August 2, 2015

ISSUU - A Book and Magazine Resurch for Druidic Research

I had seen ISSUU before but really hadn’t paid much attention to it. It seemed to me to be a magazine site that showed magazines that I’ve really never been interested in. So, I just sort of ignored it.

I received another email from them and thought I might want to give it a try and see what it has. First of all, access is free – Free is good. I then searched for “Druid.” As I expected, there was “Druid City Living” and “Druid Hills Outlook.” But, also there was the 1924 edition of Dudley Wright’s Druidism, The Ancient Faith of Britain. All 191 pages of the book were they also. Nice. Passing by some D & D books there was a group of Llewellyn books, including Druid Power, Celtic Tree Magic, and The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew. I had been talking with a student of mine earlier in the day about Celtic Tree Magic, so I thought I’d take a look at it. Easily readable there were the first 33 pages of the book, covers included. Nice. Just enough to read so you can know if you really want to purchase the book.

Then it dawned on me to search for “Keltria.” Again, success. Eleven publications were presented. Four of them were from the RDNA Anthology books.

Three of the hits for "Keltria" were Ellen Evert Hopman noting that she was the Vice-President of the Henge of Keltria. The books all had the first 30-40 pages displayed. Again, enough to read to know if you want to purchase the entire book.  I was surprised that there wasn't a direct link to purchase the full book on the pages, but that's okay -- I can certainly find them for purchase online.

There were Pantheacon flyers as well as a 198-page March 2011, “Keepers of the Underworld.”

On Issuu you can create “stacks” for your magazines. For example I have stacks for “Druid” and for “Ogham” and can now put my books and booklets into the stacks for future reference. There are many books, magazines, and book extracts that may be of interest when you want to research druidic, bardic, and seer arts.

Sadly, you can’t download any of the books or magazines but you can take a screen shot if you just need to have a copy. Also, knowing the title you can sometimes find a PDF version on the internet as is the case with the Reformed Druid Anthologies.

So, I will definitely add ISSUU to my research sites. My goodness, there are over 40 publications that mention, "cattle raid of cooley." Some, I'm sure won't relate to what I'd be looking for, but I'm also sure there are many I will be interested in.  Be specific in your searches and you can find some real gems.

I think that I’ll add a project to my list of projects to add past “Public” editions of Henge Happenings to Issuu and possibly extracts from Past Keltria Journal. Exposure in additional venues is a good thing. If you use Issuu, follow me and see what I’ve stacked and what I publish over the coming weeks and months. 

November 16, 2014

Arbor Day - SC, FL, & LA

Arbor Day in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana

I recently had someone ask, “Why it is that, if Druids are so connected with trees, why don’t they seem to be honoring them on Arbor Day.”

What a great question. My initial response was, “Well, yes we do celebrate Arbor Day.”

Arbor Day Foundation Logo
The Second Hallmark of Keltrian Druids applies to this question — “We revere the Spirits of Nature.” This hallmark addresses our deep resonance and relationship with nature, which is a common thread held by many druids. Developing relationships with all living things is significant in Keltrian practice. As such, developing a relationship with trees is an important activity in our daily lives. We use the symbolism of the tree in our tree meditation and other practices. Establishing a relationship with a specific tree or groves of trees is an important aspect of our practice. Recognizing the importance of trees in our lives is a characteristic of both Keltrian Druids and the Arbor Day Foundation. Because different states have different dates for Arbor Day, the Henge has never proposed a specific date to celebrate Arbor Day nor has it suggested specific activities for service, however, participating in Arbor Day activities would be considered “service to community” as a Keltrian Druid service commitment.

Over the years various groves have done Arbor Day types of activities with their groves and individual members have provided service individually. As an example, back in the 1990s I organized my office to plant 13 trees around the parking lot of my work office. It was a great success and many of those original trees still stand although some of them have been replaced (due to infant tree mortality). Likewise, I was a member of my city’s Tree Board for several years and used that position to promote trees in our city and helped protect the city's ancient trees from destruction.

So yes, Keltrian Druids revere trees and many individuals and groves have activities to directly support trees and Arbor Day activities in their individual states (or countries).

