Before I pontificate, let me just say: Druid Camp itself was marvellous! A community of like-minded people, on many different paths, all made welcome. A sharing of magic, of song and dance and learning, delicious food, laughter and sunshine. Each morning we’d gather in Morning Meeting to hear about the offerings of the day. Each afternoon we’d gather for a talk by a prominent (usually academic) member of the community. And each evening we’d meet for ritual and then music in the cafe tent. Throughout the day volunteers would teach their skills or support the practical running of the event. Community, learning, sharing, celebrating and ritual. Magic in all it’s forms. I fully recommend it to even the just-curious as a gentle, relaxed event with plenty of space to choose what you will engage with, no pressure to know anything beforehand, and a very welcoming place which gives you the chance to meet many people on different paths.
On that note…
I’m not a Druid, not really. I’m not a member of OBOD or ADF or BDO or any other religious group with a name made of alphabet soup. I don’t introduce myself at pagan gatherings as a druid. It’s not a word or an image that resonates with me (and there is probably a good reason for that, which I’ll tell you about one day). And yet I feel very at home at the Rainbow Spirit Druid Camp.
I’ve done a fair amount of studying druidry (or at least neo-druidry, the modern pagan practice inspired by tales of ancient druids), and what I’ve found most often in recent years is that the ethics and attitudes align strongly with my own, the stories often come from the land I call home and I do love a good public ritual.
I still don’t feel like a Druid – though my path is very similar – and that’s ok.
I took an active part in the opening and closing rituals. I volunteered my time and skills to the community by working in the kid’s area. I danced to Morrigan’s Path and Hawkwind’s Nick Turner’s band Space Ritual. I was made welcome.
Part of me wonders if all that makes me a Druid in denial. But we never fit into neat little boxes, do we? I’m coming to accept that my Faery path weaves through several different groves, round the cauldron and into the wildwood. I can stand with the oaks, toast the gods, gather herbs and howl at the moon.
I often catch myself thinking that I’d like a tidy label for what I do, so I knew what I was meant to be doing, and then I remember, I know what I’m meant to be doing. I’m meant to follow the magic of my heart. The guidance of the spirits and the gods and of my deepest truest self. That’s what we’re all meant to do. For some that means finding an official path early on, for me it means that I can find myself at home in many temples. It’s an understanding that I may not be a Druid, but I’m certainly Pagan.