Category Archives: workbooks
Origins of Ancient European Traditions Revealed in NEW 3rd EDITION of the classic Book of Elven-Faerie
The legacy brought forth by the ancient Mesopotamian world (and Egyptian for that matter) did not die with them or we would not have anything near to the world that we have today. Their influence remains true. One might believe (or prefer to believe) that since we no longer live under the same conditions and guises of our ancestors, that we have somehow been able to escape their Truth – that it could not longer have application for us. Such is clearly not the case, nor did things end entirely with the lore and sagas of the Sumerians and Babylonians and other desert dwellers in a forgotten world – no indeed…
An authentic, beautiful and uniquely complete Elvish Druidic Tradition revealed in the light of the mortal world… for the first time ever!
“The Book of Elven-Faerie actually restores the historical basis of the modern ‘New Age’ movement, resulting from one seeker’s pursuits into the origins of the Druids.“
“The Book of Elven-Faerie became the literal genesis of the modern ‘Mardukite’ movement when privately released by prolific visionary writer, Joshua Free, in 2006.“
“The first part of The Book of Elven-Faerie describes the history of elves and faeries, how they were created and eventually disappeared. The second part dives into the practice of the Elven-Faerie tradition, complete with rituals for both groups and solitary practitioners. The book concludes with a section on less formal practices including working on the astral plane, sacred trees, herbalism and forest magick, including use of the Ogham.“
Mesopotamia was only the beginning. As time and geography took its hold onto the ancient source traditions, it… evolved! If it can be said that this ancient stream is indeed our well-spring of civilization (examined very intensely in the Necronomicon Anunnaki Bible), and if we are to try to seek the most complete “systems” that have been brought forth through time and space, there are no others that compare to both the beauty and current and functional revival relevance as the Druids. Druidism is just as misunderstood and just as often misrepresented as the mythos and magick of ancient Sumeria, Babylon and Egypt – and, as it turns out, is directly related via a “dragon lineage” that was seeded by a race that we can identify with as “Elves” or “Faerie” begun in ancient Sumeria and Eurasia and carried forth into the Western World by distinct tribes of Europe.
The Book of Elven-Faerie is a revolutionary and controversial compendium of lore and magic reveals many things including:
* How ancient traditions of Mesopotamia (Sumerians, Babylonians, etc.) evolved into mystical, mythical and societal systems of Western Europe.
* How the most arcane practices shaped the customs and beliefs of the Western World.
* How modern folk magic can be traced back through the evolution of human civilization as carried by Druidic Tribes, the Tuatha de Dannan and ancient Anunnaki.
The Book of Elven-Faerie reveals an entire exploration into the Elven Way, Celtic Faerie Tradition and Danubian Druidism is offered — such as never seen before. Drawing from hundreds of sources, a reconstructionist Elven-Faerie tradition and system paradigm is presented by critically acclaimed Mardukite Druid, Joshua Free, including two complete grimoires that bring the magic and enchantment of nature, the elemental world, astral plane and woodlands to life!
In ancient Keltia, the Druid Order consisted of learned men, those educated in Bardic Arts: cosmology, native history, legendary history of heroes and spirituality, penal laws and punishments, geography, healing, botanical medicine, astronomy, astrology and magic…
–Joshua Free explains in the preface to Pheryllt.
It is no wonder the Bardd is viewed as transmitter or catalyst of awen, the essence, divine spark or spirit of inspiration that the Greeks termed gnosis. It is to the ‘ebb and flow’ of the ‘awen field‘ that the poetic genius of Bards is attributed.
Diverse facets of knowledge, from practical magic, to the Bardic Arts, to Celtic history or even philosophies assimilated from cultures that Druids encountered throughout Europe, all appear in Douglas Monroe‘s works under the premise of being referenced from the Book of Pheryllt – or more accurately the Books of Fferyllt, a collective body of knowledge (what is literally called the Body of the Dragon in his preface to the 21 Lessons of Merlyn).
Following the lead of Monroe‘s citations, other cycles of Welsh material are also incorporated into the Book of Pheryllt, namely the Cad Goddeu (or Battle of the Trees) and the Gorchan of Maeldrew and both are contained in Volume I of the Books of Pheryllt. The three do not overlap or necessarily pertain to practical methodology in the sense the Seeker is left with when examining the “grimoire” portions of Douglas Monroe’s Lost Books of Merlyn. The “cantos” depicted on page 252 from that text are actually derived from a cycle of Norse mythology titled: Fridthjof’s Saga.
“The Druids believed in books more ancient than the flood. They styled them the ‘Books of Pheryllt’ and the writings of Hu.”
