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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction into Druidry
Firstly I am not a Druidess nor do I practice druidry, what I am is a pagan and like to learn as much as I can about other paths, that said I am very drawn to Druidry and my online name, Cerridwen is my patron Goddess (oor Ceridwen) who has very strong links with Druidry.

It has been such a long time since I have read a non-fiction book, mainly a lot of Pagan...
Published on 27 Jan 2008 by Clare

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Druidry Handbook
I have only just received this and spent about half an hour reading the introduction and flicking through which was more than enough time to realise this really wasn't what I was after. The author has a background in Hermeticism and this book is based hugely on what came out of the Druid Revival of the 18th/19th centuries. It is very much a "handbook" in the sense that...
Published on 23 Dec 2010 by outinthesticks


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction into Druidry, 27 Jan 2008
By 
Clare "Bookaholic" (England) - See all my reviews
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Firstly I am not a Druidess nor do I practice druidry, what I am is a pagan and like to learn as much as I can about other paths, that said I am very drawn to Druidry and my online name, Cerridwen is my patron Goddess (oor Ceridwen) who has very strong links with Druidry.

It has been such a long time since I have read a non-fiction book, mainly a lot of Pagan texts go over the same ground, especially Witchcraft & Wicca books, I'd forgotten how much I enjoy reading non-fiction!

This book I feel is more aimed at the new druid or someone wanting to learn more about the Druid path, the book does state that it can be used by experienced Druids but, I am not sure there is anything here that someone who has been on the path a long time would find of use.

You can read through the book end to end as I did, or you can just read sections as you go through. It has a very good section on the Ogham and there are some excellent methods for meditation, this would be a really good reference book as well.

The first part of the book looks more at the history of Druidry and its roots which was very fascinating and also very useful was at the end of each section a list of useful other recommended reading material.

The final two sections was more on the practical part of druidry and it was very interesting, the author I found seemed quite flexible in how he feels the reader could practice Druidry given where they may live etc. Obviously any path of Paganism is a nature path and the best place for ritual is outisde although as we know this is not always possible so some good alternatives are listed here.

Overall,this was a really good insight and for someone just getting into druidry I think this would be an excellent first book, its not comprehensive of course I don't think any book could be burt, this would definitely help with that first toe in the water into Druidism.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Druidry Handbook, 7 Oct 2007
By 
Tami Brady "Tami Brady: Transition-Empowermen... (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Druidry Handbook is a beginner's text for those interested in finding out more about Druidry (past and present) as well as those individuals who think they might want to become a Druid, either as a solitary or part of an organized study group. This book is divided into three parts.

Part one looks at the history of Druidry. I was quite impressed with this section as the author was not intimidated to discuss the lack of substantial resources about the Druids of ancient times nor did the author shy away from discussing the complexities associated with the Revival Druidry period. I was also pleased that the author looked to the Celtic myths for answers as many scholars tend to ignore these important resources completely.

Part two and three of this book look at specific aspects of Druidry. Part two introduces the reader to basic concepts such as the importance of triads in this belief system. Part three goes into more detail on general Druidic beliefs including a very good explanation of proposed calendar cycles and their associated ceremonies. The author also includes a very well thought out initiate program for those wanting to try on the Druid lifestyle.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Druid dogmatix, 16 Jan 2013
John Michael Greer is (among other things!) the Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). In this book, he explains the faith and practice of this particular Neo-Pagan group. The book comes with a foreword by Philip Carr-Gomm of the more well known Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

Greer freely admits that the AODA doesn't have a direct connection to the ancient Druids of the pre-Roman Celtic lands. In fact, no modern Druid group has, although some have attempted to reconstruct the ancient tradition through painstaking research. By contrast, the AODA is based on so-called Revival Druidry, a modern British cultural phenomenon no older than the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Revivalists, chief of them Iolo Morganwg, claimed to have rediscovered the true traditions of the ancient Druids. In reality, their ideas were an eclectic mixture of Masonry, Rosicrucianism, Romanticism and even Anglican Christian meditation techniques. Iolo seems to have forged many of the "ancient" documents he claimed as his sources. Later, Theosophy, the Golden Dawn and Wicca were added to the stew. Or magickal potion? There have also been conflicts between British and Celtic druids, largely based on nationalist sentiments. Today, a faction of Druidry known as Reconstructionists rejects the Druid Revival en toto, seeing it as an acute embarrassment. One Revival group, the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA) was originally a prank before evolving into a real spiritual group!

