Images of Druidry

It’s Monday morning. I’ve been idly wandering through social media as I drink my coffee, seeing what the world is up to.

A thought strikes me. I check again, more specifically. Hmm. Interesting.

Despite the millions of images out there of Pagans, Witches and Druids, I don’t see myself anywhere.

This isn’t an ego thing. I don’t literally mean images of myself!

I don’t see what I do in any of the airbrushed beauties standing in woodland in impractical clothing. Nowhere is there any mud, even smudges of dirt on fingers. Plenty of face makeup, pseudo-tribal markings – that seems ‘in’ right now.

It’s all too clean. Ok, not everything requires muckiness. But there’s very few images that require the spirit behind the visual. That’s absolutely a skill, usually caught in a spontaneous shutter-click or behind a lense-flare.

So much of our lives and stories these days is shared around the world in a second via the wires – and wire-less – mediums that impact us every day. I’m not a huge fan of posed pictures (as many professional photographers will grumble!), preferring to be caught unaware, and so unselfconscious.

I do wonder how many of those growing up in this environment believe that if it’s not captured and shared, it’s not ‘valid’ somehow. In so doing, those images lose their power, their reality, through their staged nature.

There’s many pictures of me at work performing public ritual, robed and (hopefully) smiling. There’s far fewer of me in quiet contemplation, deep ritual or otherwise Doing My Thing.

Yet I’m a little sad to see such a lack of images of anyone in such moments, given the abundance of pictures floating around.

Perhaps I’ve caught a paradox. Such moments cannot be truly caught, because they are rare – the subject and those around are caught up in what they’re doing, not worrying about how they look.

But every so often, you catch a glimpse of the real magic, caught by the camera.

This was ritual, creating sacred space with a handful of sage leaves and a piece of windfall birch bark. I wasn’t even aware of the camera. I presume the person was using a special lense from the edge of the trees.

This is what I was looking for today, I think. Those tiny moments of magic, expressing more than just makeup and pose.

These are my ponderings only, by the way. Others may feel differently. Life is not reflected by a series of still images.

But as we share what we do, try to convey our stories in words and pictures, I hope to see a little more realism amidst the theatre.

Because the magic that we do is absolutely Real. I’d like that to be seen, to create smiles, wonder and inspiration, as well as the thought ‘Maybe I can do that…’

Go make your own magic, my friends. Let’s share our stories, and our truth.

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8 Comments »

  1. Naomi J. said

    This is so interesting and true. I feel like a lot of us are talking about storytelling, right now, and some are talking about making it more *real*. I’ve realised recently that my bardic arts are not about the Mabinogion but about superheroes and modern mythology – but still very bardic, for the ‘mundane stories’ aspect, if that makes any sense? I don’t know, my thoughts are still scattered on this currently – but this post seems to resonate with that. Where’s the reality of what we do, behind the ‘perfect Pagan’ image? Thanks so much for your honesty, as ever 🙂 ❤

    • druidcat said

      Modern mythology is so very relevant – including ‘inside’ perspectives (Grant Morrison’s books and Alan Moore’s writings leap to mind!). We are allowed to make our own stories, and I want to encourage truth in that! Be inspired by what’s gone before, but tell your own tale 😊❤️

      • Naomi J. said

        LOVE both Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. Yes, inside perspectives with a background of huge events are so interesting – especially in the society we currently live in. I love the concept of the balance between being inspired by what’s gone before and then telling our own stories. 😘

  2. bish said

    I know you’re not beguiled by the glamour we see on the Interwebz, social media and the tabloids, but it is an interesting premise; how do real druids look in real life? We are geographically disparate folk, but you do give me an idea for a photography project. Do we really look like Titania, or are we more https://rosher.net/mark-2/ 😉

  3. Linda Davis said

    You might see a little old lady in her raincoat & wooly hat, leaning on her walking stick, gazing out at the rough waves below. (You would not hear her calling to Manannan, sharing his energy in her soul).😉

  4. World of yes to this! Clearly we’ve been thinking along similar lines again. I find it really hard to be in front of the camera, I don’t much like how I look. But, I have been challenging myself to try and do a bit more of that. No makeup, clothes suitable for being in a wood and all that – my scruffy, podgy self. It worries me that pagan ‘glamour’ – as you point out – so often lacks for magic. I’m not persuaded that I can get any more magic into the equation by putting me in front of the lense, but i can do real, at least.

  5. The real over and against the glamour is an matter for serious consideration in how we choose to capture any sense of essence to our Druidries. Very thoughtful, thought-filled and thought provoking post.

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