This is our Pledge to the Earth Mother, to Dalon ap Landu, to Sequoia and to Cywarch merch Dalon. It was written by the Druids of the Mother Grove:
” 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 hierarchical. 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 their abilities, to each according to their 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 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!”
So, what does it mean?:
” In dedication (1)to the celebration of Life in its many forms (2), I hereby declare my commitment to a way of life that is ethical (3), benevolent (4), humanistic (5), life-affirming (6), ecstatic (7) and ecologically sane (8). I subscribe (9) to means and methods that are creative rather than destructive (10), tolerant rather than authoritarian (11), gentle rather than violent (12), inclusive rather than exclusive (13), egalitarian rather than hierarchical (14). I pledge myself (15) to harmonious eco-psychic awareness with the total biosphere of holy Mother Earth.(16)”
“Like an ancient Redwood, (17) 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, (18) for “every man and woman is a star,”(19) and “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few,”(20) from each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs.” (21)
“I acknowledge my personal responsibility for myself, to my fellow humans, and to the whole of Nature; (22) 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. (23) I dedicate myself to my own inner growth and development that I may be of greater service to myself and the world around me. (24) For these reasons I recognize Divinity both within and without, and I say to myself and others: THOU ART GOD.” (25)
“I wish to unite with others (26) upon a spiritual path that encompasses the whole of the universe (27), and hereby make application to join the pantheon (28) of The Reformed Druids of Gaia, in order that we may learn together and teach each other ways to bring about these ends.” (29)
“So say we all!” (30)
(1) ” In dedication …” 1. [n] the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action; “his long commitment to public service”; “they felt no loyalty to a losing team”
2. [n] complete and wholehearted fidelity
3. [n] a message that makes a pledge
4. [n] a ceremony in which something (as a building) is dedicated to some goal or purpose
(2) “…to the celebration of Life in its many forms…”– It’s a celebration – a continuous festival, on both a personal and a collective level, of living. Of being alive. Of being sensual, sexual, intelligent, sentient beings. Of having fun and laughing and pleasuring each other and our selves. But we aren’t the only beings here. There are many, many living things on the planet, both sentient and non. All are part of the one, as we are part of the one.
(3) “…I hereby declare my commitment …”– [adj] bound or obligated, as under a pledge to a particular cause, action, or attitude; “committed church members”; “a committed Marxist”
(4) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is ethical…”. 1: [adj] conforming to accepted standards of social or professional behavior; “an ethical lawyer”; “ethical medical practice”; “an ethical problem”; “had no ethical objection to drinking”; “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants”- Omar N. Bradley
2:[adj] adhering to ethical and moral principles; “it seems ethical and right”; “followed the only honorable course of action”; “had the moral courage to stand alone”
All religious systems, and RDG is no exception, have an ethical standard. In this case, this would be the RDG standard, and none other.
(5) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is…..benevolent…”: 1: [adj] having or showing or arising from a desire to promote the welfare or happiness of others; “his benevolent smile”; “a benevolent nature”
2: [adj] generous in assistance to the poor; “a benevolent contributor”; “eleemosynary relief”; “philanthropic contributions”
3: [adj] generous in providing aid to others
4: [adj] doing or producing good
5: [adj] intending or showing kindness; “a benevolent society”
In other words, we, as Reformed Druids, care about each other and about society in general. We are generous to our community, and to our society. We desire to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves: children, single mothers, the elderly, the poor, the homeless, and other victims of our capitalistic system. We will be politically proactive on their behalf.
(6) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is… humanistic…”: 1: [adj] marked by humanistic values and devotion to human welfare; “a humane physician”; “released the prisoner for humanitarian reasons”; “respect and humanistic regard for all members of our species”
2: [adj] of or pertaining to a philosophy asserting human dignity and man’s capacity for fulfillment through reason and scientific method and often rejecting religion; “the humanist belief in continuous emergent evolution”- Wendell Thomas
Humanistic goes with benevolence. We are devoted to promoting welfare and benefit of our fellow humans. Also, our philosophy of “taking right action at cusp” comes from sound scientific reasoning, not from myth or religiosity. We desire to help those whose human and civil rights are being denied or violated, and we will be politically proactive on their behalf as well.
(6) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is…life-affirming…”: Unlike the death-cults so representative of other religions, Druidism is a “life-cult.” We celebrate Life – Living – and the creation of Life. We celebrate goodness, and all those things that make life worth living: love, sex, humor, security, good company, good food. This echoes the words of the “charge of the Goddess”: “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.”
On the opposite side of the coin: we are against capital punishment. We are against war. We are against violence. We are against killing for anything other than food. And, though we recognize that there are rare instances when the use of violence might be necessary to sustain another’s life, we would choose it only as a last resort, and only when we have fully grokked a cusp. It’s like surgery, in that surgery is a last resort (well, usually) sometimes necessary to remove a part of the body that is making the whole of the body sick.
