Revisiting Druidry: The only introduction you’ll ever need by Restall Orr, 1998

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      I getting ready to Review Chieftess Restall-Orr’s book Principles of – Druidry: The only introduction you’ll ever need (Thorsons principles series) by Emma Restall Orr (5-Oct-1998) Paperback
      , but before I do I think it is useful show a recent reply that she gave Brendan Myers for his book The Earth, The Gods and the Soul, which so far looks like a cool book.

      Since Living with Honour was published, Restall-Orr has branched out her work to cover new topics, notably animism. So I [ Brendan Myers] wrote to Restall-Orr to ask how she would describe her own philosophical views. Here is her reply: “ Metaphysically, my philosophy can be described as a form of animism: the essence of nature is minded. It is this animism that informs my ethics, my politics, my theology and my religious practice. That within those sentences are at least eight, if not a dozen words, that can be defined in a number of different ways is in part what inspires and fuels my journeys of exploration, both those of language and of practical religious living. Working as a priest, teacher and counsellor, within the landscapes of Britain, that exploration fell within my understanding of the word Druid. While I still consider my religious roots to be within Druidry, I no longer work as a priest, instead withdrawing into the life of a philosopher and mystic. As such, it no longer matters how I label my religion; of more interest to me are the words that effectively describe my beliefs. Animism is, to me, a monist metaphysical approach. In other words, it rejects the dualism that declares a fundamental distinction between mind, soul, spirit, and matter, body, physicality. Instead, such an animism finds mindedness in every part of nature, including the wholeness of everything. Thus, pantheism is an inevitable element of this animistic perspective. Further, in acknowledging the mindedness of nature, we find minded beings whose presence is so affecting and influencing within our lives that it is wise to treat them with profound respect: these we might call the gods. So is polytheism also central to this monist animism. It is not just the gods whom we must respect. Every action we take as human beings is based on what we need or desire, and what the consequences may be of satisfying those needs and desires. Such an animism challenges the dualist or materialist approach that declares there to be subjects who can feel, and objects that have no personal experience at all. Objects can be used, discarded, replaced: objects are things. Subjects have a different value. If all nature is minded, we are faced with questions about sentience, memory, inherent value, and a creature’s right to thrive as itself for itself. We need to reconsider the notion of unnecessary harm, and allow our answers to guide us when we are thinking of care and sustainability. Perhaps the key is to look at the nature of mind, and how our human minds have constructed their sense of self. Releasing our grasp on the importance of the I, dissipating the survival instinct of the self, we can develop our living so as to be integrated within the greater minds of ecosystems, communities and gods. Perhaps then we may be able to start asking the really interesting questions.”

      Myers, Brendan. The Earth, The Gods and The Soul – A History of Pagan Philosophy: From the Iron Age to the 21st Century (pp. 257-259). John Hunt Publishing. Kindle Edition.


        I mean I get animism, I have a blue Jeep Wrangler that seems to have a spirit of its own, and everyone loves the car. I have a teddy bear that is very much alive. And Eric Clapton’s guitar strat, Blackie,is said to be endowed with spirit.
        Many witches say that animism is a basic idea in witchcraft. Animism is a really different way to look at things. I like the idea.


          Obviously, if you have read any of my posts, you know by now that I am not afraid to disagree with people. So in reviewing this great book, Principles of Druidry by Chieftess, Emman Restall Orr, I will try to stay on the all of the positive points of this great book. First, what I want to say is that the book is very poetic, and spiritual, and I already love it. The Chieftess, who I think is also known as Bobcat, really gives some great insight into druidry in this book. Let me just start off by giving a block quote from the book. The Chieftess is talking about an earth-ancestor spirituality of druidry.

          “The more widely accepted possible origins of the faith take us back into the primitive cultures of neolithic Europe and to the motivating drive behind any religion: the need to understand the world around us in our search for survival, together with some way of assuring the future through the fertility of the land and tribe. In this, Druidry connects with all of the other Earth-ancestor traditions around the globe, such as the Native American, the Maori and Huna, the Aboriginal, the Romany and the indigenous spiritualities of African and Asia. ………..But honoring the mysteries and manifestations of life is still a profoundly sacred and rewarding act, and it lies deep within the heart of modern Druidry. (The principles of Druidry, Chieftess, Emma Restall Orr. p.9-10)

          The book has a copyright of 1998, and it seems to me that the BDO druids were really fired up about druidry at that time. I like her take on being a druid, and if you can get the book, I think it would be wonderful if other people would post their thoughts about the book as we go through the chapters together. I hope we can all keep the spirit of the druids who were in the 1980s and 1990s. I think we can learn a lot from them about druidry. Welcome to the Hotel Druid, you can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave, Yes, I think this book has a spirit that reminds me of the song Hotel California by the Eagles

