Thursday 22 January 2015

DruidCast Episode 94 and My Druid Journey

Damh requested listeners write in with the story of their Druid Journey. And since it's very unlikely that it will be told on DruidCast, I thought to share it here. My story encompasses both Damh's request, and Jonathan Woolley's presentation: Where are the young adult Druids? 

Well, I'm one! And I was perhaps, to the best of knowledge, likely one of the first OBODies in Western Canada. And definitely the youngest at the time!

My Journey began in 1997 when I was 17 years old. Being in that precipitous teenage depression that many experience, I came to the realization that I was terrified to die. (It never occurred to me at the time that I may have been suicidal). 

But how silly. I will die. At some point, and may it be far from now. But what was I to do in the meantime, to ready myself for this eventuality? Friends all sought to get me to church, a suggestion from which I violently recoiled.

I wrote many many stories as a child, and when high school arrived there was no more time for such fantasies. Yet in Grade 12, my best friend told me to sit down and write a story. 

As I was in the midst of my teenage-life-crisis, I decided to write about my beliefs. What are they? I was not raised Christian, that is, as a church-goer, and while I knew their stories, I did not share them. Yet there was a word that floated out of my subconsciousness and my childhood. Druid. I began writing. Then researching. I stopped writing the story, and wrote to the Order instead, and began the Bardic Grade in the summer of 1997. I embarked on the Ovate work in the spring of 2005.

Progression through each grade has been intimately intwined with my own real life, and I can honestly say that I would not be the adult I am today if it weren't for the Courses. 

Here and now, in 2015, I am on the cusp of my initiation into the Druid Grade. A moment I've worked 17 years towards! I would not have been ready for it any earlier. 

I have two young children, whom my husband and I are raising in the love of nature, compassion, and service. They have not been to ceremonies or rituals, have no name for what I am, other than Mom. They see that I care deeply for them, along with everyone and everything I come into contact. I passionately create beautiful things with fibre, yarn and sticks. I serve the communities I am involved in, whether it is sharing my skills and knowledge in their school, helping a friend with an emotional crisis, or buoying someone along in a half-marathon training program. 

Eventually they will learn more details of the Druid community I am a part of, and the Seedgroup I helped to start in our city. But as I discovered this path on my own, they too need to discover their own paths. I'm not going to sugar-coat anything, and turn it into a carnival just to attract them to it. There must be a deeper need, an urge to learn More, to experience More than what the eye and ear can tell us. It may happen when they're 8 or 10, or 30. And I will be blessed to witness them on their own Journeys.