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What Neopagan Druids Believe
(c) 1984 P. E. I. Bonewits
Reprinted from "The Druids' Progress" #1
 Here's a brief introduction to the basic beliefs that I expect will characterize most members of ADF (a Neopagan Druid organiza- tion).  These spiritual beliefs are similar to most of those held by  other Neopagans (see Margot Adler's book,  "Drawing Down  the Moon")  and the similarities are far more important than whatever specific distinctions of doctrine or ethnic focus there might  be between  us and other Neopagans.  I should also mention that  not all  Neopagans  who consider themselves Druids  will  necessarily agree with every point of the following list.  Nonetheless, these beliefs  will be the roots of ADF's polytheology,  the source  of  the spiritual grove we seek to plant. 

1)  We  believe that divinity is both immanent (internal)  and transcendent (external).  We see the Gods as being able to  manifest  at  any  point in space or  time,  including  within  human beings,  which  they might choose,  although they may often  have their preferences.  Often this develops among some Neopagans into 
pantheism  ("the physical world is divine") or panentheism  ("the Gods are everywhere"). We tend more towards the latter position. 

2)  We  believe  that divinity is as likely to manifest  in  a female form as it is in a male form, and that therefore women and men are spiritually equal. We insist on a dynamic balance between female and male deities honored and/or invoked at every ceremony, and a strict gender balance in whatever theories of  polytheology that we eventually develop. We're "liberals" about women's rights and gay rights, but not "radicals;" that is to say, we're unwilling  to subordinate all our other principles in order to  promote this  particular principle.  People who wish to make feminism  or gay activism the absolute center of all their spiritual activity will probably be happier in other groups. 

3) We believe in a multiplicity of gods and goddesses,  all of whom are likely to be worthy of respect,  love and worship. Sometimes  we  believe in these divinities as  individual  and  independent entities; sometimes as Jungian "archetypes of the collective unconscious" or "circuits in the psychic Switchboard;" sometimes  as aspects or faces of one or two major deities (the "High God/dess" and/or "the Goddess and the Horned God"); and sometimes as  "all  of the above!" We feel that this  sort  of  flexibility leads  to pluralism (instead of monism),  multi-valued logic systems  and  an increased tolerance of other people's  beliefs  and lifestyles.  All of these are vital if our species is ever  going to  learn  to  live in peace and harmony amid a  multiplicity  of human cultures. 

4) We believe that it is necessary to have a respect and  love for Nature as divine in her own right, and to accept ourselves as a  part of Nature and not as her "rulers." We tend to accept what has come to be known as "the Gaia hypothesis," that the biosphere of  our  planet is a living being,  who is due all the  love  and support that we,  her children,  can give her. This is especially important  in  our modern era,  when 3000 years  of  monotheistic belief  that  "mankind is to have dominion over the  Earth"  have come close to destroying the ability of the biosphere to maintain itself.  Many Neopagan groups refer to themselves as "Earth religions"  and  this is a title which we believe  Neopagan  Druidism should proudly claim,  and which we should work to earn.  Thus we consider  ecological awareness and activism to be sacred  duties. If the ecology,  conservation and anti-nuclear movements are ever to have "chaplains," we should be among them. 

5)  We  believe in accepting the positive aspects  of  western science and technology,  but in maintaining an attitude of  worryness towards their supposed ethical neutrality.  The overwhelming majority of Neopagans are technophiles, not technophobes. We tend to be better scientifically educated than the general population, and  thus we have a religious duty to speak out about the  economics,  political and  ecological uses and abuses of  science  and technology. 

6) We share with most other Neopagans a distaste for monolithic  religious organizations and would-be messiahs and gurus.  Obviously,  this  places the founders of Neopagan religious  traditions in a complex position: they need enough religious authority to focus the organizations they're founding,  but not so much  as to  allow them (or their successors) to become oppressive.  Since the  pluralistic  approach denies the existence of any  One  True Right  and Only Way,  and since Neopagans insist upon  their  own human fallibility,  we expect to be able to steer ADF between the Scylla of tyranny and the Charybdis of anarchy. 

