“Might there be levels of truth of reality that are missed by the science-orientated, common-sense consciousness we use to navigate our way through traffic jams, supermarkets and e-mails?” Jonathan Black, The Secret History of the World

“Not all meanings are meant to be clear at once. Some ideas take time. Some words are designed to lead us on inner journeys, with truth hidden deep inside them.” Brian Froud

I consider myself to be a materialist, although a very spiritually inclined materialist. And also I consider myself a rationalist with the concession that, as a human being, I must admit to non-rational dimensions to life (you ever read anything on quantum physics? That’s the land of Faery right there). Because of this, and for the sake of my “irrational” health and sanity, I have suspended disbelief to embrace another mode of thought in order to touch depths within myself not open to rational or common sense thinking. My vision of the universe has become transformed, unlocked by symbols that act as keys upon my soul. Perhaps this story is a mere tapestry of fantasy, but look carefully for the element of truth, a single thread, which can lead you back to its source, perhaps the Source.

Long ago, Heaven and Earth were one, there was no separation, no duality. But then a shadow appeared, and began a long process of separating the spiritual and the material. The many great and magical beings disappeared from the material world leaving no trace of their existence. And the many beings of Earth grew quiet and isolated from one another, unable to communicate any more, for all creatures of mineral, plant and animal were once friends and companions, forming a great company with one another and with the magical and divine beings. Yet despite this they still resonated with the rest of the cosmos, albeit faintly and unconsciously.

In only a few creatures of the Earth did the higher spiritual nature of Heaven remain, reflecting itself through spiritual vision, reason and imagination. One such creature were the humans, beings with a great capacity to understand and transform the world around them. In humanity the gods invested their Wisdom in order that when spiritual and material became divorced by the Shadow of Separation, there remained a seed of spirituality in a material world to preserve a guiding light in this despiritualised world.

Finally the Shadow of Separation grew so strong that even humanity lost contact, becoming mired in a materialistic delusion, now closed to Cosmic Inspiration and interested only in material gain. Despite this some people have worked secretly to keep the truth of our spiritual source aflame within us, protecting it from forces that look to steal or destroy it.  But this is inevitable and even necessary.

Do not think that the Shadow of Separation is not without a useful role in this for it is just an initiator of a new process necessary for the independent evolutions of Heaven and Earth. For each must grow in its own way before reuniting. That is why humans are not aware of Heaven, for we must find it for ourselves. This has been entrusted to us by Heaven; that we learn the secret teachings past down to us through the Ancients by the gods and overcoming the glamour of the material in order to spiritualise it.

Can you feel it? Come out from the material light of the City and open to the spiritual light of the Cosmos. Go to the woods where only moonlight and starlight shine, sharing their presence, if little else. They look at you and you look at them. They await you to return to them.

Can you feel it? The whole Cosmos seems to be waiting for humanity to take the long climb back up to Heaven taking the material world with it.

Can you feel it? All beings of animal, plant and mineral resonate with their connection to the Cosmos, though even they do not know it, and you were ignorant of it until now. Though unconscious of it, they too await us to fulfil our duty so that they can reawaken to the unity of Heaven and Earth.

It is in all life to reawaken to this. our very beings are made from the very stuff of the Cosmos. We are Stardust, it is in our nature, it is our destiny. Can you feel it?

“When… Arthur loses the power to give, his court disintegrates and his kingdom hangs in the balance. Only the restoration of his ability to give makes him leader of the community again.”

“The kingdom of the Grail, for example, becomes the Gaste Pays, a barren wasteland, when the Fisher-King was wounded for transgressing a geis and could no longer govern properly.” Jean Markale King of the Celts: Arthurian Legends and Celtic Tradition

I have something brewing in my head, a stew of ideas; of Celtic Sovereignty, kingship and kings’ sacred marriages to the Goddess of the Land; of healthy kings, wounded kings, fisher kings and Grail Quests; of suffering people, suffering landscapes and abused Sovereignty; of Arthurian legends, Dragons, Knights in Shining Armour, Maidens in distress, yet also of Empowered Maiden-Warriors fed up of waiting for glorified tin-cans. Awen, the Spirit of Inspiration, shines forth from the cauldron and a vision is formed. Please enjoy.

