7 Characteristics of the  Mature Reformed Druid

By Ceridwen and El Arseneau

(This is lesson 9 of The Druid Path, the prerequisite course for the 2nd Degree of the Reform.)

The symbol of Druidry In the second age of Reformed Druidism is the seven pointed star or  Seren Derwydd,  which, among other things is a reminder of the seven characteristics, or aspirations of a mature Reformed Druid.  We interpret the symbol by the Welsh word  Derwydd  (Druid) with each point standing for one of the seven attributes of a Druid:

• Point #1: Doethiweb    Wisdom
• Point #2: Eluseugan – – Compassion
• Point #3: Rhyddfrydwr  –  Liberal
• Point #4: Wmbredd  –  Abundance
• Point #5: Ymnellltuaeth    Noncomformity
• Point #6: Dysg   Learning
• Point #7: Delfrydwr  –  Idealist

These take time to cultivate, though usually some of these are present within the seeking Druid from birth onwards. Those that aren’t present are aspired to with each member cultivating these inward characteristics from the Light itself.

Point #1: Doethiweb   Wisdom

The first point of the Seren Derwydd, and therefore the first attribute to be developed by the fledgling Druid is called Doethiweb, or  wisdom.   Wisdom is esteemed to be higher than knowledge because without wisdom knowledge is just so much sound and fury. But what is wisdom? How is wisdom defined?

Wisdom, according to the Merriam  -Webster dictionary, is defined as “1 a: Accumulated philosophic or scientific learning: knowledge; b: Ability to discern inner qualities and relationships: insight; c: Good sense: judgment d: Generally accepted belief challenges what has become accepted wisdom among many historians  —  Robert Darnton>. d: A wise attitude, belief, or course of action. e: The teachings of the ancient wise men.

All of the senses above are related to intelligence making it difficult to produce a definition of wisdom that is not mostly equivalent to intelligence. Some see wisdom as a quality that even a child, otherwise immature, may possess independently of experience or wide knowledge. The status of wisdom or prudence as a virtue is recognized in cultural, philosophical and religious sources. Some define wisdom in a utilitarian sense, as foreseeing consequences and acting to maximize the long-term common good. As such, wisdom is viewed as consisting of ideals and principles that govern all actions and decisions.

Applications of personal wisdom include one’s ethical and social guidelines in life that determines one‘s unique style of personality, the particular nature of short and long-term goal(s) pursued in life (spiritual or materialistic for example), perspective on life, social attitudes, etc.  (Source: Wikipedia)  

A Druid‘s use of Wisdom concerns how one uses knowledge for the common good, that being the good of the Tribe. Today we define  the Tribe  as everyone living on this planet. We are one organism, a mere part of Mother Earth, so our application of knowledge needs to be for * the good of the many,  instead of the few. We can‘t afford selfishness. We can‘t afford nationalistic perspectives. We have to think globally. We have to look at the big picture. In this sense, WE ARE our brother‘s keeper, because a harm to one is a harm to all. Cutting off a leg or an arm may seem like an isolated event, but that action will have repercussions to the whole of the bodies functioning. Our collective wisdom demands that we – see other nations, creeds, races, etc., as parts of the same body   the body of Mother Earth, so collective decisions are ethically,  from each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs.

Wisdom involves thinking things through to their logical conclusions, and then taking  right action at cusp.  A cusp is a moment of decision which may or may not allow time to think things all the way through however, so one‘s collective wisdom will be brought into play  and depending upon that wisdom‘s development, rightness or wrongness will be determined in hindsight. An example of this kind of cusp might be if you were in an alley and getting mugged. In the moment, you might call upon your marital arts skills and kill the mugger or you might just give them your wallet. Only hindsight can determine the wisdom of a given course of action at such a cusp.

Another example would be a political leader‘s decision to go to war. In this case the leader has ample time to evaluate the pros and cons of such a decision including the environmental impact on the Earth Mother. If wisdom is applied then 99% of the time the decision to go to war would be negative as only in the most extreme case (like another nation declaring war on ours) would war be justified and even then extreme care would have to be taken to limit environmental damage and loss of life (on both sides).

