There are ethical aspects to take into consideration when ritual, spirituality and prayers are used to influence the outcome of issues such as Brexit. This issue has divided our society here, and using spiritual or magical means to influence an outcome would in our view, be an act of selfishness, wanting to impose an individual perspective on up to half of the population who wanted something else. This could be seen as partaking in a ‘spiritual rape’. Whatever happens in the near future, people on both sides are still our relatives and neighbours. We will still share circumstances with them.
As druids, we have been focusing on the problems that we all share, and strive to act against poverty, homelessness, ecocide, violence, abrupt climate disruption and the rate at which life on our shared planet is being destroyed through exploitation and species extinction.
We have monthly rituals asking for peace which are conducted on the full moon. We have been active within interfaith activities to promote unity and shared ground. Many of us are active within environmental and social justice campaigns that involve campaigning, direct action and ritual. Some of us work in the NHS and have been working hard to protect this as an institution, both physically from within, and externally by use of ritual and prayer.
Taking this as an example, whilst it is true that the NHS has been badly affected by Brexit and the political climate has resulted in more hostility to nurses from the EU – most of our European comrades have left and we have ever increasing shortages of trained staff , unfortunately this is not a new situation and our work to strengthen the NHS began years earlier, as it has been under attack from government cuts and targets a long time before Brexit, in a move towards privatisation for profit. Brexit itself has not altered our focus, it has just brought on more of the problems we already had.
Overall we act for a better world to come and for a better future for all beings both human and non-human, seen and unseen, particularly those who have the least ability to affect change in their own lives, and who stand to suffer the most during periods of uncertainty. Whatever happens in our near future, it is the most vulnerable of our society that will bear the brunt of decisions made by those who have power and control, so we act physically and spiritually for the best outcome for them, whatever happens politically or economically within our country”
The Greek historian Strabo observed that ‘…the Druids studied nature and moral philosophy. So confident are the people in the justice of the Druids that they refer all private and public disputes to them; and these men on many occasions have made peace between armies actually drawn up for battle.’
Modern Druids draw their moral authority from a study of the natural world. We see communities as similar to organisms, or as ecological systems. As such, a community divided is a community at war with itself, a community diseased.
Our community’s most prominent equivalent to the ancient bards, the mainstream media, promote and further these divisions at the will of a political system that seeks to perpetuate them for the benefit of a small group. Our spiritual response, and the response of our storytellers, is to seek to produce a narrative within which difference of opinion can be valued, respected and provide a dynamic within the community for positive change for all.