7)  In  keeping with this,  we believe that healthy  religions should  have  a minimum amount of dogma and a maximum  amount  of eclectism  and  flexibility.  Neopagans tend to be  reluctant  to accept any idea without personally investigating both its practicality and its long-range consequences.  They are also likely  to 
take  useful  ideas from almost any source that doesn't  run  too fast  to  get  away.  We intend ADF to be  a  "reconstructionist" tradition of Druidism,  but we know that eventually concepts from nonDruidic  sources will be grafted on to our trees.  There's  no harm  in this,  as long as we stay aware of what we are doing  at 
every  step  of the way,  and make a legitimate  effort  to  find authentic  (and therefore spiritually and esthetically congruent) parallels in genuine Indo-European sources first.  As for  flexibility,  Neopagan  Druidism is an organic religion,  and like all other  organisms it can be expected to grow,  change and  produce offshoots as the years go by. 

8)  We believe that ethics and morality should be  based  upon joy,  self-love  and  respect;  the avoidance of actual  harm  to others; and the increase of public benefit. We try to balance out people's needs for personal autonomy and growth,  with the necessity  of  paying  attention to the impact  of  each  individual's actions  on the lives and welfare of others.  The commonest  Neopagan  ethical expression is "If it doesn't hurt anyone,  do what you  like." Most Neopagans believe in some variant or another  of the  principle  of karma,  and state that the  results  of  their actions  will always return to them.  It's difficult for ordinary humans to successfully commit "offenses against the Gods,"  short of major crimes such as ecocide or genocide,  and our deities are perfectly  capable of defending their own honor without any  help from mortal busybodies.  We see the traditional monotheistic concepts of sin,  guilt and divine retribution for thought-crimes as 
sad misunderstandings of natural growth experiences. 

9)  We  believe  that human beings were meant  to  lead  lives filled with joy, love, pleasure, beauty and humor. Most Neopagans are fond of food,  drink,  music,  sex and bad puns, and consider all  of  these (except possibly the puns) to be  sacraments.  Although  the  ancient Druids appear to have  had  ascetics  within their ranks, they also had a sensualist tradition, and the common folk  have  always preferred the latter.  Neopagan Druids try  to keep these two approaches in balance and harmony with each  other by avoiding dualistic extremes.  But the bedrock question is, "If your religion doesn't enable you to enjoy life more, why bother?" 

10) We believe that with proper training,  art, discipline and intent,  human  minds and hearts are fully capable of  performing most  of  the  magic and miracles they are ever likely  to  need. This  is  done through the use of what we  perceive  as  natural, divinely  granted  psychic powers.  As with many  other  Neopagan traditions,  the conscious practice of magic is a central part of most  of  our religious rituals.  Unlike monotheists,  we see  no clearcut division between magic and prayer.  Neither, however, do we  assume an automatic connection between a person's ability  to perform "miracles" and either (a) their personal spirituality  or (b) the accuracy of their poly/theological opinions. 

11)  We  believe in the importance of celebrating  the  solar, lunar and other cycles of our lives.  Because we see ourselves as a part of Nature, and because we know that repeating patterns can give meaning to our lives, we pay special attention to astronomical  and  biological cycles.  By consciously observing  the  solstices,  equinoxes  and  the points in between,  as well  as  the phases  of the moon,  we are not only aligning ourselves with the movements and energy patterns of the external world,  but we  are also  continuing  customs that reach back to the  original  IndoEuropean peoples and beyond.  These customs are human universals, as  are  the  various ceremonies known as "rites of  passage"  -- celebrations  of birth,  puberty,  personal dedication to a given deity or group,  marriage, ordination, death, etc. Together these various sorts of observations help us to find ourselves in  space and time -- past, present and future. 