How does one develop the virtue of wisdom? By gaining knowledge. By learning. By taking in as much knowledge and in as broad a subject matter, as possible. The Druid will have knowledge in Astronomy, Ecology, Biology, the Humanities, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, Religion (all religions), the Arts, Literature, etc. A knowledge of Celtic history, culture, art, etc., is a given but the Druid will also have equal knowledge of the history and culture of all other nations and – peoples on Earth as well   as even the smallest and most insignificant tribes. A Druids education begins when they decide to become a Druid and lasts until they die. There is too much to know and therefore no reason to stop the learning process. In this case Wisdom would also dictate that educational opportunity, including university, be available to everyone regardless of means. A well-educated society is a healthy society. A broad knowledge base tempered by a Druid‘s ethical base in the two tenets (the Gaian Hypothesis) and the inspiration of Awen, will develop the Wisdom attribute of a Druid.

“Wise men say nothing in dangerous times.”
~~ Aesop

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could  hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one,  I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
~~ Mark Twain

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the  less we use our power the greater it will be.”   ~~ Thomas Jefferson

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
~~ St. Augustine

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because  they have to say something.”
~~ Plato

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”
~~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

“It requires wisdom to understand wisdom:  the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.” 
~~ Walter Lippmann

“All I know is that I know nothing.”
~~ Socrates

“Above all else, the greatest gift and the most wondrous blessing  hath ever been and will continue to be Wisdom.”
~~ Bahá’u’lláh

 

Point #2: Eluseugan – – Compassion 

Out of wisdom flows then the second attribute of the Druid:  Eluseugan,  or compassion. Those of us who are member-Druids of the Order of the Mithril Star already know a little about compassion for it is at the very heart of our definition of love:

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person  is essential to your own.”
~~ Robert A Heinlein, Stranger In A Strange Land

Compassion is a feeling deep within ourselves  — a “quivering of the heart”  —  and it is also a way of acting  —  being affected by the suffering of others and moving on  their  behalf.  Today,  the  Dalai  Lama  is  the  most  well  known  exemplar  of compassion and it is the central ethical virtue in the religion of Buddhism as well as other systems of enlightenment.

The spiritual practice of  compassion is often  likened to  opening  the  heart. First, allow  yourself  to  feel  the  suffering  in  the  world  including  your  own.  Don’t  turn away from pain; move toward it with caring. Go into situations where people are hurting.  Identify  with your  neighbors  in  their  distress. Then  expand  the  circle  of your compassion to include other creatures, nature, and the inanimate world. The practice of compassion increases our capacity  to care. It reinforces charity, empathy, and sympathy. It is very good exercise for your heart muscle. But when you move  toward  others with compassion  you are likely  to bump into some  common  attitudes  just  waiting  to  close  your  heart  again.  The  usual suspects  are  judgment  and  all  its  associated  “isms”:  racism,  sexism,  ageism, class-ism, and nationalism.

On  a  personal level  your compassion is sabotaged  by  feelings of  ill will toward others:  spite  and  malice.  These  feelings,  and  others  arising  out  of  emotional wounds  and  personal  pain  are  actually  symptoms  indicating  that  you  need  to have compassion for yourself.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself,  his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest,  a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is  a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to  free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion  to embrace all living creatures  and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~~ Albert Einstein

“Compassion is the radicalism of our time.”  ~~ HH The Dalai Lama

“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched,   you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless.  You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there,  as well as how much space.”
~~ Pema Chodron

“If you want others to be happy, practice  compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
~~ HH The Dalai Lama

“No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, there can never be   good for the bee which is bad for the hive.”    ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.   Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
~~ HH The Dalai Lama

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things,    and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better  than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now,  that while there is a lower class, I am in it;  while there is a criminal element, I am of it;   while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” 
~~ Eugene Debs

 

Point #3: Rhyddfrydwr   Liberal (Progressive)

We’ve discussed Eluseugan or Compassion in English. Point #3 then naturally flows from this sense of compassion. Rhyddfrydwr, or Liberalness (or liberality) in English is not the British sense of the word but rather the American ideal often derided as  left wing liberalism.  These days we prefer the word  “Progressive.”

