Before I start this post, let me first say: I made it through the first month! One down, eleven to go! Woo-hoo!
Now on, to Druidry…
This is everything I’ve been sent — apart from flyers for various gathering that I couldn’t attend — since I joined the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids over a year ago. This is all the material for the Bardic course, which is the first level of the OBOD. I’m over halfway through now, and have come to a point of reflecting back on the journey so far.
The OBOD is based out of England, with members via the correspondence course throughout the world. I first discovered them — about five years ago, I believe — through their podcast “Druidcast”, hosted by Damh the Bard. As soon as I listened to it and heard about the history of the Order and the music and the poetry and the prose that filled a magical half-hour, I felt a spiritual homecoming.
I was unintentionally raised pagan; unintentionally only in that we didn’t have a label for what we were, or what we believed and did. The values my family taught me were deep respect and love and responsibility towards nature and the natural world and to see ourselves as being part of it, to strive to live in partnership with it. Our church was the forest, our medicine were plants, our communion was time in the garden or time with the animals of our farm. The trees and the stars and the moon and the sun and the earth and the sky and the water and the animals, all of these were divine and sacred and a gift to us to cherish and accept and be a part of, and we were sacred too because we were part of it, and we were thankful and appreciative of the gifts the land bestowed on us, and we worked hard for them.
I felt the philosophies of Druidry were a natural extension of how I was raised, as was being a hedge-witch and kitchen-witch and wise woman and healer. Being trained in massage is an extension of it, as is the South Koren Natural Farming Method my parents use to raise much of our food, and the Paleo and Nourishing Traditions diets we incorporated into our eating habits.
Exploring the teachings of the Order has helped me greatly, especially over all the changes I’ve undergone in the last year. A year ago I was living in a different state, far from my family, feeling trapped and isolated and helpless in a toxic living situation, with a serious relationship that was slowing smothering me, and no joy in where I was working. A year ago I couldn’t have imagined the bright life I have now, the energy and strength and confidence I’ve gained, the projects and goals I tackle, the enthusiasm and plans for the future I’ll create. Even my parents have commented on how much I’ve changed and grown since I’ve come back to my island home.
Hawaii, the Big Island especially, is a healing place; one where the Elements and the Land are alive and present. It’s a new land — still being formed in places — and has all the bursting energy of the creation/destruction cycle. And because of that, unlikely a place as it may seem to an outsider, it’s been a wonderful place for me to explore my path in Druidry.
I leave you now with one more bonus picture:
These are the gwersu, the lessons, that I have completed. Laid out like this makes me think of them as waves…carrying me out of the darkness and into a rebirth of light and knowledge…