My sister passed beyond this realm this week. In my grief I was suddenly confronted with the question What do druids have to say about what happens when we depart this life? What do druids think about what happens next? A pretty fundamental question but one I had not given thought to in my past several months on the path of Druidry. Time suddenly to find out.
So I consulted the internet. And my Grove priest. I got the answer that there basically are as many answers to this question as there are druids. And here are some of the answers I got.
When we die that’s it. Game over. It all ends. This was not a particularly helpful point of view for me. I truly believe that there is something else. Energy doesn’t cease to exist. It must go somewhere. There must be another way that the energy finds an outlet for. So this idea wasn’t in keeping with my spiritual beliefs. So I dug further.
We join the Shining Ones. Most likely as an entity like a star. Our energy is released only to be reborn is some form. Not human but some form of being that is part of our multiverse. This sat better with me spiritually. It was closer in thinking to my ideals. I liked this answer.
We become part of a group living a life not too different from this realm. Only more fun and carefree. Endless feasting and games. Reunion with loved ones. Perfect for my sister because in this realm she had spent her energy on helping others. Time for her to have an eternity of fun. I thought this was a fitting evolution for my sister.
We become reincarnated. Our energy finds another outlet in a new birth. Although we may not be reincarnated as a human necessarily. We could come back as an animal. Or even an inanimate object. But we come back as something.
These are some of the answers I found to my question. I’m not sure exactly which one is true for me. But it gives me much to ponder over. Which answer sits best with you?
Yule is a big deal for us druids. Why is it a big deal? In marking the longest darkness of the year we mark the turning. The turning from darker days to lighter days. The coming of the yearly rebirth of earth. The time for introspection and spiritual growth. And a time to celebrate the return of the light.
This is a celebration of illumination. We light candles not just to hold back the darkness of this day but to welcome back the light. The birth of the sun. It happens every year. It marks a passage of time. A time to reflect on what we have achieved in the past year and set goals for the coming year. For me it is a time of spiritual introspection and spiritual goal setting.
It is a time to celebrate the illumination of self. The spiritual illumination. We talk of those who are spiritually wise as being illuminated people. This type of illumination is a goal I strive for. I seek to become illuminated from within. In the work of attaining this goal I spend time each day on devotionals and study. I work hard to achieve my goals. Hopefully you do too.
As we work towards becoming an illuminated person our lives change. We become lighter as we see that many occurring issues in our lives are but ripples on the water. We realize they are short lived and will pass as quickly as they appear. This makes us lighter in personality. We become more of a joy to be with. People are instinctively drawn to us. We find our lives fuller. With less attention spent on small daily concerns we are free to contemplate bigger universal concepts. We grow spiritually.
So I take this time of the year to celebrate my ever expanding wisdom and spiritual consciousness. I find it a time to remind myself that the issues that really truly matter are long term. They unfold gradually. And with this celebration of illumination I welcome all that is to come.
As we approach the solstice and the beginning of longer days I feel this is a great time to reflect on what has been accomplished this dark season. And reflect upon what is to come as the days get longer.
This has always been a time of introspection for me. A time to pause and spend additional time on studies and spiritual concerns. This season I have spent time with my OBOD studies. Great stuff! I have learned much in these studies. I am growing, if slowly, on the path of Druidry. Every week there’s a new lesson to focus on. Every week brings new insight. And I’m definitely one who needs the structure of regular lessons! Otherwise I wander far afield and lose my way. Better to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Studying is a solitary activity. What about fellowship? I have also become a member of an ADF Grove. It is Raven Wood and it’s a short train ride away. And the priest gives me a ride to and from the train so I can join in! And she has MS like me so she understands the need for easily available worship space. The gods were definitely in action when they had her contact me! I love when all of the pieces fit so easily. So I have a group to celebrate major holidays with. A great addition to my spiritual life.
As I look to the coming lengthening days I look with excitement and awe. I can’t wait to put into really that I’ve been learning. The multiverse has given me the opportunity to stretch my spiritual music. And I intend to take advantage of the chance. I’m only satisfied when I’m growing spiritually. This appears to be happening. New information. New challenges. New goals. All laid out at my feet by forces much bigger than I. And it all started with a dream of my father saying the one word to me. Druid.
Light abounds in Druidry. The very universal symbol of the Druids is the three rays of light. We cannot escape the sun and light that guides us on our path. Even in the darkest depths of the forest some light breaks through to show us the way. Druidry unlike other spiritualities such as Asatru shine by comparison. Light is everywhere.
The other morning in my book of morning devotionals there was a passage along the lines of in my darkest gloom show me the wisdom of light. Every coin has two sides. Even in the darkest things the multiverse throws at us there is light to be found. Nothing is ever truly black or white. It is our duty as druids to seek the light at every turn. Always looking for the sun we find our way through it all.
Humor plays a big part in it all. Our lore is filled with bits of humor. Where else would a goddess transform herself into a chicken to eat her prey? Laughing at ourselves can get us through the toughest bind. It’s the ability to find humor in all situations that sets the Druidry path apart from all the other spiritualities. A good dose of laughter puts things into proper perspective.
I’ve always had a rather twisted sense of humor. I laugh loudly and some would say inappropriately at situations that occur in my life. An inheritance from my grandfather no doubt. But it has served me well throughout my lifetime. When in doubt I laugh!
Of course there is a dark side to Druidry as well. As I stated every coin has two sides. For example there’s the Morrigan flying over the battlefield in the form of a crow shrieking in uncanny terror. But then she is found at the water cleaning the blood off of the garments of the warriors. A goddess doing laundry? Pretty funny stuff to me at least!
So humor abounds in Druidry. We are offered the opportunity to laugh or cry as things arise. I choose to laugh. One of the many reasons I’m sure this path is meant for me!