di Andrea Romanazzi
In this article I pause to think about the figure of the Druid, his duties, ethics and spirit of service. Let’s imagine Druids at the service of a community, of an individual, but also, for example, in a public debate, at a conference, simply around a fire. At one point a question arises, “Who is the Druid? How ethics and service to the community unravel”.
Answer with a Triad.
The three foundations of being a druid are Nature – Man – Magic. The first as an Altar, the second as a Work Material, the third as a Means and Tool.
Living Druidism today, and therefore being a Druid, means studying the environment, and therefore celebrating the seasonal cycles, even, in some cases, engaging in ecological activities.
The Druid must have an ecological ethic which, as Andreozzi says, “extends his field of interest as much as possible to the spatial and temporal dimensions of the entire environment in which and on which the human being acts, and decentralizing (even only partially) the discourse by human agents, questions the ethics of our direct or indirect relationship with non-human entities and/or natural dynamics and, therefore, their moral status and the possibility that they possess a value independent of our judgment or (at least ) from our utility. »
The Druid must therefore learn to recover the relationship with Nature, rediscover and teach to rediscover the Clan and the Community a balance that allows us to reconcile our culture and human needs with the environment. From this point of view, the role of the Druid in the Community becomes very important.
He must be the go-between for the new generations between technology and nature, he must act, a term that we will find again below, not through a rejection of science and the progress of civilization, but in teaching new answers to the complexity of the world through environmental sciences and ecological. He must be the one who teaches the Community how to rethink man’s place in the world without falling into anti-humanism or worse into anti-technicalism.
The Druid is therefore the Activist, the one who finds it gratifying to save the dolphins, helps the destruction of the woods, etc… but also and above all the one who dedicates himself to an “ethical” and natural Science. For example, I have chosen as my job to create hydrogeological models, or how pollutants move in the subsoil and likewise how to stop them. Combining Science and Nature through a new ethical behavior.
However, what has been said so far must therefore be done only if we work on Human Nature at the same time, deepening our knowledge of the Self, of the Self and of the Emotions, entering into a comparison with one’s own Conscience and Free Will. Here then appears the Social Ethics. Here a clarification becomes really important. Ethics and Morals are often used interchangeably, but in reality they have a profoundly different meaning. Morality is something highly individual, while ethics concerns the relationship of an individual’s freedom with that of others.
Is there a Druidic ethics, or a sort of “deontological” behavior that allows the Priest’s behavior to be distinguished as good, just, lawful, compared to behaviors deemed unjust, illicit, inconvenient or bad according to an ideal behavioral model?
In my nearly thirty-year journey in the world of Spirituality, I have often come across social ethics, understood as that sort of deontological behaviour, with magicians, Shamans and priests also from other lands. It is on this terrain that the Good-Evil dualism appears.
In the North African traditions and likewise in the North European ones, the dual concept of Evil-Good does not exist in an absolute sense, but simply every deity, and therefore every attitude of the Priest, often has a dual aspect, depending on the paths and objectives they pursue those who cultivate it. In older societies, which we erroneously call “primitive”, the idea of “behavior” based on a philosophical-ethical vision does not exist. Thus the Priest, and therefore also the Druid, should intervene directly on what generates pain in the life of the individual, trying to favor his own Clan even to the detriment of others.
We know well how the individual and the community absolutely shun suffering. Hunger, disease, physical and emotional, are absolutely to be avoided by the individual and the community. After all, in all pagan cultures they came from evil Spirits and energies which therefore had to be fought and removed by the Priests.
Thus the task of the Priest and the Druid was to ensure the removal of suffering from the Community through more or less complex and not always “ethical” rituals.
For example, it is now certain that the ancient Druids carried out human sacrifices to ingratiate themselves with the divinities in favor of their own clan.
A Sami Shaman I personally met on one of my travels told me
“…if a person asks for a spell to be cured of an illness…it is good…if the same spell causes one to get sick, do evil or good depending on who this person is…if he is a person used to doing harm making her ill is doing good… if, on the other hand, the person who fell ill due to that spell gives another assignment to another to free himself… and to continue to harm others, he does at the same time the good and bad…”
Today things are quite different. Neodruidism, since its foundation, has striven to give a different answer to the problem of good and evil and in this perspective it certainly has a different ethical approach from that of other ancient civilizations.
He must be able to discern between dual ethics in a manner absolutely free from moralisms, but in the same way an invitation poietically not linked to “indifference”. An ethics, therefore, which must be an affirmation to recognize that Cosmic Love which inspires the action of the Druid in the evocation/invocation to Peace in the four directions.
Peace be to the North, South, West, and East.
Peace be through the four elements
and to the Cosmic Ether that contains everything.
May there be peace and love for all creatures
visible and invisible.
This affirmation of the universal energy of love can only be seen by those who observe the world with the eyes of the “Gods”, by those who have started on the Path of those who transmute an individualistic approach, i.e. managing freedom without confrontation with other freedoms, in a more Universal one. This is the difference in approach between the new Druid and the “old” Sami shaman previously mentioned.
Neo-Druidism is a religion or, if you like, a spiritual approach to Love and therefore Life and the joy of living. This is the ethical approach that the Druid must have when he carries out service for the Community.
When what has been said becomes the center of everything and guides the Druid in his operations towards a specific end, then there is the achievement of ethical awareness.
Thus the third element of the triad emerges: Magic and magical ethics.
“Magic” is “Doing” and the magical ethics applied to modern Druidism, at least as I understand it, start from an “Aware Act” which in this sense cannot be based or start from a “prohibition” but from a free boost to Action in favor of the Community, which refers to the individual responsibility of the Druid to know and be aware of the limits of his own freedom and that of others. In other neo-pagan religions the motto is “Do without harm”.
However, Action is Reaction and therefore this status, labile by its nature, must be pursued and made its own to become an ethically stable condition that distinguishes the Druid from the “Sorcerer” who, in his total freedom of “doing”, is unconsciously a slave.
Not mere action, therefore, but identification with the deities. Not a simple flame, but the “breaking of the new sun”.