I am now peeking out from underneath a mountain of corrugated, cardboard boxes. The house is nearly packed. I’ve not seen this much cardboard in…about three years when the move was made from up near the Texas/Oklahoma border to here. That move was a nightmare. This one has proven to be just as jumpy an issue, but I’m hoping things will be a lot smoother. Tomorrow is the final push to get the garage straightened out and ready for the movers. After that, I’ll spend more time than I want behind the wheel of the truck. Wednesday will be a load of material in a UHaul trailer up to the house. After unloading, Thursday will be the drive back with the same trailer to reload and take again on Friday, along with the furrballs. Friday is also the day the movers will be doing their thing with their trucks. Then Saturday will be unloading Hell…and the move will be complete. After that…its pulling everything back out and finding appropriate places for everything. Moving just sucks.
But Arkansas promises some big changes. New environment to live in…LOTS of trees. New things to do, new places to see (some for a second or third time), new people to meet, and loads of adventures to be had. In a manner of speaking, its quite similar to my first steps into Druidry: a touch awkward, a lot new, and a lot familiar.
Druidry was not my first foray into Paganism, but it is my last. When I started down my long road, Wicca was my first stop. Three different Traditions later, I knew Wicca was not a home for me. Perhaps it was the three different Traditions that were the turning away point for me. After all, spell-work never was enthralling or enchanting (pun intended) to me. The unbending narrative of ritual outline was an area of concern for me, especially considering I could see where creativity could have ruled the day (I found out later that there are Wiccan Traditions that embrace extemporaneous ritual format full-throatedly). And within the three Traditions I attempted to work with, there was an over-balanced tendency towards the Feminine (I found out later that there were other Wiccan Traditions that were more balanced between the Masculine and Feminine). All of that didn’t sit too well with my Libra mind.
My second foray (if you consider the individuals forays into Wicca as a single attempt with different types of flavoring) was a bit less structured. I decided to take a major step into general Paganism, where I would adhere to no Path or particularly viewpoint. This turned out to be the ultimate crash-and-burn attempt at Paganism for me. Its really cool to do things your own way with no rules or standards to adhere to. It just is at it comes to your mind. No ritualistic patterns, check. No spell-work, check. No worries over stumbling over incantations that are endlessly memorized, check. No anchor point to work from, check. Wait. What? Yep, nothing to anchor yourself to any tradition, nothing to provide a focal perspective. Just free-floating, jazz-hands Paganism.
Well, it turned out to be too much for me. I like my free-form work within Paganism, but once you remove that central focal point….its the reign of Chaos Theory. Everything is in play to be questioned. Everything is subject to complete change at a moment’s notice. I like changing things up, but this was just difficult to manage. Rituals suddenly lost their intensity. My personal intent took a vacation to Cancun without me, boarding the same plane as Ted Cruz and his family (minus the dog, of course). Changing things up was a great methodology to utilize for keeping ritual fresh…but too much change and not enough focal perspective provided the right environment for a ritual food-fight with the Delta House.
It took a few more years to figure out, but what I was looking for was a Path where alteration and flat-out substitution could be allowed, while providing a central focal point that could be affixed as a constant in the equation. I’ve found that within Druidry. The ability to alter, add, substitute, remove, and delete from the provided method of doing things. But only after I managed and understood that provided method first. Understanding the basics is important before you start to alter things. You have to learn to cook the meal in its basic form, correctly – prior to adding, altering, or removing ingredients or steps. And sometimes there’s nothing to alter, add or remove. Its edible and tasty, just the way it is.
I’ve fallen into that trap though. I learned it one way and refused to believe that there were other ways of doing it. All those Druids are doing it wrong because I learned it this way from the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD). This is the way I learned it…it’s the only authentic way. Except its not. It might be the authentic way for you, but that doesn’t mean everyone else must do things that way as well or they just can’t be authentic Druids. I had that gently ( really…not so gently) brought to mind for me by Joni, Jon and Mary. It was a lesson that I desperately needed, since I couldn’t see past my own personal blinders. When I hear or read people saying that “…authentic Witches do thing this way. If they don’t, then they aren’t real Witches,” all I can do is quietly chuckle to myself. I can easily recall how I was shown the narrowness of my viewpoint time and time and time again. Now, when I hear or read an “everything must be this way” statement….I can feel Joni or Mary quietly staring at me as a reminder to open my mind and widen my view.
There are so many ways to do your personal Druidry. But the various Druid orders that are out there all provide a guide to base your experience and exploration upon. Through that guide, you’ll find a way to examine everything around you, and organize your throughts in a particular manner. Sometimes, one guide or organizational process just doesn’t feel right. That’s ok. Check out others. See if those might fit. When you find one that does, you’ll know. You’ll know because it fits better than the others. I found my way into OBOD. Its not a perfect fit for me, but it comes close enough for me to wear it easily. Yeah, it fits a little loose and I seem frumpy in it – but I reason that means that I have room to grow into it. And if not, I have room to hide my sweets and treats for those long forays into the woods. 😉
PS: For the next week-plus, I’ll only be posting on the weekends during the move. Once that is completed, I’ll set things back on the normal Tuesday, Thursday, Weekend schedule….