Druid's Primer, The
A comprehensive guide to genuine druidic knowledge and practice based on ancient texts and surviving Celtic lore and customs.
A comprehensive guide to genuine druidic knowledge and practice based on ancient texts and surviving Celtic lore and customs.
Perhaps the first serious attempt to collate the vast body of druidic knowledge from verifiable ancient sources and Celtic survivals into one usable and practical volume as a handy reference for druids and a learning tool for the would be druid. Inspired by the medieval Irish Scholars Primer this work is the culmination of 15 years research and practical exploration of what it means to be a druid in a modern context.
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I had the pleasure of reviewing The Druids Primer by Luke Eastwood from moon books. I think an alternative title to this book would be “Everything you ever wanted to know about Druidry but were afraid to ask”. This is very much a Druid 101 book. Many people use that term to describe a book lacking in substance, but that is not the case here. It’s full of substance and depth, but very much geared to the beginner on the path. Mr.Eastwood describes almost every aspect of modern day Druidry from a culturally Celtic perspective. He is definitely in the Druidry equals Celtic camp and goes to great lengths to allow the beauty and history of cultural Druidry to shine through. His book delves into the history of Druids both ancient and modern, Druid cosmology, Druid holidays, the Celtic gods, animal spirits, and the Ogham, and tools of the trade amongst many other things. One thing I particularly liked was his tackling of the subject of Immrama which is all but lacking in most books on the subject! One thing that I liked about this is that most intro books on Druidry give a brief one or two paragraph summary on each of these things such as the Celtic gods or Ogham and leave it at that. Each item in this book is often a page or two in length and he really spends time fleshing out the various subjects in an easy to understand manner. It is not hurried in any fashion, and each subject is presented clearly and thoroughly. His section on the Celtic gods was one of my favorite aspects of this book. He described them as someone who is intimately familiar with them and obviously has love for his deities. It’s always a pleasure to read a book like that. That being said it is mostly informative and an introduction to modern Druidry. There is little in the way of actual praxis, though I get the feeling that is not the aim of this book so it does not feel lacking. It is after all a primer, and serves that function in excellence. There are other books for actual praxis once you have a grasp of the basics.. If you are new to Druidry, or simply want one inclusive book to explain the multifaceted practices that Druids do, this is the book for you. Likewise if you wanted to inform a newcomer or non-practitioner who has no idea what you do as a Druid (ie friends, family members), this is the book to give them! My wife is interested in reading it for that purpose alone. If you are new to Druidry or want a general overview and reference of Druid practices this is the book for you. I might even recommend it as one of the first books you read on the subject. I’m not sure there is much here for an experienced practitioner however. ~ Feral Druidry: The Crossroads Companion, https://bloodandbone.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/book-review-a-druids-primer/
The Druid’s Primer is an excellent book on the subject of Druidry and is an inspirational read for anyone who is seeking to tread this spiritual path. This book is a culmination of fifteen years of research and ten years of experience by the author, Luke Eastwood, who studied under the Wiccan tutor, Barbara Lee amongst others. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, he spent many years in England and now lives in Ireland where he facilitates a small Druid group. He is the co-founder of the Irish Druid Network (irishdruidnetwork.org) and writes for pagan and arboriculture magazines, has contributed to other books. His first book was titled ‘The Journey‘ ...and he has written extensively on subjects, such as politics, horticulture and spirituality in addition to a children’s book written for his daughter. The Druid’s Primer is written from an Irish perspective and the title was inspired by the medieval Irish ‘Scholar’s Primer‘. Luke’s book is not just a practical introduction but a comprehensive guide to Druidry and Celtic Spiritual practices. The author shares his extensive Druidic knowledge of theory and practice and bases his teaching on ancient texts and surviving Celtic lore and customs which he has taken from verifiable ancient sources. The Druid’s Primer is bursting with vast Druidic knowledge. It is a rare find and a great learning tool for the seeker of the Druid crafts, history and philosophy. The information contained covers everything the would-be druid would need to begin their journey and I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in paganism or seeking spiritual enlightment in general. An insightful foreword has been provided by Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. The beginning of the book covers historical