Long ago, in the land of my ancestors, there once was a King who’d achieved the Quest of the Source of All Rivers, passed the test of the Servants of the Goddess, and partaken of the Spring Waters, endowing him with the powers of Kingship and Sovereignty. He was a very powerful, ambitious and clever King, bringing great fortunes to his People and the Land but he had little wisdom to bring balance with it. Though he and his People revelled in the glory of his reign, neither he nor his People saw where all of this success was heading or the great troubles that would arise from it.

One day, a bright sunny day, the King and his band of faithful Warriors were out on an excursion, expanding the boundaries of the kingdom and its wealth. They encountered at the foot of some mountains a wild forest, and so, eager to investigate, they cut a path through it, chopping many trees down until they reached the foot of the mountain. There they found a cave, which one by one they all entered, led by the King.

Inside it was so vast they could not see the walls or ceiling, but even if it was smaller they would not have noticed the walls or ceiling for it was filled with many treasures, enchanting the eyes of the King and of the men. They went outside, drunk with excitement and greed for what they had found. They went back to their People and told them about the treasures and organised a way to take them and make the People rich!

So it was done, they went and cut down more trees to make way for the many carts and carriages that would take away the riches and inside the cave it was alive with people inspecting the glittering pieces, and people filling sacks up and lugging them away. But no one had noticed the dark presence inside, though it certainly noticed them. It was a Dragon, black as coal, that had been sleeping there for so long that the People only remembered Her in their ancient legends, and even then in vague foggy references that no one quite believed, or even understood.

The Dragon had finally awakened, and She was not happy. Her mouth began to smoke and filled the cave, suffocating all those who were inside. The smoke poured out of the cave and formed a great pillar where once there had been a mountain. The King fell out from the cave, coughing and spluttering, into the arms of his Warriors. The King died, but before he died the King warned his People to stop what they were doing for it meant great catastrophe to them and to the Land. Few heard him, for they were enchanted by the treasures or panicking over the Dragon.  And even those that did deluded themselves into thinking that maybe, just maybe, the King could be brought back to life and restore the Kingdom. But they did not know the source of his power or had forgotten it.

The Warriors rode away to the castle to see if they could bring the King back to life. Behind them, as they rode away, the smoke formed a wall that spread across the land, poisoning it. There were too few trees to hold the black wall back for they had all been cut down. The Land became poisoned, the crops failed and the Dragon’s hot breath melted away the ice-caps upon the mountain tops melted into water flooding the Land and destroying many people’s homes. The riches from the Dragon’s cave began turning to dust, leaving many People poor and at war with one another (though they had really been at war for quite some time). The Source of All Rivers dried up and the Servants of the Goddess withered in strength, and wailed and weeped for this great misfortune. The People suffered, the Land suffered. They needed healing.

Back at the castle the Warriors brought the King’s body and took it to the Queen’s sanctuary, where she stood guard over the Healing Chalice that the King recieved on his coronation. But upon entering the room a great horror met the eyes of the Warriors, for the Queen lay on the floor, dead, and the Healing Chalice had disapeared from its place. Court was held to decide what to do, but a further blow was struck for it was there that the People realised that the Princess, one and only daughter to the King and Queen, had disappeared, and with her the Royal Lineage. Some remembered the last words of the dead King and, taking it to heart, they set out to stop the catastrophe, though some people dispaired and could not bring themselves to do anything and others scoffed, still enchanted by the Dragon’s treasures, deluded by an ephemeral wealth.

