Thursday, 22 November 2012

A review of 'A Druid's Tale', by Cat Treadwell

A Druid's Tale

Despite the author’s recommendation that A Druid’s Tale be “consumed slowly … in small bites”, I initially swallowed it whole! Purely because I found it to be such an addictive read. However, the book is so incredibly rich in content that it’s impossible to digest in one sitting. Each page is so full of tasty morsels that it needs to be read through several times and reflected upon in order to assimilate the words into your bloodstream.

Cat Treadwell is a Druid Priest and, by dint of that fact, she is well qualified to write about Druidry and explain exactly what it is. Thankfully, she does not do that. Instead, she shares with us her own lived experiences: real experiences that paint infinitely more colourful and detailed illustrations than any academically driven text could.

Very aware of the absolute folly of trying to impress her readers, Cat keeps it real from the very first page to the last as she describes her fears, her agonies and some of her epiphanies, all explained and related to her Druidic beliefs and practice. I felt myself connecting with her, even journeying with her as I made my own way through her story. And connection, she demonstrates, is at the very heart of her practice. True connection is a communion with otherness: to other living beings, to the inanimate, to the forces of nature, to our ancestors and to the whole of creation.

Guided by Awen, Cat lays out her pages in this gem of a book in a way that both informs & inspires the reader. I read her chapter on ‘Public Ritual’ and learned about responsibility and honour. I read about ‘Dark Mythology’ and emerged bathed in the light of the beauty of darkness. And I read of Celebration, after which I promised myself a whole new and more honest way of being with others as I mark not just certain dates in the calendar but each day as an opportunity to give of myself to others whilst rejoicing in the never-ending wonders of this spinning planet.

Yet as I completed my first read of A Druid’s Tale, I felt to ‘know’ nothing more about Druidry as a concept. I had learned about Cat and how she interprets her role and lives her life as a Druid Priest … but I didn’t understand the term ‘Druidry’ any more than I did before. I sat, reflected … and then it struck me. Druidry is not one ‘thing’ that can be neatly categorised and boxed. Nor should it ever be. Druidry, it seems to me after reading Cat’s book, is a certain way of being and becoming and learning how to discover and accept your True Self. It is a way of ‘being with’ the world in what Martin Buber describes as an ‘I-Thou’ relationship: blissfully unaware of one’s ego’s restraints and bound together in the glory of the other, be it a person, a creature, a rock, a star or a goddess.

After these insights and still stirred by the author’s passions and honesty, I gazed out of my window at the rain-lashed moors on the horizon and listened to the howling wind as it grabbed at piles of leaves and flung them around the garden. ‘Perhaps this is druidry,’ I thought as the unpredictable chaos of a gale-blown afternoon suddenly filled me with energy and the most reassuring feeling that I was not alone.

Product details

  • Paperback: 183 pages
  • Publisher: Moon Books; 1st edition (29 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780991134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780991139
You can order a copy of A Druid's Tale here