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Home A Perennial Course in Living Druidry

A Perennial Course in Living Druidry

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A course devised by Emma Restall Orr (Bobcat)
of The Druid Network

The Idea of this Course
Strange as it may sound, this course contains no information. It does not provide
all you need to know about Druidry. No book or course can.
For in this most ancient tradition of Druidry, it is nature that teaches us. Seeking a
way of living that allows peace, freedom, satisfaction, Druidry guides us to look to our
relationship with nature: with the landscape within which we live, and the flows of
energy within our own soul. It teaches us to craft relationships with and within
nature that are respectful, honest and responsible. And, if we are willing and able, it
shows us how we might deepen those relationships to the point of intimate and
sacred interaction, washing us with ecstasy and the inspiration we call ‘Awen’.
Druidry is the language we use for our relationship with nature. Some people have a
more acute sensitivity, perceiving subtler levels of energy, consciousness, intention
and presence; others find it hard to perceive anything other than the physical world.
Yet, however we are built, it is possible to improve the way we connect and relate to
the worlds in which we live. Deepening our relationships, finding honesty,
acknowledging sanctity, fine-tuning through wakefulness, we learn to live lives that are
grounded and vibrant. We learn to be creative with the power of natural inspiration.
Taking that understanding, this course offers the simplicity of reminders, guiding and
directing through ideas and questions. If the course is worked well, it will be the
natural world (human and non-human) that provides any information about what
Druidry truly is. The course, then, aims to teach by pointing out where and how the
real teaching can be found.
Of course, from that point, we may find curiosity and crave learning about mythology,
archaeology, theology, and there are courses that can teach these crafts, exploring
the ideas. The purpose of this course is to develop the undercurrent that flows
beneath, a current that is profoundly Druidic.


Why Take the Course?
Even when our dedication is strong, our commitment declared, the distractions and
crises of our lives can too easily dilute our practice. Quickly we find our relationships
compromised by haste and lack of clarity, our inspiration fading. A little structure
can enable us more easily to hold to the tenets of our tradition on a day-to-day basis.
Some folk are happy to attend courses that provide the motivation and discipline,
others use correspondence courses. However, both these can be expensive,
particularly if we find their content of limited value.
The Perennial Course offers a simple framework. Each unit is based upon the course
of one lunar cycle, encouraging awareness of this natural influence upon our nature.
The whole course comprises 13 units, stretching over the journey of a year, allowing a
sense of the sun’s cycle of waxing and waning. While working through each unit with
commitment, exploring each and every element presented, will hold that awareness, it
is as easy to dip into it whenever we are seeking a little inspiration.
It doesn’t matter how many times the course is repeated. Nor is there any end point
when all that can be learned from the material has been learned. Nature encourages
us to carry on learning. Indeed, the more often we do these exercises, the more
strength and clarity we bring to our relationship with nature’s teachers. As our focus
develops, the more wakefulness we are able to bring to every step of the journey and
every decision we make. So do we deepen our connection with nature, extending the
wealth of our own creativity.
Of course, giving a course out freely carries the risk of individuals misunderstanding
the material, or finding its effect on their lives beyond what they can manage. As a
result, these units are overtly gentle and simple. Nonetheless, used fully and regularly,
they can be extraordinarily transformative.

Who is the Course for?
The course is not about the specifics of ritual, mythology, culture or heritage, but
about the simplest steps that make Druidry a deep, real and utterly natural
spirituality. It doesn’t go into magic or alchemy, but provides a foundation of
relationship that is considered essential for the deeper mysteries of Druidry. As a
result, giving guidance, suggestions and encouragement, rather than a definitive body
of Druidic knowledge, the course is designed to be of value to everyone.
Someone beginning their exploration of Druidry can work through it methodically,
finding new ideas and exploring them as fully as they are able. The experienced
practitioner of Druidry can find clues and reminders in the material that will encourage
deeper exploration, passing over some elements and reaching into others.
It is designed for an individual to be able to access and explore alone. However, it is
also appropriate for a group to work through the units together, perhaps meeting
once a calendrical or lunar month, in person or by internet discussion, to share
experience, support and discovery.
Written in the temperate northern climate of Britain, the course relates to that cycle,
reaching into the ancient roots of Druidry. However, this doesn’t negate the course’s
value for those studying in other areas, climates and hemispheres of the world; if folk
would like to submit notes from other climates and natural cycles, they would be
gratefully received.

