THE VOICE WITHIN THE WIND - OF BECOMING AND THE DRUID WAY
ISBN 0-9540531-0-9 ~ Paperback ~ 136pp ~ £9.95
is a comprehensive and thought-provoking
exploration of some of the metaphysical notions that are the foundation of
modern druidic thought and practice. It is a serious and informed
contribution to an oft-neglected area of the modern Druid Way in which past
practice is all too often rekindled without an attendant understanding of
past psychology or philosophical perceptions. In this, it is a manifesto for
a Druid Way that is both true to its Celtic roots and responsive to the
Greywind is a Hedge Druid. His first steps on the Way were taken more than thirty years ago in the shadow of the Harvest Hill in Lewes. Although his roots are deeply embedded in the south of England and the West Country, his branches currently flourish and flower in Scotland.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
...I found the book very thought provoking. [It] leads the reader on a path of exploration of Celtia and the self. This book gives a different slant on Druidry, one which is not in any of the books ... currently in print. (J. White - Touchstone)
...a deeply practical exploration of the Druid Way and how it may illumine your life. (Cygnus Review)
...an amazingly powerful book. I've searched for written material for the essence of the Druid Way and only [this] has produced it! (Val Young)
...a thought provoking look into the world of a Druid. Starting with some absolutely beautiful nature poetry and then looking at the journey and life of a Druid ... it gives you a deep insight into the Path. (Avalonia website)
...an extensive review of philosophical, pyschological and theological concepts that we encounter in Druidry. This is the first book from Grey House in the Woods ... this reviewer can't wait to see other publications from this source. (Tooth & Claw)
It succeeds quite magnificently. Greywind treats Druidry as a living thing, something that changes with the changes in the world, and that should be understood as such. He takes into account the metaphysical and isn't afraid to speak his mind - regardless of whether his opinion agrees with the 'established knowledge base' or not. I love this book. I love it so much, I'm not giving it back! (Green Circular)
I have read many books on Druidry, but this is the first one that postulates a mature, forward looking vision of Druid spirituality, in a sea of reactionary and illusionary works. (Ambarii)
...because of the rarity of published philosophical speculation within Druidry ... this is a welcome book. (Greywolf - The Druids' Voice)
Truth and Service
Me/Not Me - A Search for Identity
To Where the Journey Returns
Obscured By Clouds
When the clouds part, it will be given to you to see some of the details of what before had been uncertain forms in the obscuring mist.
The parting of the clouds may happen only once. The parting may be brief. No matter. The light that comes through will be enough. It will inform you. Memory of it will never be lost.
And listen, too, for within the convoluted music of the wind is a voice of subtle wisdom.
You may hear strange things, see distant stars, you may simply see and hear a little more of the landscape around you. Large or small, distant or near, it does not matter. It is all worthy of note.
In what ways you make sense of the detail revealed, in what ways the light and the voice inform you, in what ways the memory of this touches your self - all this depends on how you have prepared yourself for the moment.
Study the forms in the mist; come to know their shapes and movements. Know, too, what sort of thing is your goal. Know the ways of knowing. Then you may better understand what the light and the voice have revealed to you.
There are many ways of knowing. But if the slow presence of living wood is there in the light, with skyward reaching branches that listen to the wind that moves them, the way revealed is the Forest Way - born of a Celtic vision of a living world.
So, yet another book about Druids and the Druid Way? Yes, but no.
This is not a book about the Druid Way in the conventional sense. There are no ceremonies or rituals or workings herein. There are no initiations or exercises. Nor are there any revelations of arcana - there are no such secrets and there never have been.
Becoming Druid, taking to the Druid Way, does not depend on some hidden and closely guarded lore any more than it depends on surface manifestations. A Druid is inspired by the most essential, bright, open and accessible of sources. That the source has become obscured and that learning how to learn from it has been made difficult are expressions of the society in which we live rather than any obscurity inherent in Druidic thought and action.
To recognize the bright source, to come to terms with the things we learn from and experience in its presence, we need to think about and approach the world in a way different from that which has become the accepted norm. To achieve that involves a long and difficult journey.
It is a journey through the labyrinth to the very heart of our being, a journey that moves outward to touch the most distant star. It is a journey in which you may be guided by others, but which you must make for yourself. A journey in the real world, not in an abstract and partial world of symbols or the world of a humanity divorced from nature. For our forebears it was the natural and accepted way, just as it is for those who are truly Druid today.
