In my latest post over on the Moon Books platform, I made the statement: “…Druidry is about being outside – hands in the dirt. While keyboards, laptops and CRT monitors have provided communication and connection, Druidry is not practiced as a keyboard warrior.”
Yeah, keyboard Druidry. As much as I hate to even think it exists, it does. After all, the internet is a vast area where connection is made, and opinion – informed and otherwise – is bandied about as expertise. Where folks with no knowledge of you practice your own everyday, personal Spiritual can easily condemn you for “doing it wrong” and provide no relational perspective to showcase the “why” of that statement, aside from their own personal opinion.
Yeah, the internet brings out all kinds of folks who like to assume a mantle of authority in what they set forth. An experience of a UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis) type suddenly becomes the crux of what is wrong and right with everything from how to connect with a God or a Goddess, to what style of ritual framework is correct for doing this specific type of work, to so many other aspects of Paganism. And it is typically the internet where stuff like this tends to take place, where a “Pagan police” of sorts suddenly arises into existence. I still remember the inane “Are You Pagan Enough” cries that came about a few years back.
Here’s an interesting thought, before the Pagan Enough vigilante squad come looking for me: I am the Pagan that I am. I’m not on my Spiritual Path to appease anyone else. My Spiritual Path doesn’t require me to be seen by others. Nor do I need to be seen doing a certain this or that in a public ritual. What I do within a public ritual is what I am called to say or do. None of that is meant to impress anyone. Crow and Coyote are the Gods that I primarily work with. Trust me, working with Trickster Gods is no picnic at times. But we have managed to develop a relationship between us that works. I’m not trying to insinuate myself into Native American rituals, and my work with both of Them approaches nothing within the Native American systems. The Gods call who They call. I wound up with these two. And while I am constantly puzzled by it, I am also reassured by the work I have done with Them. I do not work Them to impress anyone. My work with magick is minuscule, at best. My approach to magick and spell work is to use it only when necessary and all other “routine” measures have been tried.
Now, I will absolute assure you – someone out there read all of this and thought to themselves: “Tommy is just not ‘Pagan enough’ for me” for whatever reason. Welcome to keyboard Druidry. Despite everything that I write about here, someone will continue to take issue with how I work within my own Druidry. And you know what? I’m really ok with all of that. As I noted above, I’m not in this to impress anyone or even to conform to their standards of what is good or not. I’m also not here to argue back and forth about the differences between works for them and what works for me. Because I am not trying to create some kind of standard to Druidry…for anyone else. I know what has worked for me. I know some of the stuff that doesn’t work as well. I am always willing to try something new and different to see how it might or might not work for me. Beyond that, I am not here to compare penis length or who can piss the furthest distance. Because I just don’t care. My concept of Druidry is not a competition.
But I am here to encourage anyone who decides to try whatever Spiritual Path they desire. Yes, that includes fundamentalist Christianity – something that I just cannot find any fertile ground within, at least for me. But if someone else had a desire to learn more about it, I would encourage them to do just that. Which brings me to one of those moral rocks that I cannot change – as long as they practice their beliefs in a manner that does not interfere or harm others that believe differently. Now, I am not going to debate the merits of this within the precepts of fundamentalist Christianity, because I see a lot of the same mentality in fundamentalist Pagans as well. But I will stand between either of those groups if they decided to interfere with another person’s desires to learn a belief system that they would want to explore.
And to be completely honest, it likely goes for these keyboard Druids as well. If their idea of practicing their Druidry is to spend it hacking away at a keyboard and trying to create their own fundamentalist perspective in that manner – then go right ahead. All I can really do is place them in the same place as other internet trolls – people seeking to fight, bicker and argue over anything – I ignore them and move along. Because I would rather be outside, away from the keyboard I am currently typing on. I spend my entire work week in front of a keyboard. I’d rather spend the rest of my time barefoot in my backyard, or strapping on my hiking boots and seeking that next vantage point that lets me see the beauty of the world around me. Because that’s where I am at home…