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Reviews in Brief
"If anybody wants to know what modern Druidry is like, across the world at the present day, then this is the book which provides the answer. It is researched to rigorous standards of academic scholarship, while also allowing Druids to speak in their own many voices, unmediated. No other work brings out so clearly what they have in common, and what distinguishes them between groups and nations. It is an excellent achievement."
Professor of History
University of Bristol
"World Druidry offers a fascinating and unrivalled survey of contemporary Druidry internationally. It is enlightening about attitudes and activities, clarifies dynamic frictions between individuality and community, and traces generational changes. Among many virtues, its inclusion of the many voices of diverse Druids will make this an invaluable resource for researchers and practitioners alike."
Professor of Religious Studies
The Open University, UK
"This is a fantastic resource showing the diversity of views and practices among Druids today. Larisa White’s World Druidry survey has found Druids engaging with their environments in Europe, the US, Australia, South America and in many other locations with some surprising commonalities as well as differences. This volume is invaluable for anyone interested in finding out more about contemporary Druids."
Reader in Religious Studies
Leeds Trinity University
"Probably the most important Druid book in the last 10 years. [...] For someone who is active in interfaith such as myself, this book will be a great toolkit with which to refer when, in discussions, the inevitable "what Druidry actually is, and how it is practiced" questions arise within the national UK interfaith setting. Highly recommended."
Faith Communities Forum
The Inter Faith Network (UK)
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The Mt. Haemus lecture, presenting a subset of the findings, was published by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids at Beltane 2021. It is available for free download, on the OBOD website.
A Globalizing Path of Nature Spirituality"
What does it mean to be a Druid, circa 2020 c.e.?
Until now, very little scholarly attention has been paid to the group of Druids, alive today, who actively engage in some form of Druidry (or Druidism) as their primary religious or spiritual path. There are many Druidic authors and groups, each promoting a slightly different variation of Druidry, but little research has been done, as yet, to determine the extent to which what is written in their Druidry books and curricula is actually put into practice. What do modern-day Druids believe? What are their religious and spiritual practices? How do their beliefs and practices vary? What if anything do the Druids of the world hold in common?
“World Druidry: A Globalizing Path of Nature Spirituality”, presents the findings of the World Druidry Survey — a global, multi-lingual survey exploring the religious beliefs and spiritual practices of contemporary world Druids. The survey comprised 189 items, organized into 42 sets of questions, including 18 open-ended/essay questions, probing into the details of: Druids’ physical, social, and cultural environments; their social and cultural identities; their theological beliefs, ritual practices, and celebrated holidays; and the factors which had influenced their development as Druids.
Completed surveys were returned by 725 practicing Druids, representing 147 Druidry groups from around the world, as well as 131 unaffiliated, solitary practitioners. Surveys were returned from 34 nations, scattered across 6 continents, and represented a group of modern Druids highly diverse along lines of age, gender, ethnic identity, and level of experience with Druidry. The survey responses included both vast quantities of numeric data and thousands of pages of rich, narrative data, allowing for the use of robust, mixed-methods analysis tools to paint a vivid picture of the modern religious tradition that is World Druidry.
Table of Contents
An Offering of Gratitude
Chapter 1: Concerning “Druids”
What does it mean to be a Druid, circa 2020 C.E.?
A Brief Review of Existing Literature
Chapter 2: The World Druidry Survey
Participant-Researcher Background & Motivations
Questionnaire Development Process
Encouraging Global Participation
Protecting Participant Privacy and Data Security
The Unprecedented Response
Making Sense of the Stories
Chapter 3: A Geography of World Druidry
Modern Druids and their Natural Environments
Connections to Celtic Culture and the Lands of Ancient Druids
Modern Druids and their Local Communities
Privacy & Safety Concerns of Modern Druids
Modern Druids at Home
Druidry, with Children
Chapter 4: Crafting a Personal Path of Druidry
Factors Influencing Druids’ Spiritual Paths
The Impact of Druidry Groups & Curricula
Influential Authors, Books, and Media
The Role of Geography in the Evolution of Druidry
The Process of Becoming a Druid
Chapter 5: Themes & Variations in Druid Theology
Druid Perceptions of the Divine
The Role of Ancestors in Druidry Practice
Religions and Spiritual Traditions Practiced with Druidry
Spiritual Wildcrafting as a Form of Devotion
Cultivating Relationships with the Divine
Chapter 6: Druid Ritual & Devotional Practices
Common Ritual Practices Among Druids
Sacred Objects in Druid Ritual & Celebration
Places of Druid Ritual & Celebration
Social Contexts for Druid Ritual & Celebration
Sacred Activities in Everyday Life
Universal Themes in Druid Ritual & Devotional Practice
Chapter 7: Druid Festivals & Celebrations
The Traditional Druid “Wheel of the Year”
Seasonal Festivals in a Globalizing Tradition
Celebrating Cycles of Life, in Nature
Druidry’s Wildcrafted Wheels of the Year
Universal Themes in Druid Festivals & Celebrations
Chapter 8: Druidry’s Spiritual Common Core
Druidry Variations due to Druid Group Membership
Druidry Variations due to Geographical Location
How Druidry Traditions Have Evolved Over Time
Druidry's Spiritual Common Core, circa 2020 c.e.
Appendix A: The Survey Instrument
Appendix B: Druid Population Estimates
Appendix C: Participating Druid Groups