12)  We  believe that people have the ability to  solve  their current  problems,  both  personal and public,  and to  create  a better world. Hunger, poverty, war and disease are not necessary, nor inevitable.  Pain,  depression,  lack of creative opportunity and mutual oppression are not necessary either. What is necessary is  a  new spiritual consciousness in which short-sighted  greed, power-mongering  and  violence are seen as  absurd,  rather  than noble.  This utopian vision, tempered with common sense, leads us to a strong commitment to personal and global  growth,  evolution and balance. 

13)  We believe that people can progress far towards achieving growth,  evolution  and  balance through  the  carefully  planned alteration  of their "normal" states of consciousness.  Neopagans use  both  ancient and modern methods  of  aiding  concentration, meditation,  reprogramming  and ecstasy.  We seek to avoid  being locked into single-valued,  monistic "tunnel realities," and  instead  work on being able to switch worldviews according to their appropriateness for each given situation, while still maintaining a firm spiritual, ethical and practical grounding. 

14)  We believe that human interdependence  implies  community service.  Neopagan  Druids are encouraged to use their talents to help others,  both inside and outside of the Neopagan  community. Some of us are active in political, social, ecological and charitable  organizations,  while others prefer to work for the public good primarily through spiritual means (and many of us do  both). As  Neopagan  Druids  we  have the right and  the  obligation  to actively  oppose (physically and spiritually) those forces  which would  kill  our planet,  oppress our fellow  human  beings,  and destroy our freedom of religion.  Also,  however,  we have a constant need to evaluate our own methods and motives,  and to  make sure that our actions are coming from the depths of our spiritual beings, and not from petty or short-sighted desires for power. 

15) We believe that if we are to achieve any of our goals,  we must  practice what we preach.  Neopagan Druidism should be a way of life,  not merely a weekly or monthly social function. Thus we must  always  strive to make our lives consistent with  our  proclaimed  beliefs.  In  a time when many people  are  looking  for something solid to hang on to in the midst of rapid technological and  cultural changes,  Neopagan Druidism can offer a natural and creative  alternative to the repressive structures of  mainstream monotheism.  But our alternative will not be seen as such  unless we  can  manage to make it a complete lifestyle -- one with  concern, if not always immediate answers, for the problems of everyday life, as well as the grand cosmic questions. 

Obviously, there's a great deal more to Neopaganism in general and  our  version of it in particular.  The details  of  Neopagan polytheology  will  take years to develop.  The  section  of  the "Druid  Handbook" dealing with beliefs will consist of statements with commentaries (and even arguments) about the meanings of  the statements.  The purpose of this format is multiple: to emphasize that  there are no final answers to the great questions of  human existence;  to  express clearly that Neopagans can disagree  with each  other about subtle details of interpretation,  while  still remaining  members of the same religion;  and to allow the belief system  to grow and adapt to changing cultural and  technological needs.  Neopagan Druidism is to be a religion of the  future,  as well as of the present and the past. 

  This  article  has  been reprinted from "The  Druids'  Progress", 
issue #1, and is copyright 1984 by P. E. I. Bonewits. "DP" is the 
irregular journal of a Neopagan Druid group called "Ar  nDraiocht 
Fein",  founded  by Bonewits (author of "Real Magic").  For  more 
data,  send an S.A.S.E.  to:  Box 9398,  Berkeley, CA, USA 94709. 
Permission  to distribute via BBS's is hereby  granted,  provided 
that the entire article, including this notice, is kept intact. 

