“Being a Druid involves taking responsibility to bring your own life into harmony with nature” – John Michael Greer.
Druidry is a path of nature spirituality. Rooted in the living earth, and in the love of earth, Druidry encourages compassion and care for the world in which we live and move and have our being.
The two tenets of the Reformed Druids of North America, in their popular form, simply state “Nature is good. Likewise, Nature is good”.
A Druidry that is based purely in books, ideas, and philosophical thought-experiements does not help nature. A Druidry based purely in ritual and meditation does not help nature.
We need those things, of course. We need knowledge and ideas, thought and contemplation, ritual and poetry and stillness.
But we also need action.
As with all things in Druidry, there is no one right way to do this. There are no Druidic commandments that Thou Shalt Be Vegan or Thou Shalt Not Drive A Car. There is, however, inspiration. Loving nature, deeply and intuitively, leads you to want to care for nature. How you practice this care largely depends on the type of person you are: Some will be leaders, speakers and front-line protesters. Some will write, some will create art and music to spread the message of nature awareness and protection.
And some will quietly, slowly, simply, make their own little corner of the world a better place. Clearing litter from local woods, volunteering with wildlife rescue centres, growing a nature-friendly garden with homes for frogs, insects, birds and mammals.
What you do is up to you. What matters is doing something.
Druidry isn’t about following a set of rules, nor is it about being holier than thou. People in poverty can’t always afford to eat local, organic, vegan food. People who need to travel for work can’t always avoid driving. People with social anxiety and phobias of crowds can’t always join in mass street protests. What we can all do, all we can do, is what we can.
Druidry is more about becoming aware of the ways our actions and choices affect the natural world, and then taking action accordingly, choosing those options that take less from the earth, and giving back where we can too.
Personally, I am vegetarian because of the environmental impact of factory farming and cattle ranching as well as the ethical concerns about animal welfare. I cycle or take public transport to work and, while I have a car, it’s small and has a low emission output compared to larger family models. I switched my energy supplier to Ecotricity, who use renewable power and invest in green energy. I recycle around 75% of my household waste, around a third of which goes on the compost heap. I have a wildlife-friendly garden. I write to my MP about environmental causes and donate to charities including the RSPB and the Woodland Trust. I’m trying to reduce my use of plastic.
I could do more, I know I could, but each day brings opportunities to make better choices, to take step, however small, in the right direction.
The Druid’s Prayer speaks of the love of all existences.
Love without action is no love at all.
It may seem like a losing battle, but I believe that the tide is changing on environmentalism. The future is green, and the old order of fossil fuels is becoming a fossil itself.
If we all do something, then together we can do anything.
[Prompt from Alison Leigh Lilly’s 30 Days of Druidry]