Druids, if politically oriented at all, are mostly to be found in the Socialist, Green or  the  far  left  wing  of  the  Democratic  Party.  A  good  example  of  someone  who thinks  like  a  Druid  (though  I  doubt  he  is)  is  Noam  Chomsky.  Another  one  is Dennis Kucinich. These people, like Druids, understand that the humanity is one people and that harm to one person or class ultimately harms the whole. Druids favor  an  economic  system  that  balances  capitalism  with  socialism  (the  yin  and yang  of  economics)  and  understands  that  in  order  for  one  person  to  enjoy Liberty  everyone  else  must  be  empowered  equally  in  order  to  fully  enjoy  the fraternity  of  all  mankind.  So  the  very  rich  freely  give  of  their  taxes  so  as  to benefit the very poor and raise their standard of living. Likewise by giving freely, the  very  rich  stop  over-consuming  and  thus  are  free  to  focus  more  on  the spiritual and less on the mundane.

Ultimately  a  Druidic  economic  system  would  be  cashless  and  based  on  the principles of  sharing all. The concept of ownership would simply  cease to  exist and goods and services would be shared equally amongst all. Ultimately poverty, disease, hunger, homelessness, war and violence would  be faint memories of a dark  age.  Likewise  selfishness,  greed,  possessiveness  and  mean-spiritedness would also be attitudes of the past.

Human rights  and the upholding  of the Bill  of Rights  are  of the utmost  concern.  “Life,  Liberty  and Pursuit of  Happiness”  are principles  that must  be  available  to everyone, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, age or gender. Economic opportunities  must  be  available  for  everyone  and  equal  access  to  the marketplace  must be guaranteed. Education  is  paramount and the Druid works for  equal  educational opportunities  for all from  Pre-School  to Graduate  School in  an  egalitarian  and  secular  environment.  Healthcare  is  also  a  right  that  all should  enjoy  and  in  fact  should  be  totally  and  utterly  free  as  it  is  in  all  of  the advanced countries.  Free  expression is also a right and monotheistic moralistic laws restricting behavior  need to  be struck down. Likewise laws that criminalize soft drugs (such as marijuana, LSD, peyote, etc.) need to be wiped off the books.

But all this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The environment is the number one concern for the Druid as we are the stewards of the Earth Mother. And the number one environmental issue for the Druid is putting an end to deforestation. We‘ve come to a point technologically where the production of lumber for building is no longer necessary. We can also recycle most paper and new paper can be made from industrial hemp.

There‘s simply no logical or moral need to cut another tree down. And for that matter, there is a moral imperative to plant more trees. An example is in the Middle East. Prior to the return of the Jewish people to Israel that area was more or less a desert and even today much of it still is. But the Jewish people began a program of reforestation the result of which today there are vast forests growing on the hills surrounding Jerusalem and in northern Israel. Orange and grapefruit groves grow all along the Mediterranean coast; on land that the former owners believed was worthless.

Urban-based  Druids  can  especially  be  effective  in  promoting  the  acquisition, preservation and development of  green belts  and  urban forests  in our cities.       I could go  on and on, but I‘m remembering that the Pagan music group, Gypsy, on  their  album   Enchantress ,  summarized  the  spirit  of  the  attribute  of  “Rhyddfrydwr”  in their song,  We Want To Live:

We want to live in a world that survives

On the planet of life with light in our lives
By the power of the moon and the strength of the sun
We are one on the Earth

We want a world where there is love for everybody
We want a world where there is no more war….
We want a world where there is hope for everybody
We want a world that’s better than before

Give us a world where there is food for everybody
Water is pure; the air is fresh and clean
We want a world that is good for everybody
We want a world where everyone is free

We want a world  (oh, say can you see…)
We want a world  (there’s a change in the wind)
We want a world  (so proudly we hail)
We want a world  (the new age, is dawning….)

We want a world where there is peace for everybody
We want a world where there is no more war
We want a world where there is truth for everybody
We want a world that better than before
We need a world where there is food for everybody
Flowers that bloom with trees green and tall.
We want a world that is good for everybody
We want a world with joy and peace for all

We want a world  (The time has now come…)
We want a world (to heal….)
We want a world  (the wounds of the world)
We want a world  (Earth Mother is calling….)

We want a world that is good for everybody
We want a world where there is no more war
We want a world with food for everybody
We want a world that’s better than before….

(Io Evoe…save the world)  Love is the key…..
(Io Evoe….bring us peace ) So Mote It Be….

We want to live in a world that survives
On the planet of life with light in our eyes
By the power of the moon and the strength of the sun
We are one on the Earth….

