THE PATH THROUGH THE FOREST - A DRUID GUIDEBOOK
 
Second Edition

JULIE WHITE & GRAEME K TALBOYS

ISBN 0-9540531-4-1 ~ Paperback ~ 248 pages ~ £12.95
 

This revised and expanded version was written out of the need to provide an introduction to the Druid Way based on a Celtic metaphysic. The authors bring a wide experience of druidic practice and thought to bear and present a work that will allow those new to the Way to take their first steps with confidence. However, it is also a book that will be of immense interest to those who are already Druid as it approaches the subject with a fresh vision and a passion that will inspire many to re-examine their roots.

The book is divided, appropriately, into three sections. The first part, 'How The World Came To Be', looks at ancestral Celts and Druids and examines not just the history of the Druid Way, but also the metaphysic that gives it continued life. The second part, 'The Shape Of The World', explores some of the philosophical concepts of the modern Druid Way as well as the importance of the Matter of Britain in understanding what it is to be Druid. The final part, 'Working In The World', looks at some of the practical aspects of being Druid.

This is not a complete course in becoming Druid as that cannot be presented in written form. What it offers is an introduction to those who are interested in learning what it is to be Druid, as well as offering a way forward for those whose interest becomes commitment.

The historical and archaeological content has been revised in line with latest research, all the material on deity has been gathered into a new chapter, the reference section has been updated, and the authors and publisher have taken the opportunity to correct minor errors that crept in at the printing stage of the first edition.

See also the companion volume, Arianrhod's Dance - a Druid Ritual Workbook.

WHAT OTHERS SAID OF THE FIRST EDITION

Outstanding! Simply one of the most readable, useful and comprehensive books on Druidry I have read for a long time. (David Morgan-Brown - Spirit Bear)

Every neophyte should be presented with a copy. I thought it was excellent in its content and presentation, its resources, booklist, and glossary. To introduce the work with a blessing sets the scene [on] a book full of wisdom that unfolds with a clear simplicity. ‘Working in the World’ is an excellent guide to the practicalities, and I think the sample ritual is beautiful. [The authors] have done everything with a profound grace. (Eileen Buchanan)

…a very readable and useful companion to those on the Druid Way and for those setting out on the path… Well recommended. (Maddy Johnson – SpiritSong)

...a welcome addition to the druidic canon... (Geoff Boswell – The Druids’ Voice)

...this book is well written, and does what very few books seem to do these days - cover the underlying philosophies, ethics and worldview of a spiritual path. The sections weave together myth, practice and experience to produce a rich tapestry of the druid path. You need to immerse yourself to get the full benefit, [but] the experience is well worth it. (Avalonia website)

...an excellent introduction for those who are looking into the Druid Way. (Vikki Carr)

Whether you’re thinking of becoming a Druid or just have an interest in Druidism, this is the book for you. It’s a beautifully presented book and a well-written and scholarly work. the Path through the Forest should be on the bookshelf of anyone who has even the remotest interest in the Druidic way of life. (Alan Wykes in Tradition magazine)

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction

PART ONE - HOW THE WORLD CAME TO BE
The meaning of the word 'Druid'
The Celts
The Druids
The Celtic Vision

PART TWO - THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD
Bard * Ovate * Druid
Cycles and Celebrations
Arthur - The Sun King
Simplicity
Wisdom
Service
Awen

PART THREE - WORKING IN THE WORLD
Tools of the Trade
Casting a Circle and Circle Working
Meditation
Ethics
Landscape
Trees
Plants and Herbs
Druid Animal Lore
Deity
Ogham
Working Alone and Working with Others
Being a Druid in the World

PART FOUR - A CRANE BAG
Glossary
Resources
Bibliography

EXTRACT

from the INTRODUCTION

A Druid is what we call someone who opens their mind, their heart, and their soul to the way in which our Celtic ancestors lived. Not in the detail, not as a fancy dress re-enactment, but with the totality of a vision of the world that is now lost to most people.

Through this vision, they see the world more fully. It realigns them and thus allows them to be reintegrated with that from which they have been divorced by modern society. And with the power this realignment endows, they are able to fulfil an important role - working to heal the hurts of the world and building a healthy future in which all the children of the Goddess may thrive in peace.

That is no easy task. This book was written to help. It was set down primarily for those who are considering whether to start out on the Druid Way and for those who are taking their first, tentative steps. There is a great deal of confusing and inaccurate advice and material available for such people. Some is obscure because of its antiquity; much of it is demanding because many experienced Druids who produce it find it difficult to remember what newcomers want and need in the way of guidance.

Far worse, however, is the fact that some of the material available has been made up by people pretending to have access to sources of knowledge denied to everyone else. These people are charlatans.

The source of a Druid’s knowledge and wisdom is not found in books or ancient manuscripts, any more than their work in the world can be confined to a library. Indeed, the knowledge and wisdom of the Druid is freely available to us all. It is knowing how to recognize it when we see it that is difficult. There is no denying that we can all learn from books, but they are mere primers in an age when it is difficult to find an experienced Druid who will take you under their wing.

Besides, if these people have access to previously unseen, ancient texts and they are true seekers after knowledge; they should make their material available to others. Dressing it up in systems and lessons does nothing but make the author look foolish and casts a deep shadow over their integrity.

T
hat is why this book contains nothing that is hidden; that is why it contains no obscure rites. There are rituals associated with the Druid Way – and for the serious seeker these are to be found in Arianrhod’s Dance, a companion volume to this by the same authors. However, rituals are an outward expression of what is already within. And to nurture what is within requires a dedication to a threefold path.

The first strand is the one in which you seek to know and channel the self. It is the most obvious place to begin. Having come to know one's self, it is then possible to move to the second strand in which one seeks the Light. For many, that is the goal, but the Druid Way recognizes a third strand in which one learns to channel the Light for the benefit of the world.

The Forest that is the Druid Way is there for all to see and there for all to explore. Everything you need to know is to be found within it, as long as you know how and where to look. From the outside, it can be daunting with seemingly deep shadows at its heart. Once within, however, you will find that the sun shines throughout and is at its brightest in the central grove that we all seek.

What a newcomer needs, and what we hope this book will offer, is an introduction to the main pathways into the Forest. Once these have been understood, the true seeker after knowledge will be able to go deeper into the literal and metaphorical forest for themselves, confident that they will not get lost, confident that they are equipped to learn from their experiences.
 

May you be blessed with the cauldron’s gift
may the breath of inspiration touch you
may your voice always sing
may the Light reach within you
may you learn from the Land
may the seed you plant be fruit for your children
may calmness be your mantle
may wisdom blaze out from the depths of your soul
may Truth be at the heart of you

  

© Julie White & Graeme K Talboys

 

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