On my trip to Iowa, one of the cool things that happened is that I got JMG's "The Druid Magic Handbook"...for free!
While in Ames, a friend of mine and I were talking about art and art patronage. I am a struggling artist myself. Seeing as I am always hand-to-mouth, my friend mentioned wouldn't it be cool if you had a patron? They asked where I wanted to go. I said the local bookstore. We went there, and sure enough, "The Druid Magic Handbook" was on the shelves as I had hoped it would be. So I set it aside in a stack of books I wanted to look through. Then before we left the store, my friend said they would like to help me as a sort of patron, and offered to buy a book of my choice. So...duh, I selected JMG's book :-)
So I read it on my flight back to Montana. And there are some really really good things in there, such as:
-The idea of disenchantment and RE-enchantment of the natural world as a part of the Druid path...something that I had come to Druidry hoping that others sought! Back in the 80s I had done an art exhibit called "Earth Songs." And Ishi, played by Graham Greene, in the movie "Last of His Tribe" heard the song of the earth, asked Professor Kroeber (Jon Voight) if he could hear the earth singing, and Voight pretended he could (I think I can) and Ishi said, "What she say?" And was so upset when he learned the Professor could not hear it after all and was pretending. And then Ishi began to sing the song he heard the Earth singing. We Indians sang our prayers...songs are vital to this effort of working with the natural world. Hearing their songs, and singing back:
chanting (song) / en-chanting (put the song into) / dis-en-chanting (removing a song which was put into) / re-en-chanting (replacing a removed song)
- The idea of the Tree of Life relating to mapping space, while the Wheel of Life is a map of time...and one can use BOTH..brilliant!
- The comparison not only of the five hermetic elements and the druid elements...but the comparison of the five elements with the states of matter affirmed by science (fire=energy, water=fluid, earth=solid, air=gaseous, spirit=time/space continuum)..brilliant stuff!
- I also really like that JMG cautioned people from rushing out and messing with sacred places, that the neglected, ruined, and harmed placed are the places that need "re-enchantment"-- don't mess with places that retain their song! Leave the Medicine Wheel in peace, leave Mount Shasta in peace. See what you can do in that vacant lot, your backyard, that neglected patch of woods. Plus it is a longterm effort to do this work, from the acorn a mighty oak will grow, even though we may only live long enough to see a sprout
There was some GREAT new ways of thinking about magic in there, ways that JMG described it that made immediate intuitive sense as never before. And the way he described the three Druid elements of calas, nwyfre, and gwyar, well, I finally "got it"!
The contents include:
-The Foundations of Druid Magic
1. The Ways of the Life Force
2. The Alphabet of Magic
3. The Essentials of Practice
-The Practice of Druid Magic
4. The Gates of the Elements
5. The Grove of the Druids
6. The Art of Enchantment
7. The Secret of the Grail
-The Way of Druid Magic
8. The Reenchantment of the World
Great integration of the essentials and wonderful explanations and clear writing, for which John Michael Greer is justifiably famous! A must buy for those on the Druidic path and those interested in reenchanting the earth