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Uncovering the Pheryllt: First Systematizers of the Celts & Welsh Celtic Druidism with Joshua Free

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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.

PHERYLLT_pb_cvr_frontcrop 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

An_Arch_Druid_in_His_Judicial_Habit 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

PHERYLLT_pb_cvr_frontcrop 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…

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BOOK OF PHERYLLT – Controversial New Age Writer Brings Druids Legend of Welsh Bards to Life

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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.

PHERYLLT_pb_cvr_frontcrop 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.

lapis lazuli cloak 2 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!

gnosismontalk02_13 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…

BARDDAS – Druid Iolo Morganwg & The Welsh Druidic Legacy with Joshua Free

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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.

druidcomptinythumb 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.

d0ee2_brooch_designs_51coYn7iEWL One of the most commonly reprinted excerpts from the BARDDAS appears in hundreds of traditions in various versions and translations as the “Gorsedd Prayer” or “Druid’s Prayer”.

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.

This blog is an authorized excerpt originally appearing in the “The Great Magickal Arcanum” (2008) by Joshua Free, reprinted within “Arcanum” Second Edition (2012).

DRUIDIC TRADITION – Druidry in Ancient LaTene Celtic Culture with Joshua Free

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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

druidcomptinythumb 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.

298924_282581085089418_7496867_n 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.

2000px-Pythagoras_tree_1_1_13_Summer.svg 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
)

lapis lazuli cloak 2 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…

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