Clothing

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The cloak and staff are well associated with Druid paraphernalia. These are entirely optional and not an essential requirement within our Druidry. Some of us, however, prefer to have them. It has to be said that they are very practical given that we meet out of doors in all weathers! The staff helps us navigate around puddles and boggy land, the cloak protects us from the wind and rain.

Symbolically, the staff represents guidance and support and the cloak, protection. These are two of the hallows we may feel led to make for ourselves as we deepen our connection.


Nakedness

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What Druids choose to do in their own time is between them and their Gods:>) However, in ritual or any other events we may organise, we stay well and truly clothed! The reason this myth has become common is because Gerald Gardner, the founder of the modern Wiccan movement, was a naturist. It, therefore, became an easy way for outsiders to be disparaging about the whole neo-pagan movement.


Sacrifice

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An interesting word that carries a lot of baggage.

In the time of the ancient Druids, ritual sacrifice of animals was a common practice for them just as it was for most religions around the world, and still is in some today. The Druids are often accused of making human sacrifice but it is unclear if this was for religious purposes or merely the execution of those found guilty of crimes. This again was common practise around the world, during the same period of history the Romans were using crucifixion as punishment.

In the neo-pagan movement the word has a more profound meaning. Sacrifice is about giving up something which is important to you in order to achieve a higher goal. It is a very personal thing often a private commitment but sometimes made before witnesses. For example: some may decide that they will give up (sacrifice) watching TV in order to spend more time meditating and studying; others may make offerings (sacrifices) to their God or Goddess of something they hold dear, this may be as thanks for a prayer answered or when making a request or pledge.

Sacrifice is a big word and an act we should not take lightly. As we move on along the Druid's path, it will become obvious to us what sacrifices are required if we are to make the next step. Whether we do so or not is our personal choice.


Drugs and Stimulants

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Druidry and (Celtic) Shamanism are closely linked. Whilst a Druid's meditation will not necessarily be a shamanic journey, we often incorporate elements of shamanic practice in our rites. However, we do not use any form of psychotropic drugs or other such stimulants. Rather, we encourage all magical practices to be carried out with a clear head. The most stimulation we offer is a sip of mead which is passed around at the end of the rite to those who wish to partake.