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The Political Implications of Reviving Druidism
(c) 1984 P. E. I. Bonewits
Reprinted from "The Druids' Progress" #1

   Throughout  all  known human history,  people who  had  hidden knowledge (whether of healing,  weather prediction,  mathematics, or  magic) have used their exclusive possession of that knowledge as a source of power,  for purposes that were good, bad or weird.  The  warrior  caste has always done its level best to  take  that knowledge away from the clergy and to put it to political, economic and military use.  Today, almost all the hard and soft sciences have become tools for those who wish to control their  fellow human beings.  The polluters, the exploiters, the oppressors, the conquerors -- whether calling themselves "capitalists" or "communists" -- they are the ones who control nearly all the technology of overt power and a great deal of the tech for covert tyranny.

   One  of  the very few ways we have of defending ourselves  and our  fellow passengers (human and other) on this Spaceship  Earth is  through  the careful and judicious  use  of  magic.  National governments  and  private  enterprises are spending  millions  of dollars (and rubles and pounds and yen) trying to develop psychic powers  into dependable tools for warfare and  oppression;  while most of us who should be learning precise techniques and  careful timing, in order to use magic and the power of the Gods to defend ourselves  and our Mother Earth,  have been busy being misty-eyed romantics, not wanting to "sully our karma" by trying to do magic that might really work (that is to say,  for which we would  have to take personal responsibility).

   As  a result,  we have assisted the very forces of  oppression which  we  claim  to oppose.  We are partly responsible  for  the poverty,  hunger, pollution, disease and early deaths which dominate  so much of our planet.  Occultists have assisted  by  being unwilling  to  put  their talents to the test by using  them  for "mundane" or "lowly-evolved" purposes. Ecologists, Celtic nationalists,  and would-be revolutionaries have assisted by being  unwilling  to use nonmaterialistic technologies to cause changes in the material world (after all,  if Freud and Marx didn't  mention magic as real,  it can't possibly work). The creation of Neopagan Druidism may be able to help change those attitudes.

   Despite  the efforts of liberal Christian clergymen to make us forget the physical and cultural genocide committed by  organized Christianity  against the peoples of Europe,  there is simply  no way  to ignore the fact that monotheists in power always seek  to silence  competing  voices.  We  cannot look  to  the  mainstream churches for our physical and spiritual liberation,  for they are the  ones who took our freedom away in the first  place.  Marxist atheism  is  no answer either,  for it is also a product  of  the monotheistic  tunnel-reality,  and seeks to impose its dogmas and holy  scriptures  just as strenuously as ever the  churches  have.  Those who want to live in a world of peace,  freedom and cultural pluralism,  must look beyond the currently  available,  "respectable" (i.e., monistic) alternatives they have been presented with by the mass media, and consider new alternatives.

   Many  people think of Neopaganism in general,  or Druidism  in particular  (if they think of them at all),  as just being  "odd"
religions,  with  no political implications worth  investigating.  But  I  believe  that Neopagan Druidism has  important  political
ideas which should be considered,  especially by those  concerned with the survival and revival of the Celtic peoples.

   Druidism  is political because one of the primary tasks of the clergy has always been to ride herd on the warriors. (This may be one reason why barbarian warriors welcomed the Christian missionaries,  because  they  perceived (correctly) that  the  Christian priests would be far more likely to play ball with them than  the Druids had been.  After all,  if the world is ending any day now, why  bother  controlling your local warriors?) Since the  primary threat  to  life  on this planet now  comes  from  out-of-control warriors, it's time we started taking that duty seriously again.

   Druidism is political because only a Nature worshipping  religion  can  give  people sufficient concern for  the  environment.
Monotheism  is a major cause of the current state of the  world's ecology.  We need a strong public religion that tells the polluters,  "No,  it's  not  divinely sanctioned for you  to  rape  the Earth."

   Druidism  is political because the Druids have always been the preservers of the best of their traditional cultures.  The  Meso-pagan  Druids of Brittany and Wales,  for example,  are  directly responsible for assisting the revival of the Cornish language and tradition  from the very edge of extinction.  The various  traditional preservation and independence movements, such as the Celtic,  Flemish,  Baltic and other related movements in Europe, need religious  and  cultural leadership based in their own  cultures.  Druidism can help create an environment in which such  leadership can develop.

   Druidism is political because it offers a worldview completely different from that of the monotheistic/monistic tyranny that now controls  our planet.  One of the many things that  any  religion does  is  to shape the ways in which people see the world  around them.  We  need a religion that offers people a multitude of  options,  rather than traditional western  either/or,  black/white, win/lose choices.

   Druidism  is political,  at the bedrock level,  because it can teach  people how to use their Gods-given psychic and other  tal-
ents to change the way things are.  Make no mistake, magic works, at least as often as poetry, music or political rallies do. Magic is a form of power that we,  the people of the Earth, have available  to use,  not just for psychological  "empowerment"  (making ourselves  feel  better) but to actually control the  individuals and institutions responsible for our planet's current mess. If we are  unwilling  to use magic,  then we had might as  well  resign ourselves  and our descendants to either a life of slavery  in  a homogenized,  pasteurized  world,  or a quick and painful nuclear death. And what excuse will we give to the "Lords of Karma" then?

This  article  has  been reprinted from "The  Druids'  Progress",
issue #1, and is copyright 1984 by P. E. I. Bonewits. "DP" is the
irregular journal of a Neopagan Druid group called "Ar  nDraiocht
Fein",  founded  by Bonewits (author of "Real Magic").  For  more
data,  send an S.A.S.E.  to:  Box 9398,  Berkeley, CA, USA 94709.
Permission  to distribute via BBS's is hereby  granted,  provided
that the entire article, including this notice, is kept intact.