– Ignatius Donnelly, ‘Atlantis’
“Oxford is old, even in England… its foundations date from Alfred, and even from Arthur, if, as is alleged, the Pheryllt of the Druids had a seminary there.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, English Traits
According to Douglas Monroe a manuscript known as the ‘Book of Pheryllt‘ from the 16th century collection is attributed to a modern antiquarian Bard: Llywelyn Sion of Glamorgan, Wales. It is purportedly moved from the library of Owen Morgan “Morian” to the private collection of the Albion Lodge of the ‘United Ancient Order of Druids of Oxford‘ before coming into Monroe’s possession. Barddas, also by Llywelyn Sion, strongly influenced work of Douglas Monroe, neodruidism and the National Welsh Eisteddfod. In addition to Monroe‘s work, Barddas is highly recommended as a companion to the Pheryllt.
“It became rapidly clear that to give the ‘Body of the Dragon’ its true justice, given the many diverse subjects and scattered references from Douglas Monroe’s trilogy and the mysterious manner which Bards conceal knowledge, that my facsimile of the Pheryllt material required more than one volume to be complete.”
— Joshua Free
ADDITIONAL EDITOR’S NOTES: The reader will quickly find that much of the herbal lore, formulas and Ogham knowledge is held back from the first volume in order to establish proper roots of doctrine and tradition. As a debut volume it was important for it to carry integrity of authentic Welsh Bardism; not simply one more ‘book of shadows‘ on the market overrun by incense blends and notes for self-guided visualizations. How long it will take to bring this venture to its completion is another matter altogether. It has already taken years to muster the spiritual courage and mental fortitude to even consider such a feat, even though I am well versed in Douglas Monroe‘s specific brand of Druidry and have written extensively on the topic in previous books…
“–Ac yna yr ordeinodd hi drwy gelfyddydd llyfrau Pheryllt I ferwi pair o Awen.”
“–So she (Ceridwen) took to the crafts of the Book of Pheryllt to boil a cauldron of Awen.”
– from the ‘Hanes Taliesen’, Peniarth MS
We have been given little in classical literature or even antiquarian druidism to satisfy hunger for Pheryllt (pronounced FAIR-ee-llt or VAIR-ult) research, and even less to support an in-depth critique of their founder, a figure named Pharaon (FAR-ah-on), and translated by some scholars to mean ‘higher powers‘. Perhaps it is ‘Druid Craft’ to call down ‘higher powers’ to conjure inspiration and magic – perhaps that is what Ceridwen is doing in the famous reference above. In either case, it has spawned an entire branch of modern druid methodology and a natural universalist philosophy even if only in spirit…
Where the Druids are concerned, hundreds of years of diverse academic and philosophical debate await the Seeker on their look back. It is now even more controversial to speak of the Pheryllt in neodruid circles – supposed rings of open minds that remain closed in reality…
JOSHUA FREE explains in the preface to the newly released volume: PHERYLLT.
For two decades a modern movement of neodruids
influenced by modern Pheryllt Druidism have become bystanders amidst the unbreakable schism. Alleged authorities on Druidry raise one hand screaming how these documents supporting an ancient Welsh Bardic Druid (and Pheryllt) tradition are a hoax, but with the other hand they borrow from these same sources for their own purposes.
It is by no surprise to many that I find myself tackling the venture of compiling a readable and accessible version of the Books of Pheryllt. My metaphysical and spiritual involvement in the modern New Age consists primarily in the cultural genres of Druidism and Mesopotamia. That being said, my presentation generally is in favor of ancient writings, often collected in the style of an infamous book that is notoriously considered pseudoepigrapha in the literary and underground communities.
These tomes in question are thought not to exist, or entirely the subject of fantasy or fiction. Those who are at all familiar with my historical presentation of the Mesopotamian tradition using the Necronomicon paradigm understand this. In spite of this, the Necronomicon Anunnaki Legacy (Silver Edition),currently available via the Mardukite Research Organization, is the only “version” of a ‘Necronomicon’ on the market today that even begins to meet the vast and fantastic descriptions lent to the book’s existence in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.
The banner of the National Welsh Eisteddfodd continues to read to this day: Y GWIR YN ERBYN BYD, meaning: Truth Against The World. It is in this light that I have worked over the past twenty years in my modern Pheryllt Druidry and other efforts – both privately in practice and publicly in my literary contributions to the Spirit of the Times. In such, I take the matter of presenting the Books of Pheryllt quite seriously. They exist as a ‘body’ of much misunderstood literary work solidified from ancient oral traditions preserved by the Bardic Druids – bridging prehistory with modern times!
Many antiquated scholarly references to Books of Pheryllt and the Pheryllt themselves may be found by a diligent seeker – some of which are included or paraphrased within this very book. It is, however, Douglas Monroe‘s modern work that brings the Pheryllt to debate among the tables and councils of neodruid Orders. He has used the unpublished Books of Pheryllt in his writings as a paradigm to present a uniquely eclectic form of modern Druidry.
Douglas Monroe undertakes a remarkable feat spanning a trilogy of intensive writings, most famously his debut and bestselling 21 Lessons of Merlyn in 1992, in relaying the 3 memories of the Bard: the history, the poetry and the lineage of the tradition as survived by the hands of Bardic Druids. The authentic premise guiding the modern Pheryllt Druid tradition is the remaining works that do exist from the Welsh MS. Society and the continuing efforts of the National Welsh Eisteddfodd in preserving the Bardic tradition…
After the ‘Age of Faerie’ was forgotten, the Danubian Druids became the mythological and legendary deities of the Celtic people, the Sidhe were thought to always have resided in the invisible world, and the era of magick ended. It gave way instead to a false lineage to rule Aeurope in the guise of ‘Holy Mother Church,’ while it was being run and transformed by the dark decisions of “powerful” people.