aspects and explains how to incorporate Druid beliefs and ways of living into the modern day world and also explains how to re-connect to our spiritual self and tap into the inner wisdom that lies dormant within us. This is a treasure trove of wisdom, knowledge and practices of the ancient Druids and there are very interesting examples of Celtic mythology and the Ogham tree calendar and use as a divination tool. I enjoyed reading The Druid’s Primer immensely and my particular favourite chapters were about the Celtic Gods and Goddesses, the myths and legends of Druidry, cosmology, divination and the chapters on the medicinal and healing properties of trees and plants. Also covered are the Elemental forces, animal worship, cycles of the sun, moon and earth and method to use the tools of the trade so to speak, along with some practical and easy to follow meditations which I have tried and tested and can say I will be using in the future. My favourite meditation was the ‘light body’ as it helped me to feel calm, centred and focused. After reading this book I have a thirst to study Druidry as it has enlightened me and I feel more spiritually in-tune with myself and the earth. I would highly recommend this book to all neo-druids and those who are following similar spiritual pathways. Reviewed by Candy Dawn Holdstock. ~ Mind Body & Spirit Ezine, https://mbsmagazin.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-druids-primer.html
An excellent book on Druidry. I like the fact that the author has used his extensive knowledge of ancient Celtic sources... Very highly recommended to all those of a Druid path, or indeed Pagans interested in ancient Pagan Irish culture and its use in the modern world. ~ Pentacle
...Well, if you like a bit of ancient authenticity to your Druidry, then this is the book for you, It does exactly what it says on the tin! It's a 'primer', arm yourself with the knowledge here and save a lot of time and money, and inspire yourself to journey off onto various tangents, thanks to the excellent source references. ...I recommend this book to anyone starting out, and to anyone who feels part of Druidry's long and ancient journey. ~ Touchstone, OBOD
I have to admit that I started out with quite a pissy attitude towards this book, as I have built a perception of an almost universal ‘druidry’ that is based on Welsh mythology and the literary forgeries of Iolo Morganwg. And before anyone comments, yes, I know I’m jaded and cynical. I expected more of the same ‘druidry’ as I had previously encountered, but found something quite different from my expectations. Overall, this book is significantly different from other sources on druidry in that it is uniquely Irish (the first Irish druidry book I know of), well sourced and substantiated, and a resource of starting points for developing personal practice. This is a book I recommend to people interested in something beyond ‘Celtic’ authors who make broad generalisations about ‘the Kelts’[sic]; to people who want perspectives on druidry not obviously rooted in Welsh romanticism; and lastly to Pagans in Ireland, or who identify their practice and worldview as Irish Pagan. This book is for you… ~ Standing At The Centre, http://fraterdocetumbra.blogspot.ie/2012/11/review-druids-primer-by-luke-eastwood.html
This book has attracted the positive attention of a number of established writers and practitioners within the Druidic Tradition, notably Philip Carr-Gomm, john Michael Greer and Caitlín Matthews. This book is a distillation of knowledge by the author who brings together his extensive knowledge of known written works and knowledge gained from personal experience... It is a story of Luke's personal quest, but it is also, as its title suggests, a primer for a person who would like to know more about the subject. Certainly worth a read! ~ Brigid's Fire
The Druid’s Primer is certainly a very informative work. It talks about the many aspects of Druidry from cosmology to the Gods and Goddesses to divination and Ogham. I’ve seen a lot of reviews of this book (as well as the blurbs on the book) saying that this book is distinctly Irish in flavor. Well, yes and no. The book does have a lot of Irish materials in it, however it is not JUST about the Irish material as it does have a lot of Welsh concepts in there like Awen and the Welsh names of some of the Feast days. My favorite chapters in this book actually occurs at the end of the book, namely the divination and Ogham chapters. The author really did a good job in both instances. In short, I would recommend this book to newbies as it does a very good job of explaining Druidry in an easy and simple way. ~ Celtic Scholar, http://celticscholar.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/the-druids-primer/
A useful and practical resource for seekers of druidry, as well as providing a template for what it means to be a modern druid in the present age. Recommended. ~ , The Cauldron
