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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…

Druidic Wisdom & Pursuit of Truth Against The World explored by Maxine Bender

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Chamberlains Contribution — first appearing in “Druidry” — a personal reflection and foreword by “Ace” Maxine Bender, Magician & Master:

DRUIDIC WISDOM & THE PURSUIT OF TRUTH

In the World which distinguishes the Druids, nothing more asserted their Honor than their duty to Truth. Legend has it they were not to tell a single lie. Did a Druid go against that, were they sentenced to death immediately. Imagine the lifestyle and habits that you would develop from practicing such a simple rule… for Truth is an extraordinary method to inquire questions and answers through one’s own individuality without illusion. Regardless of the fact that lies exist, the idea of Logic is founded upon the solid ground of Truth.

Druidryfrontcrop I have personally always regarded the distinct lessons at the core of Mythology. When I began my search years ago how many ways I can find to familiarize myself, learn MORE about life’s meaning, I stumbled upon Druidism. One of the few first things I learned about what the ancient Druid’s taught were learning to accept truth and trust my intuition when I wanted to follow my curiosity. They also taught Memory was essential, that you didn’t know who you are or where you’re going if you didn’t remember who you were and where you’re from.

The Druid’s believed in transmigration, otherwise known as reincarnation. We have experienced being born, being alive and death many times although our soul stays eternal. In Nature, all that is are interrelated with anything within the dimensions we exist in. It was said that we already know everything, we only but need to remember what we have already forgotten. This emphasizes how complex we are as an Identity, and celebrate being unique because without your special presence manifesting itself into History, Reality wouldn’t be the way it functions today.

druidcomptinythumb So many channels of energy are constantly clashing and colliding into and onto itself that eventually ordinary space is required to manifest to transmute the chaos into something unique. Everything has it’s own vibration that when in existence takes up space. Referring to basic laws and common sense, physically the space which is taken up by an object or soul can be moved but the same amount of space is still regardless used by that same object or soul when moved even at a new location…

Those whom have decided to be possessed with Wisdom and known as a Druid also were acknowledged often times as seers, astrologers, teachers, poets, judges. Divination is a technique that requires truth and intuition, both qualities Druid’s made a habit. Astronomy was used to predict the seasons and certain events. As teachers and judges, they were in numerous important roles where they resided in society to maintain Honor and Justice as it was deemed that they had unusual insights in regard to the Nature of circumstance… and couldn’t lie to sway certain influences into favor.

Druidryfrontcrop Druid’s had outstanding memories they could rely on to recall information having to do with understanding further deeper the Mysteries that when solved would lead to enlightenment, and for those incidents concerning society. They were taught to remember lengthy poems and songs, create their own, and recite stories word-for-word to sharpen their memory.

The Art of Druidism is a particular genealogy of knowledge ceremonializing enlightened awareness. This distinct Occult study alerts the practitioner to learn about fundamental Magic harmony. What is that? Before deciding what you want and need to perform Magic, it’s best to understand Magic. When you understand Magic, it becomes Natural to you. When it becomes Natural to you, you achieve harmony. (Morrigan, thank you.)

–MAXINE BENDER
Imbolc, 2012