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Author Topic: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?  (Read 3245 times)

Sage

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Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« on: July 04, 2011, 11:27:41 am »
One thing I've noticed in my exploration of the various Neo-Druid organizations is the sheer range of theism present among them. From ADF's strict hard polytheistic stance to others' soft, from a general sense of nature worship to no worship at all, "Druidry" is a complex term that can encompass many worldviews. (I believe it was AODA who stated that Druidry is more an approach to religion and can be combined with nearly any other religious practice - and though I'm an ADFer, I'm coming around to AODA's point of view.)

In your Druidry, where/who are the gods? Is interacting with a host of deities vital to your practice, or are gods just a part of the Druid package? Which deity or deities attract you the most? Do you prefer working with Ancestors or nature spirits instead? Are you a pantheist, or just a tree-hugging dirt worshiper like myself? ;)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Asch

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 12:45:54 pm »
Quote from: Sage;662
One thing I've noticed in my exploration of the various Neo-Druid organizations is the sheer range of theism present among them. From ADF's strict hard polytheistic stance to others' soft, from a general sense of nature worship to no worship at all, "Druidry" is a complex term that can encompass many worldviews. (I believe it was AODA who stated that Druidry is more an approach to religion and can be combined with nearly any other religious practice - and though I'm an ADFer, I'm coming around to AODA's point of view.)

In your Druidry, where/who are the gods? Is interacting with a host of deities vital to your practice, or are gods just a part of the Druid package? Which deity or deities attract you the most? Do you prefer working with Ancestors or nature spirits instead? Are you a pantheist, or just a tree-hugging dirt worshiper like myself? ;)

 
Good questions, again :).

I'm not really settled on a patron yet though I am trying to court the attention and interest of two deities in particular. I'm absolutely a hard polytheist - which, again, is part of what appealed to me about the ADF - I also respect/pray to the other Kindreds; the ancestors and nature spirits.

Mostly because I can't reconcile the idea that the deities are that concerned or involved in my day-to-day life. I'm sure they care but I'm equally sure there's more important stuff for them to be concerned with/deal with than me and like an exam I'm freaking out over, whereas my ancestors might care more about that since I'm theirs quite literally and my success is important to them.

Similarly my local nature spirits will be more interested/concerned about what I do around my home and on a small scale because it impacts them directly and immediately. That's not to say that I don't think a deity wouldn't/couldn't become involved very immediately and personally with me but rather, that I don't expect it or demand it. (Ha *demand* suuuure).

Sage

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 12:50:35 pm »
Quote from: Asch;701
Good questions, again :).

I'm not really settled on a patron yet though I am trying to court the attention and interest of two deities in particular. I'm absolutely a hard polytheist - which, again, is part of what appealed to me about the ADF - I also respect/pray to the other Kindreds; the ancestors and nature spirits.


Thank you! Can I ask which deities have your attention?

I'm a hard polytheist myself, as well, but deities are also not really the center of my Druidry. (My ADF Druidry, more so. Working with all the Kindreds is important, as you know.)

Quote
Mostly because I can't reconcile the idea that the deities are that concerned or involved in my day-to-day life.


I mostly agree. I think there can be exceptions where deities and humans 'click' like any friendship, or where a deity has a vested interest in an individual because of their life circumstances. For the most part, though, while I think interacting with deities can be fulfilling and good, it isn't necessary. We're in charge of tying our own shoes.

Quote
Similarly my local nature spirits will be more interested/concerned about what I do around my home and on a small scale because it impacts them directly and immediately. That's not to say that I don't think a deity wouldn't/couldn't become involved very immediately and personally with me but rather, that I don't expect it or demand it. (Ha *demand* suuuure).

 
When you want to hear the gods laugh, tell them your plans. And then run away before the Karma Bus hits you. ;D

On a serious note, does it feel different to you to interact with a deity versus an Ancestor or nature spirit? Do you notice any different energy, or differing responses?
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

Asch

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 01:29:05 pm »
Quote from: Sage;706
Thank you! Can I ask which deities have your attention?

