The Eleventh Mount Haemus Lecture
Druidry & Transpersonal History
by Dr Thomas Clough Daffern
Table of Contents
1. Introductory: Transpersonal history, Druidry, and Synchronicity
2. Jung on the Transpersonal and on Druidry
3. Druidry in transpersonal history in general
4. The Druid revival in modern history: looking back through the lens of transpersonal history
5. Druidry and the transpersonal history of philosophy
6. Druidry and Philosophies of history through the lens of transpersonal history
7. Druidry and the history of suppressed narratives
8. Philosophies of history, revolutions, counter-revolutions and Druidry
9. Druid history and biblical history: Druidry and Judaism
10. Druid history and Christianity:
11. Druidry and freemasonic history
12. Druid history and Islamic and Sufi history
13. Druid history and Indian history – Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism
14. Druid history, transpersonal history, the history of religions and religious education
15. Druid history, transpersonal history and the Arts
16. Druidry, transpersonal history, ecology and the history of the sciences
17. Druidry, peace history and the transpersonal: conclusions
Firstly, what exactly is “transpersonal history” ? I defined it during my doctoral research as the combination of the entire gamut of professional historical scientific research plus the added-in extra of the insights culled from modern transpersonal psychology. That is, it is a branch or sub-discipline of the historical sciences, along with say, economic history, social history, political history, diplomatic history, or military history – which focuses on the spiritual life of mankind, the peak experiences, insights, enlightenment experiences, paranormal experiences, moments of inspiration, maximum creativity, breakthrough moments, genius, the capacity for love and altruism, moments of aha and awen… This branch of psychology, transpersonal psychology, arose out of the work of numerous thinkers, including Carl Jung, Assagioli, Abraham Maslow, Stan Grof, Sorokin, Victor Frankl, Jean Gebser, James Fadiman, Ken Wilber et al in the course of the 20th century. It arose partly in contradistinction to the school of psychoanalysis (associated above all with Freud) which focused on the pathologies that people get into - the negative states, the depressions, neuroses, horrors and cruelties. It was realised by many advanced thinkers in psychology and its auxiliary disciplines, that some people exhibit states of maximum well-being, happiness, creativity and wisdom – and that psychology should also study these states. So in the last 30 years or so transpersonal psychology has come of age: it has established research institutes, MA courses, academic journals, and led to a huge cultural outflowing of books, talk-shows, websites, and even movies. It is very much the zeitgeist of the now. What I argued as a historian however, in trying to study the intellectual history of peacemaking and war prevention in the crucial period of world history from 1945-2001, is that by and large the historical profession is stuck with a 19th century model of psychology. Historians write still in terms of Newtonian physics and even pre-Freudian psychology. States have interests, power is the name of the game, and meaning is always relative. Thus the subtleties of mankind’s will to meaning, or meta-needs, or the craving people still feel for pattern, depth and content in their lives, has somehow eluded them. What I argued is that the resurgence of religious conflict and religious paradigm clashes in the modern post cold war world can only be understood against a historical meta-paradigm that includes transpersonal psychology as its foundation. Another way of talking about transpersonal history would therefore be to say it is the scientific study of the esoteric dimensions of history, which is not exactly the same as saying it is the history of esotericism.
In transpersonal psychology, there is the scientific recognition that human beings do have spiritual experiences, that strange states of altered consciousness are in fact quite common, that ever since the early Palaeolithic mankind has experimented with consciousness altering drugs and found that when handled correctly they can provide interesting insights and life changing revelations, that sexuality is as often as not a revelatory experience and that love definitely includes a strong element of the supernatural, or at the very least telepathy. And that angels, deities, prophets, miracles, mystical insights, enlightenments, past life regressions, clairvoyance, clairaudience, synchronicities, precognitive dreams, telepathy and the experience of joy and deep meaning and inner peace, are all widely reported and documented phenomena, and not just in the hagiographies of saints, but also in ordinary people’s life stories. Thus the field I am naming transpersonal history, would combine the best insights of professional historical research (attention to sources, lack of bias, thoroughness in research methods, sympathy for the subject matter, a willingness to follow where the evidence leads, a love of books and literature and scholarship, a commitment to study, education, knowledge and rational thought etc.) with an openness to research the sometimes strange material that the transpersonal dimension throws up. Of course, for a historian who denies the existence of such paranormal, or transpersonal phenomena, transpersonal history would be at best a study of strange and deviant intellectual history - the weird beliefs of strange sects. And there are intellectual historians who adopt this kind of arms-length approach, which is indeed sometimes necessary. To be a good transpersonal historian doesn’t mean that one swallows every single miracle in the literature as if it were “true”. One can still deconstruct the context of the narrative – for example, for a transpersonal historian to write the history of the early Celtic Christian Church in Ireland would require a great deal of sifting out – which stories, legends and miracles might be based in fact, which might be based on second hand hearsay, and what are “facts” anyway. For example, in the famous confrontation of the Archdruid and St Patrick at Tara, when the Druid is held aloft in the air – in what sense is this a “true report” ? What might have actually happened in this encounter ? And from whose side would one listen to the true version of events ? The Druid side of the story has never been told so far as I know, because in imposing Roman alphabetic literacy, the Christians imposed the medium in which history would henceforth be told. Orality as a vehicle of truth was somehow diminished and lessened and cheapened. Truth and history was now equated with “what is written”. Druids however also practised history as a high art, but theirs was the oral and musical kind. They spoke the past, and kept it alive by speaking it, reciting it, memorising it, and singing it as bards. This was how the ancient King Lists of Ireland were retained well into the era of the mediaeval Christian chroniclers who finally wrote them down – this was how the Druid traditions of the succeeding waves of invasions into Ireland and the stories of the roles of the Druids involved, and also in Wales, were preserved generation after generation. Transpersonal history also acknowledges therefore that all forms of remembrance are valid as historical records, the written form (archives), the spoken kind (oral) and the thought kind (the termas, or akashic records).
The question I want to explore in this lecture then is this: to what extent might this new concept of transpersonal history be of value in helping us to understand, appreciate, reconstruct and value the heritage and history of Druidry ?
As a brief foray into a potentially very large topic, this lecture will be a scouting mission – reporting on a huge unexplored terrain, which hopefully future generations of scholars can open up inch by inch, and mile by mile. My job is to chart the overall coastlines of the work to be done. Others can come later and fill in the details.
Firstly then, the nature of time itself – this is a theme of great significance to Druids. Druidry often plays with time. The work of the Ovate is about understanding the patterns and rhythms behind time. We know that Druids and Ovates were sometimes especially skilled at prognostication, and both classical and medical and living sources confirm this. Transpersonal history has also always been interested in the strangeness of time. Time seems to move in spirals – we repeat patterns, get stuck in grooves of samenesses, like going round and round in the ditch at Avebury, repeating the same old mistakes, until we finally advance and move up a notch, and next time we repeat the thing, it ends happier, like the labyrinth that Geoffrey Ashe and others found sculptured into the slopes of Glastonbury Tor. Often in Celtic art we can reconstruct the metaphysics of Druidry, and from the labyrinths and spiral patterns which the Celts so loved, we can tell they adored and understood the complex meanderings of time, as it plays with our karma and wyrd, as we all roll along on the path to enlightenment. Many Celtic stories tell the same tale: the sage who wanders into fairyland, where time is different. This is true of the father of Gwion Bach, who finds his bride in fairyland; it is also the experience of True Thomas, the Rhymer, the Scottish sage who on Huntly Bank spies a maiden all in green and follows her down to fairyland…. It is true of the way that all good fairy-tales begin.. Once Upon a Time. What that is saying is: “this tale you are about to hear is eternally true, it is a forever story, not simply a once off story”…
Transpersonal psychology has studied the weird and strange psychology of precognition- how it is that some people seem to know things are going to happen before they do; spiritualists sometimes can access this data that normally would be locked up “in the future”. Psychologists have also looked at pre-cognitive dreams, when people report having dreams, that later come true, sometimes down to very minute details. Akin to this is the kind of precognitive behaviour exhibited by good astrologers – somehow they seem to be able to predict what will happen in the future. The same is true of good practitioners of the Tarot or other divination tools, such as the I Ching, or palmistry etc. How exactly does this work ? How is it possible that consciousness can access the future, in what to us is the present ? What can transpersonal history say about this ? The answer would seem to be that spiritually advanced practitioners have the capacity to purify consciousness to the state that they can pick up on signals of events before they have actually materialised in the real world. Before a forest fire, or an earthquake, or other natural disaster, animals will often be seen leaving the area for hours or sometimes days beforehand. They seem to have a 6th sense that knows disaster is imminent. How does this work ? I call it eagle vision – the ability to soar so high above the everyday, that you can see what’s coming next month, next year or next millennium as if its just down the valley, and since events seem to follow karmic constant laws, you can kind of tell what’s going to hit next. There are hints of this strange power as abounding in Druidry. When Henry Tudor was getting ready to go off to Bosworth to reclaim the throne of Britain for his Celtic forebears, he met with a soothsayer who predicted his victory. And there are countless other such examples in the literature. It would be a fine thing to collect them all, and to classify and catalogue all the references to the Druidic ability to foretell future events. St Columba, the Christian Druid, was also famous for having this ability, as recounted often in his biography by St Admonan. There's a worthwhile job for a future transpersonal historian. Its not necessarily a supernatural ability – but simply “super-natural”. Perhaps these phenomena should collectively be called “forseeings”.
Then there is the equally fascinating question of synchronicities. Now although Jung named the epiphenomena of synchronicities, he didn’t invent the phenomena. If you think about it, its what the whole science of augury was based on. A flock of birds flies in a particular shape, and thus we know that such and such an event is going to occur in such and such a way. It's to do with the unfolding of patterns, of simulacra, on various levels of being. So an authentic priest-Druid, or Ovate, could tell how events will spin out from reading the “signs” that occur in the microcosm. Jung defined synchronicity as an “a-causal connecting principle” that underpins the occurrence of simultaneous events, which are connected logically or spiritually but cannot be connected causally in the way that we understand the normal laws of time and space. Watch out for synchronicities in your own life and you’ll know what this means. But are there also synchronicities in wider historical epochs and fields ? Spotting the synchronicities is a fascinating game for transpersonal macro-historians to play: for example, why did the Mahayana schools of Buddhism, which emphasised compassion and the salvation of all beings, begin in Northern India at exactly the same moment as Christianity was starting in Palestine ? This is an example of spiritual synchronicity at work on a macro level. Likewise, why did Darwin and A.R. Wallace both come up with the principle of evolution through natural selection both at about exactly the same time ? This happens again and again – someone thinks of an idea, and days later, you hear that someone else had thought of it half way round the world at about the same time… Jung didn’t live long enough to attempt an explanation for the working of synchronicity – but he would surely have argued that it points to a third principle in the space-time continuum that Einstein had already sketched out. Einstein had pointed out, masterfully, that events in time and events in space are truly interconnected – these two media are simply dimensions for occurrences, which are fundamentally energy exchanges taking place, like complex space-time love affairs. Jung would have said – aha.. but psyche, soul, consciousness, the collective anima, is the third dimension which gives coherence and meaning to these events – time and space are both occurrences in the anima mundi. Physicists like Claude Curling and David Bohm and David Peat have tried to grapple with the implications of this idea – Bohm said there must be therefore some deep structure underlying particle physics, which provides the grid lines, so to speak, around which phenomena occur and interact. Transpersonal history, then, would want to study all the occurrences of synchronicity that have occurred in the lives of Druids, both modern and ancient, according to both the preserved literature, as well as according to our memories. Another strange synchronicity – Jesus of Nazareth being crucified for standing up against the Roman military machine, just a decade or so before the same Roman military machine launches an all out war against Celtic Britannia. Why ? And as St Columba noticed a little later, the core teachings of Christ seemed so similar to the core teachings of the Druids, that many argued Christ must have been partly tutored by Druids elders. Coincidence or synchronicity ? Again, a job for future transpersonal historians: count up and catalogue and classify all such similar synchronicities, and then put them into a poem, or a song, or a woven tapestry…
2. Jung on the Transpersonal and on Druidry
I mentioned Jung just now, and want to acknowledge him as one of the primary influences on the foundation of transpersonal history. Jung after all coined the word transpersonal. Much as he loved Freud’s genius, they parted company because Jung felt that mankind does have a genuine spiritual nature and that it cannot all be explained away as a kind of neurosis. There is such a thing as healthy spirituality. In his collected works Jung mentions Druidry specifically several times, and Druid-related themes on many occasions. He was obviously fascinated by the image of the druid, as an archetype of the senex, the wise person. He mentions Merlin on several occasions in this capacity. He was also deeply interested in the traditions of the Holy Grail, which he accepted as being traceable to ancient Celtic Pagan Druid religious teachings. For him the grail represented the essence of the feminine, and this was how the lost goddess of pre-Christian European pagan wisdom was smuggled, so to speak, into the heart of European Christian civilisation. He felt that without these lost feminine aspects of the deity, a dangerous lop sidedness was occurring in society and in our consciousness, that is threatening the very stability and spiritual well being of human civilisation as a whole. He spent years researching primitive consciousness and pagan cultures, travelling to meet with Hopi Indian elders and with African medicine men in Kenya (as recounted in his admirable biography Memories, Dreams and Reflections) looking for the lost wisdom that he felt too narrow and dogmatic a Christianity had suppressed in our cultural heritage. He was interested in dreams, and visions, and mysticism and wanted to study all such phenomena from a scientific perspective – and it was this which he called transpersonal psychology. He was fascinated by alchemy because in the alchemical traditions he realised there was hidden a secret language which represented the esoteric psychological facts of the search for human transcendental experience, and also a secret code for the Western equivalent to tantric yoga, in which the feminine aspect of divinity was esteemed equally to the masculine. Jung also did an enormous service to modern scholarship with his theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious, for he provided an intellectual bridge between the ancient pagan polytheist systems which understood the many-ness of the Gods, and those who nevertheless affirm a divine unity underlying them all. Jung was many things – healer, therapist, doctor, psychologist, intellectual historian, historian of religions, revealer of arcane secrets… In doing the research for this paper, I realised something else. It hit me like a thunderbolt – with his pipe, sitting in his tower besides a Swiss lake, where millennia earlier the druid elders of the Celtic people of Switzerland would have communed, deeply conversant with the mythologies and spiritual stories at the heart of all the world’s religious and spiritual teachings – Jung was very much himself also a Druid, in the archetypal sense of the word. And he probably knew it ! Another couple of synchronicities to report on this: when World War One broke out in 1914, Jung was actually in Scotland, a country he knew and loved well, and finding himself in the wrong part of Europe, he wanted to get home – so he got a ship to Belgium, and then by extraordinary luck and perseverance made it across the German lines, down the Rhine and finally back into neutral Switzerland. He felt World War One was utter madness, and since he had good friends both in Germany and the United Kingdom, refused to take “sides”, saying it was all a totally ridiculous waste of time. In this he reveals himself not only a Druid but also a Peace Druid ! Later he came back to the UK to teach on several occasions, and enjoyed a particular programme of teaching in Dorset and visited some ancient Celtic remains in the region. Another field that Jung was deeply interested was that of symbolism, and in particular the symbolism of the tree – he recognised that trees play a vital and living role in all forms of spirituality, and he was deeply interested in the Kabbalistic use of the tree image and also in the use of the tree in alchemy, where it is called The Philosophical Tree. So far as we can tell however, he was not aware of the specifics of many Druid teachings – he did not know the Taliesin legend, nor of Ceridwen, nor of Fenius Farshaidh, nor the work of Geoffrey Keating, nor the Irish mythological cycle of poems.. He knew Graves’ work but apparently not the White Goddess. But he knew James Hastings magnificent Encylopedia of Religion and Ethics, which has long articles on Druidry and Celtic religions, and he also knew Sir James Frazer’s Golden Bough which also explores Druidry to a degree. Whether he met any then living Druids I have not yet managed to find out, nor what he would have made of them. But I think I am on safe ground when I say that probably just about every single Druid thinker or theorist, at whatever level of learning or achievements, in the past 50 years, has at some point come across Jung’s work. Nor is this surprising: the list of Druid matters he was deeply interested in studying encompasses: dreams, magic, alchemy, initiation, the mysteries, paganism, the goddess traditions, occult literature, shape shifting, animals, trees, the relationship of man to nature, shamanism, gnosticism, ghosts, telepathy, past life experiences, the nature of God., intellectual history, the history of theology, freemasonry, heresies, symbolism in religion, archetypes, the symbolism of numbers, and so on and on…
It should also be pointed out that Druidry figures in one particular dream sequence that Jung recounts in Memories Dreams and Reflections, and which also formed part of the subject matter of an academic seminar that Jung ran in November 1925, and which was then written up as notes taken during the lecture Jung gave at that seminar, by Cary F de Angelo. The dream images were also written up and commented on in some detail by Richard Noll in his work. The original dream took place in December 1913, at a critical time in Jung’s life when he had just broken with Freud. He dreamed he descended down a rocky flight of stone steps, and then “Jung looked about him. He saw Elijah on a rocky place, a ring of boulders which he thought was a “Druid sacred place”. Inside the old man climbed upon a mounded Druidic altar and then both Elijah and the altar began to shrink while the walls grew larger. Jung noticed a tiny woman, “like a doll” who turned out to be Salome, and also a miniature snake and a house”. The dream sequence continues with Salome, who is blind, worshipping Jung’s avatar and telling him he is Christ... “Then I saw the snake approach me. She came close and began to encircle me and press me in her coils. These coils reached up to my heart. I realised as I struggled that I assumed the attitude of the crucifixion. In the agony and the struggle, I sweated so profusely that the water flowed down on all sides of me. The Salome rose and she could see. While the snake was pressing me, I felt that my face had taken on the face of an animal of prey, a lion or tiger.” In the academic seminar in 1925 which Jung held on the subject of the ancient mysteries, and in which he offered an analysis of this dream as one of the contents under discussion, he had this to say: “You cannot get conscious of these unconscious facts without giving yourself to them... These images have so much reality that they recommend themselves, and such extraordinary meaning, that one is caught. They form, part of the ancient mysteries; in fact, it is such figures that made the mysteries”. Later Jung went on to recount the whole essence of the ancient mysteries as that of the process of deification, and that this was what had happened to him in this dream when he had become “Christ”. He stated “In this deification mystery you make yourself into the vessel, and are a vessel of creation in which the opposites reconcile”. This has profound resonances with Druidry and transpersonal history on many levels: Jung felt that in founding analytical psychology he was effectively bringing to consciousness and the scrutiny of science the same innermost wisdom which had been transmitted in earlier epochs in the guise of the mystery schools, such as at Eleusis or Samothrace, or indeed in the Druid world. Blavatsky and many other esoteric writers, going right back to classical sources, argued that the Druids were the upholders of the ancient mystery schools of the Celtic and North West European peoples, so it is not surprising that this specifically Druidic reference should have occurred to Jung’s unconscious at this key moment in his own psychological unfolding. It could be argued that the archetype of the Druid is buried deeply in the collective unconscious of every Western European mind.
Not surprisingly then, many Jungian therapists and cultural historians have continued his work, exploring many branches of human thought and creativity. James Hillman has developed the field of archetypal psychology, which explores how the plurality of divine archetypes still impacts on today’s consciousness and today’s society. I have myself studied the intellectual history of as many Jungian thinkers as I could in the appendix to my own Doctoral thesis and discussed a huge range of Jungians inspired by the good Doctor who have been beavering away in many diverse seams and layers of the knowledge fields of ancient wisdom... many of them in areas directly related to Druid research. In short, the Jungian contribution to the field of transpersonal history, and potentially to the transpersonal history of Druidry, is outstanding.
3: Druidry in Transpersonal History in general
Now I want to move on: Jung was a forerunner, but since him the path of transpersonal thought and transpersonal history has moved on from strength to strength. Another key founder of the transpersonal approach to psychology was Robert Assagioli, a brilliant Italian psychotherapist who initially was devoted to Freud, but soon left him for the same reason that Jung did, because Assagioli believed there was indeed a spiritual essence in human nature which cannot be explained away through pseudo-materialist theories, however clever and convincing sounding. Assagioli lived and worked mostly in Florence where he gradually built up an influential school of transpersonal psychotherapy which he came to call psychosynthesis, For Assagioli, the point of therapy is not just psychoanalysis –the breaking down of the mind or soul into its constituent parts, and finding out the details of what’s wrong with it, but finally it was concerned to heal the analysand, to put the broken psyche back together, and this was what he called psychosynthesis. Assagioli in his writing and lectures, drew heavily on the ancient wisdom teachers of mankind, and the lineages of great philosophers, as well as modern psychologists, to argue that there is a transcendental spark of genius in all of us: an overself, the superconciousness, which becomes activated and alive when we reach the degree of psychic integration and wholenes that is a mark of true wellness and creative health. Assagioli emphasised the importance of will on this journey – it is not enough to know the road from the map, on the spiritual and psychological journey to maturity, we also have to will ourselves to walk there ! He also developed the field of active visualisation in the therapeutic process, which enabled the soul to use advanced imaginal journeyings in inner work, sometimes called pathworkings by contemporary pagans and Druids, and which in turn also came to form the basis of past life regression work. Assagioli not only supported the work of the transpersonal psychologists coming together in the latter stages of the 20th century, but he was also good friends with advanced esotericists such as Alice Bailey. He met her several times, and they liked each other immensely. Jung also know them both, since both Alice Bailey and Carl Jung shared a common friend and patron in Olga Froebe-Kapetyn, who sponsored not only Jung’s Eranos conferences as Ascona, but also the early days of Alice Bailey’s World Goodwill organisation. Jung wrote that he suspended judgement on the veracity of Bailey’s claim to be channelling materials from an advanced Tibetan disciple called DK, and speculated that some at least of the material might be coming from her own unconscious mind. Assagioli seemed to be more open to the idea of an occult hierarchy of masters, perhaps because his own mother had been an active theosophist, and so he had grown up with the idea. Blavatsky herself had of course mentioned Druidry favourably in several places in her writings, and there has always been a close overlap between theosophists and Druids. Again, it would be a splendid job for future transpersonal historians to gather together all the mentionings of Druids in theosophical writings, not just by Blavatsky, but by all the other great theosophical thinkers of the last 1800 years, since the term “theosophy” was coined by Ammonius Saccas 175-242 AD (teacher of both Plotinus and Origen) - there would I suspect be quite a long list of entries.
Another important contributor to the formation of transpersonal history has been Dr Rudolf Steiner, who began his intellectual life as an archivist working on Goethe’s archives at Weimar, mutated into being an active German theosophist in Berlin, and ended up founding his own mystical and esoteric society, the Anthroposophical Society. Steiner himself wrote quite a lot about Druids and gave several lectures in which he talks about Druids in a friendly light, as holders of the ancient mystery wisdom which he called “anthroposophy” and by which he meant the “divine wisdom come down into man.” Steiner gave a very important series of lectures in the 1920’s called the Karma Lectures, in which he speculated about the occult dynamics behind history – how patterns of karma repeat life after life, and he was the first major academic thinker to embrace the concept of reincarnation as a fact and then to work out its implications for the science of history. What if, he said in those lectures, the great figures we are studying as historians, are actually reincarnating life after life, and we are studying the same people coming back again and again, and watching as they repeat patterns of behaviour, for good or ill ? In asking this question, he was also echoing something the ancient Druids of Europe had been asking centuries before. One of the greatest of all Irish heroes was of course Fionn Mac Cumhail, who ate the salmon of wisdom and gained Druidical and occult powers, as a boy, just as Taliesin had. Many years after Fionn Mac Cumhail’s death, another great leader surfaced in Ireland, called Mongan. Now there is a wonderful mediaeval text called the ACALLAM NE SENORACH, which was written down sometime between 1175 and 1200. A mythical tale, set generations after the death of Finn Mac Cumhail, it recounts how Oisin, Fionn’s son, and Cailte (Fionn’s nephew and favoured minstrel and bard), meet St Patrick, and personally guide him around Ireland, pointing out all the pagan places they pass, and their stories. This was a wonderful way of the Druids saying that they had passed on their learning and wisdom to Patrick, as far as he was able to take it in. Now Cailte was a Bard with Druid powers, and later he recounts how he has surmised and discovered that Fionn Mac Cumhail has indeed reincarnated as Mongan ! Such transcarnational speculation must therefore have been a hallmark of good druid late night conversations from the Bronze Age onwards, or earlier. And this of course was why Steiner recognised them as truth seers. Indeed, it was a Welsh mystic, Thomas Vaughan, who first coined the word “anthroposophy” later used by Steiner to such effect. Later anthroposophists such as Walter Johannes Stein and Sir George Trevelyan carried on with the fascination in transpersonal history that Steiner himself had evidenced, and many modern anthroposophists continue with that esoteric work, which is symptomatic of Druidry at its best.
Abraham Maslow was another great transpersonal psychologist whose work has fundamental implications for transpersonal history. In a long and successful career, he argued that scientific psychology simply had to take cognisance of the fact that human beings were not simply bundles of conflicting emotions and impulses, but that when they achieve integration they are capable of great insight, compassion, love, altruism and enlightenment. His famous “hierarchy of needs” which is taught on most every single A level, and degree level, psychology course worldwide, established that all human beings have a need for metaphysical meaning in their lives, for a sense of higher purpose, and space for the pursuit of transcendental values. Transpersonal history is thus the chronicled narrative of the search for these transcendental values in the sum total of human individuals and collective life experiences, and that includes all the spiritual, religious and mystical experiences, activities and ideas of all of us who have ever lived, and all the prophets and spiritual visionaries of the past. The lives and struggles and visions of all the Druids of the past lies before us then as a chronicle of the search for higher meaning, and as a field for future transpersonal historical research.
Stanislav Grof is another key pioneer of transpersonal thought, and has worked as a psychiatrist for many years experimenting with LSD therapy, in which he found that people’s spiritual experiences follow a similar patter to psychotic breakdowns, except that in the shamanic death experience, one comes through into a new world, as it were reborn. Many myths and legends in Druidry, such as the rebirth experience of Taliesin, undoubtedly relate to psychic experiences on this level.
Another branch of transpersonal thought has been exploring the way that nature provides a direct access point to the spiritual worlds. Shamans, Druids, mystics and psychics of all faiths and spiritual paths have invariably worked in close proximity to the natural world. Christ was always going off alone into the desert, and the whole experience of desert mysticism has to be understood in this category; the Celtic Saints likewise embraced the green desert of the wilds of the Celtic heartlands and seascapes. Native Americans, Australian aborigines, Maoris, central Asian shamans, native Africans, all have at some point to go off into the wilderness to embrace their shadow and experience the awesome power of the spiritual kingdoms as manifesting through the natural world. Often animals would function as spirit guides and snakes, bears, wolves, pumas, owls, deer – all have functioned, in myth, legend, and the psychohistorical record, as communicants to another world of transcendental consciousness. Jung himself was always fascinated by the transpersonal experiences that the wilderness can provide, and searched out mystics in remote parts of Africa and the Americas to engage with; Joseph Campbell the great American symbolist and archetypal historian continued on in this same vein. Laurens Van Der Post worked with the shamans of Southern Africa. Bill Plotkin is another contemporary transpersonal explorer, depth psychologist and wilderness rites guide, who has likewise explored the ways in which wilderness can provide the perfect setting for re-encountering the numinous. He has established the Animas Valley Institute and published two works of relevance:Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (New World Library 2003) and Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (New World Library 2008). Bill Plotkin is in good company: the whole deep ecology and eco-philosophy movement inspired by Arne Naess, Gary Snyder, Bill Devall, Henrik Skolimokwsi, John-Francis Phipps, Joanna Macy, Theodore Roszak, Jesse Wold Hardin, All Hunt-Badiner, John Seed, John Muir, Thomas Berry, Wendell Berry, Warwick Fox, Heidegger, Terence Mackenna, Emerson, Thoreau, Spinoza, Chogyam Trungpa and a host of other luminaries, can all really be seen as fellow explorers along this same path of natural luminosity. We will return to these figures in our penultimate chapter.
Another of the key thinkers in the transpersonal field in recent decades has been Ken Wilber, whose work also has significance for the emergence of transpersonal history, writing many important studies on the nature of the inter-relations of the transpersonal and the personal dimensions of human experience, including some very detailed and important studies of the epistemological implications of new paradigm thought and the transpersonalisation of knowledge. The overall thesis maintained by Wilber, which has evolved as his thinking develops, is that human consciousness is only at a preliminary stage of its evolution as a mass phenomenon, and that only certain selected individuals have made it to evolve to the higher levels of consciousness as yet. His prognosis seems somewhat gloomy, once one strips away much of the rhetoric of his voluminous writings: mankind as a whole will have to wait for some tens of thousands of years before we evolve to a place where inter-personal and intra-personal peace becomes the norm rather than the exception; too many human beings are still living at a reactive, over-emotionalised, sacrificial level of being, with such negative behaviours as mass death, killing, and murder as the natural day to day reality accompanying such unevolved states of mind. He seems to regard enlightenment as the hard-to-work-for exceptional circumstance available only to a very few rare human beings, rather than the birthright of all of us, and a natural state which we have within our own grasp. This view, of course, has a tendency towards elitism and pseudo-gnosticism, and is also rather bad news as far as active peacemaking in inter-religious disputes is concerned, since it might lead one to give up on humanity, and reincarnate, in Wilber’s model, in some ten thousand years, when things will hopefully have improved ! Surely we have to work with humanity as we find them, not as we would like them to be ? But Wilber’s contribution is multifaceted, rich with methodological promise, and perhaps the events of 9/11 might have issued to Wilber a wake up call to think through again his somewhat gradualist (ie very slow) approach to the eschatology of enlightenment. There is no denying however the sheer technical brilliance of Wilber’s intellectual achievement, which is arguably on a level to other transpersonal thinkers as Aquinas’s thought was in relation to other scholastics. His attitude to primal peoples, including Druids, is however perhaps a little dismissive, as with his “evolutionist” understanding of the interaction of history and consciousness, arguing in his model of the evolution of consciousness that as mankind moves upwards towards higher states of awareness, the earlier stages of human thought and consciousness are always left behind or shed. Jung argued on the contrary that they are retained, and indeed form the bedrock of all our later thinking capacities. To Wilber, Druidry would therefore presumably relate to levels of magical thinking that were appropriate in earlier stages of human evolution, but which can now be comfortably left behind for more rational modes of thinking. We will return to these questions again in the penultimate chapter, which are pivotal because they relate to the eco-political clash between “modern thought” and “primal thought”. He should perhaps really be seen as in the line of descent from the classical European philosophers, combined with the classical Eastern thinkers of Advaita Vedanta and Mahayana Buddhist thought in the tradition of Nagarjuna. Wilber’s model for the stages of the evolution of consciousness is as follows:
Terms from The Atman Project
Physical nature and lower life forms, pleromatic, material, uroboric-reptilian
Sub-conscious - pre-personal
Highest body life forms, typhonic and magical
Simple passing present
Sub-conscious - pre-personal
Verbal, mythical, membership, paleological, bicameral
Cyclic seasonal time of mythic-membership
(leads to Centaur Sub-Level of higher order integration of mind/body)
Rational, mental-egoic, self-reflexive
Linear historical time of mental-ego
Nirmanakaya (lowest of Buddhist Trikaya - materials body of Buddhas), shamanistic - Faculty of intuition
Archetypal time (synchronicity)
Supersonscious - transpersonal
Sambhogakaya (Median of Buddhist trikaya, divine appearance body of Buddhas) saintly - oneness, light, bliss
Aeonic time perception
Supersonscious - transpersonal
Dharmakaya (highest of Buddhist trikaya, Dharma body of Buddhas) sagely, unmanifest absorption, radical insight, prana, gnosis
Transcendent time perception
Supersonscious - transpersonal
Svabhanikakaya (vajrakaya / sahajakaya) absolute, absolute dissolution of separate self-sense in any form and resurrection of all-pervading life and spirit; non-dual, non-obstructed consciousness
Perfectly timeless eternity perception of spirit-atman
Supersonscious - transpersonal
Comparing and contrasting this schema with other transpersonal thinkers is interesting, as follows:
Initial Stages Of Human Evolution
Middle phase of human evolution
End phase of human evolution
(Bodily awareness, sensory perception of external world)
(self-awareness, mental reflection)
Vernunft, (transcendent knowledge; synthesis of subjectivity and objectivity)
Overmind – integral consciousness
Paradisical unconsciousness; ignorance-as-bliss; "the abyss below"
Superconsciousness, perception of divine reality; "the abyss above"
Sub-consciousness realm (uroboric and typhonic)
Transpersonal history through Wilber’s lens, and that of other comparable thinkers, is basically the story of our ascent as conscious moral beings in a both spiritual and physical universe, and the study of how we respond to the many challenges along the way, and what moral progress we make as souls struggling through to greater and greater degrees of enlightenment and wisdom.
The complete list of transpersonal thinkers whose work has helped shape thinking on this the question of why we need a “transpersonal history” is something I examined exhaustively from the perspective of intellectual history in the appendix to my doctoral thesis, and I include as an appendix to this talk the list of thinkers that I examined there in detail, which work was subsequently published separately. All these thinkers have written about the interactions of spirituality and history, and many of them have explored the details of specific faith traditions and spiritual lineages. As yet, few of them have explored the history of Druidry per se, but it would be safe to say that most of the writers who have explored the history of Druidry, have employed at least some aspects of what we are calling here transpersonal history.
4. The Druid revival in modern history: looking back through the lens of transpersonal history
The full history of how Druidry survived and revived through the Dark Ages, from its Mediaeval underground period, and on to the early renaissance revival of interest in ancient religions and cultures, through the stimulus of classical humanist and renaissance scholarship, and in which it became possible again in Europe to think like a pagan, and to acknowledge openly the pagan roots of our European civilisation, would be a fascinating story to research and tell in detail. Such a story would encompass not only the work of various renaissance magi, such as Dr John Dee, or Gemistus Plethon, or Guillaume Postel, as well as Celtic historical scholars such as Geoffrey Keating and the authors of the Annals of the 4 Masters who collectively managed to save the manuscripts of early Irish tradition just in time before Cromwell’s burning of the monastic libraries. It would also encompass the hermetic renaissance, begun in Florence by Pico Della Mirandola and Ficino and reaching soon to every European country and across to the Americas, named after a navigator who had once worked for the Medici. The story would encompass also the 16th century, time of religious wars and chaos, with romantic Royalists upholding, often on the run, some kind of spiritual knowledge, almost a gut intuition, about the sanctity of the ancient Celtic traditions of these islands, including sacred kingship. Charles 1 after all had rebuilt Iona from ruins at this time, before perishing through death-by-committee. Druidry resurfaced as a respectable idea in the reign of Charles 2, along with science and freemasonry and by the time of the 18th century the early enlightenment definitely had a fond niche for Druids. Court de Gebelin, who organised the Lodge of the 9 Sisters in Paris, whose corresponding members included Jeremy Bentham, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin, perhaps even saw themselves as some kind of Druid revival of Apollo worshippers, devoted to the 9 Muses, bringing back enlightenment after its long suppression through Constantinian Christianity. No doubt, when Ben Franklin accompanied Francis Dashwood into the West Wycombe caves for one of his splendid banquets of the Hell Fire Club, and they dreamed up the idea of the “right to happiness” as a political principle worth standing up for, they would have been discussing how Druids used to worship in the underground caverns beneath the beech groves of the West Wycombe downland - and I doubt they were discussing human sacrifice ! There is a lost oral history of Druidry to be surmised in the occult underground that underpinned the enlightenment, which we can only, as transpersonal historians, try and reconstruct through both the hard work of sifting through papers, and documentary evidence, but also exploring retrospective clairaudience and other intuitive archival research. Likewise in the history of Druid lodges from the late 18th century onwards, the work of people such as John Toland, Iolo Morgannwg, and William Blake, and Nicholas Bonneville, and Thomas Paine, and Henry Hurle, Owen Morgan, and George Macgregor Reid, and all the historic characters who formed and ran the various Druid Lodges of the Victorian age, there is a huge material here for future transpersonal historians to explore. What kinds of spiritual and psychological experiences were these people having ? Here, there is also an important parallel to the history of freemasonry which a revived Druidry ran alongside for many years. From a transpersonal perspective the best way to regard this complex relationship is as two branches of the same river meandering along, say, the Cuckmere Haven down to the sea, but in different parts of the same valley. Likewise the complex history of neo-Druidical links to the Theosophical tradition and the Golden Dawn and late 19th century occultism, also needs writing up in detail. James Webb's excellent two volume history of the occult movement in the past 200 years was a major achievement, and in effect a pioneering work of transpersonal history, but he sadly died at an early age. Jonathan Black’s The Secret History of the World (London, 2008) has provided a useful overview attempt, but obviously space shortages means it floats so swiftly over Druidry that you hardly glimpse it at all, even though it does begin with an imaginary reconstruction of ancient Druid rituals. It is one of the few serious attempts to write an entire transpersonal history of the world and as such the author deserves praise for intellectual courage.
Ronald Hutton’s excellent previous Mount Hameus lecture on the early modern revival of Druidry shed light on some of the interesting characters of that epoch, and his book on The Druids gives even more details, while his more recent Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (Yale, 2009) gives even more detail. There is still however a great deal of history that has not yet been written up, and if one were to ever do it justice, it would surely have to employ the techniques of transpersonal history to do so. Ronald gives many details of the figures who made the Druid revival possible: from Stukeley to Iolo to MacGregor Reid to Ross Nichols. But their full transpersonal history has not yet been told. Nor has the full history of its continued revival in the 1940’s, 1950s and 1960’s been explored. How it interfused with various counter-cultural elements in the course of the 70’s and 80’s and the hippy traditions intermerged with Druidry and gave us the complex, chaotic mixture that is represented at the Stonehenge summer solstice free access revived from 2000 onwards. The modern history of Druidry is scattered no doubt in dozens of separate archives and scattered shoe-boxes, and in various informal libraries all over the country. The history of the various Druid Orders that have come and gone in the last 50 years are likewise scattered in the various pamphlets and publications, monographs and newsletters, and now cyber trails and weblogs, such that they collectively imprint their psyches on history, leaving an almost impenetrable thicket of both thorns and roses. How to synthesise all this ? How to summarise it and integrate it into a meaningful narrative ?