Although the Gnosticism of the original Christians inspired the secret gospels as well as Christ himself who was initiated in these mysteries, those of the Dark Ages who led under the name of Christ’s work developed a religion of propaganda, control and genocide.While the surviving members of the Elven-Ffayrie hold some resentment against specific ignorant members of the ‘Christian Tradition,’ they do not find any contradiction between Christ’s actual teachings and their own. The misuse of a ‘Religious Empire’ marked the beginning of the “Dark Ages,” a time when even Christians were leaving the Catholic Church to start their own protestant religions. In breaking with the original Church, however, these new religions continued in removing elements from the Bible and altering wording. No longer being a part of Rome, they also lost access to the Vatican records. During the Dark Ages a new version of the Bible emerged eliminating all references to the Elven-Ffayrie Histories, mysticism, reincarnation, some of the work of Jesus and several full ‘books.’ By this time, the Elven-Ffayrie Dragon folk were construed as “demons” and “devils” to the ‘New Church.’
The Church saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat. No longer would they be considered the true ‘Sons of God.’ No longer would they be thought of as the true ruling class of Aeurope. The ‘Time of Elves, Magick and Gods,’ gave way to the ‘Time of Men’ and their ways. The Elven Histories become fictitious mythology. For example, in one myth God comes to Lilith when she is bathing her children and asks her to present all them to Him. Being embarrassed by those who were not clean by the time of God’s arrival, hid away the unwashed. Knowing full well the truth, God asked her if she had presented all of them. She replied by saying, “Yes,” and those Elven-Ffayrie who had been hidden from God were cursed by being hidden from the eyes of Men. An even more disturbing genesis is found concerning the Nordic Elven-Ffayrie. In this version, the Elven-Ffayrie beings emerge or were born from the maggots who fed on the corpse of the Norse Wizard and Giant, ‘Ymir.’ Other legends of the Dark Ages depicted the Elven-Ffayrie as fallen angels. Concerning the ‘pixies,’ the Church explained that they were the souls of the children who died before being baptized into Catholicism.
As a result of an annihilated legacy, it is difficult for contemporary society to imagine what is was like in the Age of Faerie. Looking at the skeletal timeline in the appendix concerning Ancient Sumeria and Mesopotamia, it becomes clear when comparing it to the events of Elven History that the historical events themselves are not sufficient in understanding what life was actually like and what was happening on a cultural level beyond pottery and arrow-heads. While they certainly correspond with the Elven Histories, the historical events themselves reveal nothing concerning the traditions, rites and mythos of the people.
In ancient times the Druids handled all matters of authentic kingship. They would in fact designate the rulers and no Celtic King was complete without a ceremony overseen by a Druid Elf, and one of their representatives to “advise him” during his rule. The ‘royal line’ again being connected to the Elven-Ffayrie Tradition, and so they installed their own blood into that of Kings and Druids so that it would be maintained throughout generations alongside (but separate) from the general Celtic population. Some historians will actually distinguish between the physical characteristics and appearance of the Druids compared to that of the common Celt. It is for this reason that modern seekers or reconstructionists must be careful in not assimilating all aspects of “Celticism” that are not purely Druidic, “Alferic” or Elven, if their intention is to maintain an Elven-Ffayrie Tradition that is at all authentic.
During the time before the wretched Dark Ages, all the kings and priests were Elven-Ffayrie. We can assume that the 5th century King Arthur is probably the last of the great Pagan Celtic Kings prior to the control of the Empire. The leaders during the Dark Ages that thrust civilization into ignorance were not the great mystical seers and sages of the age prior which became known as “pagan” or “heathen.” During the Dark Ages, the Church was not the beacon of light it once was (or could be) and mainly ruled in an age of darkness. All of the magick of the prior world was marked “evil,” except that which was used by Moses and Jesus and those who could do ‘miracles by God’s hand.’ Indeed, the Dark Ages begins when Rome starts deciding the coronation of kings and replaces the Elven-Ffayrie, dispatching them much like the Jedi are ambushed and annihilated in “Star Wars: Episode III.” Only a select number of them survived and were forced “underground.” At the beginning of the ‘Elven Holocaust,’ political changes occur, further books are removed from the bible and it becomes a crime to even be Elven-Ffayrie.
