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Do you consider Neo-Druidism a new age religion?

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  • Do you consider Neo-Druidism a new age religion?

    I was told recently that neo-druidism is nothing more than a "new age religion". Rather than argue the point I thought I'd put it to the community.

    What do you you think...is it?

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  • #2
    Religion is religion regardless whether it is new age or not. There's a lot of disrespect and animosity towards neo-pagan religions I've come to realize, and honestly, I don't understand how anyone could put down anyone else's sense of faith.

    *Shrug*

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    • #3
      Neo-Druidism can be nothing more than a new-age religion, though that isn't always the case. Neo-Druidism is by nature a reconstructionist thing, if only because there is no 100% accurate guide to how ancient druids practiced. This automatically means, to select folk, that the religion may as well be made-up and has no bearing.

      So long as your practice (and I hesitate to use you as the example, but it's much easier for me from a grammar point of view) doesn't consist of throwing together everything you think is "neat" and you don't use your religious beliefs as a method of making yourself feel superior, then it doesn't fall into the usual usage of new-age.

      On the other hand, should you call yourself a druid because of celtic descent, and throw in native american, old irish, and norse beliefs along with greco-roman trappings and egyptian dashes for flavor, you are at least in danger of being 'new-age'. New-age tends to mean accepting everything as equally valid and that everything will work together. Even if it does work for you, it throws people off. I know I myself tend to dislike new-age stuff as a knee jerk reaction - I've had too many people use new-age as a protection label; it doesn't matter if Diana was never actually a goddess of death or child-birth, because as a new-age practitioner they can find and worship any aspect yaddayaddayadda. It quickly devolves into a self justification ritual, without any benefit spritually. They just want to seem important, and cling to the "an opinion can't be wrong" schtick.

      A good sign is that you are asking. So long as you can turn a discerning eye on yourself and what your practicing, you can avoid the supposed new-age pitfalls. Other than that, Deorwynn is right. Religion is religion. Just use religion for religious purposes and you'll be fine

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      • #4
        Why does it matter?

        If you are a neodruid and you are true to your path, why does it matter what others think of it?

        Its a newly created religion in what some would term as the "NewAge" and others would say that attributes of the religion and its followers make it "new agey" but if they aren't followers of that path, they are outsiders looking in.

        As a follower of any path, if you are more worried about what others think of your path than what you think of your path, you aren't following the right path. Religion shouldn't be about group acceptance. If all you want is to belong to something socially acceptable, then there are other outlets than religion.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Twig View Post
          I was told recently that neo-druidism is nothing more than a "new age religion". Rather than argue the point I thought I'd put it to the community.

          What do you you think...is it?

          Peace,
          Twig
          I guess it depends on what "new age" means. Druidism is a religion and an accompanying philosophy. I guess I'd say that Neo-Druidism is also a religion and a philosophy so right off it is *more* than a religion, even if it is evidently considered a "new age" religion by some.

          I am only a follower of the Druid way so I can't really say that it is only new. It is also very old and very much right here and now. Those are the three Druids of Parthalon. One wonders how old or new they are.

          Searles O'Dubhain

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          • #6
            Some druidry isnt specifically limited to celtic paganism and in that context it might be considered by some people to be a generic new age thing. But I'd say it could only be considered 'new age' by someone if the person has something they consider to be older and 'more authentic' to use as a foil. I couldnt agree with that personally. Druidry is one of the oldest forms of neopaganism and most modern forms of neopaganism that claim to be more authentic or to practice an older form of paganism are really much newer and no where nearly as well established in 'Celtic' Countries.

            What is the more authentic form of Celtic Paganism the type that establishes itself on the history of 'Celtic' Cultures or the type that is established in those 'Celtic' Cultures?

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            • #7
              I don't think it really matters. That said, the druids were a class of priests, not a religious sect, and their exact practices are not known. The idea of Druidism/Druidry as a religion is a very new idea, and though it may use similar methods as Celtic reconstructionism, it's still distinct from it.

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              • #8
                Id agree CR is distinct from druidry in name but my thinking is it originated from a type of Druidry and its the only form of celtic paganism evangelical enough to consider itself a foil usefull in criticizing Druidry.

                Maybe Im wrong, only the OP knows I guess.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nuadu View Post
                  What is the more authentic form of Celtic Paganism the type that establishes itself on the history of 'Celtic' Cultures or the type that is established in those 'Celtic' Cultures?
                  Celtic Paganism should include both types in a melding that allows each to grow toward the other.

                  The type currently established in Celtic countries has been affected by the history of its travails and experiences. What has survived within it is the power and truth of its being. Many layers of cover have been placed on it to protect this core from the world. That it has survived or arisen in this world is a measure of its rightness and strength.

