Friday, July 22, 2011

The role of the modern druid

Heat waves. Drought. Famine. Floods. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Blizzards.

Climate change is here. What can we do?

That is one question I have been asking myself. Another question, as I read about the ancient druids, is what is the role of the modern druid?

It seems to me that these two questions are linked. It seems to me that there's a force in our society that values profit and image above all else. The media offer news stories that will titillate, that will make money, instead of news stories that will inform and enlighten. Politicians seem more concerned with projecting an image of toughness than with making things better for people. People voraciously consume the earth's resources. We buy food flown in from across the globe.

The role of the modern druid is to grow an alternative to the forces of profit and image. The role of the modern druid is to build a world based on caring for each other and for the earth, to build a world based on knowledge, compassion, respect, wisdom, truth, and beauty.

How do we build this world?
  1. We need to learn about nature. Learning about nature cultivates an appreciation of nature. Those who learn about nature take care of nature. And we need to learn about nature not only to cultivate our appreciation, but to gain knowledge so that we can figure out how to support the survival of our habitat.
  2. We need to cultivate attitudes of caring for each other. Such attitudes are cultivated in the words we choose to use, in music, dance, stories, and art, in meditation, stillness, nature, ritual, and religion. We need this because whenever people come together, there will be differences, and differences can lead to hurt and anger. Parents need to be gentle in raising their children. Often those who end up in our prisons are those who grew up in abusive environments. We need to come together in positive ways, because it will take the time and talent of many to build the world we want to create. I feel inspired to go out and do what is best when I attend a Pete Seeger performance, or when I read a book with a heroine I can relate to. We need to be conscious of our choices in our words and in our art, to choose messages that inspire compassion, wisdom, and courage.
  3. We need to be guided by knowledge. We need historians, librarians, and teachers to preserve and pass on knowledge.
  4. We need to develop the knowledge and skills for sustainable living. We need to develop organic farming, wildcrafting, hunting, shelter building, food preservation and preparation, sewing, weaving, spinning, renewable energy, first aid, and healing.
This is what I think is needed in our time. I think this is the role of the modern druid, but it is not only druids who will walk this path. We should welcome all who are working for a better world.


  1. thank you for this post! Claiming the path of druid during modern times is one I struggle with and am always learning on. Beautifully said :)

  2. Thanks Carol! I'm so glad you liked it.