Druidry has often been subjected to ridicule in mainstream news media and maligned as a dangerous cult that once engaged in human sacrifice. Such depictions have hampered efforts by modern Pagan Druids to gain public recognition and acceptance. This chapter investigates, through a survey aimed at Druids, whether practitioners believe there to have been any change to popular perceptions and representations of Druidry in the last decade or so and questions whether The Druid Network’s aim to have Druidry taken more seriously by gaining charity registration as a ‘religion’ has been fulfilled. Considering their subsequent difficulty in gaining membership to the Inter Faith Network and incidents reported in the survey, there is still a long way to go. While in the UK Druids are less frequently associated with sacrifice, it is by no means absent in discourses about them. A more common view is that Druidry is ‘made-up’, ‘not real’ or ‘no longer exists’. Another concern is that Druids are still targeted as the disruptive ‘other’ in UK society. Despite this, several respondents to the survey (in the UK, at least), mentioned, even after reporting a negative reaction, that there has been increased acceptance, even if understanding about Druidry was poor.
|Title of host publication||Cutting the mistletoe|
|Editors||Ethan Doyle White, Jonathan Woolley|
|Publisher||Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.|
|Publication status||Submitted - 8 Jan 2021|