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.
Surely, when someone hears the word “new,” it probably means to them that it is ‘not the original’ or that the concept is ‘wholly new’. The neo-movement found within this current age is not really new at all, but tends to work from the most favorable and widely used sources that within themselves will often make claims of originality. I would estimate that the average “New Ager” easily can accumulate a collection of books averaging at least between $50-500 within their first year of mild-to-average avid research and study. While they will most likely still lack the materials often necessary for serious advancement, the second year will often times be spent putting hundreds of dollars into buying and/or making ritual tools and other ‘mystical’ bric-a-brac, often before the full understanding of what the item represents has been fully realized.
The Druids were magicians, though, but they were also poets and musicians, healers and shamans, statesmen and politicians. In the early days of the Celts and Druids, the sacred sites and ‘stone circles’ were sought for their ability to assist in the reverence of Nature and the “Source of All” and the same was not destroyed for the purpose of building artificial churches, a celebration of the means of men more than a God. Even though Druidism appeared to ‘die’ with the coming of Christianity, the practices continued to covertly survive embedded in the works of Bardic Schools, which were able to make contributions with remnants still found today in British, Welsh and Irish traditions.
Unlike ever before in the current age, there is actually a dire need for the Druids to make a return in our civilization today – regardless if they are in one-to-one reflection with the ‘classical’ image of Druidry. But, nonetheless, the fate of the planet seemingly depends on this very presence, under whatever semantics is being observed to represent the Guardians of the Old Ways – true stewards of the very face of the earth itself. Clearly, if this way of thinking is not for you, then it should never be forced. It is a living tradition that comes from the stars – and the blood of those who are called and chosen to bare the title also come from the stars.
What is being described here are the same mysteries that have been explored from the beginning of modern civilization, the inception of the Dragon Kings of Mesopotamia and their spread across Eurasia, through the ‘Holy Lands’ and Magan desert, Egyptian Nile, Asia and India, the Siberian mountains, the European mainlands, the aboriginal traditions of southern, central and northern America… all of this can be traced and linked back to the Source. Those who are coming forth, awakening in this modern world, are feeling the call towards the ‘something’ that has brought us here in this time and place to serve a function that exists outside of time and space…
…we have not long to wait for the realization of our purpose: the uncovering and resurrection of the true source tradition from which we first emerged on this planet, which has been hidden from human sight and left to the politics of self-serving covert organizations to control.
…that time has ended.
…and a new era is in our midst.
The bloodlines of the “Elven-Ffayrie” are prehistoric in origin and relate back to beings that the Sumerians called the Anunnaki. Some readers who will fall upon these pages are going to be undoubtedly shocked by the terminology used and the seriousness by which this is all executed, or else believe it all to be an elaborate joke. The legacy and lore of the same, however, serves not only to compliment existing historical and anthropological data but also satisfactorily seeks resolve to the unanswered questions about the origins of humanity, the development of culture and perhaps also the human role in the universe.
What makes this lore and legacy “occult” or “esoteric” is the fact that it remains hidden from the public mainstream, though hidden in plain sight – yet ever in the shadows. It is this process of bringing that which is hidden into the “light” that mystics have resulted in sometimes calling “enlightenment” (and perhaps too literally so). Humans would seem to have lost a feeling or a memory that perhaps was at one time “second nature” or “innate,” linking their blood to the Earth Ways. Or, perhaps humans have not simply forgotten but chosen, albeit subconsciously conditioned to choose by society, to ignore this inner calling, to deny it to the point where it is no longer heard and to think about it is to be “insane.”
As has been repeatedly sought to be overcome in the presentation of this book, the “Elves” themselves do not record their history and lore in the same way that humans do. Much like the beliefs of the Druids (Drwyds) to follow them, there would appear to be an innate or perhaps cultural taboo or ban on putting to writing that which was considered sacred, meaning the “light things” or “bright things,” including history and mystical lore. The Druidic belief followed that if one was no longer responsible to commit things to memory, then the genetic memory that was held so important to these folk (also led by an “oral tradition”) might become tainted or recessive and ultimately forgotten…
Cultural and regional semantics is all that has separated the ancient stream as it evolved through time. The spread of the bloodlines, infiltration and development of diverse nations and languages has all led to the further fragmentation of the base system. Moving away from the Egypto-Babylonian “Ancient Near East” paradigm, the “Light Folk” are described elsewhere in Western Europe typically as being either of the Sidhe (High Elves) or Sylvan (Wood Elves) varieties. These beings maintain a lore that expresses themselves as the “firstborn” of Europe and also being direct descendants of the Anunnaki of E.DIN (in Mesopotamia). To many who are unfamiliar with the duplication practices of the Anunnaki, this is a somewhat misleading statement because Anunnaki lore would suggest that these “Elves” are indeed a part of the “Eden Experiment,” but they too, in all of their antiquity, are not actually the “first generation” of humans (referred to on Mesopotamian tablets as the “Adamu”), but are instead the “ninth race” (the term given to me is “race” but might refer to the “generation”) and described as seemingly hybridized earth-born “half-gods.”
