainstream religious view is that animals were put on this Earth to serve mankind. This view may also be shared by some Pagan belief systems. A common theme in defending speciesism is the argument that humans “have the right to compete with and exploit other species to preserve and protect the human species”. Witches should examine these statements before accepting them outright.

Witchcraft, as a religion, does not take an ethical stance on whether slaughter and the consumption or use of animal products is morally right or wrong. Witchcraft does however, object to the exploitation, disrespect and inhumane treatment of the Earth and Her creatures. We realize that Witches may have differing views regarding the role animals play in our lives, but animal mistreatment is unacceptable no matter what view you support. Of course, it is up to the individual Witch to ultimately decide for themselves what is morally right and what is wrong.

Witches have always believed in our interconnection with all of creation (both physical and spiritual) , and with new insights into quantum mechanics, science is now suggesting that this interaction of energy and matter occurs at the sub-atomic level and perhaps even beyond into levels of pure consciousness. In light of this new paradigm, do we really want to be consuming fear, pain and unimaginable suffering, or even supporting it on any level? If we know what is going on, and we continue to do so, aren’t we just as morally accountable as the individuals who are inflicting such suffering? Animal exploitation and cruelty doesn’t just apply to the food industry, it extends to the clothing, pet and entertainment industries as well.

Do your karma a favor and do not support these industries, and educate others about these issues as well. Reducing (or ultimately eliminating) our consumption or use of animal products, and/or purchasing organic and local food when possible, is a realistic and attainable goal for anyone who is willing to commit to it. We may not be able to stop the abuse completely, but together we can all make a difference in reducing the suffering of animals and the destruction of our planet.

Veganism, The Compassionate Choice

Fortunately, with all the technological advancements in agriculture, a better understanding of nutrition and supplementation, and a wider variety of organic and plant-based food options available, consumption of animal products is no longer a necessity for health or survival. Individuals can now make an alternative choice as to how they wish to nourish themselves.

Strict vegetarianism, or veganism, as it is more commonly known, is a lifestyle option for modern Witches who are concerned with animal rights and animal welfare; the ethics of factory farming; the environmental and social benefits of organic farming and agricultural sustainability; and holistic wellness. Veganism promotes the health and well-being of both the individual and the planet.

For Witches who embrace a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, this could be considered as taking the “harm none” concept of the Rede to the next level. In this context, the Rede might be literally understood as meaning: do not cause intentional harm to anyone or anything and, to the best of your ability, avoid participation in the intentional harm of anyone or anything. “Harm none” basically refers to the intent, and under these circumstances the intent would be the reduction of suffering and the preservation of life.

There’s no doubt that veganism can be a challenge initially. It involves a complete lifestyle change and this change can be overwhelming for some. But it is not an impossible or difficult lifestyle and with time it becomes second nature. It does, however, require education, commitment and practice.

Witches work very hard at taking ultimate responsibility and control over their own lives and this can be an excellent exercise in self-empowerment, as well as a magickal and very rewarding experience. This is the essence of magick – causing change in conformity with Will.

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Footnotes:
1. sustainabletable.org
2. veganoutreach.org

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