CNN asked me to contribute a blog post on Druidry for today. Here it is:
The Druids have hit the headlines in the recent days because religious charity status has been granted in the UK to The Druid Network – a group set up to foster Druid values and projects.
This has caused excitement in a number of circles. Many Druids and pagans see this as a major triumph. Others are upset because they don’t think Druidry is a religion, they feel it is a philosophy or a way of life. Read more.
The final paragraph I wrote was edited out – probably because it just made the post too long, but here it is anyway:
Despite the way Druidry is embedded in culture and history, its emphasis on observing eight seasonal festivals, such as the solstices, is highly contemporary and speaks directly to those who long for a deeper connection with Nature. It’s not only Druids who have woken up to the crises of mass species extinctions, climate change, and environmental degradation through pollution, over-population and resource depletion. People of all faiths and none have started to realize what a mess we’re in and have begun to cross traditional religious divides to connect instead with our common humanity and our need to protect the Earth. On the summer solstice this year I stood on the summit of a hill near our town to greet the dawn with about fifty people: young and old, men, women and children. Some were Christian (including a priest), some Druid, some Pagan, but most probably wouldn’t want a label for their spirituality: they were there because they cared about the Earth and wanted to feel closer to it. And as the sun rose over the landscape there was a hush – a tangible sense of awe fell upon this small band of people standing there on a hill almost at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.