This blog is meant to be a culmination of two aspects of my life: science and druidry.
What is science?
Science is a systematic way of examining the world in a way that creates a dynamic view of truth. Science constantly revises as new information comes to life, in order to learn what the world is really all about. This blog will have less experiments and more reporting of scientific facts. I consider myself to be a scientist, and that means more than just what I get paid to do, or what I research or don’t research. It means that I am always looking at the world, making observations and forming hypotheses. This applies to my inner self as well; I need to explore different areas of myself in order to become more attuned with what makes me a person. This is all a rambling way of saying that science is a life philosophy for me, not just a career choice. I also will end up writing like an encyclopedia at times, so fair warning on that.
What is a druid?
There are many definitions of “druid”, likely as many definitions as there are druids. There are monotheist, polytheist, animistic, christian and atheist druids. They all hold different views on the world, both metaphysical and not. However, we are united by a common theme: appreciation of nature, the search for truth, creative expression, and generally being good. There are many organizations of modern druids, but there is no church or list of rules to follow. The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids is a well-known group of British druids who have a nice article about what it can mean to be a druid.
To that end, my view of druidry focuses on communing with nature and living ethically, both towards nature and other people.
Why this blog?
The main point of this blog is to benefit myself. My goal is to work my way through learning about the plants and animals of the world, starting with those native to California where I live, spreading out through North America, and the wider world as a whole, and also through time, learning about those extinct and ancestral forms as well. The purpose is to feel more connected with nature overall. It is easy to detach during our daily lives at work and school. I believe that it is healthy to have a feel for the seasons passing, and the lives of the organisms around us. I think by appreciating and respecting nature, it becomes easier to live in an ethical way, treating everyone, man and nature alike, better. I also find that while having a better view of nature and connecting oneself with it, that one has a healthier view of oneself as well.
What will we be reading?
I will be choosing a plant or animal by whatever method strikes my fancy at the time. I will describe its life history as best I can, and, in particular, pull out whatever details make it a unique and wonderful species. (This is where writing like an encyclopedia comes in, since I am used to scientific rather than poetic writing.)
After learning about the organism, I will then spend some time thinking about what I might be able to learn from its habits, struggles and personality. I find that when I’m in a difficult situation, or trying to act with better character as a person, it is helpful to have a mental image to focus on. For example, if I need to be brave while public speaking, it helps to think about a proud lion who is not afraid of anyone.
I will also, as applicable, look up folklore and mythology involving the organisms. This is likely be easier with animals than with plants. I hope that learning about how other people through time and all over the world have related to the same creatures, that I will feel a greater connection with humanity as a whole. It feels good to learn about shared experiences and thoughts with people I have never met.
Why should I read this?
I can’t begin to guess as to your inner workings, random reader, but I am making my writings public with the hope that someone, somewhere is also looking for the same things that I am. I also know that many people would like to learn about different creatures, but don’t have a lot of time to sit down and browse the internet learning about them. In this way, I hope to provide a small niche where people who are curious about nature might be entertained by reading, and perhaps learn something along the way.
While self-reflection is all fine and dandy, there is also a benefit to having the perspectives and wisdom of many different people to learn from. I hope that anyone who finds themselves reading will add to the ideas presented in the comments. I would be happy to hear from you!