Every once in a while, I hit one of those moments where I look at my Druidry and wonder what the Nine Hells I am doing. I carry a small book where I have quotes written…and today, I dug in and found this quote from a talk by Kristoffer Hughes at Pantheacon a few years back: “Druids are not defined by who they are. They are defined by what they do.” As well as this one from the same talk: “Stand up, be the Druid that you are. Be the Priest that you are. BE YOU.”
Those two quotes are reminders to me that I cannot measure myself against anyone else. We all function, to some degree, in congruent circles. Our characteristics, values, and functions can overlap to any degree, but in the end, we are all unique individuals at this moment in time. What we offer up to the world around us is not just a set of skills, but also a unique analysis of the experiences that we all have. Kristoffer also commented “…the Druids of the Future will look to the Druids of Today for reference when it comes to rituals…”, and I will add, a great many other aspects of Druidry as well.
What in the Nine Hells am I doing? Existing. When I write in my journals, I am documenting that existence. Not just for myself, but for whoever uncovers those journals and reads them. Then, my words will become part of their existence as well. Our Druidry of Today is a single marker in the time-line of Druidry, but it lives on in our collective experiences – documented in blogs, journals, books, articles, videos, and podcasts for those Druids of the Future. Think about that, not in terms of immortality or what it means for you, but for the awesome responsibility that it really means…just a thought under the watchful eyes of our Gods.
I wrote the above as a Facebook status back on July 17th. However, there is more to say, and more to add. So I am adding on to this via a blog post. I wrote this with a mind towards the future. My focus there came from a very recent event in my life. On July 3rd, about a half hour from the end of my workday, I had a serious diabetic seizure in my office. Luckily, there were quite a few people in the office at that time, and some of them immediately rushed to my side. I stopped breathing for a little more than a minute. When the paramedics arrived, I was taken to the local hospital, where my condition was stabilized over time. I woke up at 7pm on July 4th, very disoriented and confused as to how I came to be in the hospital. On July 6th, I was discharged and sent home. My doctor refused to release me back to work for the following week, and I had a lot of time to think about how poorly I had been dealing with my health condition. I also had time to think about some of the various projects that I had been thinking of doing, but had not started. One of which is a book that will be about my experiences as a Pagan of some thirty-plus years.
As I started back into that paused project, I began to wonder why in the Nine Hells I would do such a thing. That led to me thinking about why I write my experiences in journals. That dropped down into why I write blog posts, why I write articles (none of which have been published by the magazines I submit to, yet), why did I run two podcasts? What was I trying to accomplish with all of this? I have never wanted to be “famous” or “well known”. When I thumbed through my book of quotes, I came across Kristoffer Hughes’ statement about how the Druids of the Future will take their inspiration from the Druids of the Present. Where would they get their inspiration and information? From all the media formats, we have taken the time to create, curate, and disseminate. The articles, blogs, books, podcasts, interviews, music that we create, the photos we take, the documentaries that we create and participate in – all of that provides a record for the future. All of that shows how we are, what we did, how we did it – even how we had fun with one another at public celebrations. All of that becomes a record of who we are, set aside for the future generations to take the inspiration for their own model of Druidry, for how and what they want to build onto our model, and yes, even what they want to reject from our model as they aim towards their own iteration of Druidry.
This is how our Druidry will grow – one foot in the Past, another foot in the Present, and our eyes towards the Future. I have no idea what the Future will hold for Druidry, Paganism or even the human race. But I can already see the younger generations of Druids, Pagans, and humans already seeking for ways to place their own imprint onto what will be their Present, and how much of that will provide the beacon for where the Future will move from their coming Present.
As I have said, I have no desire to be some muckity-muck, well-known Pagan. I write the blog to present my own ideas and thoughts, as they stand right now. Not for the gratification of my ego, but for the hope that what I write will provide the inspiration for others to continue seeking on their own individual Paths, and then share their knowledge and experiences for others to be inspired by as well. Moreover, I have come to realize what an awesome responsibility that is. I am sure there is a level of seduction for authors, musicians and podcasters when the public begins to treat them differently than they were before becoming successful in the public eye. In my opinion, the focus should be on the message, not the messenger. However, that may be a thought process for another time.
Our time in this incarnation is limited for a time that we do not know. My desire is to leave this incarnation having done something to add to the overall knowledge of today’s Paganism. Not for a name, not for a title, not for the recognition, but for the inspiration of others to come.