It's getting closer, folks! Even before the final booklets of our ovate course went online in October 2013, I'd started compiling pieces to go in our Druid course. I knew it was going to take a while. With the ovate, our aim had been to get it online in time for the first few people finishing our bardic course to go onto it. This entailed me working up to 16 hours a day and 7 days a week for the best part of a year. We made it, just. With the Druid course, I decided not to give myself quite such a hard time, knowing that this would delay completion. It's good to take time out though, attending occasional events, making drums with my son, making ceremonies, having a little bit of a social life. All work and no play makes Greywolf a dull Druid 😉
So, where are we with the Druid course? More than halfway through it. I've just printed out about 480 pages formatted into booklets. Of these, some are more-or-less complete while others are only 10 pages or so of notes. Some need considerable revision, others need a good deal of information added. I also have some pieces written but not yet formatted into booklets.
It's shaping up well, though changing quite a lot from the outline package contents given on our Druid course page. Booklet 1, as you'd expect, introduces some of the major themes the rest of the course tackles. Booklet 2 introduces the concept of a Palaeolithic origin for much of what we believe and do as Druids. The same origin underlies more-or-less every religion on the planet. As part of this, we've identified eight animals, or groups of animals, that humans have had extremely powerful spiritual connections with for tens of thousands of years. Each of these is examined in depth and pointers given as to how we may forge, or re-forge, our connections with them. This includes shape-shifting.
Otherworlds, journeying to them and returning, feature strongly in the course, which includes a thorough and fascinating guide to the inhabitants of these realms as recorded in the countries of the 'Celtic fringe' and elsewhere in Europe. This is backed up with practical information on how and why such journeying might be achieved.
Another major thread in the course is ethics, inspired by the classical description of Druids as 'moral philosopher.' In this, we are fortunate to have a section written by Brendan Myers, a professional academic philosopher as well as a Druid. Ethical and moral considerations feed into our lives in many ways, leading us to consider the life choices we make in terms of career, relationships, the environment, politics, pacifism, animal welfare, the food we eat, etc., etc..
For the craft-oriented, we offer instruction on drum-making and roundhouse-building. What else is there? Oh yes, there's weather-working, teaching, counselling, community engagement ... well, lots and lots 🙂
The next stage is for me to take my trusty red pencil and go through the printed drafts making corrections, amendments, additions and revisions. Then back to the computer to transfer those changes to the original files. My aim is to do what we did with the ovate course, that is to get the first half of it online first, giving us six months during which to complete work on the remaining half. Unfortunately, quite a lot of what I've printed out already belongs in that second half of the course. I would estimate that the first half will be ready to go online in about May 2016. Apologies to those of you who are waiting... I hope to get a free 'teaser' sample pdf for free download from the site before then. Watch this space...
Fortunately, our ovate course is so packed that I'm pretty sure that, unless you're blessed with an idetic memory, you could go back through it two or three times from beginning to end and find new things in it every time. And if you haven't studied our courses at all yet, what's keeping you? Feedback from our students is overwhelmingly positive, with many reporting their lives enhanced and changed by engaging with the courses, which Ronald Hutton has described as "the most intelligent and erudite sequential introduction to modern Druidry available." The bardic course is the place to begin, and you'll find a free sample pdf file here 🙂
From a sun-blessed study in rural Wiltshire,