“What would the world look like if seen through a Druid’s eyes? Nature would be elevated, once again, into a position of noble equality. It would be revered and protected as a sentient living and Divine presence. It would no longer be seen as something to simply dominate and exploit for wealth, entertainment or power. The mystery of nature would reemerge and we would suddenly be filled with wonder.”
— Excerpt from The Druid Path by OakLore and Inion An Daghdha
While Wicca draws its practices from foundations having to do with ceremonial magick, Druidry, or Druidism, is a highly philosophical pursuit. Modern Wicca places its emphasis on the unseen metaphysical forces around us, and shaping those forces to our will, while Druidry seeks a deeper understanding of them through the observance of the natural world.
The first formalized practice of Wicca, as it is understood today, was introduced to the Americas, in part, by Raymond Buckland and other writers in the early 1960s; a derivation of the tradition named for it’s progenitor, Gerald Gardner (e.g. Gardnarian Wicca), who is credited with founding modern Wicca in the U.K. some years earlier. It is apt to point out, however, that twenty-first century Wicca which, like Druidry is an organic tradition, is more heavily influenced today by a variety of native Earth-based praxes.
On the other hand, modern Druidry, as a revivalist movement, draws its origins from one of Gardner’s contemporaries, Ross Nichols, the late Chief of the U.K.-based Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, or O.B.O.D. Later, in the early 1980s, Druidry was re-defined by one of the architects of a more reconstructionist approach, Isaac Bonewits, founder and past Archdruid of the American-based Ar nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship, or ADF.
Both traditions, Wicca and Druidism, while modern re-inventions, harken to common ancient origins. Both traditions also fall under the classification “Neopagan”, which describes a host of traditions that attempt to either re-construct or to re-invent ancient pre-Christian religions. And while there is no way to precisely re-create the religious and magickal practices of the ancient Celtic peoples to whom we look for inspiration, modern Wicca and Druidry is an attempt to re-capture the spirit of the pre-Christian, Celtic and Indo-European world. By furthering our understanding of ancient societies and developing modern ways to “awaken” our too-long innate metaphysical connection with the Earth, in a combined pursuit of the wisdoms of Wicca and Druidry together, we are reviving the ancient magick of our forebearers through our modern practice and worship.
The balance of Wicca and Druidism, as a combined practice, is a harmony we have come to know as “Druidcraft.” It’s a term inspired by the same-entitled book by current Chief of the O.B.O.D. Philip Carr-Gomm, himself the protégé of the late Ross Nichols.
“The worlds that are brought together in this book” writes Carr-Gomm, “are those of Witchraft and Druidry, and I have called the path that they create together Druidcraft, from the Irish word Druidecht, and from the inspiration of the Irish poet W.B. Yeats who uses this term in his poetry.” Carr-Gomm goes on to point out that historically there might have been significant differences between the concerns of Wiccans and Druids; the former being focused on magick and spells while the latter seeking historical scholarship and spirituality. We have seen, however, that over the last couple of decades this has begun to change. Indeed, the two paths have begun to converge insomuch as Wiccans and Druids are sharing more and more common interests.
Carr-Gomm explains, “Most people think that Druidry and Wicca, as they are practiced today, represent two streams of pagan (sic) tradition that have evolved separately over centuries, or even millennia. In reality, the modern versions of these traditions were originally developed by two friends, Ross Nichols and Gerald Gardner, only 50 years ago. Because of their exchange of ideas and knowledge, the two paths share many similarities and points of connection and, to a great extent, the differences between them are related to the differences between their characters, even though over the last half-century both paths have evolved considerably, creating many different varieties and styles of both Wiccan and Druidic practice.”
In The Druidcraft Fellowship, we find in the two traditions a harmony that calls deeply to us; a harmony of magick and spirituality, of ceremony and simplicity, of craft and scholarship. These are the aspects that beckon our spirits back to that ancient and timeless awareness; that the Earth is sacred, it is divine, and that all things in Heaven and Earth are connected. The ancient Celts well understood this. And so we seek in the modern day to reawaken that consciousness by asking the question, “Why seek to understand God through the writings and interpretations of man, rather than through that which God created?” Nature is Divine. Therefore, other than within ourselves, it is the best source of connection with the Gods.
Thank You for reading. Blessed Be!