A Druid himself, being co-founder of the Irish Druid Network, Luke Eastwood has written an indispensable handbook for both those already in the orders and those considering joining, as well as anyone interested in this fascinating subject. One concurs with Luke that Druidry is perhaps the most obvious choice for someone looking for a holistic system based on or linked to the indigenous practices of Europe. Certainly, the ethos of modern-day Druidism embraces a praiseworthy brand of eco-spirituality – and a literary munificence, too, which is expressed through the bardic tradition. The Druid's Primer is an extremely worthy undertaking which distils the immense wealth of Druidic knowledge and wisdom found in authentic ancient sources and Celtic mythology into a timely and user-friendly volume. ~ Mysterious Planet, http://www.mysteriousplanet.net/bookspage%20four.php
Use of the definite article in the title of The Druid's Primer indicates the author's hoped-for primacy in the field, and Luke Eastwood has every right to expect such reward for his worthy endeavour. A Druid himself, being co-founder of the Irish Druid Network, he has written an indispensable handbook for both those already in the orders and those considering joining, as well as anyone else interested in the subject. Inspired by the medieval Irish Scholar's Primer, the book is the product of 15 years' research and examination of the role of the Druid in today's world, and has the special quality of an Irish perspective which adds to its uniqueness. It also has the endorsement of a foreword by Philip Carr-Gomm. chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids in the UK. ~ Geoff Ward, Suite 101
Comprehensive it certainly is and a must read for anyone interested in the path of druidry and even for those already on that path I would think as well. For someone on the druidic journey it will end up being very well thumbed and one of those books that will always be referred back to for reference. ~ Kitchen Witch, http://kitchenwitchuk.blogspot.com/2012/02/druids-primer.html
There are many books on the market that aim to introduce the seeker to the basics of Druidism, but The Druid's Primer by Luke Eastwood is perhaps the single best introduction book I have read. It's greatest strength is that it manages to present a great deal of modern Druidic material fairly and with clear references to the sources. The author has done a great deal of research into the historic material, which is also presented well and in an easily accessible manner. ~ Woden's Wandering Witch, http://lairbhan.blogspot.ie/2012/02/book-review-druids-primer.html
For me as a Wiccan, whose only experience of druidry has been a few workshops, talks and rituals over the years, reading this has been an invaluable way of learning more about what druids do. If you want a single book on druidry that covers both the history and modern approaches to this pagan path, then this book by Luke Eastwood could well be what you are looking for.
At last, a reader-friendly book on druidry that doesn’t rely on Wiccan input and suspect Welshmen to pad out the text. ‘ The Druid’s Primer’ is believed to be the first serious attempt to collate the vast body of druidic knowledge from verifiable ancient sources and surviving Celtic lore and customs into one usable and practical volume, as a handy reference for druids and a learning tool for the would-be druid. Inspired by the medieval Irish ‘Scholars Primer’ this work is the culmination of 15 years research and practical exploration of what it means to be a druid in a modern context based on ancient texts. Neither is the author a dilettante. Luke Eastwood joined a druid grove in 2003 and the following year joined OBOD; he is now facilitator of the grove and the only original member left, he is also now a Druid grade member of OBOD, an Archdruid of Druid Clan of Dana and a regular contributor to several pagan magazines in Ireland and UK. In 2006 he founded irishdruidnetwork.org as a networking and information tool for the 32 counties of Ireland. ‘The Druid's Primer’ is his third book and has attracted the positive attention of a number of established writers and practitioners within the Druidic Tradition, notably Philip Carr-Gomm, John Michael Greer and Caitlín Matthews. This book is an attempt by the author to collate the key aspects of a huge body of generally little-known Druidic knowledge, brought together by his extensive knowledge of known written works and personal experience, not to mention twenty-years involvement in the exploration of spiritual and esoteric development. As the editor of Brigid’s Fire magazine wrote “... It is a story of Luke's personal quest, but it is also, as its title suggests, a primer for a person who would like to know more about the subject. Certainly worth a read.” Highly recommended. Melusine Draco ~ Melusine Draco, amazon.co.uk
A solid introduction to Druidry from a distinctively Irish perspective, The Druid Primer is a welcome addition to the still very modest list of practical books on the Druid path, and deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in Celtic spirituality.
Luke shares his insights in a sensitive and open manner that honours the spirit of the original texts whilst leaving space for the reader to draw his own conclusions. ~ Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids., Foreword to the book
Luke Eastwood gives us the first accessible Irish study on druid history and practice. This book opens the door to Celtic spiritual practice with clarity and grace. ~ Caitlan Matthews, Author of Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom & The Celtic Spirit