In 751 AD, the last Elven Mergovians, ‘Keepers and Guardians of the Temple,’ said to have been descendents from Solomon’s ancient temple, are disbanded and excommunicated from Rome and the blessing of Holy Mother Church. They are replaced by the Carologins. Up until the 6th and 7th centuries, Gnostic Wizards and Drwyds actually worked closely with the Catholic Church. They saw Jesus as a figure of each of their own traditions. This disturbed the later heirs of the Church who saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat to the ‘Seat of Rome’ and the Vatican’s new power to select kings and rulers contrary to the wishes of the Drwyds and the Elven lineage. The ‘Sons of Man’ feared the ‘Sons of God’ would rebel and thus the ‘New Church’ was formed independent of them, with only a shred of the original Gnostic vision remaining. The focus of the Church now: to take control of Aeurope and eradicated “paganism”…
THE NATURAL ORDER OF ELVEN-FFAYRIE & THEIR GOVERNMENTS
The first thing to understand concerns the terminology of “elf” and “fairy.” These terms have nothing to do with size and are actually references to the color white (or light.) There are all types and varying sizes of Elven-Ffayrie. There are even spirits, almost appearing as little more than lights, reminiscent of the original Tinkerbell. These petite sprytes or “will o’ wisps” have been misunderstood as “pixie” (literally, “pict-sidhe” — the painted ones) a term now used to describe all tiny winged fey…
The wings are usually a trait exclusive to female Ffayrie, typically sprytes and sylphs. The small Creatures of Faerie are commonly gnomish or dwarvish and are larger than the ‘tiny fey.’ Although small this type tends to be muscular. The Sidhe and Sylvanus folk, who resemble Humans the most, are tall and slender. They are actually 5-8 feet tall, and are the beings usually encountered in the magickal tradition. So why are the Sidhe thought to be small or “wee folk?” It is possible that the “smallness” attribute reflected the unimportance factor impressed toward the Elven-Ffayrie increasingly through the Dark Ages (Elven Holocaust).
This research should reflect that it is not only unlucky, but inappropriate, to refer to the Creatures of Faerie as “little people.” Furthermore, the generalization as “fairy” is equally insulting to these beings. For this reason I reserve ‘Age of Faerie’ as the history of the ancient fair and fey folk as a whole, along with ‘Creatures of Faerie,’ used to indicate all those being who reside in an Astral Otherworld or ‘Faerieland.’ But ‘Faerieland’ is more appropriately the “Otherworld,” not even “Underworld.” In terms of the phrase “Elven-Ffayrie,” I use it as a way to distinguish gender, derived from its reference to the Sylvanus folk, with female Ffayrie Sylphs and male Sylves (Elves).
When addressing these folk in magick or meditation, make no generalizations. Each type has a name, so focus clearly on the energy current you wish to make contact with. Also, each personification or manifestation of a general current has a name, and so it is wise to find out the names of these entities and the manner in which they would prefer you to get in contact with them, or some “key.” Unicorns and Dragons come to mind as two ‘Creatures of Faerie’ that you would not call “fairies.” By definition, there are many incredible Otherworld beings that exist beyond Human perception.
The Elven-Ffayrie Government is a monarchy, but that is not necessarily the best way to describe their rule because Humans have often used this system of government as a means to set up dictatorships. It is not abused by the Elves. It is a monarchy because it has a King and Queen and a royal court. The King and Queen sit on thrones of crystalline light — or darkness in the case of the Unseelie Court. There are actually two courts now, split by the decision to leave the Humans to the surface world.
The ‘Seelie Court’ is called such meaning ‘blessed’ or ‘blest,’ and they are the Shinning Ones who descended from the Tuatha D’Anu. These figures remain in a timeless dimension even today. Celtic Mythology refers to the Seelie Court as the ‘Trooping Elves,’ who are best seen making their nomadic moves or ‘rades’ once each quarter of the Solar Year (Cor Anar). The purpose of this practice is to uphold a tradition and also because the Elven-Ffayrie are simply restless by nature as a result of the Human presence and its effect on their lives. It is also possible that the genetic memory of constant flight, long travel periods, and using the trees for days on end as watchtowers, have left the Elven-Ffayrie a bit edgy.
The Seelie (‘blessed’) and Unseelie (‘unblessed’) Courts are virtually identical except that one reigns in light and the other in darkness. The cultural development and social progression of the two kingdoms emerged separate but the same. The main separation between them is split over the matter of Humans. The Unseelie Court are more commonly known as ‘Dark Elves,’ because they brood in the dark crystal caverns and chambers of the Subterranean Kingdom. They are bitter against Humans and do not share in the belief in aiding Humans in their transition to the Otherworld, or in the Elven-Ffayrie use of Human Simulacra as vehicles to experience the surface world — through 10% of Eurasian-Aeuropeans still able to contain such a “spirit”…
SECRET KNOWLEDGE FROM THE OTHERWORLD!!!
The Book of Elven-Faerie was written during the preliminary planning stages of the Mardukite Research Organization when it was still under the umbrella parentage of the former Elven Fellowship Circle of Magick. Although completed in 2004, this book was never released to the public until 2009 (after a private electronic beta release in 2008)…
THE BOOK OF ELVEN-FAERIE
by Joshua Free
“Being a Revelation of the
Elven Histories, Faerie Traditions,
Wizardry and Language
Of the Ancient and Shinning Ones”
NOW AVAILABLE AS THE 2012 SECOND EDITION!!!
