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DreamBliss

Druidism and Shamanism - Differences? Similarities? Can someone be both?

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Just curious to see what others think. I feel myself drawn to what I guess could be called the "Green Way." I consider myself to already be a Shaman. I feel this to be true, despite the fact I don't hold any sort of degree from professional training, because I have interacted with what I am fairly certain were spirit animals. That is how I feel I should refer to them. But the terms animal totems and power animals may also apply.

 

Now I find myself drawn to Druidry and having a strange desire to talk to plants. I also feel drawn to return to my Shamanic practices. I stopped out of fear, which should be ridiculous, because when my first spirit animal came to me it was in a Dream Re-entry and I was still new to all of this dream stuff. I was still a Christian. You don't expect a fox t come out of the forest in a dream you have actually re-entered, a fox that was not there before, and furthermore you don't expect to be able to communicate with it. At least not if you are a Christian.

 

So I was certainly surprised, but not afraid, and I enjoyed my adventures with a fox, dolphin, and briefly, a wolf, bear and a Native American in full, I think, shamanic dress. Then the whole tulpa thing happened, which also took place through my mind's eye, and I guess I just avoided all of it. Hardly have done much visualizing since, with the exception of my time spent using self-hypnosis. Maybe I am afraid that I can't trust myself, the validity or ‚Äúreality‚ÄĚ of what I am seeing? Or maybe I am afraid of pain? Or maybe there are just too many painful memories associated with seeing through the inner eye?

 

Well it is time to work through the fear. Admit, Allow and Accept. Release and Let Go. That is the process. Exploring Druidry, pursuing my interest in communicating with plants. But wondering what the differences and similarities are between Druidism and Shamanism. Wondering if it will work out for me to be both. Also a follower of the Law of Attraction. Which, strangely enough, fits in very well with such Druidic and Shamanic teachings as I have encountered. Also wondering if there are any others walking the Green Way, on singular or multiple paths. Any other Druids, Shamans, or Druidic Shamans, or Shamanic Druids around here?

 

Reading, ‚ÄúThe Path of Druidry‚ÄĚ by Penny Billington right now, and listening to Shamanic Visioning by Sandra Ingerman. Always open to other recommendations.

Edited by DreamBliss

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Good questions with no staight answer. Just on a purely intuitive level there must be significant overlap, with each having their specialisms. Druidry was an oral wisdom culture wiped out by the Romans, so who can say for certain what their beliefs and practices were? Shamanism has so many expressions, tied to culture, time and place that it is difficult to say that it is one thing. The only common denominator I can see is working to live in harmony with the natural and spirit worlds. So in this sense is it worth being too particular over general labels? Celtic Christianity venerated nature and was a harmonious blend of the pagan with the Christian.

John Michael Greer (http://galabes.blogspot.co.uk) and Caitlin & John Matthews (http://www.hallowquest.org.uk) might be worth a look. R.J.Stewart too (http://rjstewart.org) as well as Orion Foxwood (http://www.orionfoxwood.com).

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Very little is known about the actual, ancient druidic order.  The modern reconstruction is mostly based on fanciful speculation.

 

Just as most people have absolutely no idea what the concept of "faery" originally entailed, most people will not be able to conceive the actuality of druidic practice in ancient times.  There are good reasons for all of this.

 

Just as the knowledge and wisdom revealed during initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries were kept secret for the 2000 years they were in practice, as well as the 1600 years after the practice was wiped out by the Christians.

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Dream-Bliss, i'm happy that your curious about earthy forms of spiritually. But let me give you one tip (i know you didn't ask for it)  that will save you a ton of time and grief.

 

Don't usurp titles like "Shaman", "Palero", "Santero, "Priest"....etc.  

 

Go through the labor of self-cultivation and initiation via spirit in order to develop your own authority. Then it will be apparent to others that you have the power and charisma of a practitioner. Versus throwing out a title which may or may not be accurate to your level of skill and potentially offensive to other peoples and cultures.  

 

That being said, "The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids" is an organization that you may be interested in. Seem like they got some juice behind there sage.  http://www.druidry.org/

Edited by OldChi

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Druid was a title given to someone who served their community and its ruler, and who was recognized by both as doing so.
You might find Posidonius book 'The Philosopher and the Druids' about the Druids and Celt life interesting. It is a non Roman account.