(7) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is…ecstatic…”: 1: [adj] feeling great rapture or delight 2: Synonyms: enraptured, joyous, rapturous, rhapsodic. This goes back to “life-affirming” and refers to a blending of the spiritual and the hedonistic. Again we remember the words of the Goddess: “… and as a sign you are free you shall be naked in your rites…” and “…..all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.”
(8) “…I hereby declare my commitment to a life that is…ecologically sane…”: This means that we will do both the small things and the big things in protecting our Earth Mother. We will recycle. When shopping, we’ll use the cloth or paper bag rather than plastic. When camping, hiking or dong ritual in the forest, we will leave no trace that we were ever there. We’ll drive a small, fuel efficient car rather than an suv. We’ll urge our government to pass new legislation, and maintain past legislation, protecting endangered species and wildlife habitats, and we’ll be pro-active politically to see to it that ancient forests and heretofore untouched wild lands are preserved as they are.
(9) “I subscribe to means and methods….”: 1:[v] mark with one’s signature; write one’s name (on); “She signed the letter and sent it off”; “Please sign here”; 2: [v] adopt as a belief; “I subscribe to your view on abortion.”
(10) “I subscribe to means and methods that are creative rather than destructive,…”: Creative: 1. [adj] promoting construction or creation; “creative work”; 2. [adj] having the ability or power to create; “a creative imagination”; 3. [adj] having the power to bring into being.
IOW: Life affirming; life celebrating.
Destructive: [adj] causing destruction or much damage; “a policy that is destructive to the economy”; “destructive criticism”.
IOW: Death affirming.
(11) “I subscribe to means and methods that are… tolerant rather than authoritarian,…”: Tolerant: 1. [adj] showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; “a broad political stance”; “generous and broad sympathies”; “a liberal newspaper”; “tolerant of his opponent’s opinions”; 2. [adj] tolerant and forgiving under provocation; “our neighbor was very kind about the window our son broke”; 3. [adj] showing the capacity for endurance; “injustice can make us tolerant and forgiving”; “a man patient of distractions”; 4. [adj] showing respect for the rights or opinions or practices of others. Authoritarian: 1. [n] a person behaves in an tyrannical manner; “my boss is a dictator who makes everyone work overtime”; 2. [adj] characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty; “an authoritarian regime”; “autocratic government”; “despotic rulers”; “a dictatorial rule that lasted for the duration of the war”; “a tyrannical government”; 3. [adj] expecting unquestioning obedience; “he was imperious and dictatorial”; “the timid child of authoritarian parents”; “insufferably overbearing behavior toward the waiter”; 4. [adj] likened to a dictator in severity.
(12) “I subscribe to means and methods that are… gentle rather than violent…”: Gentle: [adj] having or showing a kindly or tender nature; “the gentle touch of her hand”; “her gentle manner was comforting”; “a gentle sensitive nature”; “gentle blue eyes”. Violent: 1: [adj] characterized by violence or bloodshed; 2: [adj] effected by force or injury rather than natural causes; “a violent death”.
This goes back to our living a “life affirming” life.
(13) “I subscribe to means and methods that are…inclusive rather than exclusive..”: Inclusive: [adj] including much or everything; and especially including stated limits; Exclusive: [adj] excluding much or all; especially all but a particular group or minority; “exclusive clubs”; “an exclusive restaurants and shops”
We count as fellow Gods the whole of the human family: white, black, red, english, arabic, french, hebrew, etc., and will try to work with as many as we can and will allow us.
(14) “I subscribe to means and methods that are…egalitarian rather than hierarchical…”: Egalitarian: [adj] favoring social equality; “a classless society”. Hierarchical: [adj] classified according to various criteria into successive levels or layers; “it has been said that only a hierarchical society with a leisure class at the top can produce works of art”; “in her hierarchical set of values honesty comes first”
All Druids are equal to every other Druid. Grove offices are seen as “jobs” not titles. Degrees and Orders are indicators of knowledge or experience acquired, not of rank or importance. As Druids, we look at our fellow human beings as our equals as well, regardless of our differences.
(16) “I pledge myself ….. to harmonious….”: Harmonious: 1: [adj] existing together in harmony; “harmonious family relationships”; 2: [adj] suitable and fitting; “the tailored clothes were harmonious with her military bearing”;
3: [adj] exhibiting equivalence or correspondence among constituents of an entity or between different entities
“…eco-psychic awareness…”: We are “aware” with all of our being, both conscious and sub-conscious. We totally “grok.”
“…with the total biosphere of holy Mother Earth.”: This is an acknowledgement of our interactive part of the the entity we call Gaia or Mother Earth. We are a part of her, not apart from her. We are part of the totality that is the Earth Mother. We are one body with her.
This is the heart and soul of Reformed Druidism. Here we are affirming the : “Nature is good;” “Nature is very good!” (This part alone makes you a member of the Reformed Druids).