The next Arbor Day celebration is South Carolina’s, which is the First Friday in December.  Then come Florida and Louisiana, which both celebrate the 3rd Friday in January. So, if you are in these states it is a great time to plan a individual, group, or grove activities that promote trees. You might do so in conjunction with another group or plan your own activity. The Arbor Day Foundation has some great ideas for activities.  Don’t know when your state’s Arbor Day occurs, check the ADF (Arbor Day Foundation) dates page for your state's dates and links to local activities.

BaldCypress BG
Cabbage Palm at sunrise (2969219217)
Cabbage Palmetto
Sabal Palm

By the way, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina’s state trees are Baldcypress, Cabbage Palmetto, and Sabal Palm. Can you match the state with the State Tree?

Answer Here.

/|\ Tony

September 13, 2013

Religious Mysteries

I have been following several conversations in the Pagan and Druid communities regarding Religious Mysteries. Magickal Rites and the inclusion of Religious Mysteries in the Keltrian Druid initiation practice was one of the several key defining points in establishing Keltrian Druidism as a separate and unique path.
The Merriam-Webster On-line dictionary has as its first meaning, 
1. a :  a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand[1]
That meaning is close, but I think of it slightly differently. I see a Religious Mystery as “a religious truth that is known by revelation and cannot be logically explained.“
A religious Mystery, cannot be logically explained, but, rather it must be experienced.  Once embraced, the Mystery changes your entire being and the way you relate to the universe.  Once the Mystery is a part of your being you can do things you could never do before.
I like to explain how a religious Mystery works through an example of a secular Mystery – The square root of a negative one.  No real number multiplied times itself can give a negative number.  The idea that a number multiplied times itself and give a negative result doesn’t make sense.  But once you have embraced it, once it becomes a part of your being a whole new mathematical world opens up for you; you now have the world of imaginary numbers available to you.  For every real number there is an imaginary number. The mathematical world of numbers doubles with the addition of the square root of a negative one (called “I” in mathematics or “j” in electronics).
More than just the world opening up for you, you now have the tools to do mathematical problem solving you couldn’t solve before.  Your mind is open to new possibilities and capabilities because you have embraced the mystery. 
A religious Mystery operates in a similar manner. It is usually impossible to explain in a rational way.  But once it has been revealed to you in a manner in which you can absorb the concept you can have a new world open up for you.  You have the ability to do things you couldn’t do before. The Mystery provides a context for further actions and you get it, even those who haven’t embraced the Mystery don understand what you are doing.
I have long felt the revelation of a Mystery is one of the underpinnings of a religious initiation. Consequently, self initiation cannot have the ability to reveal a Mystery, something unknown.  Initiations into Mystery Traditions include a process for the candidate to learn and embrace something that does not make sense but opens their eyes to a new reality.


October 11, 2012

BBC Radio - The Druids

I ran into an interesting podcast on BBC Radio 4: In Our Time, The Druids.
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Druids, the priests of ancient Europe. His guests include:
  • Barry Cunliffe - Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Oxford
  • Miranda Aldhouse-Green- Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University
  • Justin Champion - Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London
Of particular interest is the "For Further Reading" listing associated with the podcast. It includes several standards but also a number of books that I am not familiar with. Certainly some of them will be added to my wish list.
 Of course, I'd be interested in a review of any of the books, particularly those dated since 2009. If you would like to submit a review to either Henge Happenings or to Keltria Journal, please do so to

October 2, 2012

Tony's Recommended Reading

Every few years it is good to reconsider which books a person recommends. Certainly some books fall out of favor and other books become better sources for information.  Sometimes we go back to a book read long ago that really crystallized some concept. Finally, the ideas we think are important change somewhat as we, ourselves,  progress. 

My top three recommended books in each of the service areas are:

Druid’s Path:

* Pagans and the Law: Understand your Rights by Dana D. Eilers
* Neopagan Rites: A Guide to Creating Public Rituals that Work by Isaac Bonewits
The Henge of Keltria Book of Ritual by Pat Taylor & Tony Taylor

Bard's Path:

 * The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell 
The Making of a Druid: Hidden Teachings from The Colloquy of Two Sages by Christian J. Guyonvarc'h  [Review]
The Celtic Way of Seeing: Meditations on the Irish Spirit Wheel by Frank MacEowen [Review

Seer's Path:

* The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl
Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit by Tom Cowan
Celtic Wisdom Sticks:  Ancient Ogam Symbols Offer Guidance for Today by Caitlin Matthews

Survey of Religions

Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America by Margot Adler
Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today by E. Hopman and L. Bond

* indicates a book new to my list.