Review: The Voice Within the Wind, Greywind

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Review: The Voice Within the Wind, Greywind

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  • #12228
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Greywind, The Voice Within the Wind (Of Becoming and the Druid Way), Grey House in the Woods; UK, (2001)

    I’ve been reading through this work slowly over a number of months and I had intended to update the Bookshelf thread in the Bardic Support Forum with it, however, there seems to be an issue with that forum, so I’ll post here.

    This is an interesting book and I’d say unusual in the field – you won’t find any rituals, rites, lengthy discussions of mythology and whatnot, but you’ll find a long philosophical tract written by Greywind about what is named throughout the book as the Druid metaphysic. Greywind discusses, amongst other things, how Druidism fits into the great scheme of things as a religion depending on how we define that and also, more importantly, on the role of a druid in today’s world (universe). In the end, we are invited to make the leap.

    I’d recommend reading this book slowly, each page is saturated with ideas and notions that may at times require rereading in order to absorb them fully. Some might criticise this book in that it may seem at times as if the author is labouring the point a little too much, however, it all comes together in the end, so it is worth persevering.

    I think this book is a work that should be read by anyone who’s serious about following a druidic path. It’s not a step-by-step guide to anything, but it’s a book that makes you re-evaluate and think about things from a Druid’s perspective.

    I’ve come across some interesting titles by the publisher, Grey House in the Woods – I’m just about to start Arianrhod’s Dance by Julie White and Graeme K. Talboys – but the publishing house’s website no longer seems active and I wonder if they are still operating. Nevertheless, this work can easily be found through most online retailers and I wouldn’t call it pricey either. So, if you’re interested in a more philosophical and contemporary take on what Druidism is about, then you could do a lot worse than have a look at The Voice Within the Wind.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12586
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    Sounds like an interesting read, might have a look 🙂

    #12587
    Anonymous

    you’ll find a long philosophical tract written by Greywind about what is named throughout the book as the Druid metaphysic. Greywind discusses, amongst other things, how Druidism fits into the great scheme of things as a religion depending on how we define that and also, more importantly, on the role of a druid in today’s world (universe). In the end, we are invited to make the leap.

    Dowgri, were there any points that you agreed with in the book in how druidry fits into the great scheme of things as a religion. And is Chieftain Greywolf arguing for a more or less druid traditional path? Also, why is it the wind within the wind? Is Chieftain talking about the sylphs (faeries) that often travel in groups, causing the wind to come out of nowhere, or the metaphysics of the wind and death, as in when people die the wind often calms down, as if it has gotten what it came for, or that the spirit of the dead travel on the wind. Also, I wonder if Chieftain thinks that mixing lots of different traditions and new age beliefs together is a good way to practice druidry? Or does Chieftain call for a return to a more traditional path? my feeling that it is best for people to stay on the path of the tradition that they were raised in because it is there that they will find community support and advice for the many losses in life, and also these traditional paths like christianity form a bases for societal structure and laws. Those who enter druidry face a difficult road which can lead to metal derangement and suicide, or enlightenment, so unless a person really feels a call to druidry, I don’t think it is a good idea for them to become druids. When people ask me what druidry is, I keep it simple and just say that it is a group of people who love nature, which is true, but there is so much more to it. I also wonder if the British board of tourism is promoting druidry as a way to get more people to travel to the UK, as in the idea that druidry is like seeing old castles from the war of the roses, and buying Harry Potter druid props in the gift shop in Glastonbury. Further, I feel that many people pick up a druid staff and robe because they have found no guidance or faith in their parents religion, and are seriously looking for an alternative because Jesus let them down, as in why did my friend die, and where was Jesus then. religion seems to be a part of the psychic mental structure of many people, and questioning their own beliefs can cause them to end up in the mental hospital. I have found that the christian church is deeply against druidry and thinks that we are evil. Yes I know that many christians act like they like us, but that is only the christian clown face with a painted on smile that they use to mask their real feelings. Further, many christians try to mix druidry with christianity because so many early Irish monks and texts were created in druid country or on the isles of Ireland, and again, druidry sells in the gift shop. Druidry is not a child’s toy, and even Ross Nichols had a pentagram painted on the floor of his vacation hut in New Forest. This is not to mention the door to other wolds that druidry opens, which can be a dangerous as the doors that the puzzle box in the Movie Hellraiser opens, in short there are some evil things on the otherside. I think of druidry as in the movie the Matrix, when Neo is told that is awakening from the cyber sleep was an exception, and that the rebels did not like awakening people who were older because it was just too much for the older minds. I know many druids get upset when I tell them that evil is real because many druids only want to see the fantasy side of druidry, but you can’t have good without evil, and you can’t have light without dark. You can can call it satan or whatever you want, I just call it evil spirits, and I pray to Bridget to protect my house and clan from evil. Overall, I do not think that druidry is for everyone, and unless a person feels a strong call and desire to walk the druid path it is best they take another path, for there are many different creatures in the enchanted forest, and not all of them are as friendly as Puff the magic dragon, or as protective as Rubeus Hagrid. And druidry is not about getting revenge on anyone who harms you like Harry does in the potter stories. Druidry is a most magical way to live, and druidry is only for the brave.

