Thursday, July 26, 2012

Druid Writer - Athelia Nihtscada Voices on the Path

Voices on the Path-
A Collection of Interviews

Druid Writer
Athelia Nihtscada

1. First can you briefly tell us about yourself? What is your profession? Any special hobbies?
I am 36 years old, married and living in Southern Alberta, Canada with our 3 cats. Currently, I am employed as a manager of volunteers at a non-profit organization and also work part time as a freelance IT consultant.  My hobbies are: writing, drawing, singing, playing guitar and piano and making jewelery.
  1. When did you begin your path? What inspired you to walk this journey?
    I first began walking this path in 1991 when I learned about my Celtic heritage. Upon reading about the Celts, I found myself strongly drawn to the Druids and their spirituality. I asked around and soon found myself pointed in the right direction and beginning my studies.

    3. Can you tell us a little about your path? How would you describe yourself?
    I would describe myself as a very down to earth modern Druid who incorporates spirituality into my everyday life. I follow a tri-fold path of service: Service to the Gods (through meditation, ritual, etc.), Service to the Community (through volunteer work, teaching, being an active part in the global community) and Service to the Self (through learning and growing, taking care of my health, etc.).  Ethics and scholarship in my practice is very important to me as well.

    3. Does the path you've chosen affect your profession? If so, how?
    I worked in a number of industries: medical, funeral, security, IT, oil and gas, etc., before I finally found my niche in non-profit management. Service is a huge part about working in the non-profit world, as well as honoring those who serve. Through my work as a manager of volunteers, I am always in awe of the many people who serve in our society and am honored to be able to serve them! I am glad to know that my efforts in my paid job go toward helping other people rather than pandering to some stakeholder’s bottom line. That is very important to me.

    4. Is community important to you, or do you prefer to express you beliefs as a solitary?
    Community is very important to me and I do my best to serve in whatever community I am involved with, whether it be through my volunteer work in my city and province, or through my involvement with my Grove and the Global Druid Community.

    5. Are you associated with any organizations, volunteer work, or groups that support your spiritual beliefs?
    Any volunteer work I do is part of my chosen Path of Service and therefore supports my spiritual beliefs. I volunteer with a number of local and national non-profit organizations as a board member or advocate.  With regard to Druidry, I am involved with a number of global organizations such as Ar ‘nDraoicht Fein (ADF), The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD), The Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), Henge of Keltria, British Druid Order (BDO) and The Druid Network (TDN); as well as my own Grove Awen Grove Canada, which is affiliated with BDO, TDN and RDNA.

    6. Would you say your path has been an easy or difficult journey? Any advice for someone new to this path?
    No journey is easy, and all journeys have value in my opinion. The last 21 years of my journey have been filled with wonder, joy, pain, hardship and a sense of deep meaning which makes it such a worthwhile path for me.
For those seeking their paths, I encourage them to sit down and really look at their values, ethics, beliefs and mindset before beginning to look for teachers or traditions. Knowing who you are, what your beliefs and values are and staying true to yourself will help lead you in the right direction along your spiritual journey. It will also help if you find yourself in a tradition or situation that does not feel right. Never forsake your values just to fit in with the status quo. Never be afraid to walk away from an unhealthy situation. Be strong in your standards and values.  

7. Finally, what three books would you say most influenced your path?
1.       “Celtic Mythology” by Proinsias MacCana was the book that helped me to understand the rich mythology of the Celts and spurned me toward my new found path. I found it in the library at my high school and it started me on my way.
2.       “A Brief History of The Druids” by Peter Berresford Ellis is a great book for basic history and information.  
3.Way of the Druid: Renaissance of a Celtic Religion and its Relevance” by Graeme Talboys is a book I read only a few years back but I would recommend it to anyone because its down to earth nature.

I am not a published author yet (Working on a book right now), but I did write
"The Brehon Laws: Defining Ethics and Values for Modern Druidry" (


"Shaping the Wheel: A Course in Wisdom and Values from Celtic Culture, Myth, Legend and Lore for Modern Druid Practice" free online course on The Druid Network (

It's been an honour.

Athelia Nihtscada /|\

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