[This blog post excerpted from the original electronic beta release introduction: “The Secret to Being an Elf in a Mortal Body” by Joshua Free.]
There are only two things that I knew for certain as a child, almost as if via some kind of genetic memory. Firstly, that the Mystery School and/or Hermetic Order of Merlyn is real, those secret places where Wizards learn their magick, copying as much down to their personal ‘grimoires’ or magickal notebooks as they find useful. Secondly, that there did exist inter-dimensional, albeit “invisible,” entities allowing me the realization when I entered adolescence (and you must brace yourself for this, dear reader) that I am an Elf. Of course, I do not necessarily resemble the contemporary vision of “Santa Claus elves” or the “imaginary beings” that most people conceive of in their head, except for perhaps the model of J.R.R. Tolkein, who spent a great deal of time studying the Ancient Elven Tradition and languages in the research for his fantasy of ‘Middle Earth.’
There is an increasing interest in the Elven Tradition as a result of fantasy products over the past years, but practically no solid avenue for a seeker to explore. Internet forums on Elven Ways and Magick are filled mainly with unsolvable inquiries concerning where to find a manual on this topic. While many other books “dabble” into aspects considered Elven or even the Celtic Faerie Tradition, they have a tendency to fall short in establishing the grand legacy and significance the Elven-Ffayrie race played in Human development. The Book of Elven-Faerie is no role-playing game (though it most certainly could be used to supplement one,) nor is it intended as a companion to fantasy literature (again perhaps a secondary use.) It is in fact that ‘Tome of Knowledge and Magick’ that those drawn or inclined to the Elven Way have long sought after.
The emergence of the “New Age Movement” brought a revival of interest in Elves and Faerie beings–Nature Spirits in general. Until recently, the “Faerie” section of ‘Ye Olde New Age Shoppe’ contained mainly A-Z encyclopedias, art books containing original works or pressed flowers, and manuals to ‘guide the reader to the Otherworld’ via imagery and guided meditation. This is certainly not enough to base a tradition off of. What’s more, there are many misconceptions that continue to be reprinted in some of these ‘Faery-Wicca’ books that mostly contain rehashes of simple ritual magick and spellcraft mixed with a bit of Celtic history and the use of Celtic Mythology of deities in their rituals. While often employed with great success by magickal practitioners with ceremonial skills, only a small portion of the actual story ends up being relayed to the reader. It is, however, not my wish to speak ill of the work of others, as most of them have at least positively affected global consciousness, furthering the mainstream awareness of the mystical Earthwork and the observation of the Solar Festivals.
Fortunately, the Elven Way has been carried on by a lineage of which is quite broad at this point, just as a tree branches out with an astronomical number of shoots as it matures. Much of the original knowledge is held by the hereditary/genetic folk memory and practices of mystical ‘family traditions’ and the passing down of ‘innate gifts’ through generations and completely separate from Wicca (which is only about 100 years old at best.) We have often heard and read of the tradition and practices of the village folk witch who lived in a secluded portion of the forest working with their ‘Ffayrie Gardens’ and herbal tinctures, selling potions to girls seeking lovers and men coming to get help in getting laid. What of the Wizard, now? What of the mystic hermit in the forests, living in shanties, caves and on the mountainsides? What of the true Elvish Druids and their secret histories kept long before the Dark Ages when modern civilization was thrust into spiritual ignorance? Yes, their story can finally be revealed in this tome!
THE BOOK OF ELVEN-FAERIE The first part of the book focuses on the History of the Elves and Ffayrie as a genetic race. The ‘Elven Histories’ are plural because they involve not only the story of Elves but the genesis of modern Humans too, and chronicle the development of the varying races and cultures. You will learn this secret history as we explore the suppressed and misunderstood journey into Ancient Aeurope including the Anunaki Star People and Ubaid Priesthood of Ancient Sumeria, pre-Eden life, The Mesopotamian Garden of Eden, the Egyptians, Babylonians and finally the dispersion of the Faerie race across the great continent into Keltia on the Western Shores. With the rise of the Milesians (Humans) the Elven-Ffayrie were mostly driven out of civilization, and received intensive persecution from Human religious leaders rooted in politics and the suppression of Truth (certainly not the Holy messages they proclaimed on the surface.) Still, the Elven Tradition survived this malice, transforming (evolving) through necessity as most of these enlightened folk ‘transitioned’ permanently into the Hollow Hills, Otherworld or ‘higher’ spatial dimension which is often equated with the ‘Astral Plane.’