 The term "Pagan" comes from the Latin paganus, which appears to have  originally meant "country dweller," 
"villager," or  "hick." The  members  of  the  Roman army seem to have used  it  to  mean "civilian." When Christianity took over the Empire and  continued it under new management, the word took on the idea of "one who is not  a  soldier of Christ." Today,  the word means  "atheist"  or "devil worshiper" to many devout monotheists. But those who call themselves  Pagan use it differently;  as a general term for  native, natural and polytheistic religions, and their members. The  following definitions have been coined in recent years  in order to keep the various polytheological and historical distinctions clear: "Paleopaganism" refers to the original tribal faiths of Europe,  Africa,  Asia,  the Americas,  Oceania and Australia, where  and  when  they were (or are) still  practiced  as  intact belief systems.  Of the so-called "Great Religions of the World," Hinduism, Taoism and Shinto fall under this category. "Mesopaganism" is the word used for those religions founded  as attempts  to  recreate,  revive or continue what  their  founders thought  of  as the (usually European) Paleopagan ways  of  their ancestors  (or predecessors),  but which were heavily  influenced (accidentally, deliberately or involuntarily) by the monotheistic and/or  dualistic worldviews of Judaism,  Christianity and/or Islam.  Examples  of  Mesopagan belief systems  would  include  the Masonic Druids,  Rosicrucianism, Spiritualism, Crowleyianity, and the many Afro-American faiths (Voudoun, Macumba, etc.). "Neopaganism"  refers to those religions created since 1940  or so  that have attempted to blend what their founders perceived as the best aspects of different types of Paleopaganism with  modern "Aquarian  Age" ideals,  while eliminating as much as possible of the traditional western dualism. The title of this section should now make a great deal more sense.  So let's look at the state  of Paleopaganism in Europe prior to the arrival of Christianity. It's  important  to remember that a lot of history happened  in Europe before anyone got around to writing it down.  Around  4000 B.C.E.  ("Before  the  Common Era") the tribes that spoke  Proto-Indo-European began to migrate away from their original homeland, which  was probably the territory around the northwest shores  of the  Black  Sea.  Some went southeast and founded  the  Armenian, Iranian  and Indic cultures.  Others went south to  Anatolia  and Palestine,  and  became known as Hittites and Mitanni.  Those who went southwest to the Balkans became Thracians and Greeks. Others who went west and north established the Celtic, Slavic, Germanic, and Baltic cultures. 

All  this migrating around took many centuries and  involved  a lot of bloodshed. Previous inhabitants of a given piece of territory  had  to be persuaded,  usually at swordpoint,  to  let  the newcomers  in -- and there went the neighborhood!  The  pre-Indo-European cultures in Europe (which were not necessarily "peaceful matriarchies")  were all still in the late Neolithic ("New  Stone Age") cultural era,  with only stone axes, spears and knives with which  to defend themselves.  The invaders had bronze weapons and armor with which to fight,  plus bronze axes with which to  clear the  great  forests that covered the continent,  bronze plows  to till the soil, etc. 

The  impact  of this superior technology can be judged  by  the fact that, by the time of the Roman Empire, nearly every language spoken  in  Europe (except Basque,  Lappish and  Finnish)  was  a member of the Western branch of Indo-European. Everything west of the  Urals  was  pretty much dominated by a  loosely  interlinked conglomeration of related cultures,  each of which was a  mixture of the PIE culture and that of the previous holders of its territory.  The  largest group of cultures north of the Roman  borders was that of the Celts, and the second largest that of the Germans (some  scholars  consider  the Germans to be so  closely  related culturally to the Celts as to be practically a subset,  at  least in archaeological terms). 

Thanks to the work of Georges Dumezil,  James Duran and others, we  are beginning to have a clear idea of the social,  political, magical and religious functions of the priestly "class" in  IndoEuropean Paleopaganism.  I use the word "class" deliberately, for the Western Indo-European cultures seem to have been built on the same  fundamental social pattern as that with which we are familiar in Vedic India:  clergy,  warriors,  and providers  (farmers, craftspeople, traders, herders, etc.). In fact, it appears that a close  to exact correspondence can be made between the religious, political  and social functions originally performed by  a  Latin flamen, a Celtic draoi, or a Vedic brahman. 

The Indo-European clergy basically included the entire intelligensia of their cultures:  poets, musicians, historians, astronomers,  genealogists, judges, diviners, and of course, leaders and supervisors of religious rituals.  Officially,  they ranked immediately  below the local tribal chieftains or "kings"  and  above the warriors.  However, since the kings were quasi-religious figures,  usually inaugurated by the clergy,  and often dominated by them,  it  was frequently a tossup as to who was in charge in any given  tribe.  The clergy were exempt from taxation and  military service,  and in some cultures are said to have spent decades  in specialized training. 