Greer takes a different approach. He points out (sensibly) that we know almost nothing about the beliefs and practices of the original Druids. Besides, all religious traditions are in some sense "invented". The important question isn't the ancient pedigree (if any) of a certain tradition, but rather whether or not it reconnects us to nature, spirit and our true selves. Seen in this way, even Revival Druidry becomes a legitimate spiritual path. However, Greer does *not* say that reality is entirely subjective or that anything goes. In fact, he is at pains to emphasize the opposite, especially the ecological limits to life on Earth. Rather, he seems to believe in a kind of pantheist life-force which permeates the entire cosmos, while taking somewhat different forms in various traditions. At one point, Greer suggests that the gods might be a kind of symbols, but says that he isn't really sure. Practitioners have even encountered one of the spoof gods invented by the RDNA! My interpretation is that Greer regards the cosmic energies, our spiritual selves and the material world as objectively real. Everything else is - or could be seen as - symbolic.

The beliefs of the ADOA do come across as a greened version of the usual Theosophical or occult teachings. Our souls emerge from the mineral world, enter the plant and animal worlds, and eventually become human. Being human is a learning experience, since humans have free will and the potential to reach even higher, spiritual regions of existence. If the opportunity is squandered, humans will reincarnate as the plants or animals that best suit their mentality. (I wonder where that would leave me? A plant with a bad attitude? A nettle, perhaps? Suits me just fine, JMG!) Evolution never really stops, since the spiritual worlds also consist of many different levels.

Judging by Greer's book, however, Druids aren't all that interested in the "pure" spiritual worlds, in contrast to much of what passes for Theosophy or New Age. Rather, the emphasis is on living a spiritualized, materially simple life in the midst of the material world. The Druid wants to balance the "solar" and "lunar" energies by living in harmony with Nature. Ritual, meditation and studies of poetry, magic or regular natural history are important parts of the Druid path. The author tries to explain the rather complex symbolism of Revival Druidry , which includes speculations about the esoteric meaning of Ogham letters or the legends of King Arthur.

Greer devotes considerable time to discuss the ecological crisis. Here, his perspective is radically green: our modern civilization is ultimately unsustainable, and Druids (not to mention everybody else!) are advised to cut back on consumption, grow their own food, support local markets and practice individual self-reliance. Greer blames the people rather than "the system" for the crisis: what forces us to frantically produce, consume or pile up debts? Why do we vote politicians who suggest otherwise out of office? Real change starts with the individual. Here, I must say that the author is somewhat simplistic. (He has a more realistic perspective on things in his more political books, "The Long Descent" and "The Wealth of Nature".)

In the last chapter, it turns out that "The Druidry Handbook" is actually used as a textbook for those who wish to become initiated in the ADOA...

Although I don't feel ready to emulate Merlin and Getafix quite yet (I'm a nettle, remember?), I will nevertheless give this book four stars for being an excellent introduction to one of the more common versions of Neo-Druidry. But then, I do have a tendency to give John Michael Greer's book consistently high ratings, don't I?
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Druidry Handbook, 23 Dec 2010
By 
outinthesticks (The West Country) - See all my reviews
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I have only just received this and spent about half an hour reading the introduction and flicking through which was more than enough time to realise this really wasn't what I was after. The author has a background in Hermeticism and this book is based hugely on what came out of the Druid Revival of the 18th/19th centuries. It is very much a "handbook" in the sense that there are many descriptions of the details of ritual, tables of correspondences and has a very prescriptive tone to it as far as I have seen. The author is American, and so perhaps there is less emphasis on the importance of individuality and personal interpretation over there when it comes to Druidry. I've personally found Druidry very inspiring and liberating and accepting of individuality after having spent years trying to find an alternative to the structure and rigidity of other paths such as Wicca. The nature of ths book therefore means it just isn't for me. If you are more interested in the philosphy and spirituality of today's Druidry, rather than initiations, correspondences and rituals, try Emma Restall Orr's "Living Druidry".
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