We want to live in a world that survives
With love in our hearts and light in our eyes
So our children can sing when all battles are done
We are one on the earth…….

Point #4: Wmbredd   Abundance

One of the primary attributes of Liberalness is the principle of sharing. In the Kabballah, it is taught that sharing is the attribute that makes us most like Be’al. – That opens the door to our 4th point, which is Wmbredd    –   Abundance.  When we give of ourselves, we receive. The more we give of ourselves the more we receive. This is a universal law of metaphysics  and there are whole courses of  study  devoted  to  teaching  this  principle.  But  the  simplest  explanation  is  that abundance isn‘t just about material goods. Sharing is the key to abundance. Not  money,  or  how  big  a  house  or  the car  you  own.  In  fact,  the  acquisition  of  the material is only a side benefit  because Beal takes care of those who work for the Light.  Be’al  enables  us  to  give  of  ourselves,  to  share,  and  sets  off  the  cycle  of sharing and receiving, sharing and receiving, and so forth.

– THE UNIVERSE IS YOU   SO SHARE –

Most metaphysical  texts  use  the phrase   “The  Universe.”  By  this they  mean  the same thing  as   The  Force,   The Source,    Universal  Life Force,   Reiki,    God,   Goddess,   and  some  Kabbalahists  may  say   “The  Creator.”   Those  of  us  who realize our own Godness know that they are referring to what we call  God  (as in  Thou art God ) which we Druids we refer to as  Be’al,  or sometimes,  The Earth Mother,   and   we  know  that  in  speaking  of  any  of  the  above  we  are  really speaking of ourselves.

The Earth  Mother gives  of herself  constantly and  continuously. She creates  the oxygen  we  breathe,  the  food  we  eat,  the  water  we  drink  and all from   which  we receive  life.  In  fact,  her  main  function  is  to  share  herself  with  us  and  with  the creatures  and  plants  and  other  life  that  lives  on  her.  We  in  turn as  integrated parts of  her eco-system,  give  of ourselves in producing the  carbon  dioxide that plant life needs to breathe, in cultivating the crops, taking care of the animals and being general stewards of the environment.

So you easily see the  cycle: the Earth Mother, the Universe,  shares  with us, and we in turn share back, and this creates the cycle of sharing and abundance which in turn enables  us to  share ever more  especially  with  our  families, our tribes, our Groves  and  fellow  Druids  and  with  those  less  fortunate  than  ourselves  –  the victims of capitalism.

There are lots of ways to share our abundance. Mothers of course, do this every day  with  their  families,  as  do  fathers.  We  share  ourselves  in  the  workplace  as well, especially when we do our work well and go the extra mile doing things that aren‘t really expected of us,  that aren‘t  in  our  job  description.   We can also  do volunteer work for the myriad charities that beg for our help and our donations. It doesn‘t hurt to throw a dollar or two at the guy on the corner with the cardboard sign.

This  is  why  I  have  said  over  and  over  again  that  the  political  view  of Libertarianism  is  anathema  to  Druidism.  Libertarianism  is  grounded  in  the teachings of  Ayn  Rand, author  of  The Virtue of  Selfishness.   Ayn  believed that altruism,  giving  of yourself  to others,  was a stupid  way  of life.  She died famous and  rich,  but  also  alone  and  miserable.  Worse,  though,  she  left  a  legacy  of selfishness that many  in our society have embraced to the detriment of not just our society (and as we have seen of late, our economy) but to the Earth Mother as well.

Every time we share we are drawn closer to Be’al and Be’al is drawn – attracted – to us. The more we share the more others will share with us. And that is the key to abundance and to living the abundant life.

The  ultimate  in  sharing,  and  thus  the  ultimate  key  to  abundance,  is  to  teach sharing. As Druids we are  clergy at large to the Pagan community.  As such we enjoy a  bully pulpit  and people listen to us and will learn from us. This is true of our teaching, but also of the example we make. By teaching that people need to share, we are teaching them how to get closer to Be’al (and the self-realization of their  own  Godness),  and  we  are  opening  the  doors  to  abundance  in  their  own lives and increasing the openings for abundance in our own.

Do  you  see that  each point  of the star  is  interconnected to  and builds upon the others? As we move further around the star, we shall learn even more.