                  The ancestors of the present day Celtic Paganism should smile upon its progeny with loving care and with a fierceness of family that will never be defeated.

                  Thos who seek back to the times of the ancestors to create or recreate those ways have a similar standing with the ancestors. This is because not everything necessary to practice there ways has survived over time. Present day survivals that did make the long journey are changed by the journey and history. Is it as they or we would want it to be? Those who would change anything when the information is not there to be certain are taking risks with their heritage. They also tempt those who did survive to view them with disdain.

                  The potential exists between both groups to destroy one another or to become better than they could be on their own. The betterment of Celtic Paganism will only come about IMO if both groups reinforce one another where they can and they abandon those things that are obviously wrong. This still leaves a great deal of room for differences. Men and women have been sharing this planet for the entire history of the human race with a similar situation of sharing and differences, so I have great hopes that survivors and recreators can get along as well with a similar mix of differences and sharing.

                  We must find the common or uncommon ground so that we can be allies. Without it, those who are from the outside will destroy us from the inside, by playing one faction against another. This is a very simplistic statement of ou rpresent situation, but it describes how Caesar defeated the Gauls and Britons. It is also how the English defeated the Scots and the Irish. I would hope that present day Celtic Paganism can learn from the ways that its opponents have played it in the past.

                  We need to reverse the synchronizations that have harmed our shared growth. We need to band together in some form of family to face our opposition with a united front. United Celtic culture can stand on the hills of Rome and laugh. Divided it will starve on a prison ship, become enslaved or surrender itself for servitude to others.

                  So, the answer to your question is that the past and the present must work together to create a joint future. Doing this comes most easily from focusing on our strengths and realistically replacing our weaknesses with guidance from the past and the inspiration of the gods.

                  Searles O'Dubhain

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Erebos View Post
                    I don't think it really matters. That said, the druids were a class of priests, not a religious sect, and their exact practices are not known. The idea of Druidism/Druidry as a religion is a very new idea, and though it may use similar methods as Celtic reconstructionism, it's still distinct from it.
                    The Druids led the rituals of the Celts. This strongly says they were involved with their religion. Celtic religion was a part of all aspects of their lives and not segmented from it as sects (a modern idea).

                    While exact practices are generally not spelled out in the surviving literature, a great deal of general information and "keys to knowledge" have survived for those who choose to look. In this looking and understanding of the unlocked knowledge provided to us through keys, we are placed in a similar position of learning as our ancestors were also placed. We should run a thread of spirit through it all and also weave it together with other threads to creat a new fabric of truth that will serve us well.

                    Nothing is ever completely lost. Truth is the power of the universe. An open and disciplined mind can stand on the shoulders of giants to see the coming future and make ready. The center of the world is within your Coire Goriath just waiting to be aligned with tradition and with inquiry sifted wisdom. Joy or anguish is the 2 by 4 that Nature, memory and surviving knoiwledge must sometimes use to get any of us to quit wearing our Coire Soيs like a helmet and start using it to advance our own endeavors.

                    Searles O'Dubhain
                    Last edited by odubhain; February 15th, 2010, 01:02 PM. Reason: typos

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Terra Mater View Post
                      Why does it matter?

                      If you are a neodruid and you are true to your path, why does it matter what others think of it?

                      Its a newly created religion in what some would term as the "NewAge" and others would say that attributes of the religion and its followers make it "new agey" but if they aren't followers of that path, they are outsiders looking in.

                      As a follower of any path, if you are more worried about what others think of your path than what you think of your path, you aren't following the right path. Religion shouldn't be about group acceptance. If all you want is to belong to something socially acceptable, then there are other outlets than religion.
                      It seems to me that you've asked a question and have answered it in the same posting.

                      The key word above is "true."

                      Finding that whic is true is how we crerate ourselves and the world around us. Being confused about what is true or just being plain wrong is how we diminish ourselves and sometimes destroy worlds.

                      For Druids, truth is the ultimate power of the universe. An act of truth is the ultimate expression of this truth which can move mountains, hearts and minds.

                      It makes no difference if truth is new or old. Truth and being true stand on their own. The ordeals, questionings, searches and tests that we all go through to convince ourselves that something is truth, vanish in a twinkling when we are in the presence of actual truth. Being unsure of that means we are unsure of ourselves or we are living an illusion. Being certain about our truth means that we are sure about it or that we living a lie.

                      Ultimately, I think from my own experiences, trials and tests, that we stand in our own way most of the time and *color* what we see through personal bias. When we die to ourselves we have a reunions with all of our other parts so that we are no longer shattered beings but are whole and true. Differentiation and Unity are the two mates of Chaos and Order. Their children are amny but the two that are chief among them are Goodness and Adventure. I apologize for the lack of true representation allowed by ASCII keyboards:

                      X - The Gathering - EAbha

                      <> - Between the Fires of Choice - OIr

                      @ - The Thread of Spirit - UIlleann

                      XX - The Tests and Ordeals - IOfin

                      ## - The Gaming Board of Destiny - AEmancholl

                      The above are one pathway to truth through ritual.

