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Druidry: A Guide to Understanding Projection

Druidry: A Guide to Understanding Projection

We don’t have a huge amount of certainty when it comes to the Druids of ancient times.

One of the consequences of this is that people project their own things into the space that leaves. How someone perceives ancient Druids usually says more about them than about anything historical. I have no doubt that it’s part of what makes Druidry attractive, that it seems to offer space for whatever you want.

When we come at something with assumptions – as we all so often do – it can be hard to see how those assumptions are colouring our interpretation of the evidence. To give a simple case in point, archaeology is prone to assuming anything that makes no immediate sense probably relates to religion and ritual. Much of it could just as well be sport. As thought experiments, I like asking what sense the ancient past might make if we assumed bureaucracy as an explanation sometimes.

Rituals aren’t just religious. A lot of social, and political things have ritualistic aspects to them. Rituals can be displays of power, ways of making people conform, ways of building or enforcing identity. Sports often have similar things going on – the symbols, the chanting, the praying, the crowd willing the participants to act in certain ways.

The willingness to read ‘ritual’ into the past and not sports or administration has a lot to do with what we believe about history in the first place. If you think our ancestors were primitive, ignorant and superstitious then the idea that they do inexplicable things for religious reasons makes a lot more sense. It’s not the only way of reading the available evidence.

One of the things the ancient Druids can reveal to us (if we let them) are our own beliefs and biases. In thinking about who we want the ancient Druids to have been, we reveal a lot about who we are. This has everyday applications. The more aware we are of what we might be projecting onto the world, the better a chance we have at seeing through our own assumptions to encounter something other than ourselves. Discovering your own assumptions is a good thing to do in terms of developing self knowledge. Once you know what your filters are, you can decide how you want to handle them.

I choose to try and see the best in people. I’m quite aware of the ways that has tripped me up in the past and likely will do again. I give the benefit of the doubt where I can, and assume people are doing things for the best reasons… and sometimes they really aren’t and it doesn’t play out well for me. I choose this because I find it preferable to projecting my anxieties onto the world. I don’t want to go round looking out for the worst in everyone and expecting to be stabbed in the back. It’s no way to live. 

The projection that I’m currently working on is the belief that people know what they are doing and act deliberately. I have made a lot of mistakes based on that assumption and I need to get to grips with it. Meanwhile I am going to allow myself the idea that the Druids of old were wise, insightful people acting in considered ways, because I very much want that to have been true.

Credit

druid life

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings.
Credit: druidlife.wordpress.com
Source Here

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