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The Joy of the Court or, Seeking the Hallows in the Modern Age  

Story/Art • Introduction to Modern Druid Groups • Arthurian and Esoteric Links

Interweaving all the other elements in my life is the esoteric element of spirit. Someone who ordered books for the Drugfair in Prince Frederick, MD is owed my thanks for enabling me to discover Neo-Paganism and Wicca. There I found The Witches’ Almanac and Justine Glass’s Witchcraft, the Sixth Sense which lead me through many turnings and meanderings through Neo-Pagan paths and traditions. My current path is a weaving of ideas from Celtic Reconstructionism, modern Druidry (I am a member of Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids [OBOD] and the Ár nDraíocht Féin [ADF]), British-Arthurian Mysteries — that of the Quests for the Hallows and the Restoration of the Courts of Joy.

My particular interweaving combines my long-time passions for the Arthurian legends, Welsh folklore and mythology, Earth-based spirituality, and what we know or can speculate from Gaulish and Celtic-British archaeology and history. I find that Arthurian legend, or dare I say mythology, really resonates with my life and my sense of connection with the Divine. There are those who would question the validity of a spiritual path based, in part, on Medieval “fictional” characters. To these I offer this quote from John and Caitlin Matthews:

The word ‘mystery’ has lost its traditional value in common parlance: now it merely means ‘an enigma,’ but that is not how we use the word here. We have returned to its ancient value meaning ‘an esoteric truth known only by divine revelation.’ In this way, we can speak of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter and Kore which were celebrated in Classical Greece.

To speak of the Arthurian legends in the same breath may seem strange, but we must consider that they arise out of the native mythology of the British Isles which long had its own set of mysteries. These mysteries, though they would have varied from place to place, nevertheless conformed to an intrinsic pattern of mythic archetypes and mystery initiations. Within this existing framework, the Arthurian legends have grown up and become fused with the native mysteries in such a way that they are indivisible from them.

Hallowquest: Tarot Magic and the Arthurian Mysteries, 159–160.

My ritual group, Sisters of the Silver Branch, is somewhat more eclectic. The Sisters range from nearly Celtic Reconstructionist to very eclectic. We have not failed to find common ground so far.

Stories/Artwork, Etc.

From time to time, I will record some of my meditations and some of my ADF Dedicant Program essays. The first is my meditation on the triad, “Three gains of those who heed the Old Ones: illumination, wisdom and clarity.

I presented a class on modern Druid groups in 2004, comparing and contrasting six modern Druid groups: the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the British Druid Order, the Ancient Order of Druids in America, the Reformed Druids of North America, Ár nDraíocht Féin and the Henge of Keltria. I have published the expanded version of my class notes here.

Previous offerings can be found on the Archive page.

My interests in Arthurian legend are academic as well as esoteric. The following are links to sites I have found especially enlightening:

 

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