Well ironically -and I fought it for quite some time because it's so danged stereotypical and she scares the crap out of me - Morrigan. I'm also confused as to her triple aspect, I'm not sure if what I'm attempting to communicate with is Her or one of the three godesses said to comprise her or carry the title.  I've had some indication that she may at least be paying attention but time will tell.

Quote
I mostly agree. I think there can be exceptions where deities and humans 'click' like any friendship, or where a deity has a vested interest in an individual because of their life circumstances. For the most part, though, while I think interacting with deities can be fulfilling and good, it isn't necessary. We're in charge of tying our own shoes.


Precisely. I think they care but they aren't going to hover over me all the time like a nervous first time parent dropping a child at school for the first day.

Quote
When you want to hear the gods laugh, tell them your plans. And then run away before the Karma Bus hits you. ;D


Indeed, to expand on that (in a more serious note :D) demanding/assuming deity interest, to me at least, is perilously close to hubris. Why should a deity care more for me vs. the next person? A deity is a powerful being and attracting its attention should be done carefully and respectfully, not petulantly. This is why the ADF/Indo-European concept of Ghosti is so interesting to me. The concept of reciprocity, a gift for a gift seems to me like a respectful and...insulated? Way to approach and respect deities without edging toward dangerous hubris.

It reminds me of the stories of interacting with the Sidhe and how as long as you watched your manners and followed their ways you at least stood a chance of keeping your skin and sanity.

Quote
On a serious note, does it feel different to you to interact with a deity versus an Ancestor or nature spirit? Do you notice any different energy, or differing responses?


To be honest I basically roll all observances/prayers together partly because I'm a noob and partly because my mother was raised Christian and she died five years ago today (odd timing hmm) so I have been leery of approaching the Ancestors *too* directly but I'm working on changing that. Mostly because I think if she were alive she would understand if not approve of my choices and regardless loves me. So when I do interact I do not call on her directly but I sort of open the door so to speak and leave it in her hands. Basically, a respectful invitation based on love rather than a demand. Demanding anything from the Kindred strikes me as abhorrently rude and disrespectful.

Sage

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 01:42:54 pm »
Quote from: Asch;727
Well ironically -and I fought it for quite some time because it's so danged stereotypical and she scares the crap out of me - Morrigan. I'm also confused as to her triple aspect, I'm not sure if what I'm attempting to communicate with is Her or one of the three godesses said to comprise her or carry the title.  I've had some indication that she may at least be paying attention but time will tell.


I haven't had much communication with tM, but for awhile I was toying with a strange interaction between Her, Brighid, and Danu. I was surprised that there was any attraction at all between the two of us and I know I had prejudices about how She was "supposed" to appear/feel/act. She doesn't come across as scary to me, just... fierce. Determined. Dealing with some of the less pleasant areas of life. And she's also never appeared in triplicate to me. Neither has Brighid, for that matter.

Quote
This is why the ADF/Indo-European concept of Ghosti is so interesting to me. The concept of reciprocity, a gift for a gift seems to me like a respectful and...insulated? Way to approach and respect deities without edging toward dangerous hubris.


Ditto to that. I also like that humans deserve respect in this relationship just as the gods do. It's not about debasing yourself before the great and terrible divine parents, but starting a relationship closer to equality. (Obviously there are going to be unequal power dynamics between gods and humans. :D But a relationship is a team effort between both parties.)

Quote
To be honest I basically roll all observances/prayers together partly because I'm a noob and partly because my mother was raised Christian and she died five years ago today (odd timing hmm) so I have been leery of approaching the Ancestors *too* directly but I'm working on changing that.

 
It's difficult for me to think of addressing specific Ancestors, especially those I knew in this lifetime. For better or worse, I address my Ancestors as a whole. I suppose part of me is still conditioned to feel... uncomfortable when approaching humans (though deceased) in a religious context. Gotta watch out for those false idols. *massive eyeroll* I'm working on it, though!
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

Asch

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 02:17:57 pm »
Quote from: Sage;738
I haven't had much communication with tM, but for awhile I was toying with a strange interaction between Her, Brighid, and Danu. I was surprised that there was any attraction at all between the two of us and I know I had prejudices about how She was "supposed" to appear/feel/act. She doesn't come across as scary to me, just... fierce. Determined. Dealing with some of the less pleasant areas of life. And she's also never appeared in triplicate to me. Neither has Brighid, for that matter.


