(For me, at least.)
I’m happy to announce that the Solitary Druid Fellowship has launched!
The Solitary Druid Fellowship, an extension of Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) is live and running at SolitaryDruid.org.
This has been a labor of love, and would not have been possible without the support the ADF leadership, the contributors to SDF, and the encouragement of the community of solitary Pagans and Druids I’ve come to know online. Thank you for your support!
In case you missed my first post about the Solitary Druid Fellowship, let me give you a little rundown on what it’s all about:
Rather than work to organize solitary Druids and Pagans into groups, or to use online technology to create a digital “hangout space,” or “virtual community,” the Solitary Druid Fellowship works from the idea that solitude is a good thing. Solitude, as you may have seen on the SDF Twitter page, is the staging ground for real, meaningful change. Solitude isn’t always an easy state of being, but there are certain things that can occur when one is alone, centered, settled into their personal practice, that are of tremendous value.
So, rather than try to simulate on-the-ground, group activity using online technology, the Solitary Druid Fellowship seeks to use online technology to enrich and strengthen one’s solitary practice, wherever they find themself.
The Fellowship begins with the premise that solitude is good.
As I wrote before:
Liturgy is an underutilized tool in the service to solitaries. Liturgy, when organized around and synchronized with the Wheel of the Year, is a way of uniting solitaries in a shared practice that does not simply mirror the experience that one can have in a Protogrove or Grove; it does something altogether different. Solitaries joining other solitaries in a shared liturgical practice makes possible a transcendental experience of congregation.By aligning with the Neopagan calendar, the series of holidays that ADF recognizes (and that most Pagans celebrate under one name or another) we will join one another through the use of a shared liturgy as a means of bringing people into rhythm with one another.
It’s all about the rhythm.
And it’s going to be a long-game kind of project. The Solitary Druid Fellowship’s website is up, and there is plenty to read and see, plenty to contemplate, but this is just the beginning. This barely scratches the surface of what’s to come.
As we move towards the Winter Solstice, SDF will release its first official liturgy. Anyone who comes to the site can get it, and everyone is welcome to use it. (Follow the Fellowship’s RSS feed so that you won’t miss it.)
After the Solstice, we’ll do a little reflection on what it was like to use the shared liturgy. We’ll talk about what felt familiar, what was new, where there were challenging moments, and most importantly, we’ll talk about what was relevant about the experience.
That’s got to be central to moving forward with the Fellowship. I’m going on a hunch that this will be relevant to a lot of people, and based on the initial response I think that my intuition is pointing us in the right direction. But as we go along, and as we begin to get more integrated into the shared practice, the shared rhythm of the SDF liturgies, we will uncover things about ourselves and about this process that none of us could anticipate.
It’s exciting, and a little scary.
This has been a long time coming. The idea first came after the ADF festival, Eight Winds (which I wrote about here), and it’s been slowly working its way into being ever since.
I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. When something lives for so long in a state of potential, it becomes difficult to conceive that it will actually be alive in the world. I’ll never be so fortunate as to carry a child, so my creative work sometimes substitues as a way for me to think about things like creation, potential, gestation… labor.
It pails in comparison to a flesh and blood birth, but it’s what I’ve got to work with.
The birth and new life of the Solitary Druid Fellowship is, for me, a commitment to living out the Wheel of the Year from day to day, week to week. It’s about placing my Paganism–my Druidry–at the center of my life, and doing so not only as a means of deepening my own spiritual practice, but as an act of service.
But I go boldly forward — as boldly as I can muster. I launch SolitaryDruid.org, and invite the world to dig into the pages, to sign up for the SDF Newsletter, to follow the blog (which has 3 posts on it now — one by Rev. Michael J. Dangler — with more in the works). I invite people to be open, to be imaginative, and to be willing to embrace something new.
Join me, as we create congregation in solitude.