Point #5: Ymnellltuaeth   Noncomformity

What do we mean by nonconformity?  We mean individuality. We mean questioning authority. We mean not  going with the flow.  Henry David Thoreau put it this way:

“If  a  man  does  not  keep  pace  with  his  companions,  perhaps  it  is  because  he hears  a  different drummer. Let  him  step  to  the  music  which he hears, however measured or far away.”

It means that just because everyone else has a (fill in the  blank), I don‘t have to have  one. It  means paying very little attention  to fashion.  It means  that you stop caring about what others think.  Just being a  Druid is an  act of nonconformity.

Even among Neo-Pagans, Druids are  a  minority  and  sometimes  misunderstood  by  the  majority.  Druids  are  also hard to define. For example, is Druidism  a Right Hand Path  or a  Left Hand Path?  The fact is that we have traits common to both sides  mixed with opposing traits from both sides. We are really  “middle pillar”  but how do you define that?

We  are  pantheistic  in  a  monotheistic  world.  We  are  polyfidelitous  in  a monogamous  world.  We  prefer  the  woods  to  the  city,  nakedness  to  clothing, mead to champagne. We define our own gods, as well  as declare each other  to be god. Of course, there are no absolutes and a Druid‘s nonconformity may lead him/her to not be any of these things.

We are examples of compassion in a selfish world. We are the Treehuggers, the hippies, the beatniks. We demand peace in the midst of war. We demand love in the midst  of hate. We demand equality for all  in  the midst  of classism, racism, ageism, misogyny, and misanthropy. We love.

But even our nonconformity  is nonconformist. We‘ll  gladly go along  with  society when society is right  about  something.  For example  it looks  like the majority  is starting  to  see  the  importance  of  being   green.   We  go  along  with  that.  We  encourage   green – ness.   Likewise we  are  loyal  towards  the  members  and leaders of our Groves, our Orders and our Druid fellowships. In this day of  uber-individualism  being loyal to a  collective is an act of nonconformity in itself.

We  recognize  the  natural  force  of  Karma  yet,  rather  than  being  Karma‘s subjects, we oftentimes are  called upon to be Karma‘s agents. This  means that like Valentine Michael Smith,  we will be called upon by     conscience to  take right action at cusp  and use our will to either bind or eliminate those individuals or things  that are a threat  to the  collective.  At  the same time  we  will  take a lot  of time to meditate, to Grok, before taking an action. Waiting is. This is the opposite of the usual social need to  do it now suffer the consequences later.

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”
~~Rev. Dr. Matin Luther King Jr.

 

Point #6: Dysg   Learning

Moving right along, we now consider the 6th attribute of a Druid, “Dysg”, which in the Welsh means “Learning.” Caesar  wrote  that  it  took  twenty  years  for  a  candidate  to  amass  enough knowledge  to  take  the  title  of  Druid.  We  don’t  know  if  that  is  true  or  not  and frankly, given Caesar’s hatred of the Druids it’s reasonable to assume that he lied about this and  everything else. But since this is a positive aspect of Druidry, it’s equally likely  that he was  telling  the truth. My  thinking  on  this  is that  more  than likely either the parents of a candidate took them  to the Druids to be raised (just as  Merlin  was  given  charge  of  Arthur  as  an  infant)  or,  that  the  Druids  divined candidates for their order from the newly weaned among the Celts, perhaps in a similar  manner  that  the  Dalai  Lama  is  chosen.  Either  way,  that  twenty  years began  at a very young age and included an  education in  just  about everything, including science, math, poetry, history, astronomy etc.

Today  a  Druid’s education begins when  he  or  she  decides  to  become a  Druid. That  education  never ends  because  the  Druid’s  appetite  for  new  knowledge  is insatiable. We can never know too much and we will always know too little. Our education  needs  to  be  broad  so  that  we  have  a  working  knowledge  of everything, yet we may want to specialize at least for a time on a subject we are particularly  attracted  to.  For  example,  I  of  late  have  become  very  interested  in higher mathematics and quantum physics. This I find odd since neither of these subjects  interested  me  when  I  was  in  college  (I  was  a  Journalism  and  History Major,  with a Minor in Sociology and  Religion). Recent  advances in  Physics are revealing  the  blending  of  quantum  mechanics  and  religion,  and  yielding fascinating  new  theories regarding  time, and history. Calculus and Trigonometry are  the  language  that explains these theories and phenomenon  associated with them, so I’m finding my interest piqued. At the same time, my long term study of Kabbalah is also helping stimulate my new interest in  higher math  especially  in regard to what  is called “esoteric mathematics.” This all dovetails nicely with my long time interest in astronomy and cosmology. But this is just an example and other Druids may find that their interests lie  in  other  branches of  science, or  in history or literature.  Other disciplines  a Druid might  learn  are in the  realm of the esoteric, such as Reiki, Native American Medicine, Shamanism, Tantra, etc.

