Since yesterday was a holiday I'm doing my weekly book review today instead. I decided to review one of my favorite books on modern Druidism, Brendan Myers' "the Mysteries of Druidry". This book came out in 2006 and presents an interesting blend of modern mysticism and solid research. I like to recommend it to anyone who is interested in Druidism, especially of the Irish variety.
The book includes a forward by Isaac Bonewits, an introduction, 7 chapters, an epilogue, notes, index, and brief about the author page. The introduction begins with an imaginative envisioning of a meeting between the young Cu Chulainn and the Morrigan, and then segues into an introduction of the concept of Celtic mysticism and modern Druidism.The chapters look at different core concepts of modern Druidism including 9 concepts that the author identifies as key to Druidism, sacred space, magic, Druidic tools, and outlines of meditations. The epilogue offers a view of what Druidism could be as a viable spiritual path.
What I like most about the book is the author's engaging writing style and way of discussing difficult or complex subjects in accessible ways. He tackles the often problematic concepts of mysticism within Druidism in ways that are easy to follow and provide food for thought for the reader. He also provides a selection of actual ritual ideas and suggested meditations which allow a reader to experience the ideas being discussed firsthand. One of my favorite parts of the book is a section in chapter 6 that lists and describes 12 qualities of a modern Druid, which I think are well thought out and good criteria for anyone to apply who is interested in this path. The book also includes some lovely artwork and a thorough index.
One of the only criticisms that I have with this work is that it is formatted using two columns of text on each page rather than one, and I find this a bit distracting. Otherwise I feel like the author has done a very good job of accomplishing the apparent goal of the book, to discuss mysticism in modern Druidism and also supply useful guidelines for actual practice. Mysticism is a hard topic to successfully discuss and I feel that many authors either avoid it or fail to handle it well, so it is nice to have at least one solid resource on the topic.