It is the author’s contention, and a primary purpose of this paper, that if we are ever to get to the centre of the wood and find the sleeping princess of Albion, and administer that revivifying kiss of wisdom, we are going to have to use all the skills and sleight of mind, that old Odyssean cunning, that transpersonal history can offer. The act of historical scholarship is essentially a magical act. It is about wondering about the past, and then recreating it, by using letters, so that your own sense of wonder can be conveyed to the reader (or listener) and can stimulate in turn their own search, their own wonder. In that sense, the practice of transpersonal history could be likened to the higher practice of white magic, sympathetic mind magic across time, in which the practitioner reconstructs, from innumerable sources, including spiritual imagination and the eye of the heart, events that occurred in the past long ago, and brings them back from the cauldron of vision, for the healing of the now. In that sense, transpersonal history is itself a form of magic and Druidcraft, which is exactly what it ought to be, seeing as the druids were indeed the very first historians, and indeed the first peace historians and transpersonal historians, on these islands.
5: Druidry and the transpersonal history of philosophy
Another field that transpersonal history can help shed light on is the whole field of the history of philosophy – that is, how people in different epochs and cultural contexts, have tried to make sense of the ultimate meaning, purpose and significance of life. Obviously, the Celtic imagination did so in a way which came to be known as “Druidry” – other cultures had their own formulations and approaches. This history of philosophy allows us to compare and contrast the kaleidoscope of such conversations through time. At the very dawn of European classical philosophical traditions in Ancient Greece, Druidry is an early guest and co-participant at the feast. Pythagoras was an eclectic traveller and synthesiser of mythological traditions, who sought to find the ultimate underlying reality hiding in symbolic form beneath all the various religious systems then known to mankind. He was apparently familiar with the Celtic civilisations and with Druids, as one of his friends and fellow seekers of truth was Abaris, a Celtic Druid himself. Pythagoras and most other Greek philosophers worked with the energy of Apollo, seeking to shed light on the mysteries of mankind from a rational and therapeutic perspective. Classical authors also affirmed of the Druids that Apollo was their own primary deity. The legend of the hyperborean Apollo was well known in Greek intellectual circles, and it was assumed by the cognoscenti that Albion and Hibernia were indeed the homeland of the worship of Hyperborean Apollo. Stonehenge and the other stone circles of Albion were regarded as temples of Apollo. Peter Kingsley has shown in his excellent works that behind the mental-rationalism of later Greek thought, lurked an earlier pre-history of Greek thought, which Parmenides exemplified, in which the priest-sages of Greek civilisation functioned very much as Druids did to the Celtic world. Plato’s tripartite division of society, and his argument that society should ideally be ruled by philosopher-kings, is also very much in harmony with Celtic Druidical thinking. As E.R. Dodds has shown, the intellectual brilliance of Greek rationalism, which led to scientific materialism and atomic theory and all the plethora of discovering that we find in the modern scientific world, was also foreshadowed by a love of the miraculous, and an acceptance of the supernatural as a lived reality. Just as Apollo was the deity of healing, so were the Druids great healers. Apollo was also the deity of prophecy, and the Greeks certainly loved their oracles as at Delphi, but also at Dodona, where the destiny of the questioner was discerned by the priest(ess) looking at the way the oak leaves rustled in the wind. Historians of philosophy, if they adopted the auxiliary techniques of transpersonal history, might also ask the following questions: to what extent were actual living contacts possible in the ancient world between Greek and Hellenic and Celtic civilisations ? To what extent have later philosophers been aware of this contribution by Celtic civilisations to the early formation of their discipline (e.g. Bacon, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger etc.) ? Which philosophers have themselves been of Celtic origin and thus indirectly been adding to the rich tradition of Celtic intellectual work without which the tapestry of philosophical achievement would have been poorer and less significant ? (Abaris, Pelagius, Abelard, John Scotus Erigena, Michael Scot, Duns Scotus, Bishop Berkeley, Thomas Reid, Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Carlyle etc.)
It would seem that by and large, the Druids of the classical era transmuted into the Celtic saints and scholars of the mediaeval period, and there was certainly a philosophical continuity, as far as we can tell, between the spiritual and intellectual climate from one age to another. Greek philosophy was kept alive in the Celtic Christian monasteries of Ireland when it had all but vanished elsewhere in Europe, and Celtic Christianity showed a very strong Druidical streak in its interest in the other world, the communion of saints, the question of purgatory, the possibility of the vision of God in this life, the profound faith in the intercession of saints, the role of strong female spiritual leaders, the role of community in the spiritual journey. The spiral shapes of the Christian illuminated manuscripts show a direct connection with the pre-Christian Celtic art of New Grange – and point to an awareness of the inter-dimensionality of Being. The complexity of the history of British and Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Breton contributions to the history of philosophy and theology, and their representing a kind of carry-over from earlier Druidic concerns, represents a fascinating field for future transpersonal historians of philosophy to research in detail.
6. Druidry and Philosophies of history through the lens of transpersonal history
Another field that transpersonal history can shed light on is the Druid contribution, potential and actual, to the field of the philosophy of history. This is the intersecting trans-discipline formed where history and philosophy come together and ask questions about the deeper meaning of history as a whole – what does everything mean when you stretch it out in the endless cycles of temporal succession ? What do all the battles, dynasties, empires, kingdoms, republics and political contests actually signify ? What do the great religions say it all means ? Is there a meaning to history ? What is the pattern underlying everything as a whole ? We know the Druids believed in the transmigration of the soul, and this immediately gives us a strong clue as to what their philosophy of history would have been like – they must have believed in some kind of karmic journey of ever increasing states of wisdom and enlightenment – there must have been some kind of Druid equivalent to enlightenment in Buddhism. The images of animal transmigration found in several Druid stories indicate that the Celtic imagination also believed in soul-nature as being something shared by man and animals alike. At crucial epochs in the history of Britain and Ireland the image or archetype of the Druid has reappeared to give a sense of direction or purpose to society. In the Elizabethan era, Dr. John Dee functioned as the mythic Druid archetypal figure whose magic kept Britain free of the Armada and their onboard inquisition. The genie of science was let out of the bottle. The British Empire discovered North America and India; Raleigh took his School of Night around the world, and Francis Drake, that Great Dragon, claimed the San Francisco Bay area in the name of the Elizabethan renaissance. Tudor Historians such as Camden and Bacon sought to anchor the greatness of Britain in our Celtic bedrock. Shakespeare likewise went back to the earliest Celtic substratum of British history for dramatic inspiration, and the Celtic monarchy of Elizabeth and James once more had a Bard at court, as in ancient times. Lord Edward Herbert of Chirbury, who wrote at Montgomery Castle in Powys, authored the first work in Britain arguing that there is a transcendental truth underlying all religions, and that the task of the philosopher is to ferret it out. He was known as the first deist philosopher, who kick-started the enlightenment. Voltaire, who coined the phrase “the philosophy of history” looked back on this proto-enlightenment as the shaking free from mediaeval dogmatisms, and the French philosophes generally looked back on Druidry as a kind of forerunner of the enlightenment of the modern age: Rousseau, Nicholas Bonneville, Thomas Paine, Voltaire himself, Antoine Court de Gebelin, Helvetius… all looked on Druidry favourably, and saw their revolutionary work as philosophes as a kind of turning back to the lost old Golden age of “once upon a time” – the very word revolution actually means this “turning again and returning” as in an endless spiral of journeying. The very work of trying to find out the meaning of history as a whole, the “philosophy of history” is a thoroughly Druid undertaking, and one which transpersonal history can undoubtedly shed light on. Jung’s archetypal psychology, as developed by Hillman and many others, is one way this can be done – by studying the influence that the different archetypes of the collective unconscious have on different epochs of history, one can unpick the nuances and echoes of meaning that different ages put at the forefront of their value systems. When they clash, you can find out what is going on by looking at the patterns the sparks make. And then you can try and heal it, for the Druid path is always a path of healing, as is the practice of transpersonal history as a whole.
7. Druidry and the history of suppressed narratives
Another important contribution Druid history can make to transpersonal history as a whole is by considering the history of suppressed narratives. History is not a value free project; it is either a professional activity funded by and organised by the dominant intellectual elite of a given era, or an unofficial act of remembering and recording by persons whose histories and narratives are often repressed. There is no such thing as “history” says this view – instead there are multiple “histories” and they are often or usually in conflict. There is as Foucault pointed out, following his master Nietzsche, the long history of the struggle for truth in the face of a series of inauthentic usurpations of power. The really important things in history, says this view, are not the dominant narratives, not the stories of “most people” at any one time, but the narratives of the few, the dissidents, the marginalised. In this sense the history of Druidry is itself the history of a suppressed narrative, a once dominant intellectual elite whose metamorphoses over the ages have enabled it to survive by shapeshifting. So it is one strand, one weave in a tapestry of multidimensional histories, whose overall pattern is as beautiful as it is complex, like a Celtic illuminated gospel manuscript page from the Book of Kells, or a Persian carpet.
So in writing the intellectual and transpersonal history of the role of Druidry, bouncing like a tiny bark amidst the waves of the struggles between truth and power, one would have to write a series of multiple interwoven histories and stories. It would be a history of feminisms and femininity, of Druidical attitudes to women, as seers, prophetesses, magical priestess; a history of masculisms, of the wild man, the prophet, the sage, the Merlin, the senex, explored by Robert Bly, and Gillette and Moore; a history of humanisms, and the reclaiming of the voice of humanity, embarked on in the renaissance era in Italy with its recovering of the lost classical epoch of European civilisation, which also saw a rebirth of interest in the history of Druidry; a history of religions with the full story of their heresies put back in, a history of Islam plus Sufism, of Judaism plus the Kabbalah, of Christianity plus all its complex unorthodoxies; above all it would be a history of oral traditions, and the history of primal and pagan peoples the world over – for Druidry like all pagan traditions started its life as an oral transmission, and this is a characteristic of all suppressed narratives – they survive as folk tales, myths, legends, teachings, transmitted from mind to mind, heart to heart, through the oral medium. The miracle in fact is that so much has survived and revived – and transpersonal history can contribute to its recovery and dynamic reformulation, so that Druid history can be seen as one strand of the complex tapestry of re-emergent narratives, one sequence of patterns on the overall carpet of history, so similar in shape and symmetry to those of other primal traditions, that as the tsunami of monolatrous totalitarianism retreats from the landscape, we can once again recognise the common patterns of our universal humanity reappearing – this surely is the explanation for the way that the Mayan prophecies about 2012 as being a significant marker in time have caught on so. It is this revelatory work which has always been at the heart of the meaning of “apocalyptic” – which represents the spiritual learning which we as souls must undertake if we are to voyage successfully between worlds and then return. The Celts, whose very name means “the hidden ones”, have always been rather good at "apocalypses", at appearing and disappearing, at revealing and concealing. All the occult orders of the 18th and 19th centuries, from freemasons to theosophists and the Golden Dawn, can be seen, archetypally, as attempts to get the repressed narrative of esoteric wisdom out into the daylight once again. And one of the oldest and most repressed narratives of all is of course the narrative of the lost Goddess at the heart of history – the her of history. It was the Druid pantheon of Goddesses that transmuted into the Holy Grail that Jung saw bubbling away at the depths of the collective unconscious of the European mind. As a peace historian I would also remind listeners that Pax was a Goddess, bearing a horn of plenty – and peace history is perhaps the most repressed of all histories, so much conventional history being the history of war and conflict. The history of peace, love, sexuality, fertility – this is surely the golden seam that transpersonal historians have yet to explore, and which Druid history can also help shed light on as the peace seers of their civilisation.
Perhaps the most suppressed of all narratives within history, however, is the history of wholeness. The over-specialisation of history as a discipline has tended to support the notion that reality is made up of discrete, different and competing parts and dimensions. Yet mankind perennially searches after wholeness, integration, entirety. In the 17th century this movement became known as “pansophy” and the pansophists’ search for universal knowledge and wisdom should also be set chronologically against a similar rebirth of interest in ancient Druidry going on across Europe at the same time. Pansophists were active in both Protestant and Catholic parts of Europe, not least at the court of Rudolph 2nd, and its ideals as a movement have been well summed up by R.J.W. Evans: “It is against this background that the craving for universal knowledge, Pansophy, should be seen. The idea that the key to full understanding lay in men’s mental disciplines, especially in their hitherto unexplored powers, was at one with an occultist view of the world. It found expression in the Hermetic doctrines made accessible by Pico and Ficino, with the stress on the primeval unity of all mankind; in the related study of the Cabala, whose starting point was a cosmogenic revelation; in the “art” of Ramon Lull and allied techniques aimed at perfecting the capacity of the mind and memory. Another aspect of it was the striving after complete experience.. The vogue was intimately linked with magic and its high priests like Cornelius Agrippa or Trithemius of Sponheim… (or) the wizard Faust” (ibid, p. 252).To this list we can most certainly add Druidry, and place the rebirth of interest in Druidry from the renaissance onwards, gathering pace in the 18th century, in an unbroken line of practice to the present day, especially in Britain and Ireland, as another way of seeking for this “primeval unity of all mankind”. (Evans, R.J.W. Rudolf 2nd and his world: a study in intellectual history 1576-1612, London, 1997, p. 252)
From this perspective also, the development of transpersonal history is itself revealed as another way of trying to trace the history of this striving after wholeness which is found active in generation after generation, and Ken Wilber’s adoption of integral theory, as his own preferred terminology for models and maps of reality which include the transpersonal dimension, is revealed also as modern day equivalent of the pansophic enterprise.
Another very important suppressed narrative known to historians is that of witchcraft, which has been the object of intense academic and scholarly debate for many decades. Historians are currently exploring all manner of diverse features of the history of witchcraft, including: the legal basis on which their persecutions took place, the gender politics of the persecutions, the economic dimensions of persecution, the rise of scientific scepticism and the diminishment of persecution, the role of the enlightenment in ending persecution, micro-studies of particular witches and their persecutions, transatlantic political and intellectual currents and witchcraft persecutions, persecutions in different parts of Christian Europe, both Catholic and Protestant and Anglican and their respective ferocity, the psychological profiles of witches, the anthropological study of witchcraft as a belief system in comparison to other pagan and indigenous cosmologies, the possible use of psychoactive substances as part of witchcraft rituals, the use of sacred sexuality as part of witchcraft ceremonies, the theological pantheons of witches, the images of the Goddess, of the Horned God, of Satan, Lucifer and the Devil both in the minds of the persecutors of witches and in the minds of the witches themselves, the role of Witchcraft in the English civil war, the class background of witches, ancient and modern, the healing faculties and powers and traditions of witches, the archaeology of witchcraft, the folklore of witchcraft, the sociology of witchcraft etc. An enormous bibliography encompasses all these studies, but as yet however, there seems to have been no bilateral study of the mutual inter-relationship of Witches and Druids in history, starting with the 20th century, and going back to the 19th and 18th centuries, then further back to Mediaeval times and on into ancient history. Both the history of Druidry and the history of Witchcraft seem to have great similarities as “suppressed narratives”. The question is however whether in all the literature of persecutions, in all the court records and all the trial transcripts, there was ever a single victim punished who claimed to have been a “Druid” as well as, or rather than, a “witch”. There is also the question of what would have been the legal status of someone who had so claimed. In ancient times, Druids had very high legal status indeed, and were regarded as inviolable; actually, they were the transmitters of “law” since they were the interpreters of the will of the Gods to the public community. Foucault, following Nietzsche, talks of the archaeology of truth when it comes to revealing suppressed narratives. Transpersonal history likewise, as a disciplined way of conducting historical research into the way that archetypes and other transpersonal forces have governed historical cultural processes, can perhaps help in untangling this complex layering of suppressed truth, notwitchstanding the pain that must linger in relation to many of these issues. Nor should it be forgotten that witchcraft, paganism and Druidry, although now legal in the UK and Europe, have a hard time legally in the climate of many nations worldwide, and that accusations of being a “witch” can still lead to persecution and death as we speak.
8. The philosophies of history, revolutions, counter-revolutions and Druidry
The way that suppressed narratives return to light is often by way of revolution, and the myth of the revolutionary upsurge is an important one for transpersonal historians to study. In my own previous work on the esoteric history of Marxism I discovered close links between the history of 18th and 19th century esoteric and occult groups and the early communist cells which began forming in the era of the 18th and 19th century revolutionary movement. Marxism was strongly influenced by the occult underground, as had been earlier revolutionary movements. James Billington the American intellectual historian who is also Librarian of Congress, in his masterful Fire In The Minds Of Men: The Origins Of The Revolutionary Faith (London, 1980) demonstrated the freemasonic milieu out of which much revolutionary rhetoric and practice emerged. Only transpersonal history, it could be argued, has the intellectual and spiritual tools to make sense of this complex multilayered history of revolutionary underground movements and their links to occultism. Bonneville, Marechal, Blanqui, Robespierre, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Lunacharsky, Stalin, Ho Chih Minh, all had their moments of fascination with occult matters, and all were drawn to the esoteric as they were to secret organisation in covert cells and groups so as to foment revolution – which they saw as at once a metaphysical and a political act of liberation. Some revolutionaries, even specifically invoked Druids as master intelligences who could direct the return to common sense in society from behind the scenes. The more gradual revolution that socialism seemed to promise, also had its occult and esoteric dimension, and Robert Owen and St Simon, the twin founders of socialism, both saw a revolution in the transpersonal domain of existence as being a sine qua non to any effective political and economic revolution here on earth. Many 18th and 19th century reformers saw their political revolution as being the implementation of authentic Christianity – or as Saint-Simon called it. New Christianity. Thomas Davidson and other founders of the Fabian Society saw that the conquest of evil, ignorance, class oppression, poverty and social injustices would only be gradually achieved alongside a similar metaphysical and intellectual victory over religious dogmatism and literalism, and this could only be achieved by esoteric enlightenment. The real transpersonal history of all the revolutionary and progressive movements of the last 250 years has not yet been fully written up. Billington himself neglected to write up the occult dimensions of the American Revolution against the British. Here is important work for future transpersonal historians, and it is certain that the more detailed narrative of politically engaged Druids and Druid groups would be a part of this wider narrative. Certainly, John Toland was in touch with many republican movements in the later part of the 18th century, all across Europe and North America, whose fervour eventually bore fruit in the American and French Revolutions. Active Druid lodges fought on the side of the American revoution. John Locke however, whose doctrines of human rights and governmental accountability is often invoked as the intellectual fountainhead of the era of revolutions, eventually came to distance himself from his earlier friendship with Toland as representing the more extreme republican wing of the enlightenment.
If the Druid-Pythagorean acted as a kind of talisman for the French revolutionaries and the encyclopaediaest searching for a revolution of the mind that could bring back the lost ancient wisdom of the world as it was in its “golden age”, the Druid or sage, also acted as a counter balance, one who had already foreseen the destruction and wickedness that arises when revolutionary fervour is unleashed without the restraining hand of responsibility and reverence for “how things actually are.” Wordsworth represented the transition in microcosm, as he saw with horror the excesses of the French revolution, and transmuted into the conservative Bard and poet laureate who lamented the follies of his youth - for details see Davies, Hunter William Wordsworth (Sutton Publishing, 2009). So Romantic Conservatism was born, in response to the excesses of violence committed in the name of “reason” and the German romantics led by Goethe, Schelling, and Hegel, counselled a wiser kind of occultism, one that was tolerant instead of dogmatic, one that was peaceful instead of violent. In Britain, Burke and Sir Walter Scott between them invoked tradition and custom, respect for the unwritten constitutions which bind men’s hearts into concord, rather than the decrees of a centralised secretariat claiming to speak in the name of the “the people”. Royalism came back into favour and it was realised that in the monarchical traditions of Europe and globally, there are preserved ancient customs bestowing legitimacy on sovereignty that no amount of demagoguery can be a substitute for. Thus the Victorian age, an epoch of liberal-conservatism if ever there was one, saw both a high flourishing of Druidry and a love for the romanticism of monarchy, tradition and the esoteric trappings of lineage and nobility. Victoria herself was a kind of Druidess Queen, who idealised the Scottish highlands and looked back on her Jacobite ancestors with fond nostalgia. Pax Britannica reached its apogee under Victoria, who for many Druids of the day, seemed like Boudicca Redivicus. But history still had a few nasty shocks in store – like all enlightenments, the long 19th century also cast a shadow, and the 20th century in essence consisted of the long working out of the dialectics of unhealed projections, as rival classes and powers fought out on the stage of the collective psyche of mankind the solution to Nietszche’s famous dictum “the question is, who is to be master and who slave ?” Millions of bodies littered the floor by the end of the 20th century – but not even holocausts and atom bombs had yet resolved this basic question. In Elijah’s own spiritual experience, God spoke not in the whirlwind but in the silence that followed it – so now, perhaps the transpersonal meaning of history, from a Druid perspective, can speak to us too in the quiet that follows the storm.
9.Druid history and biblical history: Druidry and Judaism
One very important task to be done by future transpersonal historians, and particularly those with an interest in Druid history, is to revisit Jewish history and Biblical history from a Druid perspective. Firstly, this has in fact been an abiding interest and theme of Druid histories since the beginning – Geoffrey Keating's History of Ireland and the Annals of the 4 Masters always reference the Biblical origins of the Gaelic people. Mapping the Druids against the Biblical lineages has always been a favourite pastime of Druid thinkers and historians. Chronologically, the story is simply told: what the current author means by “Druidry” is the indigenous spirituality of the succeeding generations of native inhabitants of the British isles and North Western Europe, from the earliest hunter gather settlements after the ice age, from about 10,000 BC onwards, as evidenced at Star Carr and elsewhere, down through the Neolithic farmers of Wessex culture who built the great temples of Stonehenge and Avebury, on down to the organised iron age Celtic tribes who resisted the roman invasions, and ultimately saw them off, before finally having to put up with waves of fresh invasions of Angles and Saxons and Vikings who appeared thereafter. Druidry is, in this interpretation, a living spiritual lineage dating back to prehistory and to the peoples of these islands, who built the thousands of sacred stone circles and wood henges that litter the landscapes. It survived in oral traditions underground, just as the Tuatha de Danaan went into the undergound tumuli of Ireland. Abraham, a key figure in the history of the transmission of Judaism, is dated by reliable scholars to approximately 1750 BC. At this epoch, Stonehenge and Avebury were already ancient monuments. The Hebrew Tribes however had something revolutionary – very early on, they got hold of the alphabet, and this enabled the recording of their ancient stories, myths and legends into a continuous narrative, whereas the ancient druid elders were obliged simply to pass everything on orally and spiritually. We can see innumerable places in the Jewish Holy Scriptures where the prophetic genius shines forth in ways that are structurally and psychologically identical to the presumed functioning of the Druid class in Celtic society. Jewish prophets and spiritual elders had the same complex relationship to temporal and kingly power that the Druids also held. Both prophets and Druids seemed to be able to listen in to the secret workings of the Mind of the Universe. They perceived sacred signs, interpreted synchronicities, experienced miracles and subjected their dreams to profound analysis. There is very little difference between the Druid and the Prophet typologically speaking, apart from the nomenclature. Where the Druids might have had trouble understanding their Hebrew cousin’s worldview, was in the insistence that the fecund polytheism of their pantheon was now to be superseded by a rather tyrannical distillation of directing super-ego deified, or in being told that their Goddesses had to be put onto the blazing pyre of idols. But if our Druids had met with Jewish esotericists, or highly trained rabbis well schooled in the mysteries of life and they had discussed their respective cosmologies glimpsed between the lines so to speak, they would have certainly realised that in the Jewish teachings of the Kabbalah and the tree of Life, and the Druid teachings of the tree as a symbol of the interdimensionality of being, there was in fact more or less complete agreement. Even in transmigration could both schools of thought agree, and likewise in their lauding of peace over violence and warfare, and in their constant insistence on the need for justice and righteous as the hallmark of civilisation. Indeed, to many Druids Abraham seemed exactly like a Druid himself, and his love of erecting sacred stones, and in his insistence on a covenantal relationship between mankind and the divine source, one can glimpse a very Druidical love of pacts and oaths and vows. Some Druid historians also see a strong link between Druidry and the Phoenician culture, and almost certainly Phoenicians were in touch with the ancient British cultures which provided them with tin, so necessary to the bronze that fuelled the Bronze Age of the Mediterranean world. Future transpersonal historians can work out the implications of this trade, which must also have been in ideas and values as well as purely in metals, and one encounters the intriguing probability that Druids would indeed have occasionally visited the great Phoenician temple cities of Tyre and Sidon just about the same time that Solomon was borrowing Phoenician craftsmen to make his new Temple in Jerusalem. To Druid thinkers, whether of ancient times, or modern times, the whole notion of anti-Semitism would have been a logical oxymoron: the Semite is etymologically theone who listens, the people who hear – and Phoenicians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs were all from this conglomeration of tribal peoples. Their complex ancient mythological stories, partly inherited from their mysterious Sumerian cultural progenitors, in many ways echo the complex pantheons and legends of the Celts and their Druids. Future transpersonal historians will probably discover that Indo-European languages, with all their mythological complexities, and Semitic languages and their own mythological pantheons, are all interconnected and can be jointly traced back to far more ancient Asian, European, Egyptian and African common ancestries. In the story of Fenius Farsaidh appearing miraculously just before the Tower of Babel was destroyed, and preserving the language of the pre-Babel speech of mankind, and keeping it alive in the Druid schools of the far west, we have an archetypal and possibly even ancient memory trace of historical knowledge, that the Druids did indeed trace their spiritual lineages back to the very earliest sub-strata of human wisdom and unfolding. It is only when that ancient wisdom is reclaimed from the funeral pyres of history, and speaks to us once again as Er did when rising up before a startled audience expecting his instant combustion – that we can perhaps reconcile and heal the complex fault lines of the tribes of mankind, and their separate lineages and genealogies and competing histories, between Arab and Jew and European, between Lebanese and Egyptian and Iraqi, between American and African. And for this we need the vision and scholarship of transpersonal historians, imbued with the wisdom of both Fenius Farsaidh and Abraham and Gershom Scholem.
10.Druid history and Christianity
For many Celts over the centuries, Christianity has appealed, subliminally perhaps, because Christ was, to all intents and purposes, functioning exactly as a major Druid. Like Druids he healed the sick; he had prophetic powers and had the capacity for clairvoyant vision; he spoke truth courageously to power; he stood up for the principles of non-violence and peace, even when the die was caste against him; he was prepared to give up even, his life for the advancement of the cause of truth and righteousness; he was an inveterate teacher, always giving public talks and off the cuff sermons, so then eventually the only way to shut him up was to crucify him; he seemed to have the capacity to tap into divine inspiration (or awen); he was accompanied by certain totemic spiritual powers, represented in bird form (the dove of the holy spirit); he worked with a small close knit group of disciples (students, those prepared to accept “discipline”) with whom he unravelled endlessly the mysteries of being; he seemed to teach on at least two levels of depth - for the public appearances he told stories, moral fables, parables; for his innermost disciples he revealed more secret teachings concerning the parallel existence of an extraordinary world of divine energies and principles which we can tap into, given time and training; he loved healing, was literate, had an insatiable curiosity, from a young age seemed to be interested in the magical and the occult and whilst he respected elders and teachers, also wanted to break forth and do something new and revolutionary; he loved messing about by the water, whether lakes, rivers or waterfalls, and spending time in boats, and among fishermen – indeed the fish was something quite sacred to him, as a life symbol; he was comfortable with men and women, and had female disciples as well as male, with whom he seemed to have transmitted some of his more esoteric teachings; also, there are huge gaps in our knowledge of Jesus’s life, as he comes and goes from our radar like a mysterious.. well.. Druid ! Not surprisingly then, in the history of the church much that it has accomplished has been in concert with the better aims and practices of Druidry, and normally speaking the two worldviews have co-existed comfortably. On the whole, however, it could be said that Celtic Christianity was more interested in the transpersonal depths of the Christian work, and in bringing through the good news of salvation that was revealed through Christ’s life and death and resurrection, in a way that bears witness to the continuity with ancient wisdom wherever it is found, in all times and places and cultures. This was actually the original meaning of the Catholic faith – i.e. the faith that is truly grounded in universalism. In Jung’s work and his love of the esoteric meaning behind conventional church teachings, in his attempts to relocate the lost Goddess at the heart of the Christian narrative, and to find the lost Sophia or collective wisdom nature of mankind, repressed in our collective amnesia for reasons of Sophiaphobia, the work of transpersonal historians can perhaps go on from where Jung gave up the ghost, and continue to search the ancient archives for clues to our own lost wholeness. From a transpersonal perspective, terms like Catholic, or Protestant, or Orthodox, or Rosicrucian or Unitarian, or Trinitarian or Gnostic are more like archetypes, representing a certain psychological attitude, that all of us adopt from time to time, than fixed sets of dogmas that have to be adhered to. Druid Christians might also look somewhat quizzically at a Christian church whose pater familas is none other than our old friend the Pontifex Maximus (whose forebear no doubt authorised the invasion of Celtic Britain to satisfy the imperial whims of the Roman Gentry) and who fought an occult war against Druidry for centuries. The Druid church would surely rather be led by an unknown Pontifex Minimus, a shadowy figure appearing somewhat like a Merlin, concealed and revealed by the mists of Avalon, generation after generation.
11.Druidry and freemasonic history
Another area that transpersonal historians can usefully investigate for the light it sheds both on history in general and also on Druid history in particular, is that of the history of freemasonry. In my own work looking at the history of Marxism in relation to occult and freemasonic groups in the 18th and 19th centuries, I discovered a network of Masonic groups and offshoots whose existence is either not really known about by the general public, or regarded as suspect and deviant by all those who would wish intellectual orthodoxy on those they cannot follow or understand. Freemasonry in its modern formulation, was very much a British-Scottish-Irish development, and can be almost said to have been a kind of rebirth of the Ancient Druid mystery schools of antiquity. From its resurfacing in the course of the long 17th century, it attracted many esoteric figures who were also drawn to the study of Druidry or who were in some way Druids themselves. Figures such as Elias Ashmole, William Stukely, Robert Moray, William Schaw, Thomas Vaughan, Sir Isaac Newton, John Locke, John Aubrey, William Lloyd, Francis Bacon, John Dee etc. were important both in the annals of the early rise of freemasonry as well as in the annals of Druidical affairs. You could make an argument that freemasonry was the universalisation of Druidry – shorn of its cultural specificity. But time and again Freemasonry tried to return to its Scottish roots as with the Royal Arch grades, which looked to Scotland for their legitimisation, or in the work of Chevalier Ramsay in founding the freemasonic lodge in Paris, which saw the birth of French freemasonry, that grew into the Grand Orient. Later in the course of the 19th century, the Theosophical Society was set up as an offshoot activity by a group of freemasons working with H.P.Blavatsky and theosophists were especially active in promoting and defending Druidry as an august ancient caste of neo-theosophists that Blavatsky had praised in her own voluminous writings. The Alexandrian neo-Platonist philosopher, Ammonius Saccas, who first coined the word theosophy, may well have encountered Celtic pagan students in the halls of learning then flourishing in that great city, and would undoubtedly have regarded their system of thought (Druidry) as yet another example of divine wisdom (theo-sophia). Not surprisingly then, many transpersonal thinkers have also gravitated towards theosophy, as for example, Alice Bailey was one of those theosophical mystics who influenced transpersonal thinkers such as Assagioli behind the scenes, while her husband Foster Bailey was an active freemason. The full story of the contribution of theosophy to Druidry and vice versa, however, is one that still needs to be written up by transpersonal historians in depth. Similarly, the extent to which Druidry and neo-Druidry have been cross fertilised with freemasonic history, and the extent to which freemasonry has acted as a nurturing receptacle for neo-pagan groups and lineages, is something about which transpersonal history can indeed get down to some serious research. Wiccans such as Gerald Gardner started their life as freemasons and Gardner’s influence on Ross Nichols was important. Similarly the Ancient Druid Order of the 18th century was likewise cross-fertilised with Masonic members and supporters. Stukeley was a particularly influential “double agent” whose life and thought have recently been studied in an excellent and sympathetic PhD. It is also worth pointing out here that Stukeley believed that Druidry was itself an offshoot off the ancient Egyptian priesthood, and thus he would have seen his membership of Freemasonry and Druidry and Christianity as all compatible with each other. By 1724 Stukeley had compiled a list of thirteen similarities in the “beliefs and practices of Egyptian priests and the Celtic Druids. These included a belief in the immortality of the soul, their division into different 'colleges' and orders, the practice of human sacrifice, 'the custom of women reigning' such as Boadicea and Cleopatra, and the 'setting up stones of a stupendous size”. (Haycock, David Boyd Dr William Stukeley: Science, Religion and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England University of Oxford, 2001, D.Phil. Thesis) Many freemasonic papers from Stukeley are to be found in the library of the Freemasons Hall in London, many of them dealing with Egyptian religion (see bibliography).
Tragically the virulent hatred shown towards freemasonry by General Franco, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler, who between them closed most of the lodges of continental Europe and actively persecuted and killed freemasons when they could find them, gave the occult dimensions of World War 2 a particularly interesting twist, especially when you learn that Churchill was both himself a Mason and a Druid, and Roosevelt a Mason, as were many other leaders of the United Nations opposed to the Axis powers. Personally, I would only wish that these august gentlemen had sat down to a symposium and discussed their differences in peace, rather than unleash a war that killed millions. Freemasonry and Catholicism have certainly been fighting an underground shadow war for some centuries, and Druidry is bouncing around uncomfortably somewhere in the middle getting shot at from both sides. Perhaps it can help heal this long split in the collective psyche of mankind ? If so, it will have to be through the adjunct labours of transpersonal history, which can not only document in full the horrors of this long occult conflict, but also analyse psychologically and pschyo-historically what on earth was going on archetypally behind all these struggles !
12.Druid history and Islamic and Sufi history
If freemasonry was the bete noire of the 20th century, Islamism has replaced it in the eyes of mainstream media and conspiracy theorists in the 21st century. Can transpersonal history, and Druid history, shed any light on this titanic struggle underway between Islamists and Sufis, Muslims and anti-Muslims ? If it’s any use, or has any validity as a historic method, then certainly it has to ! I had one of my Druid dreams a couple of years ago. “I met Apollo, (like a kind of beautiful rock superstar surrounded by a media scrum) and he revealed to me, that in fact he was the same deity as Allah, that a very long time ago, the tribal peoples of Arabia and the tribal peoples of Asia Minor and Greece had all worshipped him in harmony, along with Leto and Artemis. Then times had changed. Letters had got jumbled and gone missing. And whereas the Greeks called him Apollo, the Arabs had lost the P and started calling him simply Allah…” Now although this was only a dream, like all deep dreams it also tells a truth. Like Apollo, Allah is also a deity associated with healing – many great medical doctors and philosophers of medicine have been Muslims. Like Apollo, Allah was also a deity associated with prophecy, and his foremost prophet, Muhammad, has certainly influenced and inspired an awful lot of people. Like Apollo, Allah is also a patron of great musicians and throughout the Islamic world a variety of beautiful and amazing musical styles and genres have always flourished, from the classical oud of Islamic Egypt (which was the progenitor of the guitar in Spain) to the cimballi of classical Iranian Islamic music (which was the ancestor of the piano). Islamic music also greatly influenced mediaeval European music, and Sufi poetry greatly influenced the troubadours and early renaissance poets and bards. Indeed, the wandering minstrel of European Mediaeval literature, which was in turn projected back on to the bards at the court of King Arthur, were influenced by the wandering Sufi bard at the court of love in mediaeval Spain, Sicily and the Levant. Like Apollo, Allah is a great lover of the female and womankind in general, as well as physical beauty and eroticism in general – Islam specifically rejected the monkish behaviour of a certain kind of Christianity that seemed to wage war against the body and its earthly pleasures, and rather insisted that Allah had created the male and female bodies, so as to be perfect complements of another and to give pleasure to each other. Like Apollo, Allah is also a patron of the arts, architecture, literature, learning and philosophy ! So my dream was trying to tell me tell this in a nutshell ! But if the Druids were priests of Apollo in the Celtic lands, then the Sufis are the priests of Allah.. and between their respective teachings and doctrines there is really a great deal of similarity and commonality, that it will be a delight for future transpersonal historians to work out the details. One thing both Druids and Sufis have always insisted on, is that violence and warfare and conflict are to be avoided at all costs, and that peace, reconciliation and mediation are always preferable. In my own spiritual journey, I have encountered many Sufis as well as Druids, and have been inspired by them all to work tirelessly for peace and healing between warring parties, which led me found the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East. At one memorable filmed encounter in Northern Israel, I interviewed a Sufi Sheikh, Sheikh Abu Palestine, who was strongly hostile to me, until he learned I was the Peace Druid of Britain, whereupon his face creased into smiles and he grasped my hand tightly and acknowledged me as his brother in spirit, working for a common cause. The transpersonal history of mankind has yet to be written (Hegel tried making some preliminary notes in his various lectures) but if and when it is, the story of Druidry and its interactions with Sufis and the ancient Semitic and Iranian mystical traditions that it has drawn from will be part of that overall story. The links of Druidry and the Middle East surely go back further even than Zoroaster !
And what about 9/11 ? Can transpersonal history tell us who did it ? And what about the wars in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Iraq ? The answer is very simple – arbitration, mediation and reconciliation are always preferable to war and violence – that is both the authentic Islamic way and also the authentic Druid way. Suicide bombing, terrorism, the killing of unarmed non-combatants and women and children, have and always will be anathema to both authentic Muslims, Sufis and Druids, and should be to the practitioners of all other authentic spiritual and ethical traditions. As Peace Druid of Britain, I am sick of clearing up the mess left by warlike politicians and I could do with some help. Transpersonal history is designed as an auxiliary branch of history, which is also a therapeutic methodology than can be regarded as a sub-discipline of medicine. Even as I write a fresh bomb attack has blown up innocent people standing waiting for a bus in Jerusalem, following Palestinian deaths yesterday - and I am due to visit that city in a few days time.. worrying ! Somehow this interminable conflict has to be healed and solved – after all it was a couple of Druid elders who got us into this mess !
13.Druid history and Indian history – Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism
One unique and interesting synchronicity about history is that the very nation which saw the rebirth of Druidry in the modern world, as well as the original flowering of it, also ruled the Indian subcontinent for about two centuries. One of the unique repercussions of this fact was the intellectual symbiosis that took place between British and European civilisation and Indian civilisation. This gave among many other things a tremendous boost to those thinkers in Britain who were already arguing that Druidry was a continuation of the earliest substratum of human cultural achievements (in Europe). Sir William Jones, an extremely highly educated Welsh linguist, when appointed as Judge in Calcutta, made it his business to master Sanskrit, and realising the similarities between ancient Indian languages and European languages, coined the phrase Indo-European languages, which have been a major field of academic philological research ever since. Students of comparative religions also began studying the ancient Hindu scriptures and realised that in Hinduism there is preserved a continuous and still living ancient wisdom tradition, which has seen uninterrupted evolution ever since the Palaeolithic, and which preserves therefore in its structures and teachings, ideas and insights which we can also see echoed in the Druid schools, as transmitted through Celtic sources in Ireland and Britain from a period of similar antiquity. Two core similarities stick out above all else: the first is ethical, and concerns the importance of peacemaking and non-violence, or in Sanskrit, ahimsa. Gandhi embodied the principle of ahimsa to the modern age, and in so doing lost Britain her Indian Empire, but gave to mankind an incalculably richer Empire, the kingdom of non-violence, the kingdom of peace, which however we have yet to take up permanent citizenship in. Secondly, in the Upanishads and other Hindu philosophical writings, it is possible to reconstruct the core of Druid metaphysics, which must have been a kind of Western Vedanta, as evidenced in the poetic works of Amergin and Taliesin that have come down to us. The Self within the Druid is the small self that roams at large throughout the Universe: Tat Tvam Asi. We are in everything and everything is in us. The investigation, purification and extension of consciousness carries the secret to enlightenment – Druid enlightenment must have been very similar to that of the Hindu sages. It was life affirming, transmigration was seen as the divine lila – age after age we reincarnate to advance the cause of wisdom and enlightenment – who said that - a rishi ? or a Druid ? the whole point is, that it could be either !
Similarly, Buddhism and Jainism both in their own ways embody these two twin thrusts of the flame of wisdom that Hinduism at its best stands for, and which Druidry also embodies. Ahimsa, non-violence, is at the absolutely dead centre of both Buddhist and Jain ethics, and the will to enlightenment is the single most important thing we humans can attempt in our brief passage through embodiment, life after life. This transpersonal perspective on existence leads to the cultivation of equanimity, compassion, tolerance, breadth of views, insight, all of which we can surmise as being the original Druid virtues on the path to enlightenment. Ken Wilber’s own magisterial synthesis of Eastern and Western philosophical schools of thought have also been strongly permeated by Buddhist thought, and in this sense the notion of transpersonal history can also be said to be partly Buddhist inspired. Many modern Druids have also made their own ways to India, and embraced in dialogue their own spiritual counterparts. Whenever true knowledge exchange happens, it always feels like a homecoming. This is the very heart of the work of transpersonal history – to one day tell these stories, and share them, around the fires of a peaceful and loving humanity, once more restored to satyuga (the Age of Truth, the Hindu returning Golden Age which Hindu cosmology predicts will return to earth once we all start living by truth again), and awoken from the tragic nightmare that some call “history”.
14.Druid history, transpersonal history, the history of religions and religious education
One of the crucial contributions that transpersonal history can make to scholarship is to the study of the history of religions, but this time looking at them from within a different paradigm perspective. Most historians of religion have studied the phenomenology of religious behaviour and outer practices - rituals, pilgrimages, festivals, initiations etc. This is still how a great deal of religious education is taught in schools, with a concentration on the paraphernalia of outer religious practices. Even when “beliefs” are taught, they are taught as something objective and external, set in stone, rather than any clue being given as to how beliefs arise from spiritual experiences, and as part of an evolving and lived ethos, in given historical and cultural milieus, with historical lineages going deep into pre-history. The history of the Christian mass, for example, certainly extends deep into the prehistoric Dionysian rituals of the Eastern Mediterranean; the belief in Gods having “sons and daughters” is likewise a very ancient idea with roots in pre-history long long before Jesus of Bethlehem ever saw the light of day. His followers were certainly projecting onto him ideas with a very ancient lineage. But this side of religions is hardly ever talked about or taught (except in the innermost groves of academia) – the way that religions borrow from each other, and are composites, mosaics of ideas that swirl around in minds, over time – the way that Mohammed for example certainly picked up on Christian gnosticism, Zoroastrian, pagan Arab and Jewish sources, and how these various influences then shaped his own consciousness and then provided a cultural filter for the transmission of the Awen that underlines the verses later assembled as the Koran. Instead religions are oversimplified, and the interesting symbioses that occur between them, are overlooked. As a study tool to help surmount this problem, I have devised a “Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions” which has been published in poster and book form for the use of teachers, students and scholars of religions the world over. In 168 discrete boxes, pretty much the sum total of the world’s philosophical and religious traditions are set forth, in neat tabular form, as in the periodic table of the chemical elements devised by Mendeleyev, on which this new table is loosely based. Colour coded into 15 categories of faiths (e.g. pink for Chinese faiths, brown for humanist traditions, red for Buddhism, peach for Hebrew faith traditions, light purple for Persian faiths, green for Islamic faiths, light blue for the Christianities etc.) one of the major such categories is light green, for primal faith traditions, which includes 28 separate boxes. These include: African primal faiths, Sumerian, Norse (Asatru), Babylonian, Pagan Egyptian, Romany, Basque, Finno-Ugric, Phoenician, Central Asian, Turkic and Mongolian etc. Box # 29 is Druidry. Each box is also number coded, as in the period table of elements, and tells us: how many practitioners exist on the planet at this moment, how many practitioners have followed this path in the sum total of human history, and when the faith was founded (approximately). These numbers are admittedly often just intelligent guesswork, but it is up to the scholarly community to work out these numbers with more precision longer term. In the case of Druidry, I have estimated the total numbers of practitioners on the planet who would identify with this path now as being approx. 20,000 and the total number of practitioners from all former generations up to now as comprising 100 million - this latter figure is based on the supposition that whenever Celtic and proto-Celtic tribes were dominant in European and Euro-Asian geographical areas, their populations followed a spiritual path that is hereby called, for sake of terminological simplicity “Druidry”. The ancestors of these tribes projected right back to the dawn of human kind, to the Palaeolithic era is then also included in these figures, as being all the generations of ancestors of later Celtic tribes down to 200,000 BC, which is the terminus ad quem taken for this Table in terms of advanced human populations capable of religious conceptions, language, fire, and sophisticated social organisation, including ritual and ceremony. Palaeo-anthropologists speculate that by about this date, approximately, the infrastructure was already in place for the advent of “religion” as we know it more or less today. These figures may need revising upwards or downwards, and not just for Druidry but for the other 167 boxes of the Table. The methodology underlying the whole project of the table is indeed rooted on the idea of transpersonal history. It is the very first time that such a table has been constructed, and probably, we are the first generation in the history of mankind, where such a project would have been possible. The Table is unique in that it also includes the category of Esoteric Traditions, which includes freemasonry and various forms of occultism, as well as New Religious Movements. It is truly comprehensive, and based on the latest and most up to date research in comparative spirituality and philosophy. From the perspective of transpersonal history, then, each single entry in the box of 168 has validity, a lineage, a perspective and a teaching. In the book that accompanies the Table, much more data is given which encompasses the names for the deity given in each faith, the primary values and virtues it stands by, the holy places associated with it, the names of its founders and holy people associated with its traditions, the names of its key holy books and the languages they are written in, the key ideas it stands for etc. Among philosophies (pale yellow) the following are examples: Pythagoreanism, idealism, Kantianism, Hegelianism, Logicism and analytic philosophy, existentialism, materialism, secularism; among New religious Movements are found: Thelema, New Age, Santeria, Santo Daime, Bahaism, New Thought, Scientology, Spiritualism, Satanism etc. Among Esotericism are found: Freemasonry (Grand Orient), Freemasonry (Deist), Theosophy, Alchemy, Anthroposophy, and the Transpersonal. In Christianity are found: Gnostic Mandaean, Mystical, Shamanic etc. Whenever I have shared this table in a classroom or lecture room situation with students and pupils, they have been mostly amazed and say things like “I didn’t know there were so many religions and philosophies to study !” My view is that conventional religious education is giving our young minds a dumbed-down, oversimplified and narrow menu of intellectual choices, and teaching religious studies at the level at which Palaeolithic man might have been teaching physics – it is pre-Newtonian, let alone pre-Einsteinian or pre-quantum theory. The exam syllabuses which students are forced to follow insist on them learning this oversimplified narrow diet, with the result that most students, even bright ones, come out of school thinking there literally are only 6 religions on the planet, and without ever having heard of the word “philosophy” or having a clue what it means. This is dangerous, since religious misunderstanding is ever a potent recipe for violent conflagration as we have seen in the Balkans and the Middle East in recent decades, let alone in Northern Ireland. It is therefore as a peace thinker and as a peace Druid and expert in comparative religion and spirituality that I have devised this table, to counter such ignorance at root and to head off all “antis’” – be it anti-Semitism, anti-paganism, anti-humanism, anti-Islamism, anti-Goddessism, anti-Christianity, anti-Westernism, or whatever anti you want to peddle. The world is too interconnected, too super-implicated, too co-dependent, as Buddha put it, to permit such oversimplified demonisms. Of course some people like staying in their simple faith bubbles. I have had some fundamentalist and literalist evangelical Christian parents tell me I am effectively the anti-Christ. I explain patiently that no, I am the ante-Christ ! My own lineage, Druidry, was ancient long long before the idea of Christ was even conceived of, in the form of the “Saoshyant” in the mind of Zoroaster and his followers. The implications of our understanding of religious studies being too simplistic are in fact quite huge. Too simplistic knowledge of religions leads to very simplistic eschatologies, which leads to “end of the worldism” in which suicide bombing, or mass suicides in new age cults, becomes morally acceptable. Everyone is living in fear of the “apocalypse” without realising that the root word sense of “apocalypse” is simply the unveiling of esoteric mysteries and ancient obscured wisdoms. The only people or lineages who have to fear an “apocalypse” are those who have covered up and distorted truth and replaced it with lies. This was Nietszche’s point when he issued his famous “Declaration of the Will to Truth” and it was also Blavatsky’s when she titled her first major work “Isis Unveiled” and chose as the motto of the Theosophical Society: “There is no religion higher than truth”. As a peace Druid I would say the world has nothing at all to fear from truth, and from rigorous transpersonal historical scholarship that asks ultimate truth questions about ultimate truth claims, both past and present. Druidry can hold its head up proudly as an ancient lineage of thought and practice, rooted securely in the magical landscapes and peoples of Western Europe, in sacred sites and stone circles that have been reverenced for literally thousands of years, and which were part of a once global network of ancient sacred sites that criss-crossed the world from Palestine, to Malta, to Orkney, to Mystery Hill, to Easter Island. We come from an ancient species, you and I, to whom the experience of the numinous, was the very guarantor of our rationality and our morality. It was and is our reliance on Great Spirit, on Lugh, on the Great Goddess, on the Holy Trinity, known by myriads of names in all cultures, that enables us to take delight and appreciation in each other, in all our various roles as parents, children, consorts, students, teachers, lovers… Everything here is miraculous, and always has been. Just as the waters of the Tsunami in Japan will slowly recede, so too the Tsunami of intolerance, hatred, religious bigotry, fanaticism, literalism, anti-womanism, anti-earthism, anti-childrenism, anti-humanism, anti-intellectualism, will likewise gradually recede, and allow those of us still standing to recognise one another as survivors, and to work on rebuilding and healing an earth worth living in, where space for the sacred in our everyday lives is not something unusual and weird, but something recognised as a fundamental and basic human right – the right to wisdom.
15.Druid history, transpersonal history and the arts
Druidry and the arts have a long and fascinating story of mutual relationship to tell. In the ancient literature one reached the ranks of Druid after serving a long apprentice as a bard, or poet, and in mediaeval Irish, although the formal rank of Druid was to some extent replaced by the various ranks of Christian priesthood, the ranks of the Bards and poets indeed never needed replacing. Even to this day in Ireland, artists rank in society with very considerable respect, and in Wales, poets are honoured annually in the Eisteddfod, and in the various literary and artistic societies scattered throughout the land. Figures such as Dylan Thomas and R.S. Thomas are as known and loved by the average Welshman as much as famous footballers are in other nations. Both the Welsh and Irish can be called a people of poetry – but this is perfectly fitting, since the Awen has never left these lands. Exactly the same flow of inspiration that surrounded the ancient Druids and Bards, flows still from the skies and seas and landscapes of the ever-changing patchwork of Celtic golds and greys and greens that is the miracle of these lands. In Scotland it is the same – the Bards of Scotland have also never left, and whether in Gaelic, Scots or Scots English, a long and perpetual tradition of homage to the Bard remains alive in the Scottish hills and glens from time immemorial to the present. Only some of the “English” have really fully understood this Celtic poetic imagination, especially when, in the inspiration given by Yeats and the Abbey Theatre and the resurgence of Celtic mythology, it contributed towards the 1916 uprising and eventual independence of Eire. Revolutions are made in men’s souls, and the crafting of a continuous imagination from bronze age tales of heroes such as Cuchulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhail have imprinted a perpetual resonance in the Irish soul, and in that of the other Celtic peoples of the British Isles. On this Bardic heritage the Druidic imprint is always close to hand, and there is but a short distance from the Bardic capacity to channel inspirational verse, and the Druidical capacity to channel divine revelation. In cultures where literacy replaced orality, the line was more capable of being more firmly closed, and in Islamic, Jewish and to some extent Christian theological understanding the canons of prophecy are now closed. To the Druid mind this is simply a metaphysical and psychological error – there can be no more closure of the prophetic capacity in human beings than there could be a stilling of the currents of the airs and winds above Snowdon. The Awen still blows where it listeth. But ironically the traditions of literature and poetry are extremely healthy in spite of the monotheistic attempt to remove prophecy to apocalypse. All true art is a form of mini-apocalypse in which the artist channels divine awen into the soul of the reader or listener, and makes a breakthrough into the divine understanding. A poem of Rumi, or T.S. Eliot, or George Herbert, or a great passage in Shakespeare, all have this effect. The same is true of music, and the musical heritage of the Celtic lands, where the musical Bardic tradition is alive and flourishing. The classical Celtic Druidic musical forms, such as the harp and pipes are alive and well, but in the counter-cultural traditions the image of the Bard has blended into that of the wandering folk musician and then the rock group: from Bob Dylan, to Van Morrison, to U2, to the Corrs, to Enya and Mary Black there is one constant flowing musical witness to the beauty of the soul that is within us, and the awesome starry heaven that is without us, and the need to offer up song and melody as a response to the magic that surrounds is a fundamental need that cannot be denied, and to which the rich musical heritage of the Celtic peoples bears witness. Likewise in the fine arts, the rich patterns of ancient Celtic art, wherever found, from La Tene culture in Europe, to the miraculous gold work of bronze age jewellers, fabricating intricate spiral patterns on delicate torcs, as found in both Wessex culture and in bronze age Ireland, in the Celtic spirals found at New Grange and on many complex stone portals in Brittany, to the multi-woven patterns of Celtic illuminated manuscript art, that so influenced the golden age of Anglo Saxon artistic manuscript production, all this points to the fact that the Celtic artist used the representational arts as way of expressing metaphysical insight with every bit as much intensity as did the Tibetan artists when drawing their sand mandalas. Likewise when the Celts built their thousands of stone circles throughout the Isles, there was a positioning of spirit and matter in alignment, a kind of stone mandala being constructed. To embody wholeness, and beauty and symmetry, in the crafting of a temple for prayer and praise and wonder, such as Daedalus would have himself recognised. Transpersonal history can help art history by guiding us to understand the minds of these ancient artists, and to ask what elemental forces of soul were being communicated and set down in all these various forms of artistic creativity. Jung and other transpersonal thinkers have already made innumerable contributions to the unravelling of the relationship between psyche, spirit and the arts, and Jung’s innumerable commentaries on the arts and on literature, have inspired an entire generation of scholars to continue the work. When the arts are under threat as ever, in our educational system, we have to ask seriously once again as a culture: is there a place for meaning and beauty in our lives ? Fortunately, many educators, and artists are leading a fight-back against the idea that education is all about skill and technique and not about inspiration and meaning. Bards and Druids are being invited into schools to lead workshops on Taliesin and the cauldron of inspiration, and to give to children, often in natural environments and retreat sanctuaries, the sense of wonder and love, without which life is meaningless. Literature too, and the novel, and film, are replete with Druid themes – is it any wonder that Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling have all found the magical underworld of the druidical imagination as a living inspirational fount to craft the destiny of their characters. Gandalf is the representation of the Druid elder who struggles against evil, and is ultimately triumphant. Harry Potter is the child who unintentionally has inherited the Druid magic from his parents and must forestall the demonic powers of those who would usurp wonder for their selfish ends. Fantasy fiction and science fiction likewise flourish as genres in which the Druid archetype is never far below the surface. And the same is true in film – what are the Jedi Knights if not the Fianna rewritten for a modern age ? One wonders, frankly, why there has never been a real blockbuster Hollywood movie based on Druidry (watch this space !) but at least we can report a forthcoming documentary on Druids, filmed by Holisticchannel, in which Druid practitioners from throughout Britain and Ireland have been filmed and interviewed in a variety of settings, discussing their beliefs and practices in some depth.
Ultimately, art is a transpersonal activity which allows the human mind to glimpse, through the medium of beauty and order, some part of the cosmic patterning and harmony that brought us here, and to which we return. Prince Charles’s new book on Harmony puts forward the metaphysics behind Harmony in a way that is simple, clear, concise and deeply thought out – surely a Druid king in the making if ever there was one. Druidry thus has a constant and continuous mission, to inspire the artists, the bards, the poets and the craftsmen among us, to go on and still draw down stories from the stars, to still lick those three drops of inspiration from the cauldron of Ceridwen so as to still hum high tunes of magic for the Gods.
16.Druidry, transpersonal history, ecology and the history of the sciences
In this penultimate section of this paper, we have to consider the contributions made by Druids to the development of the natural sciences. Transpersonal history as a methodology of historical analysis is futile if it cannot shed light on the development of scientific ideas, and give some indication of why the natural sciences have risen to become such an important modality of transacting the pleasures of knowledge in our contemporary era. At the same time, the critique of mere “scientism” and the ensuing development of eco-spirituality and deep ecology, can also be seen as a counter reaction to the giantism that the scientific biases underlying the military–industrial-technological complex demonstrate. Problems of the environment, disputes about the causes of global warming and severe climate change, are now major political issues on the minds of world leaders. Can transpersonal history contribute anything useful to these questions ? And what and how can Druidry specifically contribute, as the sparks fly and theories and counter theories trace their trajectories across the intellectual firmament ?
In the 19th and 20th centuries it became very fashionable to try to develop the idea that historiography was another adjunct or auxiliary to the cohort of the natural sciences. In a largely materialistic era, history became above all the history of material reality, and when Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, codified their ideas under the label of “historical materialism there was a determined effort to dismiss all spirituality and idealism from historical analysis as if they were a form of leprosy. There was eventually however a counter reaction against this gross materialisation of history and the smaller voices who had all along objected to the equation of scientific materialism with “truth” began to be heard, gathering steam in the 1960’s with the development of transpersonal thought and the consciousness revolution in the social sciences and humanities. Eventually this rethinking of “matter” itself has hit even physics and biology and nowadays many important scientists are arguing that reality looks less as if it is made of “stuff” and more as if it made of “information”. Transpersonal history argues that history is both the history of material reality, as well as the reality of immaterial or noumenal, psychological and transpersonal realities: the history of the psyche, the soma and the spirit, each with their own narratives, their own stories. A truly scientific history therefore must take cognisance of this inner dimension of history, the subjective conscious selves who are ever the observers and participants in history.
If one retraces the history of the unfolding of the natural sciences but this time you include the spiritual dimension of the lives of the scientists in the narrative, you get a very different picture about what constitutes the onward growth of scientific knowledge. Instead of a mathematically exact linear graph, you get a kind of zig-zag pattern where concrete experimental and numerical exactitude jostle alongside abstruse metaphysical exploration, occultism and esoteric universalism. Given that Britain and Northwest Europe was one of the seats of the scientific revolution, it is not surprising that Druidry therefore crops up in the narrative of the birth of scientific method. One of the greatest scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton, was a very close friend with one of the most important Druids in modern times, Rev. William Stukeley, and it was Stukeley who wrote Newton’s first biography. What Newton was attempting as a natural scientist was to map the fundamental forces that held the cosmos together. He believed that gravity was partly an attractive force, and partly a repulsive force. He was also inspired in his researches by years of study into the metaphysical and esoteric traditions of alchemy and ancient religions. In his study on the nature of light he was likewise inspired by his similar researches into the history of global spirituality, and he argued, in a work which was never published until 1950, that all revealed religions stemmed from an ancient common source, just as the colours of the rainbow come from the “white light” so to speak, and that this common source of all religions was the ancient pagan faith pursed by the common ancestors of all mind, which in the context of Britain’s ancient history, could be defined as Druidry.
A later generation of natural scientists became fascinated by the whole question of the evolution of life: some took the Darwinian view that life had evolved through material processes according to the laws of natural selection. Darwin’s colleague, a young Welsh explorer and surveyor, Alfred Russel Wallace, who dreamed up the idea of evolution by natural selection at exactly the same time as Darwin (in fact a little before him) took another view, and continued to maintain that there was also some kind of “supernatural selection” going on when it came to souls and spiritual realities and the inner life of mankind. Wallace was deeply involved in spiritualism and became convinced as a scientist by observing the phenomena produced by trance mediums, that the human personality did indeed survive bodily death. If this was so, it meant that we humans have a supernatural dimension to our existence which cannot be explained away by reference to mechanical phenomenon in material reality.
It is fascinating to observe that spiritualism was very much a phenomenon associated with the heyday of the Victorian era. Queen Victoria herself was interested in it, as was President Abraham Lincoln in the USA and many other eminent world leaders, including Tsar Nicholas 2nd. It is worth pointing out that it was precisely the Victorian age that saw the rebirth of organised Druidical sects and groves throughout both Britain and the wider British empire, as it was then known, and it was also under Queen Victoria that the empirical sciences promoted by Thomas Huxley were so vigorously pursued. Prince Albert, the Queen’s consort, also strenuously promoted the physical sciences and developed Kensington as a metropolis for the empirical imagination, before his untimely death. The way that Druidry, spiritualism and empirical science intersected each other in the Victorian era would make a fascinating story to be explored in depth at a later stage – not least in the obsession for geology and the unfolding antiquity of the earth, which shattered literal biblical accounts of creation. In Germany and France also, the 19th century saw not only a swift development of empirical studies in electricity, magnetism and radioactivity, but also in psychical research, telepathy, parapsychology, mesmerism, and spiritual healing. With the development of relativity theory by Einstein, the old certainties of matter as consisting of “things” which keep bumping into each other broke down, and it turned out that everything is actually made of light, waves, vibrations, tendencies, probabilities, movements, as the mystics had been affirming for so many past centuries. The bush, it turned out after all, was indeed on fire.
But the transpersonal history of science is older than this. If we dig back further in time we come across the Elizabethan age and Jacobean era and the work of Sir Francis Bacon, Dr John Dee, Henry Percy the Wizard Earl of Northumberland, Thomas Harriot, and a whole network of esoteric thinkers and practitioners who were doing two things simultaneously – they were developing the whole idea of “natural science” and also exploring the frontiers of spirituality and eclectic universalism. Accused of occultism, they learned to mask the full spectrum of their interests. Likewise the founders of the Royal Society under Charles 2nd combined the same interests in the mystical and esoteric with the empirical, but learned in public to mask their inner or transpersonal interests – just as Newton was obliged to desist from publishing his own views on spirituality. It is unquestionable that interests in Druidry and ancient British and Irish mystical traditions were common themes to many of these pioneers of the scientific revolution, particularly in the figure of Dr. John Dee who effectively played the role of Merlin to Queen Elizabeth. Nor was it coincidental to these figures that the Tudor dynasty itself hailed from Anglesey, heartland to the Druid community, and that the Tudors successfully threw off the shackles of Romanism in the name of a native and Druidical church which drew its ancient lineage directly, as they saw it, from Joseph of Arimathaea straight through to Christ, bypassing Rome.
Going even further back in time, we come to Aristotle, whose codification of the complex ways in which energy, and purpose interweave through the many diverse forms of nature and the animal and biological kingdoms gave rise to our entire modern approach to the natural sciences. Sometimes Aristotle is interpreted as a materialist thinker who grounded Plato’s idealism. But this is only half the story. Aristotle actually worshipped Apollo, the Lord of light and Reason, and sought to advance the rational inquiry into the ways that nature displays and unfolds her splendid complexities – for him, empirical science was a form of religious worship, as it is for all true scientists. Most classical commentators agreed the Druids worshipped Apollo as their chief deity, and many recent studies have argued that the ground plans of the numerous stone circles scattered around the UK and Ireland show an advanced knowledge of astronomy and geometry. When Aristotle’s lost works were finally regathered to Britain, it is not surprising that we founded the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge to begin again the long dialogue between exact reason and intuitive spirituality that forms the heart of all genuinely higher education, exactly as it had in the ancient Druid schools.
In the latter part of the 20th century, however, it became apparent that although it had brought great advances to human welfare, the scientific revolution had also brought costs, which had resulted in widespread pollution and alienation from nature, and also the dehumanisation of man from man, as ownership and commodification replaced community and belonging.
Many neo-pagan and eco-warriors advocate as a response to this crisis of modernity a kind of return to more ancient and primal spiritual teachings and the continuing rebirth and vitality of Druidry in the 20th century has been witness to the popularity of this perception of Druids as proto eco-savants who lived in remote forest groves and advocated a kind of eco-spirituality long before the term became fashionable. Ronald Hutton’s useful study The Druids has a whole section entitled Green Druids which explores how the archetypal Druid of modern history evolved as a kind of Taoist sage living in harmony with nature, and also as a proto scientist. In more recent times, the understanding that Druids were experts in herbal lore and medical herbalism has lived on in the work of numerous Druid Orders, and in the excellent Druid Plant Oracle recently produced.
Bill Plotkin, whom we have mentioned briefly before, is one modern day nature-seer who has raised his voice against one of the major thinkers of the transpersonal movement, Ken Wilber, as being insufficiently aware of the importance of soul, and its groundedness in nature, and too prone to transcendence, verticality, and modernity. Other figures and thinkers have joined this debate, including Michael Zimmerman, Gus diZerega, Don Frew, Craig Hamilton and James Hillman. The debate goes to the heart of this section and concerns what kind of science, or what kind of knowledge, we need to lead us out of the chaos that modern technocratic civilisation has constructed for itself, with its mass milling machines and its computerisation of consciousness in which all human intercourse is gradually being reduced to digital format ? In the UK we could also mention the work of Cae Mabon, which has been inspired partly by the Bardic and Druidic tradition, based in Snowdonia and run by Eric Maddern who has been also inspired greatly by Robert Bly’s work. Robert Blyhas been inspiration for some years behind the reclaiming of a transpersonally based male spirituality that can be as powerfully pro nature, pro spirit and pro soul as the advanced eco-feminist movement. Eric’s work at Cae Mabon has been one of the places this kind of consciousness has found a home in the contemporary UK, along with the work of certain Druid orders as well.
Ken Wilber has criticised eco-pagans, and by implication neo-Druids, for their over-romanticisation of nature and earlier primal forms of consciousness and spirituality. Rather that trying to return to a pre-modern age and form of spiritual practice, Wilber argues that although modernity has brought great progress to mankind,what is needed now is an integral form of spirituality and scientific practice in which the insights of ancient religions and spiritual traditions are preserved, but so are the genuine advances achieved by modernity, including the notion of human rights, and the development of scientific methodology itself. Wilber doesn’t want us to uninvent scientific method and revert to primal forms of spirituality, but rather to develop a comprehensive approach to mapping and understanding all the forms of spiritual and scientific practice that have developed on earth during the long journey of mankind over the past 100,000 years. The danger, for Wilber, is that if we choose to follow the wrong kind of Druidry, or other pagan and neo-pagan paths, we can revert to a pre-rational form of worship in which, before you can blink, people might be advocating, for example, the odd human sacrifice as a good way of averting environmental disasters ! Wilber and other critics of eco-paganism have also pointed out that Nazism emerged partly from an extreme form of eco-fascism, in which the rights of animals and nature, and some tribes, took precedence over the rights of other human beings, meaning that many a fine mind ended up in the chimneys at Auschwitz while the gauleiters carried on lovingly stroking their dogs…
Eco-pagans, however, such as Bill Plotkin have put forward the idea of soul as a kind of mediating principle in this argument between Wilber and the “neo-transcendentalists” on the one hand and the hard core eco-warriors. Plotkin says that a genuine recovery of the insights of primal and shamanic cultures will reveal that the Wilbers of this world, the arch modernisers, have nothing to fear so long as these insights are reclaimed in the right way and for the right reasons: “Most cultures, traditions, and philosophies emphasise one pole of spiritual development or the other; few embrace both equally. The shamanistic traditions of indigenous, oral cultures emphasise the discovery and embodiment of our unique soul, as do the twentieth-century depth psychologists Carl Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Robert Johnson, James Hollis, and others. In contrast, the major world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam focus upon the realisation of — or union with — spirit, as do the theories of some transpersonal psychologists such as Ken Wilber, or the lessons of contemporary spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle.”
The challenge facing thinkers now is to find a way to affirm both soul-making and spirit-making simultaneously. Wilber’s solution to this, developed in an extraordinary dialogue with a Wiccan elder Gus diZerega as well as neo-pagan scholar Don Frew, is to agree that there are four basic types of spirituality on offer in the panoply of human history: “there are at least four major types (or dimensions) of spiritual experience: nature mysticism, deity mysticism, formless mysticism, and nondual mysticism.”As the dialogue develops, they agree that “in Gus's practice he has been particularly drawn to nature mysticism and deity mysticism, and Ken has been drawn more toward formless and nondual. Nonetheless, we agreed that all four of these spiritual approaches are absolutely important for an integral and balanced view of spirituality.” Wilber goes on to lament the fact that very few pagan and neopagan thinkers seem able to embrace what he calls a non-dual world view or spiritual practice. He states that: “I do not know of any deep ecologists or neopagans who accept the existence of deity mysticism and formless mysticism (most, in my experience, get infuriated at the mention of "other-worldly" anything)”. He concludes by saying that “I do not know a single deep ecologist who embraces the entire spectrum of spiritual realities, and thus I know of not a single deep ecologist who is truly integral.”
This would be somewhat worrying if it were universally true. It may just be there aren’t many genuine pagan intellectuals in the USA for Ken to meet up with ! In the current author’s experience, there are in fact numerous neopagans, Druids and other assorted shamanic outvoyagers, and numerous eco-philosophers roaming about, who are seeking rigorously for a comprehensive mapping of the spiritual, political, economic, social and psychological dimensions of the multidimensional human and ecological crises we find ourselves living through.
Fortunately, in recent years Wilber’s critique of eco-paganism and hence by implication Druidry, has mellowed somewhat, although he still fiercely (and somewhat rightly) points out the dangers of reverting to forms of ancient primitive consciousness which we have spent tens of thousands of years evolving beyond.
Is not science something we need more of, as it is for Wilber, only a new kind of science, an integral science, which links and binds the various disparate insights of all the fragmented and scattered specialist disciplines that have apparently become like what happened to the language of Babelall over again ? Wilber defines integralas his term for the perspective that brings all the various forms of knowing back into harmony again.
From the perspective of transpersonal history, there can be, nor need be, final closure to this argument. The debate between modernisers and eco-archaisers, is a conversation found at the heart of the modern crisis of what it is to be an aware human at the dawn of the third millennium and to wonder which direction we ought to proceed in. Anyone with intelligence, at a crossroads, will spend a great deal of time thinking about where we have come from - hence the need for history. But likewise, will reflect on what higher motivations and spiritual aspirations we need to move forward towards wholeness and wisdom, hence the importance of accessing, in whatever way works for you, the domain of the genuinely transpersonal.
Let us give the last word in this conversation to Bill Plotkin (and indirectly James Hillman) here, as a kind of transpersonal ecologist, who still wants us not to lose sight of soul as the human essence par excellence.
"Sometimes soul is used as just another word for ego. Transpersonal theorist Ken Wilber, for example, writes of the distinction between “a person’s immortal-eternal spirit and a person’s individual-mortal soul (meaning ego).” At other times, oddly, Wilber uses “soul” as a synonym for spirit. The actual subject matter of soul is completely absent from Wilber’s theories… (But) it’s not just we humans who have souls. Everything — a rock, the wind, a song, a moment, a building, or a marriage, as well as the earth itself — has a soul, an essential and unique quality. Even the universe has a soul, and we call that soul “spirit.” So, too, humanity as a collective, as a species, has a soul. Certain essential qualities mark humanness in all times and places — certain enduring themes and patterns called the human archetypes.”(Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche New World Library 2003)
It is to study how these various forms and archetypes of soul come into being and pass away, and according to what laws, and patterns and dynamics, that transpersonal history has come into being, as a new genre, a new way of doing history. Ultimately it is the attempt to rewrite the history of mankind and indeed the history of the cosmos, as the history of soul – and to do so taking on board the whole history of scientific striving, epoch after epoch, but also taking on board the spiritual striving and the metaphysical imagination of mankind as it evolves, age after age.
Transpersonal history has to draw on many sources, if it is to be truly scientific, and by combining James Hillman’s insights about the importance of the new polytheism, with Ken Wilber’s intellectual rigour, we can see that Ken Wilber’s critique of neo-paganism as a throw-back to atavistic forms of consciousness, is itself a kind of continuation of the very monotheistic narrative of “one size fits all” that Wilber began by trying to move beyond. From the perspective of a Baghdad Muslim having bombs rained on him from American bombers in 2003, “integralism” can look very much like American intellectual neo-imperialism in which local particular cultural truths are to be declared as out-moded in the face of the great American mega-synthesis, and God help anyone who gets in their way ! The real challenge is: how can the planet’s thinkers achieve a genuine participatory integralism which involves all the diverse cultural and spiritual voices of the planet? Surely in this project, Druidry might have something useful to add to the conversation – perhaps by counter-posing the particular and the love of locality and rootedness, the love of nature in one’s own locality, one’s own eco-cultural environment, as a counter-balance to the universalising transcendentalism of cosmic idealism as represented by impatient world-seers such as Wilber, who want to hurry history on to its dénouement of planetary synthesis and cosmic integralism. Druidry would say to this impatience, yes but – each tribe, each culture, each religion, each people, also has their own contract with the universal, from their own particular perspective, mediated through their own particular “kami”, their own deities, their own nature spirits, their own eros, and their own mountains, lochs and wild woods, and their own right to their own “promised lands”. This is surely the vision of deepest ecology. In helping to articulate this cry of the inarticulate, transpersonal history can perhaps be of service not just to Druidry, however, but to other indigenous knowledge systems still left stranded around the globe in the wake of the flood of modernism. Is it possible that transpersonal history offers a way out of the dilemmas of the struggle between the integralists and the post-modernists for global intellectual hegemony, by positing the hypothesis of eco-enlightenment – that personal “salvation” arises for each of us, each community, each culture, in the ecological context of our situatedness in time and space, and through the mediatory power of our local indigenous shamanistic traditions, which are as old as the very biosphere which has given birth to our presence here in embodied form. We are at once, each of us, both universal consciousness (Brahman) and localised embodied form (Atman), dual and non-dual simultaneously; body, spirit and soul.
17.Druidry, peace history and the transpersonal: conclusions
To a work such as this, there can be no conclusions or finality, only a taking stock of how far we have come, and a few signposts as to what might follow. From the perspective of peace and conflict resolution work, the current author has served as Peace Officer to the Council of British Druid Orders and been involved in mediating, or trying to mediate, many conflicts and disagreements within the world of Druidry, and wider political and social issues and concerns, since about 1997, when Douglas Lyne requested his involvement in this work. In addition, in 1999 the current author also initiated with the late George Firsoff, an independent pagan priest, the founding of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Stonehenge, which went on to hold many meetings in Wiltshire to which English Heritage, the police, the National Trust, Pagans, Druids, eco-warriors, travellers, Christians, and concerned local citizens have come along and given testimony about both the history of the conflicts over Stonehenge, as well as the positive vision of what the monument should be like in the future. Much of this work has been recorded and filmed and written up and is a matter of public record. To date this work is the only attempt to hold a public inquiry into the events known as the Battle of the Beanfield. From there the author went on to found the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, to investigate and hold meetings hearing testimony, aimed at healing the long sad conflict of Northern Ireland, involving the clash of Protestant and Catholic cultures, British and Irish identity, and nationalist and republication political sentiments. This work was undertaken in the belief that as Druids we have something unique to contribute towards the healing of the conflicts of Northern Ireland, since much of the conflict has been framed in the sense of a narrow choice between possible identities, whether one is Catholic or one is Protestant. As both a Peace Druid and a lay Anglican, the current author takes the view that this stark choice is far too simplistic, and that elements of both Catholicism (the wonder at universalism and the love of universal truth) and Protestantism (impatience with injustice and corruption) can be found in most of us; and this perspective gave the impetus to set up and run the TRCBI. This body has so far met in Holyhead (2006), Dublin (2007) and Belfast (2009) with further meetings planned, and a DVD has been made of its work. Not surprisingly, several senior Druids attended these meetings and the awareness that Druidry has something to offer as a way out of the schizophrenic split in Irish politics has perhaps been acting as a stimulus towards peacemaking behind the scenes. All along, the author was also completing a doctoral thesis for the University of London sketching out how transpersonal history can be useful as a methodology for understanding conflicts and advancing peace in the contemporary world. The invitation to write up this Mt Haemus lecture has therefore been a most opportunity moment to bring several of these lifetime concerns into focus. Thank you everyone involved !
We have seen then, on this short voyage of ideas, how transpersonal history has arisen as a new methodological step in academic historiography, from combining scientific historical scholarship with an awareness of the findings of modern transpersonal psychology, but also including many insights and approaches from the history of religions, comparative religious studies, and from the history of comparative and global philosophy. We have seen that this new sub-discipline has a great deal of potential to shed light on different aspects of Druid history. But we have also seen, more widely, how it can open up dialogue between pagan and primal traditions as a whole, and revealed and text-based traditions. We have also seen how it can contribute to perhaps mediating in the clash of ideas between modernists and eco-savants as the relationship between man and nature moves to centre stage in political and intellectual debate. We have also seen that the religious wars waging currently on the planet are often being played out as either conscious or unconscious aggression between various religious or philosophical lineages, which occupy different positions on the cycle of archetypes, and which therefore project demonisation onto the other, and see the “enemy” as absolutely evil and therefore fit for complete annihilation. We have seen that transpersonal history is a methodology, which works partly as an adjunct tool to psychotherapy, and that the healing of rifts between nations and cultures and religions is its primary goal and focus. In that sense, its practitioners are no more value free, or neutral and objective, than a good doctor should be when confronted by patients being brought in on stretchers after an earthquake. We have seen furthermore that it is in the arts that a constant witness to the power of Awen is still flowing through the veins and arteries of the being of mankind. The first and primary duty of the transpersonal historian is to work out what is going on behind the scenes in history, in the collective unconscious, in the collective minds and spirits of mankind – why this or that group hates this or that group so much, and then try, through learning, scholarship, mediation, education, meditation, prayer, spells, magic, and therapy, to heal the situation, in whatever way works best in any given situation. The ultimate goal being to resolve conflicts and violence between warring parties, whether internal conflicts going on inside a single mind, or actual conflicts going on in communities, and to restore a state of balance, calm, peace and wisdom to the individual or community - in short to restore health, in the full and vibrant sense of the meaning of that term.
But this all sounds suddenly rather familiar: wasn’t there once long ago a class of persons, who tried to combine historical scholarship with clairvoyance? Who sought to heal and reconcile disputes and act as mediators ? Who sought through learning and teaching to advance the best prospects of the next generations ? Who sought through ritual and ceremony and prayer to bring a sense of beauty and spirituality into our everyday lives ? Who sought to use their historical understanding to bring living wisdom to the present generations, and to teach personal responsibility for all our actions and thoughts ? Hold on a minute – weren’t they called: Druids ? Isn’t that what the very name actually meant ? Someone who could do all this, and then turn it into a song or a poem ? Wasn’t that a Bard ?
Perhaps then, transpersonal history as an idea isn’t actually that new – perhaps it is simply giving a new name to a practice that our Druid forefathers and foremothers used to practice millennia ago, long before writing was invented, when historical consciousness and the lineages of wisdom were transmitted heart to heart and mind to mind across the generations. I suspect there are lots of lost Druid termas still to discover lingering around the sacred sites of our landscapes – now there's a job for the transpersonal psychohistorians of the future ! I think I’ll leave a few myself – since obviously I cant say everything I have to say in a single lecture… Thank you so very much for listening.
Freud should be realised however also a major contributor to the idea of transpersonal history – he himself wrote a great deal about the history of religions, about the psychology of monotheism and occult phenomena; in arguing that sexuality lies at the root of much of our psychic behaviour, he was also making surely valid observations about the nature of human consciousness – but like Moses, he only took his work so far. It was left to others to walk further along the road he pioneered.
The historiography of esotericism is reasonably well advanced, with new interest in the study of Western esotericism particularly centred at the University of Amsterdam, and in the UK, at Exeter University. Strangely, nowhere in the circles of those academics researching “Western esotericism” does anyone seem to have considered linking the history of Druidry into this enterprise as yet – see Hanegraaff, Wouter J. and Joyce Pijnenburg,10 Years Study of Western Esotericism at the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam University Press, 2009) even though Druidic history is about as “Western” as you can get. Transpersonal history however is concerned with the scientific study of universal esotericism, East and Western, North and South. Arguably the transpersonal history of Druidry is also beyond labels such as “Western, or Eastern”. Perhaps all true transpersonal history is universal in scope.
“Study” is a complex word with a complex history, and etymologically means “becoming still, becoming centred, going back to the root of some matter”. Study and prayer are not dissimilar, the one dealing with working from the particular instance through to the general principle (study) and the other from the general principles to the still wider universal sources of being in the ultimate stratospheres of consciousness (prayer). Interestingly, this linkage between study and prayer has always been acknowledged in most spiritual teachings worldwide, for example in Judaism, as the following quote makes clear. “The synagogue, from its inception, was a place for both prayer and study, and the distinction between the two is exceedingly difficult to draw. Study and prayer, or (better) study-prayer, was the most potent mortar in Jewish life. It was the linchpin in a Jew’s self-esteem. It lent meaning and purpose to the most difficult and desperate of existences. It illuminated life. It ennobled, inspired, redeemed. It admitted even the humblest Jew to the company of sages, prophets, scholars, saints” (Rosten, Leo, Joys of Yiddish, New York, 1968) The same can be said of Druidry, and also of transpersonal history. Both require, and repay, serious study. This paper could be said to be based on the practice of over 30 years of study-prayer.
Sir Isaiah Berlin would probably take this view were he alive today, one of the founders of the history of ideas school in Britain
Some may well ask what methodological principles I am following in this lecture; my reply is that I am following the principle of the “skimming stone of history”. Much of the thinking behind this paper was first undertaken when living at Llanerfyl in Powys, besides the River Banwy, where there was a magnificent pool suitable for swimming and gazing in; often I would sit in to the dusk skimming flat stones across its surface, sometimes they would skim 10 or 15 times, if the stone lodged at the right angle to the water. Just outside Llanfair Caereinion, in my imagination, this was the very spot where the young Taliesin would have sat to muse. This paper is likewise as it were a skimming stone approach to transpersonal history – and alights on the water some 17 times, as in the several sections of this talk. It could equally have landed at other angles and other topics, and I could have included sections on Druidry, transpersonal history and legal history, on the history of love and marriage and sexuality, on Druidry and the history of cosmologies, astronomy and knowledge of the shape and size of the universe, plus a very detailed look at Druids and the history of the magical arts, or Druidry and the history of witchcraft, or Druidry in relation to wider pagan currents, or Druid history and medicine, or Druidry and the hermetic tradition, or Druidry and the details of the history of the fine arts. or the history of Druidry and symbolism, Druidry and astrology, Druidry and politics, or Druidry and gender relations in history, or Druidry and the Tarot and divination generally – all seen from a transpersonal historical dimension etc. – but time has permitted the pebble only to skim where it skims. My job has been to point out the pool exists, and to gauge something of its length and breadth but it would take a much longer work than is possible here to plumb its depths. I have however in the bibliography included materials for those wishing to explore further.
See Decker, Ronald and Dummett, Michael A History of the Occult Tarot 1870-1970 (Duckworth, 2002); Opsopaus, John Guide to the Pythagorean tarot: an interpretation based on Pythagorean and Alchemical principles (Llewellyn, St Paul, 2001), for Druid perspectives on the tarot see Carr-Gomm, Philip and Stephanie, The Druid Animal Oracle (Connections, 1996); Carr-Gomm, Philip and Stephanie The Druid Plant Oracle (London, 2007); Mann, Nicholas R. The Silver Branch Cards (Druidways, Glastonbury, 2000), Matthews, John and Caitlin, Hallowquest: Tarot Magic and the Arthurian Mysteries (London, 1998); Matthews, John and Caitlin, The Arthurian Tarot (London, Aquarian, HarperCollins, 1990); Nichols, Sallie Jung and Tarot: an archetypal journey (York Beach, Weiser, 1980)
 I have compiled a list of all such references in Jung’s collected works which was to have been included as an appendix to this paper; it is simply too complex however to be included, and will be published separately in due course..
 Jung gave an important talk in London just before World War 1 broke out, on July 24 1914, in which he explained the fundamental difference between his approach to psychology and that of Freud. “He contrasted Freud’s analytic-reductive method, based on causality, with the constructive method of the Zurich school. The shortcoming of the former was that through tracing things back to antecedent elements, it dealt with only half of the picture, and failed to grasp the meaning of phenomena. Someone who attempted to understand Goethe’s Faust in such a manner would be like someone who tried to understand a Gothic cathedral under its mineralogical aspect. The living meaning “only lives when we experience it in and through ourselves” Inasmuch as life was essentially new it could not be understood merely retrospectively. Hence the constructive standpoint asked “”how out of this present psyche, a bridge can be built into its own future”. (p. 201, Jung, C.G. ed. by Sonu Shamdasani, translated by Mark Kyburz, John Peck and Sonu Shamdasani The Red Book: Liber Novus (Philemon Series, Foundation of the Works of C.G.Jung, Zurich, Norton and Co, London and New York, 2009). In exactly the same way, transpersonal history is an attempt to get at the writing and understanding of the innermost meaning of history as a lived phenomenon, and acknowledges Jung as one of its pioneers. The Red Book which Jung was keeping at this time was a series of experiments with active imagination that Jung was undertaking, and recording – their publication in 2009 after years of editorial and legal constraints had been overcome, have made possible a whole new approach to Jungian scholarship. Jung is revealed in this extraordinary work even more Druidical than ever, as someone working with his active imagination to achieve a dialogue with the unconscious and with the spiritual world. In 1912 and 1913 Jung had a series of fantasies, premonitions and dreams that were indeed prophetic of the European military catastrophe about to burst out and render devastating destruction on the European and global body politic. Jung could be seen in this period as a kind of “Druid or Seer on the watch” going on the inner journey to reconcile the opposites of his own fractured psyche in the hope that this could help heal Europe’s own troubled soul in the long run.
See Noll, R. The Aryan Christ (p 123)
Freud and Jung met for the last time, in November 1913, at which meeting Freud fainted during lunch after they had been talking about Ancient Egypt. Both men were deeply interested in all aspects of Egyptology and the significance of Hermetic wisdom for modern scientific psychology. It would make a wonderful anthology to combine a joint publication of all of Freud’s writings in which he talks of Ancient Egypt, and all of Jung’s, and to publish them co-jointly under the auspices of the international Jungian and Freudian academic authorities. From a transpersonal historical perspective this project would surely bear much rich fruit, and inter alia, show up that there were as many convergences between their two ways of thinking as there were divergences, with the power of hindsight.
If this were a technical paper in transpersonal historical analysis I would at this point embark on a longer interpretation of this dream sequence and point out that the combination of archetypal images is particularly rich: Elijah (representing the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic prophetic tradition), Salome (representing Eros, the Goddess and the suppressed pagan feminine spirit), the snake (representing libido and immortality and forbidden wisdom) and the suffering of Christ representing the Cosmic Self which is the true goal of individuation. The co-valence of Druidry and Elijah reminds one of Stukeley and, who saw Druidry as being a fraternal relation of the Biblical prophetic tradition, and so of course did Blake and Father Ignatius Lyne. See my Biographical Encyclopaedia A-Z of Transpersonal Theorists, historians, psychologists and philosophers 1945-2001 (2006) for further details on Jung’s exact chronological intellectual development and also those of numerous others from the world of analytical psychology. For a study of the erotic in relation to Druid archetypes, see the interesting Knight, Sirona Moonflower: Erotic Dreaming with the Goddess (St Paul, 1996)
I am grateful to Philip Carr-Gomm for bringing this dream sequence of Jung’s to my attention. I am sure there are many other references from Jung to Druids which I might have missed. If others come across them please do let me know. As far as I am aware, no one has attempted to assemble his record of dreams; nor do I know if he kept a systematic daily diary in which he recorded his dreams. Perhaps if such material ever comes to light, we will find more Druid references cropping up ! In fact Richard Noll compiled an anthology of Jung’s writings on the ancient mysteries that was to be entitled Mysteria: Jung and the Mysteries, and which was to be published by Princeton University Press in 1995. At the last minute publication was cancelled by the publisher due to objections by Jung’s family, who presumably didn’t want some of the material appearing in print. Thankfully however Noll retained the rights to his own research and drew on it in recounting this key dream.
See Assagioli, Roberto Transpersonal Development: the Dimension Beyond Psychosynthesis, (London, Harper Collins, 1991); Assagioli, R. Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings(New York, Viking Press, 1965); Assagioli, R. The Act of Will (London, Wildwood House, 1974). Psychosynthesis has naturally appealed to many contemporary Druids and Bards as a system of psychological counselling that draws heavily on the spiritual and transpersonal dimensions of life. Both Philip Carr-Gomm and Jay Ramsay, to take only two examples, have been involved with Psychosynthesis for many years.
The exact question of who is or isn’t a pagan and what it means, is something that the current author has long grappled with, both as a scholar and also a secondary school teacher, and a long time member of the Pagan Federation and other pagan bodies, and also as founder of the Pagan Academic and Educational Network, a body which is intended to represent the interests of those interested in advancing pagan scholarship and also pagan education in general. It is undoubtedly the fact that pagan studies receives short shrift from the educational system in pretty much all countries worldwide, and also in academia, and this in spite of the fact that much we call higher education was in fact pioneered by pagans ! One modern day French philosopher who has been prepared to “come out” as a pagan was Alain de Benoist (see de Benoist, Alain On Being A Pagan (1981 / 2005 English translation)
On Assagioli’s work see Assagioli, Roberto Transpersonal Development: the Dimension Beyond Psychosynthesis, (London, Harper Collins, 1991) and his other works listed in the bibliography.
On Alice Bailey see:Bailey, A. A. A Treatise on The Seven Rays and Sinclair, Sir Jon R. The Alice Bailey Inheritance: the inner place teachings of Alice Ann Bailey (1880-1949) and their legacy (Wellingborough, Turnstone Press, 1984) and Daffern, T.C. The Alice Bailey Corpus in the Context of World History (Theosophical History Centre, London, 1987) See also Balyoz, Harold Signs of Christ (Altai Pubs, California, 1979)
 The writings by and about Steiner and voluminous; his most important contribution towards the ideas of Transpersonal History is arguably Steiner, Rudolf The Karma Lectures. Other works of importance include his Philosophy of Freedom (which was his PhD thesis), and also his Knowledge of Higher Worlds, a seminal work of the development of authentic clairvoyance and mystical powers as part of a wider regime of spiritual development and self-discipline. Recently publications have emerged on Steiner and Druidry in specifically, a topic which he returns to often in his numerous lectures. From 1984-1985 the current author worked as temporary Librarian at Steiner House in London and catalogued the collection of esoteric writings and publications kept there for the first time, finding many typed lectures which had never been published in English before on advanced topics, including combining esoteric thought with relativity theory and so forth. The breakaway by Steiner from the German section of the Theosophical Society and the formation of a rival Anthroposophical Society was arguably a great tragedy leading to intellectual and spiritual schism worldwide, coming as it did one year before the outbreak of World War One. The split concerned among many other things the advent of a future Maitreya figure who would or would not redeem mankind, and also the status of Christ vis a vis Buddha and other Eastern masters. Steiner took a more Christian and European view of spiritual history than Annie Besant did. The word “anthroposophy” that he used to designate his new movement was in fact coined by Welsh magus, alchemist and Rosicrucian Thomas Vaughan. Ironically Druidry was looked up to in both Theosophical and Anthroposophical circles, and members of both organisations have been among the foremost of researchers into both transpersonal history and aspects of Druidry over the years, not least Sir George Trevelyan and Owen Barfield (see bibliography)
Sir George founded and ran the Wrekin Trust for many years. See bibliography for details.
On Maslow see Hoffman, E. (1988) The right to be human: A biography of Abraham Maslow. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher; Lowry, R. (Ed.) (1979) The journals of A. H. Maslow. Monterey, CA Brooks/Cole; Maslow A. Towards A Psychology of Being, 1962; Maslow A. New Knowledge in Human Values, 1959; Maslow, A, Selected Works; Maslow, Abraham The need to know and the fear of knowing, Journal of General Psychology 1963, 68.111-125; Maslow, Abraham Neurosis as a failure of personal growth Humanitas, 1967. Maslow, A. H. The farther reaches of human nature. (Arkana Press, 1956/1993). Maslow, A. H. Religions, values and peak experiences. (New York: Viking Penguin, 1976/1994).
The real roots of transpersonal history are however deeper than the transpersonal psychologists of the 1960’s. Through Jung, Schelling, Steiner and other influences, the tradition dates at least back to the Romantic movement in European and world culture. As early as 1799 in Jena, Novalis gave a lecture in which he called for the moral, religious and spiritual renewal off humanity through the revival of “the holy sense”, “a sense for invisible dimensions like beauty, harmony, peace and truth.. Most certainly the idea of the “holy sense” traces back to Renaissance concepts of a “visio intellectualis”, the intellectual perception of totality” See Önnerfors, A “Men Are Not To Be Essentially Distinguished…”: Cosmopolitan Foundations Of Freemasonry, (CRFF Working Paper Series No. 3, Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield, 2009). Novalis (1772-1801) didn’t live long enough to fully develop his philosophy of history but already argued that: “partial histories are impossible – each history has to be universal history and only when related to the whole of history is it possible to treat one single element historically” which is also an observation to which one is led through the study of transpersonal history: the synchronous patternings of events beyond coincides of time and space, the harmonious interactions of elevated thoughts and ideas recurring in the lives of the great saints and mystics of humanity – such as constitutes the essence of the study of transpersonal history – point to this interconnectedness whereof Novalis spoke. This same vision relates to what exactly Taliesin saw in that instant of licking his finger, and why he, sadly, thought he had to run, for in a Sophiaphobic world, true holders of vision are often persecuted, or at best, misunderstood. Occasionally they “found religions” or “philosophical schools”. See the discussion on these matters as a problem for consciousness studies, including the Taliesin story, in Daffern, Thomas Clough Sophiaphobia (Lulu, 2009) Druid texts contain many traces of the opposite of Sophiaphobia, a sheer delight in learning and wisdom, such as this, the genealogy given of himself by the young poet Nede quoted by Caitlin Matthews: “I am the son of Poetry, Poetry, daughter of Scrutiny, Scrutiny, son of Meditation, Meditation, daughter of Great Knowing, Great Knowing, son of Seeking, Seeking, daughter of Investigation, Investigation, daughter of Great Knowing , Great Knowing, son of Great Good Sense, Great Good Sense, son of Comprehension, Comprehension, daughter of Wisdom, Wisdom, daughter of the three gods of Dana.. “ You can almost feel the sheer delight at learning which oozes from these lines, so typical of Celtic and Druid minds at their best – even if Great Knowing seems a bit incestuous ! See Matthews, Caitlin Question, Answer and the Transmission of Wisdom in Celtic and Druidic Tradition (Mount Haemus Lecture 4, 2003, published in The Mt Haemus Lectures Vol 1, 2000-2007, ed.and introduced by Philip Carr-Gomm, Oak Tree Press, 2010)
On Grof see his works listed in the bibliography, including Grof, S. , & Bennett, H. The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. (San Franciso, Harper, 1992); Grof, Stanislav Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; Grof, Stanislav Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany: State University of New York, 1985; Grof, Stanislav. The Cosmic Game; S. Grof (Ed.) Ancient wisdom and modern science (pp. 24-32). Albany, NY: SUNY Press; Grof, Stanislav, The Adventure of Self-discovery (Albany, SUNY Press, 1988); Grof S. Psychology Of The Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research ( State University of New York Press 2000)
 Heidegger is in many ways the grandfather of an important strand in the modern deep ecology movement – see Zimmerman, Michael E. Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity: Technology, Politics, Art (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990)
 Terence Mckenna (1946-2000) was an important Irish-American pioneer of transpersonal history who argued that the way that Homo Sapiens emerged as a species was due to our pre-Sapiens ancestors becoming enamoured of psychedelics (particularly magic mushrooms, which grew wild and freely available), which led to 1) better vision 2) increased sexualisation and fertility 3) linguistic and verbal abilities 4) a rapid growth in consciousness- see his Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge - A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (1992) His thesis in many ways dovetails with that of Peter Lamborn Wilson who argues for a Soma cult among Druids in Ireland (see Wilson, Peter LambornPloughing the Clouds: The Search for Irish Soma, 1999).
These include: A Sociable God: A brief Introduction to a Transcendental Sociology (New York, McGraw Hill, 1983); Eye to Eye: The Quest for the New Paradigm (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1983) Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (Boston, 1984); Transformations of consciousness: Conventional and Contemplative Perspectives on Development - with Jack Engler and Daniel P. Brown (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1986); Spiritual Choices: The Problems of Recognising Authentic Paths to Inner Transformation - edited with Dick Anthony and Bruce Ecker (New York, 1987); Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1991); Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1995); A Brief History of Everything (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1996); The Eye of Spirit: an Integral Vision for a World Gone Slightly Mad (Boston and London, Shambhala, 1997) The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion (New York, 1998); One Taste: The Journals of Ken Wilber (1999); The Essential ken Wilber, Boston and London, Shambhala, 1998). See the bibliography for more details.
One of the problems with Wilber is the complexity of his ideas, and the voluminousness of his reading and references, which can lead to some contemporary pagan critics to regard his work as typical of the intellectual elitism that has got us into the troubles we are facing on the planet as a whole; we shall return to this problem in the penultimate section of this paper.
 Daffern, Thomas Clough Biographical Encyclopaedia A-Z of Transpersonal Theorists, historians, psychologists and philosophers 1945-2001 (2006)
Ross Nichols, Philip Carr-Gomm, Peter Berresford-Ellis, Jean Markale, John and Caitlin Matthews, Ronald Hutton etc.
To do justice to the subject one would have to recount the entire history of mediaeval sorcery, magic which was a complex and multilayered tradition, and which drew on both the high magic (theurgy) of classical culture together with the folk magic of the European peasantry; Druidry survived in its unique Celtic setting, complex and mulitextured as the dying rays of the setting sun off the coast of Anglesey, neither belonging wholly to one world or the other; the class elements of Druidry have not yet been fully researched in detail in either ancient or modern times, but one assumes that Druids were seen as somehow “classless”; see Kieckhefer, Richard Magic in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1989)
 The bibliography has many materials to enable this to be done properly, such as: Merkel, Ingrid & Allen Debus Hermeticism And The Renaissance: Intellectual History And The Occult In Early Modern Europe, (New Jersey, 1988); Vickers, B. Occult and scientific mentalities in the renaissance 1984; Weiss, Roberto. 1988. The Renaissance Discovery of Classical Antiquity. (2nd edition, Oxford 1969); Wind, Edgar Pagan Mysteries in the renaissance (London, 1958/1967); Yates, Francis Ideas and Ideals in the North European Renaissance (London, RKP, 1984); Field, J. V. and James, Frank (eds). 1993. Renaissance and Revolution: Humanists, Scholars, Craftsmen and Natural Philosophers in Early Modern Europe. (Cambridge); Hale, J.R. ed. A concise encyclopaedia of the Italian Renaissance (London, 1981).
On Postel see Bouwsma, W.J. Concordia Mundi: The career and thought of Guillaume Postel, (Harvard University Press, 1957). He was the French counterpart to Dr John Dee.
 Geoffrey Keating (spelled Seathrun Ceitinn in Irish) 1580-1644, was an important Irish poet, historian and Priest, whose name was a corruption of the Anglo Norman family name Mac Etienne, and who studied at a Bardic school in Co. Tipperary as a youth, at a time when the ancient Bardic schools were still operating. The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature explains that: “the Bardic schools of Ireland and Gaelic Scotland... survived down to the middle of the 17th century.. Poetic schools existed in Ireland before Christianity, and the training poets received in them had its origins in the Druidic learning associated with the religions of Celtic Gaul, Britain and Ireland”. Keating was fortunate to be educated in one of the last remaining such schools in Ireland. He also received training in Latin and was ordained a Priest in 1602 and then left to continue his education in 1603 in Bordeaux and Reims in exile in France. He returned to Ireland as a Doctor of Divinity in 1610 and ran the parish of Turbid in Co Tipperary. He was forced into internal exile in 1618 and hid in a cave in the mountains by anti Catholic sentiments and conceived the idea for his great History of Ireland (Foras Feasa ar Eirinn whilst living in the cave in the Glen of Aherlow in the Galtee Mountains. He remained a fugitive until 1624 hiding in Tipperary until 1624. Then he examined all the manuscripts on Irish history he could find throughout Tipperary, Connaught and Ulster, and by 1634 he had completed his work, which synthesised all previous known sources on ancient Irish history starting with the creation, and including a very great deal of Druidical legend and lore. He was also an accomplished poet and prose writer of theological works and is known as the Herodotus of Ireland. See Hyde, Douglas A Literary History of Ireland (1899) Many of the sources that Keating consulted were destroyed not long after during Cromwell’s invasion and destruction of the remaining monasteries of Ireland and their libraries and unless he had recorded their contents they would have been lost for ever. Keating himself died in 1644 during the trouble and unrest in Ireland accompanying the civil wars in Britain, some say peacefully, some say murdered for his faith, but 5 Years before Cromwell invaded. Like Herodotus, Keating included many fabulous and mythical stories rather than purely “historical” occurrences, and as such is a goldmine for mythographers and storytellers.
It was Michael O’Cleirigh, a Franciscan monk who wrote the Annals from 1632-1636 at the Franciscan friary of Bundrowse, Co. Donegal, with the help of 3 other scholars from many lay scholars from learned families, such that the 4 became known collectively as the 4 Masters, after being named as such by John Colgan in his 1645 work Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae. The collection of Annals was designed to synthesise all remaining annals in Ireland into one compilation, and had been dreamed up in the Irish College at Louvain. See Walsh, Paul The 4 Masters and their Work (1944) and Welch, R. The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature (OUP, 1996), and O’Donovan, John Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the 4 Masters (6 vols, 1848-1851). The intention of the 4 masters was to compile a copy and transcript and synthesis of all the manuscripts with bearing on the mediaeval and ancient history of Ireland such as had been preserved following the Viking and Norman invasions; they copied among many other sources the Lebhor Gabala, or Book of Invasions which gives the sacred history of Ireland and its succeeding waves of inhabitants, including details of numerous Druids and their magical powers in settling the land, including Amergin. The work of O’Clerigh is one of the most romantic stories in all scholarship (ie study-prayer). In a war-torn land, where persecution of Catholicism still was rife, he somehow managed to visit all the leading centres, monasteries and libraries of Ireland at that time, and got hold of copies of all the major existing materials, during the years 1627 - 1628, including the lives of many of the Irish saints. See the marvellous work by Slavin, Michael The Ancient Books of Ireland (Dublin, Wolfhound Press, 2005) The annals cover the history of Ireland from the Year of the World 2242 (about 3000 BC) down to AD 1616, with entries per year, some being but a few words in length and others running to 30 pages. The amount of scholarship that went into the work is extraordinary, and it has been said that “this is an amazing piece of work that is all but miraculous in its extent, and completely praiseworthy in its detail”. The amount of work it took Michael O’Cleirigh and the others who laboured on it, was undoubtedly Herculean in scope, but the unsung heroism of scholars is often not recorded in formal “history”, being assigned to a footnote in the "real" history of economics, war, dynastic rivalries and political and diplomatic conflicts, but from the perspective of transpersonal history, it is this history of knowledge and its acquisition and maintenance and transference that is part of the real and abiding noetic history of the planet, as we strive to reach from conditions of barbarism and violence to spiritual maturity and peace. O Clerigh says of his labours: “I searched every part of Erinn, in which I heard there was a good or even a bad book. Nevertheless, though great the labour and hardships, I was able to find but a few out of the many of them, because strangers had carried off the principle books of Erinn into remote and unknown territories and nations, so that they have not left anything which is worthy to be enumerated of her books in her… Yet Nothing is more glorious, more respectable or more honourable that to bring to light the knowledge of antiquity of ancient authors... should the writing of them be neglected at present they would not again be found to be put on record or commemorated to the end and termination of the world”. (Michael O Cleirigh, Annala Rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the 4 Masters, edited by O’Donovan, John (6 vols, 1848-1851) The name O Cleirigh, comes from ancient Irish and means son of the scribe and comes from the same root as clerk and cleric, and is related to Clarke, and has been a known surname in use since 916 and “it seems likely this is the oldest true surname recorded anywhere in Europe” (Grenham, John, Irish Family Names, Harper Collins, 1997)
The fashion of admiring all things Ancient Egyptian, including the writings ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus, began in the Renaissance period, evolved through the Enlightenment epoch, and developed into Egyptology – the close links between ancient British and Irish society and the Druid traditions and legends, which preserved memory of Celtic links to Egypt, have been admirably studied by Lorraine Evans in her work The Kingdom of the Ark
On Charles 2nd see Fraser, Antonia King Charles 2nd (London, 1979) who quotes the King as having told Pepys that during his escape to France after the Battle of Worcester he had “stayed looking upon the stones for some time” (ibid p. 126).
The full story of the role of Druidry, or at last the idea of Druidry, in the Enlightenment has not yet been written up, or even attempted – to do so, one would need to lock Ronald Hutton, Margaret Jacob, various Toland experts such as Carabelli and Champion, Robert Darnton, and James Billington (librarian of Congress), plus various Celtic scholars specialising in the 18th century, in a seminar room and record their conversations for about 2 weeks; see the bibliography for works by the named authors. Billington above all has written of the occult origins of the enlightenment (or at least of revolution) but his magisterial study inexplicably leaves out the occult origins of the American revolution, so it glides over the whole minefield of the role of Druidry in the circle of Thomas Paine and the fact that some active Druid lodges in the Americas went in with the American revolutionaries. He does document however the complex tangled relationships of Nicholas Bonneville, Thomas Paine and William Blake, mentioning the Druidical connections in so doing. Billington himself concentrates far more on the Freemasonic connections behind the Enlightenment– see Billington, J. Fire in the minds of men, the origins of the revolutionary faith (1980). The Scottish contribution to the Enlightenment has been long recognised, but its Freemasonic and Druidic dimension largely underexplored, see Stevenson, David The First Freemasons: Scotland’s Early Lodges And Their Members (Aberdeen, 1988); Lyon, David Murray History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (London, 1900), Kahler, Lisa Freemasonry In Edinburgh 1721-1746: Institutions And Context (PhD, Univ of Aberdeen, 1998); Withers, Charles W.J. and Wood, Paul eds. Science and Medicine in the Scottish Enlightenment (Tuckwell Press, East Linton, 2002).
Letters, notes, literature, poetry, diaries, art history, memoirs, biographies, auto-biographies, manuscripts, all are valued and useful resources for Druid scholars to search out this history – nowadays of course we would have to add film, TV, video footage, websites, weblogs and emails – how on earth historians 200 years from now might cope with studying the inner lives of contemporary Druids is something interesting to speculate about ! All occult traditions recognise clairaudience and some practitioners are now beginning to practice this retrospectively – skills certainly worth cultivating by historians !
One such work that has started this task is Freeman, Peter The Druids and Theosophy (Glasgow, 1924). Other sources that could be consulted include: Campbell, B.F. Ancient Wisdom Revived, A History Of The Theosophical Movement (1980). Of Blavatsky’s work itself, most make mention of Druidry as a form of ancient theosophy: in Isis Unveiled 1.18 she states: “the clergy of these respective countries prove moreover what they teach –namely that the practice of moral and physical purity and of certain austerities develops the vital soul power of self illumination. Affording to man the control over his immortal spirit; it gives him truly magical powers over the elementary spirits inferior to himself. In the west we find magic of as high an antiquity as in the east. The Druids of Great Britain practised it in the silent crypts of their deep caves… The Druids of Gaul expounded the secrets of the physical as well as the spiritual sciences. They taught the secrets of the universe, the harmonious process of the heavenly bodies, the formation of the earth, and above all – the immortality of the soul. Into their sacred groves – natural academies built at the hand of the Invisible Architect – the initiates assembled at the still hour of midnight to learn about what man once was and what he will be. They needed no artificial illumination, nor life drawing gas to light up their temples, for the chaste goddess of night beamed her most silvery rays onto their oak crowned heads; and their white-robed sacred bards knew how to converse with the solitary queen of the starry vault” InIsis Unveiled, Blavatsky also stated: “The Druids of the Celto-Britannic regions also called themselves snakes. ‘I am a Serpent. I am a Druid’ they exclaimed. The Egyptian Karnak is twin-brother to the Carnac of Bretagne, the latter Carnac meaning a serpents mount. The Dracontia once covered the surface of the globe, and these temples were sacred to the dragon, only because it was the symbol of the sun, which in its turn, was the symbol of the highest God – the Phoenician Elon or Elion, whom Abraham recognised as El Elion” (Isis Unveiled, i.554) This is vintage Blavatsky; her work is peppered with many motifs and historical claims that later transpersonal historians can now finally explore at leisure. See also Daffern, T.C. Theosophical History In An East European Context(1986) and Daffern, T.C. The Alice Bailey Corpus in the Context of World History (1987)
The Occult Establishment (London, Richard Drew Pubs. 1981) is his classic study of the history of the esoteric underground from 1800-1980; The Flight From Reason (London, 1971) traces the earlier part of this same irrational streak in the history of European thought; The Harmonious Circle (London, 1980) studies the lives and influences of Guirdjieff and Ouspensky in great detail. Webb sadly died in a car crash in 1980 aged 34. For further details see See Daffern, Thomas Biographical Encyclopædia A-Z of Transpersonal theorists, historians, psychologists and philosophers 1945-2001” (Lulu, 2009)
Ronald Hutton’s recent work certainly gives many details about the early phases of Druidry, but methodologically one can remain ignorant as to Ron’s actual view of Druids right to the end: does he regard them as strange survivors and deluded fantasists who have retrospectively dreamed up past lineages that he takes pleasure in demolishing ? Or as activist romantics who bring joy and spice to an otherwise bland and boring conformist British culture ? Probably a bit of both. He dedicates Blood and Misteltoe to the memory of Tim Sebastian, Environmental Officer to COBDO, a colourful and learned Druid if ever there was one. On inventing tradition, see Harvey, G. ‘Inventing Paganism’ in James Lewis and Olav Hammer (eds) The Invention of Sacred Traditions. (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
Several Druid Orders have their own archives, including OBOD, and Ronald Hutton has been given access to many of these; the Council of British Druid Orders does not yet have agreement in place about archive sharing and access, nor a central archive of COBDO documentation, although the current author, as COBDO Peace Officer, suggested we develop such a policy at a meeting in 2011, particularly as there had been talk of sending all COBDO archival materials off to an academic archive in the USA. The problem is partly what happens to the personal archives of active Druids when they die, as has happened recently to Tim Sebastian and Douglas Lyne, both of who had been avid collectors of Druid memorabilia for decades. In the interest of scholarly integrity, the suggestion is that such archives should be at least catalogued and preserved for future historians and Druid scholars, preferably in a secure long term location, such as the Bodleian Library.
The actual definition of what “magic” is differs with different practitioners and scholars: the term originally meant a Zoroastrian priest, and came into European languages to mean someone who was skilled in spiritual ritual and invoking the higher powers to assist mankind; in Gaelic and Celtic languages the term Druid was used as a direct translation of magus. The prehistory of the term is fascinating, occurring in Indo-European languages such as Avestan, Vedic, Germanic and Celtic roots – it means the ability to make things, and it related etymologically to Modern English “make” as in “making love” – a highly magic act if ever there was one ! Fraser’s Golden Bough began the anthropological study of magic and influenced a whole wave of later thinkers who approached the phenomenology of magic. Thought itself, and the ability to mimic, to copy, to respond, and to be conscious – all of which are reproduced in so called magical rituals, and in art, seem to been bound up with the very essence of what it is to be a human being. As poets and philosophers have always said, the mere fact of being alive is itself a magical act. See Schmidt, H.P. “Gathic maga and Vedic magha,” in K. R. Cama Oriental Institute International Congress Proceedings (5th to 8th January, 1989), Bombay 1991, pp. 220-39. See also Carr-Gomm, Philip The Book of English Magic,with Sir Richard Heygate, John Murray, 2009 which ably tells the history of one particular current within the universal history of magic as a whole, whose entire history has never been told, the telling of which, could it ever be achieved, would surely be a most transpersonal history. See also Shaked, Sh. Ed. Officina Magica: Essays on the Practice of Magic in Antiquity, (Leiden, 2005)
On Stonehenge see in the bibliography the following: Mcklintock, James The Stonehenge companion (London, 2006); Gibson, Alex Stonehenge and Timber Circles (Gloucestershire, 2000); Morgan, Morien The Royal Winged Son of Stonehenge and Avebury (Pontypridd, c. 1890); Darvill, Timothy et al Stonehenge World Heritage Site: an archaeological research framework (London, 2005); Worthington, Andy Stonehenge: celebration and subversion (Leicestershire, 2004); Worthington, Andy The Battle of the Beanfield (Teignmouth, 2005). The current author has proposed the creation of a Spiritual Pilgrimage Centre at Stonehenge and serves as Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Stonehenge, which has held over 30 meetings in Wiltshire involving English Heritage, the Police, the alternative community, pagans, Christians, Wiccans, Druids etc. The troubles around Stonehenge have arisen mainly because of a clash of paradigms - is Stonehenge simply a commercial tourist site, or is it an ancient temple for modern day neo-pagan worship ? Or is it both ? As well as organising this Commission the current author was brought into contact with most of the colourful underground of contemporary Druidry and its related networks (that Ronald Hutton also mentions in the small print of his monumental study Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain (Yale, 2009) including Arthur Pendragon, Tim Sebastian, Rollo Maughling, Philip Carr-Gomm et al.) via Douglas Lyne – and this in turn led to becoming Peace Officer to the current Council of British Druid Orders. The detailed narrative of the micro-politics of clashes and conflicts involving modern Druidry, could have filled a paper at least as long as the current one, but from the perspective of a transpersonal history, the author has preferred to give the broader picture. This is thought to be far more useful to colleagues in general, as well as to the wider reading public.
Cultural and intellectual contacts must have existed between the Greek Mycenaean world and that of the Celtic Druid world as early as Mycenae’s age of splendour; for example, the gold work evidenced in the museum at Mycenae is as fine as, and almost identical to, the gold work being produced at exactly the same time in Ireland, housed at the National Museum of Ireland, consisting of finely wrought spirals in miniature on thinly beaten sheets of gold – the symbolism in Mycenaean art and in Celtic art is striking – a Mycenaean dagger has also been found engraved on a stone at Stonehenge; according to Irish Druid legend the ancestors of the Gaels spent time wandering in Greece. Perhaps only a transpersonal historiography could begin to make sense of these overlaps. See Taylor, Lord William The Mycenaeans, (Thames and Hudson, 1983)
See his In the Dark Places of Wisdom, a masterpiece.
The term “philosophy of history” was first coined and popularised by Voltaire in his “La Philosophie de l’histoire” (1765) in which “Based on the idea of the principal unity and continuity of mankind, Voltaire replaced the idea of salvation history conceived as a pyramid with Judaeo-Christianity as the top with a more open structure, in which other cultures are assigned signiﬁcant places.” (says Stausberg, Michael in “Hell in Zoroastrian History” In: Numen 56 (2009): 217-253) The current author’s concept of “transpersonal history” can be argued to be a continuation of this idea of Voltaire, only placed firmly on a scientific footing in a way which was not feasible in Voltaire’s day. Voltaire, it should be pointed out, was a member of the Lodge of the 9 Sisters, and looked on Druids with great fondness, even if he wrote a little ironic playlet about them suffering in hell for his Philosophical Dictionary, as a beau geste. Towards the end of his life, Voltaire retired to a castle in Switzerland to muse and continue his writing, and used to play chess with the local Jesuit Priest who often would often come round for philosophical discussions – see Davidson, Ian Voltaire in Exile: The Last Years, 1753-1778 (Atlantic Books, 2005) In his fierce determination for justice, and his general theological outlook and his pantheistic deism, Voltaire certainly exhibited “Druid-like tendencies”.
It might have been related to Imbas Forosnai(“illuminating knowledge”) whose possession was one of the authenticating marks of a true Druid.
 See Humphreys, Emyr The Taliesin Tradition (Seren, Poetry Wales Ltd, Bridgend, 19383 / 2000), who on page 42 says of Dee: “He was a Renaissance Version of the “dreamer Merlin”. Without his mathematics and navigational scholarship it is unlikely that the exploits of his friends Frobisher, Gilbert and Raleigh would have been possible. Spenser, Sidney and Shakespeare came deeply under his influence. He was the most intense exponent of a “British Empire” with a manifest destiny and a divine mission. He was often referred to as Merlin and it is clear that he did nothing to discourage an obvious correspondence; at every opportunity he would be to Gloriana what Merlin had been to King Arthur and he would summon up every available power, from science to mythology, to serve her. No matter what difficulties presented themselves, like Prospero on his island, he would surmount them with a wave of his intellectual wand”
Sir Walter Raleigh was once taught “chemistry”, ie alchemy by Dr John Dee, discovered Virginia (and named it for Queen Elizabeth), introduced tobacco smoking to Britain, and ended up lingering in the Tower of London where he wrote a History of the World, which devotes much space to ancient religions and spiritual teachings, including Greek, Roman, Druidry, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism etc. In many ways it is a pioneering work of comparative religions, and is infused with Raleigh’s own deep faith in the Ultimate Source of Being: here is his essentially Druidical paean to God-revealed-in-nature, which reveals the tension between neo-transcendentalists and eco-pagans as eminently solvable: “By his owne word, and by this visible world, is God perceived of men, which is also the understood language of the Almightie, vouchsafed to all his creatures, whose Hieroglyphical Characters are the unnumbered starres, the Sunne and the Moone, written on these large volumes of the firmament: written also on the earth and the seas, by the letters of all those living creatures, and plants, which inhabit and reside therein”. (Raleigh, Sir Walter The History of the World, London, 1614, i.2) Raleigh’s History of the World contains about 1 million words, and takes the history of the globe up to about the 2nd century BC only. It was dedicated to James 1’s son Prince Henry, whose informal tutor he had been in the Tower. Sir Roy Strong has written about the early death of Henry as England’s Lost Renaissance. See the poignant Raleigh’s Last Journey by Paul Hyland, for an account of Raleigh’s last days, Irwin, Margaret That Great Lucifer: A Portrait Of Sir Walter Raleigh (Chatto and Windus, London, 1960) and also Strong, Sir Roy Henry Prince of Wales and England’s Lost Renaissance (Thames and Hudson, 1986)
In whose bosom it has remained pretty much ever since – after all San Franscisco was the home of the hippy movement, a typically eclectic and renaissance-inspired enterprise at its best.
See Ted Hughes’ masterpiece Shakespeare and the Goddess; plays in this vein, which include elements of Celtic and Druidical magic, would include King Lear, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor
It is worth pointing out that Edward Herbert was a close friend and intellectual collaborator of John Selden, whom history had placed on the parliamentarian side in the Civil War, and who had pioneered comparative religious studies in Britain, researching into the ancient pagan roots of near Eastern religion, and had published several important works in this field including De Diis Syris (1617), Selden was a node in an extraordinary network of thinkers and writers who between them were interested in ancient history, spirituality, and what I have christened “transpersonal history” retrospectively, and which included Ben Johnson, Camden, Cotton, Herbert, Ussher, Sir Francis Bacon, Hobbes etc. Selden had a personal library of many thousands of works, including rare Hebrew and Arabic texts, and was a learned Hebraist among other accomplishments (his main professional field was as a jurist and lawyer). It was during his lifetime and partly on his advice that the Jews were readmitted to England under Cromwell. Selden was very interested in studying the history and practices of Jewish law and the Talmud and published a number of studies in this topic. It is certain that Herbert’s friendship with Selden was one of the factors behind Herbert’s thinking through the necessity to establish what basic common building blocks existed between all the worlds religions, as they were then known. Although Selden did not mention Druidry in his major works, it is impossible to doubt that the subject would have formed part of the conversation at least between Herbert and Selden; at that time it was a view widely held that the Druids were descended from Phoenicians who had brought established ritual and religions to the British Isles in the ancient past, and Selden had studied Phoenician religions in great detail. Aubrey, whose Brief Lives makes mention of him, quotes the Vicar at his funeral saying: “When a learned man dies, there dies a great deal of learning with him, and that if learning could have kept a man alive our Brother had not died”. One would have assumed that a man of such learning would have had time to form opinions on his native religious and philosophical traditions even if he had not published openly on the subject. Both Herbert and Selden in some sense were “above the battle” of the civil war, and Selden, although a parliamentary man, strongly opposed the execution of Charles 1 and retired totally from politics thereafter. Herbert surrendered his castle in Montgomery rather than fight, on condition that his library was allowed safe passage to London. A complete new edition of all Selden’s papers, letters and writings is long overdue, as indeed is Herbert’s. Ronald Hutton in his Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain (Yale University Press, 2009) quotes extensively on Selden’s attitude to Druids, which was altogether favourable, seeing them as bulwarks of spiritual intelligence in matters of state and governance, and states that Selden also suggested that “their doctrines resembled not only those of Pythagoras but those of the Hebrew Cabbala” (ibid. p. 62) which is very interesting indeed from the perspective of transpersonal history.
The current author organised a symposium, on Herbert’s intellectual history in Brithdir Hall, Powys, in 2007 at which discussions of the more esoteric aspects of his work were advanced. Herbert can be seen as a kind of distant ancestor of the ideas underlying transpersonal history, in his search for unifying conceptual structures and symmetries behind the great religious pantheons of all humanity. See Rossi, Mario M. La vita, le opere, i tempi di Edoardo Herbert di Chirbury (Firenze, Sansoni, 1947) and Bedford, R.D. 1979. The Defence of Truth: Herbert of Cherbury and the Seventeenth Century, Manchester University Press.
Thomas Paine was an extremely influential author whose work The Age of Reason was a best selling work of the 1770’s and 1780’s; less well known is that he lived in a ménage a trois with Bonneville and his wife from 1797-1802, and believed that Druids and Pythagoreans had combined to provide an occult ideological alternative to Christianity. An Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry, written after his return to America (with Bonneville’s wife) and immediately translated into French by Bonneville, insisted that the sun worship of the Druids had not been destroyed but merely diverted into Masonry. See Billington, James Fire In The Minds Of Men, The Origins Of The Revolutionary faith (1980) p. 103. Paine became a member of the freemasonic Lodge of the 9 Sisters in Paris along with many other enlightenment thinkers: see Hans, Nicholas The Lodge of the Nine Sisters: The UNESCO of the 18th century(Transactions, American Philosophical Society, 1953)
One important field for transpersonal historians to research is the whole field of the history of nationalism – certainly in the British and Irish context, nationalism and the revival of Druidry have served as mutually reinforcing historical archetypes., such as have been studied by the historian-educator James Henderson, for example, in his work Bridge Across Time.
This metaphor of the sparks is used both in Ken Wilber’s Atman Project, but long before him, in Isaac Luria’s Kabbalistic vision of how we come to be here, one whole, yet also separated… It is also used by Meister Eckhart as a symbol for the soul.
See Daffern, Thomas Clough On Preventing Nuclear Omnicide: Philosophy as a Work of Healing (1986) paper presented to the Congress of Philosophers for Peace, St Louis, Missouri, published in Daffern, Thomas C. Selected Philosophical and Historical Essays 1985-2005 (Lulu.2008)
The histories of folk heroes such as Robin Hood are examples of this “history from below”
Recently some scholars have even wanted to make the very notion of “Celts” disappear from history altogether – nothing new there then !
The founder of historiography was Herodotus – meaning the Gift of Hera… quite !
There is no room here to do justice to the complex question: why is this new branch of historiography being called transpersonal history rather than integral theory ? In a nutshell, transpersonal history identifies and reveals the Cinderella of a largely materialistic professional corps of historians, who, with some important exceptions such as Von Ranke, have for decades if not centuries identified all that is worth recording in history as being the history of changing material fortunes and circumstances, and negelcted the interior, psychic and spiritual narrative of humanity’s evolution and development. Only once transpersonal history is fully developed, resourced and acknowledged as a scientific branch of history, as much as say, the history of coinage (numismatics) or documents (palaeography), or economic transactions (economic history), or the natural sciences (history of science) will we be in an informed position from which to attempt to write, collectively, an integral history of humanity at large, ATARAC (to paraphrase Wilber's famous AQL code - meaning All Quadrants and All Levels - ATARAC means All Tribes All Religions All Cultures).To do so without first developing a coherent and scientific transpersonal history would appear to this author at least to be premature – but of course the long term strategy is eventually to work towards a comprehensive integral history of humanity and the planet including all dimensions and aspects of being and experience – ATARAC.
 The current author attended a fascinating course on the history of Witchcraft in Early Modern British and European History given by Michael Hunter at Birkbeck College in the 1980’s when a mature undergraduate history student at the University of London.
Although most witches who perished were female, there were also significant numbers of male witches so executed.
 The Puritan army under Cromwell very afraid of witches and saw itself as waging a tripartite holy war against Anglicanism, Catholicism and Witchcraft, and regarded all Royalist women as by definition “witches”; after the battle of Naseby, when the puritan army defeated the royalists and turned the tide of the war in their favour, the victorious puritans went around the battlefield deliberately disfiguring and maiming the bodies of all the slain royalist woman and female camp followers, to the number of about 1000, as they were by definition “witches” (Holmes, Ronald Witchcraft in British History 1974, p. 119) Matthew Hopkins, the notorious Witchfinder General flourished (briefly) in a strong puritan area of England. “That the parliamentary army believed in witchcraft at all levels of command is evident, as is the thoroughness with which they took action” (Holmes, p. 124) Also prevalent at the time was the practice of slicing a suspected witches veins, and causing her to bleed to death – this practice being prevalent even up to about 1800 “long after belief in witchcraft was officially obsolete” (Holmes, p. 124) Holmes speculates that at Naseby the parliamentary army “believing that the Royalists protected witches and received help from them, the Roundheads tried to render the witches powerless by “blooding them” before they could turn the tide of battle with their evil arts. The indiscrimination with which they carried it out reflects their superstitious terror” (Holmes, p. 125). Holmes also recounts that the same horrific mutilations (actually even worse) were done to the Royalist army of Montrose after its defeat in 1645 by David Leslie’s puritan forces at the Battle of Philliphaugh. (Holmes, p 127) Holmes explains this was because the puritans believed they were fighting a religious war literally against the devil – “Because the civil war was born of an essentially religious conflict, and since the Puritans and Presbyterians were zealots, battles probably took on the aspects of a crusade. Just as they imposed upon themselves severe restrictions, abjuring pleasures and embracing strict piety, they sought to convert others to their ways or destroy those who opposed them. It is unnecessary to emphasise the vigour with which a Holy War can be fought and the ferocity with which a “heretic” enemy can be treated. The enemy is such cases is regarded as a minion of the devil.” The situation is clarified when one realises that “Cromwell’s troops were largely made up of Baptists, separatists, antinomians and independents, all these being members of extreme splinter groups which had formed inside the Puritan movement, and which were the most bigoted… Cromwell believed that zealous men would fight better if inspired by a crusading spirit”. (Holmes, p 121) In other words, the current demonisation of the Taliban, and the crusading spirit of the “War against Terror” of post 9/11 Blair and Bush, has a long psychohistory, which British historians might care to reflect on before they cast stones abroad – religious fanaticism has been also a major factor in British psycho-politics and was not merely an invention by Islam ! The Royalist Anglicans on the whole had a more sophisticated theological outlook. Queen Elizabeth passed laws that made the mere practice of “witchcraft” alone, not as such a capital offence. The implication was that "white witchcraft" was legal (after all her adviser Dr John Dee was a “conjuror”). Using witchcraft to kill or maim someone was a legal crime however, and was brought onto statute in the Witchcraft Act inspired by Bishop Jewel. Charles 1 hardly made it his priority to persecute witches and there were very few trials under his reign. See Robert Holmes’ book for the details of the legal status of witchcraft persecutions at different epochs in British history, His book also carries the text of the Papal Bull Regnans in Excelsis, issued by Pope Pius V, which outlawed Queen Elizabeth 1st as a damnable heretic. The same Bull states that outside the Catholic church there is no salvation and that “the Roman Pontiff has been appointed Prince over all nations and kingdoms, to root up, pull down, waste, destroy, plant and build… and that “we declare the aforesaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and an abetter of heretics”. Holmes, Ronald Witchcraft in British History (London, 1974)
There are excellent studies which focus on modern, mediaeval and ancient witchcraft, both in British and European and classical civilisations, as well as excellent studies of the history of Druidry, but none has as yet teased out the relationship between the two lineages or explored the differences. To do so, perhaps the techniques and ideas underlying transpersonal history might prove useful, as it would bring to bear the entire panoply of research into transpersonal psychology on the retrospective history of both Druidry and Witchcraft and their respective lineages going back in time.
The bibliography for witchcraft and pagan studies is growing all the time, see Reis, Elizabeth, Spellbound: Women and Witchcraft in America. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1998; Rountree, Kathryn, Embracing the Witch and the Goddess: Feminist Ritual-Makers in New Zealand. London: Routledge, 2004; Salomonsen, Jone, Enchanted Feminism: Ritual, Gender and Divinity among the Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco. New York: Routledge, 2002; Barner-Barry, Carol, Contemporary Paganism: Minority Religions in a Majoritarian America. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005; Berger, Helen A., ed. Witchcraft and Magic: Contemporary North America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005; Berger, Helen A., Evan A. Leach, and Leigh S. Shaffer., Voices from the Pagan Census: A National Survey of Witches and Neo-Pagans in the United States. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2003; Berger, Helen A., A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and Witchcraft in the United States. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 1999; Blain, Jenny, Douglas Ezzy, and Graham Harvey, ed. Researching Paganisms. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004; Brauner, Sigrid, Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews: The Construction of the Witch in Early Modern Germany. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1995; Purkiss, Diane, The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-century Representations. London: Routledge, 1996; Christ, Carol P., She Who Changes: Re-Imagining the Divine in the World. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003; Clifton, Chas S. and Graham Harvey., The Paganism Reader. New York: Routledge, 2004; Cowan, Douglas E., Cyberhenge: Modern Pagans on the Internet. New York: Routledge, 2005; Eller, Cynthia, Living in the Lap of the Goddess. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1993; Griffin, Wendy, ed. Daughters of the Goddess: Studies of Healing, Identity, and Empowerment. Walnut Creek, California: Altamira Press, 2000. As yet however there is no study of the specific complex relationship between Witchcraft and Druidry either in the present or in the past. Authors tend to concentrate on one or the other, and even when they have expertise in both, such as Ronald Hutton, their books usually address one or the other lineage. From a transpersonal historical perspective, the two traditions are so inter-related that they need a definitive inter-faith historical study – but here we enter the realm of the politics of knowledge. In many previous epochs, and still in some countries, to merely suggest such a project would invite a death sentence. Thank heavens for the Enlightenment – but the specific role of paganism in fostering the enlightenment needs revisiting, beyond Peter Gay and Christopher Dawson’s work. Hume famously didn’t think much of Druids, but he may actually have owed them a far greater debt than he realised.
 Foucault, Michel Discourse and Truth: the Problematization of Parrhesia. six lectures given by Michel Foucault at the University of California at Berkeley, Oct-Nov. 1983; Gutting, Gary The Cambridge Companion to Foucault. (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
This word is a deliberate new coinage, another way of spelling “notwithstanding” in sentences dealing with witchcraft. In the English of Shakespeare’s day, spelling was fluid, and meanings were laying slip of their moorings to new destinations of soul. One feature of transpersonal history is that it likewise advocates new coinages for newly defined or observed phenomena. Also, humour in scholarship is likewise permitted.
 These issues have long concerned the work of PADRAS (Pagans and Druids Rights and Services) an organisation founded by the late Pagan elder, George Firsoff, who asked the current author to take over as Chair in 1989, and whose subsequent collaboration led to the setting up of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Stonehenge. An active and ongoing work which has so far organised some 25 meetings around Stonehenge concerning public access, long term visions, and the righting of injustices such as the Battle of the Beanfield in June 1985. “Few outsiders witnessed the events of the Beanfield. Most of the media had obeyed police instructions to stay away from the main action “for their own safety”. The few who did make it through saw a one sided rout of heart-breaking brutality. Nick Davies of the Observer wrote that: “There was glass breaking, people screaming, black smoke towering out of burning caravans and everywhere there seemed to be people being bashed and flattened.. Men, women and children were led away, shivering, swearing, crying, bleeding, leaving their homes in pieces.. Over the years I had seen all kinds of horrible and frightening things and always managed to grin and write it. But as I left the Beanfield, for the first time, I felt sick enough to cry” (Carey, 1997) Kim Sabido of ITN was so shaken by what he saw that he declared live to camera, “What we, the ITN camera crew, and myself as reporter, have seen in the last 30 minutes here on this field has been some of the most brutal police treatment of people that I’ve witnessed in my entire career as a journalist. The number of people who have been hit by policemen, who have been clubbed whilst holding their babies in their arms, in coaches around this field, is yet to be counted... There must surely be an inquiry after what has happened here today” (Stone, 1996: 159; Goodwin, 1995) (Quotations taken from Worthington, Andy, Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion, Alternative Albion, 2004) p.129-130. Still to date the only public inquiry that has yet taken place into the Battle of the Beanfield and all its surrounding and ongoing circumstances has been the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established by the current author and George Firsoff. The author undertook this (voluntary) work since from a Druid perspective such blatant violence and injustice is unacceptable. Another voice who spoke out against it all at the time was the Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce, owner of Savernake Forest, and Secretary of the Marlborough Conservative Association. He witnessed events fist hand and was repulsed by the police brutality, and his willingness to give evidence in court was why many of those arrested were eventually acquitted, although never adequately compensated. Nor were those responsible ever required to apologise for so many broken lives. Faceless bureaucrats and servants of the “state” seem to escape all responsibility time and again, in little as in very big things, as in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, as a consequence of which perhaps as many as 100,000 Iraqi civilians have perished needlessly, and deformed babies are still being born in Fallujah as a consequence of depleted uranium shells being used in bombing. The purpose of the Truth and Reconciliation for Stonehenge, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East is to create an open public forum in which those responsible on all sides can sit face to face and work out where they went wrong, and if possible be reconciled.
Daffern, Thomas Clough Towards a History of the Interrelations of Marxism and Esotericism (London, 1988)
On the esoteric origins and links of Marxism see among much else: Liebich, A. - Selected writings of August Cieszkowski (1979); McClellan, Woodford Revolutionary exiles, the Russians in the first international and the Paris commune (1979); Nicolaevsky, B.l. Secret Societies and the First International (in M.M. Drachkovitch -The Internationals etc.); Raddatz, F.J. Karl Marx, a political biography (1979)
 Nicholas Boneville and Thomas Paine to take but two examples.
As Peace Druid to the Council of British Druid Orders and dedicated to non-violence, the current author cannot endorse this revolutionary excess on the part of so-called Druids, but merely notes it as matters of historical fact. To fight physically with outer weapons seems to abdicate from the historical lineage of what Druidry was actually about: achieving victory through non-violent means.
For more details on John Locke’s position see the start of Section 11 following,
 Schelling was arguably the most profound thinker of the three, although Hegel was better at systematisation, but Hegel attempted what could be called a premature systematisation – whereas Schelling was content merely to begin to gather the evidence for what had ultimately to be systematised, including the contents of what Jung would come to call the collective unconsciousness – certainly ken Wilber has said of Schelling that he is perhaps the single most important figure in recent European intellectual history; see Brown, Robert F. Schelling’s treatise on the Deities of Samothrace: a translation and an interpretation (Missoula, Scholar'’ Press, 1977); Paul Tillich the famous existentialist theologian did his doctoral thesis on Schelling’s ideas, which in many ways prefigure those of transpersonal history. Schelling and Tillich both were fascinated by the prehistory of ideas in religion, finding their lineaments traceable in some kind of inner architectonic whereby the conscious mind and the unconscious, and the Spirit of the Divine, meet and have concourse.
See Oman, Carola The Wizard of the North – the life of Sir Walter Scott (London, 1973), and Kelly, Stuart Scott-Land: The Man Who Invented A Nation (Polygon, Edinburgh, 2010)
The literature on the history of Judaism and the Kabbalah, which this section mostly details, is vast, but several key works are referenced in the bibliography to this paper, including the following: Thieberger,F. The Great Rabbi Loew of Prague (London, 1954-1955); Secret, Francois Les Kabbalistes Chretien de la Renaissance (Paris, 1964); Secret, Francois Le Zohar chez les Labbalistes Chrestiens de la Reniaissance (Paris, 1958); Biale, David, Kabbalah & Counter History, 1982; Bibliography of the Works of Gershom Scholem 1915-1978, Magnes Press, Jerusalem; Coudert, Allison P. (Arizona State University) Leibniz and the Kabbala; Coudert, Allison P. The Impact of the Kabbalah in the 17th Century; Moses de Leon, The Zohar, edited I. Tishby, Oxford, 1989; Worrel, Thomas D. A Brief Look At The Kabbalah; Scholem, Gershom, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 3rd edition, New York, 1961; Scholem, Gershom, On the Kabbalah & its Symbolism, trans. R.Mannheim, New York, 1969; Scholem, Gershom, The Messianic Idea in Judaism & Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality
It was surely from this realisation that William Blake was able to construct his complex mythological pantheon of Albion’s spiritual luminaries.
Rabbi Lionel Blue for example.
Some colleagues might wish to contest this statement, so I will try and set out as plainly as possible the logic on which the veracity or otherwise of this claim can be upheld or refuted. 1) Both Druidry, esoteric Judaism and the Kabbalah had a largely oral transmission of mystical doctrines 2) the respective antiquity of both lineages is approximately co-terminous 3) students of one lineage could have geographically and historically met and mingled with the other over many historical opportunities, all the way from the stone age to the 21st century 4) both cultures share a reverence for the tree as a symbol of interdimensionality 5) the Kabbalistic Tree of Life diagram, consisting of the 10 sephiroth, although not appearing exactly in any known early Celtic sources, itself dates back to ancient pre-Judaic sources, shared with common Pythagorean, Hellenic. Phoenician, Egyptian, Babylonian, African and Indian mysticisms. 6) Sacred trees were certainly worshipped and revered in both early Celtic and Jewish societies; according to Peter Berresford Ellis, The Tree of Life (Crann Bethadh) is discussed as follows in his excellent Dictionary of Irish Mythology as “Sacred trees were talismans of all tribes and clans. Each had its own sacred tree standing, usually, in the centre of its territory. Often a tribal raid by a rival clan would simply be for the purpose of destroying a tree and thus demoralising the enemy” The Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology by James Mackillop states that “The ancient Celts may have worshipped trees, as Eoin MacNeil asserted (1929) and certain trees are mentioned persistently in Celtic tradition: alder, apple, ash, birch, elm, evergreen, hawthorn, hazel, pine, oak, rowan, thorn, willow and yew. The trees favoured by fairies are ash, oak and thorn. Many letters of the ogham alphabet of early Ireland are named for trees”. There seem to be traces of a similar reverence for trees in Jewish culture and tradition, not least in the image of the burning bush (or tree) that Moses encountered YHWH through, in the image of the Tree of Life itself, on whose spiritual meaning the whole plot of the Tanakh hangs, from the Garden of Eden onwards, and there are numerous references to the tree of life in the Jewish texts of the Tanakh, not least in Psalms and Proverbs and the wisdom literature in general, and in the apocalyptic writings such as the Books of Enoch, and in the Essene and later Kabbalistic literature, especially in the Zohar (see Parpola, Sino “The Assyrian tree of Life: tracing the origins of Jewish monotheism and Greek Philosophy” (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol 52, no 3, July 1993 p 161-208). A series of Trees worship King Saul at one point when his sacred kingship is affirmed in a most remarkable passage of the Tanakh. Furthermore in Modern Israel the practical planting of trees and reforestation programmes has been an important part of modern reborn Israeli identity. Likewise, trees, branches and leaves play important roles in Hebrew religious rituals, including Sukkot or Tabernacles, a festival lasting 7 days and in which tabernacles are woven from branches – effectively “benders” to which pious Jews retire for contemplation out of doors. In the marriage ceremony branches and palms are also very important. In fact, in Ancient Judaism it was the custom was to plant a cedar-tree for every new-born male and a cypress-tree for every female baby. When a marriage was about to take place the trees that had been planted at their own birth, were cut down and then used as posts for the nuptial canopy. This custom is still observed in many Jewish homes, and the canopy made with tree branches as pillars is definitely used in most orthodox Jewish marriage ceremonies. The extent of the worship of sacred trees in world religions has been amply sketched by Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough, which has a large section on this topic, and whose central theme is in fact related to the role of the sacred tree in culture 7) Both Druids and Kabbalists were and are essentially magicians and esotericists concerned with ultimate truth, i.e. transpersonal Reality, and it is thus the knowledge or wisdom which the tree symbolises that is the heart of the matter: “In the mythology of the ancient near East thereare numerous examples of sacred trees guarded by dragons or serpents, and the cult of oracle-giving trees was widespread, and is found in Canaan e.g. the Terebinth of Moreh (Gen 12:6)…. In the Babylonian myth of Adapa and similar myths, eating of the food of the Gods conferred immortality, not knowledge; but in Babylonian magical texts the knowledge possessed by the god Ea and imparted by him to the priests was magical knowledge, the knowledge of spells and incantations which gave power over evil spirits. This was undoubtedly the kind of knowledge originally envisaged in the Biblical story. But the Yahwist who had transformed the ancient stories into symbols of the relation between God and man, the forbidden knowledge was of those “secret things” which belonged only to Yahweh” (from “Tree of Life” Dictionary of the Bible. ed. James Hastings, 1909/1963) 8) Some commentators argue that forbidden fruit of this tree of life might have been a psychoactive “fruit” such as cannabis, or some other similar entheogen. One book argues that sacred cannabis use was indeed widespread in ancient Israel and up to and beyond the times of Jesus, and consisted of “kaneh-bosm anointing oil” which was used in the divine kingship rituals of Ancient Israel(see Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible: The Pagan Origins of the Judaic and Christian Traditions - Volume 2, The New Testament and Related Literature - Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen). If this is true, it is possible that both the ancient Scythian ancestors of the Celts and the ancient Hebrew ancestors derived their usage of cannabis as a sacred plant from common ancient sources, as did the Hindus etc. Further research on the transpersonal value placed on entheogens in history is needed to really document this, including archaeological research. 8) Both Druids and Kabbalists have suffered persecution from exoteric religious practitioners who have accused them of diabolism, necromancy and even at various times of human sacrifice ! It seems their only actual “crime” has been to insist that behind orthodox theological formulations are deeper truths which lie embedded and encoded within the exoteric texts. 9) Both Druids and Kabbalists have been friendly to the female aspects of divinity and to the Goddess traditions, which were often symbolised by sacred trees – and this also has historically always annoyed patriarchal logo-centric priesthoods. 10) Next, it should be pointed out, synchronistically, that it was a Welsh Druid, David Lloyd George, who finally made a return of Israel to their Holy Land possible, both by defeating the Ottomans in World War One and liberating Palestine, and by endorsing the Balfour Declaration, which promised an eventual homeland for the Jews hitherto scattered throughout the world. This “victory” of course has been something of a double-edged sword (to put it mildly) and the final peace settlement of this troubled region is something that the current author, as Peace Druid of Britain, has been working on within the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East and also the Golden Gate Project. 11) Finally, it must be pointed out that both Druids and Kabbalists believe in reincarnation, which is one of the working hypotheses underlying the idea of transpersonal history – what if the “history” we study in schools and universities were to factor in the possibility that generation after generation people return to earth to work out their karma (positive and negative) ? What laws and dynamics underlie those processes ? Is there any evidence this is in fact the case (i.e. past life regression) ? What are the implications of all this for the historical sciences ? Gershom Scholem has managed to develop the historiography of the Kabbalah as a respectable academic activity – the same is not yet quite true of Druidry although Ronald Hutton, other Mt Haemus lecturers, and many other modern day Druid scholars, such as Philip Carr-Gomm, John Matthews, Ross Nichols, Anne Ross, Dillwyn Miles, Peter Berresford Ellis, Francoise le Roux and Christian Guyovarch, Lewis Spence, Robert Graves, Venceslas Kruta, Sabatino Moscati, B. Raftery, Colin Murray, Rev Durdin-Robertson, P.A. Joyce et al have been certainly moving forward on this (but sadly many are no longer with us). This lecture is also intended to lay out some of the further ground work that might have to be covered from a transpersonal historical perspective.
Edmund Marriage, following Chris O’Brien and L.A. Waddell, is one thinker who sees the Phoenicians as crucial to the spiritual history of Britain.
On possible links between British Celtic (Druidic) and ancient Egyptian cultures, see the thoroughly researched work by Lorraine Evans, which proves an Egyptian boat once made it as far as the Humber estuary in the Bronze age ! Evans, Lorraine Kingdom of the Ark (London, 2000)
This “mythical” claim that Druidry preserves the memory of the original language of mankind may not be altogether incoherent: new research has begun to demonstrate that all human languages might be based on “sound symbolism”, ie. a common origination pattern in which congruencies between sound and significance are repeated in different languages worldwide; if Druids explored their own consciousness to the depths and discovered this link between sound and meaning in their own speech, then they could have been said to have broken through to the core of this “universal language”. This is a topic which the current author has been pursuing in his own linguistic researches and which has resulted in editing a dictionary of global philosophical terminology to explore how different languages explore ultimate reality; see Ramachandran, Vilayanur S and Hubbard, Edward Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol 8, p3; Daffern, Thomas Clough Multilingual Dictionary for Mulitfaith and Multicultural Mediation, Peace and Global Philosophy (London, 1999, Lulu, 2005); Robson, David Languages Missing Link, New Scientist, (No. 2821, July 16, 2011)
This is an oblique reference to the marvellous Myth of Er, which is appended to the Republic of Plato, in which Er, an Athenian soldier, recounts a near death experience, the first in recorded history, in which he had visited the afterlife and seen the process of the judging of the dead going on, before being allowed to return to tell his fellow countryman. Plato saw reincarnation as underpinning all his metaphysics, as did Pythagoras before him, and as the entire tradition of Neo-Platonism did ever since. Perhaps also in the Atlantic legend transmitted by Plato there is an echo of the lost lands of the Druids of Lyonesse. The mainland of North Western Europe once extended hundreds of miles further into the Atlantic, around 12,000 BC – the current author believes that this was “Atlantis”.
One friend of mine who has read an early draft of this paper, has said “well that’s all very well for general similarities of traces of tree worship in Kabbalah and Druidry, but where is the specific Druid equivalent to the Kabbalistic Sephiroth ? That a good question and deserves a detailed answer: 1) It is there in St Columbia’s amazing 8 fold circle cross in the Book of Kells, folio 33R 2) It is there in the Christian understanding of the tree of life as the Christian cross, and the fact that numerous Druids used the cross and accepted Christian teachings as a continuation of their own esoteric faith.. 3) It is also there in complex aspects of the Christian Kabbalah which has a long and profound history with figures such as Trithemius, Ramon Lull, Dee, Robert Flood, Rudolf Steiner, Eliphas Levi, A.E Waite, Manley P Hall, William W. Westcott, Macgregor Mathers, Pico della Mirandola, Plethon, Guillaume Postel, Chevalier Ramsay, William Blake, Swedenborg, Gareth Knight, Rev. Anthony Duncan, Leadbeater etc. many of these figures not only having been Christian Kabbalists but also interested in Druidry in varying ways and degrees. To explore this whole complex relationship is beyond the bounds of this talk, but materials will be found in the bibliography for anyone wishing to do so 4) It is there by implication in Robert Grave’s The White Goddess, and other writings, who found a similar love of the correspondences of letters and sounds in Celtic Druidry as exists in the Kabbalah – and also in the work of Grave’s friend and collaborator Raphael Patai, author of The Hebrew Goddess and with Graves co-author of the Hebrew Myths, companion volume to Graves’ masterwork The Greek Myths. Certainly, If anyone has yet researched the exact correspondence in Druidry to the Sephiroth it would have been Graves and Patai but as yet I haven’t located any exact references or discovered the whereabouts of their correspondence. Martin Seymour-Smith’s biography of Graves describes their collaboration however in general terms. 5) It is there in the similar profound fascination of Kabbalists and Druids for the sacred elements of earth, air, water and fire which figure importantly in both cosmologies 6) It is therein the correspondence of the 4 worlds of the Kabbalah (Atziluth – emanation i.e. Kether; Briah – Creation i.e. Hokmah and Binah; Yetsirah – formation i.e. Chesed, Gevurah, Tiphereth, netzach, Hod and Yesod; and Assiyah – action i.e. Malkuth). And the three worlds of Ceugant (The divine world of Atziluth), Gwynvyd (the heavenly upper world of Briah), Annwn (the world of pre-birth, of psychic influences and etheric realms, perhaps the between-life realms or the “under-world” and Yetsirah), and then Abred (the world of reincarnation and Assiyah). The correlations of these theories or sacred cosmologies are interesting to say the least. Is the author saying they go back to a common source? Almost certainly, but that source could be metaphysical and transpersonal as well as “horizontal” and “historical” i.e. they could be both readings from the same “ultimate reality”. [There is a brilliant comparative chart of these Kabbalistic worlds in R.A. Gilbert’s work on Wynn Wescott, page 308-309 correlating them to the Egyptian, Greek, Latin, Hindu and Christian systems – see Gilbert, R.A.The Magical Mason: Forgotten Hermetic Writings Of William Wynn Westcott, Physician And Magus (Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, 1983)] 7) Next there is a clue in Ross Nichols work that the link between the Druid sacred symbol for the Awen, comprising three pillars which point to the upper invisible meeting point, can be correlated with the three pillars of the Tree of Life, for Nichols specifically associates the middle pillar of the Awen with the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life (R. Nichols , The Book of Druidry, p. 123). “Placed within a circle the sign shows three aspects of Deity – truth, beauty and love, operating within the circle of creation or the world.. The central pillar is in fact the very life and inspiration of the whole”. Nicholas also argues that the Awen symbol can also be mirrored by its opposite thus making 6 lines in total. The same is said of the Tree of Life, which can also be inverted. 8) Finally there are the researches of Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in their interesting study Uriel’s Machine, who claim that a) Ollamh Fodla, who established a College of Druids at Tara, had some links to Enochian (ie Kabbalistic) Judaism and that b) Taliesin the Bard of Britain’s later famous Hanes Taliesin can only be properly interpreted by realising that Taliesin had access to the Book of Enoch itself and “told riddles from the Book of Enoch to King Maelgwyn of Gwynedd.” Enoch has always been an important figure in Kabbalistic Judaism, and in the Enochian Kabbalistic magical tradition of John Dee and other magi including Guillaume Postel, and more recently in The Keys of Enoch of J.J. Hurtak,this tradition is still very much alive – Enoch has always been seen as a kind of archetypal Druidical figure hovering over the ancient sources of Judaism and the Kabbalah. Idris is the Arabian name for Enoch, and Cadair Idris is the mountain of prophecy in Wales: coincidence ? Synchronicity ?
Jesus was also a magician, and of course the word druid also means “magician”, in the sense of higher white magic, rather than “conjuring tricks” - so in this sense Jesus was also a “Druid”. See Conner, Robert Jesus the Sorcerer (Mandrake, Oxford, 2006) and Smith, Morton Jesus the Magician (London, Harper and Row, 1978) and Dodds, E.R. The Greeks And The Irrational (University of California Press, 1951); Bengt, A. and Clark, S. Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: Biblical and Pagan Societies (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001); DiZerega, Gus Pagan and Christians: The personal Spiritual Experience (Llewellyn Pubs, 2001); Dickie, Matthew W. Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World (Routledge, 2001); Brier, Bob Ancient Egyptian Magic (Quill, 1981); Bonner, Campbell “Traces of Thaumaturgic Technique in the Miracles” Harvard Theological Review 20: 171-181; Meyer, Marvin and Mirecki, Paul eds. Ancient Magic and Ritual Power (Brill Academic Pubs, 2001); Burkert, Walter Ancient Mystery Cults (Harvard University Press, 1987); Faraone, Christopher A. and Obbink, Dirk eds. Magika Hiera: Ancient Greek Magic and Religion (Oxford University Press, 1991); Angus, Samuel The Mystery Religions: A study in the religious background of early Christianity (Dover Pubs, 1928 / 1975); Elkin, Adolphus P. Aboriginal Men Of High Degree: Initiatrion And Sorcery In The World’s Oldest Tradition (Inner traditions, 1977); Gager, John G. Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, 1992); Geller, Markham J. “Jesus Theurgic Powers: parallels in the Talmud and incantation Bowls” Journal of Jewish Studies 28:141-155; Graf, Fritz, Magic in the Ancient World (Harvard University Press, 1997); Hull, John M. Hellenistic Magic and the Synoptic traditions (SCM, 1927); Fidelo, David Jesus Christ, Sun of God: ancient cosmology and early Christian symbolism (Wheaton Illinois, Quest Books, 1993)
It is worth mentioning that Origen (AD 185-254), the first major Christian theologian, who had trained under Ammonius Saccas (who also taught Plotinus, and was the inventor of the term “theosophy”) believed in reincarnation and pre-incarnation, and universal salvation over time, and had a theology very much like that of Pelagius, may have written that the “British had received Christianity so readily because they were prepared for it by their Druids ... who always taught them to believe that there was but one God.' One might qualify with hindsight: one ultimate energy, one Source, manifesting as different bands or frequencies or vibrations, or Sephiroth, or triform waves. Hutton, ever the meticulous scholar, has tracked down this quote to its source in Camden, the Tudor historian, and argues that it is based on a misreading of Origen, filtered through Tertullian, so perhaps we are really dealing with myths here, but that these are also of great interest to the transpersonal historian and have a life of their own. See Hutton, Ronald Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain (Yale University Press, 2009) p. 59.
On Celtic Christianity, there are innumerable excellent sources, both old and new, with many references in the current bibliography – see for example Allchin, A.M. God’s Presence makes the world: the Celtic vision through the centuries in Wales (London, c. 1998); Daves, Damion W. and Eastham, Anne Saints and Stones: A guide to the pilgrim ways of Pembrokeshire (Wales, 2002); An Bibobla Naofa An Sagart, Maigh Nuad, 2000; Sargent, Maj General H.N. The Servant Nation (London 1947); Dunbar, John G. and Fisher, Ian Iona (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, 1988); Iona Community Worship Book: The Abbey Services of the Iona Community (1988 / 1991); James, M.R. Abbeys (London 1926); Quakers in Scotland (Religious Society of Friends, Scotland); Jowett, George F. The Drama of the Lost Disciples(London, 1980); Elder, Isabel Hill Celt Druid and Culdee (London 1973); Maitland, Sarah A Book of Silence (London, 2008); Churches to visit in Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1997); Walshe, Michael ed. Bulters Lives of the Patron Saints(San Francisco, 1987); Celtic saints (Pitkin Pictorials, 1995); Daniel, Dr Glyn Early Christian Ireland(London, 1958); Lewis, Lionel Smithett St Joseph of Arimathaea at Glastonbury (Cambridge, 1922 / 1982); Dodd, B.E. and Heritage, T.C. The Early Christians in Britain (London, 1966); Jones, Andrew Every pilgrims Guide to Celtic Britain and Ireland (Norwich, 2002); Raymond, Capt. E. The Traditions of Glastonbury (California, 1983); Williams, Bryan How the Gospel Came to Britain (Birmingham, 1970); Bowen, E.G. The Saint David of History: Dewi Sant (Wales, 1982); Walshe, Michael Dictionary of Christian Biography (London and New York, 2001); Pennar, Meirion, trans. The Black Book of Camarthen (Camarthen, 1989); De Beausobre, Yuulia Creative Suffering (Oxford, 1940/1994); Minehan, Rita Rekindling the flame: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Bridget of Kildare (Kildare, 1999); A guide to the churches on or near the isle of Anglesey Coastal Path (Bangor Diocese, 2000); D’Arcy, Mary RyanThe Saints of Ireland(Dublin, 1974 / 1985); Byrne, Lorna Angels in My Hair (London, 2008); Victory, Sian The Celtic Church in Wales (London, 1977); Walker, David A History of the Church in Wales (Glamorgan, 1976 / 1977); Blair Revd. H. A. The Kaleidoscope of truth: Types and Archetypes in Clement of Alexandria (Worthing, 1986); Gardner, Laurence The Magdalene Legacy: The Jesus and Mary Bloodline Conspiracy (London, 2005); Wallace, Martin A little book of Celtic Saints (Belfast, 1995); Morgan, R. W. Saint Paul in Britain or the origins of British as opposed to Papal Christianity (London, 1860); Butler, Revd Alban The Lives of the Fathers, martyrs and other principle saints (5 volumes, London, 1956); Pfeiffer, Franz, and Evans C. De B. The Works of Meister Eckhart – Doctor Ecstaticus: sermons and collations, tractates, sayings and liber positionum, the lost book of Benedictus, tractate 17, sermons from Oxford Codex etc. (London, Bath 1947 / 1952) The Celtic influence on Austrian and German Christianity should not be forgotten – many learned libraries and monasteries throughout Central and Eastern Europe were founded by wondering Irish monks – Trithemius himself was Abbot of one such Irish founded monastery at Sponnheim (Brann, Noel L. “Conrad Celtis and the ‘Druid’ Abbot Trithemius” Renaissance and Reformation, (New Series 3, 1979) The great German Celtic scholar, Johannes Caspar Zeuss (1806-1856) who first demonstrated the exact linkages between the various Celtic languages, in a monumental work modelled on that of Jakob Grimm’s Deutsche Gramnmatik (1819-1837), based his researches on the scattered Irish manuscripts that he found in ancient libraries left all over Europe by wandering Irish monks and clerics, including the Ambrosian Library in Milan, that of St Gall in Switzerland, of Bobbio in Italy etc. In all these he found original Irish manuscripts with glosses in early forms of Irish that predated most of the manuscripts still extant in Ireland or Britain themselves, and thus he was able to reconstruct the evolution of the very earliest forms of Irish speech and writing, and trace their connections to Welsh, Gallic, Brythonic, Scots Gaelic etc. A wonderful paper written by the famous Irish scholar John O’Donovan LLD (1806-1861) who became one of the most important scholars of comparative Celtic languages and literatures in Ireland in the 19th century, was published in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology (First Series, Vol. 7, 1859) recounts in full the life story of Zeuss and his achievements, telling the sad story that soon after his monumental work was published Zeuss sickened and died. O’Donovan also quotes Prof. Siegfried, Profesor of Sanskrit at TCD, as having met and interviewed Zeuss and formed a highly favourable impression. Zeuss’ work would have been impossible without the wandering Irish monks who lit the flame of the love of learning all over Britain and Central Europe, for many centuries. Prof. Joyce’s marvellous Social History of Ancient Ireland (1903) gives full documentation on both the ancient Druidic and Bardic orders active in pagan Ireland, but also the later Celtic Christian Bardic and poetic orders, and he states that there was a more or less seamless transition from one into the other: “There is then no reason to doubt that this old gradation was a real one, and was actually carried on for hundreds of years in the schools: and that the graduate poets were universally recognised with their special privileges just as sizars, freshmen, sophisters, bachelors, moderators, masters and doctors are now. He then quotes a beautiful poem to make his point, dating from 1331: “Here, to the banquet, will come the seven orders / Who put good poetry into shape / A charm against misfortune is their coming – the Seven Orders of Poetry” (Joyce, P.W. A Social History Of Ancient Ireland (2 vols, London, 1903). Joseph Anders in his highly informative lectures Scotland in early Christian Times(2 volumes, Rhind Lectures in Archaeology, 1879) gives an entire talk on these wandering Irish monks and scholars who rekindled the passion for learning all over Central Europe in the early Middle East and describes them as having long flowing hair, something that is apparent also in the Book of Kells, like some kind of early mediaeval Hippy Movement, and much like many druids today. Caitlin Matthews states “To some degree, after Druidry was replaced by Christianity, the sacred role of intercessor between the Otherworld and this world was taken by the filidh. A filidh or vision poet was not just a poet but a person versed in many genealogies, legal precedents, historical and mythic narratives, prophetic, sacred and visionary lore. His training took at least twelve years” See Matthews, Caitlin Question, Answer and the Transmission of Wisdom in Celtic and Druidic Tradition (Mount Haemus Lecture 4, 2003, published in The Mt Haemus Lectures Vol 1, 2000-2007, ed.and introduced by Philip Carr-Gomm, Oak Tree Press, 2010, p. 6)
Sophiaphobia is a medical term denoting the fear of wisdom that the current author has identified and named – see his Sophiaphobia (2009). See Ap Iorwerth, Rev. Geraint Honest to Goddess: Russia, Sophia and the Celtic Soul (foreword by Caitlin Matthews) (Crescent, Southampton, 1998) for a sophiological Christology that reconciles pagan and Christian wisdom.
The Rosicrucian Christian tradition is very similar to modern day freemasonic and Druid orders in that it organises its work in a hierarchy of grades, such groups included the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (est. 1867), the Sublime Most Ancient, Genuine and Honourable Society of the Golden and Rosy Cross (est 1757) and the Fratres Lucis. See Decker, Ronald and Dummett, Michael A History of the Occult Tarot 1870-1970 (Duckworth, 2002) p. 43-45 for details
 There is a strong Unitarian and Universalist current running in the underground channels of the Druid tradition: Pelagius and Origen in ancient Christian times shared a common belief in universalism, i.e. that all souls would ultimately be saved, disbelieving in the idea of eternal damnation (see Stausberg, Michael “Hell in Zoroastrian History” In: Numen 56 (2009): 217-253 for the prehistory of the idea of “hell”), as promulgated by St Augustine and the medieval Catholic inquisition, who used to justify the persecution of pagans and witches, since a little torture in the present, to force a recantation, might save someone’s soul from eternal damnation. Origen and Pelagius however both believed in reincarnation and the soul’s immortality; later on Iolo Morgannwg was influential in Unitarian circles in Wales and wrote many hymns for them; Goodwyn Barmby, an esoteric occult communist active in the 19th century, studied in detail in James Billington’s work Fire in the minds of men, the origins of the revolutionary faith (1980),sought a theological reconciliation of God and the Devil as a rational basis for world peace and utopia, and later became a Unitarian minister in Yorkshire; George Watson Macgregor Reid, occultist, friend of Crowley, McGregor Mathers, member of the Golden Dawn and founder of the “Universal Bond of the Sons of Men” (by 1912) which some sources (Carr-Gomm, Philip The Book of English Magic,with Sir Richard Heygate, John Murray, 2009. p. 59) say later became renamed the Ancient Druid Order by 1918, which Order Ross Nichols joined in 1954, later leaving to found OBOD in 1964 – this same Macgregor-Reid, one of the most influential of 20th century Druids, was also an active Unitarian-universalist and belonged to the Universalist Church, which finally reunited with the Unitarian church in the 1950’s (Ibid. p. 59). The current author had the pleasure to host the Council of British Druid Orders at the Unitarian Church in Shrewsbury, which the Darwin family used to worship at, and learned from the secretary of the church there that Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the internet, was also a Unitarian universalist, attending the Boston branch of the denomination, and that he hoped it could serve as a vehicle for the universal salvation of mankind from ignorance and fear. There is a transpersonal history of Unitarian-Universalism that still needs writing up – presumably, if they are right, and there is to be a final universal salvation and immortality of the soul, then the scholars among us will all have eternity to write it up retrospectively ! Down here, on this plane, there never seems to be enough time to do justice to the complexity of the story ! King Alfred the Great made the same observation to Asser in a previous epoch: he complained to his Welsh Bishop and mentor that due to kingly duties he didn’t have enough time to devote to his real passion, scholarship and learning, and inquired of Asser whether he felt he would be permitted to go on studying in heaven. Asser assured the King that if there wasn’t a library there yet, then he was sure that for Alfred’s sake, the angels would make one and thus yes, he would be allowed to go on studying there in the afterlife and reading up all those classics he hadn’t had time to finish while on earth. As head of religious studies in various secondary schools for some years, I usually tell my pupils that if they get lost after death and want to meet up again, just ask directions to the heavenly library ! The excellent work which reports on a near death experience, by Dannion Brinkley, which tells of his tragic “death” following a thunderstorm in the USA, does actually report that Dannion was taken to see what were in effect libraries, before having to return back down to this plane. (See Dannion Brinkley and Paul Perry,Saved by the Light,: The true story of a man who died twice and the profound revelations he received. New York: Villard Books, 1994)
The basic idea of Trinitarian theology was finally worked out by St Hilary of Poitiers (300-368) and Hilary was of Pagan Celtic-Gallic origin – is this coincidental ? It is not really strange that the fundamental Druid insight into the triune nature of reality expressed in the sanctity of the number 3 found throughout Druid teachings, found expression in the ease with which Trinitarian theology took root in many parts of Celtic Europe; the core ideas behind the idea of the Trinity (the dynamic nature of the Deity, the fact that relationship is at the core of the divine mystery, love, etc.) are very Druidical insights in fact. The English educational and legal Spring term is still called the Hilary Term after St Hilary of Poitiers. See Carl Beckwith, Hilary of Poitiers on the Trinity: From De Fide to De Trinitate (New York and Oxford, 2009). If Newton had lived a few centuries later, and been shown that the Trinity is an archetype with very deep roots in the human psyche, which pops up in religious cosmologies all over the world, and not a “literal” truth but rather a “symbolic” truth, he might have relaxed a bit about keeping his secret religious manuscripts hidden away. To situate the work of St Hilary in his wider context see Moreschini, Claudio and Enrico Norelli, Early Christian Greek and Latin literature: a literary history, 2 Vols (Hendrickson, 2005) and Dopp, Siegmar and Geerlings, Wilhelm, Dictionary of Early Christian Literature (New York, Crossroad, 2000).
On Gnosticism see the excellent study by Ludemann, Gerd and Janssen, Martina eds. Suppressed Prayers: Gnostic Spirituality in Early Christianity (SCM, 1998) a work of whose existence I was hitherto unaware until finding it in the bookshop at the church in Aberdare when R.S. Thomas had once served as Vicar, while waiting for a boat to Bardsey Island on pilgrimage. There is a strong argument that Druidry is really very closely related to Gnosticism in terms of parallelism of ideas, but not to a life-denying Gnosticism, rather to a life affirming Gnosticism – see also Blair, Revd. H. A. The Kaleidoscope of truth: Types and Archetypes in Clement of Alexandria (Worthing, 1986); Gilly, Carlos 500 Years of Gnosis in Europe / 500 let gnostica v Evrope. Exhibition of printed Books and Manuscripts from the Gnostic Tradition Moscow & St Petersburg, Organized by Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica / M. I. Rudomino Russian State Library for Foreign Literature (eds. C. Gilly & M. Afanasyeva), Amsterdam, In de Pelikaan, 1993; Jonas, Hans, The Gnostic Religion, 1963; Rossbach, S. Gnostic Wars: The Cold War in the Context of a history of Western Spirituality (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1999)
One such was Morien Morgan, of whom a former Mt Haemus lecturer, John Michael Greer, has written: “Jesus had intended to replace the priesthood of Aaron among the Jews with the priesthood of Melchizedek, which latter was nothing other than Druidism pure and simple, learned by Jesus during his boyhood visits to Britain.” As Ronald Hutton has well pointed out however, Druid authors often simply do not cite authorities for their statements, and thus Morgan’s evidence for this is lacking; this was also true of the late Lawrence Gardner, whose imaginative and influential books have pioneered a whole plethora of conspiratorial Celtic Christian theories, mainly involving various offspring of Jesus living in Britain, but whose premature death has deprived the world of scholarship of a chance to debate his ideas. The current author was scheduled to meet with him for just such an interview, and then he went and died ! Morien Morgan, according to Greer believed that: “Pagan nature worship was the only true religion, and Christianity was valid because, and only because, it unknowingly preserved the old fertility mysteries.” Controversial or what ? See Greer, John Michael Phallic Religion in the Druid Revival (Mount Haemus Lecture 3, 2002, published in The Mt Haemus Lectures Vol 1, 2000-2007, intro. by Philip Carr-Gomm, Oak Tree Press, 2010)
The Pontifex Maximus was of course, the titular head of the Roman religious hierarchy, and his job was always to authorise wars of armed aggression against other countries. Caesar usurped this post, which hitherto had been an independently appointed expert from among the actual Roman priesthoods. Since Caesar, the succeeding Emperors always laid claim to the post by right of succession from Caesar, starting with Augustus. When Claudius sanctioned the invasion of Britain by the legions, he did so also as Pontifex Maximus. When in 410 the Roman Empire fell, the title reverted (eventually) to the Bishops of Rome, who claimed it as successor rulers of the remains of the Roman Empire. When Charlemagne was crowned Western Emperor in 800 AD the Popes retained the title, and it is still to this day one of the Pope’s titles. Roman culture on the whole hated Druids, fired up by Caesar’s propaganda, but also feared them, partly because, they knew that their invasions of Gaul (by Caesar) and eventually Britain, had been actually both illegal and immoral. Caesar conducted a war of extermination against the Gauls and particularly against the Druids. Likewise this was done when they invaded Britain under Claudius. So here I am making an ironic aside, that the Papal form of Christianity has inherited perhaps something of this distrust of Druidry. The recent excellent film The Eagle shows this complex relationship up in cinematic form.
Not all Druids of course became Christian – some no doubt opposed the new teachings, as had some magicians and esotericists in the classical world itself, perhaps because of the whiff of intolerance that official Christianity brought in its wake – whose principles Pelagius opposed. See Hoffman, R. Joseph Jesus outside the Gospels (Prometheus Books, 1984)
Hoffman, R. Joseph Celsus on the true Doctrine: a Discourse against the Christians (Oxford University Press, 1987); Hoffman, R. Joseph Julian’s Against the Galileans (Prometheus Books, 2004). People might have either opposed or supported Jesus on grounds that he either was a good magician (Druid) or not a good enough one. The situation is complicated, bedevilled by claims and counter claims (Islam and Judaism both have their own unique angles on Jesus) and scholarship still trying to unravel the complexity. It is hoped transpersonal history can help. See Klauck, Hans-Josef Magic and Paganism in Early Christianity: The World of the acts of the apostles (Fortress Books, 2003); Janowitz, Naomi, Magic in the Roman World: Pagans, Jews and Christians (Routledge, 2001); Neusner, Jacob et al. Eds. Religion, Science and Magic: in concert and conflict (Oxford University Press, 1989)
See Daffern, T.C. Towards a History of the Interrelations of Marxism and Esotericism (London, 1988)
The academic study of freemasonry is relatively new and precarious, see Jacob, Margaret. 1991. Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe. (Oxford); Kahler, Lisa Freemasonry In Edinburgh 1721-1746: Institutions And Context (PhD, Univ of Aberdeen, 1998); Mackey, Albert G. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (2 vols, Chicago, 1924); Markham, A. G. 1987. 'Characteristics and Origins of Early Freemasonry', Ars Qutour Coronatorum 100, pp. 131-63; Önnerfors, A “Freemasonry and Politics” in Brill Handbook of Contemporary Freemasonry (Eds. Henrik Bogdan, Jan Snoek), Brill, Leiden, 2010; Önnerfors, A “Freemasonry in Denmark”, “Freemasonry in Norway” in Western Esotericism in Scandinavia (Eds. Henrik Bogdan, Olav Hammer), Brill, Leiden, 2010; Önnerfors, A “Men Are Not To Be Essentially Distinguished…”: Cosmopolitan Foundations Of Freemasonry, (CRFF Working Paper Series No. 3, Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield, 2009); Önnerfors, A. and H. Bogdan (eds.) Between Mysticism and Power Politics: Swedish Freemasonry and the European Enlightenment; Péter, Róbert The Mysteries of English Freemasonry: Janus-faced Masonic Ideology and Practice between 1696 and 1815, unpublished Ph. D. thesis, University of Szeged, 2006; Pink, Andrew G. The Musical Culture of Freemasonry in Early Eighteenth-century London, unpublished Ph. D. thesis, University of London, 2007; Prescott, Andrew ‘Freemasonry and Radicalism in Northern England 1789-1799: Some Sidelights’, Lumières 7 (2006); Prescott, Andrew ‘Godfrey Higgins and his Anacalypsis’, Library and Museum News for the Friends of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, 12 (Spring 2005); Prescott, Andrew ‘The Study of Freemasonry as a New Academic Discipline’ in A. Kroon (ed.), Vrijmetselarij In Nederland: Een Kennismaking Met De Wetenshappelijke Studie Van Een ‘Geheim’ Genootschap (Leiden: OVN, 2003); Prescott, Andrew A History of British Freemasonry 1425-2000 (CRFF Working Paper Series No. 1, Sheffield 2008); Prescott, Andrew. "Freemasonry and the Problem of Britain." Inaugural lecture to mark the launch of the University of Sheffield's Centre for Research into Freemasonry, 5 March 2001. The University of Sheffield’s research centre on Freemasonry has sadly now been closed.
Sir Robert Moray d 1673 – was a Scottish Royalist freemason and was the central link between the body of British scientists who came together to form the Royal Society and the King, Charles 2nd. Charles, as most people know, had a strong interest in Druidry, was a friend of John Aubrey, and had visited Stonehenge with him. He was proud of his Stewart ancestors and Celtic blood. His father, Charles 1, had rebuilt the Abbey on Iona. Moray signed his name with a pentalpha, the secret Pythagorean symbol (otherwise known as the star of Venus, which according to Knight and Lomas’s work was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for “knowledge”. It is also known as a Freemasons mark and was often used as such by Moray. No one has as yet written a comprehensive biography of Moray, or researched a PhD on his life, or published his papers but I dare say there will be discussion of Druidry to be found therein somewhere, and one can surmise that in his after dinner discussions, with the wino flowing, the topic may well have come up. It is, to the current authors persuasion, impossible that a man of his learning, and a good friend of Aubrey, Charles 2nd and the early freemasons of Britain, would not have had a positive opinion on Druids as the progenitors of the native wits of these islands. John Aubrey mentions Moray in his excellent Brief Lives, and states that he was himself with him on the morning of Moray’s death at Whitehall, and also says of him that Moray was the “only man that would do a kindnesse gratis upon an account of Friendship”. He states also “He was a good Chymist and assisted his Majestie in his Chymicall operations”. The DNB states that his correspondence shows “literary cultivation, wide knowledge, strong common sense, as well as nobility of mind and tenderness of heart”. He was described by Huygens as the “soul” of the Royal Society and served as its first President. He was extolled by Gilbert Burnett (1643-1715), Bishop of Salisbury, as “the wisest and worthiest man of his age”. Burnett also likened him to the British equivalent to the learned scientist and philosopher of Provence, Nicolas Claude Gabri De Peiresc 1580-1637, friend of Gassendi, Galileo and Campanella, whose house in Provence was a veritable museum, who discovered the Orion nebula and was know as “Prince of the Republic of Letters.” Burnett also said of Moray that “He had a most diffused love of mankind, and he delighted in every occasion of doing good, which he managed with discretion and zeal”. Pepys describes him as “a most excellent man of reason and learning, who understands the doctrine of musique and everything else I could discourse of, very finely”. Wood, the historian of University of Oxford Alumni, said of Moray that he was “a renowned chymist, a patron of Rosicrucians and an excellent mathematician”. Charles 2nd, who knew him very well and with whom he discoursed often on matters philosophical, used to say in illustration of Moray’s independence of character that he was “head of his own church”. If ever there was a description of a Druid, or a philosopher inclined to hold Druidical opinions, it is surely this !
 William Schaw (1550-1602), architect, is an important figure on the cusp of operative and speculative freemasonry, as he was the Master of Works to King James V1. There is a splendid monument erected in his honour at his burial place, in Dumferline Abbey, erected by Queen Anne of Scotland, Sir Alexander Seton (1555-1622) and the freemasonic Lodges of Scotland which tells that he was also involved in speculative freemasonry. He was also involved in diplomacy and three times visited France for the King, Denmark in 1589, as well as being involved in the negotiations leading to the marriage of Elizabeth Stuart to the Elector Frederick. He was also Chamberlain to Anne of Denmark. The Abbey is burial place also to 7 Scottish Kings including Robert the Bruce and was founded by Saint Margaret in 1072. King Charles 1, King James 1 and Prince Rupert were all born here. Dunfermline would originally have had Druidical significance but to date no one seems to have researched in sacred topography. Whether Schaw speculated on Druidry in writing is not known, but orally he and the King must have discoursed about such topics. His portrait is in the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Edinburgh and the DNB states that he “played a prominent part in the development of freemasonry in Scotland and he “sett down the statutes and ordinances to be observed by all Master Masons”. What is also interesting is that Schaw remained a Roman Catholic as well as a freemason, had travelled extensively in Europe, drew on the renaissance rediscovery of architecture as a sacred science of harmonies and proportions, representing the macrocosm in microcosm, and was close friend and confidante to Queen Anne (1574-1619), consort of King James, who also became a Catholic later in life, and sponsored a cultural renaissance in Scotland and then England in which music, dance, theatre, masques, architecture and painting all received her royal patronage. It seems that Schaw and King James (and Francis Bacon et al) intended freemasonry to act as a means of uniting Protestants and Catholics throughout Europe, as a truly pansophic movement, which could be called perhaps Meta-Catholic. In all this work Schaw could have been said to be functioning “Druidically”
Thomas Vaughan (1622-1666) – was the famous alchemist who coined the phrase Anthroposophy, (later popularised by Rudolf Steiner), in his Anthroposophia Theomagica. He was a practising alchemist and Rosicrucian and his patron was none other than Sir Robert Moray. His twin brother, Henry Vaughan, was a famous Christian mystical poet known as the Silurist. The brothers were from Wales and had a deep love of all things Welsh, and mystical. Again, so far as I know Thomas Vaughan’s complete works and correspondence have not yet been published, although Oxford University brought out his Anthroposophia Theomagica some time ago, although A.E. Waite did edit a volume in 1919 (The Works of Thomas Vaughan, edited and introduced by A.E. Waite; Theosophical Publishing House, London, 1919). It would be very surprising if Vaughan doesn’t mention Druidry somewhere, and certainly, one can surmise he would have had a lively intellectual interest in the topic. Sir Robert Moray was with Thomas Vaughan at his death, and oversaw his burial in a little country church north of Oxford. Vaughan was familiar with and a supporter of, the doctrines of Henry Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535), who did much to establish respect for occultism and magic in the Northern Renaissance, with his work De Occulta Philosophia, and who also advanced feminist views in his work De Nobilitate et Praecellentia Feminei Sexus
See Gjertson, Derek, The Newton Handbook (London, RKP, 1986), and also Newton, Sir Isaac, Ed by McLachlan, Herbert, Theological Manuscripts (Liverpool University Press, 1950). In this latter is reproduced in full in English the manuscript of Newton’s Irenicum which reveals his vision of the possibility of achieving perpetual peace between the existing religions on earth, if they only realised that they actually all descended originally from a common source: as Gjertson (ibid. p. 279) summarises the ‘plot’ of the Irenicum: “All nations originally subscribed to a common religion. It consisted of two precepts: love God with all your might; and love your neighbour as yourself. Such beliefs Newton traced to the “sons of Noah”. They descended through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses to the Israelis and thereafter were disseminated to other nations by such figures as Pythagoras, Confucius, Socrates and Cicero. A scheme so simple must inevitably become corrupted. Later prophets like Christ came not to add to the original precepts but to recall a forgetful people to the already established truths… the basis of this religion was reason, not revelation”. It can be directly surmised that Newton’s interest in freemasonry was spurred by this pansophic and universalising theology, which can also be traced back to Francis Bacon and Lord Herbert of Chirbury. Likewise, Newton’s interest in Druidry, and his close friendship with Rev William Stukeley, who became a major Druid-Christian synthesiser, can also be ascribed to the essential similarity of their ultimate worldviews. Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, the spiritual implications of Newton’s advanced views meant that the Irenicum was never published until 1950, and is still little known. Newton’s voice in matters of spirituality, prophecy and religion has been effectively silenced until now, and only the mathematical side of his work has been appreciated; yet in his own lifetime he was deeply interested in mysticism, the occult, alchemy, magic, spirituality, prophecy and chronological studies – in effect, he was hankering after a transpersonal historiography, but was born about 2 centuries too early ! See also the discussion of Newton’s esotericism in Westman, R.S and McGuire, J.E. Hermeticism and the Scientific Revolution (Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1977)In one manuscript currently in Jerusalem (the Yahuda Collection) Newton listed 70 prophetic figurative-symbols taken from the Biblical and other Near eastern religions and then gave explanations on how they should be interpreted. If hew were alive nowadays Newton would no doubt be working on a general theory of prophetic consciousness, the mathematical fluctuations of the quantum field and probably assembling lists of the sages saints and prophets of all religious traditions. He would also certainly appreciate the greater freedom of religious thought we have now in the third millennium than compared to his own time of religious wars and conflicts. In his own pansophic and universalist interests and his general intellectual omnivorousness, he certainly qualifies for retrospective Druid status. Some conspiracy historians of course make him a member of the Priory of Sion, but this is probably simply a retrospective myth, which like all myths however, contains some truth. Space doesn’t sadly allow a full discussion of the links between conspiracy theory as a genre of history, and transpersonal history – the latter would perhaps begin to provide scientific tools that the former as yet has failed to develop.
John Locke (1632-1704) – was involved in Holland when in exile with a radical underground of occultists, and was a friend of John Toland and many early freemasons and these circles certainly were discussing Druidry and other pagan European traditions; he went on, as an Anglican, to insist that Christianity had to be commensurate with reason, tolerance, human rights and liberty of conscience; I am sure somewhere in his lengthy corpus and private correspondence there are references to Druidry but there hasn’t yet been time to track them down; he also had a long platonic love affair with a woman philosopher, Lady Masham, and was way ahead of his time in insisting on equality between the sexes, and he also believed in peace, and earned his living as a medical doctor, so all of this resonates with my hypothesis of his “Druidical” archetypal qualification, even if he was not a member of an actual lodge or grove. He was a however a member of the freemasonic guilds and thus resonated with the work of esoteric orders – see Margaret Jacob The Radical Enlightenment who discusses all this in detail. Jacob’s work describes in detail John Toland’s last published work Pantheisticon (in Latin), which was for use in private occult rituals. “A sample passage from Pantheisticon should give us a flavour of this ritualistic civic and universal religious which Toland claimed resembled that practised by the Ancient Egyptians and the druids… (there follows a sample excerpt).. The Evocation of Druids is important… It should be recalled that Anglo-American radicals until well into the late 18th century held the Druids in high regard. Thomas Paine, quite possibly a Freemason himself, argued that Masonry was derived from “the religion of the ancient Druids who like the Magi of Persia and the priests of Heliopolis in Egypt, were priests of the sun” while radical republicans in the new American republic were know to set up |Druidical lodges. “ (ibid. page 143/154). Jacob goes on to say that “Locke’s argument (on the reasonableness of religion) was easily wrested from its Christian moorings and made to support a variety of natural religions. Among the leading spokesmen of that purely naturalistic interpretation were the radical Whigs, Toland and Collins, both of whom knew Locke well, possibly too well for his public comfort.” (Ibid p. 84) Jacob has unearthed conclusive evidence that John Toland was a member of the freemasonic group of radical Whigs in London associated with Sir Robert Clayton (d. 1707), that John Locke was involved with this same group, and that John Toland went on to form the earliest formal freemasonic lodge on the European continent at the Hague: “Toland’s lodge qualifies as the earliest private Masonic lodge on the Continent” (ibid p 119) Another link between Toland and Locke is via Benjamin Furly (1636-1714) A Quaker emigrant from Colchester who father had been loyal to the Commonwealth and as a result imprisoned for his beliefs, Furly maintained a salon in Rotterdam, kept a splendid library of heretical books, and established his home as the entrepot between English republicans, Dutch dissenters, and French refugees. Locke resided there in the 1680’s; the young Toland met and won Furly’s approval in the early 1690’s… their bond rested on a commitment to the cause of international Protestantism as well as to free spirited inquiry into religious doctrine and belief together with a hatred of French absolutism”” Locke and Benjamin Furly went so far as to establish their own college in the Netherlands in the 1680’s in the run up to the Glorious Revolution. Another important link between Locke and occultism was the MP, Edward Clarke, who was a great friend of Locke, and also a member of the freemasonic lodges. Although supportive of young Toland at first, later Lode shied away from him as dangerous and sought to rebut his more anti-Christian ideas in his own “The Reasonableness of Christianity” (1695). Toland however “was a seeker after a new metaphysics, one that combined the new science with a naturalistic view of the universe: in short he sought a universal religion complete with a new community and a new ritual, and spied in Freemasonry a solution to his quest” (Ibid p. 153). Jacob’s work introduces the reader to an extraordinary occult underground in Europe at the end of the 17th century and the early 18th century, and proves that Locke had not only mingled in these heady waters when in exile in Holland but had been strongly influenced by their thinking, which was essentially neo-pagan and pantheistic in orientation. She introduces one such figure, Alberto Radicati di Passerano (d 1737) as a Piedmontese nobleman who had become converted to the Enlightenment cause, after having been nearly destroyed by the Roman Catholic inquisition, and who described himself as a “pagan philosopher newly converted”. Toland and Radicati, says Jacob, had more or less identical worldviews (ibid p 172) As yet however, no definitive study of Locke’s role in all these complex radical enlightenment circles has been attempted, which would trace his specific changing attitudes towards Toland, Druidry and reasonable Christianity. Given that Locke’s ideas went on to inspire not only the American but the French revolution, and the entire idea of modern human rights, it might be a job well worth undertaking.
The historiography of freemasonry is a fascinating topic in its own right and one or two specialist academic centres are now undertaking to catalogue this story in detail (one at the University of Sheffield just closed, sadly) recognising the importance of freemasonry to the general history of culture, science and education. It was the work of Prof. Nicholas Hans of the Institute of Education, author of the seminal paper “The Lodge of the Nine Sisters: The UNESCO of the 18th century” who first alerted me to the intellectual importance of the history of freemasonry and its impact on the enlightenment. He reveals that many of the key figures of the enlightenment, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Jeremy Bentham, Lavoisier, Priestley, Helvetius etc. all belonged to a corresponding membership lodge of Freemasons based in Paris. Its archives were destroyed when the Nazi’s attacked Paris in 1940 and carted off to Berlin by the SS never to be seen again (the Nazis demonised freemasonry as a Jewish cabal) but Hans found copies of most papers in Jefferson’s Philosophical Society in Philadelphia and thus was able to reconstruct the history of the lodge. Some useful reference works for anyone wishing to embark on the intellectual, or transpersonal history, of freemasonry, would include the following works from the bibliography: Preston, William Illustrations of Freemasonry (London, 1772), Gilbert, R.A.The Magical Mason: Forgotten Hermetic Writings Of William Wynn Westcott, Physician And Magus (Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, 1983); Ward, J.S. M. Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods (London, 1921/1926); Mackenzie, Kenneth The Royal Masonic Encyclopedia (Thorsons, 1877/1987); Hamill, John The Craft: a history of English freemasonry (Crucible, Thorsons, 1986); Howe, Ellic Fringe Masonry in England 1870-1875 (Ars Quattuor Coronatorum: Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge no. 2076, Vol. 85 – 1972); Beha, Ernest A Comprehensive Dictionary of Freemasonry (ARCO, London, 1962); Lepper, John Heron and Crossle, Philip History of the Grand Lodge of England 1725-1813 ; Gould, Robert F. The History of Freemasonry (3 vols, London, 1884-1887); Jones, Bernard E. The Freemason’s Guide and Compendium (London, 1950); Mackey, Albert G. An Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry (2 vols, Chicago, 1924); Henderson, Kent The Masonic World Guide (.Lewis Masonic, London, 1984); United Grand Lodge Of England Masonic Year Book 2002/2003 et seq. (United Grand Lodge Of England, London, 2002); Carr, Harry The Collected Prestonian Lectures 1925-1960 (Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1967); Kloss Bibliographie der Freimauerei, (Berlin, 1844); Preston, William Illustrations of Freemasonry (London, 1772); Ars Quattuor Coronatorum (Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge); Macnulty, W. Kirk, Freemasonry: a Journey Through Ritual And Symbol (Thames and Hudson 1991); Johnstone, Michael The Freemasons: the illustrated book of an ancient brotherhood (Grammercy Books, New York, 2006); Pick, Fred L. and Knight, Norman The Freemason’s Pocket Reference Book (London, Muller Ltd. 1955/1983); Anderson, Rev James Book of Constitutions (London, 1723/1738); Pick, Fred L. and Knight, Norman The Pocket History of Freemasonry (London, Muller Ltd. 1953/1983); Ligou, D. - Dictionnaire de La Franc-Maconnerie 1975; Telepneff, B. A short history of Russian Freemasonry. See also the work of OVN, an independent Dutch Foundation for the Advancement of Academic Research into the History of Freemasonry in the Netherlands.See also Prescott, Andrew ‘The Study of Freemasonry as a New Academic Discipline’ in A. Kroon (ed.), Vrijmetselarij in Nederland: Een kennismaking met de wetenshappelijke studie van een ‘geheim’ genootschap (Leiden: OVN, 2003)
It is interesting that William Preston (1742-1818), after whom the famous Prestonian lectures take place annually which have done so much to document the early history of freemasonry, was from Edinburgh and in touch with many leading intellectual figures in the enlightenment such as Robertson, Gibbon, Hume, Johnson, Ruddiman and Blair. The contribution freemasonry made to the Enlightenment, both in England, Scotland, France, the Americas, Germany and Austro-Hungarian Empire, Greece and the Balkans, is a subject that as yet intellectual historians are only gradually exploring, partly due to the controversy and rhetorical vitriol of the anti-enlightenment and anti-Masonic voices that nowadays seem to dominate discourse, especially on You Tube.
 Sinclair, Sir Jon R. The Alice Bailey Inheritance: The Inner Plane Teachings Of Alice Ann Bailey (1880-1949) and their legacy (Wellingborough, Turnstone Press, 1984)
In the 1980’s the current author was involved with the then Theosophical History Centre run by Leslie Price in London and gave a paper on the Alice Bailey Corpus in the context of World History (1987) as well as another paper on Theosophical History and East European History: Overlapping Concerns (1986). One of the fellow presenters at these events was Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke who did his own PhD on the occult milieu of fin-de-siecle Vienna and its influence on early Nazism. Nicholas now directs the Centre for the Study of Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter. His thesis was published as Goodrick-Clarke, N. The Occult Roots Of Nazism (Thorsons, 1985)
Several academic centres specialising in the history of freemasonry have begun to develop, in Belgium and France, but also at the University of Sheffield.
The close intellectual links between modern day Druids and Wiccans deserves arguably a whole extra section on the various transpersonal threads that bind these two currents of modern paganism so closely together. Fortunately Ronald Hutton has already ploughed this furrow in a number of useful works, exploring for example the friendship of Ross Nichols with Gerald Gardner. But more remains to be done, particularly in earlier epochs. For an interesting transpersonal historical eschatology which has influenced modern Wiccans, see Leland, G. Aradia (1880)
Nichols has one recent biography written about his life, Carr-Gomm, Philip Journeys of the Soul: The Life and Legacy of a Druid Chief,(Oak Tree Press, 2010) but there is no entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, although Ronald Hutton has written an entry there for Gerald Gardner. Ronald Hutton himself accuses Ross of undruidical behaviour, “Whilst Nichols enthusiasm is touching and understandable, it is hard to look with equanimity on his systematic spreading of false data and his attempts in the process to discredit more careful researchers, such as Kathleen Raine…” (Note 49, p. 448). It is too late to mediate this one, and let Ross defend himself in person, but of Kathleen Raine the present author can report that once, after a pleasant evening with the Blake Society at St James’ Church in Piccadilly, we were together discussing intellectuals and the Great Work and, on my raising the possibility that Sir Francis Bacon may have been up to one or two esoteric things behind the scenes, Kathleen subjected Lord Bacon to such a fierce character defamation that I’m surprised the philosopher didn’t rise up from the grave to defend himself – undruidical behaviour is not confined to Druids then, it would seem ! Defaming Bacon has long been a national sport, but any grounds for this practice have been long dispensed with in the excellent work by Nieves Mathews, daughter of Salvador De Madariaga, in her Francis Bacon: The History of a Character Assassination (Yale University Press, 1996). One of the worst things about death, is that interesting conversations get interrupted. Regarding veracity in disseminating sources, Druidry has long been accused of forgery and imposture, notably in the lives and work of Iolo Morgannwg and James Macpherson, and defaming Druidry and Bardism has also long been a favourite sport for a certain type of English intellectual. Perhaps, to paraphrase Picasso, “all Druidry is based on a lie – but it tells the truth” (His original quote was, “All art is a lie, but it tells the truth”). There is also a history of lying, and forgery, which is itself an unavoidable part of history, and here one can distinguish between deliberate lies, unconscious lies, wish-fulfilments, projections, imagining history as one would have liked it to have been etc. In all these many different types of lying there are no doubt complex psychological factors at work which psychohistorians and transpersonal historians are hard-pressed to fathom and untangle. There is also a close and tragic connection between lying, conflict and violence – one of quickest ways to start a quarrel or deadly feud is to accuse the other of deliberate lying; this is no doubt because the “keeping of one’s word” is still regarded, deep down, as the most important social duty of civilised human beings, and the breaking of it, as the greatest taboo. In many languages including Anglo-Saxon, there is a connection between “word” (word), “truth” (waer) and “man” (wir). See Kerr, Philip ed., The Penguin Book Of Lies, (Viking, 1990); Zagorin, Perez Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution and Conformity in Early Modern Europe, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990); Barnes, J.A. A Pack Of Lies: Towards A Sociology Of Lying, (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994); Knight, Peter and Long, Jonathan eds. Fakes and Forgeries (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2004).
See Dr William Stukeley: Science, Religion and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England by D. B. Haycock, Wolfson College, Oxford.
Martin Bernal has authored a challenging survey of the influence of the idea that Egyptian culture underlay ancient European and Ancient Greek culture, entitled Black Athena. This work, a masterpiece of forensic alternative classical studies, argues that Athena was herself originally an Egyptian Goddess, and mines the deep seam of PhilEgyptianism which not only existed in Ancient Greece itself, but resurfaced with the Hermetic renaissance. Sadly Bernal is silent about Druids and Stukeley but does emphasise the importance of freemasonry for reviving the Hermetic traditions of PhilEgyptianism. What Bernal also does is expose the “racist” attitudes underlying some of the so-called upholders of Enlightenment attitudes; John Locke, he reveals, was “personally involved with slave-owning American colonies, and was what we would now call a racist… so was David Hume”. These people looked down on Africans and Negroes as “inferior” says Bernal (his father was himself a fiery Irish Marxist scientist). There are difficulties here. Is retrospectively applying the adjective “racist” to everyone in previous slave-owning cultures an intellectually useful project ? This would place Aristotle and Plato, for example, beyond the pale, and most of the classical thinkers of the past. It would also condemn almost all Islamic thinkers and philosophers since Islam has actively encouraged slavery until very recently, and in some quarters, still does. Slaves were being bought and sold in Mecca as recently as 1925, and it was only through Western influence that the practice was finally outlawed in 1962, paradoxically due the very human rights tradition that Locke contributed to. So perhaps Bernal’s work needs to be put into a wider perspective. This puts the debate between Toland and universal deism and Locke and so called rationalism in a new light. Likewise Iolo Morgannwg’s opposition to slavery and his egalitarian politics was one important feature of his own Welsh version of Druidry. Slave owning was of course a feature of all ancient societies, and was not made illegal in Britain until 1838, France in 1848, Spain 1886, in the USA in 1863, in Russia in 1861, in India in 1861, in Saudi Arabia in 1962, in Yemen in 1970, in Oman 1970, and in Mauritania in 1981, but in some countries and cultures it is still practised to this day (Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali). Ancient Celtic tribes certainly practised slavery, and presumably some Druids sanctioned it, and some may not have. An aspect of why the Celts adopted Christianity might have been that they saw in Christianity, with its ideology of human love, equality and freedom, a manifestation of the higher ethical planes that they themselves had already envisioned. The history of this aspect of Druid and Celtic culture still needs writing up, and is bound up with the allegations about human sacrifice, which were likewise wise-spread practices in the ancient world (see Davies, Nigel Human Sacrifice in History and Today New York, 1981). The transpersonal history of these darker aspects of human nature would have to explore the full psychohistory of why human beings sometimes feel the need to enslave or kill one another (see Daffern T.C. Clio Encounters Thanatos: On the history of research into psychopathology, violence and aggression in human behaviour, war psychology and conflict research 1945-2001, Lulu, 2008 – this work is a comprehensive survey of psychological and psychoanalytical studies of human aggression and psychopathology during its time frame). The esoteric movements behind the radical enlightenment, including the currents leading up to and beyond Socialism, Pacifism and Marxism, visioned a world free of slavery, war and violence, both direct and subtle, but sadly as yet we have still not attained such a world. Debt slavery and credit-card slavery seem to have replaced visible slavery. It is worth pointing out that Solon abolished the practice of enslaving debtors in 594 BC (Bernal, Martin Black Athena; The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation – Volume 1: The fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985 (London, Free Association Books, 1987) The whole problem of the evolution of the idea of “race” in historical analysis is very complex - see MacDougall, Hugh A. 1982. Racial Myth in English History: Trojans, Teutons, and Anglo-Saxons. Montreal and London. A comprehensive writing of the transpersonal history of “racial stereotypes” in history would be a mammoth task. Certainly many “racists” have been transpersonal thinkers, such as Hitler and the Nazi’s, Romanian fascists and other European right wing thinkers including circles influenced by Julius Evola. Evola however made a terrible mistake in his own historical analysis by granting power to the Kshatriyas of history, instead of to the Brahmins and Druids. Were the Druids themselves “racists” ? Are some modern day Druids ? Like all religious and tribal traditions known to mankind, they certainly practised a form of ancestor worship, hence the elaborate funeral rites and tombs they constructed. But the Druids were precisely the most cosmopolitan members of their tribes and had an ecumenical outlook, which led them to be active as peacemakers and practitioners of non-violence. There is a difference between a “benign racism” based on love and non-violence, and a “virulent racism” which is based on hatred and violence. Perhaps transpersonal historiography can one day be used to chronicle this crucial distinction in detail.
The history of anti-freemasonry has been discussed by John Hamill in his excellent The Craft: a history of English freemasonry(Crucible, Thorsons, 1986). Often it was tied in with anti-Semitism, since freemasonry was open to members of the Jewish faith, a topic which has been explored in numerous works, not least in the research archives of the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem.
One of the crucial questions in this conflict was the conflict between cosmopolitanism and nationalism, or universalism and racism. Within circles of Freemasonic historians the analysis of different strands of freemasonry has been going on to some extent; among Druid historians this work is still needed; for example, have some Druids advocated nationalist or racist views of history and others more cosmopolitan views ? The current author’s view is that by definition, Druidry was from the beginning a cosmopolitan tradition looking beyond the specific tribal interests to wider cosmopolitan circles of concern, and that this perspective has continued to this day among some if not all Druids. See Pauline Kleingeld, “Six Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Late Eighteenth-Century Germany”, Journal of the History of Ideas, 199, and Önnerfors, A.”Cosmopolitanism and “What is ’Secret’: Two Sides of Enlightened Ideas concerning World Citizenship” in The Idea of Cosmopolis: History,philosophy and politics of world citizenship(Ed. Rebecka Lettevall and My Klockar Linder), Södertörn Academic Studies 37, Södertörn 2008. Where Druidry and Freemasonry at their best ultimately seem to coincide is in a common commitment to what Onnefors calls encyclopaedic cosmopolitanism: “We might here identify a new category of cosmopolitanism, involving the idea that knowledge can be increased mutually, freely transferred and disseminated among mankind for the benefit of all (an idea that we find represented in the contemporary virtual project Wikipedia). Let us call it “encyclopaedic cosmopolitanism”, a world citizenship based upon shared knowledge.” See Önnerfors, A “Men Are Not To Be Essentially Distinguished…”: Cosmopolitan Foundations Of Freemasonry, (CRFF Working Paper Series No. 3, Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism at the University of Sheffield, 2009).
The occult war between freemasonry and Catholicism is a matter of history: freemasonry was outlawed to Catholics in several Papal Bulls in the 18th century, basically, because freemasonry was accused of modernism, and purveying a form of Christianity which was open to making peace theologically with other religions, and also because it argued that the sacraments of the church per se were not needful for salvation – and that all those outside the sacramental church i.e. non-Roman Catholics, did not go straight to hell at death. Instead freemasonry purveyed a more Origenist doctrine of universal salvation, as for example in the works of Chevalier Ramsay, introducer of freemasonry to France in the 18th century. Basically, freemasonry was growing up more at home on Protestant soil, which explains why it became so important in the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, the USA, and the British Commonwealth. Its watchwords were tolerance and political and intellectual freedom, eclecticism and science; whereas it was only at Vatican 2 in 1963 that the Roman Catholic Church gave up its doctrinal anti-Judaism and its doctrine that “outside the church there is no salvation”. Druidry has existed in a kind of middle ground between the two because many of the greatest Druid scholars, or those who contributed much to our understanding of ancient Celtic history were in fact Roman Catholics and Christians, such as Geoffrey Keating, whereas others were also in fact freemasons, such as John Toland. In France also there was a long tradition of Gallic scholarship who looked back to the Druids as the progenitors of later Christian wisdom in an unbroken line known as The Ancient Theology, with figures such as Champier, Noel Taillepied (a Franciscan author of Histoire de l’Estat et Republique des Druides 1585), Pierre Ramus (1515-1572, the famous logician and Catholic turned Protestant who perished in the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre), Guy Lefevre de La Boderie (a French disciple of Marsilio Ficino, whose motto was “May Holy David sprout forth as One Orphically”, which he had printed at the start and finish of his poems, and who also wrote a long poem in which translations of Orphic hymns and the Psalms are embedded, to show that the same God inspired both, this work being entitled L’Encyclie des Secrets de l’Eternite, 1570), Guillaume Postel etc. All these authors, says D.P. Walker, in The Ancient Theology (1972) “have no difficulty in showing that the Druids were powerful religious leaders who preached the immortality of the soul, and in making a case for the high civilisation of Ancient Gaul” However, so far as the current author is aware, no Papal Bull has as yet actually outlawed Druidry unlike freemasonry. It is therefore presumably still perfectly lawful to be both a Roman Catholic, or an Anglican, and a Druid. The point I am making here is that Druidry pre-dates the various Christian sects and schisms and in that sense belongs to a more ancient Universal-Catholicism than Roman-Catholicism, and that through the ages many Christian authors have themselves acknowledged this. The problem of course is whether the particular Christian thinks that Christ came into incarnation to utterly replace, supersede and annul all previous wisdoms, or to perfect, affirm and advance them, in as much as his brief teaching career would allow. The current author takes the latter view.
 Further confirmation of the historic link between Druidry and Sufism can be found by studying the details of the life and work of George Watson Macgregor Reid, founder of the Universal Bond of the Sons of Men, which metamorphosed eventually into the Ancient Druid Order, out of which OBOD itself finally emerged. At one point Macgregor Reid used Allah as the name for God consistently, and claimed that the higher initiates of his Universal Bond were Sufis living in the Libyan desert. Presumably Reid had at one point come into contact with a living Sufi lineage and had been greatly inspired by this encounter. See Hutton, Ronald Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain (Yale University Press, 2009) chapter 11, and Carr-Gomm, Philip The Book of English Magic,with Sir Richard Heygate, John Murray, 2009, as well as Stout, Dr Adam Universal Majesty, Verity and Love Infinite (Mount Haemus Lecture 5, 2004, published in The Mt Haemus Lectures Vol 1, 2000-2007, ed. and introduced by Philip Carr-Gomm, Oak Tree Press, 2010). At the level of transpersonal awareness distinctions between outer practice and lineage are less important, which was presumably why Reid chose “Universal” for the adjective describing his bond, and also why he was active in the Universalist Church.
This assertion is based on the following observations: 1) Druidry is defined in this paper as the name give to the ancient spiritual intelligentsia of North Western Europe and the British Isles, largely of Celtic or proto-Celtic origin, who can in turn be taken as descendants of the original hunter-gatherer inhabitants of those same regions, dating back at least to the end of the last ice age, c. 12,000 BC. plus waves of assimilated later arrivals 2) Agriculture was invented in the fertile Crescent, including the Zagros mountains, and Lebanon, and South Eastern Turkey (where Göbekli Tepehas been found), from about 9,000 BC onwards, and spread gradually Westwards, reaching the British isles c. 4000 BC, culminating in the Wessex culture which erected Stonehenge and Avebury, on the sites of pre-existing wooden monuments erected as long ago as 8000 BC by hunter gathering peoples. 3) The ancestral people of the Celts were related to the Hittite inhabitants of Anatolia, and Northern Syria, and also to the Iranians and Indians further Eastward, and the religious practices of the ancient Celtic tribes and the ancient Indian and Hittite and Iranian tribal peoples would have been very similar, as explored e.g. by George Dumezil, Mircea Eliade and other Indo European scholars. 4) “Druid” had a cognate term in all the sacerdotal vocabularies of all these other early Indo-European peoples and tribes with similar magico-religious functions 5) The neighbouring Hamito-Semitic peoples of the lowland regions of Egypt, Babylon, Jordan, Arabia, Phoenicia, Israel, Palestine had a dialectical relationship with these more northerly peoples and undoubtedly both absorbed and transmitted religious influences both ways; Abraham for example, bought his ancestral burial cave from a Hittite. 6) Trade and cultural sharing were far more widespread in the ancient world than at first thought, with sea going vessels making long voyages much more possible than previously believed. It is even probable that early Celtic voyagers as well as Phoenicians explored the New World centuries before Columbus as epigraphic remains keep on turning up in the New World, as explored by the late Barry Fell in his America BC. Phoenicians certainly explored Britain and traded for tin with Cornwall.7) All of this points to the strong possibility that the religious leaders of the Druids were in close intellectual and spiritual touch with their equivalents priesthoods throughout the Near and Middle East long before email or telephones were invented, and also long before Zoroaster, who was a relatively late Indo-European priest and prophet dating from at the earliest 1700 BC, about the same time as Abraham.
Who did 9/11 ? The answer is very simple – ignorance. The precise form that the architectonics of ignorance took in the lead up to 9/11 remain an important topic for historical, including transpersonal, research.
Balfour, an austere Scottish sage and aristocrat, was truly Druidical in the range of his interests – philosophy, mysticism, science, the paranormal, psychical research – he was the most philosophically learned of all Britain’s Prime Ministers; Lloyd George was initiated as a Druid at a formal ceremony in Wales after the war and was always referred to as that Welsh Wizard.
Sir William Jones came from an Anglesey family and was well aware of his ancient Celtic lineage, identified with the ancient Druids and went so far as to found a “neo-Druidic Order” called theDruids of the Teifi during his sojourn as a judge in Wales before his appointment to Calcutta. Sir William was a true romantic-enlightenment figure, who saw himself as a polymath, linguist, bard, poet, sage and Druid. For details of this inner life of Jones, which is often completely unknown by those who simply know him as the founder of Indo-European studies, see Franklin, Michael J. and Garland Cannon A Cymmrodor claims kin in Calcutta: an assessment of Sir William Jones as philologer, polymath, and pluralist, p. 54 “His poem ‘Kneel to the Goddess whom all Men Adore’ (1780) marks the exasperated response of his Enlightened deism to the anti-Catholic Gordon riots of early June 1780; it playfully urges his fellow Druids to teach Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Parsis, pagan Greeks and Romans that they all hymned one goddess - be she called Diana, Mary, Astarte, or Gangã. The impassioned syncretism of this lyrical jeu d’esprit prefigures the universalizing tendencies of his groundbreaking discourse ‘On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India’ (1784)” Jones also belonged to the Club of Honest Whigs which included Richard Price and Joseph Priestley, Charles Dilly, Ralph Griffiths, Thomas Day, and Benjamin Franklin – several of whom were members of the freemasonic Lodge of the 9 Sisters based in Paris… Jones represents a certain lineage in Druidry of sheer intellectualism, and a love of languages, that is arguably a trait going right back to the earliest origins of the Celtic Druidic tradition, as evidenced by their love of debate, languages and intellectual precocity. Jones can be described as a latter-day devotee of Oghma, the Celtic Hercules, who proved victorious over his enemies through the golden words that flowed from his mouth and understanding, rather than physical strength. See the works by Michael J Franklin in the bibliography to situate Jones in his context.
Revd. Thomas Maurice, stated around this time, that ‘The celebrated order of Druids, anciently established in this country were the immediate descendants of a tribe of Brahmins’, Indian Antiquities, 7 vols (London, 1793-1800)
There is an argument that neo-Druidry would not have taken off so successfully in Britain if Anglo-Indian cultural exchanges had not been happening around this time – and that it was the discovery of the ancientness of Indian civilisation that gave an impetus to British thinkers to explore their own ancient pre-Christian heritage in Druidry; the key figure in all this was Sir William Jones and the work of his Asiatic Society in Bengal; it was even British explorers who largely explored the hitherto long neglected Buddhist sacred sites of India. See Kejariwal, O.P. The Asiatic Society of Bengal and the Discovery of India’s Past, 1784-1838 (Delhi, 1988); Allen, Charles The Buddha and the Sahibs: The Men who discovered India’s Lost Religion (John Murray, London, 2002). The influence of the discovery of Indian civilisation to European and British thinkers on the romantic rediscovery of Europe’s own past is another aspect explaining the rise of neo-Druidry and interest in Druidry across Europe as a whole, see Porter, Roy and Teich, Mikulas eds Romanticism in National Context (Cambridge, 1988); Franklin, Michael J ‘“And the Celt knew the Indian”: Sir William Jones, Oriental Renaissance and Celtic Revival’, in English Romanticism and the Celtic World, ed. Gerard Carruthers and Alan Rawes, (Cambridge, 2003); Franklin, Michael J The European Discovery of India: Key Indological Sources of Romanticism, (6 vols, London, 2001); Franklin, Michael J. and Garland Cannon A Cymmrodor claims kin in Calcutta: an assessment of Sir William Jones as philologer, polymath, and pluralist; Franklin, Michael J ed. Representing India: Indian Culture and Imperial Control in Eighteenth-Century British Orientalist Discourse, (9 vols, London, 2000)
Interestingly, the poet, Judge, linguist and Druid, Sir William Jones, stated in his Third Anniversary Discourse, that it is impossible “‘to read the Vedanta, or the many fine compositions in illustration of it, without believing that Pythagoras and Plato derived their sublime theories from the same fountain with the sages of India’. He also wrote a series of 9 poems (he planned 18 but never finished them, dying tragically young) dedicated to the Hindu Gods, and in ‘A Hymn to Náráyena’ (1786) he said ‘the whole Creation was rather an energy than a work’, and that objects ‘exist only so far as they are perceived’. See Franklin, Michael J. and Garland Cannon A Cymmrodor claims kin in Calcutta: an assessment of Sir William Jones as philologer, polymath, and pluralist
The literature on Buddhism is too vast to reference here, and the current author has written on this topic on previous occasions, see Daffern, Thomas C. Enlightenments: Towards a Comparative Epistemology of Enlightenment in Different Philosophical Traditions (2005); one scholar speculates that Buddhist influences can even be found behind Christian teachings, see Gruber, Elmar R and Holger Kersten The Original Jesus: The Buddhist Sources of Christianity (Element, 1995); some authors have tried to argue that Buddhist missionaries might have reached Scotland before the Christian era as Buddhist type symbols have been found scratched onto Scottish rocks. What is certain is that if they had found their way across Asia to the British Isles, the Druids would have made them feel welcome, as indeed happened in the 1960’s when the first Tibetan Monastery outside of Tibet was built at Samye Ling in Scotland, and still flourishes to this day, having also now set up retreat centres on the ancient Druid Holy Island off the Isle of Arran.
The references to Buddhist teachings on history would be so voluminous as to double the length of the accompanying bibliography in itself. The cultural assimilation of Buddhism to European and American thought, and the development of a new approach to reality, which had flourished in intellectual elite culture since the late 18th century, but in popular “hippy” culture from the late 1950’s and 1960’s onwards, can in fact with hindsight be viewed perhaps not so much as the grafting of an alien ideology onto European mind sets, but rather the replanting of more ancient Druidical concerns (with peace, ultimate truth, reincarnation, enlightenment, magic) via long journeys of time and space. Not surprisingly, Evans-Wentz who introduced the Tibetan Book of the Dead to the 20th century mind, also spent years researching the traces of clairvoyancy and occult powers in the Celtic world (see Evans-Wentz, W.Y. The Celtic Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries - Rennes, 1922) The current author participated in a fascinating symposium at SOAS on ecological concerns in Buddhist and Western philosophy, sponsored by a Buddhist University in Korea, and contributed a paper that was subsequently published as Daffern, Thomas C. Enlightenments: Towards a Comparative Epistemology of Enlightenment in Different Philosophical Traditions (2005) which compared and contrasted the end point of the philosophical quest in numerous intellectual and spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, Druidry, Christianity and Islam. It is worth remembering that the key Buddhist term, Dharma, is etymologically directly related to that of Druid, which can thus be translated as “Dharma seer” Etymological details on this are given in Dr Ernest Klein, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary Of The English Language, Elsevier, 1971: Dharma in Sanskrit, meaning law, right, justice, is related to Latin Firm, firm, steadfast, stable, strong, dharna – a mode of obtaining justice by fasting while sitting at one’s debtor’s door, exactly as practiced in Druidry; these come from the speculative IE root *dher, to hold, support, whence also therapy, throne, Darius “he who holds the Good”, confirm, affirm, and many other words in many other languages. The Celtic term for the oak tree was dru, in the etymological sense of the tree which endures, which supports, which outlasts the storm. Endurance, duration, durable, during, all come from Latin durus, hard, literally meaning as “hard as wood” from an IE base “derew, *drew *dru, meaning tree, wood, whence also comes Greek drus, meaning oak, tree, dromos meaning forest, wood, dendro – Greek combining form meaning tree; old Irish dru, wood, wooden, daru – wood, Old English tree, treow, meaning tree, wood. From a related root comes also the Old English word truth, trust. So too comes Old Irish dron, firm, Welsh Derwen, oak, Lithuanian derva – resinous wood, Russian droma, thicket, primeval forest, Old Irish daur, oak tree; Armenian tram – firm, Avestan Persian dauru, dru- meaning wood, Hittite taru – tree, wood Ancient Greek drumos, oakwood, Albanian dru – wood, tree, pole, drusk – oak, and also the Greek Dryades, meaning wood spirits, female Goddesses who inhabit trees. The basic sound cluster and conceptual clusters evidenced in these primeval roots in the Indo European language cluster, seem to indicate that early ancestral peoples of all Indo European tribes equated trees, woods and forests with the primaly enduring ultimate truth, relying as they did on wood for warmth, fire, light, shelter, houses, many foods, utensils, carts, wheels etc. So too the related metaphysical concepts of justice and truth and right were expressed with similar sounds. The way that sounds have physical correlates as well as metaphysical correlates goes back to the metaphor forming capacity of the human mind; so wood, being hard, comes also to denote metaphysical things which are likewise hard and enduring. The Druid is by definition one who sees, knows and works with both realities – physical and metaphysical. See Klein’s Dictionary under “dure”, “tree”, “truth”, “Druid” “Dharma” for the exact details of these etymologies. It was Pliny who first suggested that "Druid" came from the “knower of the oak” but this was a Roman trivialisation (possibly without realising it); the evidence points to “Druid” as having a far deeper meaning, i.e. the knower of the Dharma (cosmic law) represented by the oak, the knower of the cosmic tree of truth, the knower or seer of the ultimate body of wisdom behind the universe, which manifests to mankind as the tree of life. As a “seer of Dharma, Cosmic truth, the Druid is thus phenomenologically equivalent to a “Buddha” which is as it should be. The full explanation of this etymology deserves a separate essay.
The current author has visited India 5 times, and as this paper was being finished, was invited again to receive an educational prize from the Jain community in Rasjasthan for educational work in peace and non-violence, the Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace.
The last word should go to Sir William Jones: in Calcutta he spent days planning to write an Anglo-Indian epic poem about the ancient sacred history of the British Isles from Druid times, that would feature also the sacred history of India and have the Hindu Gods governing human affairs, much as Homer had the Greek Gods in charge: in the course of his poem,” the Hindu goddess Ganga worries about the future and fears the future Britons might: ‘profane her waters, mock the temples of the Indian divinities, appropriate the wealth of their adorers, introduce new laws, a new religion, a new government, insult the Bráhmens, and disregard the sacred religion of Brihmá.’ Such prescient concerns are allayed, however, by (the founder of Britain) Britanus’s attendant spirit, a Druid, complete with harp and oaken garland, who, like Jones, ‘recommends the government of the Indians by their own laws’.” (See Franklin, Michael J. and Garland Cannon A Cymmrodor claims kin in Calcutta: an assessment of
Sir William Jones as philologer, polymath, and pluralist - Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, N.S. 11, 2005, pp. 50-69).Perhaps there is a special part of the Druid heavenly worlds (definitely in the library part) where the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Sir William Jones are having long debates about Druidry and whether the British should have stayed a bit longer in India after all to complete their work. The current author worked with the Gandhi Foundation for 5 years in developing a School of Nonviolence in the UK. and has long pondered these matters.
The academic study of comparative religion and the history of religions has become a highly sophisticated venture in the past 50 years or so, it being one of the more recent academic disciplines to get going, as opposed to dogmatic theology, and there are now many important academic centres for the history of religions and the study of comparative religions worldwide, but as yet few if any of them have engaged with the history of Druidry from the perspective of the comparative study of the history of religions, which is strange given that it is arguably the most important religious tradition in Western Europe outside of the classical Greek and Roman religious traditions, which have received vast amounts of attention over the years; Graham Harvey, who has written widely on paganism from the perspective of comparative religion, has not written as such on the history of Druidry, and Ronald Hutton writes more from the perspective of a traditional historian rather than a specialist in the history of religions per se, and makes no reference to the complex discussions and debates about how one should actually “do” the history of religions. The methodological proposal of Transpersonal history can equally be seen as a proposal for the history of religions school however; see Taylor, Bron (ed.), Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, (Continuum, 2006); Hammer, Olav and Mikael Rothstein (eds) Cambridge Companion to New Religions. (Cambridge: CUP, 2010); Pye, M. Comparative Religion: an introduction through source materials. (Harper & Row, New York, Evanston, London, San Francisco, 1972); van der Kooij, Arie & Karel van der Toorn, Canonization & Decanonization. Papers presented to the International Conference of the Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR) held at Leiden 9-10 January 1997. (Leiden, Boston, Köln: Brill, 1998); Kreinath, Jens, Jan Snoek & Michael Stausberg, Theorizing Rituals. Vol. 1: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts. Leiden: Brill, 2006; Johnston, Sarah Iles Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide. Cambridge/Mass., London: Harvard University Press, 2004; Stausberg, Michael Contemporary Theories of Religion: a critical companion. Routledge: London, New York 2009; Segal, Robert & Kocku von Stuckrad (eds) Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, Vol. 1; (Leiden: E.J. Brill.2011); Segal, R.A., 2001. Ninian Smart and Religious Studies. Bulletin Council of Societies of the Study of Religion 30, 27-29; Sharpe, E.J., Comparative Religion: a history. (Duckworth / Open Court, Chicago, La Salle, 1975 / 1997); Richardson, J. T., ed., Regulating Religion: case studies from around the globe, (Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, 2004); von Stuckrad, K., Western esotericism: a brief history of secret knowledge. Trans. N. Goodrick-Clarke, (Equinox, London, Oakville, 2005); Stausberg, Michael The study of religion(s) in Western Europe III: Further developments after World War II, (Religion 38, 305-318. DOI 10.1016/j.religion.2008.08.008); Widengren, G., Bleeker, C.J.,. Historia religionum: handbook for the history of religions. 2 vols. (E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1969-1971)
The author is currently recording a Commentary on the Quran which will reveal this complex multilayering of sources behind this venerable text, so influential in human history.
The discourse gap between what is taught and studied in universities and what is taught in schools is particularly great when it comes to religious studies: in terms of physics, it is as if universities were happily teaching relativity theory, quantum theory and interstellar inter-galactic physics and schools were teaching a heliocentric Ptolemaic model of the universe with fixed glassy revolving spheres – it is to bridge this knowledge gap that the current author has devised the Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions, having experienced teaching at both levels. Druidry however is now on a GSCE curriculum thanks to OBOD.
I will be happy to enter into scholarly communications with anyone who might wish to comment on the figures or suggest amendments.
See Baddeley, Gavin Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock and Roll (Plexus, 1999)
The rich complexity of the Druid pantheon is something that scholars have long studied, and continue to do so; transpersonal history can help compare and contrast the theological pantheons of say Hinduism, Taoism, Scandinavian, Egyptian, Roman and Greek understandings of God, the Gods and Goddesses, and try to map them against the gradually revealing world of the inner psyche of man, including the unconscious, the collective unconscious and the super-conscious mind – not to mention “other worlds”. One such deity of great interest is Oghma, of whom it was said “Oghma was skilled in dialects and poetry, invented ogham for signing secret speech known only to the learned” (See Book of Ballymote, quoted in Blamires, Steve Celtic Tree Mysteries (Llewellyn, Celtic Wisdom Series, St Paul, MN. 1998) p. 12. Were these the Celtic equivalents to the Hindu mantras known in Sanskrit by rishis and yogis for millennia ? Almost certainly, but the exact correspondences and inter-connections need to be retraced and recreated, and that is a complex and painstaking work. To start with, we need a comparative dictionary of terms for all spiritual, psychological, metaphysical and philosophical matters in the diverse languages of the world, especially the sacred languages; then we need to examine in detail each word and term used etymologically. A small start on this work has already been made, but the finishing of such a work could not be achieved in the lifetime of any one single scholar. See Daffern, Thomas Clough, Multilingual Dictionary for Mulitfaith and Multicultural Mediation, Peace and Global Philosophy (London, 1999, Lulu, 2005) The deity Ogmios (Oghma) was likened to Heracles: “In a word we Celts are of the opinion that Heracles himself performed everything by the power of words. His weapons are his utterances which are sharp and well aimed, swift to pierce the mind” (quoted in Blamires, Steve Celtic Tree Mysteries (Llewellyn, Celtic Wisdom Series, St Paul, MN. 1998)
One author who questions whether there was in fact any of the claimed continuity between ancient pagan Druids and Bards and later Christian poets is McCone, Kim Pagan Past And Christian Present In Early Irish Literature (Maynooth, 1990) – Ronald Hutton is his magisterial recent study of Druidry entitled Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain (Yale University Press, 2009) seems to be persuaded by this argument, whereas the current author is not. The details of this matter are too arcane to trouble us here but will be dealt with in full on another occasion, but essentially concern what can be considered “evidence” in historiography. Some historians seem to be stuck with 19th century materialist philosophies of history in which “evidence” meant literally “material and tangible objects”. Transpersonal historiography on the contrary, being concerned with ideas, feelings, emotions, spiritual realities, accepts material objects as evidence but is also open to wider cultural traces, traditions, intellectual lineages, archetypal congruencies, synchronicities and “intangible yet evidential mysteries” For an interesting discussion of some aspects of the thinking underlying transpersonal history, see Meyer, Ruth Clio’s Circle: entering the imaginal world of historians (Spring Books, Dallas, 2007) plus Daffern, Thomas C. Towards a transpersonal historiography: an encyclopaedia of transpersonal thought 1945-2001 (Lulu, 2005)
Essential reference works for this section in relation to Celtic literature have been: Stephens, Meic The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (Oxford, 1996); O Hogain, Daithi The Lore of Ireland: an encyclopaedia of myth, legend and romance (Cork, 2006); Welkch, Robert The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature (Oxford, 1996); Garland, Henry and Mary The Oxford Companion to German Literature (Oxford, 1976); The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Ed. Sir Paul Harvey (3rd edition, Oxford, 1932). The problem with literature is that it is as vast as the leaves of the forest: as Sir Paul Harvey says in his introduction to the Companion for just one relevant literary tradition, that of English: …”the range of the possible subject-matter is so great. English literature has a continuous history of over a thousands years, it has been produced in many lands, and there is no subject on which it does not touch” (ibid, p. v) From a Druid perspective however such fecundity is not something to lament, but rather to celebrate. As Longinus said, Ars Longa….
There are some useful studies of literature in Wales and Scotland and Ireland given in the bibliography, with many others that could have been included left out for reasons of space; as yet no one has really attempted the overview of the literary imagination of the Celtic soul and its contribution to the wider traditions of English literature in general; the fact that the English settled in lands originally Celtic and druidical in inspiration and tone however has certainly shaped much that is numinous, transpersonal and fantastic in more mainstream traditions within English literary traditions, and often it has been written by people who knew the Celtic lands or were from the borders and margins of those regions, such as for example the Arthurian traditions. Nor did Celtic literary traditions only help shape English literature, but also French and Breton, German and wider European literature, especially in the whole Arthurian traditions. See for example: Hart, Linda Once they lived in Gloucestershire: A Dymock Poets anthology (Upton on Severn, 2000); Burnside, Sam ed. The Glow upon the fringe: literary journeys around Kerry and the North West of Ireland (London, 1994); Davenport, Diana The Shelleys at Nantgwillt 1812 (Oxfordshire, 1998); Sidney, Sir Philip ed. by Macardle, Dorothy The Defence of Poesy (London, 1963); Ashley, Mike ed. The Pendragon Chronicles: Heroic fantasy from the time of King Arthur (London, 1989); Ellis, Peter Berresford The Cornish Language and its literature (London, Boston, 1974); Douglas, Ronald Macdonald The Scots Book (Edinburgh, 1949 / 1995); Johnston, Edward Writing and illuminated and lettering (London, 1929; Shelley, Percy Bysse Poems Published in 1820 (Oxford University Press, 1910 / 1938); Snyder, Christopher Exploring the world of King Arthur (London, Thames and Hudson, 2000); Spender, Stephen et al The Concise Encyclopaedia of English and American Poets and Poetry (London, 1963); Shelton, Karen Ederhardt and Ramsay, Jay The Message: poems to read the world (London, 2002); Roberts, Marie British Poets and Secret Societies (London, 1986); Sarna, Nahum Ancient Libraries and the ordering of the biblical books (A lecture at the Library of Congress, March 6, 1989) (Library of Congress, 1989); Gantz, Jeffrey trans. Early Irish Myths and Sagas (Penguin, 1981); Kennelly, Brendan The Penguin Book of Irish Verse (Penguin, 1970); Killingworth, Gerland Lord of the Silver Hand (Leicester, 2006); Herbert, George Lament and love – selected poems (London, 1989); Damon, Foster, S. A Blake Dictionary: The ideas and symbols of William Blake (London, 1973); Burns, Robert The Complete Poems and Songs (Geddes and Grosset, Edinburgh, 2000); Foss, Michael and O’Mara, Michael The Giant Book of Celtic Myths and Legends (Bristol, 1998); Melling, Orla The Druids Tune (Dublin, 1983 / 1992); Yeats, W.B. Fairy Tales of Ireland (Dublin, 2000); Curtiss, Tony ed. The Poetry of Snowdonia (Glamorgan, 1989); Graves, Robert Mammon and the Black Goddess (London, 1962); Muldoon, Paul ed. The Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (London and Boston, 1986); Marie de France The Lais of Marie de France (Penguin, 1986) – this list one would have to add, at the very least, much of the work of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and the Romantics, Tennyson, Yeats, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkein, Charles Williams and Owen Barfield (the so called “Inklings – see Carpenter, Humphrey The Inklings (London, 1978)”) together with many fantasy and occult writers (including “Gothic” – Bram Stoker was Irish) and poets. To write a thorough literary history of Britain and Ireland factoring in the transpersonal and Druidical dimensions is a work that could perhaps only be attempted in the Summerlands, where hopefully there would be time.
This imprinting of course does not always bring simple benefit, but rather tends to over-simplify history into “good” (us) against “evil” (them. Thus the Irish Nationalist version of history, which lived on in the traditions of the Irish Republican Army, came to clash in the Ulster Loyalist vision of history, which had a different imprinting, and a different eschatology. The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland is part of a slow and sometimes painful reconfiguring of dialectically opposed lineages of historical imagination into a common overall story, which can only be transpersonal in scope, since its task is to reconcile paradoxes and heal divisions in the psyches of the warring tribes of Britain and Ireland: Catholic and Protestant, Pagan and Atheist, North and South, English and Irish, Scottish and Welsh, male and female etc. The current author serves as Chair of the TRCBI.
Tracing the exact parameters and complexities of this Bardic heritage has been the work of a former Mt Haemus lecturer, who also wrote a PhD thesis studying how the Bardic tradition has evolved from earlier to modern times in the content of contemporary British spiritual traditions. Those wishing for a fuller discussion of these subjects than space allow for here, are referred to those works: Letcher, Andy The Role of the Bard in Contemporary Pagan Movements. (PhD Thesis: King Alfred’s College, Winchester, 2001); Letcher, Dr Andy What is a Bard? (Mount Haemus Lecture 10, 2009); see also Manwaring, Kevan The Bardic Handbook. The Complete Manual for the Twenty-First Century Bard. (Gothic Image Publications: Glastonbury, 2006); Owens, Yvonne Journey of the Bard. Celtic Initiatory Magic.(Horned Owl Publishing: Victoria, Canada, 1997); West, Martin Litchfield. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2007).
In fact, although this is the official line as regards sacred scripture, there are theological avenues in all three major monotheistic religions whereby the channels of private revelation are still regarded (and experienced) as open: for the Christian, the ongoing promptings of the Holy Spirit are part of the core elements of the faith; for the Kabbalist and follower of Judiasm), the knowledge of the divine is something which can be gained through righteousness and study combined: “Let us strive to know the Lord whose justice dawns like the morning light, and its dawning is as sure as the sunrise. It will come to us like a shower, like Spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea, 6:3) In Islamic theology, the spiritual discernment required to understand the Koran and to understand the meanings of life are likewise a gift of divine grace, for God has endowed mankind with reason and “transpersonal” levels of comprehension which ascend in ranks and levels of profundity that have been mapped both in ancient Sufi writings, and nowadays by modern Islamic transpersonal psychologists.
There is of course a huge connection between Awen as channelled by the poet or Bard and prophetic inspiration as channelled by the sage or Prophet; transpersonal psychology and transpersonal history together can perhaps begin to try and explain how inspiration works and what the link is on the spiritual planes. What is the connection between the verses of the Koran that came through to Muhammad, for example and the work of modern day channellers, getting messages from the Pleiades ? Or Valmiki composing the Ramayana ? How can educators cultivate inspiration in their pupils and students (and in themselves) See Peter Abbs Living Powers (Falmer, 1987) for a discussion of part of this challenge.
Such as: “Patience, good lady, wizards know their times: deep night, dark night, the silent of the night / The time of night when Troy was set on fire; the time when screech owls cry, and ban-dogs howl / and Spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graves / that time best fits the work we have on hand.” (Henry IV, I, iv) Shakespeare’s poetry abounds with the archetypes of the Wizard, the Witch, and the wider supernatural – see the article on Witchcraft in Dobson, Michael and Wells, Stanley The Oxford Companion To Shakespeare (OUP, 2001)
For Druidic traces in the works of Sir Michael Tippett see Carr-Gomm, Philip 'I would know my Shadow and my Light' - An exploration of Michael Tippet’s The Midsummer Marriage and its relevance to a study of Druidism (Mt Haemus Lecture, 2006)
Jean Gebser (1905-1973) is a key transpersonal thinker who built his monumental study of transpersonal history on art history, searching for the clues to the successive layers of the psyche in the unfoldings of artistic representation; he argues that the invention of perspective in the renaissance ushered in an era of linearity and purpose which led to the egoisation of human consciousness; earlier generations lived in an epoch when eternity was felt as a lived experience and there was no vanishing point to chase towards as all eternity was “already here”. Celtic art was essentially pre-perspectival and hence expressed eternity, in Gebser’s analysis.
Charles, Prince of Wales, withJuniper, Tony and Skelly, Ian Harmony: a new way of looking at our world (London, 2010) – in which, among many other interesting points, Charles mentions the work of Dr John Dee as an example of the lost vision of harmony which renaissance thinkers had, before the world was divided up into an unnatural opposition between “spirit” and “matter”, or science and religion, instead of a natural and harmonious blending of both domains, mediated through soul.
There are a large number of useful sources given in the bibliography for the study of Celtic literature and art, too numerous to enumerate here, but the assiduous student will find them a delight to peruse; particularly recommended are the excellent Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales and the Oxford Companion to the Literature of Ireland; sadly, there isn’t (yet ?) a similar volume for Scotland. Also highly recommended are the excellent holdings of the National Library of Wales, and those of the nearby Institute of Advanced Celtic Studies, in Aberystwyth. Also relevant is the whole question of the source of Awen, and whether divine intoxication and ecstasy was induced by plants in ancient Celtic tradition, as the Taliesin and Fionn Mac Cumhail traditions would seem to imply – for details of the probability of an Ancient Druidical equivalent to Soma use in Vedic India, see Wilson, Peter LambornPloughing the Clouds: The Search for Irish Soma (1999). Transpersonal psychology alone among psychological disciplines has studied seriously the effects of psychedelics on the nature of consciousness.
E.F Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful was continuing a line of thought going back at least to Blake’s poem Jerusalem
This term was also used somewhat interchangeably with “dialectical materialism” – a phrase coined by Joseph Dietzgen. The complex history of these coinages need not detain us in detail here. If any reader cares for the details they can consult my own work on Towards a History of the Interrelations of Marxism and Esotericism (London, 1988)
Which Ken Wilber refers to as the descending mode of thinking: “All of modernity and postmodernity moves fundamentally and almost entirely within this Descended grid, the grid of flatland.” (Brief History of Everything, p. 260)
Of course, it was not only in the 1960’s that the transpersonal stream began: there is a trace of idealism in historical research which runs like a golden stream through the long ages of historiographical writing ever since Herodotus; in the renaissance it resurfaced in the work of Christian Platonist historians such as Camden, Guicciardini, Vico; in the 19th century it surfaced in Caryle and Von Ranke’s work; in the 20th century it surfaced in the History of Ideas school associated with Lovejoy, Berlin, Plamenatz and the group behind the Dictionary of the History of Ideas, and in the work of A.J. Toynbee, William Langer and W.H. MacNeil and other world historians. From the 1960’s onwards transpersonal thinking has gradually begun to seep into the mainstream sciences and social sciences, and historical sciences, but it has been a very slow process. The current author’s doctoral thesis is the first to argue that we need to reframe the materials of historical production to include the transpersonal dimensions of reality, but to do so on a scientific and meta-scientific basis.
The films What the Bleep do We Know and its sequel Down the Rabbit Hole have brought this new physics to a mass audience, in a way that Fritjof Capra’s book The Tao of Physics did for a previous generation.
 See Gjertson, Derek, The Newton Handbook (London, RKP, 1986), and also Newton, Sir Isaac, Ed by McLachlan, Herbert, Theological Manuscripts (Liverpool University Press, 1950). The crucial work of Newton is the manuscript called Irenicum, included in McLachlan
 Henry, John. 1994. '"Pray do not Ascribe that Notion to Me": God and Newton's Gravity', in Force and Popkin (1994), pp. 123-47; Iliffe, Rob. 1989. '"The Idols of the Temple": Isaac Newton and the Private Life of Anti-idolatry', Cambridge University, Ph.D. thesis; Manuel, Frank E. 1974. The Religion of Isaac Newton. (Oxford). During the time of writing this paper the papers of Isaac Newton have also just been published on line by Cambridge University.
On Wallace see Anabelle Williams-Ellis – Darwin’s Moon: a biography of A.R.Wallace (Blackie, London, 1966), Mckinney, H.Lewis Wallace and natural selection, (New Haven, Yale, 1972), Harry Clements Alfred Russell Wallace: biologist and social reformer (1983), Brooks, John Langdon, Just Before the Origin: A.R.Wallace’s theory of evolution, (Columbia U P, 1984) A.R.Wallace: a Life by Peter Raby (London, 2001), In Darwin’s Shadow: The Life And Science Of Alfred Russel Wallace: A Biographical Study On The Psychology Of History by Michael Shermer (Oxford University Press, 2002) The Heretic in Darwin’s Court: the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, by Ross A. Slotten, (Columbia U P, 2004) and Martin Fichman An Elusive Victorian: the evolution of A.R.Wallace, (University of Chicago Press, 2004). The current author organised the Darwin-Wallace Symposium in Shrewsbury in 2005, and launched the A.R. Wallace lectures in 2007 in Poole Grammar School, since Wallace was buried in Poole having died therein 1913. The A.R. Wallace Lectures, now based in Scotland, are intended to examine continuing evidence on evolutionary theory and spiritual phenomena, as to a possible congruence between materialist scientific evidence for evolution, alongside spiritualist phenomena as having tenable evidence, in the spirit of the original Wallace-Darwin conversations. For a report on the original Wallace-Darwin Symposium in Shrewsbury in 2005 see Daffern, Thomas C. Selected Philosophical and Historical Essays 1985-2005 (Lulu.2008)
See Oppenheim, Janet, The other world: spiritualism and psychical research in England, 1850–1914 (1985)
Bacon was important for many things, not least that he injected a note of scepticism into the phenomenon of witchcraft and helped to persuade King James 1st that witches should be regarded as more delusional than dangerous, absorbing a more sceptical attitude towards psychic phenomenon like that of his inspirer, Montaigne, and Montaigne’s translator, John Florio, who also had the ear of King James. Bacon wrote: “For witches themselves are imaginative and believe oft times they do what they do not; and people are credulous in that point, and ready to impute accidents and natural operations to witchcraft. The greatest wonders which they tell of, of carrying in the air, transporting themselves into other bodies etc. are still reported to be wrought, not by incantations or ceremonies but by ointments, and anointing themselves all over. This may justly move man to think that these fables are the effect of imagination.” The reference to ointments is interesting since many modern historians of witchcraft think that ancient and mediaeval witches used to smear themselves with ointments containing psychoactive substances that induced out-of-body experiences and other paranormal experiences. Bacon’s scepticism and scientific method are an important precursor to transpersonal history, yet as he himself said, he deliberately left metaphysical and spiritual knowledge out of his magisterial Advancement of Learning, since the times were still too raw to debate spiritual matters objectively. 400 years after the publication of its definitive edition, one would hope that mature and scientific discussion of spirituality and its role in history is finally possible. One key statement Bacon makes on this matter is in his Wisdom of the Ancients, under his exposition of the meaning of the figure of Prometheus, which he ends by saying “It were therefore to be wished that these games in honour of Prometheus or human nature were again restored… But I have interdicted my pen all liberty in this kind, lest I should use strange fire at the altar of the Lord” (see Rossi, P. Francesco Bacone della magia all scienza - Bari, 1957; Bacon, Lord Francis The Advancement of Learning – 1625; Bacon, Lord Francis The Wisdom of the Ancients - 1609)
One Irish author has written an excellent book about one of these figures, namely John Banville, in his novel Kepler (London, 1981), while others have written in detail of the lives and works of several of those named, such as French, P. John Dee and his circle (1972). Academic interest in this period is reflected in many several items in the extensive bibliography appended to this paper which arose from the author’s Symposium on Dr John Dee, held in Wales in 2005. Many works listed there are relevant to this talk on Transpersonal History and Druidry – since the Renaissance was exactly the period when the revived interest in Druidry could come forth after the long sleep of the dark ages, and Dee was arguably the pioneering figure in this development in Britain. Renaissance advances in philosophy, philology, historiography, mathematics, natural sciences, literature, geography, amounted to a veritable “rebirth” of learning as in an awakening after a long mental sleep, and the rebirth of Druidry was but part of a wider rebirth of interest in all things pagan, occult, ante-Christian and esoteric, including the Kabbalah. The figure of Faust summed up this archetype, but Faust was also an actual historical figure who advocated an uncompromising return to paganism, who met and conversed with the Abbot Trithemius, who himself advocated instead an amalgamation of pagan wisdom with esoteric Christianity, which was also Dee’s position. Dee Studies however are still in their infancy, and a future PhD on Dee’s Relationship To Druidry would be well worth doing. Dee of course got embroiled with the court of Emperor Rudolph 2nd in the Holy Roman Empire, where a veritable craze for all things occult was underway, as explored in Evans, R.J.W. Rudolf 2nd and his world: a study in intellectual history 1576-1612 (Thames and Hudson, London, 1973/1997) Rather than dismissing this occult underground of the renaissance as folly (as Marxist historians might) transpersonal history would explore its complexities, textures and lacquerings with sensitive and creative appreciation, from the “within” as well as the “without”.
See the excellent summary of the relationship of Elizabeth with Dee in the chapter entitled Elizabeth and the Alchemist in Holmes, Ronald Witchcraft in British History (London, 1974) where he states: “The relationship which existed between Elizabeth and Dee throughout their lives can, in many ways, be regarded as a tribute to the intelligence of the Queen” (p. 93). Anyone who doubts the intelligence of Elizabeth would be advised to read her surviving correspondence, published in part in Kenyon, Olga 800 Years Of Women’s Letters (Sutton, 1992). Her namesake, Elizabeth 2nd has in 2011 unveiled a plaque commemorating the codebreakers of Bletchley Park, without whose work in uncracking the German Enigma code, it is possible Britain would have been overwhelmed by Germany in World War Two and the chapters in this essay dealing with Druidry and Judaism and Islam might have been forcibly removed by the censors. Dee was in effect a one-man intelligence agent, close friends with Francis Walsingham – and in this respect he is also akin to the Druids of more ancient times, who could have been regarded as the “wisdom agents” of their respective tribes. The author’s own first encounter with living Druidry came about through the offices of Douglas Lyne, who had fought in the 8th army in World War Two both in North Africa and in Italy, particularly at the Battle of Monte Cassino. Douglas became very involved for many years after working with the Abbot of Monte Cassino to build a chapel of remembrance for all those who died in that terrible conflict, and working with veterans organisations across Europe for peace, as well as supporting and assisting the work of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, which was established at the University of London in 1991 and continues its work now from the Castle of the Muses in Scotland. Douglas was interviewed by IIPSGP over many hours, and several weeks about his life and work, including his views on Druidry and peace, before he died, and the recordings are now in the archives of IIPSGP. Douglas was also instrumental in reviving the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, which is behind the Mt Haemus Award that has made this lecture possible. A festschrift in Douglas Lyne's memory is in the planning stages – basically, anyone who wishes to share their memories of Douglas’s life and work, please contact the author.
 The definitive assessment of Druidical and Celtic knowledge of astronomy, cosmology and indeed astrology has still not been written; wandering Irish monks in Mediaeval Europe were often bearers of advanced cosmological knowledge, and contemporary experts have argued copiously that the ancient stone circles and megalithic alignments show advanced knowledge of the stars; what the exact Druidical equivalent was to astrology is also as yet under-researched, notwithstanding the obvious link to the tree alphabet expounded by Graves. Did the Druids use the same constellations as the ancient Babylonians and Greeks ? Which texts bear the earliest evidence of such use ? To what extent did they believe that the stars “determine the fates of mankind” ? Or would they have rejected this teaching, in an extreme form, as fatalism ? A very detailed study of all the sources, all the evidence, to reconstruct Druid approaches to astronomy and astrology is something that transpersonal history could assist with as it concerns exploring the history of astrological thinking in past epochs. Paul Devereux has been involved in work on the archaeology of consciousnesses which might also help here. See MacCluskey, Stephen C. Astronomies and Civilisations in Early Mediaeval Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1998); Olmstead, Garrett The Gaulish Calendar (Bonn, Habelt, 1992), Ruggles, C L N Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland. (New Haven & London, 1999), and the controversial works of the Scottish archaeologist such as Ludovic, McLellan Mann Earliest Glasgow. A Temple of the Moon. (Glasgow & London, 1938), which predated John Michell’s imaginative works by many decades.
Wherever Apollo is found, Orpheus is not far behind; the Orphic brotherhoods of ancient Greece were effectively mystery initiation centres, and seem to have been somewhat similar to the ancient Druidical mystery schools. Mount Haemus is of course the mythical hill in Thrace where Orpheus was born, and has also been adopted by several modern Druid circles in Britain to designate their own orientation. On Orpheus see Paget, R.F. In the footsteps of Orpheus (London, 1967) and on Greek divination in general, which closely mirrored that in use about the same time by the Celts and the Druids, see Halliday, W.R.Greek Divination (London, 1913). See also the pioneering work by Schure, Edgar The Great Initiates (Paris, 1890) which includes an imaginative reconstruction of the life of Orpheus. Another Greek-Druid link is provided in the tradition of Dryads, Greek tree deities and tree nymphs, which are recognised as linguistically and conceptually linked to “Druides" by many authorities – see Walker, Barbara The Secrets Of The Tarot: Origins, History And Symbolism (Harper Row, 1984); Walker, Barbara Woman’s Encyclopaedia Of Myths And Secrets (|Harper and Row, 1982) and Hall, Manley Palmer Secret teachings of All Ages – an Encyclopaedic outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Kabbalistic and Rosicrucian symbolical philosophy (Los Angeles, Philosophical Research Society, 1988). Reginald Scot in The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1594, repr. Centaur Press, Arundel, 1964) stated that there were “feminine spirits associated with trees, called Dryads in Greece and Druids in Scotland. They were shape-shifters and could appear as either birds or women, “they know our thoughts and can prophecy of things to come”.
It is interesting that a former Mt Haemus Lecturer, in speaking of his theme of Pagan Ethics, draws heavily on Aristotle as well as other ancient Greek thinkers to argue that the Celtic Druidical view of ethics was closely related to those of the Greeks. From the perspective of transpersonal history, this is due to the fact that their pantheons and cosmologies and worldviews ultimately traced back to common sources, see Myers, Dr Brendan How Beautiful Are They— Some thoughts on Ethics in Celtic and European Mythology, (Mount Haemus Lecture 9, 2008)
As Michael Zimmerman points out, “Michel Foucault spoke of "the disappearance of man" in connection with the dramatic eclipse of subjectivity in the modern scientific world.”
He points to the work of John Eliot Howard who was both a member of the Royal Society and who wrote and lectured on Druids as effective forerunners of the work of the Victorian scientists at their best. (The Druids, p. 88)
The Druid Plant Oracle by Philip and Stephanie. Carr-Gomm (Connections, 2009), is a kind of summing up of what can be perceived together about ancient Druid herbal knowledge, combined with the work of modern herbalists and botanists; it includes not only the scientific and botanical data on the various plants chosen, but also something of their metaphysical and spiritual significance, and is an extremely valuable addition to the literature.
See Plotkin, Bill Soulcraft: Crossing into theMysteries of Nature and Psyche (New World Library 2003) and Plotkin, Bill Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (New World Library 2008)
The potential literature on this complex topic is vast – only some key works are referenced in the bibliography due to space constraints, including: Carol J. Adams, ed., Ecofeminism and the Sacred (New York: Continuum, 1994); Allan Hunt Badiner, ed., Dharma Gaia (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1990); Charlene Spretnak, States of Grace (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991); Roger S. Gottlieb, ed., This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature, Environment (New York: Routledge, 1996); Shirley Nicholson and Brenda Rosen, Gaia's Hidden Life (Wheaton, Illinois: Quest Books, 1992). Michael E. Zimmerman, Heidegger's Confrontation with Modernity: Technology, Politics, Art (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990); Bill Devall and George Sessions, Deep Ecology (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1985); Ken Wilber, "The Pre/Trans Fallacy," in Eye to Eye: The Search for the New Paradigm (Boston: Shambhala, 1996),; Michael E. Zimmerman, "A Transpersonal Diagnosis of the Ecological Crisis," Ken Wilber and the Future of Transpersonal Inquiry: A Spectrum of Views, Part I, Donald Rothberg and Sean M. Kelly, eds., ReVision, 18, No. 4 (Spring, 1996), 38-48; Michael E. Zimmerman, Ken Wilber’s Critique Of Ecological Spirituality; Gus diZerega, "A Critique of Ken Wilber's Account of Deep Ecology and Nature Religions," The Trumpeter, 13, No. 2 (Spring, 1996), 52-71; Catherine L. Albanese, Nature Religions in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990). Ken Wilber, The Marriage of Sense and Soul (New York: Random House, 1998);
James Hillman’s work is important enough to warrant a separate bibliographical entry – interestingly he studied partly in Ireland and edited a review of Irish literature back from 1949-1951, before going on to become Director of Studies at the Jung institute in Zurich. It is from Hillman that Plotkin derives his emphasis on soul as the living beating heart of what it is to be an embodied human in the natural world. Among Hillman’s many writings are the following:Archetypal Psychology: a brief Account; The Myth of Analysis: Three Essays in Archetypal Psychology (1972); Revisioning psychology. New York: Harper & Row. (1975); (with Laura Pozzo) Inter Views (1983); (with Ventura, Michael) We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and it’s getting worse (San Fransisco, Harper, 1993); Kinds of power. (New York: Doubleday, 1995); (ed.) Healing Fiction (Dallas, 1994); Anima: an anatomy of a personified Notion (1973); ed. Spring: An annual of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought (1978); Egalitarian Typologies versus Perception of the Unique (1986); Insearch: Psychology and Religion (1979); Loose Ends: Primary Papers in Archetypal Psychology(1978); On Paranoia; Pan and the Nightmare; Puer Papers (Dallas, Spring Publications, 1979); Re-Visioning Psychology (1977); Soul and Money (1981); Suicide and the Soul (1964); The Dream and the Underworld (Harper and Row, 1979); The Souls Code: in search of character and calling (NY, Random House, 1996) The Thought of the Heart and the Soul of the World; (with Kerenyi, Karl (eds.) Oedipus Variations: Studies in Literature and Psychoanalysis (Dallas, 1994); (with Thomas Moore) A Blue Fire; A Terrible Love of War. (NY, Penguin, 2004); The essential James Hillman (introduced and edited by Thomas Moore, London, Routledge, 1989); ATerrible Love of War (2004). Sadly Hillman died as this paper was nearing completion, in October 2011, leaving behind an important legacy of work for future transpersonal historians to inherit and work with. His most important contribution was in calling for a fundamental rebirth of the sacred and religious aspects of culture, moving away from the purely scientistic model of therapy and insisting we return to an awareness of the sacred aspects of everyday life. Not surprisingly, Hillman had strong links to Ireland and did his degree at Trinity College Dublin – a transpersonal Druid seer if ever there was one. Dick Russell’s two volume biography of Hillman, due out shortly, “The Life and Ideas of James Hillman” will hopefully reveal whether he ever studied or commented on Druidry per se, as will the collected edition of his works which is also being prepared at the moment. His approach is expressed in the following quote from 1976: “Some people in desperation turned to witchcraft, magic and occultism, to drugs and madness, anything to rekindle imagination and find a world ensouled. But these reactions are not enough. What is needed is a revisioning, a fundamental shift of perspective out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness”. So of Druidry he would say that its resurgence represents further evidence of this rejection of a soulless world and a call to return to our deepest spiritual roots,
Rudolf Steiner, who not only evidenced a great interest in Druidry but also can also be regarded as one of the founders of transpersonal history, in his epochal Karma lectures, always used to say that the anti-Christ was going to incarnate on earth soon after his death, and would consist of the increasing robotisation of humanity – that the anti-Christ was the ultimate dehumanisation of mankind and the replacement of man with machine consciousness. It is remarkable that Steiner foresaw the computer age so clearly ! In effect, the anti-Christ stands for the mechanisation of consciousness, or mind devoid of spiritual freedom.
Robert Bly’s work has been sustained for many years at the highest level of artistic and intellectual creativity, and his publications include: Bly, Robert, James Hillman and Michael Meade, The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, Bly, Robert, The Darkness Around Us Is Deep: Selected Poems of William Stafford; Bly, Robert, The Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy; Bly, Robert, What Have I Ever Lost by Dying? Collected Prose Poems and Meditations on the Insatiable Soul (1992); Bly, Robert, Morning Poems; Eating the Honey of Words; Bly, Robert, The Lightning Should Have Fallen on Ghalib (translations of Ghalib with Sunil Dutta); Bly, Robert, The Night Abraham Called to the Stars (HarperCollins, 2001); Bly, Robert The Light around the Body (1967); Bly, Robert, Snowbanks North of the House (1999); Bly, Robert, Loving a Woman in Two Worlds (1987); Bly, Robert, Mirabai Versions (1984); Bly, Robert, This Body is Made of Camphor and Gopherwood (1977); Bly, Robert, The Sibling Society; Bly, Robert, The Maiden King: The Reunion of Masculine and Feminine, which he wrote within collaboration with Marion Woodman; Bly, Robert, The Winged Life: Selected Poems and Prose of Thoreau; Bly, Robert, The Man in the Black Coat Turns; Bly, Robert, A Little Book on the Human Shadow; Bly, Robert, Iron John: A Book About Men (1983)
In fact there are fortunately a whole plethora of such places for soul-work opening up in the UK and abroad, and not least the Summer festivals and camps that dot the landscape, such as Buddha Field, the late lamented Green Gathering, Sunrise, the Glastonbury Festival etc. The Castle of the Muses in Scotland is another such experiment.
As Zimmerman explains: “Wilber places the environmentalist vs. modernist debate within the context of the long-standing battle between Ascenders and Descenders, "the central and defining conflict in the Western mind." (Brief History of Everything,, p. 258) For the Ascenders, including St. Augustine, God was transcendental, incorporeal, not of this world. Tending toward asceticism and monasticism, Ascenders sought to rise above the corrupt and manifold material plane in order to unite with the eternal One. For the Descenders, in contrast, God was not the One but the Many. Worshipping the incredibly diverse, visible, sensible, sensual God/Goddess, Descenders "delighted in a creation-centered spirituality that saw each sunrise, each moonrise, as the visible blessing of the Divine." (Brief History of Everything, p. 258)
 “Although opposite in one sense, soul and spirit are not in any way opposed to one another. They are — to borrow a phrase employed by depth psychologist James Hillman — “two polar forces of one and the same power.” We might call that one power the transpersonal, the sacred, or the Great Mystery. Spirit is the mystery of the One, of the Light, of eternal life. Soul is the mystery of the unique and the infinitely diverse, of the underworld and depth, of the dark and of death” (Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche - New World Library 2003, p. 29)
This quote is taken from Plotkin, Bill Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (New World Library 2003), chapter 2, which is entitled Groundwork: Briefing For the Descent Into Soul, in the section called Three Realms Of Human Development: Ego Growth, Soul Embodiment And Spirit Realisation. The whole work resonates strongly with the influence of the late James Hillman.
This tension between Wilber and deep ecologists is particularly interesting from the perspective of The Global green University, an international network of scholars interested in the “greening of higher education” and which organisation was founded by the current author back in 1999, and which is now based at the Castle of the Muses in Scotland. The purpose of the GGU is to combine precisely rigorous scholarship with the concerns of deep ecology
We saw earlier how Fenius Farsaidh preserved the language from before Babel in his Druidic mystery school – you could argue he was a very early integral thinker way ahead of his time !
The term was also used by Jean Gebser, whereas other thinkers, following Jan Smuts, prefer “holistic”.
“The word integral means comprehensive, inclusive, non-marginalizing, embracing. Integral approaches to any field attempt to be exactly that--to include as many perspectives, styles, and methodologies as possible within a coherent view of the topic. In a certain sense, integral approaches are "meta-paradigms," or ways to draw together an already existing number of separate paradigms into an interrelated network of approaches that are mutually enriching. In consciousness studies, for example, there are at least a dozen different schools, but an integral approach insists that all twelve of them have important if partial truths that need to be included in any comprehensive account. The same is true for the many schools of psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, spirituality: they all have important pieces of the integral puzzle, and all of them need to be honoured and included in a more comprehensive or integral approach.” (Ken Wilber). Ronald Hutton says much the same in his introduction toHutton, Ronald Blood And Mistletoe: The History Of The Druids In Britain (Yale University Press, 2009) p.xiii “I am one of those scholars who emphasise the range of conclusions that different experts may, with the same validity, draw from the same sources, and the need for the greatest possible plurality of perceptions and voices to be applied to the process”. The same idea underlies the Jain insight into anekantvada (the many sidedness of views) which is a central platform of the metaphysics of Jainism – because there are so many possible coexistent “truths” therefore violent dogmatism is an intellectual as well as a moral error. It was this insight which Pyrrho of Ellis brought back from India, where he had been speaking to Jain philosophers, and which gave birth to the Western academic sceptical tradition, mediated through Carneades and Cicero and on through to Montaigne, Husserl and the average “academic” practicing scholarship today. Few academics realise however that the roots of their own epistemological position “epoche – the suspension of judgement” – partly lie in the transpersonal search for the ultimate as practiced by generations of Jain spiritual seekers and sages.
 This word, coined by the current author, means those who would find the arche in the ecosphere, and who argue for a return to nature as being commensurate with a rediscovery of soul, and who are suspicious of the benefits of modernity and urban civilisation, and who perhaps over-romanticise the past, and underestimate the present and the future.
Concerning this label, see Fox, WarwickToward a Transpersonal Ecology: developing new foundations for environmentalism (Boston, Shambhala, 1990)
This section on science could perhaps have included a whole lot more information on Druids as educators, responsible for the teachings and custodianship of young minds, a role which then shifted to some extent to the Christian churches and monasteries scattered throughout the Celtic world, and wherever Celtic influences spread and extend. The transpersonal history of education is itself a huge topic that could have filled a whole other section. Is it a coincident that Abelard, initiator of the modern European University system (in Paris), was a Celt from Brittany, and tried to reconcile the rebirth of Aristotelian rationality and science with the divine love revealed in the Bible, i.e. heart and mind ? Perhaps one day our historical sciences will be sophisticated enough to work out exactly who such bright spirits as Abelard were, in their former and future lives - this is exactly what Steiner was doing in his Karma Lectures, and what transpersonal history is proposing as a theoretical possibility. The question we would then be able to pose is: what became of the all the ancient Druids in their future lives ? The challenge is to ask this question in a way that is amenable to scientific research and actual evidence, rather than simply intuition. That is one of the many future tasks facing transpersonal history. (See Yale, Rodney Horace Yale Genealogy And The History Of Wales, Nebraska, 1908, for the ancient Welsh pedigree of another famous educationalist)
 This was a challenge which the current author faced directly in 7 years of service with the World Conference on Religions and Peace involving interfaith dialogues with many of the world’s religious experts from 1990-1997, when serving as Secretary General for Britain and Ireland, involving conferences in Vienna, Sweden, Paris, and the Vatican etc.
In Hindu thought there are two schools – dual (dvaita, Ramanuja’s school) which embraces the concept of Deity, and non-dual (advaita, Shankara’s school). In the Buddhist school of Nagarjuna, any dialectical opposition must be met with a fierce neti neti (not this, not that). In the author’s reconstructed principle underlying Druid metaphysics, there is the concept of paradoxical simultaneity, which allows all possible logical positions to be “true” simultaneously depending on the perspective and good-will of the observer. Ultimate truth is thus relative to the observer’s position, as in the findings of relativity theory and quantum physics.
Whilst putting the finishing touches to this paper, the tragic attacks in Norway of the extremist racist right wing pseudo-esotericist, Anders Breivik have taken place, reminding us all of the importance of the peace witness within esoteric circles; some esotericists, or pseudo esotericists, have argued that extreme aggressive violence is acceptable or desirable as a political mechanism for social improvement or progress – such polemicists can be either of the extreme left or the extreme right variety; in previous writings the current author explored something of the esoteric currents underlying the extreme left tradition in politics, which James Billington has also done in considerable detail in Fire in the minds of men, the origins of the revolutionary faith (1980); Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke has also explored the misuse of esotericism by the extreme right (Goodrick-Clarke, N. The Occult Roots Of Nazism (1985). Druidry seems to have adopted a more common sense universalism in its traditions – technically speaking when Ancient Druid Orders appointed the monarch, and thus were above party politics, and in advocating non-violence and peace, they would have been repelled by such violence as Breivik has just displayed, as the frantic workings of an immature and fevered imagination. See Hammer, Olav and Kocku von Stuckrad (eds.), Polemical Encounters: Esoteric Discourse and its Others: (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007). Breivik also invoked the lineage of the Knights Templars as justifying his crimes, but in so doing is surely misappropriating an esoteric lineage, although one that due to its warrior ethic permits such misappropriations and inventions, see Lewis, James and Olav Hammer (eds) The Invention of Sacred Traditions. (Cambridge University Press, 2007). The fact that he had joined the Freemasonic Lodge in Oslo points to the difficulties that freemasons sometimes have in inculcating ethical perspectives on those who join for the wrong reasons, as can also happen among Druids, Christians, Muslims and all other membership organisations and faith traditions, see Önnerfors, A “Freemasonry in Denmark”, “Freemasonry in Norway”in Western Esotericism in Scandinavia Eds. Henrik Bogdan, Olav Hammer, (Brill, Leiden, 2010)
Anyone who wants more information on the work of peacemaking and Druidry (which would make the subject of an excellent PhD thesis) can get in touch with the author direct. One PhD student who is writing about contemporary Irish neopaganism and Druidry, and who has interviewed many leading Irish Druid elders, is Jenny Butler of University College, Cork.
Not least in the field of religious conflicts, towards which the author set up the Mulitfaith and Multicultural Mediation Service in 1997, following several years working in interfaith peace work, as the first such body in history.
The tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan took place as I was writing this paper and has coloured my thinking somewhat, naturally. But the impulse that led Herodotus to write the first Histories was also a self-confessed attempt to heal and mediate the wars between Greece and Persia through understanding their respective origins and cultures. Herodotus is thus the distant founding father of transpersonal history.
 One German author, Christoph Martin Wieland (1733-1813), whom Kant regarded as equivalent to Homer in his abilities, who mused deeply on the whole question of cosmopolitanism, and who was also a freemason and fascinated by the history of Druids, (he wrote the wrote the fairy tale The Druid or the Salamander and the Painted Pillar), said of his ideal universal secret / public Order Of Cosmopolitansthat “Good cosmopolitans are quiet citizens. They never use violence to achieve their goals and never take part in any conspiracy, uprising, civil war, revolution or regicide. The only weapon of resistance allowed is reason, which also constitutes the only form of government. In the conflicts between different parties of the state, the cosmopolitan has to remain neutral and impartial. However, there are reasons to choose sides, for instance, when one party is threatened by suppression, or when the other party treats it inhumanely. A cosmopolitan thus never disturbs the public peace, and remains within the legal framework of the state he happens to inhabit.” (Wieland, Christoph Martin “Das Geheimniß des Kosmopolitenordens” Der Teutsche Merkur, Weimar, August 1788, pp. 97–115). This quote could also be used as a motto for the Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids founded by the current author in 1997 at the Struga Poetry Festival in Macedonia.
“Termas” are a phenomenon familiar to Tibetan Buddhism – they are “lost teachings” that were recorded and left telepathically, storied in sacred places, hidden caves, inaccessible valleys and rocks, by advanced spiritual teachers who wished to leave signposts and marking and teachings for future generations. There is a living tradition of finding such “termas” in special places in Tibet, many of them left by Padmasambhava, who brought Tantric Buddhism to the Himalayas.
I cannot help ending this paper as I began, with the image of the Skimming stone theory of history; the stone has moved across the surface of the waters some 17 times, before finally coming to a rest and sinking beneath the waters, but I am reminded of the saying of Sir Isaac Newton, a “concealed Druid” if ever there was one, who stated that “all my life I have been like a child playing at tossing pebbles into the waters while all around me the great ocean of wisdom lay unexplored.” Likewise in this paper, if some readers feel I have merely skimmed the surface of a huge subject, they are right. But I hope at least to have tossed the stone in the right direction. Newton himself, in an unpublished manuscript in the Yehuda collection in Jerusalem, entitled Theologiae gentilis origines philosophicae, claims that “the religions and pantheons of the ancient peoples were all built on the same basic pattern. All began with 12 Gods, derived from the 7 planets, the 4 elements and the quintessence” (as summarised by Gjertsen). These Gods in their turn became “divinised ancestors”. Certain patterns of deification were universal. Thus, all peoples established a female deity variously named as Venus, Aphrodite, Isthar or Astarte. All, also, took one god as supreme and the ancestor of the rest. He was invariably taken to be an old man associated among other things with time and the sea. Behind this facile astronomical theology, Newton claimed however (in his own words) to have identified "“another religion more ancient than all of these… in which a fire for offering sacrifices burned perpetually in the midst of a sacred place, for the Vestal cult was the most ancient of all”. (see p. 569 in Gjertson, Derek, The Newton Handbook, London, RKP, 1986) So there we are again, having to leave the conversation in full flow, with Newton doing some transpersonal history as usual, but on the sly, tossing pebbles into the water, hoping no one is looking….
Dr. Thomas C. Daffern is a philosopher, historian, poet, author, lecturer, musician, thinker, educator, consultant and religious studies specialist. He was awarded his PhD from the University of London for a thesis which explores the history of the search for peace from 1945-2001 and which proposes a new field of historiography, Transpersonal History, as the best way to establish a rigorous discourse on peace among rival and contending spiritual and intellectual traditions, currently battling for hegemony on the planet. More recently he has developed the Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions as a teaching aid for use in schools and universities (See www.thewisdompages.co.uk). As a member of OBOD and as Peace Officer to the Council of British Druid Orders, he has had a long love-affair with Druidry and an eco-centred spirituality affirming the wisdom of primal peoples of all cultures, epochs and geographical regions. He founded and runs the Druid Peace Order dedicated to peacemaking and mediation. As a religious studies teacher he is committed to sharing scientific approaches to the study of religions with younger minds. He has lectured in all aspects of religious studies, peace studies and global philosophy, and directs the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (www.educationaid.net).
This lecture will be published in printed form in 2016 in The Mount Haemus Lectures - Volume Two available through our bookshop.