In addition to studying the druidic path, I follow the path of the Red Branch...which is that of a warrior. I consider my path a literal path, meaning I follow the path as a physical and spiritual warrior. I am definately a raven (I think current political term is hawk) meaning that I agree with using the force needed to remove a threat. Maybe one day we will live in a world where deadly force isn't needed and wars dont exist but we aren't even close to being there yet and if I am killed by an attacker during an act of crime or war, it won't be because of a lack of fighting back. Unless the honorless bastard catches me sleeping.

Anyway, too much coffee and I ramble - caffine is my last remaining physical additiction.

The Red Branch Knights were an ancient order of Elite Celtic warriors, the order included demi-gods and men. Cúchullain was a commander and many other Celtic heroes were members or commanders of the order; men like Conall Kernach, Finn mac Coole and Fergus mac Roy to name a few. Joining the order wasn't easy, there were many tests...both physical and mental. Tests of physical fitness, strength and agility - you also had to prove yourself combat worthy by defending yourself from attack. It is said that no member was allowed to join that wasn't well educated, as this was an order of field commanders and they would need to lead a battalion (catha) numbering three thousand men into combat. The entire order was built around warrior principles like honor, loyalty and courage. I could go on and on...books are written about these ancient heros and their deeds. It can be argued that the Celtic spirit lives on because of the men of this order and though I follow it...of course, I will never be a member of it.

Anyway, in following the path I basically have undertaken a three fold approach; Intellectual, Spritual and Physical. I constantly try to increase my knowledge by reading books on mythology and history - not only of the Celts. I of course study Celtic military weapons, armor and tactics but I am also trying to teach myself the language - hard to do solo, I admit. I also maintain and increase my mundane knowledge by continuing my civilian education through various certifications and staying on top of emerging technologies. I volunteer to instruct at work - thereby adding incentive for me to push to master a particular area. If I have to teach, I have to study it...or look like an ass in front of my peers! Of course, as a drill sergeant I have to stay on top of modern Army tactics and weapons etc because I teach them to soldiers. Training soldiers is extremely rewarding and enjoyable for me and the Army method is to lead by example...so I am pushed by that to stay on top of my physical and intellectual game. Before a 17 year old private goes through an obstacle course, we demonstrate each and every obstacle for them. I never ask my troops to do that which I can not.

I already stated that I follow the path of the druid, I use this path to ground myself spiritually and to commune with the gods and the Earth in a formal way. I also try to hold myself to the warrior principles and as cliche as it sounds, I do try to be the man that my 3 year old son thinks that I am. I have not decided if I actually want to claim the title of Druid and become clergy...I suppose that when I am ready, I will be given the choice to accept it or not. If you dont know about Druidism or Earth based religions...well, that would surprise the hell out of me on a site like this and regardless, I'm not going to go into it now. Google is your friend.

The physical pursuit can be at times even more spiritually rewarding than my rituals are and can be considered rituals in their own rite. It involves a lot of exercise, combat conditioning and intense physical competition. I am fortunate to live in a rural area and have access to national parks with running trails...running 6 miles through a dense forest when the Sun is still rising becomes meditative. Other work outs in the gym or running obstacle courses (Im a drill sergeant - I have access to these) awakens the warrior within me and builds tremendous energy. My path pushes me to exercise and push my physical limits. I also love to compete physically; football, ultimate frisbee...you name it, these test my skills against others and teach me about how to adjust my tactics to meet the strengths of my opponents. All work in unison to make me a stronger warrior physically. I am a combatives instructor with the Army (all drill sergeants are) and enjoy grappling with other instructors and peers.

Being on this path means that I constantly try to improve myself, preparing mentally and physically for whatever I stumble upon in life. It helped me quit smoking and lose 50 pounds that I put on when I first got out of the Army and turned totally lazy. Anyway, I just realized how long this thing is... I get asked what the path of the warrior is often and for me this is what it is...in a nutshell.

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Comment by Dragonwraith on April 1, 2008 at 1:37am
i agree besides we always had war and war deities Aries, Morrigan, etc
cafffinee does that to you too eh lol
ty for sharing
Anubis Blessings
DW
Comment by Mountain Moon Mama on April 1, 2008 at 7:36am
An interesting read. :> I echo Dragonwraith's comment: thanks for sharing!
Comment by Phoenix Fae Rowan on April 7, 2013 at 7:59am
My 11 year old came to me recently and told me about a dream he has been having for some time now. He gave such detail and had so much conviction that I started researching. Do you know of any battle armor or cloaks the Knights of the Red Branch wore? Any possible colors...besides red obviously. And do you know of any amulets from Celtic Lore containing two dragons encircling the star. This amulet, my son tells me, will glow different colors depending on the danger. After researching and discovering the orders existence Im in shock at the accuracy of his description. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many Blessings
Comment by Phoenix Fae Rowan on April 7, 2013 at 8:02am
And why would he remember so much at this particular time?

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