Lastly a Druid is a Priest. Clergy are expected to be therapists and so a working knowledge  of psychology and sociology are necessary tools for  dealing with the crises of life, as well as gaining an expertise in ritual for those rites of passage common to all of human kind: birth, coming of age, marriage, divorce, eldering, and death, each with their own psychology and emotion.

What of knowledge of the ancient Celts, and of modern Celtic culture? I’m going to  lay  out  something  highly  controversial  here.  I  think  a  working,  general knowledge  of  these  things is  good,  especially  for  the  development of  ritual  and mythology,  but  other  than  that these  studies  have very little  to do with being a Druid.  Think  about  it:  the  ancient  Druids  probably  didn’t  spend  a  lot  of  time learning their own culture, and really, of what practical use is it? There is also the problem  of  our  having  almost  no  knowledge  whatsoever  of  what  the  ancient Druids actually  believed,  that being  a  problem  associated with Druidism having been a oral  tradition. But we can  do  what we  know the ancient Druids did: they made up their religion, as we are making up ours.

Point #7: Delfrydwr  –  Idealist

The seventh and last point of the Seren Derwydd is “Delfrydwr”  –  Idealism. In Western Philosophy idealism is a theory that states that the ultimate nature of reality is based on mind or ideas. It holds that the so-called external or “real world” is inseparable from mind, consciousness, or perception. However, the Welsh word,  delfrydwr  refers more to the dynamic consciousness of living beings that emanates from the Gods themselves; from the Awen. In this way we are looking at the world through the eyes of the Gods and seeing not the world the way it is but the world the way it should be.

“Some men see things as they are and say ‘why?’ I dream things that never were and say “why not?”
~~ Robert F. Kennedy (Quoting George Bernard Shaw) ~~

Druids aspire  to a world where hunger, homelessness, poverty, sickness, crime, and  war are eradicated  forever.  We aspire  to a world where the  water  is  clean, the  air  is  pure,  and  where  all  the  species  of  the  Earth  live  protected  from  the ravages of human greed. Where  hunting for  sport  is no  longer tolerated.  Where logging ancient trees is a crime.

We aspire to a world where,

“We no longer believe that the acquisition of wealth should be the  main priority in life. We believe that our work should be for the betterment of humanity.” 
~~ Jean Luc Picard

It‘s a different kind of wealth we seek. An accumulation not of the material, but of knowledge, and beauty.  Of  appreciation  for all  of  life  and  all  of  Nature.  For  the Order  of  the  Mithril  Star ,  these  ideals  are  enshrined  in  the  pledge  that  each new member Druid takes:

“In dedication to the celebration of Life in its many forms, I hereby declare my commitment to a way of life that is ethical, benevolent, humanistic, life-affirming, ecstatic and ecologically sane. I subscribe to means and methods that are creative rather than destructive, tolerant rather than authoritarian, gentle rather than violent, inclusive rather than exclusive, egalitarian rather than hierarchal. I pledge myself to harmonious eco-psychic awareness with the total biosphere of holy Mother Earth.

“Like an ancient Redwood, I would have my roots deep in the Earth and my branches reaching for the stars, the stars not only above but around me, my fellow humans, for “every man and woman is a star,” and “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few,” from each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs.

“I acknowledge my personal responsibility for myself, to my fellow humans, and to the whole of Nature; and I recognize this total responsibility, in each of us, as the source of our infinite freedom to become who we are and do what we will. I dedicate myself to my own inner growth and development that I may be of greater service to myself and the world around me. For these reasons I recognize Divinity both within and without, and I say to myself and others: THOU ART GOD.