Here is where I should tell you about a Great Quest, undertaken by only the best of the Warriors, to seek and slay the Dragon, to free the Princess, restore the Healing Chalice to its rightful place and for a new King to take the old one’s place, marry the Princess who becomes the new Queen and brings a new era of wealth and health, though this time a bit more wiser and a little less greedy. And so Happily Ever After and all that jazz.

I would that I could, but I can’t so I won’t.

This story has not really finished yet. In fact right now, the land is only just feeling the effects of the People’s greed and the King has only just left the cave, warning his People. But he will die, he has to. The old Patriarchal order has to go and make way for a new order if the land is to be restored to something like its previous state and the People freed from their suffering. But the scar will linger for some while, carried by many future generations.

Will the Dragon ever be slayed? I think not, the Dragon can never be killed for She is the raw power of the Land itself provoked into a destructive mode against the People that disturbed it and abused its generosity. There is no hope to slay this Dragon, because if we did we’d just be provoking more of the same. We can but hope that we don’t provoke Her any more than we have, so that She might once again go down to the Land and rest deep within it again. Perhaps by not cutting down any more of the Wild Forest and planting and growing more trees we could entice the Dragon back to the Land because She likes that luscious greenery and when she knows there are enough trees (and Ents?) standing guard over the Land She can rest at ease, supporting life’s energies in the continuous breaths of her peaceful dreaming sleep; the unconscious evolution of the living Earth that has been going on long before humanity appeared.

And we cannot expect a single champion to put all things right by his own efforts alone. Even the Princess, though she is trapped in the Dragon’s lair, cannot rely on a Knight in Shining Armour to save her. She is not a passive or weak victim and must prepare herself to be free, with or without the help of a hero. And her Queenship is innate, not determined by her social status or something to be supplanted by a King’s reign whilst she stands by, supporting him as a passive symbol of Sovereignty. She is empowered, she is power and has a little of the Dragon in her too. A lesson for all women.

The King is dead, long live the King; so the saying goes. But there is no new King to replace the old one. The old King was Patriarchy that supplanted the power of the Queen and led the People into imbalance within themselves and with the Land. This is what killed the Queen, the passive female supporter of the Patriarchy. The old King can no longer lead us when he has gone past his use-by-date. Replacing him with another King would  be repeating more of the same, just with new packaging.

It is the Healing Chalice we need. Where is the Healing Chalice? Where can we find it to heal all that is ill and poisoned? Can we restore the King back to life? Or the Queen? The Healing Chalice, like the Holy Grail, is spiritual. As Jesus said “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, and people will not say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Each of us has the Healing Chalice within us. It has not disappeared; it has simply become entrusted to each of us so that we can all help heal the People and the Land. It is up to each of us to engage with our own spiritual journey within, to access our own inner resources of healing and wisdom and to use that in the service of Land and People.

It is in the power of every man to be a King. It is in the power of every woman to be a Queen. The Sovereign is one who keeps the balance within their People and between People and Land, making sure that justice is maintained and that true and noble Sovereignty is kept constant. Though one person cannot lead the People without the help of the People. The People themselves must commit themselves to the restoration of Sovereignty within and without and the healing of Land and People, with or without a leader.

If the kingdom lies within then we should strive to learn to be good Kings and Queens individually and maintain the balance within ourselves, within our own psyches. And that this inner balance be balanced with the surrounding environment. With the inner balance of each individual established and that in balance with the environment, then the balance of Land and People, of Earth and Humanity, naturally follows on from there.

Each of us is a King, each of us is a Queen, each of us is a Princess, each of us is a Warrior, each of us is the People, each of us is the Land, each of us is a Dragon and each of us is a Healing Chalice. Blessings on your Quest and upon mine also.  Let us seek out and restore the balance in the ways that we can, remembering this vow wherever the journey takes us.

Hahahaha! Sorry, had to laugh at the joke of the title.
As Ramesh Balsekar said “One cannot but laugh and even be apparently irreverent
when confronted by the fantastic super structure of superstition and mystery
that has been built on and around the basic simplicity that TRUTH is!”