Upon completion of the ‘Elven Histories’ we will explore the nature of the inter-dimensional Faerieland, the manner of its existence and its relationship with the physical plane. This includes the way in which the planes and their inhabitants interact and affect one another. With the resurfacing and interest in the works of Robert Kirk, the famous first-hand initiate of the Otherworld Tradition, this portion of The Book of Elven Faerie specifically will enhance the reader’s perceptions when interpreting supplemental materials of a similar nature. Understand that The Elven Way is quite colorful and variegated like the rays of light manifested in the rainbow. These rays become powerful co-magicians when employed by the awakened mind of the Wizard as we see in our investigation into the mystical side of the Elven Tradition…
It is interesting that many modern druid orders thrash the BARDDAS while simultaneously adopting many of its teachings, even if inadvertently. The Sign of Awen frequently used to distinguish Druidry as well as the lore of the Druid’s Cabala (and it’s terminology) mainly originate with the “Barddas.” The Coelbren of the Bards, the Alban calendar and hundreds of triad teachings are also translated from this work for contemporary use.
Originally published as the “Barddas of Iolo Morganwg: A Collection of Original Documents, Illustrative of Theology, Wisdom and the Usages of the Bardo-Druidic System of the Isle of Britain.” It first appeared in 1862, edited by J. William ab Iithel and presented as a translation of an earlier Welsh manuscript penned by Llewellyn Sion, a Bard of Glamorgan. This claim is still under dispute.
THE BARDDAS is perhaps the most controversial facet appearing in neodruidism as are all of the revival traditions that stemmed from it. Regardless, it is a unique and impressive work.
Several versions are examined here for the benefit of the seeker.
Version One: The Prayer of Gwyddonaid
[Book of Margam]
God impart thy strength;
And in strength, the power to suffer;
And to suffer for the Truth;
And in the Truth, all light;
And in all Light, all Gwynedd;
And in Gwynedd, love;
And in love, God;
And in God, all goodness.
Version Two: The Gorsedd Prayer
[Book of Trahaiarn]
Grant, God, thy protection,
And in protection, reason;
And in reason, light;
And in light, Truth;
And in Truth, justice;
And in justice, love;
And in love, the love of God;
And in that love of God, all Gwynedd,
God and all goodness.
Version Three: Gorsedd Prayer
[common Welsh version]
Dyro Dduw dy nawdd;
Ag yn nawdd, nerth;
Ag yn nerth, deall;
Ag yn neall, gwybod;
Ac yngwybod, gwybod y cyflawn;
Ag yngwybod y cyflawn, ei garu;
Ag of garu, caru pob hanfod;
Ag ymhod hanfod, caru Duw,
Duw a phob daioni.
Version Four: Gorsedd Prayer
[common version translated]
Grant, O God, thy protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of
God, God and all goodness.
Another example of philosophy relayed in the BARDDAS is that humans are composed from eight elements, facets or dimensions illustrated in the following verse:
From the Earth, the flesh;
From the water, the blood;
From the air, the breath;
From the calas, the bones;
From the salt, the feeling;
From the Sun, the fire of his agitation;
From the Truth, his understanding (knowledge)
From the Awen, his spirit, soul or life.
THE DRUIDS… A mystical race of European Elves, faerie folk and Dragon Kings and Dragon Priests who became famous for their habitation of the British Isles as descendents of the Tuatha d’Anu. –a blog excerpted from Arcanum by Joshua Free
Though it would seem nearly impossible to study the “Druids” without tapping into the “Celtic” stream, some scholars commonly confuse the two terms as interchangeable. It is true that the Druids of our known history developed a tradition in the Celtic lands (or “Keltia”) but they were a separate people from the wild tribal shamanic folk who were later unified under the banner of Druidism. When the early Danubian Children of the Stars arrived, the Celts viewed many of them as avatars and Earth-born deities (“Earth Gods”) who had a distant connection with the “Sky Gods” (Anunnaki). This cultivated as the Celtic Mythology familiar to modern seekers.
THE DRUIDS devised a unique system in Keltia that mirrors many others but retaining specific characteristics of the culture and region in which it was developed. Evidence of their existence is popularly associated to the western frontiers of Europe, but the annual convocation held in Galatia (Turkey) and the customs of the LaTene Culture of the Danube River Valley show that the influence of ancient Druids was felt throughout the “known” world. It is, however, the westernmost traditions of Druidry that inspire contemporary historians and New Age revivalists (also called neodruids). Until being slowly interbred with the Celtic people or annihilated (though Elvish dynasties and Dragon King bloodlines were maintained in the “underworld,” the counter-cultural underground) the Druids were originally a wholly separate race from the “common” Celt and historians confirm this.
There are three cardinal functions of the Druid, sometimes considered “ranks” or “degrees.” Each level is actually a self-contained “grade,” comparable to the varying levels of accomplishment attainable in modern higher-education: bachelors, masters and PhDs. Each level of apprenticeship was taught in succession. They could be used as a stepping-stone to higher levels of initiation, or a student might choose to finalize their work at a particular stage. As displayed in modern society, some positions or functions in Keltia required the attainment of specific levels of education. As the government and secret society presiding over Keltia, all of this was easily administered.