They  seem  to have been responsible for all  public  religious rituals  (private ones were run by the heads of each  household). Public ceremonies were most often held in fenced groves of sacred trees.  These were usually of birch,  yew,  and oak (or ash where oaks  were rare),  depending upon the subset of deities or ancestors being addressed,  as well as the specific occasion.  Various members  of  the priestly caste would be responsible  for  music, recitation  of prayers,  sacrificing of animals (or  occasionally human criminals or prisoners of war),  divination from the flames of the ritual fire or the entrails of the sacrificial victim, and other  minor ritual duties.  Senior members of the  caste  ("the" Druids, "the" brahmans or "the" flamens as such) would be responsible  for making sure that the rites were done exactly according to tradition.  Without such supervision, public rituals were generally impossible;  thus Caesar's comment that all public Gaulish sacrifices required a Druid to be present. There  are definite indications that the  Indo-European  clergy held  certain  polytheological and mystical opinions  in  common, although only the vaguest outlines are known at this point. There was  a belief in reincarnation (with time spent between lives  in an  Other World very similar to the Earthly one),  in the sacredness of particular trees,  in the continuing relationship between 
mortals,  ancestors  and deities,  and naturally in the  standard laws of magic (see Real Magic). There was an ascetic tradition of the sort that developed into the various types of yoga in  India, complete  with the Pagan equivalent of monasteries and  convents. There was also,  I believe, a European "tantric" tradition of sex and drug magic,  although it's possible that this was mostly  the native shamanic traditions being absorbed and transmuted. Only  the  western Celtic clergy (the Druids) seem to have  had any sort of organized inter-tribal communications  network.  Most of the rest of the IE clergy seem to have kept to their own local tribes.  Among the Germanic peoples, the priestly class had weakened  by the early centuries of the Common Era to the point where the majority of ritual work was done by the heads of households. We don't know whether or not any but the highest ranking clergy were  full-time  priests and priestesses.  At the height  of  the Celtic cultures,  training for the clergy was said to take twenty years of hard work, which would not have left much time or energy for developing other careers. Among the Scandinavians, there seem 
to have been priests and priestesses (godar, gydjur) who lived in small  temples and occasionally toured the countryside with  statues of their patron/matron deities, whom they were considered to be "married" to.  In the rest of the Germanic,  Slavic and Baltic cultures,  however, many of the clergy may have worked part-time, a common custom in many tribal societies. 

It's  also common for such cultures to have full- or  part-time healers,  who may use herbs, hypnosis, psychology, massage, magic and other techniques. Frequently they will also have diviners and weather  predictors (or  controllers).  Midwives,  almost  always female,  are  also  standard and,  as mentioned above,  there  is usually  a priestess or priest working at least  part-time.  What causes confusion,  especially when dealing with extinct cultures, is  that  different tribes combine these offices  into  different people. 

At the opening of the Common Era,  European Paleopaganism  consisted  of three interwoven layers:  firstly,  the original  pre-Indo-European religions (which were of course also the results of several  millenia of religious evolution and cultural conquests); secondly,  the proto-Indo-European belief system held by the  PIE speakers  before they began their migrations;  and  thirdly,  the full  scale "high religions" of the developed Indo-European  cultures. Disentangling these various layers is going to take a very long time, if indeed it will ever be actually possible. The  successful genocide campaigns waged against the Druids and their colleagues are complex enough to warrant a separate discussion.  Suffice it to say that by the time of the seventh  century C.E.,  Druidism  had  been either destroyed or driven  completely underground  throughout Europe.  In parts of Wales  and  Ireland, fragments  of Druidism seem to have survived in disguise  through the institutions of the Celtic Church and of the Bards and Poets. 
Some  of these survivals,  along with a great deal of speculation and  a few outright forgeries,  combined to inspire  the  ("Meso- pagan")  Masonic/Rosicrucian  Druid fraternities of  the  1700's. These  groups have perpetuated these fragments (and  speculations and  forgeries)  to this very day,  augmenting them with a  great deal of folkloric and other research. 

