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…
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”…