Shaman is a title given by one community to someone who is acknowledged by the community as serving the community of Humans and spirits.  If you dont have community recognition you are not a Shaman. It was a social role.

That said, Shamanism is used these days as an Anthropological description for the various cultural roles that are similar in nature to the Tungusic role.  But being recognized as a 'Shaman' is always dependent on the community acknowledgment of your authority in those realms.

I am always highly dubious of any claims to being a Shaman, yet I don't mind people saying they practice in a Shamanistic manner, as long as ones practice and worldview is consistent with actual Shamanistic practice and worldview.

Spirit worker or something similar might be a cleaner title till you have appropriate training's that infer the right to use other titles?

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I love OBOD!  I am halfway through their Bardic course and find it extraordinarily beautifully presented.  If one were to take the course I would highly recommend doing both the audio and physical lesson format.

 

It is my understanding that the second year Ovate grade deals more in depth with Shamanistic techniques.

 

That said, there is some dissension between OBOD's Revival Druidry and Reconstructionist Druidry, the latter emphasizing historical accuracy.  Revival Druidry borrows heavily from Western Magickal traditions to fill the historical gaps.  Personally I find myself too drawn towards Eastern approaches especially concerning energy practices for me to consider Druidry my primary path.  But I still get a lot from it and would recommend OBOD's courses to anyone interested.

 

In addition to OBOD, the British Druid Order and Mara Freeman also have in-depth home study courses.

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That said, there is some dissension between OBOD's Revival Druidry and Reconstructionist Druidry, the latter emphasizing historical accuracy.  Revival Druidry borrows heavily from Western Magickal traditions to fill the historical gaps. 

 

John Michael Greer has an interesting article where he compares the difference between the ADF and OBOD. The essay highlights a lot of major factors like historical accuracy, Revival Druidry and the philosophical differences that stretch across each pathway. Worth reading: 

 

https://www.adf.org/about/basics/adf-and-obod.html 

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To navigate the myth is to become one with it.

 

Beauty is the truth of freedom, and of us. You and I are warriors of the multiverse.

 

Today, science tells us that the essence of nature is Qi.

 

Dogma is the antithesis of karma. The complexity of the present time seems to demand an awakening of our chakras if we are going to survive. Only a prophet of the quantum cycle may reveal this current of aspiration.


We are being called to explore the quantum soup itself as an interface between intuition and choice. Eons from now, we dreamers will live like never before as we are aligned by the infinite. The dreamscape is approaching a tipping point.

Selfishness is born in the gap where grace has been excluded. Yes, it is possible to disrupt the things that can eliminate us, but not without inseparability on our side. We can no longer afford to live with materialism.

 

You may be ruled by delusion without realizing it. Do not let it confront the nature of your mission.


Have you found your story? If you have never experienced this current on a cosmic scale, it can be difficult to reflect. How should you navigate this zero-point galaxy?

Without life, one cannot believe. You must take a stand against materialism. Where there is stagnation, learning cannot thrive.

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Continuing to explore the OBOD's approach to Druidry and have found that there is some valuable stuff there. Insightful video, there head chief is definitely a smart cat:

 

Edited by OldChi

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Druidism is hard to disconnect from Pythagorism. East and West were one, so obviously "Western West" and "Eastern West" were one two. ^^

 

Pythagoras is said to have travelled to Tartessos, a celtic speaking land, just like he was linked with Mesopotamia and Egypt, and even Far East. So celtic countries were part of the equation too.

 

As soon as -600 the Phocean greeks had a small empire in South Gaul. Traditions mixed, the Druids adopted the greek alphabet. The greeks always talked about druids as philosophers, precisely as pythagoricians. The last source we have about druids tells us of a druid familly from Brittany now installed in Burdigala (Bordeaux). After drudism was prohibited by the Romans they kept their traditions as priest of Belenos. But their names are... greek, and apollinian. Apollon and Belenos being cultural names for the same god...

 

We have a continuum from Drudism to Pythagorism. And as we also have a continuum from Pythagorism to Shamanism in Central Asia and the Far East. So I'm not saying that Drudism = Shamanism, but that the connection is far from strange.

