Many of the members of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship,Inc. ("ADF") have come to accept most of the following beliefs. However, it's important to remember that not everyone would use the term "belief" in reference to these concepts, and that every concept mentioned has a wide variety of accepted interpretations within the organization.
Thou Art God/dess
We believe that divinity is both immanent (internal) and transcendent (external), with immanence being far more important for us to pay attention to at this crucial phase of human history. Deities can manifest at any point in space or time which They might choose, including within human beings (through the processes known as "inspiration," "channeling," and "possession").
Goddesses and Gods
We believe that divinity is as likely to manifest in a female form as it is in a male form, and that the word "Goddess" makes just as much sense as "God." Women and men are spiritually equal, and "masculine" and "feminine" attitudes, values, and roles are of equal importance.
We believe in a multiplicity of gods and goddesses, as well as lesser beings, many of Whom are worthy of respect, love and worship. We have a wide variety of nonexclusive concepts as to the nature of these entities. While some of us believe in a "Supreme Being," Neopagan Druidism is emphatically polytheistic. We have no figure of ultimate Evil.
We believe that it is necessary to have respect and love for Nature as divine in Her own right, and to accept ourselves as part of Nature and not Her "rulers." Many of us accept what has come to be known as "the Gaia hypothesis," that the biosphere of our planet is a living being, Who is due all the love and support that we, Her children, can give Her. We consider ecological awareness and activism to be sacred duties.
We believe in accepting the positive aspects of Western science and technology, but in maintaining an attitude of wariness towards the supposed ethical neutrality of that science and technology. We also consider it important that scientists (like everyone else) pay as much attention to their means as they do to their goals.
We believe that monolithic religious organizations and would-be messiahs and supergurus are a hinderance to spiritual growth. We believe that healthy religions should have a minimum amount of dogma and a maximum amount of eclecticism and flexibility. Neopagan Druidism is an organic religion, and like all other organisms is growing, changing, and producing offshoots.
We believe that ethics and morality should be based upon joy, love, self-esteem, mutual respect, the avoidance of actual harm to ourselves and others, and the increase of public benefit. We try to balance people's needs for personal autonomy and growth with the necessity of paying attention to the impact of each individual's actions on the lives and welfare of others.
We believe that it's difficult for ordinary humans to commit offenses against the Gods and Goddesses, short of major crimes such as ecocide or genocide. Our deities are perfectly capable of defending Their own honor without any need for us to punish people for "blasphemy" or "heresy."
The Good Life
We believe that human beings were meant to lead lives filled with joy, love, pleasure, beauty and humor. Most Neopagans are fond of food, drink, music, sex, and bad puns, and consider all of these (except possibly the puns) to be of spiritual value. However, we do not approve of addictive or compulsive behavior and we support people with dysfunctional histories who have entered appropriate recovery programs.
Magic and Mystery
We believe that with proper training, art, discipline and intent, human minds and hearts are fully capable of performing most of the magic and miracles they are ever likely to need. Magical/miraculous acts are done through the use of what most of us perceive as natural (some say "divinely granted") psychic talents.
Liturgical Art and Science
We believe that there is an art and a science to creating, preparing and performing worship rituals. Our worship celebrations are continually evolving as we search for the most intellectually satisfying, artistically beautiful, spiritually powerful, and magically effective rites possible.
Connecting to the Cosmos
We believe in the importance of celebrating the solar, lunar and other cycles of our lives. We consciously observe the solstices, equinoxes and the points in between, as well as the phases of the moon. Such "rites of intensification" are human universals, as are the various ceremonies known as "rites of passage" -- celebrations of birth, puberty, personal dedication to a given deity or group, marriage, ordination, death, etc.
Born Again Paganism
Many of us believe in some sort of afterlife, usually involving rest and recovery in the Otherworld before reincarnating. We have no concept of "eternal" punishment, refusing to worship deities who could be that cruel.
Hope and Action
We believe that people have the ability to solve their current problems, both personal and public, and to create a better world. Our utopian vision, tempered with common sense, leads us to a strong commitment to personal and global growth, evolution and balance.
We believe that people can progress far towards achieving personal growth, evolution and balance through the carefully planned alteration of their "normal" states of consciousness. We use both ancient and modern methods of concentration, meditation, reprogramming and ecstasy.
We believe that human interdependence implies community service. Some of us are active in political, social, ecological and charitable organizations, while others prefer to work for the public good primarily through spiritual means (and many insist on doing both).
We believe that if we are to achieve any of our goals, we must practice what we preach. Neopagan Druidism, like any other religion, should be a way of life, not merely a weekly or monthly social function. So we must always strive to make our lives consistent with our proclaimed beliefs.
Cooperation and Defense
We believe in cooperation and ecumenical activities with those members of other faiths who share all or most of these beliefs. We also believe in resisting efforts by members of dysfunctional religions who seek to persecute us or suppress our human rights.
There's more to our beliefs than these few details, of course, and a great deal of variation in how these beliefs are extended to cover other topics. Some of our members are pacifists and others are in the military; some are animal rights activists and vegetarians, others are carnivorous hunters; some are committed to conservative and others to alternative life styles. We actively encourage everyone to apply these principles to the practical questions of their daily lives.
More information about our beliefs can be found by subscribing to our electronic mailing lists, in particular the ADF-Religion list; you can use our lists to observe our discussions or post your own questions. You may also browse archives of past discussions on our mailing lists.