This book aims, in part, through a series of questions and discussions of that Celtic vision to give some idea of how that metaphysic can be realized, won back from the dead hand of modern thought that has tried to steal it from our souls. It is, therefore, a book about magic - re-aligning the mind to work in concord with the universe and restore a balance that has been disturbed.
It is also a personal journey into the evolving spiritual and metaphysical aspects of that re-claimed perspective so that we all (myself included) might better hear the Voice, see the Light, and know the Truth.
Before starting that journey, there is an important point to consider. This is a book. In the past, Druids rarely wrote down their teachings. This is not to say they were illiterate. Many could read and write but, as part of a pattern of respect for the Goddess, they chose not to commit their wisdom to books. I do not claim that what follows constitutes wisdom, but this past reluctance is worth some thought.
Wisdom is not an abstract notion waiting to be plucked from some misty, distant and ancient realm of ideals by an adept of arcane methods. It is not contained in any book, guarded by zealous acolytes. Wisdom is of this world, dynamic and organic - a realization that all things are connected. It relates to being - we 'become' wise, but a book, no matter how erudite the content, is something we 'have'. It relates to time and place - blossoming in specific, concrete situations. And thus it relates to use, for if it is not applied it has neither meaning nor existence. Wisdom is, therefore, a predisposition of people to act and behave in certain right ways.
Wisdom is to understand what we know of the world that we might act rightly and for the good in the simplest way. If we know things poorly, improperly, or second hand, if we cannot see the connections between them, then we cannot ever come to understand them or act rightly.
We must, then, learn to know things properly. And this cannot be done solely by reading books and meditating on what we have read. There is a place for this, but we can only meditate on things that, ultimately, we derive from and are able to apply to a personal experience of the world. 'Do, and you understand' encapsulates this well.
If you tear wisdom out of people and pin it to the page it ceases to be wisdom. Rendering it as fixed symbols reduces it to nothing more than information. Unless this information is approached in the right spirit - knowing it for what it is, knowing the ways of reviving it and reintegrating it, knowing how alphabet literacy can work against the Goddess - it can become a dead weight that does not decay as it should to nourish new growth but, through its increasing irrelevance, becomes a deadly pollutant.
For those, like myself, who treasure books this is a difficult but truly vital point to accept. Books are important. They can be great teachers. But no matter how important they are, no matter how profound their message, we should always remember that books are simply one medium through which human beings can communicate. What they teach will reside within us, altering us and how we treat the world.
No book, especially one like this, is an end in itself. It is part of a cycle, part of a conversation to which you must contribute. Books fix words and ideas to make it easier to convey such conversations to many others. But, because the words are fixed on the page, we must not assume the ideas they convey to be immutable. Ideas are part of human experience. They evolve, have contact with the concrete world, and have relevance to our everyday lives.
Ultimately, the only worthwhile measure of what we have learned, of the wisdom we have derived from this, is in how we behave. Our behaviour as autonomous beings involves taking responsibility for what we are and what we do. That responsibility cannot be abrogated on the strength of something that has been read in a book and that may, in any case, have been misunderstood. Responsibility lies in conscious choice, in having control - which means acting from your own volition.
We live too much inside our heads in an abstract universe derived from a set of symbols on the page. It is important that we get out and do, for it is the actions of our lives that count, not the words in a book. The truly sacred is in the detail of our everyday lives, each act chosen for its rightness.
This book, then, is just a beginning. Re-aligning our metaphysical notions is vital, but only in so far as we then make use of that. You can learn many things about the Druid Way from books, but you cannot become Druid just by reading them. What you learn about from a book is yourself; the most important thing you can then do, is apply what you have learned.
I have tried my best to speak the Truth. However, I have no monopoly on that, any more than I have a full understanding of what it is. My view is partial and I am fallible. There will, no doubt, be things herein that you find contentious. That is all to the good. What follows is offered as food for your thoughts (and we must surely feed our thoughts with as nutritious, varied, and healthy a diet as we offer our stomachs). And, through the questions I have raised and explored, I hope to have offered you an opportunity to clarify your own sense of direction.
Read the book. And when the book is finished, return to
the world with a renewed vision. Then, gentle as your footsteps may already
be upon the Earth, they will also be to some certain purpose - taking you
closer to the Light.