A popular example of a particularly “Anunnaki Elven-Faerie frame-work” has become almost a household concept over the last decade as a result of the motion picture masterpieces derived from the work of J.R.R. Tolkein. While some are very quick to disregard concepts and messages relayed through fiction, Tolkein actually did considerable research into Norse-Germanic mythologies in addition to ancient languages for his work. In his version, the “Elves” are also considered the “first-born” race of “Middle Earth” and he translates their name as a link to their genetic “star” ancestry to mean the “Children of Eru.” The Celtic versions depicts the same as the “Children of D’Anu.” The word “Eru” is “Elvish” with a meaning related to “Anu” in the human tongue. The language that Tolkein dubbed “Quenya” for his fictional epic possesses a resemblance to ancient Egypto-Mesopotamian languages, those that seem embedded in the mysticism of the Necronomicon paradigm. In the Elven Way, “Anu” or “Eru” is a name given to the Creative Force or Source of All Being and Creation – essentially “God” in the most supreme or pro-genitive sense. Some Mesopotamian traditions, “Eru” or “Erua” is the name given to Sarpanit, the “hybridized-Elvish” wife of Marduk.
The “Elven Histories” are heavily based on Sumerian lore of ancient, otherwise prehistoric, Anunnaki-governed Mesopotamia (perhaps from a time before the Flood). It makes allusions to a time before “humans,” something that their loremasters insist is correctly interpreted. This memory does not, however, attempt to reconstruct fantastic stories by which to explain natural forces or even the cosmic genesis of the solar-system. For this knowledge is not maintained in memory by direct experience but was instead taught to them by the “stars.”
The ‘elements’ of the Druidic Tradition are far and beyond the simple spells and sorceries found through-out the last few thousand years – particularly since the ‘Dark Ages’ inflicted upon mankind by the Church. More than the commonly revived aspects of the past that have been reconstructed in this supposed ‘New Age’ based on what can serve our modern needs best, the wisdom of the Druids lingers on, ever-present to-day as it was thousands of years ago, to remind us of where we came from and what can best hope to carry forth to the future. The wisdom is simple – so simple that it has been lost on the ears of minds of countless generations since the public eradication of its carriers, forcing the knowledge (and those who could bare it) underground and fragmenting it forever. Now at the dawn of a ‘new era’ – a new ‘paradigm-shift’ in consciousness, it seems clearer now more than ever, that this unifying wholeness should remain the focus.
The subject of the dragon has appeared in and above the entire corpus draconium or ‘Body of the Dragon’, which is to say not only the “universe” and the material existence that we face everyday, but also the energetic currents of the “microcosmic” levels of the same reality, that human minds have ever fragmented into ‘separate’ factions; whether they be spiritual, religious, cosmological, bio-scientific or completely enshrouded in occult esoterica.
Inseparable from all of this – is the dragon.
The vision for a Draconomicon first emerged in 1995, when I was working with a group in Minneapolis known as the Mystics of the Earth (MOTE) but was not actually realized into existence until the following year when I (and the leadership of said group) moved to the Colorado Rocky Mountains, continuing the vision in the form of the Draconis Celtic Lodge of Druids (DCLOD). The new group was in part rooted in Pheryllt Dragon-Druidry (emphasized in the works of Douglas Monroe) as well as the Babylo-Sumerian paradigm put forth by “Simon’s” Necronomicon.
The Draconomicon released in 1996 (subtitled: Sanguis Draconis) was more like a fanciful “pamphlet” than an actual “book.” It summarized a very general background to “dragon lore” as well as the connections it has to both the ancient “Mesopotamian” worldview in addition to the more recent and “Druidic” paradigms that emerged seemingly from nowhere in places all over the globe, far and removed from the earlier and most ancient source tradition in Babylonia – one which went on to influence the Jews, Christians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Indians, Asiatic and American regions.
A far-sweeping influence concerning an ancient primordial and primeval dragon legacy cannot be dismissed. It is found at the core and heart of virtually every ancient pantheon, spirituality and belief system – regardless of how clearly or self-honestly it is met with by its seeker. The demonization of the dragon is something that the “Western World” has become all too familiar with as a result of polarized or dualistic doctrines of “good” versus “evil” that have become paramount to the existence of the more popular systems (Judeo-Christian, Zoroastrian, Islamic, etc.) operated in the current age.