These  would seem to most Americans to be the only  sources  of information about Paleopagan Druidism.  However, research done by Russian  and  Eastern European folklorists,  anthropologists  and musicologists among the Baltic peoples of Latvia,  Lithuania  and Estonia indicates that Paleopagan traditions may have survived in small  villages,  hidden in the woods and swamps,  even into  the current century! Some of these villages still had people dressing up  in  long  white robes and going out to sacred  groves  to  do ceremonies,  as  recently  as World War One!  Iron Curtain  social scientists interviewed the local clergy,  recorded the ceremonies and songs,  and otherwise made a thorough study of their  "quaint traditions"  preparatory to turning them all into good  Marxists. Ironically  enough,  some  of the oldest "fossils"  of  preserved Indo-European  traditions  (along  with bits of  vocabulary  from Proto-German  and other early IE tongues) seem to have been  kept by  Finno-Ugric peoples such as the Cheremis.  Most of  this  research  has been published in a variety of Soviet academic  books and  journals,  and has never been translated into English.  This material, when combined with the Vedic and Old Irish sources, may give us most of the missing links necessary to reconstruct Paleo-pagan European Druidism. 

The translation of this material,  along with some of the writings  of  Dumezil (and others) that are not yet  in  English,  is going to be an important part of the research work of ADF for the first few years.  And we're going to see if we can get copies  of some of the films... 

But there are some definite "nonfacts" about the ancient Druids that  need  to be mentioned:  There are no real indications  that they  used stone altars (at Stonehenge or  anywhere  else);  that they  were better philosophers than the classical Greeks or Egyptians;  that they had anything to do with the mythical continents of Atlantis or Mu; or that they wore gold Masonic regalia or used Rosicrucian passwords. They were not the architects of (a) Stonehenge,  (b)  the  megalithic circles and  lines  of  Northwestern Europe, (c) the Pyramids of Egypt, (d) the Pyramids of the Americas, (e) the statues of Easter Island, or (f) anything other than wooden barns and stone houses. There is no proof that any of them were monotheists,  or "Prechristian Christians," that they understood  or  invented either Pythagorean or Gnostic  or  Cabalistic 
mysticism;  or  that  they all had long white beards  and  golden sickles. 

Separating  the sense from the nonsense,  and the probabilities from  the absurdities,  about the Paleopagan clergy of Europe  is going  to take a great deal of work.  But the results  should  be worth it,  since we will wind up with a much clearer image of the real  "Old  Religions"  than Neopagans have  ever  had  available before.  This  will have liturgical,  philosophical and political consequences,  some of which we'll be discussing in future issues of "The Druids' Progress". 

The Political Implications of Reviving Druidism 
(c) 1984 P. E. I. Bonewits 
Reprinted from "The Druids' Progress" #1 

Throughout  all  known human history,  people who  had  hidden knowledge (whether of healing,  weather prediction,  mathematics, or  magic) have used their exclusive possession of that knowledge as a source of power,  for purposes that were good, bad or weird. The  warrior  caste has always done its level best to  take  that knowledge away from the clergy and to put it to political, economic and military use.  Today, almost all the hard and soft sciences have become tools for those who wish to control their  fellow human beings.  The polluters, the exploiters, the oppressors, the conquerors -- whether calling themselves "capitalists" or "communists" -- they are the ones who control nearly all the technology of overt power and a great deal of the tech for covert tyranny. One  of  the very few ways we have of defending ourselves  and our  fellow passengers (human and other) on this Spaceship  Earth is  through  the careful and judicious  use  of  magic.  National governments  and  private  enterprises are spending  millions  of dollars (and rubles and pounds and yen) trying to develop psychic powers  into dependable tools for warfare and  oppression;  while most of us who should be learning precise techniques and  careful timing, in order to use magic and the power of the Gods to defend ourselves  and our Mother Earth,  have been busy being misty-eyed romantics, not wanting to "sully our karma" by trying to do magic that might really work (that is to say,  for which we would  have to take personal responsibility). As  a result,  we have assisted the very forces of  oppression which  we  claim  to oppose.  We are partly responsible  for  the poverty,  hunger, pollution, disease and early deaths which dominate  so much of our planet.  Occultists have assisted  by  being unwilling  to  put  their talents to the test by using  them  for "mundane" or "lowly-evolved" purposes. Ecologists, Celtic ationalists,  and would-be revolutionaries have assisted by being  unwilling  to use nonmaterialistic technologies to cause changes in the material world (after all,  if Freud and Marx didn't  mention magic as real,  it can't possibly work). The creation of Neopagan Druidism may be able to help change those attitudes. 

