Reply To: Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass Reply To: Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

david poole

    I think there may be a slight confusion going on here, here is what I was able to find out about Greywolf’s books. I have added publisher’s names, places, dates and ISBN numbers so you can look them up and order them for yourself if you don’t already have them. I own one book but not the other so tried to glean some information from the net, there is not much by way of description as Druidry: A Practical and Inspirational Guide does not appear to have been reviewed at length online, there are only very brief descriptions on Amazon by readers which don’t tell you much.

    Druidry: A Practical and Inspirational Guide Piatkus Books, London, 2000 ISBN 0-7499-2040-8 see price around 11.90 used. This book can also be found on ebay.

    Judging by the title this appears to be the book that Startree is referring to. There is a slight mistake in the title by Startree as it is not called Revisiting Druidry, but this is clearly the book which is described. This book explores the history and development of Druidry, including divination through Ogham wands and reading signs from the natural world, and the Druidic healing traditions including the use of herbs and meditation. As well as information on the Druid tradition there are also pathworkings and details of personal journeys. There is folklore and a scholarly background. The ritual practices follow the four element ritual spread common to Wicca. The author informs the reader that he will be borrowing from several sources.

    Druidry: Rekindling the Sacred Fire (with Emma Restall Orr and others), British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1996, with revised editions 1999, 2002 available from The British Druid Order

    This books covers the history, theory and practice of Druidry. The authors are Greywolf, Ronald Hutton, Bobcat, Brian Bates, Andy Letcher and Alan Tickhill. Greywolf describes in brief the history of Druidry and tries to define it. Ronald Hutton provides his own perspective on Druidry’s history accompanied by quite a long reading list. Bobcat provides a modern perspective which looks at Druidry from a spiritual rather than historical angle. Brian Bates looks at Wyrd Druidry, comparing two different but both British spiritual traditions Druidry and Anglos Saxon or Heathen. As you may know if you are studying the Bardic grade within the BDO Greywolf also does this albeit in a different way. Andy Letcher describes the theory and practice of Bardism. Greywolf follows Letcher with another perspective on Bardism, awen and poetry. This chapter is rich with history and has several poems within it as well. Bobcat then covers ritual in some detail. There is a good and unexpected but welcome section on Ogham, which I would recommend as I would recommend the whole of this book. Greywolf and Bobcat then go into what the BDO is or was at that time. Tooth and Claw, the journal of the BDO at that time, is mentioned. Bobcat goes into the subject of groves. Greywolf goes into gorseddau in some detail. He then describes how to make a robe. Alan Tickhill describes how to make a rattle. There is a large list of suggested reading and an index which concludes this book. It is well worth obtaining for yourself you will learn so much.

    Other books and articles by Greywolf:


    A Catalogue of Occult Books, MRG, Hastings, 1978
    A Druid Directory: A Guide to Druidry and Druid Orders, British Druid Order, Devizes, 1995, with revised editions 1997, 2001 (with Emma Restall Orr)
    The Passing of the Year: A Collection of Songs and Poems, Spells and Invocations, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1997, reprinted 1999, 2001
    The Story of Taliesin, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1997
    The Remembering Soul: A Collection of Songs and Poems, Spells and Invocations, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 2001


    Paganism Today, edited by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman, Thorsons, 1995, reprinted as Pagan Pathways, Thorsons, 2000
    The Druid Renaissance, edited by Philip Carr-Gomm, Thorsons, 1996, reprinted as The Rebirth of Druidry, Element, 2003
    Talking Stick Magickal Journal, issue i, volume ii, Talking Stick Publications, 1996
    The Encyclopaedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism, edited by Shelley Rabinovitch and James Lewis, Citadel Press, New York, 2002
    The Druids’ Voice: The Magazine of Contemporary Druidry, British Druid Order, 1992-date
    Tooth & Claw: Journal of the British Druid Order, British Druid Order, 1995-date

    This list was gathered from Wikipedia but is not quite complete. It does not mention The Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri Newsletter, which I have a copy of. The first newsletter is dated No. 1 Autumn 1993, so you can see how long this has been going for. The newsletter is published on white paper and contains many photographs of Avebury which have come out quite well but are somewhat black and white. The main part of the newsletter is an article detailing a rite for Alban Elfed which is dated September 17th to 19th 1993. This is long and detailed and goes through many celebrations and ritual activities. Tim Sebastian organised the 1993 Avebury Conference, and asked Greywolf to conduct the Autumn Equinox ceremony which took place on the conference weekend. Greywolf goes into how the ritual was composed and details some of Avebury’s history. Philip Carr Gomm and Ellie were handfasted here and Ronald Hutton took some photographs of this. This newsletter is well worth getting hold of as it contains much historical information and some very nice history of ritual work within Avebury. The main section of the newsletter closes with a short meditation. The newsletter ends with some closing credits featuring all who were involved in the activities of the Gorsedd. The Devizes Museum may still have a copy or copies of the newsletter as at least one was sent there. A friend has also told me that there used to be a yellow book collecting some information about the Gorsedd, although I have never seen this for myself.

    Note: Emma Restall Orr has also written a book, Principles of Druidry Thorsons 5th October 1998 978-0722536742 which should not be confused with Greywolf’s book, although her book might well be worth a look. Bobcat has written other books including Living Druidry, Druid Princess and Spirits of the Sacred Grove.