Whether cosmological, used in the explanation of the “natural” phenomenon of the universe; or biological, illustrating the serpent-coil of genetic memory wound up in each of us; or esoteric, representative of the occult and underground mysteries that have ever been shielded from the eyes of men – the dragon and its call ring out loudly to those who would seek to understand the truth against the world and a self-honest participation with reality.
The newer, expanded and greatly improved version of the Draconomicon included within the present anthology is beyond what we might have thought to consolidate so concisely and simply for folk in the mid-1990’s, during a time when the occult age was overloaded with materials that composed Books of Shadows and Wiccan Spellbooks – the less “colorful” material from antiquity was mostly dismissed until the recent millennium when people began to look into the ancient religions and spiritual traditions of Mesopotamia and the “idea” that ancient aliens compose the originating pantheons of such “Sky God” traditions.
DRACONOMICON – as a title – can be translated in a variety of ways; drawing from the same semantic controversy the work known as the Necronomicon has. In some ways, an amateur might pass it off as simply a “Book of Dragons” (or Book of the Dragon), yet we have read and seen arguments of the semantics of “names,” meaning Book of Dragon Names (or Names of the Dragon). Further still there is the most distinctive “rites and laws” orientation – all of which will still beg the question of what we even mean when we refer to the dragon altogether!
GREETINGS & WELCOME !!!
I have spent the better part of two decades bringing “The Druid Compleat“ to ‘completion‘. The text of this anthology is compiled from three (technically five) different volumes of material that I have personally put forth as: Druidry, the Draconomicon and Book of Elven-Faerie. Combined, they compose nothing short of A Complete Course Curriculum in Druidry!
Never would I have imagined that the magnum opus of my work with Druidry in this life took so relatively ‘long’ to put forth – but perhaps I should not be as surprised, for the mysteries of the Druid are not simply ‘learned’, but ‘lived’ and ‘experienced’. The lessons are never truly ‘over’, and the path of the seeker goes on following a continuous flow – moving closer and closer to the oneness and unifying wholeness that is the very beauty and harmony reflected in Nature, in all of its existences, manifestations and expressions throughout the universe.
The task of relaying the wisdom and teachings of Druidry is not something I take lightly; for though my explorations into Mesopotamia, the Anunnaki and other facets of ‘magick’ and ‘occultism’ may have earned me (or my name) the most recognition, it is Druidry – or at least my ‘Druidry’ – that I consider the height of what the modern ‘New Age’ has had to offer in and among a host of varying revivals from all cultures and pantheons come and gone – and even a few constructed within the last centuries that have been given life by a host of followers and would-be cult members.
The main tenet of this Druid School is based on the notebooks kept from 1996 until 2002 in the “Merlyn Stone” archives. Even at that time, the more ‘public’ interest in my work was not ‘Druidic’ – being the Sorcerer’s Handbook of Merlyn Stone, though that work had also been the result of notebooks kept by a quasi-Druidic group in the mid-1990’s.
In 1995, my work was mainly focused on the ‘Dragon’, hence the Draconomicon notebooks being kept at that time for the ‘Mystics of the Earth’ in Minnesota and the ‘Draconic Celtic Lodge of Druids‘ in Colorado. The later Sorcerer’s Handbook and further works of “Merlyn Stone” were all tied to another Colorado based organization the ‘Elven Fellowship Circle of Magick‘ (hence the origins of the Book of Elven-Faerie as well; and so we come full circle). These ‘Druidry’ notebooks were later fragmented and then, for the most part, unreleased.
Combined, the Druidic Legacy presented in the current volume is perhaps one of the most complete synthesis available to the modern seeker who has few solid avenues to turn to for contemporary apprenticeship in the 21st century. The work I have done has been held in such high regard, however, that it has earned the recognition of some very esteemed colleagues in this genre, affording me even to offer an interlogue for the third book by legendary neo-druidic author, Douglas Monroe, Deepteachings of Merlyn (released Autumn Equinox, 2011).
Druidry, in essence, is the ‘craft of the wise’ as observed under the semantics and language of a certain culture, geography, time in history and class of human. What it represents in the depths of all of its history, mysticism, enchantments and lore is, yes, even more of such things, but in an unending spiral into a greater and more complete understanding of Nature and the universe – as well as our place within it.
ENJOY THE LEGACY !!!
—Nabu “Merlyn” Joshua Free