My life among the Druids…well one weekend

My friend Carol was kind enough to invite me to Driudpalooza, which was a Lughnasadh weekend campout hosted by the Coastal Oak Grove (www.coastoakgrove.com) along with other Druids and Groves for Lughnassadh. Everyone there was gracious and inviting to me. In fact, hospitality (*ghosti) is a core value to Ár nDraíocht Féin: A DruidPaso Picacho Campground Tree Line Fellowship (www.adf.org). This is the formation of the guest/host relationship where hospitality is given to guest in order that guest may be able to provide the same hospitality be that in gifts, time, or energy. This seems closely related to the ancient Greek idea of Xenia (ξενία which is, in part, the rights of a guest but is used in a great sense of friendly relationship within the context of a foreigner and even a foreign state) but with a more modern and perhaps broader meaning.
 
However, what I am interested is applied ethics and see how this concept worked in the real world. There seems to be a subtle but important point that Archdruid Kirk (www.druidkirk.org) pointed out where hospitality is given in order to gain hospitality but to build that relationship where this exchange may occur. Hospitality is not I give to you so that you will give to me but more along the lines of I give to you because it is the right thing to do so that we can build a relationship. This idea of building relationship is part of what I consider Piety. In our everyday lives, we engage in relationship where we give in order to receive. In the morning, I may go for pastry and tea (okay in reality more often a donut and soda) but when I pay I expect to receive the food then not as part of some relationship build where I may be freely given pastries in the future.
 
What this type of hospitality is more like is when I ask a new friend to lunch and pay for the meal. I do not think that one day they may pay for me too. What I think is that I want to grow my friendship by building the relationship. I offer the gift of the meal to say that my time with you is important to me and I honor it by this meal. And, I did fill honor by the hospitality provide by Coastal Oak Grove and all those who attended. This is a good value to learn from these Druids for Pagan Humanist.
 
Just a few disclaimers, I did not attend this event in order to look at the practice of *ghosti, I was an invited guest and feel blessed for being included with both the weekend camping trip and the Lughnasadh celebrations. Also, please do not take one weekend as a sign that I truly understand ADF and its members understand of *ghosti, only as my limited view.
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About William Blumberg

I engage in religious philosophy within a Pagan context. I serve on the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary and the Conference on Current Pagan Studies.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Piety and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to My life among the Druids…well one weekend

  1. Hi William. *Ghosti has always stood out to me too. As a member of ADF, I’ve found their work on reciprocity, encapsulated in the *ghosti principle which they’ve reconstructed, to be one of the most profound and worthwhile contributions they are currently making to Paganism. I hope that it spreads beyond ADF and gets picked up as a generally-known concept.

  2. Pingback: Making Connections | A Pagan Humanist

  3. Kat Robb says:

    You are obviously not familar with Celtic and especially Scottish culture
    Hospitality is a core principal. See the massacre at Glencoe
    All people must be welcomed no matter what their status and even if they are an enemy. Druidry reflects the cultures it came from.

    • Thank you Kat for your comment. I did not mean to convey any surprised that ADF or any Druid group that have roots in Celtic culture (as you suggested) would not have hospitality are a core principal. I will endeavor to be more clear about such points.

      As for your suggestion about looking at the Massacre of Glencoe (Mort Ghlinne Comhann) and the breach of hospitality and what I think is called “murder under trust.” You are right this event has become a heart retching example of a break with hospitality. Thank you for suggesting it.

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