A few Newbie questions

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YorkshireDruid
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A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 01 Aug 2014, 15:25

(Please feel free to move this is it's in the wrong section!)

Hi, I'm Tom and I'm new here :)

I'm not new to spiritual development however, and the path that led me here was a long one. I'll give you a brief outline as it may help you understand the reasons for my questions.

Firstly, I'm in my 30's and a Freemason. I suppose the first question is are there many Masons here? I was wondering if the two are compatible, and if there is likely to be any blowback from the Masonic community at joining a system like this? A search showed a couple of members but I'm wondering if some are hiding :shrug:

I have always had an affinity for nature and have been trying to find 'a source' form of spirituality. This has taken me through Christianity, Buddhism, Bon Buddhism and finally to Core Shamanism. Whilst I had some success with each of these philosophies something was missing, so I started to research the Western traditions. I discovered the Golden Dawn and was invited to attend a temple.... this made me feel uneasy and after some research and I went with my gut feeling and declined the offer. I'm sure the GD works for a great many but for me it just didn't feel right. In a roundabout way it took me to discover that Druidry is (correct me if I'm wrong) essentially a Western Shamanic tradition.

Being of Scottish descent (first generation to move away) and from one of the largest clans, and having grown up in Wales I feel drawn to Celtic traditions. I have signed up for the introductory course here and can't wait to get started!

Aaaaanyway....My initial questions are:

1 - As mentioned, is there a conflict with Freemasonry? I realise there are Masonic Members of The Golden Dawn but I have also been told attending their meetings may lead to expulsion for various reasons. I suspect there is no conflict in Druidry, and the message of no dogma and working with nature in peace and harmony would suggest the same.

2 - Before my course materials arrive is there anything I can read to get started? Preferably a Kindle book :grin:

3 - I know there are many groups around the country who get together for discussion and practice, are any of you in Yorkshire? If so it would be lovely to say hello!

4 - Astral travel has always fascinated me since a childhood experience, is this part of the Druidic path?

As I said before I can't wait to get started - and I'm excited to get to know all of you a bit better in what seems to be a wonderful community full of kind and like-minded people. Feel free to message me in private anytime, I'm always happy to talk.

Best wishes to you all,

Tom

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Wolf Dreamer
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by Wolf Dreamer » 01 Aug 2014, 20:38

Hi Tom,

Welcome from the mountains of Colorado USA. :shake: I can't answer all your questions but I can recommend The Druidry Handbook by John Michael Greer as a kindle book. I would also highly recommend Living Druidry by Emma Restall Orr. It's not an ebook but worth a read!

Otherworldly exploration is part of the Druid path and I believe this happens in the astral plane. So yes astral travel can be part of the path.

Best of luck on your journey,

Wolf Dreamer
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YorkshireDruid
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 01 Aug 2014, 23:46

Wolf Dreamer,

Many thanks for your reply - is that the Rockies you're in? I've been to the Rockies many years ago and we have a great photo of the family all stood in the snow in shorts and sunglasses following a drive up from Death Valley, what an amazing place!

Do the books you recommend fit with the course materials? I would hate to start reading one thing which then contradicts what I will be learning here :blink:

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YorkshireDruid
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 02 Aug 2014, 00:23

Oh, I meant to ask: Is the content of 'The Celtic Golden Dawn' similar to 'The Druidry Handbook'?

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Badger Bob
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by Badger Bob » 02 Aug 2014, 17:14

No, The Celtic Golden Dawn is a reworking of the Golden Dawn syllabus (a la Regardie) to fit a Celtic mythos rather than Judaeo-Kemetic and organized into Ovate, Bard and Druid grades. Worth a look if you have an interest in the Golden Dawn but not really much to do with OBOD style Druidry.

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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 02 Aug 2014, 19:15

Badger Bob wrote:No, The Celtic Golden Dawn is a reworking of the Golden Dawn syllabus (a la Regardie) to fit a Celtic mythos rather than Judaeo-Kemetic and organized into Ovate, Bard and Druid grades. Worth a look if you have an interest in the Golden Dawn but not really much to do with OBOD style Druidry.
Oh I see, thank you. Is the content of the Druidry Handbook similar to the OBOD course? Just so I don't read something which then confuses me once the materials arrive - I'd like to read something complementary :D

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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by Sciethe » 02 Aug 2014, 19:39

YorkshireDruid wrote: - I'd like to read something complementary :D
You are a fine and noble gentleman of upright posture, breeding and erudition; the aura of excellence radiates from your brow empowering all whom you meet. :yay: :grin:

Seriously though, the OBOD course should not be seen as a body of knowledge that can be crammed in advance- it's a process too. I totally admire and understand you wanting to get going right away, but patience. In hindsight I'd be reading something like Philip Carr-Gomm's The Druid Way while I fretted for the materials to arrive. It gives a good insight into a certain mind-set.
Welcome! :)
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YorkshireDruid
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 02 Aug 2014, 20:27

Sciethe wrote:
YorkshireDruid wrote: - I'd like to read something complementary :D
You are a fine and noble gentleman of upright posture, breeding and erudition; the aura of excellence radiates from your brow empowering all whom you meet. :yay: :grin:

Seriously though, the OBOD course should not be seen as a body of knowledge that can be crammed in advance- it's a process too. I totally admire and understand you wanting to get going right away, but patience. In hindsight I'd be reading something like Philip Carr-Gomm's The Druid Way while I fretted for the materials to arrive. It gives a good insight into a certain mind-set.
Welcome! :)
S
How very kind of you :D (I should have thought that last sentence through more carefully!)

