Below you'll find the article from the Dispatch. I cut everything but the stuff about me, of course:( Collapse )
Druid ritual fulfilling
Druidism, the ancient religion whose practitioners included the Celts, Romans, Greeks and Norse, appealed to Michael Dangler because of its mysticism and emphasis on the study of astrology, math, natural sciences, prose and poetry.
Raised in the United Church of Christ in Chicago, Dangler began looking at other religions while in high school. After realizing deism and Native American spirituality were not for him, he found Druidism.
While an undergraduate at Ohio State University in 1999, Dangler attended a Druid ritual for the first time with a Dayton ‘‘grove," the name given to a small Druid group.
‘‘I had an absolutely wonderful experience," he said. ‘‘I could feel what I was supposed to be feeling. It was very different than when I had been to other more eclectic rituals."
Dangler, 24, who works at the OSU Office of Information Technology, is senior druid of Three Cranes Grove. The grove started with two members in 2002; today, it has a core membership of 12.
Druids generally celebrate the same holy days as many other pagans. Their rituals, which involve invocations to many deities and drinking of the ‘‘waters of life" to represent the blessings given by the deities, are open to the public.
They strive to practice the nine Druid virtues: industry, sensuality, courage, strength, honor, hospitality, reason, memory and vision.
Community service is part of the Druid practice, as it is for many pagan religions. Recently, members of Dangler’s grove donated blood to the Red Cross; at their winter solstice ritual this month they will collect toys for needy children.
Dangler, of the North Side, said Druidism enables him to ‘‘look at my life, to be proud of who I am and to know that what I am doing is right and good and just."
‘‘I really wish I could describe the feeling I get in rituals," he said. ‘‘When I’m standing there making offerings honoring the gods, the closest I can get is to say I feel full. Full of love and honor and all those wonderful concepts you can’t really name. It’s a very ineffable experience."( Collapse )