    #12589
    Anonymous

    Hi Dowgri, I thought you were talking about a book that Greywolf wrote, but you were talking about a book by Greywind, and these are two different people.It looks like Greywind is a druid and a member of a grove, but can’t find much else about him. I see in the book he is bringing up the contentious question of whether druidry is a religion or not, and it seems this question has been argued to death, just like the story of Taliesin has been oversold, but looks like a good read. Many druids argue that they are in an order and not a religion. Well, I go down on the side that druidry should never be a religion because we all see what the christian religion has done to the earth and all the people killed in the name of Jesus, and all the witches put to death and tortured in the name of Jesus, plus the fat priests who have gotten filthy rich off of Christianity while they rapped young boys and girls, so I hope Druidry is never thought of as a religion. However, Neo paganism is often thought of as a religion. I have noticed that many of the hippy druid leaders no longer call themselves Priests and priestesses, and that is a step in the right direction, but is druidry just a way of life. maybe there should be a whole new term for what druidry is. I think of druidry starting with Ross Nichols, and his call for us to return to nature, And I also see it as a form of spirituality, and not an order because an order seems too much like a club of people who are just history buffs. I feel druids are serious seekers of the spirit of nature and that they have a relationship with the Celtic Gods and goddesses. Plus, religions can quickly turn into cults, with the followers worshiping the leaders, like Jim Jones or David Koresh. Also, it is important that druids think for themselves and not just do whatever some chieftain tells them, however, this can be difficult when you are dealing with peer pressure to conform and bow down to a chieftain like he is a god. Further, druidry is very exploratory in nature, and I read a lot of very very very bad advice that some of the chieftains have written. And turning druidry into a way of life sounds too much like a good housekeeping article on 10 ways to plant a druid garden, or freshen your house with druid herbs. Overall, I see a lot of corporate marketing in modern Neo paganism, and this is not what druidry should be about at all. I think that the hippy spirituality movement, the back to the landers, is as close to druidry as we are every going to get. Druidry works best in small groves, and in small circles of druids, which is the way I think it has always been, but many people want to claim that there were huge numbers of druids, way beyond the number there really were. Plus, a lot of modern druidry has been influenced by The Gomm, and as I understand it, he was a witch before selling books on druidry. the Gomm recently wrote a book in which he said that druidry is becoming a lot like Neo pagan witchcraft. And I think that is the wrong path for druidry to be on. Still, we are all at the beginning of the creation of modern druidry, and I am sure it will become more defined as time goes on. I just don’t like the idea that druidry is everything to everyone, and I feel that that approach is nothing but a cheap marketing trick to sell more expensive courses and books on how to be a druid.

    #12592
    david poole
    Participant

    Philip Carr Gomm wrote a book called Druidcraft in which he combined the two different paths of Druidry and Witchcraft and made them both work together, this book worked as a set of lessons in its own right and could be studied even if you knew nothing about either path before. I was not aware that Druidry and witchcraft were becoming exactly the same thing. I did not know that Carr Gomm used to be a witch either. He has talked about Jainism, but I know nothing about that apart from the fact that they work with the four directions. There has been no suggestions within what I have read of his work that witchcraft figures much at all.

    #12593
    Anonymous

    Hi David, as I understand it, The Gomm was also a psychologist, and that may be the reason there is so much pop psychology, like the wounded inner child, over at the Obodians, still, you have to give it to The Gomm, he really is a great Gomm, and does have a great heart. I love The Gomm. But the fact that witchcraft is so left out of the Obodians is one of my wonders about them. I have always felt it is really important to cast a magic circle before doing any witchcraft or magic, and I did not really see that from The Gomm, I think that The Gomm has practice witchcraft so long that he can just cast a blue-white dome sphere around him and it will hold. the other thing about the Obodians is that they are just too commercialized, and it is effing outrageous what they charge for a course for their magical merit badges. I even feel that charging that much is just a rip off on the druid community. The courses should be no more that $10 dollars USA each. And the selling of books on their site is outrageous also. I have no problem with listing good books to look at, but I feel that selling the books on the site is just plain commercialism at it’s worst. Still, I really do love The Gomm and Mrs. Gomm and I think they are just swell. Best Polythene Pam

    #12594
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    I have to say I am enjoying this thread and have thus bought the book inexpensively on kindle. Maybe I can add some intelligent comments once I have read it 🙂

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by tony1kenobi.
    #12604
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    I have to say I am enjoying this thread and have thus bought the book inexpensively on kindle. Maybe I can add some intelligent comments once I have read it 🙂