It's not that I want to cram, rather expand my knowledge of the subject - making sure I don't get my wires crosse by reading something like 'the Celtic Golden Dawn' which has completely different practices as mentioned above.
If I read something that mentions a particular method or technique I'd like to make sure I'm reading a mention about something compatible with OBOD - doe that make sense?

I appreciate the advice about patience, I tend to agree which is why I came here first before buying a million books for my kindle as I'm always tempted to do!

Now.... Where's that postman?....

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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by Badger Bob » 03 Aug 2014, 10:21

Some useful Kindle Reading...

What Do Druids Believe?

The Druid Mysteries

The Druidry handbook

The Druid Way Made Easy

And for someone interested in the history and development of Druidry I would not hesitate to recommend the following in hardcopy only;

Blood and Mistletoe

The Rebirth of Druidry

Druidry is something that has evolved out of a dozen or more different strands so while any one book may have something useful for any particular Druid it is unlikely that it will be 100% in step with that Druid's personal beliefs. It isn't like being a Catholic where the imprimatur is the guarantee that the text is fully compatible with official doctrine. The books I have listed above are either by Philip himself (OBOD's Chosen Chief), or by people such as John Michael Greer or Graeme Talboys who trained with OBOD before going off to form their own orders or paths. Ronald Hutton is a mainstream historian, who you will have seen on any BBC programme which needs a folklore expert, but he is very friendly to the various Pagan Traditions. Anything he has written on Pagan Britain is worth a read but the one mentioned above probably of the most use in understanding the tradition from its foundations upwards. If you really want to get to grips with the core of Druidry then I would also recommend a copy of the Mabinogion, a good book on poetry such as Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled and a nice book on trees such as Fred Hageneder's The Heritage of Trees.

None of these books are essential to the OBOD course. Having said that, to a bibliophile Druid they are very nice to have...

PS. Amazon is good for listing books but you can get pretty much all of the above from the OBOD store, and feel a lot better about buying them.
Last edited by Badger Bob on 03 Aug 2014, 11:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by Gwion » 03 Aug 2014, 10:54

I haven’t taken all the OBOD courses so I don’t know what exactly might be complementary (though there seems to be plenty that’s complimentary towards OBOD and for good reason!) but I read “What Do Druids Believe?” [Kindle £3.60] (http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Do-Druids- ... 1407057557) by Philip Carr-Gomm and found it very readable and useful. (It ought to be in line with OBOD everything considered!) In fact it was largely reading that book which introduced me to “living” Druidry. I’ve also enjoyed “The Path of Druidry: Walking the Ancient Green Way” by Penny Billington [Kindle £7.61] (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Path-Druidry-Wa ... of+druidry) Since Penny Billington is the editor of the OBOD magazine “Touchstone” I would imagine that the book is in line with the basic practices of OBOD.

Apart from books, have you worked your way through the articles on the main site (http://www.druidry.org/library and http://www.druidry.org/druid-way? I keep going back to it and still haven’t managed to read everything.

(Whilst penning this on Word I see that Badger Bob has already recommended "What Do Druids Believe?" so I seem to have got one right!)
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by elementalheart » 03 Aug 2014, 13:31

I have no idea about most of your questions, but on reading I would like to put an alternative suggestion forward for consideration.

If your habit is to rush into downloading lots of ebooks or buying hard copies of all kinds of related materials, try NOT doing that as a preliminary to the gwersi arriving. And if you react to that suggestion with horror, sit with it a while and ask yourself why that habit has worked for you and what it prevents you from doing instead. Then try one or more of the 'instead' things if you can bear it, just to see how it is. That is something you can get a feel for in advance of the gwersi landing on your mat, and possibly something you will find useful when they start coming.

Alternatives I would throw in to your 'instead' list: Start going for walks and see if you feel drawn to any particular landscape or location. Start noticing nature as you walk among it, both in rural areas and also in urban ones, wherever you happen to be, look around. Maybe also start thinking where in your home and weekly routine you might find a quiet space to sit and study your gwersi without interruptions, how you could create the space you need to feel relaxed and alert to what you are studying, rather than on edge or rushed. There is enough to read within the gwersi and recommended further reading lists at various points, you'll get it when you get to it.

Oh, and look forward to that thud on the mat, there's no sound like it :wink:
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Re: A few Newbie questions

Post by YorkshireDruid » 03 Aug 2014, 21:25

Thank you all for your replies - I must admit a few of my questions were answered by a more thorough look through the website and forum (search is my new best friend) :oops:

That said, I have got a great deal from your replies so I do appreciate them

@ Badger Bob - Thank you for the list of books, and your comments have made me feel much better about trying to find 'the rulebook' on how to practice (or practice in future), as it would appear there isn't one! I'll read what I can and find what works.

@Gwion - Again, thanks for the recommendations. I will also make sure I get through some of the reading on the website although some of it is hard going for a noob like me, haha!

@elementalheart - I understand exactly what you're saying and I like your 'instead' suggestions :) I'm only really wanting to do some reading to understand for myself a little more about the path and what (generally) may be in store for me in the future, otherwise my mid will race 'is this for me? What will it be like?' etc etc. My mind is the typical monkey mind and it sometimes needs convincing!

Thanks everyone! :yay:

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