Druidry is a thriving, nature-based spirituality that has its roots in ancient times. The ancient druids were wise sages, historians, astronomers, diviners, and bards. While their traditions died out over two millennia ago, today’s druids draw upon the wisdom and surviving lore of the ancient druids for inspiration.
As modern druidry honors ancient ancestors, it also focuses on creating a responsive, nature-based spiritual tradition that helps people cultivate their own creative gifts, find healing with and through nature, and explore metaphysical aspects of the spirit of the earth.
Druidry 101: The 3 Paths
Inspired by the ancient druids and their three-fold system, the modern druid path has three distinct expressions: that of the ovate, bard, and druid. Some people focus on one path, but many who take up druidry elect to work within all three branches as they all build upon each other.
The Path of the Ovate
The ovate path focuses on deep nature connection, a critical part of every druid’s path.
Ovate practices connect us back to our ancient human ancestors who understood the world of spirit, who had intimate knowledge of nature, and who depended on nature directly to provide their needs. In modern druidry, the path of the ovate includes both physical and metaphysical aspects.
[Read: “Root & Ritual With Becca Piastrelli.”]
Physical ovate expressions can include spending time in nature, building nature knowledge, and learning to work with nature to provide our needs. Ovates may be drawn to organic gardening, permaculture, or other techniques that help heal and regenerate the living earth. Ovates may engage in wild food foraging, bushcraft, herbalism, or other expressions that help them learn how to work with nature to meet their basic needs. These practices involve directly building knowledge of the earth: how to identify plants and trees, how to track animals and learn bird calls, and how to learn to understand their immediate landscape.
Druidry beginners may explore the ovate path by spending daily time in nature: observing, interacting, and meditating with their local ecosystem. Expanding their nature practice, druidry beginners can learn to identify local plants and animals, spiritually connect with nature, and live in honor of the seasons.
All these practices allow druids to move beyond simply appreciating nature to focus on building a reciprocal relationship with the earth.
Metaphysically, ovate work includes connecting deeply with the spirit of nature, the “genus loci,” or spirit of place. For many, this includes working with the spirits of plants or animals through meditation, journeying, and dreams; engaging in rituals or ceremonies to honor the land and encourage abundance; and working with the energies and healing properties of plants and stones. Druids recognize that today our metaphysical practices help create balance and healing for both ourselves and nature. Druids work to offer gratitude for all that nature provides.