Life Wellbeing Alternative religions: ‘Hi. I’m Julie. I’m a Druid’
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Alternative religions: ‘Hi. I’m Julie. I’m a Druid’

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Julie Brett, 32, Druid

The word “druid” is thought to be translated to “wisdom of the trees” so it’s a lot to do with Earth-based spirituality and connecting with the energy of the land.

There’s no direct lineage or anything. It’s not like Druids have been handing down their knowledge since ancient Druids were around. It’s all reconstructed and re-imagined, or re-enchanted if you will.

And we don’t all have beards. Just wanted the world to know.

It comes from an idea of wanting to connect with the spiritual heritage of the Celtic people and feeling a connection to the land and that there was a spiritual connection with animals, plants and natural philosophy and things like that. So people re-imagined that based on archeological evidence or mythology or little bits of folklore that we do have to create something that’s relevant for people today.

Julie Brett
Julie Brett: A member of Australia’s tiny community of Druids.  Photo: Supplied

My family brought me up Christian and I suppose I found that wasn’t for me. I was more drawn to things that talked about the magic of nature. I thought that was really interesting, a magic significance, a spiritual significance of plants rather than just a medicinal significance. So I found that really interesting and that led to a broader pagan spiritual understanding. Through that I ended up finding Druidry when I went to the UK.

The whole sustainability movement is popular with the druid community. Because we believe our spirituality is in the land, so it’s in a reverence for nature

On Facebook I’ve started a group and it’s got about 600 people. A lot of people are active on it. So that’s a good area where we chat about things and try and organise stuff. In Sydney I’ve got about 20 people that come to regular meetings, but then there would be other people who are not quite so willing to be public about what they do.

I might not say I’m a druid. I often don’t say that. It sounds a little bit pretentious sometimes. I say I’m interested in Druidry, or Druidry is an interest of mine. I might tell people that I have an interest in Celtic spirituality or nature spirituality. Once I can find a way to explain to people what it really is then people are pretty ok with it. Most people are very welcoming to ideas of environmental awareness and honouring nature.

At the end of the day it’s a respect for the ancestors. As somebody with an anglo-celtic background it’s a way of recognising the spiritual belief of your ancestors. You can see something of a sense of a belonging. A lot of those older, pre-Christian religions were nature based and I think people are drawn to that. And there’s a sense of identity that comes from connecting to something that has to do with your ancestors.

And we don’t all have beards. Just wanted the world to know.