          Hotel California
          On a dark desert highway
          Cool wind in my hair
          Warm smell of colitas
          Rising up through the air
          Up ahead in the distance
          I saw a shimmering light
          My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
          I had to stop for the night
          There she stood in the doorway
          I heard the mission bell
          And I was thinkin’ to myself
          ‘This could be heaven or this could be hell
          Then she lit up a candle
          And she showed me the way
          There were voices down the corridor
          I thought I heard them say
          Welcome to the Hotel California
          Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
          Such a lovely face
          Plenty of room at the Hotel California
          Any time of year (any time of year)
          You can find it here
          Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
          She got the Mercedes Benz, uh
          She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
          That she calls friends
          How they dance in the courtyard
          Sweet summer sweat
          Some dance to remember
          Some dance to forget
          So I called up the Captain
          “Please bring me my wine”
          He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969”
          And still those voices are calling from far away
          Wake you up in the middle of the night
          Just to hear them say
          Welcome to the Hotel California
          Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
          Such a lovely face
          They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
          What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
          Bring your alibis
          Mirrors on the ceiling
          The pink champagne on ice
          And she said, “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”
          And in the master’s chambers
          They gathered for the feast
          They stab it with their steely knives
          But they just can’t kill the beast
          Last thing I remember
          I was running for the door
          I had to find the passage back
          To the place I was before
          “Relax”, said the night man
          “We are programmed to receive
          You can check out any time you like
          But you can never leave”

          david poole

            I was thinking of getting this book but it is a little bit pricey, £28.52 is the cheapest I could find it for. That is kind of putting me off at the moment. There are some other books like Spirits of the Sacred Grove by Bobcat or Principles of Shamanism by Leo Rutherford which are much cheaper and which look very interesting. GreyFalcon, would you recommend either of those?


              David, I am finding that the book is pretty much like the other one million beginning books on Druidry, so there is not going to be too much new here. It is starting to look like the book is now decending into Neo paganism, a one world religion, but I think there still might be some jewels of wisdom in it. She does talk about the druid festivals, and I think that they would be some great fun to go to. There is also a video on YouTube that shows the druid summer camp at Glastonbury and I think chief Greywolf is in it playing music, and everyone is happy and getting their druid on. Just google obod summer camp. I think they are going to cancel the summer camp this year, but maybe next year you can go. Yeah, stay away from the expensive books, and don’t waste your money. Plus, always try to buy used. A lot of this stuff is for free on the internet now. I was just real interested in this book because Bobcat was one of the founders of the BDO, and I will say Bobcat has charmed me with her writing style.I am pretty sure that Chief Graywolf is a member of the OBOD. I think I remember seeing one of his posts on their site. As I understand it, the obod has over 20 thousand members, and their courses go for about $450 US dollars a pop. So $450 times 20,000 =$ 9,000,000 US dollars, and if each of the twenty thousand members took 3 courses, that would be $27,000,000 that the OBOD took in. Not bad for a non-profit. Plus they sell books on the OBOD website. Also there are now some really intense books out on magic. One of them that I found real strange is An Carrow Gwyn, sorcery and the ancient faerie faith, by Robin Artisoson. Artiisson is a shaman, and he gives instructions on how to do a breaching spell in the book. A breaching spell is a spell that will open other dimensions. It is some truly weird stuff, David. I buy most books in kindle form now because I like to be able to increase the print size, and I hate books that are in super small print. But one of the things nice about druidry is that you don’t need any books to be a druid, it is more important to just going out into nature, and being silent and listening. David, if you get a chance, go up to the Cairngorms in the NE Scotland highlands this summer. that place is really magical. I know you love your magical south of England, but Druidry was very big in the highlands and there is much more of it there than most people know of. Do check it out, and I think the living mountain by the Scottish writer Nan Shepherd is a good book. Best William

              david poole

                I will look for those videos GreyFalcon. The news that I heard was that the summer gathering had been cancelled due to coronavirus. Next year they might start again in June. £28.50 was the used paperback cost for Bobcat’s book, and that was the cheapest price; some were ridiculously expensive, I couldn’t believe how much they were. I have a lot of books on druidry and really prefer to stay within that area. I find just doing druidry can be challenging enough. but i might look for that book. I just bought two new books this afternoon but I really couldn’t resist doing so. I will try to go out more, and I will try to visit the areas you mention one day. Please keep up with your stories they are great.

                Dave TheDruid-3X3


                  I have read Bobcat’s ‘What Is Druidry’ E-Book. Is her Book ‘Principles of Druidry’ somewhat similar?

                  I have read over her Living With Honour and Druid Priestess.

                  I see that Principles of Druidry has several copies available on Amazon:


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