Druidry talk: Connla’s Well

This month, we gathered at Dumbledore’s home to discuss Druidry! Greenfingers, Cyberdragon, Velvet, and I turned up, with Locksley joining us late.

Dumbledore had been doing some digging into the story of Connla’s well, and walked us through his research. There’s a variety of versions of related myths, Corylus_avellana_lindman_3where hazel trees grow about the well and drop their hazelnuts into the water, which feed the salmon who dwell within. Nuts, salmon, and water from the well grant wisdom and poetry. However, there also seem to be taboos about how it can be accessed, and in some cases people have been turned into rivers!

We started off discussing different ways to make sense of the myth. What is it saying about how wisdom and poetic inspiration can be attained? What are the many ways that we can read it? There was some discussion of the myth of Taliesin in this context… unsurprisingly!

From here, we broadened into a wider discussion of Druidry. Dumbledore floated the question, how much do we as a group care that Druidry was, in his terms, made up by a bunch of hippies in the 1960s? Apart from my objection that large parts of Druidry were made up by a bunch of hippies much earlier than the 1960s, it didn’t seem to bother many people that much of Druidry is quite “new”. We had a discussion around belief versus actions — as an OBOD grove, our members believe a wide variety of different things. However, we do have a shared body of practice that we can call on, in the study of the Bardic Grade, and the seasonal celebrations. We are a community of practitioners, not dogmatists, and we can evaluate the effects of that practice on our members to see if what we’re doing is having a positive effect.

This led into a discussion of how studying Druidry has affected our own lives. There was a lot of talk about the study of the Bardic grade, and what it had meant to us, including the changes that we had gone through over the course of our study. Some of these changes were subltle; others were much less so! These included rekindling creative pursuits, and realising parts of our lives that weren’t working for us. Dumbledore shared that he had found himself driven to plant tomatoes!

It was a really pleasant evening, and lovely to hear the members of the Grove talking so clearly about what Druidry had meant to us, in our own lives. It was clear that studying the Bardic Grade had been a meaningful experience for all of us.

(Image Carl Axel Magnus Lindman, Corylus avellana, Hassel [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
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2 Responses to Druidry talk: Connla’s Well

  1. cthulhudruid says:

    I think Dumbledore is presenting an over simplified version of Druidic history!

    Although the Druidry we practice today would be unrecognisable to the original tribes of pre-Roman Britain, we are still part of a living and evolving tradition which makes trying to pin down an exact date of ‘origin’ for ‘modern’ Druidry difficult. It certainly builds out of the Romantic movement of the late 1800’s, but you could argue that Iolo Morganwg (1737-1826) started it all. Then George Watson ‘Macgregor’ Reid (1850-1946) borrowed and blended elements from The Hermetic Order of the Golddn Dawn and brought a more spiritual and Occult thread to Druidry. Ross Nichols (1902-1975), with Gerald Gardener, developed and worked with Reid’s ideas. Finally Philip Carr-Gomm reworked and updated those ideas and materials in the 1980’s and is still revising and developing them.

  2. locksley2010 says:

    To be fair, we talked a bit more in depth about that even saying that a past Druid wouldn’t recognised today’s Druidry. I would say that it started with Aubrey, Stukeley then old Iolo. 😉

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