Quite simply, the Druids can be categorized as…
–Bards (artists, historians, musicians, performers,
poets, students and wizards of elemental magick)
–Ovates (diviners, forest wizards, herbalists, Oghamancers
ritualists, sacrificers and venerable hermetists)
–Derwydd (ceremonialists, Dragon Kings, dynastic
royalty, educators, lawyers, political ambassadors
and religious priests)
DRUIDS maintained nearly a millennium of peace in Keltia before hostile encounters with the Romans. The Romans eventually suppressed Druidism through another millennium of force, finalized by the union of the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. In spite of this, the lore and customs of the Druid sabbats or fire-festivals emerge in present-day traditions.
The archetypal spirit and genetic memory of the Druids, the last public dragons, permeates the human psyche like few other facets of history (and we know exceptionally little about them compared to most ethnographies). The Romans were very specific about wanting to eradicate all traces of this ancient race, asserting a vengeance such as was shown toward no other recorded enemy. These actions could be considered nothing short of pure biological and cultural genocide of a tradition and race…
We’ve all heard of the Druids, but how much do you really know about them? The classic image of a circle of white-robed wizards who gather at Stonehenge is immediately conjured to mind. Beyond that, there is the image crafted at Hollywood…
…two teenage Druids must prevent the son of Satan from using runestones to bring about the end of the world (Warlock 2: The Armageddon).
…a Druid nanny must sacrifice newborn babies to her sacred tree, which has the powers to protect and heal her (The Guardian).
…a tribe of Druid shamans, who drink orange soda, dominate a tropical island possessing an active volcano that requires an occasional sacrifice (Joe vs. Volcano).
[This blog is based on materials originally appearing in the third edition of “Sorcerer’s Handbook of Merlyn Stone” (1998), written by the present author at age 16, reprinted within “The Lost Books of Merlyn Stone” (2011) and the “Wizardry” anthology.]
Unfortunately there has been a lack of decent materials for the aspiring modern Druids. Most of the books available are rehashes of their questionable history. Fewer resources will relate to the reader something pragmatic and practical for our times – again, unfortunate. However, the Mardukite Truth Seeker Press has recently released the revised and expanded edition of the complete course curriculum in Druidry, now available as THE DRUID COMPLEAT by Joshua Free.
1. There were no human sacrifices related to Druidry in Britain or Ireland. There is some evidence for this on mainland Europe, for example Gaul (now France) — and even then, only in regards to the Gaulic Wars involving Roman prisoners. The Romans, whose tales are used by historians as a bible for learning of the Druids, had encountered and wrote of the Druids of Gaul before they invaded Britain. The accounts are extraordinarily biased and xenophobic in their interpretation.
2. The Druidic histories and lessons were written down. This was one of the many purposes of the Ogham script – in addition to using the ‘tree alphabet’ to arrange ‘forest libraries’ consisting of dried leaves. The Druids also knew how to apply the Ogham to hand signals and gestures giving them a silent ‘sign-language’. Romans sought to destroy all the evidence that the Druids exist-ed and their legions of soldiers were fed with a new-found ‘fire’ when invading the Celts. Julius Caesar once even recounted that the Druids had put up the most resistance to an invasion than any other culture encountered by the Roman Empire.
3. Druidism never was, nor should it be, considered a “religion” in the context that the word is used in contemporary society. It can be better examined as a “fraternity,” “brotherhood,” or “secret society,” with an equally significant Celtic-based “sorority” known as the Motherhood of Avalon. Similar organizations still exist and they share a long lineage of participation with various ‘secret orders’.
The Druids are an interesting archetype. For all of recorded time, there has always been someone or some group claiming to be druidic. In spite of this, or maybe because of it, the hardcore lineage and true sources of practical modern Druidry are difficult to ascertain. In many ways, Druidry can be best described as a niche – it seems to come naturally, and people are naturally inclined or drawn toward it or not…
For the first time since its prestigious underground release in 1996, Joshua Free’s “Druid Compleat“ is finally available in this all-in-one volume, revised, expanded and reformatted to include the complete text from the author’s personal Druidic trilogy, available separately as “Druidry“, “Draconomicon“ and “Book of Elven-Faerie“.
Neodruids… Modern druidism emerged with (and essentially as the answer to) the development of an urban-oriented industrialization of society in human civilization. The revival far predates both the modern New Age Movement and contemporary Wicca as an underground counter-cultural movement or secret society — both public and private.
Explore this and hundreds of other facets of new age, metaphysical and occult mysteries in Joshua Free’s underground masterpiece: ARCANUM, the perfect compliment to THE DRUID COMPLEAT curriculum of Merlyn’s School of Druidry & Magick.
The early 18th Century revival in England coincides with the rebirth of the Freemasonic tradition. The Freemasons began to allow “Accepted Masons,” those who were not masons by trade, into their ranks. [Many founding figures of the early neodruid organizations were Masons and Rosicrucians.] Neodruidic revival occurred during the Anti-Witchcraft and Magick Acts (see Book of Elven Faerie or The Druid Compleat), so members were cautious not to be interpreted as “sorcerers” or “witches.” This forced many of the organizations to operate as ecological, charitable and social rotary clubs.