(17) “Like an ancient Redwood,…”: Here we are of course referring to the Coast Redwood, “Sequoia Sempervirons;” sacred tree of Reformed Druidry. They are the tallest, and some of the oldest, living things on Earth.
(18) “…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,…”: We are bound, to this earth; “rooted,” “grounded;” a part of the Earth Mother herself. At same time, we reach for the stars from whence we came. In addition, we reach out to our fellow humans, not just other “mithrils”, or other Druids, but to all people, for we are part of the whole.
(19) “…for “every man and woman is a star,…”: — Aleister Crowley, “The Book of The Law.”
This goes back to “egalitarian.” Every man and woman is equal, has equal potential, and is a God. We of RDG may be “the only self-aware Gods on the planet.” (– Jubal Harshaw)
(20) “…and “the good of the many outweighs the good of the few,”…”: — Spock, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” From an ecological standpoint, this might mean that the survival (good) of the planet and of future human generations outweighs the desire for profit of multi-national corporations. From the perspective of world economics, it might mean that the survival needs of the poor, of starving children, of the elderly, of the homeless, outweigh the need for some wealthy person to enjoy a tax cut. Or, it might mean that your need for a $3 Latte from your favorite coffee house is outweighed by a homeless guy’s (whom you pass on the way to the coffee house) need for $3 worth of groceries.
This goes back to being benevolent, and humanistic.
(21) “… from each according to his/her abilities, to each according to his/her needs.” — Karl Marx, “The Communist Manifesto.” This is simple, kindergarten level ethics — sharing. Each member of the community shares what he or she has with the community as a whole, without regard to any kind of return, and knowing that his or her waterkin are giving of themselves to the best of their ability. This was the economic standard of the ancient Celtic tribes, as well as those of our First Nations.
There’s a magickal component to this as well. The great wizards and Druid’s have always recognized that there is a relationship between generosity and wealth. The universe (or karma or whatever) seems to reward those generous with their wordily goods with more of the same.
(22) “I acknowledge my personal responsibility for myself, to my fellow humans, and to the whole of Nature;..”: Acknowledge: [v] declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of. Responsibility: 1: [n] the social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force; “we must instill a sense of duty in our children”; “every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty”- John D. Rockefeller Jr; 2: [n] a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one’s conduct; “he holds a position of great responsibility”
This goes back once again to benevolence: “the good of the many…..”; “from each according to his/her abilities.” And it brings to mind what Michael said: “‘Thou art God.’ It’s not a message of cheer and hope. It’s a defiance–and an unafraid unabashed assumption of personal responsibility.”
It’s personal responsibility not only for yourself, and your tribe, but to ALL humanity, and to “the whole of Nature.” This is another acknowledgment of your integral part of Gaia.
(23) “…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.”: So with responsibility, comes freedom. And God-ness. The world really can be your oyster, if you accept responsibility for the good of all.
(24) “I dedicate myself to my own inner growth and development that I may be of greater service to myself and the world around me.”: We don’t develop our “God-ness” overnight. It takes inner growth, continued education, and practice. To fulfill this Pledge then, you need to properly equip yourself.
“Every man and woman is a star.”
~~ Aleister Crowley
“Thou art God, I am God, all that groks is God”
~~ Valentine Michael Smith
“Go out into the world and speak to that of God in every person.”
~~ George Fox
“The world is ready for a mystic revolution, a discovery of the God in each of us.”
~~ George Harrison
“Om purnam adah purnam idam, purnat purnam udacyate,
purnasya purnam adaya purnam eva vashistate.”
“The One is always One, Each Part of the One is a Complete Whole, Each part of the Divine is also Perfect.”
“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying, and suddenly realized that I was talking to myself.”
“Once upon a time in India, a guru taught his student, “Thou art God.” The student immediately ran out and began yelling, “Out of my way, I am God.” He continued running and yelling until he came upon an elephant. When he yelled at the elephant, it picked up the student and threw him in the ditch. The student limped back to the guru and asked “Why?” The guru said, ” The elephant is God too.””
(27) “..upon a spiritual path that encompasses the whole of the universe,…”: Again, “Nature is grood” we are part of nature, therefore we are good as well;, and so Gaia is Goddess, Gaia is Mother Earth; Gaia is Nature, we are part of Nature, we are Nature, we are Mother Earth, we are Gaia, we are God.
(29) “…of The Reformed Druids of Gaia, in order that we may learn together and teach each other ways to bring about these ends.”: Like Harry Potter’s “Hogwarts”, the RDG is a school where we learn from one another how to bring about our individual and collective “God-ness.”
(30) “So say we all!”: The Pledge is also a magick spell. By saying “so say we all” you are saying “and so it shall be,” “so be it,” “amen,” “it is done,” “it is a finished work,” “so mote it be,” etc., You are saying that “thought is now form,” and you have bound yourself to it.
Candidates for the RDG should weigh carefully the words of the Pledge before agreeing to it. Those who feel any kind of doubt whatsoever, should refrain from pledging until such time as they can accept the concepts therein.
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