Many have asked why drive four and a half hours to interview Philip Carr-Gomm the chief of order of bards ovates and druids. For such a short segment in the Druids Pilgrimage documentary.
Philip Carr-Gomm has been studying and living the ancient teachings of the Druids for over 30 years. Additionally, he is the elected head of the largest druid organization in the world. The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids OBOD. One of his primary goals is to teach the knowledge of nature, the soul world and the cosmos. To make it applicable in the modern age to all who is interested.
While interviewing Philip, we learnt through his work as a psychotherapist that wisdom, creativity and love can be combined to bring forth the ancient teachings with new knowledge.
Is Philip like The Longman of Wilmington?
Philip combines the great traditions of Western natural spirituality, which we know as Druidry. This path provides inspiration, teachings, rituals, and spiritual practices that help Druids unleash their innermost forces of creativity, intuition, and healing.
In Celtic spirituality, the druid embodies the path to a life practice based on three great gifts: always respecting creativity in one’s life, communicating with the natural world, and developing knowledge and wisdom. These three gifts also come from inside us, from our soul situation. As an outsider, one sees Philip Carr-Gomm has these aspects in his personality.
The teachings of the Druids has helped him nourish the soul for its creative activities, bringing forth the shaman out of love for the healing nature, and unfold the poet and storyteller in him to make inner wisdom vivid to an inquisitive person.
Philip Carr-Gomm, as he is
Before we interviewed Philip Carr-Gomm, I read his book Druidcraft – The Magic of Wicca & Druidry. Druidcraft is a spiritual practice that combines elements from both Druidism and Wicca. This spiritual path is gaining momentum in the UK right now, with more and more Covens / Groves / Groups. All practitioners in Druidcraft have a strong background in both Wicca and Druidism, often in this order.
Druidism and Wicca are two distinct spiritual paths but share several similarities. Although their roots go back to the founding of Western European culture, how they are practised today has only been formulated recently, and in his book, Philip Carr-Gomm states that the current differences come from differences between two friends, Gerald Gardner and Ross Nichols.
In 1964 Ross introduced Druidism based on Celtic mythology, bardic narratives, Ancient Druid Order practices, folklore and legends. But this Druidism was new because it came in the form of a School of Mysteries inspired by the western magical tradition.
Crew Shot with Philip Carr-Gomm
Like Wicca, this Druidism worked with the magic circle, with the four elements and the fifth called Ether or Spirit, symbolised by the Pythagorean pentagram. Ross Nichols proposed three grades for initiation: Bard, Ovate, and Druid, as the First, Second, and Third Degrees of Wicca. And he celebrated the same eight seasonal holidays.
Druidcraft, Druidism and Wicca are ways to evolve personally and to be free. They are not dogmatic religious systems, but new magical spiritualities, which draw their inspiration from the past, while proposing ways to celebrate and work that is in perpetual evolution. Instead of offering turnkey systems that must be accepted in their entirety, they provide inspiration and ingredients that we can creatively use to shape our own path, which will correspond to our own unique lives.
The primary reason why we are drawn to these spiritualities, rather than the established religions that offer us ‘all the answers’, is that somewhere in us, we know that we are not supposed to be passive consumers of spirituality, but rather active participants in a life that is inherently spiritual.
We are not in a restaurant, we are in the kitchen! Religions like Druidism and Wicca offer us ingredients – ideas for rituals, stories, folklore, techniques, that can be combined in dozens of different ways to get exactly what we need. They give us personal power because they make us masters of our lives, rather than taking away all individual control with a priest or guru who tells us what to do.
Finally, everything is there. There are you and the ocean. You and the sky. You and the earth. Now and here. The old traditions are not made to be preserved under a glass bell. They are made to be used, modified, improved. They can only remain alive if each of us takes them and uses them in their own way, with creative additions and inspiration, to allow us to live a life that has depth and meaning, beauty and celebrations, here and now – on this earth, under this sky, near this sea.
Visited the Seven Sisters at South Downs
Through research and conversations with Druids, I discovered the existence of this tradition. Druidism first spoke to me, long before I found the existence of Wicca. However, at this time, I found some concepts of Druidic philosophy somewhat confusing. I ‘don’t call myself a Druid, but I follow the same path of thought. When I discovered Wicca, I felt much more of a kinder and the basics seemed more straightforward.’
Perhaps also the emphasis on the Goddess has facilitated my commitment on the pagan path. But now that I have relatively well explored Wiccan spirituality, I want and need to learn a little more deeply about Druidism.
So you ask why take a 4.5-hour drive for a 45-minute conversation. Sometimes to listen to a master, one has to make a journey. This is what we did, and to meet a wholesome character like Philip Carr-Gomm is phenomenal.
Watch out for the full interview with Philip Carr-Gomm
To learn more about Philip Carr-Gomm visit https://www.philipcarr-gomm.com
Referenced partial from
Wicca & Druidcraft | Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. https://www.druidry.org/druid-way/other-paths/wicca-druidcraft
This article was proofread by Laila Khan, proofreader http://www.transfigurephotography.co.uk/laila-khan-proofreader/