on 8 January 2011
This is an impressive, coherent account of activist, intentional Druid spiritual practice (e.g. magic). It is a cut above many titles in this market. The central feature seems to be that the author is very smart and is deeply rooted in many aspects of the western esoteric tradition.
It is written elegantly and simply, and the direct style sometimes conceals how much he is conveying. The sections on magical intention are brief but impressive and worth re-reading. He throws away huge, comprehensive summaries of esoteric practice in easy sentences - "every complete magical ritual combines symbolism, gesture, voice and imagination to form an intention." There is an impressive 'wheel of life' which is a systematic combination of ogham and the wheel of the year to create an equivalent of the cabalistic 'tree of life'. If it had been created by a lesser mind, such as a druid who didn't really understand the cabala, you might have less faith. But something quite special is happening here.
Quite a lot of the book is idiosyncratic. This is inevitable, as there is no consensus, for example, on the real meanings of the ogham fews. However, the author clearly has a deep and systematic mind, and is expecting his reader to improvise and respond to their experience.
He covers philosophy, concepts, meditation, divination, ritual, and magical working. Whilst some of his approach might not exactly synch with a person's druid practice (e.g. the obod or bdo courses) it doesn't seem to matter. In a way, he supplies exactly the number of details you need for a complete grimoire - he gives just enough, and if you feel you need more detail or specification, you probably need to just get on with improvising and learning from your own practice. I think that a person could work productively from this book for years.
on 12 March 2013
Modern Druidry does spirituality very well, but it hasn't always focused on magic. In that, it has been left behind by its fellow Pagan traditions. To compensate for some of this missing magic, John Michael Greer goes back to the beginning of Pagan revival Druidry, looking at the work that Ross Nichols and others did on magic using Celtic symbols, and puts together a comprehensive magical system that draws on ceremonial approaches but is still qualitatively Druid magic. An excellent read.
on 16 December 2013
A truly exceptional work created by John Michael Greer, the current Grand Arch-Druid of the AODA, a traditional Druid order rooted in the Druid Revival of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, offering an opportunity for modern people to experience the teachings and practices of Druidry in today's world. This book offers in my humble opinion an exceptional magical curriculum that any serious Bard, Ovate or Druid would benefit from incorporating into their personal magical path. I would also recommend John Michael Greer's excellent (Celtic Golden Dawn) as the perfect companion.