Jean Markale said that modern efforts for an authentic Druidry is just
archeology. No I don’t believe there is an unbroken lineage between modern
Druidry and ancient Druidry and no mysterious spiritual element that directly
connects the two. The new one/s are built on different views and information
about the old one; the image, nothing more. I regard both as separate
traditions, with their own authenticity suitable for their own times.

There is no authentic tradition. They are all invented from people’s fantasies,
experiences, superstitions, genius, creativity etc etc etc. I can just as
easily find symbols of archetypal wisdom in Harry Potter or LOTR as I can in an
ancient spiritual tradition or a made up tradition. In Druidry what makes it
“authentic” is the transcultural spiritual element within it, perhaps like Awen
and Nwfre. Somewhere these energies have their equivalents in other traditions.
Their experience does not depend on culture or any of its traditions.

In the end tradition is just provisional, it is not the answer that humans are
looking for, it is just a structure built around an essential experience.

Druidry is just a finger pointing at something. Don’t get obsessed with the
finger, look at what it is pointing at. That means that at one point the finger
must be reliquished, you have to give it up when it has fulfilled its use. In
Buddhism there is an image of a boat that is used to cross the river. Druidry is
a boat, a vehicle, that helps you on your journey. On the “other side” you
cannot take it with you, you must leave it behind for others to use and carry on
with a different journey in your life.

For me Druidry points at one way of being human of living on this Earth. My
Druidry does not define my humanity, my Druidry is at the service of my humanity
and the Earth, as all traditions should be.

“A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for.” Martin Buber

 

Version of the Druid’s Prayer that I first learn;

Grant Oh God and Goddess protection,
And in protection, strength,
And in strength, understanding,
Amd in understanding, knowledge,
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice,
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it,
And in the love of it, the love of all existences,
And in the love of all existences, the love of God, Goddess and all goodness.

 

There is a serious problem with the Druid’s prayer. I discovered it when looking through other prayers and then examined the Druid’s Prayer, I found something lacking in it. I’ll give you a few examples;

 

From the Lord’s Prayer: Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

 

From the Great Invocation (adapted version): From the point of Light within the mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds
Let Light descend on Earth.

 

Druidic Chant: Awen
Described to me as “Ah”; drawing energy from the cosmos, “oo”; as drawing energy from the Earth, and “en”; combining these energies and sending them into ritual space and/or the world.

 

From Buddhism: Om Mani Padme Hum.

Now this one can be translated and interpreted in many different ways, but one specifically comes to mind in the context of this message is described here; “On the relative plane, this mantra is a way of drawing blessings from the Infinite [Om], processing (as it were) through the human heart [Mani Padme], and sending them out to the world [Hum].” Jim Pym, You Don’t Have To Sit On The Floor

 

The Druid’s Prayer lacks this manifestation or incarnation aspect. We invoke all of these qualities; protection, strength, understanding, knowledge, justice, love, goodness etc but there’s nothing explicitly grounding about it. They can remain abstract, working on only one level of being. All of that energy is being invoked in the “astral” but it’s going round in circles because it has no way to be channeled into more concrete experience. At least it’s not mentioned explicitly anyway. If the Lord’s Prayer did not include “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”, Heaven would remain a dream because it needs Earth to express itself fully.

 

When The Druid’s Prayer was written, it was relevant to the times, but now I think that some adjustments should be made to it. It is not “A Druid’s Prayer” but is called “The Druid’s Prayer,” and with such emphasis it becomes the underpinning basis for what Druidry is, in a way that Om Mani Padme Hum underpins Buddhism and The Lord’s Prayer underpins Christianity.

 

My spirituality is about incarnation, not disincarnation, so if I use this prayer in any way, I’d have to end it with something like this; “And for all of these qualities to be manifest in Life and the World.”