A Letter From A Reconstructionist


At 10:44 AM 1/9/2007, you wrote:

Hi, I stumbled upon your web by accident, and noticed that you have the Dali Lama listed as a Druid. I find this both absurd and offensive. As a person of Celtic descent the attitude you and flakey wicca types present greatly waters down and distorts true European pagan reconstruction-ism. The Dali Lama is not a druid, he is not a Celt. He is a holy Tibetan. He has nothing to do with Celtic studies or even anything remotely European. The paths of Paganism and the various Tibetan traditions have nothing to do with each other. Please put down the Hash pipe and pick up some legitimate history books. Your completely irresponsible attitude of just throwing together history as you “think it is” is sad, and make the rest of us trying to resurrect our traditional European ancestral roots, and having it watered down and “spiced up” with multiculturalist ideas from flakes greatly disappoints me. Please learn about your peoples history before talking about C.

(Note: “C” is writing about http://reformed-druids.org/honorary-druids/)

Well brother “C”, I’m sorry you feel that way. But don’t let it bother you so much. We’re not at all offended by you. I have to wonder why reconstructionists always miss modifiers. For instance, you missed the word honorary. It doesn’t mean that the Dalai Lama is an actual Druid anymore than receiving an honorary doctorate degree means one can practice medicine. It’s just an honor, that’s all. In the 40+ years since the Reformed Druid movement has existed, we’ve never been particularly Celto-centric, (though certainly Celto-philic) nor do we quibble with reconstructionists mainly because their task is impossible from an archaeological and historical point of view (especially since the Druidism of old was an oral tradition – no one really knows for sure what they did or believed). Our honorary Druids are therefore individuals whom we believe have Druid hearts.

No one need be Celtic to be a Druid. A Druid is anyone who says they are a Druid; anyone who believes that “Nature is good.” And so it’s been since our humble beginnings at Carleton College in Minnesota, in 1963.

We sometimes speculate: “What if ancient Druidism had survived unbroken to the 22nd Century?” Further, what if it had traveled across the Atlantic and settled in the new world, like so many other religions had? How would Druidism had developed and changed? We believe Reformed Druidism, as represented by ourselves, the RDNA and the RDG, would appear pretty much like it does now.

There is an old saying among neo-Pagans in California: “If you don’t like it, you can’t have any.” Do you prefer that in Welsh?: “Ai gwnei mo cara ‘i , alli mo ca unrhyw.” You really shouldn’t bother yourself with getting all offended and huffy. It’s really bad for the heart and your health — there are so many more worthwhile uses for your time. And your insistence on European “Celticity” sounds rather racist. I wonder what our sister Archdruid of African-American descent just south of us in Mendocino would have to say? And besides, there is absolutely nothing you can do about us. NOTHING. By the way, in the Reformed Druid movement, there are some 5000+ DRUIDS in North America, with an international contingent of over 300. How many reconstructionists are there? How many years has reconstructionism been around?

Be at peace.nt — el /|Clerk, Cylch Cerddwyr Rhwng y Bydoedd Grove, RDG Eureka CA USA
“An autonomous collective of the Reformed Druids .”
http://reformed-druids.org *
http://mithrilstar.reformed-druids.org *