Over half of the world’s Population lives in cities. Most people do not live out in the countryside anymore surrounded by nature, and even fewer live in such scenic places like county Kerry. The average view of what a druid is brings up images of old men in robes worshiping in a secluded forest around an old tree. While that is a form of druidry, one of the most recent additions to the idea of what it means to be a druid is the Urban Druidry movement. This movement is about learning to see nature and the earth beneath us through the concrete, and appreciate the world around us even when we are in cities. instead of robes most urban druids wear normal clothing, and instead of a grove a place of worship can be as simple as a park bench.
I first learned of Urban Druidry from a book called “The Handbook on Urban Druidry” by Brendan Howlin. The book is a short but great primer on how to adapt druidic thought to the modern world, and how to make it work in a concrete jungle rather than an actual jungle. I would highly recommend picking up a copy on Amazon or wherever and giving it a read if this topic interests you.
The basis of urban druidry is to open your eyes to all the events and life around you in a city. Many people will walk through a city or even their home town with headphones in and walking in a straight line to wherever they are going, and miss everything else that goes on around them. Urban druidry teaches people to look at the world around them and observe, this can be done while sitting down at a cafe on a busy street, while on a park bench watching how the birds talk and play with each-other, or while on your commute to work. The idea is we go through life and we have two settings awake and autopilot. Most of the time if you are walking or driving to work your autopilot kicks in and you miss interesting stuff going on around you. The first step is learning to keep your mind awake to what is going on around you
The next major part of Urban druidry is learning how to feel the life around us. Most cities are full of little critters, yeah there are no big grizzly bears running around; but you can always look at a tree and find birds around it or squirrels running about. Seeing that cities are alive in and of themselves is a major step to being comfortable in a city, and to learn to draw from that energy. Once you can get in touch with both the life around you in a city and the energy of a city, you can start to see how there is a different kind of magic to a city.
Once that is done the next step is learning to live around that energy and let it become part of your life. This is as simple as adding the first two steps to be part of your everyday life. This is also where it gets interesting. A city is full of people, and people create community. Becoming part of the community and help build positivity where you live is a major part of being an urban druid. It also is very much the Gaelic way to have fun, which means a night out at the pub with friends is suddenly part of walking your path. Being around others and learning their stories, talking to everyone you meet is a major part of urban druidry. If you wanted to be alone at all times you can just move to the middle of nowhere, other people are what make a city truly alive.
Walking around before the sun comes up when all those people who had a good time last night are sleeping off their good time lets you see the beauty of a place normally full of people while it’s completely empty. Appreciating where you live, rather than wishing you were in the middle of a forest is much better for long term happiness. Learning to be in touch with the earth below you even when there is a layer of concrete between you is a powerful feeling.
If this interests you I would take a look at it. All beliefs should evolve over time, and druidry is no different. If you follow these guidlines you will find yourself at peace just sitting at a coffee shop on a busy weekend day in the middle of downtown. It does not mean you can’t escape to the forests, I find the forests very invigorating and a good place to recharge and settle from the excitement of a city, but I would never want to live in a cabin in the woods.
Thank you for reading,
Go With The Winds.
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