Anamchara means ‘soul friend’ in Gaelic. The Celts had a ritual to formalise the bond between soul friends, and to make a commitment to be equal and present in each other’s lives.

I am your friend,
I am your teacher,
I am your student,
I am your dependent,
I am your solace,
I am your shield,
I am your child, sister and mother.

Janet Peel, 2008, (

The following is a poem I wrote a few months ago, written in response to a prompt in the druidry studies asking to reflect on friendship…

The saying goes…
To have a friend, you need to be a friend.
It’s a difficult concept for me. 
I’ve been disappointed.
I am always of service
but rarely involved.
I’m intense. I know that.
I’m awkward too,
I’ve known that for the longest time.
I like juicy conversations,
where the stains don’t wash off for weeks,
deep conversations that have meaning.
I crave your warm heart-full reflections
not your half-baked opinions.
When we start with “I wonder…”
I am there.
Comparison and competition
have no place in my world.
I’ve spent a lifetime of being admired for my passion
and also being ridiculed for it.
Where is truth, authenticity, and reciprocity?
What do we share?
Someone once put a label on me…
I’ve learnt to sit in my own power
and be who I am
without the need for adoration.
Content with brief moments of connection
to retreat once more into Self
to think, reflect and ponder some more.
I see you.
Do you see me?
– tree girl

Druidry teaches us that an Anamchara is a special kind of friend who listens deeply to the story of our lives, without judgement.

“Such a soul-friend does more than simply share leisure-time and mundane concerns with us. They have the gift of being able to truly listen to the voice of our soul, and the gift, too, of being able to share their hearts and experiences in an open, selfless way, free of the need for approval, and free of the desire to receive anything in return.”


The three foundations of friendship are: respect and trust; understanding and forbearance; a loving heart and helpful hands. 

Druid triad

We can also be an Anamchara for our self. One’s Higher Self can be the kind and wise friend that our ego or personality can turn to for wise counsel. These two aspects of our self can be integrated, one grounded in the everyday life, and one with higher purpose.

We need to remain open to those brief connections with people, those tiny steps which lead to something else – a new experience or greater depth of understanding. Druidry tells us to remain grounded and keep treading the path, even when it’s tough going. The journey will lead us to a greater experience of truth, joy, and spirituality. As the Zen buddhists say ‘find joy in washing the dishes and sweeping the floor’. It’s not about being detached from earthly concerns but being immersed in them.

We are not human beings trying to become spiritual, we are spiritual beings trying to become human.

Teilhard de Chardin



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4 Comments on “friendship”

  1. Beauty Along the Road Says:

    Beautiful… and I recognize myself in your poem. Always longing to connect with that deep space in others and within myself, and always a little bored when conversations are less than that…
    Are you familiar with the book “Anam Cara” by John O’Donohue? I saw it on my shelf recently and feel drawn to reading it again.


    • tree girl Says:

      Warami Beauty Along The Road

      I’m glad that someone else feels as I do. You have a lovely way of expressing it. It is a repeating pattern that when I make a friend s/he wants to compete with me, and I have no interest in competing with anyone, I have enough trouble keeping up with myself. Obviously if it is a repeating pattern, then it is about the messages I’m sending out into the world, that I am quite unaware of.

      Thank you for the book reference. The authors name is familiar – a druidic or shamanic writer perhaps? I will have a look into it.

      Thank you for your comment.



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