Gwers: Druidry and Parenting

by Karen Sobel


Dear Friends on the Druid Path:

Quite appropriately, I celebrated the first Imbolc of the Ovate grade while I was massively pregnant with my daughter. I remember lighting candles on a cold, silent night, creating a small circle of firelight, and thinking, ‘Obviously I’m not doing any part of this on the floor.’ I gave thanks that my long desire for a child would come true when the weather turned warm again.

Three years plus a few months later, here I am, still an Ovate, but one who has passed along some of the toughest parts of the path of parenthood. Although I had continued working with my druid learning and practice throughout these past several years, I’d had to set much of the formality by the wayside until recently. Upon returning to the gwersi and rituals in a more dedicated manner, I realized that I felt that parenthood itself had helped to develop myself as an Ovate. It was difficult, in fact, to separate the qualities that I had honed through practicing my druidry from those I had strengthened by raising a tiny daughter. In truth, parenthood has helped to create these skills in stronger and more authentic ways than practicing in a quiet room with fire and stones ever could.

I am a mother who doesn’t have a mother to guide me – mine lost a powerfully fought battle many years ago already. Perhaps this is why I actively seek out wisdom and parenting guidance, and why I search for a place in the great family of the Earth. Often I feel like I’m twice my real age, which is 36. I’ve had twice the sorrows as many in my age cohort, but also twice the joy and twice the wise friends that one can reasonably ask for.

This gwers explores connections between druidry and parenting across centuries. Why pursue this topic? I hope that it will interest many members who may be fortunate enough to have both of these powerful strands running through their lives, now or in the past or future. I also know that, as a research librarian, the gift of organized, relevant, and interesting information dug up from many sources is one that I can share.

The piece begins by discussing connections between druidry, particularly the Ovate grade, and parenting in greater depth, based on my own perspectives. It follows with a discussion of practice adapted for those of us for whom time and privacy come at a premium. I discuss what a range of literature, both ancient and modern, tells us about the connections. And I end with an Eisteddfod.

Heartfelt thanks to my Ovate tutor, Caryl, who has become a beloved friend and guide through this time of change. It hasn’t been a fast Ovate grade, but it’s been beautiful.


Colorado, United States…To read the entire Gwers, click here…


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