In the weekend I attended a Grail Workshop fun by my friend and Druid, Caroline aka Nanny Ogg. This workshop used the fisher King poem as a tool to create a map with which to figure out your own Grail Quest. Myth is so often more about the symbolism found within the story rather than just the story, and the Fisher King has much excellent symbolism.
Nanny Ogg is in the process of creating something she calls ‘Druid Therapy’, which is a combination of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and deep Druidic Spirituality. Although it goes with our saying that it is not is not just for Druids, I mean I am a Witch, and got a heap of useful stuff out of the workshop, so it does have a wider scope that just being for Druids. Anyone with a spiritual connection would fine excellent value in Druid Therapy. Druid Therapy is something that Caroline likes to call Candle By The Fire therapy or CBTF, as one of the other attendees pointed out, which is about bring more meaning, connection, magic, spirituality and humanity back into therapy. While at the same time, keeping it grounded in good sound techniques of CBT and other Psychological modalities, but not to the point of dehumanising it. Does that make sense? It is difficult to explain. At this point I want to point out that this is and was not a “Therapy” workshop so much as a work shop that explained and provided tools with which to deepen the understanding of the self, using myth, connection and magic. Druid Therapy is about exploring yourself in a more magical, connected and spiritual way.. Not as flowery as it sounds believe me. And for those of us on a path that involved magic, deep personal exploration is integral part of how it all works.
For so long psychology has systematically removed spirituality, connection and some could say, humanity from its process. It has become more and more clinical relegating spirituality and magic in the realm of delusional belief, not significant, or not real. Psychology, at its worst has become out fixing our broken emotions which are all the ones apart from feeling happy and giving us pills to that we are ‘happy’
It is my belief that it is important that people have a sense of connection with the lives that they live beyond that of clinical behaviour and ‘feeling happy”. It would seem that our society has deemed feeling emotions as something that is somehow wrong, and indicative of brokenness especially the strong emotions such as sadness, anger, stress, discontent, etc etc. Because according to society we are meant to be happy all the time and if we are not then we are obviously broken thus need therapy, and or pills to make us happy as is socially acceptable. Or we are to purchase something in the form of retail therapy as that will make us happy. Ginsue knifes anyone, second set free for a limited time. *coughs*
Let me put it another way, how often have you been to your doctors surgery because you are sick and probably feeling quite crappy and when you get there and the receptionist says ‘Hi, How are you do today’, and you answer automatically ‘I’m fine thank you’ or a variation of indicating that you are fine, or happy? When really you are sick, which is why you are at the doctors, and you are probably feeling like six forms of shit because you are sick. So why are you telling the receptionist at the doctor’s office that you are fine? Think about it. We have trained, or been trained by the wider society not to acknowledge our feelings, not to feel what it is we are feeling unless we are happy, and so often when we are not happy we tell others that we are without even thinking about it. How often has a friend asked you how are you? How do you reply? The usal reply that I make is ‘I’m fine, how are you’. It’s a pretty standard greeting both in face to face and also onlinet. What would happen if you took a moment and actually told them how you felt? Actually I am feeling a bit sad today because I am not happy with out something is going? When you ask a friend how they are, do you really want to know or are you just going through the customary greeting call and response? Think about it.
Druid Therapy uses the Grail story, the quest for the Grail, and is about putting the connection and humanity back not just into therapy, but back into your lives as well. To acknowledge your mortal wound and the Grail with which you can heal it. It is not ‘traditional’ therapy and it doesn’t look it either, as it is not about talking about your feelings and having a therapist tell you what that means, nor is it about a therapist giving you the answers, as we found out during our workshop, but instead it is about finding our own answer through the medium of myth, and a map which we created during the workshop. We had to find our own answers. Druid Therapy is about providing you with a map and tools so that you can find the answers yourself, only those ‘answers’ are actually questions, and to keep on asking questions until we find the right question or series of questions. So often we want answers so badly, because we believe, or have been lead to believe that the answers will fix us instantly, that we forget or don’t know what the right question is. So using the Grail myth and Druid Therapy provides us with an invaluable map, tools and connection with which to find the questions.
As this turned into a monster of a post about the Workshop I attended and Druid Therapy, I have decided to split this into three posts, with the first one being explanation of sorts, the second one a rewrite of the Fisher King myth as I remember it, and the third one about the workshop itself. I will post the second instalment over the next day or so.