Despite  the efforts of liberal Christian clergymen to make us forget the physical and cultural genocide committed by  organized Christianity  against the peoples of Europe,  there is simply  no way  to ignore the fact that monotheists in power always seek  to silence  competing  voices.  We  cannot look  to  the  mainstream churches for our physical and spiritual liberation,  for they are the  ones who took our freedom away in the first  place.  Marxist atheism  is  no answer either,  for it is also a product  of  the monotheistic  tunnel-reality,  and seeks to impose its dogmas and holy  scriptures  just as strenuously as ever the  churches  have. Those who want to live in a world of peace,  freedom and cultural pluralism,  must look beyond the currently  available,  "respectable" (i.e., monistic) alternatives they have been presented with by the mass media, and consider new alternatives. 

Many  people think of Neopaganism in general,  or Druidism  in particular  (if they think of them at all),  as just being  "odd" religions,  with  no political implications worth  investigating. But  I  believe  that Neopagan Druidism has  important  political ideas which should be considered,  especially by those  concerned with the survival and revival of the Celtic peoples. 

Druidism  is political because one of the primary tasks of the clergy has always been to ride herd on the warriors. (This may be one reason why barbarian warriors welcomed the Christian missionaries,  because  they  perceived (correctly) that  the  Christian priests would be far more likely to play ball with them than  the Druids had been.  After all,  if the world is ending any day now, why  bother  controlling your local warriors?) Since the  primary threat  to  life  on this planet now  comes  from  out-of-control warriors, it's time we started taking that duty seriously again. Druidism is political because only a Nature worshipping  religion  can  give  people sufficient concern for  the  environment. Monotheism  is a major cause of the current state of the  world's ecology.  We need a strong public religion that tells the polluters,  "No,  it's  not  divinely sanctioned for you  to  rape  the Earth." 

Druidism  is political because the Druids have always been the preservers of the best of their traditional cultures.  The  Mesopagan  Druids of Brittany and Wales,  for example,  are  directly responsible for assisting the revival of the Cornish language and tradition  from the very edge of extinction.  The various  traditional preservation and independence movements, such as the Celtic,  Flemish,  Baltic and other related movements in Europe, need religious  and  cultural leadership based in their own  cultures. Druidism can help create an environment in which such  leadership can develop. 

Druidism is political because it offers a worldview completely different from that of the monotheistic/monistic tyranny that now controls  our planet.  One of the many things that  any  religion does  is  to shape the ways in which people see the world  around them.  We  need a religion that offers people a multitude of  options,  rather than traditional western  either/or,  black/white, win/lose choices. 

Druidism  is political,  at the bedrock level,  because it can teach  people how to use their Gods-given psychic and other  talents to change the way things are.  Make no mistake, magic works, at least as often as poetry, music or political rallies do. Magic is a form of power that we,  the people of the Earth, have available  to use,  not just for psychological  "empowerment"  (making ourselves  feel  better) but to actually control the  individuals and institutions responsible for our planet's current mess. If we are  unwilling  to use magic,  then we had might as  well  resign ourselves  and our descendants to either a life of slavery  in  a homogenized,  pasteurized  world,  or a quick and painful nuclear death. And what excuse will we give to the "Lords of Karma" then? 

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