As I see it, to be a Druid is to choose to live mindfully. Druidry is not something to be picked up at the weekend, or only for ritual, it’s a daily dedication informing everything we do. Anyone can study Druidry at any level, but being a Druid is a full time dedication.
In order to make Druidry a total commitment, the individual practitioner has to consciously act as a Druid in everything they do. If it sounds like a lot of effort, that’s because initially, it is. It means doing everything consciously, all the time. Down to the smallest details and most insignificant choices. It is impossible to live ethically or act honourably unless you are paying attention to everything.
For many people, not noticing or realising seems to be a valid excuse for making a bad call. If you seek honourable relationship and ethical living, carelessness and obliviousness cease to be options you have. They stop feeling like an acceptable justification. I’ve felt for some time now that doing something wrong through lack of care and attention is in many ways worse than doing it deliberately. At least the deliberate offender might have some genuine reason, even if it is a misguided one.
Rare is the circumstance in which we truly do not have time to think before we act. Most of the time, there is no justification for speaking thoughtlessly, not saying what we mean, or mouthing off in anger. Every moment of our lives we choose who we are and express it in our actions. To be a Druid means still being a Druid in the heat of an argument, and in stupid discussions on internet boards. We don’t leave our Druidry hugging trees when we engage with the rest of our lives. If Druids of old drew meaning from the flight of birds, they must have spent a lot of time paying attention to what was going on around them. We should aspire to do no less.
Every thought, word and action needs to be considered. Is this an expression of my Druidry? It’s never ok to become smug and complacent with it either, to assume that you’ve got the habit and can trust that what you do thoughtlessly will be fine. It’s a hard path to walk, but that’s part of the point. To do anything well takes effort and dedication. To be the best kind of person you possibly can be requires ongoing care and attention. And of course we all get it wrong, and fall short, but it’s the learning and striving that are critical.