The sacred sites of the Celts and antiquarian interest in the Druids promoted a renaissance of “Celtic Reconstructionism” and neo-druidism. The interpretation of this revival, the differing beliefs and personal inclinations of individuals caused the first of many underground neodruidic schisms. [This entire blog/lesson is excerpted officially from ARCANUM by Joshua Free.]
John Toland originally sought to unify the antiquarian movement in 1717 when he founded the (British) Druid Circle of the Universal Bond [“An Druidh Uileach Braithreaches” (ADUB)]. It maintained international membership from the start and was rooted in Toland’s personal researches into the Druid Histories. [Toland’s secret society also went by the name of the “Ancient Druid Order” (ADO).]
Some “mesopagan” Druids, like Henry Hurle, saw neo-druidism as an extension, if not a purely Celtic equivalent, to Eurasian Freemasonry, which was revived in England in the same year and place [“The Apple Tree Tavern”] as John Toland’s ADO in 1717. Hurle led the formation of the “Ancient Order of Druids” (AOD) in 1781 emphasizing his background in Masonry, Rosicrucianism and the Kabbalah. Some members disliked the occult focus, preferring participation in the social-charitable organizations.
These members formed their own branch or offshoot called the “United Ancient Order of Druids” (UAOD) in 1833, which retained the “rotary club” ideals. Other Masonic-Druids joined the “Ancient Archaeological Order of Druids” (AAOD), which was formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1874, later changing its name to the “Ancient Masonic Order of Druids” (AMOD) in 1886. These Masonic and Rosicrucian-oriented Druids went onto evolve the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (GD). Other Hermetic and Kabbalistic organizations of neodruids continued to form.
Once the revival had been organized it immediately became a public and national identity. Sacred sites such as Stonehenge and Woodhenge would entertain guests by the thousands during neodruidic activities. Large media events were planned around the dramatic reenactments and ceremonies performed by neodruids in full wizard’s attire. The more publicized displays coincided with the autumn equinox and summer solstice festivals. The full eight-fold wheel of the year, now common in the New Age, was not yet a part of the revival. [See ARCANUM for further information regarding this.]
In the 19th Century, when Quasi-Masonic neodruidry was developing, a separate nationalist movement was growing alongside. These “reconstructionists” sought to reinvestigate the Bardic Tradition as a national custom in Wales. Figures such as Iolo Morganwg (compiler of the Barddas), William Blake and Edward Davies all desired to preservation of the language and Druidism of Wales. This led to a revival of the “Gorsedd of Bards” and a “National Eisteddfodd” held annually in public to celebrate the Welsh tradition. With some offbeat claims of “authenticity,” the Welsh revival (and the more recent neo-Pheryllt system) has been subject to historical and mystical controversy in relation to other organizations and revival efforts.
Organized neodruidism did not reach America until the early 1900s as an extension of AAOD/AMOD. Though originally a more Masonic-based secret society, the “Ancient Order of Druids in America” (AODA), as they called themselves, evolved into a standard green magick system under the direction of John Michael Greer, including neo-paganism and sacred geometry. The 1960s displayed a more publicly visible forum for “reformed” neodruidism, evident by the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), founded by Minnesota college students: first as a rebellion to the religious requirements of Carleton College, but it became a widespread modern contemporary avenue toward New Age ideals.
Ross Nichols had been a member of ADO for a decade when Arch Druid Robert MacGregor Reid passed away in 1963. The election for a new Chosen Chief produced a schism in the organization. Nichols felt that the Rosicrucian-Theosophical approach to neodruidism did not “feel” truly “druidic,” so he formed the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). The order still incorporated some Eastern philosophies but remained primarily Celtic. After his death, OBOD was passed down to Philip Carr-Gomm who jump-started the organization again in 1988. Most of the modern revival traditions of the 1990s-to-present seem heavily dependent on the OBOD materials and social networking. Most major contemporary neodruidic figures/authors have some connection to OBOD in England (or to COBOD, the Council of British Orders of the Druids).
Back in America, the RDNA tradition gave rise to an only slightly more solemn practice in the early 1980s under the direction of Isaac Bonewits. The new order, A Druid Fellowship (ADF) sought to provide for America what OBOD does for Europe. Both organizations eventually became an international success. But then, as is common in neo-druidism, another schism erupted. In 1986, some members broke away from ADF to form the Henge of Keltria (HK), which justifiably sought to remove the wiccan influence that overran the ADF materials.
The neodruidism of the 21st Century really belongs to the youth of society, the young and middle-aged seekers. At one time it seemed to be a social organization aimed at the older and more established working class. Today, the ecological responsibility proposed by the “Druid Way” speaks to those that fear the near-future state of the Earth Planet. It is the younger generations that are feeling the effects and fearing the future as they work to solidify their own lives on an ever-changing canvas. The long-term effects of crude oil use, chlorine-based refrigerants, freshwater pollution and air quality are beginning to take affect, though it seems the elder mongers with cash interests in these products simply don’t care about those of us that will still be alive in the oncoming decades. The world of neodruidism has come into existence among the common classes because of the calling felt to aid in the restoration and balance of Nature… —Joshua Free
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