Getting Started

Each unit is linked to one of the 12 or 13 moons in the calendar year, the work of that
unit to run from the dark or new moon through its cycle of waxing and waning. The
first task is perhaps to find a calendar that lists the moons of the year, making a
note of when each lunar tide begins, then synchronize the moons of the course to
those of the calendar.
The trick is to ensure that Fire Friend Moon moves across Samhain, 1 November;
Imbolc is within White Waking Moon, 2 February; the 1 May festival, Beltane, is within
White Lady Moon; and Claim Song is the Lammas moon of 1 August. Let the others
find their place, and if a moon is left unmarked, name this the Quickening Moon.
If it is too complicated for a group to meet at the start of each moon, and/or a
regular calendrical date is preferable, begin each unit around the middle of each
month, working that unit through the following 4 - 5 weeks.
It doesn’t matter where you begin; you don’t have to wait until a certain month or
moon. Just find which moon you are in and dive right in to the course. A few aspects
are progressive, developing over months or moons, but these will become clear and
can be picked up where it makes sense and feels appropriate.
As to how much time is spent on the course: my advice would be to put aside a
period of time every morning to work on the unit, stopping part way through the day
to reconnect with the teaching, then reviewing in the evening. About an hour a day is
a very fine goal.

The Course Notes
Through most of these units, there are a number of questions, some small and some
dealing with the major issues of life. Choose one or two in each on which to focus
most fully.
Festival : Each of these units has a festival written into it. If it doesn’t quite fall
within the moon period you are studying, work on its meaning nonetheless, using the
time to prepare for the festival in the coming moontide. The unit doesn’t tell us how
to celebrate the festival. Ideas, information and guidance about how to celebrate in
ritual can easily be found in other courses, books and websites. Instead the course
works simply on the fundamental ideas to consider at this time, ideas which can be
woven into a ritual or group celebration.
Humanity : Recognizing honourable relationship to be fundamental to the practice of
Druidry, this element of the unit focuses our attention upon how we are relating to
other human beings. it guides us to work more deeply on our understanding of human
nature, within ourselves, those around us and all humanity.
Environment : This part of the unit is to encourage relationship with the living nonhuman
spirits we share this world with. It encourages us to be aware of the trees,
plants and other creatures that feel most alive, awake and influential in our
environment during the moon cycle we are moving through. Spending time in the
garden, meadows, fields, parks, or even simply looking out of the window, we see and
feel whose energy is most prominent. Before heading for magical books, our field
guides are crucial: study its nature, its cycles, habits and needs. How and what is it
teaching you? Can a relationship be created?
Creativity : The piece about creativity in each unit is not something to do just now
and then, when we think about it through the moontide; it is as important as any
other part of the unit. Filling our allotted time with this element of study makes an
enormous difference to how we see and hear the world, and how we language and voice
our response to it.
Ethics : Living Druidry is about walking our talk, adjusting our behaviour as we learn
deeper consciousness and connection. This aspect of the unit suggest ways in which
we might shift our lives, habits and attitudes, in order to live with what the Druid calls
honour. The course is designed to allow us to formulate just what that word might
mean. For - like love and truth - honour is a word that takes a lifetime and more to
understand. Just when we feel we have a glimpse of its meaning, life changes and we
realize the word has even greater depths.

  • The course notes for each module are available in the Downloads section of this website, in PDF format.
  • If you have any questions, you are welcome drop us a line via the Contact Us section of this website.

May the Awen be with you.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:53  

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