Low Church Druidry

It’s a no frills Druidry, a “my whole life is a ritual” Druidry. It’s “hold the bells and whistles” Druidry (sort of).

It’s like the Low Church rather than the High Church, more like Protestantism than Catholicism, or more like philosophical Taoism than religious Taoism – if I’m to name any precedents.

It’s not that I don’t do ritual, I do, but I see the whole of life as a living, breathing ritual, which makes formal, scripted ritual a bit superfluous. Although, I must say, sometimes it’s fun to suspend disbelief and just let imagination mingle with the world through symbolic actions and objects. But that’s art, something I can do through writing stories and drawing pictures.

Okay, sometimes I do indulge in “bells and whistles” Druidry, I can’t deny it has its fun and creative side, but the symbols are just symbols, signposts to something else, that’s all. There’s a living, breathing reality that they represent, where my druidry is getting to grips with the grit of life.

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3 thoughts on “Low Church Druidry

  1. Only just discovered your blog (via Google alerts). Nice to see more Druid bloggers writing and sharing. 🙂

    One thing I’d like to suggest as some food-for-thought that you might find intriguing: Various theologians and philosophers have pondered the difference between a “symbol” and a “sign.” A sign is as you describe, a signpost that points at or to something else – like a street sign labeling a road or a stop sign communicating instructions.

    But a symbol is more than this. It is a sign that points to something else, but it also participates in the reality that it points to. For instance, I start each of my rituals – from the most elaborate to the simplest morning meditation – by lighting a candle. Lighting a candle is a symbol for the creative spark and the creativity that sparked all of reality into existence…. But the candle is not merely a sign that points to this abstract concept. When I light the candle, I am participating in an actual act of creation – I am creating light where there wasn’t any before. In this way, the candle lighting acts as a symbol which both points to a larger reality and also participates in that reality. (As an example from another religion: in Catholicism, this is how the Eucharist is understood – not as an abstract sign that represents Jesus, but as a symbol which actually participates in the mystery and presence of Jesus. This distinction between symbol and sign is why Protestants often think of Catholic ritual as overly ornate and elaborate, while Catholics tend to think of Protestant ritual as somewhat cerebral and abstract.)

    For me, this is why ritual is important. Not because of the bells and whistles, but because by performing ritual we participate in the symbolic (re)creation of the cosmos and its sacred patterns. We are not merely mimicking these patterns and processes, but engaging in them in a very real way. Ross Nichols said, “Ritual is poetry in the realm of acts.” Ritual is embodied poetry, our participation in that living, breathing reality that the symbols of ritual represent and participate in with us. I’d bet that when you make the space and time to reach more deeply into the experience of the grit of life, you’re actually doing something very similar – a kind of personal ritual of your own (even if it doesn’t have any whistles or bells or candles in it! :)).

    • Thanks very much for your comment 🙂

      I agree with your idea about symbols, they something to participate in.

      I think when I realised that the elements were represented in my body I realised that I was invoking them just be being them. Or with the example of the candle, I am my own creative spark. I am an embodiment of the symbols, so in Catholicism, I don’t participate in the Eucharist, I am the Eucharist (heresy! lol). So symbols become embodied in my everyday life; my life becomes a “(re)creation of the cosmos and its sacred patterns”, so confirming the link between microcosm and macrocosm.

      So when you say “I’d bet that when you make the space and time to reach more deeply into the experience of the grit of life, you’re actually doing something very similar – a kind of personal ritual of your own”, you’re absolutely right.

      But I’m no Puritan, so bells, whistles, candles, Samhain and Christmas are all still called for at times, lol

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