“I wish to unite with others upon a spiritual path that encompasses the whole of the universe, and hereby make application to join the pantheon of The Order of the Mithril Star, and the Reformed Druids of Gaia, in order that we may learn together and teach each other ways to bring about these ends.”

“So say we all!”

Back in the late ‘60s we idealized about a  coming  Age of Aquarius,  age where peace, love, and justice are the earmarks of society:

“Harmony and understanding  Sympathy and trust abounding No more falsehoods or derisions Golden living dreams of visions Mystic crystal revelation And the mind’s true liberation…”

John Lennon  was an  idealist who invited us to Imagine what  the  world could be like:

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Oh,  I  can  hear the  naysayers, and  the haters, and  those  who continue to  profit from  human  suffering,  and  from raping the  environment reject these words  and scream  SOCIALISM !!!    So? They‘re not Druids. They don‘t count.   At least in the ideal world they wouldn‘t. Let‘s build that world. Druids can make this happen.

Epilogue

We look at the Seren Derwydd for inspiration, it’s seven shining points reflected in each Druid as seven attributes, or characteristics, of our office:
Point #1: Doethiweb    Wisdom
• Point #2: Eluseugan – – Compassion
• Point #3: Rhyddfrydwr  –  Liberalness
• Point #4: Wmbredd  –  Abundance
• Point #5: Ymnellltuaeth    Nonconformity
• Point #6: Dysg  –  Learning
• Point #7: Delfrydwr  –  Idealism

Each point, as we have seen, dovetails into the next. Wisdom naturally leads one to compassion, because wisdom illuminates our ” Be’al nature ” – the recognition that our individuality and separateness are an illusion. Compassion then is the recognition that helping another is helping yourself. To be compassionate is to be liberal, and I am talking about the political sense. We gladly pay our taxes in the recognition that those taxes are buying food and healthcare and housing for those without, roads to get us where we need to be, schools to educate our young, etc. We find it more difficult to pay our taxes when they are funding human suffering. Warfare kills many more innocent than it ever does combatants.  In these modern times, most wars have been instigated and fought for the profit of a few. And since all human kind is  Be’al  collectively, war hurts each of us personally.  “Harm to one is harm to all.”    Compassion and Liberalness also compel us to act on behalf of justice. To seek equal rights and equality for all. To work to guarantee that, for example, the right to marry is enjoyed by all, regardless of sexual orientation. Or that women are paid equally to that of men. That employment in based upon skills and experience, and not skin color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. That workers have the right to organize freely.    Liberalness is rewarded as Abundance (prosperity). Prosperity is not just for the few, but prosperity should be enjoyed by all. The economic system must be balanced so that opportunity is equal for all. Education should be free for all – from pre-school to a post Doctoral degree, in this way guaranteeing that each person is qualified for their role in society. Liberalness then, through working for policy changes, dovetails into abundance. The universe rewards those who are compassionate — who share with others.   Nonconformity is basically swimming against the stream:

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears,  however measured or far away.”
~~ Henry David Thoreau

Those who do not recognize their oneness with  Be’al , who embrace the deception of individuality, are, ironically, uncomfortable with those of us who do. So we appear to be the ones who are eccentric, or rebellious toward society.   Due to our nonconformity with the status quo, we have to continue to learn. Learning is forever. Learning never ends. There is always something more to learn, and scientists are always discovering new insights into our understanding of the cosmos and nature. Our horizons are therefore ever -expanding.   These six attributes collectively give way to the last point: Idealism. We Druids  share a vision of a new world order. We Druids want a world where:

We want a world where there is love for everybody 
We want a world where there is no more war 
We want a world where there is hope for everybody 
We want a world that’s better than before 
We want a world that is good for everybody 
We want a world where everyone is free

Finally we see that the last six attributes dovetail back into the first, Wisdom, and we then come full circle, for the Druid who has assimilated these seven attributes will be defined most by the first one, and this is what the Druids of old were most known for: being wise.  For the wisest of men and women, those who emulate  Doethiweb   (Wisdom) are   also Eluseugan (Compassionate),  Rhyddfrydwr (Liberal), enjoy  Wmbredd (Abundance), are  Ymnellltuaeth  (Nonconformist),  are ever  Dysg   (Learning) and most of all, are  Delfrydwr    (Idealists).   An easier way to describe them is this:
These women and men are     DERWYDD  – DRUIDS!