by Jonathan Woolley
The purpose of this paper is to characterise the central features of Druidry as a culture. Contemporary Druidry is defined varyingly as a religion, a spirituality, or a philosophy – but the broad category of “culture” allows us to consider Druidry as something that is as much practiced as it is thought, as much felt as it is imagined, and something that looks out onto broad philosophical horizons. Through examining both Druidry-as-practiced, and recent discussions of Druidic themes in previous Mount Haemus Lectures, it becomes clear that the fundamental orientation of Druidry today is towards one philosophical horizon in particular – that of aesthetics.
This elemental aesthetic reveals a cosmology that is orderly, yet full of feeling; holistic, yet diverse – that in turn renders sensible a culture where body and soul, nature and humankind, emotion and reason cannot be kept apart, where all aspects of existence are valuable. In appreciating these pivotal aspects of Druidic thinking, I suggest, it becomes clear to see the unique contribution of Druidic philosophy to central moral and political concerns of the present day.