Monday 4 March 2024

Druidry: Finding Our Way Through the Challenges of Life

In this article Druid and author Luke Eastwood (pictured) offers a look at finding ways through life's challenges. There's also some extracts from his latest book: A Path Through the Forest.

My latest book is different in nature from anything else I have done. It’s an exercise in looking backwards, although a handful of pieces were written for this collection of essays and interviews. I was going through my website and some of the old articles on my computer, which gave me the idea to collect them into one volume, given the shear number of them. 

Perhaps half of the articles I have written over the past two decades are on Druidism, with the remainder being on horticulture, economics, environmentalism and social issues. Of course, there is some amount of overlap, but I decided to try to stick to what I consider is directly relevant to Druidry/Druidism.

Looking back, I can see that I am fundamentally the same, but that my perspective and ideas have inevitably changed, just as Druidry has changed since I first became involved in it. Who would have thought 20 years ago that there would have been a massive economic collapse, legal Pagan weddings, legal divorce and legal gay/lesbian weddings, in a country like Ireland? Also we have seen massive political polarisation, environmental protests, terror attacks all over the world, a major pandemic, UFO disclosures, artificial intelligence, and yet more wars that could blow up (hopefully not) into WW3?

It hasn’t all been bad, some of what has changed has been positive and certainly if ethical considerations in human existence have become more important, then that can only be a good thing, surely?

So anyway, I am pleased to present a few extracts from A Path Through the Forest. to give you a flavour, which I hope is a stimulating and thought provoking book. This is an important and exciting time be alive, if perhaps sometimes scary and uncertain, but doesn’t that give all of us all something to think about? What are we here for? What can we do to make a difference? That is for each one of us for to decide, but a little prompting to think more deeply about such things does us no harm, I am certain. It certainly did me some good to re-read the things I wrote, over the years, and reflect on how things have changed and on things that I hope will change in the future.

From What Does It Mean to be a Druid Today? (2006)

“Druidry should be a serious business and if we wish to be taken seriously as a religious community it is necessary to maintain genuine continuity between the past and the present. I think that the extremist view of both the ‘Reconstructionist’ and the ‘Revivalist’ as I have described is flawed and those who take either path cannot be reconciled with those of the opposite path. I believe that the way forward is the combination of an experiential approach with continued exploration of the ancient roots of Druidry, only through sensitive application of both approaches can we maintain a spiritual path that is progressive and alive whilst remaining true to the traditions and culture of the ancient Celtic peoples.”

From ‘Growing Sacred Food a Small Space’ (Weathering The Storm, 2020)

“As Pagans we are supposed to care about the Earth, to respect nature and the gods of the Earth, perhaps the Earth Goddesses most of all – Gaia, Danu or whoever you choose. In reality many Pagans fall short in practical application of their good intentions – I have visited the abodes of many Pagans and found both house/apartment and garden sadly bereft of plants, and any sign of a living connection with nature. Perhaps the current COVID-19 crisis is not only a wake up call, but an opportunity to get closer to nature and become more self-sufficent? Getting into a natural space, especially a wild space, is the easiest and most obvious way to connect physically with the elements and the natural world, but this is not always practical for those in cities and large towns.

The other alternative, in this situation, is to bring nature to your home, with an abundance of plant life, that will oxygenate your home, provide food and also provide a direct and practical means to connect with the natural world. Of course we are already part of the natural world, but in our technological age, it is very easy to forget that fact, and for many, the connection to nature is weak or almost non-existent.”

From ‘Rebirth of the Druidic Path’ (MePagan, 2021)

“One should beware of anyone who makes grandiose claims with regard to Druidic knowledge, lineages or other such unlikely connections with the original Druids of western Europe. In almost all cases, such claims are fraudulent and are based in ego and self-promotion, rather than any genuine desire to pass on proven ancient Druidic wisdom. At the end of the day, we all have to follow our own path and our own judgment. For me this is a very Gnostic path, informed by my understanding of both the ancient Druidic tradition and the Neo-Druidic tradition of the last three centuries. If following the Druidic path helps one to achieve genuine wisdom and be of service to humanity and the world then whether it is ancient or modern becomes largely irrelevant.”

You can view A Path through the Forest on Amazon. It is published by Moon Books, which is part of Collective Ink

1 comment:

Jane Carol O`Grady said...

Very well written and very well said.