On Loyalty



One of the more celebrated attributes of the ancient Celts was their fierce, unbridled loyalty to their tribesman and especially to their Chieftains and Druids. This is something that all the historians, whether they were favorable toward the Celts or not, agree with. It had nothing to do with race, for the Celts were never a distinct race, nor did it have to do with bloodline,since the Celtic peoples are not identified by distinctive bloodlines, their families having intermingled with various populations as the Celtic migrations spread across Europe.

The word Celtic refers to language so the commonality that jelled the various collectives together was their common tongue, which also gave way to culture, art and religion. This is not to say that various disputes and even warfare between tribes never happened, (the infamous cattle raids come to mind) because it did. But individuals from one tribe were loyal to their tribe and their Chieftain, even in cases where intermarriage between tribes occurred. In this case, the daughter or son of a Chieftain, who had married outside the tribe and had therefore become part of his wife’s or her husbands tribe, would show loyalty to their new tribal chief over that of even their father, such was the Celtic concept of loyalty, it being an unconditional part of honor.

As the spiritual descendants of these great and noble peoples, I would expect that we Druids would have acquired this trait, but alas, America individualism has trumped the collective and some eschew loyalty even to their Groves, taking the side of casual acquaintances against even that of their own Archdruid. I can’t but think that this is a failure on our part as elders and teachers. Perhaps, because we were raised to value loyalty, and aspire to it ourselves, we took it for granted that younger Druids would acquire this trait by osmosis I guess. But years of conditioning by advertisers, the insinuation of Libertarian (read, selfishness) idealism, and anti-collective (read, communist) and anti-union propaganda have taken their toll along with the politically correct attempt to be all inclusive even with magickal traditions which can never fit together, like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole (an attempt which will probably damage both the hole and the peg). The damage isn’t noticed until it’s too late. But, what can we expect, really? Druids are still Pagans, and as we know, leading Pagans is akin to herding cats, nailing Jell-O to a fence, or pissing in the wind. Your mileage may vary.