Recently I was asked how I combine Christianity and Druidry, and it got me to thinking about how I would explain my beliefs and practices to other people.
For me Druidry is not a religion but a a way of being; my mystic Christian path is in step with a religious group. The key difference I see between myself and my Pagan Druid friends is that I experience one God (monotheism) whereas they experience multiple Gods (polytheism).
For the majority of people who follow the Christian religion there are set doctrines and rules that require (often strict) adherence. This would apply to most Protestant denominations, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches. In these instances I can see that there could be conflict between Druidic practices and Christian doctrine. In Druidry there are no sacred texts, no dogma, and no universally agreed set of beliefs. My Christian path has no set doctrines, creeds or hierarchy. There are testimonies that everyone tries to live by, with each member is free to interpret the testimonies according to their own mystical experience with God (Inner Light). There is no fixed view on what happens after death, and the Bible is considered a scripture for guidance; most on the path do not see it as a sacred text or the final authority. With this in mind there is no reason to prevent the combination of the two practices.
The testimonies of my religious group are: peace, integrity, equality, and simplicity. In addition there are commitments to: community and Earthcare.
When you look at the testimonies and commitments you see that they combine well with Druidic practices. I’m a member of OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovate and Druids) so I will use that line of Druidry as an example for comparison.
Peace: in my Christianity there is a rejection of warfare and a love for all beings. In OBOD many believe in a love for all things, doing no harm to all sentient beings, and many take on the role of mediators. I see no conflict.
Integrity: in my Christianity deceit is avoided and it is expected that we are truthful in dealings with all people. In OBOD in search for wholeness Druids develop integrity in order to act with authenticity. No conflict.
Equality: in my Christianity we believe God is in everyone and in the natural world. Everyone is therefore equal no matter the race, gender, creed or sexual preference. In OBOD there is no gender bias, no racism and LGBTQIA are welcomed and affirmed. For animistic and pantheists all of nature is considered equal whether a Druid, a spider, or a tree. No conflict.
Simplicity: in my Christianity simplicity is encouraged as a way of life to prevent distraction from materialism. In OBOD simplicity abounds, from the minimalism of going sky clad to living with nature and acquiring only the basics. From a simple diet to fasting from technology. No conflict.
Community: in my Christianity establishing relationships is seen as the basis for creating a community of justice and peace. Druidism encourages individual responsibility and fosters care for the community and relationship with others. No conflict.
Earthcare: in my Christianity we are committed to “walking softly on the Earth”, affirming the spirit in all things, recognizing the need to replace a culture of domination and exploitation with one of community, a recognition that the current use of resources is damaging the planet, that human-induced climate change is a result of over consumption, and that we need to seek the wisdom of indigenous peoples and ensure that future generations inherit a healthy planet. I think I would be safe in saying that these would be commitments any Druid would be eager to agree to uphold. No conflict.
So it may be that some forms of Christianity do not make a good match with Druid practices, these forms would find my combination of Druidry and Christianity heretical. If you are interested in combining Christianity and Druidry you may need to look a little deeper or further afield than your local Christian congregation. Practicing both brings me closer to God, nature, and community. Please feel free to join me.