Even as I type the name of this blog post, I am aware of the conundrum that occurs by referring to my rite as “Samhain” when I, in fact, am a practicing Druid who works within the Hellenic tradition. During the early stages of my Druid practice, this kind of thing troubled me. Not as much these days, and here’s why:
ADF Druidry incorporates all Indo-European pantheons and traditions. Our Druidry, as I embrace it, is more focused on the fundamental religious and magical systems of the IE peoples than on any single cultural reconstructionist expression. Other Druid groups exclusively emphasize Celtic traditions (by which they often mean the Insular Celtic traditions of the British Isles) and others focus on Germanic traditions.
The fact that I choose to work within the Hellenic pagan tradition does not negate my Druidic practice. Although there are important differences between the Celtic traditions and the Greek (to say nothing of the differences in the cultures themselves) there are also fundamental similarities. It is these shared concepts and practices, expressed uniquely in each culture, upon which I focus on in my solitary rituals.
I should also point out that just because I connect to Druidry through the Hellenic culture, does not mean that I don’t also connect to Druidry through other cultures as well. Part of the reason that I was drawn to ADF is because of our emphasis on learning, particularly when it comes to understanding other cultures and hearth traditions. After all, the history of Pre-Indo-European peoples is long and complex, and there were many opportunities for different groups to interact with and influence each other.
One of the most liberating qualities of Neopaganism for me is that I don’t have to be a fundamentalist. I’m just as happy to celebrate your traditions and honor your gods as I am my own. And with that, let’s get on with it.