 

I'm talking about historical Druidism. I have no knowledge of Neo-druidism whatsoever.

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Druidism is hard to disconnect from Pythagorism. East and West were one, so obviously "Western West" and "Eastern West" were one two. ^^

 

Pythagoras is said to have travelled to Tartessos, a celtic speaking land, just like he was linked with Mesopotamia and Egypt, and even Far East. So celtic countries were part of the equation too.

 

As soon as -600 the Phocean greeks had a small empire in South Gaul. Traditions mixed, the Druids adopted the greek alphabet. The greeks always talked about druids as philosophers, precisely as pythagoricians. The last source we have about druids tells us of a druid familly from Brittany now installed in Burdigala (Bordeaux). After drudism was prohibited by the Romans they kept their traditions as priest of Belenos. But their names are... greek, and apollinian. Apollon and Belenos being cultural names for the same god...

 

We have a continuum from Drudism to Pythagorism. And as we also have a continuum from Pythagorism to Shamanism in Central Asia and the Far East. So I'm not saying that Drudism = Shamanism, but that the connection is far from strange.

 

I'm talking about historical Druidism. I have no knowledge of Neo-druidism whatsoever.

Interesting stuff. I've yet to dive very deep into the history of Druidism myself, my only understanding so far is that not much is factually known except from samples of Bardic tales of the time and certain archaeological finds which may or not be related to Druidry. Thanks for sharing, a reading project i'll likely dive into in the future. A useful video: 

 

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I practice Shamanism and also actually have a book called "The Druid Shaman" by Danu Forest, since there is so much crossover.


I will echo the sentiments here though, through my studies I have learned you definitely do not want to 'claim' to be a Shaman. There was one South American man who said you'd have to be crazy to call yourself a shaman, he was simply one who 'worked with spirits.'

 

From my understanding, a shaman is "chosen" by the spirits, and I've heard that the two paths are either extreme physical illness (usually very close to death) or the 'path of madness' which can last up to 7 years I've heard. This is one way of initiation.


Another is that you do your shamanic practice, and enough people have benefited from your work that THEY call you shaman, so you sort of "earn your role" in the village sort to speak.

 

Its awesome the experience you've hard with spirit animals. What I've learned about Fox medicine though is that Fox prefers to work from behind the scenes! Sort of like a ninja, it is better if people don't know Fox is your spirit because you're trying to hide mask your intention until the time is right.  Ted Andrews wrote a great book that goes in depth on working with spirit allies (not so much plants).

 

I'd pick up "Way of the Shaman" by Michael Harner and check out all the articles on Shamanism.org.

They describe it as the 'path of spiritual freedom' so it really is beyond calling it 'druidry' or 'paganism' and trying to get a handle on it. You simply work like a scientist, going off your experience in the Spirit world and with your guides.

 

What I do know that is distinct about shamanism is that it usually is a path described as Healer or Sage. There isn't much to do with acquiring personal power, the spirits are the power, and that sort of sorcery (like the kind Don Juan talked about) is a different spiritual practice.

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I knew one man who speek of himself a shaman. He ended up seing ghosts of dead friends pushing him to kill himself - he went to psychiatric hospital looking for help.

 

I concider any kind of practice that you push or forcefully work with energies as dangerous and risky. Mental destability etc as fruits.

 

All is cool way of practicing. Along my journey I have spontaneous glimpsess where I could sense the energy of plants, ground, fruits etc, it is highly interesting and can serve as a portal to real path but all kinds of wantngs to have siddhis, psychic powers is incorrect way. Be carreful and clear with your intentions.

What is interesting for you always serves better and you are involved fully.

 

Funny enought - when youre purified to some degree you are able to perform rituals that works, withouth any training.

 

Observing some animals like cats can bring insights - they are great meditators merged deeply in bliss

Edited by Kubba

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Currently reading the Michael Roads Reader, which contains, "Talking with Nature" and "Journey Into Nature." It is vaguely reminiscent, or reminds me of, "Black Elk Speaks." But I liked the idea of being able to communicate with animals, plants, etc. What I am seeing in the conversations he is recording is it is very much like when I talk to what I call the voice inside. The mannerism of the words. It resembles the way things come out when I ask the voice inside a question, kind of focus on my heart area, and begin to type whatever comes to mind.

