One of the joys of Druidry, and Paganism more generally, is the lack of restrictive ethical laws and commandments. This doesn’t mean that Druids and Pagans are unethical, of course, but we draw our ethical framework from other sources: virtues, character, understanding, and of course nature itself.
The Wild Hunt blog recently published an excellent piece as part of its “Exploring Pagan Ethical Codes” series with two modern Druids; the philosopher Brendan Myers and one of my favourite Druid writers and thinkers, Joanna van der Hoeven. My review of Joanna’s book The Awen Alone: walking the path of the solitary Druid can be found here.
Brendan Myers said:
“I’d characterise Druidic ethics as a kind of virtue ethics, that is, a model of ethics where what matters most is the embodiment of a certain character; the lore certainly offers rules and laws to follow but this is much less important than becoming a certain kind of person. Druidic moral character prizes knowledge and philosophy, ecological awareness, as well as a warrior-hero model of honour.”
Joanna van der Hoeven commented:
“Dogma is antithetical to Druidry, as it is a religion, spirituality or philosophy that follows nature. As nature is constantly changing, the Druid seeks to find an honourable relationship with the world around her in order work and live better in the world, in harmony with the environment, changing and adapting; always learning. In my work at Druid College UK, we teach a deep reverence for the natural world, and allow that reverence to let us live our lives to the fullest in harmony. We investigate deeply every aspect of our lives, looking at our consumerism, our local environment, what we can do to live in peace with the world and more. When we have a real understanding that we are a part of an ecosystem, we broaden our view from the singular to the plural, and our perspective encompasses the whole.”
Read the whole piece at the Wild Hunt!