    Morning Tony. I hope you enjoy the book. As I said in the review, it is, in my opinion, quite an unusual book in its genre as it’s not a typical work on rituals, rites and ceremonies etc.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12608
    tony1kenobi
    Participant

    Starting reading, unusual, but in a good way 🙂

    #12611
    david poole
    Participant

    I reread Greywind’s book today and it was just as you describe it once again. One passage in particular struck me, which I did not notice before: Greywind says that if anyone knew he was practicing Druidry that he might be in trouble; he mentions his neighbours, who he says would be unhappy if he knew that someone did not belong to a particular Christian sect, as if he was thinking of more than one group. Sounds like it might be either the Catholics or the Protestants, I think Greywind is based in Ireland. That would explain why he is thinking of more than one sect. Another point, Greywind talks about Irish issues and concepts and uses Irish Gaelic at a few key points about here before going on to other subjects. He mentions the lia faill, the Stone of Destiny, and also the Brehon laws. This would appear to be his background, which he does not specifically state anywhere else but he gives some clues away at this point.

    #12612
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    I reread Greywind’s book today …

    Morning David.

    “Greywind” is the pen name of Graeme K. Talboys, an English writer who, I believe, has roots in, or a connection to, Gloucestershire. There’s quite a detailed interview with him available at Druidic Dawn in their issue of Aontacht (Volume 3, Issue 3 Winter/summer Solstice 2010), which you can find at their website free of charge. Unfortunately, it seems that there are a lot of broken links online and the Grey House in the Woods website no longer seems to be available; however, I think the publishing house was based in Ayrshire, Scotland.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12614
    david poole
    Participant

    Graeme K Talboys has written a number of book, among them is Arianrhod’s Dance, which I did like and it is a little more traditional that The Voice Within The Wind. Maybe it was because Talboys had a co-author or maybe it was the nature of the content, but Dance was a bit more like a standard book on Druidry with many elements which were not present in Voice. There is still something of the same tone as Talboys can speak with authority; sometimes I got this impression, sometimes he was a little softer, or maybe that was the co-author Julie White. I would recommend Dance as a guide to certain aspects of Druid practice. I can’t recall the book saying much about Arianrhod herself; it is more of a practical guide, not a real problem there are an awful lot of books about the Mabinogion already. Talboys sometimes reminds me of Ross Nichols in that he can make prescriptions to the reader; this felt more apparent in The Voice Within The Wind. I wonder what The Path Through The Forest is like?

    #12617
    Dowrgi
    Participant

    Graeme K Talboys has written a number of book, among them is Arianrhod’s Dance, which I did like and it is a little more traditional that The Voice Within The Wind. Maybe it was because Talboys had a co-author or maybe it was the nature of the content, but Dance was a bit more like a standard book on Druidry with many elements which were not present in Voice. There is still something of the same tone as Talboys can speak with authority; sometimes I got this impression, sometimes he was a little softer, or maybe that was the co-author Julie White. I would recommend Dance as a guide to certain aspects of Druid practice. I can’t recall the book saying much about Arianrhod herself; it is more of a practical guide, not a real problem there are an awful lot of books about the Mabinogion already. Talboys sometimes reminds me of Ross Nichols in that he can make prescriptions to the reader; this felt more apparent in The Voice Within The Wind. I wonder what The Path Through The Forest is like?

    I’ve only just dipped into bits of Arianrhod’s Dance, however, I think I prefer the Voice, to be honest. I’ll write more when I’ve finished the former in order to be able to give a more sincere appraisal. One criticism – albeit subjective – is that I was expecting to find more about Arianrhod, a fact to which you’ve allueded, and the traditions and mythos surrounding her, which doesn’t seem to be the main focus of the work in question.

    Bennathow
    /|\

    #12623
    david poole
    Participant

    I have just read Talboys’s Aontacht interview, and it is very revealing I recommend giving it a look yourself. There are several points which come up here. Talboys founded something called The Hedge Druid Network, which is aimed at people who wish to follow Druidry without belonging to a grove or teaching order. Ogham comes up, Talboys describes it then states that it is not really meant as a divination system; he feels that modern methods of divination tap into personal psychic powers and provide expression for them. T H White, Arthur and Merlin come up. Talboys is a very prolific reader due to ill health. Merlin emerges as an archetype for modern Druids/Wizards/Magicians/Priests, which I think is very valid and worth exploring as a role model; contrast say with Gwydion from the Mabinogion, another good study. Talboys mentions his book, A Druid Way Made Easy, as a guide; there is also The Path Through The Forest, I am not clear how they differ but there must be some difference within their teachings as they are different books. Regarding Arianrhod, I have always seen her as connected with the moon, is this interpretation correct? Or with the sky, it’s not quite the same thing.

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