I’ve been ruminating on my identify for the last month. Much of it has involved my association with ADF. You can read about what happened on The Social Justice Druid’s Patreon. Many of us in the community are still processing it all.  I know some have decided to leave. Some are stepping back. The whole situation is discouraging and depressing.

And yet, my grove remains a positive place. I recently ran into a man who  visited our grove a couple times in the past. It wasn’t for him, but we move in the same circles. He asked how the group is doing, and I explained that we’re still around; that we’re a small grove, but we get along. Whenever we do our toast and boast, many express gratitude for the group, describing it as a spiritual family. That’s what it feels like to me. We feel safe to be ourselves, and we keep working to make it a safe space for others who may seek us.

So I’ve been experiencing this odd, disconnected feeling. I’ve talked a bit about it with my grovemates – my worry about being associated with the very real issues that ADF needs to work through. However, I’m also really impressed with the positive work some people are doing to make change or  move forward. Missy Ashton recently shared her own reflections, and they really helped me.

It was time for me to renew my ADF membership. Missy posted her thoughts the day it was due, which seemed like a sign to me. I lapsed, mostly because I forgot due to other things happening in my life, but also because I was still processing.

I literally just renewed. I still possess a lot of trepidation about it, but for now, I’m mostly doing it for my grove after talking to them.

The year going forward, I will continue to watch and reflect. Not just about ADF, but about even calling myself a Druid. I keep worrying that I’m doing a disservice to Gaelic speaking communities using that descriptor… So I’m trying to get back into my studies, learning  more about the authentic folk practices of  my ancestors*. I continue studying Gaeilge (Irish) one Duolingo lesson at a time. I just bought Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland to better inform my practice. I’m so excited to dig in!

As we near a new decade, it seems a prudent time to reflect and reevaluate. Yet I do so with hope and optimism. I prepare to step past the threshold between 2019 and 2020 with a grove of spiritual siblings to support me as we continue our journey together to honor the deities, beloved dead, and land.

*I feel it’s important to remind readers that, although I have been inspired to research and embrace the folk practices of my Irish ancestors, DNA is not a prerequisite for this spiritual path. All you need are an earnest respect for, and desire to learn directly from, the living culture.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

3 thoughts on “Identity

  1. Hello,

    As you mentioned studying Gaelic/Irish, I thought I would give you my brothers email address. My brother Dara was raised mainly in Ireland and as part of the curriculum learnt Irish.

    He loves languages their history and the similarities between different languages. Of course Irish is his main interest..

    So if you have any questions regarding words and their origins or anything please feel free to contact him at this email address..

    I’m a lover of nature and believe everything is connected..

    I live in Essex England my Brother lives in Millstreet Co Cork Ireland.

    All the best

    Kind regards Sean

  2. In terms of using the word ‘Druid’ the only other people using this word at present, so far as I know, do so in terms of the cultural eisteddfod movement. Which traces its roots back to Iolo Morganwg as well.

  3. Torn as well, I hang out with the 3 Cranes Grove, and recently joined this past summer and seeing all thes ADF members past and present airing out all this dirty laundry has got my head spinning as to whether this was the right choice or not. I joined because I like my local group but seeing what the rest of the organization aka the mother grove is is up to… ugg.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: