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Black Elk

Druid Wisdom

June 26th, 2016

I recently gave a talk entitled ‘Druid Wisdom’ at a beautiful retreat centre – Fintry House, home to The Universal Order and its publishing project The Shrine of Wisdom. They were filming at the time and have sent me a clip which gives you a glimpse into the building and its garden. I was lucky enough to find psaltery player Philippa Anne Reed in the audience and she agreed to open our time together with music, and you can hear a recording of the talk below.

I developed the talk and gave it again at the OBOD Summer Gathering in Glastonbury where we were lucky enough to have song, story and declamation from three Irish members to enrich the material. I wish we could have recorded that. Instead there are just the basic bones of the talk reproduced in the Essay section of this site, which starts like this:

The image of an ancient Druid suggests the archetypal wise person – a forest sage steeped in knowledge of the Old Ways. Even the etymology of the word Druid points to wisdom – with the first syllable – Dru – coming from the Proto-Indo-European root meaning tree, especially the oak, and the Id syllable coming from the term ‘wid’, meaning to know or to see, from which we derive the word wisdom. So the idea of wisdom is embedded in the very word and in the image we hold of the druid. But is there really any wisdom to be found in Druidry today? And if so, where does it come from, and of what use can it be to us? Read on here.

The recording of the talk at Fintry House:

10 Responses to “Druid Wisdom”

  1. Thank you Philip – a beautiful afternoon it was, and I’m STILL pondering / gaining insight over the wisdom card I chose (the Bee) – it’s holding so much significance for me! Look forward to seeing you again in September.

  2. Dear Philip, thank you for sharing these thoughts – I believe in Awen and I think that the Personal Gnosis is the most important part of any spiritual tradition!(It is enough to notice the founders of all religions, Sufi Rumi, Christian saints, inspired healers – and unknown for the West the ancient Bulgarian-Thracian sages and predictors.)
    I am sure that everyone, if he/she wish, could recall moments of the childhood or of his contemporary life, when under the whisper of the forest or among the music of the rain, or in front of the magic waves of the sea, or looking the triumphant flame of sunrise – was feel the exultant oneness with All and had realized wisdom, knowledge and inspiration beyond his personal life experience!
    About the etymology of the word Druid: like a proof for your opinion I would like to notice that in Bulgarian the first syllable – DRU – builds the word DRUVO=DURVO with meaning tree. The second syllable WID – in Bulgarian VID – means to see, to realize. In Bulgarian traditions there are magic female creatures, living in the forests, assistants of the Great Goddess and named SAMAVIDA (SAMA+VIDA, nearly like in English language, Also Seeing – the wisdom, of course).
    Thank you again and let it be Light!

    • How very interesting Polina! Bulgaria is such a beautiful, mystical country, and the language too – fantastic to see the same resonances in Bulgarian. Many solstice greetings to you!

  3. Never realized that it is your voice, Philip, on my lovely meditations. You have the ability to move me to tears with the visions your voice incites! Thank you so much! This talk is wonderful, to be savor end on a walk along the lake!

    • Hi Mimsy – the version I gave in Glastonbury was an ‘improved version’! But this is the heart of it!:)

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