 

This is not what I was hoping for with what Michael Roads is sharing. On the one hand it means I already can communicate with the natural world, using the same technique I already use, just focusing on whatever it is I am communicating with. But on the other hand I wanted to be able to do things like go into the woods and ask a plant if it is edible or not. I wanted to get things from that plant's perspective, not all of the plant kingdom's collective mind.

 

My working theory right now is this... There is an individual energy for every cell, every organ, every part of your body, and in the same way there is an energy for every animal and plant, the earth itself, and every part of everything. This means when I am talking to what I have called the voice inside I am actually communicating with my heart energy, or I am communicating with my higher self.

 

So these individual energetic parts are probably how my higher self speaks to me. I think it works something like Source speaks through the Universe which speaks through the Earth which speaks through the lifeforms on the earth which speaks through the various parts of each life form.

 

I am not making this very clear, my thoughts are somewhat muddled. But I was thinking about this last night and am still trying to wrap my mind around it. Bottom line is to take the way I speak to the voice inside to a plant or a rock or anything else and see what it says, probably through my writing. I am not sure I would hear a voice as such in my mind,

 

I can see where this might walk the narrow ledge of madness. But I question common definitions of sanity and insanity. Maybe if we understood the person better who heard multiple voices in their head, taught them to focus, to tune in and out, maybe what we have is not an insane person but a sane person with an unusual sensitivity.

 

The people we call sane who drive back and forth to work in an unconscious gaze, the same people who coincidentally all of a sudden decide to walk into a movie theater and shoot a bunch of people (as an example), who everyone that knew them would say, "He seem like such a normal guy..." I would call the life that brings a person to such a place insane, and that kind of living insanity.

 

But this whole thing is probably best saved for another thread. I will let whoever wishes to start it. For me personally sane and normal excludes the heightened states of awareness and consciousness I am interested in attaining and living in. Is it sane by the definition of society to want to get my hands on acid and have a trip?

Edited by DreamBliss

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Your practice needs no name, and needs nobody else's set of rules.

 

There is no path to realization beyond self-realization. If whatever practice you have assists in your realization, it's working. If your practice is stagnant, drop it and move to something that encourages your realizations.

 

Labels/words for it are not requirements.

 

Unlimited Love,

-Bud

Edited by Bud Jetsun

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In my opinion, there is no "higher" or "lower" self.  It is possible to connect to yourself by eating a good meal, meditating and having profound insights, walking, even taking a shit.

 

Being open is important.  One can be mindful, but if they are stuck in repetitive patterns, they will not grow much until they become aware of how the lack of openness is preventing them from growing.  For me, the best way to be open is in solitude, at least at first.  There are less distractions.  In being open to yourself, you need to be open to the openness (which was hard at first, I resisted a lot of things that came up and had a rough start), from which leads to clarity and stillness.

 

With stillness, the body is relaxed and you can start to be more perceptive of the natural world within you and around you.  The voices- are they coming from within or outside?  Perhaps they are a fusion of the inner & outer.

 

I don't know too much about Druidism, but I have been interested in the Shaman.  Actually, that term is a bit of a misnomer since Shaman refers to a specific group of enchanters/medicine men/spirit workers in Russia I believe it is.  In short, the shaman is a bridge between the material and the spiritual.  We all have this potential - children with their active imaginations, imaginary friends, are able to tap into it.  As we grow up, this way of thinking is looked at negatively, so most people abandon that part of themselves.  In mental patients, it can re-emerge and take over their being, leading to spiritual crisis.

 

The spirit worker uses altered states of consciousness to help them mediate between the material and spiritual realm.  There are many techniques for getting there, and it becomes a very systematic way of journeying through consciousness to experience new realities and come back with useful insights and passion.  Like I said before, there is no "higher or lower" - the body and spirit are mutually interdependent.  Sometimes a small change in our day-to-day life can be more profound than any crazy vision or insight.  Getting open, relaxed, observant are key to exploring consciousness.  Tension prevents us from perceiving the invisible, the subtle, and the voice of our anxieties is always louder than the quiet voice of the wind, the trees, our heart, animals, etc.

Edited by futuredaze
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