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Re: Druidry and Christianity

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:41 pm
by edfrank
James,

I think that there is a difference between religious and spiritual. Typically a religious person believes there is a greater intelligence that often created or shaped the universe and guides the world around them. Someone who is spiritual can see that all life is interconnected, perhaps all life has a shared existence, or even that they are part of a greater whole, but does not require the existence of a guiding intelligence. He may be both religious and spiritual, but they are not the same thing. Someone who is an atheist could be spiritual without being religious.

Ed

Re: Druidry and Christianity

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:46 pm
by RyanLeClair
James,

No, I haven't checked NOD out yet. I'm still contemplating whether to delve into Celtic tradition or Hindu tradition. They are two rich cultures and choosing which one is hard.
But if I do get involved with NOD, I will certainly tell you! :)

--Ryan

Re: Druidry and Christianity

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:48 pm
by RyanLeClair
Ed,

I agree, I am spiritual but not religious.

Re: Druidry and Christianity

Posted: Thu May 05, 2011 11:52 pm
by James Parton
edfrank wrote:James,

I think that there is a difference between religious and spiritual. Typically a religious person believes there is a greater intelligence that often created or shaped the universe and guides the world around them. Someone who is spiritual can see that all life is interconnected, perhaps all life has a shared existence, or even that they are part of a greater whole, but does not require the existence of a guiding intelligence. He may be both religious and spiritual, but they are not the same thing. Someone who is an atheist could be spiritual without being religious.

Ed
Ed,

That is really what I was trying to say. A druid has to have some kind of spirituality to be considered a druid proper. It could be a religion or belief in a deity but he/she could also see the spirituality of life as a whole. That is what I was saying about atheists seeing the life energy as a " spirit ". That life energy would pervade all life and possibly connect all life. One could say all life forms have a " soul ". An atheist may say an individuals life force dies at death while a person who believes in a deity may say the the soul is reincarnated and a Christian may believe that God will save it, though most Christians believe this only applies to humankind and that it is sent to Heaven or Hell.

But yes, One can be spiritual and not be religious. Ed, you explain it very well!

Re: Druidry and Christianity

Posted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:21 am
by James Parton
Ryan,

You mention a Celtic Tradition. As a whole, that could be said to be a way of using the history, stories and mythology of the Celts for study, doing things and obervances in a manner that the Celtic ancestors would have done and following their practices and traditions. The traditional celtic Druid was a Pagan, worshipping a number of Nature-Based Deities. Then there is the Celtic Christian Druid. Christianity came to Ireland some 1,500 years ago with St. Patrick. He converted some pagan druids to monks by integrating some of their beliefs into their Christian practices. Those monks were indeed Christianized Druids. We still have many of their old practices visible today in our religious holidays and services. It was through these monks that many of the old Irish myths and stories were preserved through the written word and illuminated manuscripts. The pagan druids wrote little down. Theirs was a verbal tradition. St. Patrick and his followers slowly converted the majority of Ireland to Christianity from these very druidlike beginnings.

Would you follow the Celtic Pagan tradition or the Celtic Christian Tradition? I follow the Celtic Christian Tradition.

I work with a fellow from India who is a Hindu. He's an interesting fellow but I still am a stranger to the Hindu religion.

My Home, Reynoldsville, PA

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 7:20 am
by James Parton
James, while I have not said so, I am keenly interested in your posts about Druidry and your explorations of merging its Earth-based associations with more traditional Christian beliefs. Your posts are always thoughtful and tempered, and the subject is truly fascinating.

Bob
Bob,

My exploits and definitions of druidry are not exactly easy to explain at times, especially to the majority who know little to nothing about it and then there is the predjudices many people have concerning it that I have to overcome. And then I am a student and my path and world view have not yet fully developed.

The NOD Bardic course centers around learning the basics of druidry through history, stories and mythologies.

The NOD Ovate course centers on the " Pathway of the senses " and a bit on Shamanism. Shamanism is the " art " of communicating with the spirit world, often to help others. While that generally conjures up images of Native American, Voodoo, or African Medicine Men or " Witch Doctors ", pagan practices, that is. Shamanism is also done in a much more suttle way by Christians. Praying is a way of communicating with God and his Spirit World. Christians have rituals ( Like Communion ) and many also practice meditation techniques. Many Christians also pray about or even to their deceased ancestors and believe they may be in heaven watching over them. The course also teaches on tuning the senses to become more aware of nature. So Shamanic practices apply to Christians much more than they think they may be. They just don't call it " Shamanism ".

The NOD Druid course is more on the philosophy of druidism and integrating it into your life and how to present and teach it to others, or at least that is what I think it is on since I have not been that far yet.

The New Order of Druids offers other accessory courses on Celtic Shamanism, Celtic History, Meditation Techniques, etc for upgraded members.

Anyway, I do enjoy sharing my new spiritual path and it has really brought me closer to God, actually enhancing my Christian faith. They are some activities I do refrain from due to them being forbidden in the Bible but I feel God has nothing against me using it to form a better spiritual bond with Mother Earth. My Earth Mother is loved and reveared while God is loved and worshipped.

Ed,

It sounds like you have really learned how to see your forest. You have learned how to look at it and also how to hear it's song. Both ENTS and Druidry have helped me here immensely. I am sure ENTS has helped you see the woods in a more detailed way.