                      Searles O'Dubhain
                      Last edited by odubhain; February 15th, 2010, 05:40 PM. Reason: typos

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by odubhain View Post
                        Celtic Paganism should include both types in a melding that allows each to grow toward the other.
                        Wouldnt that mean the definitive version was ADF Druidry cos its both recon and druidry?

                        So, the answer to your question is that the past and the present must work together to create a joint future. Doing this comes most easily from focusing on our strengths and realistically replacing our weaknesses with guidance from the past and the inspiration of the gods.
                        Thats very altruistic Searles, I would bury recon forever if I had the chance and they dont concecrate themselves with the purpose of destroying my lot like they do yours. I suppose an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, I suppose Im still prying the rusty gates of my mind open I think I'll spend a bit more time with the OBOD lot here. Whatever about their beliefs they are open minded

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nuadu View Post
                          Wouldnt that mean the definitive version was ADF Druidry cos its both recon and druidry?
                          ADF is more friendly than some other forms of recon to Druidry. I belong to Keltria which is an Irish specific off-spring of ADF. The Indo-European approach to Druidry in ADF gets too far from Celtic Druidry for my tastes (but it is a knowledge and truth seeking barnch none-the-less). I'm hoping that folks on the sod of birth will come forth with alot more information on Druidry and Celtic spirit rather than looking elsewhere. Y'all are eyes and ears for those of us separated by the Great Ocean.


                          Thats very altruistic Searles, I would bury recon forever if I had the chance and they dont concecrate themselves with the purpose of destroying my lot like they do yours.

                          I know what you mean Nuadu but the Djinn is out of the bottle. There are lots of neo-fundie-CR's running around demanding this or that and one thing or the other. None of it has the entire (or even a large part) of the truth within the movements. Those who do lead seem to have a lot of agendas that have nothing to do with reconstruction or Druidry. They become seemingly almost cult-like.

                          I suppose an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, I suppose Im still prying the rusty gates of my mind open I think I'll spend a bit more time with the OBOD lot here. Whatever about their beliefs they are open minded
                          The OBOD folks seem to be willing to address the merits of most things to do with Druidry as objectively as they can. Their stream runs a different course than my own and the currents within it impede me. I swim in a different stream yet know that the source and the Ocean are all the same Well. When we die, we are born again into a new life. The same is true for ideas and philosophies. Maybe we should give them the sacrifice like Padraig gave to the young maidens at the well?

                          Druids and Druidry have many lives. I see no reason why a Druidry born in a pub should be any better or worse than a Druidry born out of a desire to avoid compuslory chapel attendence at a college. For that matter, I see no reason to think that a Druidry born in a university library should be better than the wisdom of a kook in a tree. Finally, I think that a Druidry born from a NDE or a memory between lives is the same as a Druidry that comes to a person like the winning of a horse race or very good sex. :-)

                          It's what they do that counts and how the tree grows that determines its mast.

                          Searles O'Dubhain
                          Last edited by odubhain; February 15th, 2010, 01:59 PM. Reason: typos

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                          • #14
                            Whatever "path" you follow, just make sure you "walk the walk" or are at least trying very hard to learn the steps, to better yourself, and thereby better the whole of creation .

                            It's easy to get angered or frustrated when someone seems to be confusing, insulting, corrupting, or being "untrue" to your own beliefs . . . and it's one thing to want to make them "see the error of their ways" . . . but you must keep in mind that is is THEIR belief system and we don't necessarily have the right to judge it . . . . .

                            Everyone seems to have their own personal version of every path . . . it's what it means to you.

                            Having said that, I also believe that if you define yourself under a certain title . . you should be true to the meaning of that title . . whatever it is. . . . otherwise, name it something else. . . . but I have mixed views concerning titles . . .there's not always a proper title for everything.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Twig View Post
                              I was told recently that neo-druidism is nothing more than a "new age religion". Rather than argue the point I thought I'd put it to the community.

                              What do you you think...is it?

                              Peace,
                              Twig
                              I would not say so, no. Some kinds of eclectic Neopaganism edge very close, though. To me, New Age thought is characterised by an interest in the occult, spiritualism, and very broad eclecticism. While neodruidism can be fairly eclectic, and I wouldn't say so. It has some influences from it, to be sure, since they evolved in parallel and from the same milieu of the 1960's Counterculture. But it's too focused on specifically Celtic mythology, religion, and culture to be categorised as New Age.

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