Its interesting you note that, as I'm not sure if I'm genuinely confused about who/what I seem to be encountering or it's just intellectual me arguing that tM couldn't possibly be interested in me and even if She was it's a title, or really three different deities etc.

Hmmm much to ponder.

I should note I've also been reaching for Cernunnos lol ahhh stereotypes, but I honestly felt drawn to Him. But, I haven't had even the tentative, questionable, maybe response from Him that I have -potentially- from Her.

Quote
Ditto to that. I also like that humans deserve respect in this relationship just as the gods do. It's not about debasing yourself before the great and terrible divine parents, but starting a relationship closer to equality. (Obviously there are going to be unequal power dynamics between gods and humans. :D But a relationship is a team effort between both parties.)


Yes! Definitely it's a safe and respectful interaction. I appreciate the structure and sentiment of it.

Quote
It's difficult for me to think of addressing specific Ancestors, especially those I knew in this lifetime. For better or worse, I address my Ancestors as a whole. I suppose part of me is still conditioned to feel... uncomfortable when approaching humans (though deceased) in a religious context. Gotta watch out for those false idols. *massive eyeroll* I'm working on it, though!


Oh I agree, I think that's why - for now - it's so much easier to refer to the Ancestors rather than an ancestor.

darashand

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 09:26:54 pm »
Quote from: Sage;662


In your Druidry, where/who are the gods? Is interacting with a host of deities vital to your practice, or are gods just a part of the Druid package? Which deity or deities attract you the most? Do you prefer working with Ancestors or nature spirits instead? Are you a pantheist, or just a tree-hugging dirt worshiper like myself? ;)


God/s have always been a sore point for me, despite eager interest.  I have trouble defining God (and my own belief in) because I believe that people have their own ideas and they are as valid as mine.  In other words, I'm convinced if you are.

I've defined myself as a hard polytheist, but comparative mythology often leaves me questioning.  I don't wish to lump all the Gods together into a bubbling cauldron of Divinity, because I think Most have their own ideas about what needs done, but I do think Some could be the same as Others by a different name. I could be wrong.  Sometimes, I think the Gods is just energy personified and categorized by humans.  However, that is not to say that a person cannot have a personal relationship with a Deity.

I'm thinking I'm over-medium. :eek:

I guess in answer to your question, I really haven't gotten everything worked out quite yet.  I'm still seeking and questioning God in my own way.

AlisonLeighLilly

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Re: Druidic Theism: where are the gods in your practice?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 08:30:19 pm »
Quote from: Sage;662
In your Druidry, where/who are the gods? Is interacting with a host of deities vital to your practice, or are gods just a part of the Druid package? Which deity or deities attract you the most? Do you prefer working with Ancestors or nature spirits instead? Are you a pantheist, or just a tree-hugging dirt worshiper like myself? ;)

 
This is something I've been struggling with a lot, actually. I know a lot of people talk about polytheism as a continuum between hard and soft, but that metaphor has been giving me problems. I just don't see how I fit on the continuum and trying to think of it in those terms leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable.

I think if I had to describe my theism right now, I'd say it's a kind of... earthy-embodied poly-panentheistic mysticism. (I hate using the word "mystic" to describe my own practice, but there's really no better word for it that makes sense.) I work mostly with just two deities - Brighid and Manannan - but I also have relationships with companion spirits and a strong bond with the local land. The land, the Earth and her creatures (flora, fauna, weather) sometimes seem far more real and sentient to me than the gods, who can feel very distant and strange, but it's the paradoxical transcendent-immanence of the gods that's the Mystery at the heart of my spiritual path, which is what makes my theism a kind of mysticism.

I'm not sure if any of it really makes sense, and I feel like that's a very poor articulation of it... But it's the best I can do for now. :)

--Ali

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