I have another post that I had originally intended for today, but a question (more of a statement) prompted me down a different direction, which has resulted in this post.
I’m a Druid, a Pagan, and a Polytheist. Underlying much of that is the fact that my studies in Druidry come through my association with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD). OBOD was not the first Druid organization I looked at when seeking a proper Path for myself, but it was the one I ultimately chose. My reasoning was fairly simple – OBOD fit my approach to my own Paganism far better than any of the others did. I didn’t make my choice based on some kind of perspective of orthopraxy, orthodoxy or whatever other kind of religious -axy/-oxy definition you can drag up. I’m not a theological scholar of any sort, and I would be hard-pressed to lay out proper definitions for any of that lexiconical nonsense. My choices were made on how well their approach mirrored my own.
Admittedly, OBOD is not a perfect fit. I doubt that any approach would be a perfect fit unless I spent the time to create and market my own Pagan approach to the wider public. That’s just something I have no desire to do. I’m far too lazy to partake in such an undertaking. If people wish to emulate my approach, adapt it to their own needs….go right ahead. The key will be adapting it to your own needs, which then makes it your own.
The statement that was made was simply put:
I think you would do grate in ADF.
Tossing aside the horrible spelling (let’s face it, I’m not the greatest at spelling or grammar either), an implication is made that I would do my best within the Druidry organization Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship or more commonly referred to as ADF. Well, maybe I would. Its just as possible that I wouldn’t. it was not a choice that I made, so the answer would only be answered if I decided to go that route – either during my time in my OBOD grades or afterwards. Well, the answer to all of that would remain “no.” ADF is just not where my Path would be in the future.
This is nothing against ADF. Nor is it anything saying that ADF is a horrible organization. They’re not. They have had their issues in the past, none of which I am going to go into here. But they have managed to move beyond that _ from what I can see – and put their membership back on the track that the leadership was expecting and wanting, along with some modifications that were needed. All of that aside, I have gotten to know quite a few of the members here in Texas. These are some of the most respectful, loving, organized, and helpful Pagans I have ever encountered. I’m ecstatic to count quite a few of these folks as extended family – even though we don’t communicate that often. I have no bad blood, that I am aware of, with the organization or its members. All that is the issue is that their path is not mine. Nothing outrageous. Nothing disrespectful. I hold no hesitation pointing new Pagans in the direction of ADF as a potential Path.
The reason I am writing this is fairly straight-forward. An implication is made that I have issues with ADF and/or its membership. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least on my side of that equation. The same holds true for other Druid organizations that I did not choose. Those Paths were not appropriate for my steps. There is nothing wrong with those Paths for the footsteps of others.
Much of this stems, in my opinion, from leftover baggage that people bring from their time within the Christian paradigm. This way is the only way that is right and correct. Everyone should be headed down this funnel, as it is the only way to reach the ultimate aspect of Truth and Love meant for mankind. All other Paths will lead you to the depths of despair known as Hell, where eternal damnation is. Choose carefully. Remember, this choice is the ONLY WAY.
The reality, from my perspective, is different. Each Path has validation for the adherent. Christian, Pagan, Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, Muslim, what have you. All of these Paths have validity to their adherents. The only moment that keeps it from being valid is when the claim of being the ONLY WAY to the TRUTH begins to grow roots. The Path is valid to the adherent but may not be valid for others. Thus, the reason that I don’t dig into the -axy/-oxy bullshit. I’m not looking to make Druidry, Paganism, Polytheism, OBOD, my belief that the designated hitter ruins baseball, or anything else into THE standing rule for everyone. Well, except maybe the designated hitter stuff, but that’s a discussion to be had over a few beers around the campfire.
So, with that….how about those beers???